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by 7 percentage points, to 16 percent. Over the satne span, the share of income going to
tile bottom 80 percent has fallen by 7 percentage points. It’s as if every household in that
bottom 80 percent is wiiting a check for $7,000 every year and sending it to the top 1
percent. This is why the usual assurances that come fiom people like Sutn_rne~ -- that an
open, technologically advanced global economy is inevitable and good-- feel, as he
himself wrote in The Financial Times, like "pretty thin gruel."
Dealing with tiffs anxiety -- making globalization work for the masses -- has become the
central economic issue of tile day in Smnmers’s mind. And since his Harvard presidency
ended a yea ago, he has set out on a search for solutions. To him, it seems like a natural
sequel to the policies he pushed in the 1990s. To liberal Democrats, it seems long
overdue. "I breathe a great sigh of wistfulness and relief and say, ’Finally, they’ve come
arotmd,’" Reich says. "It was, I think, a fimdamental failure on the part of the Democrats
in the late ’90s not to face the structural changes that needed to be faced."
Sttn~ne~s recentiyj oined the board of Teach for America, in large measme to think more
about education reform. He has also joined an advisory board of Bhie Cross and Blue
Shield of Massachusetts, the state at the center of health care refoi~n. (His gut instinct is
that Massachusetts’s tmiversal-cover~e plan isn’t radical enough.) He has re-engaged in
academic life, becoming the co-editor of a journal paltly so he can nudge other
economists to do research on big policy issues. With tlie DemoclNs back in control of
Congress, he lms testified at hearings and met plivately with membels to talk about
inequality. His old fiiends and colleagues from the Clinton administration have now
spread out to the Federal Reserve, Capitol Hill and, of course, Hillaw Clinton’s
can~paign. In effect, Smnmers is assembling a virtual think tank. "I think the defining
issue of our time is: Does the economic, social and political system work for the middle
class?" he told me. "Because the system’s viability, its staying power and its health
depend on how well it worlcs for the middle class."
At age 52, Lmly Surmne~s has already finished his ilrst tiu-ee careers. The son of two
economists at the Univelsit¥ of Pennsylvania and the nephew of two Nobel-~vinuing
econo~nists, he em’olled at M.I.T~ when he was 16. Then came the swill aise to tenure at
Harvard, a flmly of research papers on seemingly every major topic in economics and an
award called the JohnBates Clark Medal, given every other year to the best econoinist
under 40. "I’ve been arolmd some pretty stnart people," said Jonathan Gnlber, an M.I.T.
econo~nist and a fol~ner student of Smnmers’s. "But it’s a different level with L,alaN."
The rap on him-- in academia and later in Washington, where he moved in 1991 to
become the chief economist of the World B auk- was always ttmt he knew he was the
smartest guy inthe room and acted like it. At factflty seminars, he wotfld sometimes
intenttpt another professor a few nfinntes into a presentation, succinctly summarize the
tmdelivered portion, poke holes in tile argntnent and offer suggestions about how to make
the same points in nlore compelling fashion. To the great amusement of his colleagues at
Treasm% he occasionally ~lid the same thing to officials from foreign gover~unents who
had come to call on him.
But the notion that Summers can be a bttlly misses one thing: he likes it when people
fight back. As Treasul~.¢ secretary, he encom~ged his own staff to disagree with him when
they thought he was wrong. "He was incredibly open to people pushing back and
challenging tlim," said Timothy Geithner, the cut, rent president of the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York., who worked under Sttmmel~ at Treasury. "It’s what he desires ~nost.
It’s how he ttfinks through things." During a conversation I was having with him one
morning in a Senate cafeteria, in tile midst of explaining why he thonght the pay of chief
executives was economically rational, StUunlei,s stopped and said, "When I’ve thought
about possible explanations for this, one is that I’m wrong."
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As a restflt of this intellectual playfulness, many people find it ttnilling to talk with hi~n.
He loves to exanine an idea flom every possible angle, searching out the weaknesses in
order to arrive at a better conclusion. Hei~~ has said that Sttmmers should be
given a permanent White House job, a SOlt of fixer of flabby policy ideas. Of cotu’se,
Sttmmers’s style, or lack of it, is also at the root of his well-publicized missteps.
By most accom~ts, he did learn to solten himselfwtfile in Washington, which helps
explain his successful decadelong mn there. Shortly alter Clinton lelt office in 2001,
Sttmmers was given the ~nost prestigious job in higher education. It’s hard to think of
anyone else in public life today who has roached the pinnacle of three different careers.
And Ha-card w’as supposed to be the end of the Sttmmers story. Given his age and his
ambitions -- his plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the life sciences,
eliminate tuition for lower-income students and reinvigorate undergraduate education --
he seemed destined to lead the university for the next 20 years.
But back in academia, whare social skills are not a prerequisite for success, he seemed to
forget tt~at his he,V job had more in common with being a cabinet secreta7 than with
being a professor. Most famously, he wondered aloud at an academic conference in 2005
whether i~mate differences helped explain why men dominated the top ranks of research
science. He never recovered.
The most obvious place to land wottld have been Wall Street, and he talked with
Goldman Sachs and Citigronp. But he instead took a lucrative pat-time job at a big
hedge fund, D.E. Shaw. Summers’s main professional home remains, surprisingly,
Harvard, where his wife, Elisa New, is a lite~ure professor and he holds a distingtfished
endowed chair.
On a recent sraing afternoon, he ,,~s the surprise guest speaker for the final meeting of a
lecture comse called Morality and Taboo, taught by Alan Dershowitz,, the law professor,
and Steven PiN~er, the psychologist. They were prominent suppol~ers of his presidency,
and the occasion seemed ripe for self-justification. Summers has alveays kept the support
of Harvard’s undergraduates, and when he vcas introduced, the students in the classroom
gave him a 20-second ovation. Some stood. !Jr his introduction, Dershowitz defended
Smmners’s remarks about gender and science as honest intellectual inquiry. But
S~trmnors wo~tldn’t have it. °’I think it was, in retrospect, an act of spectacular
in,prudence," he told the class. He still inaintains that some critics mischaracterized his
remarks, "out the bottom line is that girls around the world cane to think that the president
of Harvard believed they cottldn’t be scientists. "There are enormous benefits to being a
leader of a major institution, but there a-e also costs and limitations," he continued.
thought I cotfld have it both ways, and I was wroug." Even wlien someone is defending
him, Stmuners can’t hold back from a debate.
In many ways, the political path that he has followed over his career is also the path of
his patty. The d~cades after World War II were do~ninated by the Keynesian notion --
shaped in part by one of his Nobel-winning uncles, Paul Sanuelson -- that government
was good. But the stagflation of the 1970s caused a whole ofgener~ion of economists to
look instead toward the market, which seemed far more efficient at allocati~hg resources.
Today Sunune]s says he believes in markets as much as ever, and he begins ahnost any
discussion of globalization by pointing out its benefits. Food, clothing, fitmitttre and
dozens of everyday items are more affordable than they once were. Interest rates are low,
as is inflation, and recessions come less otten. Bringing down the deficit in the ’90s, he
argues, helped make this possible.
But Smmners says he now has to reckon with anew reality. Despite good growth over
the last four yeas, the pay of most American workers has barely kept pace with inflation.
Techi~ology and global trade are conspiring to let highly sldlled workers do more -- to be
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more productive and to play on a bigger stage -- ~vhile at the same time malting millions
of other workers replaceable. The middle-class income gains of the Clh~ton yeats now
look like an aberration, caused by a combination of low oil prices (which allowed a dollm"
to go fiaxther) and a financial bubble that made the job market mmsually tight. "I don’t
think my general orientation to the world has changed," Summm,s says, noting that he
favored interventions like tax credits for the poor duting the ’90s and continues to won-y
about the deficit today. "But I think if you look at how the economy is worldng for
ave1~ge families, the sensible pliofity has shifted." Geithner, the New York Federal
Reserve president, puts it this way: "The Ncts have changed a little bit. That’s what
Lan3,’s evolution reflects?’
What’s st~ildng today is how much Democrats on either side of the 1990s debate agree
with one another. Most say that globalization itself carmot be held back, because it stems
more from the inexorable march of teclmology than from any change in tlzde laws.
Credit-card call centers have moved to India and Ireland because they can function there,
not because a new law allowed them to go. Trying to prevent jobs from leaving will
create the problems that protectionism always had, like higher inflation and slower
economic growth. But leaving the mmket to work its magic also won’t do. Even the
centrists withfl~ the pmty agree that the govermnent needs to meddle in the economy
more than it once did.
The model that most appeals to Stmnners is, in fact, the United States -- in the decades
after World Win II. At the time, this country was opening itself to more global
competition, by rebtnlding Ettrope and sigtting fin~cial agreements like Bretton Woods.
But it was also taking concrete steps to build the modem middle class. In addition to the
O.I. Bill, there were tlie Fede1~ Housing Adinhfistration, the Interstate Highway System
and a very different tax code. The history ofl~’ogressivism "has been one of the market
being protected from its own excesses," Smnmers says. "And I think now the challenge
is, again, to protect a basic market system based on open trade and globalization, to make
it one that works for everyone or for almost everyone, at a tone when market forces are
often I~’oducing outco~nes that seem increasingly problematic to middle-class families."
A new social contl~aCt wound look different, of cottrse. The tax code of the 1950s, with a
top margirtal rate of 91 percent, stifled innovation. Today’s system goes too fat- in the
other direction, Susnmers says, exacerbating ineqtmlity with loopholes and deductions
that let a lot of affluent fat~tilies avoid taxes, and the Bush tax cuts haven’t helped. Health
care reform is another obvious priority. In Sttrmners’s view, the cut-tent employer-based
system, which ca’eates insecurity for many families and big costs for companies, may
need to be replaced by one in ~vhich the govermnent pays for insut-ance but individuals
choose what pl~a-~ they want. It wotfld be single payer, but not as England or Canada does
it.
Surmnex~ becomes really excited by what he sees as the potential fox" a life-sciences
revolution. It will happen only if government again does its p,’ul, thouglt, and in the last
few yeats federal support for medical research has failed to keep pace with inflation. A
more sensible policy, he argues, has the potential not only to keep people healthy and
,alive for longer but also to create well-paying jobs. He likes to talk about "clusters" like
Silicon Valley --in the life sciences ,’rod other areas -- ~vhere groups of companies can
feed off one another to become ~nore productive. Moving jobs to a low-wage country
then becomes less attractive. And the government can help create clustms, just as it btrilt
the highway system and the Intemet. If you didn’t know any better, you might even refer
to this idea as industrial policy.
Sutmners no~v occupies a fimny place in the Democratic constellation. His vatSous dust-
ups over rite years have left lahn with a f~ n~tmber of enemies. But he also has alot of
Page 790

influential fans, as well as the ability to ir~ ect an issue into the public debate merely by
discussing it. Under a Democratic president, he would be an obvious candidate to rm~ the
Federal Reselve or the World Bank. But amore likely path could be the one taken by
Kissinger, ~vho has spent the last 30 years as a force in RepuNican foreign policy despite
having been out of government. Summers nmy actually be better suited for this role than
for some of the jobs he has held recently. It’s one in which the quality of an idea matters
more than its delive1%
A fieelance career would have its fi-dstrations, but Strummers has had some success in
perstmding othea’s. Bill Gates has said he decided to devote much of iris money to global
poverty and disease after reading a 1993 World Bank report -- a report that Sttmmers
instigated. His efforts to recruit poor students to H,-uw’ard helped make a national issue of
the lack of low-income students at elite colleges. In India, where politicians say he
influenced theft" own approach to laade agreements, they still quote him the way people
here quote Alan Greenspan.
"I’m finding my way," Stumners said about his newest career, his fomth. "I think one has
to be prepared to accept long causal chains. That is, if you’re laying to tlthtk about a
problem and propose a solution, it does not happen the next day. But it affects the climate
of opinion, and things go from being inconceivable to being inevitable."
David Leonhardt writes a weeMy economics column for The New Yorlc Times.
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The Louisville Courier-Journal

Sunday, June 10, 2007

HIGH SCHOOL ROUND TABLE


The real world
Does liigh school prepare students for life after gradualion?

By Raven J. Railey
Spedal to The Courier-Journal

Most area schools are out for the surrmler, but how well are theh" lessons preparing
students for life on the job, at home and as adtflts?

Members of The Cottrier-Jottrnal’s High School Round Table recently talked about their
schools’ strengths and weaknesses in prepatS_ng young people for the "real ‘‘vorld."

They also discussed where they think educators’ pfiolifies should be and the effect of
state and federal standards, such as the No Ctuld Left Behind Act.

The rolmd table is an ammal tradition dating to 1983. This year’s members were chosen
from inore than 270 applicants.

Here are excerpts of their conversation:

Raven Railey: Do you think the educational system prepares you well for life after high
school?

K’eion Brown, 18, senior at Fairdale High School: No. It’s harder in the real ‘‘vorld
than it is in school, hi school, you can slack off, but in the real world if you do, then you
are going to fail and get fired from yonrjob.

Danielle Hawks, 18, senior, Bullitt Central High School: I want to be ateacher. So
going to school is helping ine be what I want to be.

But to helI) me compete in the world, I don’t think so much. My school has done a good
job this year. We were on a grading scale to where anything below a 50 was an F and 90
to 100 was an A. I skated through school until Otis year. Then they changed it -- anything
below a 70 is now an F.

Miguel Cruz, 17, senior, Waggener High School: If you want to succeed, you’ll find it
at whatever school you go to. What drives you is not the education that you receive, but
the discipline in yourself.

Amauda Kasey, 16, freshman, Charlestowl High School: I don’t necessarily think
high school prepares you for life, but I don’t think it’s all the school’s fault. I think it’s
mostly just ore age and ilmnaturity.
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Surriya Ahmad, 17, junior, Louisville Collegiate School: I would like to see more
required courses that teach life valnes so that ldds can get exposure to other things before
they go out into the real world, like home econonfics coarses -- basic things.

At our school, we have a life skills comse. Each year, ~ve talk about different things. The
jtmior class, we took a career test so that we cotdd see what vve would want to major in.

Bryce Milburn, 17, senior, Boyle County High School: I think high school is more
about teaching you how to deal with people.

They’ll show where yore" interests are. I think that college is the best part to leatT1 stuff
because you actually get serious.

High school is petty much like a day care for teenagers. I can skip class and get an A, so
I do. I think their rules should be a lot stricter.

Railey: Do others have "life skills" classes? Shotfld they be taught in school?

K’don: Yes, because I think that people waste money. If I was tanght earlier instead of
later ho~v to save it, I would have a whole lot more than I do now.
If they were taught how to speak to people, people wouldn’t jump to conclusions or get
aggravated, and then we wouldn’t have so much violence going on.

Chase Sanders, 17, junior, Male High School: I can think of only one class that I have
taken that has helped hie to make good choices in life. That was in my freshmml year
when I was in ROTC.
If you are going to have a class like that, you need to have it later on Have them take it
one seinester tNir senior year.

DaNdle: I don’t tl~ink that we need to lem:n how to live our lives and how to inanage our
money by the govelmnent. That is something that you need to find out on your own or
with your parents’ influence.

Migud: I would love to see a combination of a discipline course mid a self-confidence


com~e. A lot ofldds that I know really second-guess thelnselves.

Amanda: We have family consmner science courses: personal skills, relationship sldlls
and life skills. Mostly it’s like a health class, so I dofft really temxl that much.

But I do like the program "Baby, Think it Over." You get to carly that little baby around
and it squalls all day.

I have never learned how to balance a checkbook, and I know that’s going to hint me
pretty bad.

Sur riya: School should offer more com~es on how to ~narmge your money and on things
like balancing a checkbook.
Page 793

The life skills course, to gradtmte, you have to give a senior speech in fl’ont of the upper
school. You have to develop the confidence to do that.
You also have aweekthat the seniors get off and they go and explore a field that they
fltink they might want to do ~vhen they graduate. You shadow a doctor or work in some
other field.

Hilary Borgmder, 15, freshman, Sacred Heart Academy: We have a class catled
"Self," and it teaches you how to control your anger. If something bad happens, like a
death or your parents get divorced, it teaches you how to deal with that.

Business is required and so is computer applications for all four years.

DaNdle: Agrictflture is really big at our school. Our business depmtment is really, really
big. We have alot of the family consttmer science classes,

I took accounting, and I worked in the bank this year. I am certified that I can work at a
bank now, which is really good for me if I ever need to get a job.

Amanda: We have a big business wing where you cottld take computer application
classes. We have the Prosser School of Tectmology that we go to every other day. It has
cltlinary, cosmetology, aviation mid a bunch of different programs.

Miguel: We have a child development center where we have a day care.

Chase: My school has business classes you can take, but you cml only take these classes
when you are a senior. The Blflldog Bank -- it’s like abank that they have in our school
that’s helped by National City Bank. You can take law and govermnent classes.

K’don: My school has four l~ogm~ns that you can intern for. I chose to do fuefighter.
They sent me down to the fire depmtment that was close to our school. They taught me
how to save pe@e’s lives and get certified in EMS, and how to do trench rescues.

Bryce: They have this ~vork-study progr~t where if you have a job, you can leave at
noon and go work. Most people leave and they don’t strut the job until 3 p.m. They just
go home and sleep. So it’s kind of a waste of time.

Hilary: We Nave a whole broadcasting wing, and they have TV shows.

Railey: Them seems to be ,nore emphasis on testing and teaching to federal and state
standards in public schools. Is this helpfitl?

DaNdle: I don’t think that is working at my school.

With "No Child Left Behind," the focus is bringing everyone who is dow~ low up. So if
you are a student that does take the ~nore advanced classes, you are kind of left to do it on
your o~m.

I guess that’s kind of a good thing, because it’s going to teach more self-discipline.
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Amanda: It just stresses us out. We are always testing, audit messes up otu schedtfles. It
takes away from our classes.

People just rnn tkrough it because they know it doesfft count, so I don’t think it’s
accurate representation of what we are learning.

Surriya: It’s a good starting point to see ifevel~cone is on equal foo~lg. I don’t t/rink it’s
an end-all to see what’s going on.

Danielle: CATS tests mean nothing to us in the long rim, whereas the ACT is us getting
into school or not. The test that we really should be ,studying for, the school doesn’t care
about.

I~iley: What challenges do you think educators face in teactting effectively?

Chase: You have so many different ldds that have different situations, and they come
from different backgrom~ds.

Amanda: The standards get in tile way, and they can’t teach what they t/rink is more
relevant to life. We don’t go on field trips anymore, and we can’t watch doctuneutaries.

We don’t actually get to explore oi" talk about what we think.

Miguel: They Nave to tly and please the govel:mnent, please tile students and please the
parents at tile s~rne time.

Surriya: At our school, it’s eas7 to talk to our teachers, and the class size is small. You
can’t connect if the class size is large.

K’eion: This past year I had an integrated-science teacher that I felt was the best teacher.
She stayed after every day to make sure that you understood what she "~vas trying to teach
you. BUt she had students that didn’t want to learn.

Railey: How do your schools excel, and what’s one thii~g you’d change?

Amanda: We learn how to get along withpeople that we don’t necessarily agree with.

I’d rather go in-depth with stuff than just barely cover it because you have to move on to
the next standard.
Chase: The school is doing their job. The only change that I would make is that schools
give you more choices toward your career goals, maybe yom’jtmior or senior year.

DaNdle: Our teachers are really great teachers, but I don’t think that the school gives
them the chance to teach what they really want to teach. There are so many restrictions.

The adnfinist~tion does alot of picking and choosing the role-model students, and they
don’t pick very well. That sends the wrong message to some ldds.
Page 795

They are more outgoing, but are they really the ones that are achieving in school?

Miguel: They excel in providing the teachers for you. I believe that should be the most
that they should trove to do.

Surriya: The schools excel at the wide variety ofacade~nic courses they offer. It gives
the students a chance to prepare themselves for college.
An improvement would be to not just focus on academics, but bring in other types of
COUlNeS.

Bryce: The only thing that my school achieves is forcing all the teenagms in the area to
get to know each other.

I think they need some more money in peer education.

You spend most of your life in fiont of the computer screen if you are going to work.
They need to let you know how, other than to just type on a keyboard.

K’eion: I feel like most of our students --most of our seniors in pat~cular -- wouldn’t
have made it without ore" teachers. Our teachers care a lot about us, and they push us to
become better.

My math teacher, he pushes all his students to the maxim~m~ of their ability, because
that’s how much he ~,wauts them to succeed.

Instead of treating people on the athletics teams like they are more important, they just
need to treat everyone equally.
Page 796

The Yorktown Patriot, Yorktova~ University

Why are college students going into debt?

Junl0, 2007, 09:39

WASHINGTON -- As the first in her immigrm~t family to attend college, Lucia DiPoi
said she had few clues about financing her college education. So when financial aid mid
low-interest govennnent loans did not stretch far enouglL Ms. DiPoi applied for $49,000
in private loans, too. "How bad could it be?" she recalls thinking.

When Ms. DiPoi graduated fiom Tufts University in Boston, she found out. With interest,
her private loans had reached $65,000 and she owed an additional $19,000 in federal
loans. Her moi~hly tab is $900, with interest rates topping 13 percent on the private
loans.
Ms. DiPoi, now 24, quickly gave up her dreatn to work in an overseas refugee camp. Tile
pay, she said, "wottld have been enough for Ine but not for Sallie Mae," her lender.
The regtflations that the federal EducationDepartment proposed this month to crack
down on payments by lendels to universities and their officials were designed to end
conflicts of interest that could point students to pmticular lenders.

But they do nothing to address a l~oble~n that ~nany education officials say may have
greater consequences -- more students relying on p~ivate loans, which are so unregulated
that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York recently called thegn rite Wild
West of lending.
As college trillion has soared past file stagnant limits on federal aid, private loans have
beco, ne file fastest-growing sector of the student finance market, more than t~ipling over
five years to $17.3 billion in the 2005-06 school yem; according to the College Board.

Unlike federal loans, whose interest rates are capped by law -- now at 6.8 percent --
these loans carry vmiable rates that can reach 20 percent, like credit cards. Mr. Cuomo
and Congress are now investigating how lenders set those rates.

And while federal loans come with safeguards against students’ overextending
themselves, private loans have no such li~nits. Students are piling up debts as high as
$100,000.

Banks and lenders face negligible lisk froIn allowing students to take out large sums. hi
the federal ovenhaul of the bankruptcy lawin 2005, lenders won a provision that makes it
virtthally impossible to discharge private student loans, in bankruptcy. Previously such
provisions had only applied to federal loans, as a way to protect the taxpayer against
defaulting by students.

While federal loans also allow bonowers myriad chances to reduce or defer pay~nents for
hardship, private loans typically do not. And many private loan agreements make it
impossible for students to reduce the principal by paying extra each month tmless they
Page 797

are paying offthe entire loan. Officials say they are troubled by the amotmt of debt that
loan companies and colleges are encouraging students to take on.

"It’s a huge problem," said Bmznak Nasshian, associate executive dhector ofthe
American Association of Collegiate Registral,s and Adinissions Officers. "When a
student signs the paper for these lomts, they are basically signing anindentme," Mr.
Nassirian said. "We’re indebting these kids for life."

Dozens of students interviewed said that when they signed for their loans they were
unclem on what interest rate they were getting and that financial aid com~selors
discussing repayment failed to include interest that students were compotmding while in
college. The lenders say they are providing a valuable service, helping students who
nfight otherwise not be able to afford college. Tom Joyce, a spokesman for Sallie Mae,
the nation’s lmtgest student lender, said the company’s average intetsst rate on private
student loans was just over 10 percent and that the typical bo~Tower was a yotmg person
with little or no credit histo~7 and no collateral.
"What wottld the credit card interest rate be for that borrower -- 24, 25 percent?" Mr.
Joyce asked. "Our goal is to make it possible for students to graduate."

But various members of Congress are now looldng at ways to tighten ovmsight of private
student loans.

The large growth in tnivate loans -- once confined tnqmarily to graduate students --
largely cotnes fiom steep increases in tttifion, which have ontpaced inflation and federal
aid, attd an increasing reluctance among parents to take on more debt.

For the last 15 years, the li~nits on the most connnon federal loans have stagnated at
$17,125 for four yem~. They will increase slightly stating next month. In addition, loan
companies have also come to realize that such loans cat be hugely profitable.

Although the federal Education Department has no jurisdiction over tnivate student loans,
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings recently pledged to convene the agencies that do,
including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Resem’ch by rite U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others show that some students
are taking private loans before exhausting their eligibility for low-interest, fixed-rate
federal loans.

Janea Morgan, 25, a 2006 graduate of California College San Diego, said that college
officials had her fill out the federal fi~mndal aid form but never tapped federal loans.
Instead, she said, they steered her to a Inivate loan with KeyBank, at an interest rate that
could rise four times a year, with no cap.

Now, she is cmrying $46,000 in private loans at 9.22 percent interest, which she fears
may rise beyond her ability to pay. Ms. Morgan said that when she asked college officials
~vhy they bypassed federal loans, "They said it would take too long,"
Page 798

Barbara Thomas, vice president and chief operating officer at California College San
Diego, said that she could not discuss Ms. Morgan’s situation because of privacy laws,
but that generally students someti,nes took too long to fill out the federal financial aid
application properly. "It’ s a time thing that ldds have to work with," Ms. Thomas said.

Sometimes marketing is at work. Last September, the United States Student Association
co~nplained to the Federal Trade Cormnission that a major private lending program, Loan
to Learn, made "false and deceptive claims" in a brochure called "Demystifying
Financial Aid."

According to the complaint, the brochure stated inaccurately that "most govermnent loans
are need-based," suggested that federal loans could not be used for education-related
costs like computers and books, mid that there were "strict deadlines" on applying for
federal loans. In fact, students can get federal lom~s to pay for educatiolual expenses, even
retroactively.

George C. Pappas, a spokesman for Loan to Letup, dismissed the complaint as


"absolutely ridiculous." Neve~daeless, EduCap, the parent company, has removed the
passages from the guide. The F.T.C. declined to cormnent on Loan to Learn.

Students with private loans can be caught by surprise at how adjustable interest rates
allow debt to swell.

Sean Craig Hicks, 35, attended the West~vood College of Aviation Teclmology, now
known as Redstone College, in Broomfield, Colo., from 1997-2000 in the hope of
becoming an airplane mechanic. He said a financial aid officer gave him an application
for a $6,000 private loan ttn-ough Wells Fro’go to help pay outstanding expeuses just
before graduation. On the school’s hall walls, he said, were fliers for Wells Fargo loans.
"You trast those people when they tell you this is the one to go witty," Mr. Hicks said.

Mr. Hicks said his loan docttments had pronfised that if he paid the minimmn due each
mouth, he would pay off the loan by 2010. Instead, after six years of payments, most of
them on time, he owes $100 more than when he took out the loan.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, Mmy Berg, conftrmed that Mr. Hicks held a student
loan, but called the de alings with him a private inatter. Officials at Redstone College did
not respond to ~equests for comment.

Many students out of dozeus interviewed said it was not pmticularly cleat" what interest
rate they had signed up for.
Take Attila Valyi, a Motorola employee in Plantation, Fla. Eager tojvanp-sta~t his
education, he turned to/Xanerican InterContinental U~tiversity, a for-profit institution
offering a bachelor’s degree in 13 months. But discovering how much the diploma would
cost was an endeavor wolthy of a dissertation.

While the $28,000 tuition was no secret, Mr. Valyi said that at the mging oftmiversity
officials, he had signed an application for a loan that doubled as a pledge to pay the
money back. It did not indicate an interest rate. He took out two moae loans before
getting his bachelor’s degree, realizing only when it was too late, he said, that he cmied
Page 799

loans at three different interest rates that could rise from month to montlL the largest for
$10,745 at 18 percent.
When Mr. Valyi, 30, contacted the lender, Sallie Mae, to refinance, he said he was told he
could not do so tmtfl he graduated. "You’re locked in at 18 percent," he said he was told.

Martha Holler, a spokes~voman for Sallie Mae, said Mr. Valyi and other bon’owers of
those years would have been told, dining the application process andin an approval
letter, the interest rate as a percentage above the prime rate. And they were free to cancel,
up to 30 days aider the money went to the school.

Lynne Baker, a spokeswoman for the Career Education Corporation, which o~vns
American InterContinental and scores of other for-profit colleges, said that the
colporation did not track individual student interest rates and that whether to pay such
rates was the students’ decision.
Page 800

THE ARAB AMERICAN NEWS

SCHOOL GRANTS TO PROMOTE LEARNING ARABIC

By: Mohamed Kadry / The Arab Ameiican News

2007-06-09

DEARBORN t~IGHTS -- The U.S. Department of Education presented Stm


International Academy with a $339,586 check for a federal Foreign Language Assistance
Program grant on Friday to promote Arabic among America’s most popttlous Middle
Eastern population. This program provides grants to establish, improve, or expand
innovative foreign language programs for elementat7 and secondary school students in
order to increase the ntunber of students studying critical languages to help ensme
America’s competitiveness in the international economic and political spheres.
As pat of the federal push to establish and expand foreign language programs in
America’s schools, four schools in Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, and Detroit will be
recognized with grants that over three years are expected to exceed $1 nfillion in value.
Nawal Hanmdeh, founder, superintendent and CEO of Star International Academy, heads
an educational powerhouse that ~m~:s her charter schools in the top 50 nationwide. Her
students’ MEAt) reading proficiency levels from 2003-2005 smpassed Detroit and
Dearborn Public schools, and math proficiency gains were higher than all local public
school districts, despite having a much ttigher number of econonfically disadvantaged
students. Star International Academy also outpeffol:med 87 percent of Michigan charter
schools serving ecottomically disadvantaged students in reading and 77 percent in math.
It also ranked fomth in reading proficiency and seventh in math of all schools in the
enthe state serving similar populations.
Nearly 90 percent of the school’s students are of Arab or Middle Eastern descent. Some
speak Arabic well but many have little or no exposure to the language. This giant will
allow the school to implement much needed diversified language programs that will
accommodate the entire student body.
Fewer than one percent of Ameiican high school students study Arabic, Chinese, Farsi,
Japanese, Korean, Russian or Urdu. Fewer than eight percent ofU. S. undergraduates take
foreign language courses. U.S. Secretm7 of Education Mat:garet Spellings calls the
finplementation of high-quality foreign language programs, "...not just an education
issue; it’s an economic issue, a civic issue, a social issue, a national sectNty issue, and it’s
eve~5,body’s issue."
The grant comes at a time when American govermnent officials are revitalizing the effoit
to promote Arabic as a necessms~ language particularly in foreign and diplomatic afNil,~.
It is intended to imme~se all students in all grades in both the Arabic ~’md English
languages, and pro~note the study of both Arabic and American cultures tl~’ough artifacts,
geography, customs, traditions, folklore, dances, and music.
"We promote peace, not wars," Hanmdeh said. "The more we ande~stand each other, and
our cultures, the less conflict there is. We bring people together, sharing in the process of
learning, shining meals, shari~g lives...our students, our parents, our staff, and the
coimnunities around us all share together. It’s a good role model for a global world."
Students performed Arabic folk songs and traditional dances for the philanthropic guests,
higltlighted by a musical perfo~Tnance from Ali Bazzi who sang and played his Arabic
4rum to a cheering audience.
Page 801

Nonrespons
FrOITl: Yudof, Samara
Sent: June 10, 2007 11:37 AM
To: Private- Spellings, Margaret; Dunn, David; Simon, Ray; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Maddox,
Lauren; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Halaska, Terrell; Oldham, Cheryl;
Flov~rs, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; McLane,
Katherine; Rosenfelt, Phil; Cadello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts,
Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Terrell, Julie;
Toom ey, Liam; ’tracy_d._young@who.eop.gov’; William s, Cynthia
Subject: 06.10.07 In the News

Attachments: 061007 In the News.doc

06.10.07 In the Ne~vs

TheWashington Post: Can D.C. Schools Be Fixed? (Dan Keating and V. Dion Haynes)

TheWashington Post: His Body Imprisoned, His Mind Set Free (Marc Fishe~9

TheWashington Post: Schools Chief Infusing Some Of His O~vn Pep Into St. Mary’s (Megan G~en~vell)

TheAssociated Press: Clinton: No Child Left Behind Threatens U.S. Creative Edge (Hem? Jacl~an)

TheNew York Thnes: Private Loans Deepen a Crisis in Student Debt (Diana Schemo)

TheNew York Times:: Iraq Is Backdrop for Many Graduation Speakers (Alan Finder)

The New York Times: Lar~3~ Sununers’ s Evolution (David Leonhardt)

The Louisville Courier-Jom~al: The real ~vorld; Does high school prepmv students for life after
graduation? (Raven Railey)

The Yorkto~vn Pah’iot: Why are college students going into debt?

The Arab American News: School Grants to Promote Learning Arabic (Mohamed Kadry)
Page 802

061007 In the
X~ews.doc (166 KB...

The Washington Post

Can D.C. Schools Be Fixed?


After decades of reforms, three out of four students fall below math standards. More money is spent running the
schools than on teaching. And urgent repair jobs take more than a year...

By Dan Keat~ng and V. Dion Haynes, Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, June 10, 2007; A01


<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn!content!arlicle/2007/06/09/AR2007060901415.html>
Kelly Miller Middle School opened its doors in a struggling Northeast Washington neighborhood in 2004, a $35
million showcase for the District’s public schools, every classroom equipped with a whiteboard and computers.
A particular source of pride was a media production room, where students could broadcast announcements and
produce programs to be viewed on TVs wired in each classroom.
Tln’ee years later, there have been no broadcasts. The room still needs a last, aitical piece of equipment, which
fell into a bureaucratic chasm. Until a few days ago, the principal had never been told what the part was or when
it was coming. For now, the $150,000 production room is a storage closet for unused books and fm-niture.
As Mayor Adrian M. Fenb¢ (D) prepares this week to become the first Washington mayor with direct control of
the schools, his team promises a clean slate and a rapid ttu-naround. Yet a detailed assessment of the state of the
school system, based on extensive public records, suggests that the challenge is enom~ous: The system is among
the highest-spending and worst-performing in the nation. Kelly Miller is one small example of a breakdom~ in
most of the basic functions that are meant to support classroom learning.
¯ Tests show that in reading and math, the District’s public school students score at the bottom among 11 major
city school systems, even when poor chilchen are compared only with other poor children. Thirty-three percent
of poor fotu-th-graders across the nation lacked basic sldlls in math, but in the District, the figme was 62 percent.
It was 74 percent for D.C. eighth-graders, compared with 49 percent nationally.
¯ The District spends $12,979 per pupil each yem, ranking it third-highest an~ong the 100 largest districts in the
natior~ But most of that money does not get to the classroom. D.C. schools rank first in the share of the budget
spent on admi~tistration, last in spending on teachers and instruction.
. t~incipals repolling dangerous conditious or urgently needed repairs in their buildings wait, on average, 379
days -- a year and t~vo weeks -- for the problems to be fixed. Of 146 school buildings, 113 have a repair request
pending for a lealdng roof, a Washington Post analysis of school records shows.
- The schools spent $25 million on a computer system to manage personnel that had to be discarded because
there was no accurate list of employees to use as a starting point. The school system relies on paper records
stacked in 200 cardboard boxes to keep track of its employees, and in some cases is five years behindin
processing staff paperwork. It also lacks an accurate list of its 55,000-plus students, although it pays $900,000 to
a consultant each year to keep count.
Page 803

¯ MatN students and teachers spend their days in an environment hostile to learning. Just over half of teenage
students attend schools that meet the District’s definition of "persistently dangerous" because of the number of
violent crimes, according to an analysis of school reports. Across the city, nine violent incidents are reported on
a typical day, including fights and attacks with weapons. Fire officials receive about one complaint a week of
locked fire doors, and health inspections show that more than a third of schools have been infested by mice.
"I don’t know if anybody knows the magnitude of problems at D.C. public schools. It’s mind-boggling," said
Abdusalam Omer, the school system’s chief business operations officer, who was hired in Februaly to tackle
payroll, plnchasing, personnel and repair operations.
Omer, who worked for the schools as chief fumncial officer a decade ago, said little has changed.
"It’s like I’ve been in a coma for 10 years and just woke up," said Omer, who left the schools to be chief of staff
to fo~:rner mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and then worked in Kenso__.for the U~fited Nations.
He said that when he walked into the personnel office this year, it was "strikingly scary" to find the mountain of
boxes holding files on more than 11,000 employees.
The pressines on the schools to succeed have increased in recent years as a congressionally mandated
experiment with independent, publicly funded ctmrter schools has taken root. Viewed by proponents as a way to
both improve the traditional public schools and give parents an option, charters have proven to be uneven in
quality but hugely popular. Nearly one-fourth of public school students now attend the city’s 55 charters, and
because funding follows the students, regular public schools with shrinking enrollment are losing funds.
MacFarland Middle School off Georgia Avenue in Northwest, for example, is surrounded by charters, and
enrollment has dropped fi’om more than 600 to about 300 in two years.
"I dorit try to compete with them anymore," said Antonia Peters, in her ninth year as MacFarland’s principal. "I
try to work with the kids that ~ve have. Most of my students are ELL [Englishlanguage learners] or special
education, but they take the same test as mainstream kids in English. It’s hard if you don’t know the language or
have special needs, but we’re held to the san~e standards."
As with many other schools across the city, her program has been pared to the basics, with foreign language and
air classes gone from the curriculum.
She reaches out to community groups to bolster her resources for instruction. A fo1Iner employee volunteers to
watch over students who have been suspended so they don’t have to be sent home. Peters can’t hire an ai-t
teacher, but a custodian at the school with a flair for art, Kenneth McCrory, helps students paint porl~aits before
he cleai~s the building.
’Below Ground Zero’
Like school districts in most large cities, Washington’s faces daunting problems, including a large population of
students from poor fainilies living in troubled neighborhoods. About tllree-fourths of elementary students are
poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price ltmches.
Across the city, dedicated teachers and principals work every day to help non-English speaking children learn to
read, challenge bright students to stay engaged and provide a secure refuge for children coping with damaged
families.
_~peiintendent Clifford B. Janev -- the sixth superintendent in a decade -- said he is making steady progress and
hopes that new test results, to be released in the coming months, will show significant gaius in achievement.
He and others point to pockets of excellence: The predonimately low-income students in a French program at
J.O. Wilson Elemental7 School in Northeast consistently finish near the top in ivatioual competitions, the
Page 804
number of students taking Advanced Placement classes has increased by nearly one-third in the past three years,
and the rate of graduates going to college has doubled since 1999, according to one study.
In his nearly three years in the District, Janey has dram1 praise for imposing rigorous systemwide standards on
what should be taught at each grade, a cuniculum to accomplish that and a testing program to measure its
success. That reversed a trend of letting each school set its own path, which was widely criticized in education
circles.
Janey said he inherited not only poor classroom performance, but an agency where the computers didn’t work,
the payroll was a mess, schools lacked supplies and textbooks arrived months late.
"We were at or below ground zero and had been hovering there for some length of time," he said. "We are not in
denial. We are doing the work in spite of that. That’s the proposition we were given. It’s an obstacle, but it hasn’t
paralyzed us to distract from our core mission. I’ll be damned if it’ll paralyze us."
For years, debates about the quality of city schools revolved arotmd a central question: Does lagging academic
achievement -- two out of three students are not proficient in reading and thiee out of four are not proficient in
matt1 -- merely reflect the high number of students who are poor and unprepared for lem-rting? Or are other urban
districts with similar student populations better at improving performance?
That q~iestion finally has an answer, thanks to an expansion of a federal program that tests student achievement
across the country. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, had been reporting results by
state since 1990, but in recent years began isolating test scores from selected urban school systems.
Eleven city school districts were tested in 2005, including New York_, Boston, Atlanta, _Cleveland, Miami and
Chicago_, as well as the District. The Washington Post’s analysis of the data shows that D.C. students mikked last
or were tied for last on eve~Nmeasure. That is tree even when poor chil&enin the District are compared only
with poor chilNen in, say, Atlanta.
Indeed, on almost every cut of the scores, District students finished at the bottom, including students who were
not poor and whose parents were better educated.
The one group that scored well was ~vhite students, creating the widest gap between white and minority students
among the cities tested. The District’s white students, who make up 6 percent of the school populatio~, tend to
be affluent and are concentrated in a few schools.
The test results from NAEP combined students from public and charter schools. The Post’s analysis, separating
out the charter results for the first time, tinned up a significant change: D.C. charters had lower scores in both
reading and math in 2003, but they moved slightly past the other public schools in both subjects in 2005.
This could mean either that ctm_rters are able to do more for their students or that charters are simply &awing the
best students from the public schools.
Overall, District scores improved slightly between 2003 and 2005, the latest results available. But those in the
other reban districts improved more, leaving Washington at tt~e bottom.
A Voice From t~e Gym
Benjamin Hosch alTived from Chester to becorne principal at Theodore Roosevelt High School in 2005 and
quickly decided he didn’t have "the level and caliber" of staffhe needed. Only one in six students were meeting
the basic standards. He thought he’d scored a coup when "one of the best math teachers in the District" agreed to
come fi’om a charter school. He sent the paperwork downtown, but the hiring was delayed so long the teacher
took a job elsewhere.
Hosch was disgusted by the filth at the 75-year-old school on 13th Street Northwest. "No one has ever walked in
Page 805
my building in my career as a principal and said my building looked dirty -- until I got here," he said.
He tried to get rid of his custodians, only to find that the personnel office put them back in his school because
there were no openings elsewhere. And the office failed to fill three teacher openings in core subjects by the
time school opened.
But when he questions the office on why things have been going offtrack, Hosch said, "the things people say to
me don’t make sense."
Just around the comer from Roosevelt, at Powell Elementary School, Principal Lucia Vega said she has had to
"warehouse" at least one unwanted staffer.
Walking down tile hallway recently, Vega stopped and commented: "Hem that singing? Coming from the
gym?" said Vega as a lone voice echoed down the hallway. "That’s my literacy coach." The coach "was given to
me" by the central office, Vega said, adding that the coach does not work with students, and, in Vega’s view,
doesfft contribute much to the school. "That person is totally useless ....That $80,000 is something I could
have used for my students."
The coach, Cheryl Mabr% said she has been with the schools for 34 years andhas been trained to help teachers
work with students who are struggling to read and write. She said she was sent by the central office to Powell
because, like most D.C. public schools, it did not meet academic targets.
"As far as what I’m doing, I think I’m making an impact," Mabry said, but she does not expect to be back next
year. "Ms. Vega has other ideas. I don’t think I fit into her plans."
When Vega was informed last year that she had overspent her budget, she knew something was wrong and
visited the regiolml adininistmtive office to check the ledger. There, she discovered that her budget included
salaries for two teachers who did not work at her school and whom she had never heard o£ The personnel
office, for unlcnown reasons, had assigned them to her payroll.
Staffproblems go beyond how teachers are deployed. Citywide, fewer than half of core courses are taught by
teachers who are considered "highly qualified" in their subject, which requires that they have earned a degree or
passed a competency test in that subject. Nationally, the numbers are worse in only one state -- Alaska.. In most
states, the figure was over 90 percent.
Within the District, teachers are less likely to meet this "highly qualified" standard at schools with poorer
students, according to a Post analysis.
At Deal Junior Higt~, which has relatively few poor" students, two-thirds of the core classes have highly qualified
teachers, twice the figm’e at MacFarland and GarneR-Patterson nfiddle schools, where almost all the students
come from poor families.
Across the city, 58 percent of classes in the junior high and middle schools with the most affluent students are
taught by highly qualified teachers, compared with 38 percent at the poorest schools, The Post found. The gap is
smaller at elementary schools.
Under the law, parents must be told if their child’s teacher does not meet this standard. But that hasn’t happened
because the District is more than a year behind in submitting the data.
Students are also hurt by the system’s management problems. A 2003 audit, for example, found mistakes in
student transcripts at all of the city’s 16 high schools.
Flyi~g Spark~
The list of repair requests fi-om D.C. schools, compiled in a database at the central office, details the crumbling
condition of many of the city’s school buildings. This spring, it contained thousands of unfilled requests,
Page 806
including 1,100 labeled "urgent" or "dangerous" that have been waiting to be fixed, on average, for more than a
year.
Of the 146 schools, 127 have a pending repair for electrical work, some of which caused shocks or flying
sparks. Those typically have been on the books for two years.
At the stm~t of the 2002 school year, a student fi-om Ferebee-Hope ElementmTin Southeast was taken to the
hospital after being gouged by shm-p edges on a broken railing. It took the school system more than four years to
make that repair, records show.
Gage-Ecldngton Elementary hi Northwest notified the central repair office in May 2006 that a plexiglass
window was dangling fi’om its fratne in the second-floor boy’s restroom, posing a danger because a student
could fall ont. Two months later, the head custodian sent a second request labeled "Dangerous." A third request
went out in September, and a fourth in November, reading "asap! This is a safety hazard." The princiFal said it
took workers until January to replace the window.
More evidence of neglect has been uncovered by city health inspectors sent to check school cafeterias. In the
most recent round of inspections, 85 percent of cafeterias had violations, inching peeling paint and plaster
neat food, inadequate hand-washing facilities and insufficient hot water. Well over one-third of public school
cafeterias showed evidence of rodent or roach infestations in the past tNee years, according to health
inspections.
Aliel Smith, an American University_student who taught recentlyin an after-school program at Bruce-Monroe
Elelnentat~! School in Northwest, said she initially was appalled at the mice scmlying arotmd file cafeteria and
kindergarten classroom. They are so common, she said, that students have given them names and drawn their
pictures.
"These kids are so used to it, it doesn’t faze them anymore," Smith said. "First it upsets you, then you get used to
it, then you work around it."
Broken Pronfises
Families at H.D. Cooke ElementatV School have seen firsthand how grand plans can derail.
A $19 million project to rehab the buildi,~g in Columbia Heights has dragged Oll for years. The schools relocated
students to a vacant building in 2004, spending at least $3 million since then to transport them, but broke grotmd
only last week.
Troy Robinson isn’t letting his two daughters get their hopes up. "All I’ve heard is promises," he said. "Seeing is
believing."
In the years since the constnlction plans have been on the table, five chatter schools have opened in the area.
A similat discounect is playing out across town at Kelly Miller Middle, over the $150,000 media production
room and the missing equipment.
When Pl{ncipal Sheena Tuckson anived at the school in the fall, she was thrilled when she learned about the
plan for student broadcasts.
"I see it as leat~ling about job training, looking to their future, what are the possibilities out there," she said.
She had assumed the long-awaited, mystery piece of equipment could anive any day.
When The Post inquired about the missing part, Renard Alexander, who heads the instructional television
program, said it was a $2,000 custom catnera. But, he said, it was not his department’s job to provide it. He said
it is up to the principal to order and pay for the camera out of her school budget.
Page 807

But nobody had told Tucksor~


This is the latest glitch in a series that stretches back three years. The ambitious plan first stalled in the mad rush
to open the school. The media room became a low pliolity that was put on hold when the funding was used for
other putposes. Responsibility slipped from the construction managers down the chain to Alexander’s
department. Some equipment was eventually installed -- most recently in March, when workers told Tuckson’s
staffthat the school needed just one last piece.
Now, the room has a rack of media components, a DVD/VCR and a television. A second black rack, designed to
hold more components, lies empty on its side.
Stanley Johnson, director of instructional technology, said all new buildings me being designed with production
rooms, but most are not being used. Changing piiofities among top administrators and smaller federal grants
have left the schools without money for the remaining equipment and trai~ting.
"It is a unique set oflearuing tools that we’re talking about," he said. "’We have these great things we can do. I’ve
got great plans. We could be so much further along."
Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.
Photo slideshow available at <http://www.washingtonpost. com/wp-
srv/metro/interactives/dcschoots/galIeries/inthetrenches.html?hpid=artslot>

D.C. Schools Scorecard available at <http://www.washingtonpost. com/wp-


srv/metro/interaetives/desehools/seoreeard html?hpid=topnews>
Page 808

The Washington Pos~

His Body Imprisoned, His M~nd Set Free


By Marc Fisher, Metro Co|unmis~
Sunday, June 10, 2007; C01
Bythe time he diopped out of the D.C. school system in 1 lth grade, Leslie Sharp had attended six different high
schools. Some kicked him out; some he just left. He didn’t go to any of them all that often.
When he did show up, nobody asked him where he’d been. Nobody bothered to try to get to know him. Nobody
demanded ttkat he do much work. "Some schools," Shai~p tells me, "they thought I was a female because of my
name."
By the time Sharp fmally did stay put somewhere, he was behind bars. Convicted of selling guns on the street,
he spent nearly two years in jail. While there, he did some things he had never done before. He read books. He
m’ote poems. He earned his high school equivalency diploma. He connected with adults who told him he had
talent, asked him about his life and insisted that he do his work.
This is a poem by Leslie Shm~). It is called "Five."
I am five
My father calls me L.J.
I hem" yelling and screaming
I’m laying on the bed
Trying to figure out what’s going on
In my blue, red and white p.j.’s
My father holding me, telling me don’t wo~sy
Everything’s going to be o.k.
My mother meant the world to me
I feel lost
I am just five.
L.J. Shalp is 19 now, working as an intern at the National Juvenile Defender Center, putting together brochures
for yotmg people facing criminal charges. He’s hying to get started in college, aiming to study architecttu-e and
design. And he mites.
That all started not in the D.C. schools but in the D.C. jail, where a guard asked Shalp one day ~vhether he was
going to the book club. It wasn’t as if he had anything better to do, so he found himself in the weekly session ran
by volunteers from Free Minds, a District-based nonprofit group that introduces teenage fignates to books and
creative miring, then follows up with them after they are released, connecting them to training, jobs and more
books.
The devastating poraait of the D.C. public schools painted in the investigative series that begins in today’s
Washington Post is a grim landscape of low scores, sunken expectations and a hollow curriculum. What those
Page 809
systemic woes produce is far too many classrooms in which teachers seek only to get thi’ough the day and kids
such as Leslie Sharp are passed through without the slightest bunyan touch -- name, passions, even gender
unknown.
In jail, Sharp started out by reading the books and ~vriting the book reports he was assigned. And then he took
the leap: "I basically put my emotions down on paper. Sometimes I’d m-ite things that weren’t intended to get
out, but they do. It gave me something to do when I get mad, to relieve my mind."
He ~vrote about being locked up:
Sometimes I wish I can roll over and this just be a dieam
But when the troth set in everything is not what it seem
These are my consequences fiom the way I acted
Now I do what I’m told and can’t help the feeling of being
trapped.
In the D.C. schools, Sharp would show up Mondays to get the week’s assignments and Fridays to take the tests,
and that was about all. When I asked Sharp if any teacher had ever inspired him, he excitedly told me about a
class on entrepreneurship in which the teacher taught the basics of statlJng a business. But when I asked for the
teacher’s name, it became clear that Sharp and the teacher had never spoken to each other.
Kelli Taylor, who nms Free Minds with Tara Libert, knows that the District’s schools include many caring
teachers who work in difficult conditions with students deeply burdened by poverty, violence, dysfunctional
parents, substance abuse and gang life. But she also knows that "we as a community are failing our chilch’en.
Among the 200 youths aged 16 and 17 that Free Minds has served over the last four years, their average reading
level is just
fifth grade when they arrive at the jail." Many have never read a book. Many have been labeled special
education students, often because they behaved poorly in school.
"They actually say that people just want them out of the way," Taylor’ says. Over and over, she finds young men
who can barely read when they arfive at the jail but are reading voraciously six months later. "I have had two
different kids in out" program tell me with a straight face that they are ’retarded’ and won’t ever be able to go to
college. Anyone could tell that these boys were not mentally retarded, but they’d already heard it and accepted
the label."
The stories she hears about the schools a’e as disheartening as they a’e consistent: Boys who attend school only
occasionally yet are never confronted about their skipping. Boys who say theywere never assigned homework in
high school. Boys who cannot nane a teacher or a book that ever meant anything to them.
Obviously, some kids a’en’t ready to lean until they’re slammed with the shock of losing their fieedom. But just
as obviously, many of them had no chance to discover the fi-uit of knowledge because no adult ever set out to
connect with them while demanding that they world hard and study well.
Taylor received a letter fiom a yotmg man named Drew, an inmate who said: "If I had this type of support when
I was in the streets, I would not be in jail right now. Y’all got me over here miring letters, poems and stories. I
think I could be a writer! It makes me feel so happy, I never had no one who cared about my education. So y’all
really touch my heart."
Sharp doesn’t blame the D.C. schools for where he ended up. He figures he’s the one who decided to make his
way on the sfaeets. "School basically was irrelevant," he says. "I thought I had something to prove. You can tell
Page 810
a child anyflfing, but they’re going to do what they want."
And then he says this: "The past is what made me today." He is talldng about his mother, about growing up on
the street, about how easy it is for a ldd to make some cash "doing the wrong thing." Sharp plans to mite about
this, using the tools he learned in plison but not in the D.C. schools.

10
Page 811
The Washington Post

Schools Chief Infusing Some Of His Own Pep Into St. Mary’s
By Megan Greemvell
Washington Post StaffWriter
Sunday, June 10, 2007; COS
Michael Martirano’s colleagues tease him about his abundant use of what he calls his "e-words."
"There’s just so much energy and enthusiasm here," he said while walking ttn’ough an elementary school hallway
recently, shaking his hands back and forth to amplify his point. "Education here is just so exciting. It’s
electrifying!"
Rarely has "electrifying" been a word people associate with St. Mary’s County. Rural and sleepy, maybe. But
with rising test scores and ambitious new programs in the public school system he oversees, Martirano says he
plans to use a lot more "e-words" to describe St. Ma~3is. By the time he’s done, he says, the fast-growing county
surrounded by the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay will have the best public schools in Maryland.
Such talk is usually reserved for Montgomery County, which is known for its academic rigor and is one of the
largest school systems in the state. Or perhaps Howard County, which for years has boasted the highest overall
scores on the Maryland School Assessment.
Martirano has worked in both places, teaching in Montgomery and overseeing 39 schools as an assistant
superintendent in Howard. Factor in his experience as a teacher in Anne Anmdel County and a principal in
Prince George’s Colmty, and he’s made stops in four of the six largest school systems in the state.
So how did an ambitious 48-year-old educator end up in an area known for being far away and self-contained?
More than a few eyebrows were raised two years ago when Mal~irano announced he would leave his position as
the dhector of school administration in Howard to become St. Mary’s superintendent, but the Frostburg native
said he is convinced his new district will soon be seen as a destination.
"We’re a good school system on the precipice of being a great one," Martirano says fi’equently.
From some, it might seem boastful, but supporters -- and there are legions of them -- say the first superintendent
to come fiom outside St. Mary*s in many years has the right combination of big-city experience and small-town
charm to get the job done.
Parents love his easy interaction with their chil&en and his commitment to improving test scores. Teachers
compliment his mu-tllring attention that they say never feels stiNng. Board of Education inembers sayhis lofty
goals are infectious. Former s~lperintendent Patricia M. Richardson retired a poplflar figure, but she never
generated anywhere near Ma~tirano’s buzz.
Martirano’s co-~vorkers and friends speak first about his seemingly endless energy. He talks quickly, moves
quickly and demands quick restflts fiom his staff. He is in his office by 7:15 each morning and often stays
through eveni~tg meetings or events that end after dark.
"He is extremely di~ven and extremely focused," said Daniel Michaels, a close fiiend and co-worker fi’om the
Howard schools. "And because he’s so people-oriented as well, he is able to accomplish so much."
Under Martirano’s watch, Maryland School Assessment scores have risen to within a few points of Howard’s,
and countless ambitious programs have begun. A science and engineering academy will open next year, as will
Southern Maitland’s first charter school. Frill-day kindergarten became the norm last fall, a year ahead of the
state mandate. An element0aN school devastated by a fire reopened with state-of-the-art technology within a
I1
Page 812

Marth’ano has won as much praise for acknowledging the school system’s failings as for new initiatives. Within
a few months of his hiring in 2005, he unveiled his "15 Point Plan of Priorities," headlined by a focus on the
achievement gap between black and white students. His biggest goal is to have every child reading at grade level
by third grade, which he believes is realistic.
Weekdays begin on the treadmill at 4:45 a.m. By 6:50, he is out the door of his Leonardtown home to drop the
two youngest of his three children offat Leonardto~w~ Middle School. Meetings begin promptly at 8.
On a recent Thmsday morning, Marrirano’s 8 a.m. meeting was with Kathleen Lyon, executive director of
student services for the school system. They spoke about the hiring process for a dlstrictwide security
coordinafor, coming graduation ceremonies and a celebration for special education teachers.
"Did that letter go out? Who are they supposed to send it back to? We’ve got to follow up on that ASAP,"
Marthano said at one point, referring to a letter to members of a task force and speaking so quickly the words all
seemed to be part of one long sentence.
Lyon laughed.
"He’s onlyin about second gear at the moment," she said. "Give it a few hours."
Indeed, as the morning wore on, MmlJrano appeared to pick up the pace. By the time he pulled his red Ford
Expedition into a parking lot in front of Leonardtown’s popular Linda’s Cafe for an early lunch, tie had visited
four schools, greeted dozens of student; and placed phone calls to several employees who had received
promotions earlier in the week.
Yet, as fast as he moved, MaNrano always seemed to be a few minutes late, a fact explained by his tendency to
stop to chat with every student or staff member he passed or to strike a pose with students whenever he sees a
camera. He has a knack for names and personal details, asking a teacher about the gardening grant she was
awarded last fall mid stopping to congratulate a gift he had watched play on the varsity basketball tean~.
"There’s the big cheese!" a high school freshman yelled in the superintendent’s direction.
"Why are you calling me that9. You’re the one in here working hard on your Spanish lesson. Maybe you’re the
big cheese," Martirano responded with a grin.
Several people who know Martirano have compared his charisma with that of a seasoned politician, an analogy
that’s not far off. He was the student body president in high school and was viewed as a big man on campus at
the University of Maryland, fiiends said. He won acceptance to several law schools and hoped to nm for office
someday, but he couldn’t shake the desire to be a teacher.
"This is a calling for me," he said in a rare moment of public solemnity. "It’s not about the positional power or
the rifle. It’s like the Bible says: ’To whom much is given, much is expected.’ "

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLINTON: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND THREATENS U.S. CREATIVE EDGE


By HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press Writer

June 9, 2007, 9:41 PM EDT

12
Page 813

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Democa-atic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton c~iticized the No Child Left Behind
education program Satm’day, saying its emphasis on testing puts American students in danger of losing their
creative edge. "I think that we are in danger ofnanowing the cun’iculum and leaving children behind," Clinton
said Satmday. "That’s the ve~7 opposite of what they said would happen." Clinton voted for No Child Left
Behind, President Bush’s signature education policy, in 2001, but has since been a sharp critic. She said the
program’s emphasis on testing is diluting resom-ces from other valuable areas of education. That will be a
problem for the count~3~ going foI-vvard, she said. "Part of the reason America was always in the forefiont of the
World Economy is that we’re the innovators ... it’s because we have creative lem-ners, we have people who
learnedto get aromld obstacles, they didn’t go in a straight line." Clinton spoke at a campaign event in
Indianola, where she helped raise money for state lawmaker Sen. Staci Appel. At the end of the event Appel,
who is serving her first term in the Legislature, said she was endorsing Clinton’s presidential bid. Clinton gave
a version of her stump speech before taking a handfifl of questions fiom a crowd of about 300 people. One
woman, a college student studying music, asked Clinton what she would do to ensm’e there was room for music
education in public schools. Clinton said she was a big supporter of music and other creative venues in school.
"Anyone who’s ever heard me sing, tmows, I can’t sing," she said. "It’s a shame. I always sound great to my ears.
...But I love music, and I cherish music, and I think back to my own years at school when the music teachers
would come into ore classroom." Clinton said music and art can help unlock hidden potential in some students.
’.’Music and art, and exposure to different set of cttlttual experiences can ignite such a creative passion and
~mag:ination in some people," she said. "I worry that No Child Left Behind with its emphasis on tests ... is going
to weed so many kids out."
Page 814

The New York Times

June 10, 2007


Private Loans Deepen a Crisis in Student Debt
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO

WASHINGTON - As the first in her immigrant family to attend college, Lucia DiPoi said she had few clues
about financing her college education. So when financial aid mad low-interest government loans did not stretch
far enough, Ms. DiPoi applied for $49,000 in private loans, too. "’How bad could it be?" she recalls thinking.
When Ms. DiPoi graduated from Tufts University in Boston, she found out. With interest, her private loans had
reached $65,000 and she owed an additional $19,000 in federal loans. Her monthly tab is $900, with interest
rates topping 13 percent on the private loans.
Ms. DiPoi, now 24, quickly gave up her dream to work in an overseas refugee camp. The pay, she said, "would
have been enough for me but not for Sallie Mae," her lender.
The regtflations that the fedelal Education Department proposed this month to crack dom~ on payments by
lenders to universities and their officials were designed to end conflicts of interest that could point students to
particular lenders.
But they do nothing to address a problem that many education officials say may have greater consequences -
more students relying on private loans, which are so um’egulated that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of
New York recently called them the Wild West of lending.
As college tuition has soaredpast the stagnant limits on federal aid, private loans have become the fastest-
growing sector of the student finance market, more than laipling over five years to $17.3 billion in the 2005-06
school year, according to the College Board.
Unlike federal loans, whose interest rates are capped by law - now at 6.8 percent - these loans can2~ variable
rates that can reach 20 percent, like credit cards. Mr. Cuomo and Congress are now investigating how lenders
set those rates.
And while federal loans come with safeguards against students’ overextending themselves, private loans have
no such limits. Students ae piling up debts as high as $100,000.
Banks and lenders face negligible risk fiom allowing students to take out large sums. In the federal overhaul of
the bankruptcy law in 2005, lenders won a provision that makes it virtually impossible to discharge private
student loans in bmkkruptcy. Previously such provisions had only applied to federal loans, as a way to protect the
taxpayer against defaulting by students.
While federal loans also allow bon’owers myriad chances to reduce or defer payments for hardship, private loans
typically do not. And many private loan agreements make it impossible for students to reduce the principal by
paying extra each month unless they are paying offthe entire loan. Officials say they are troubled by the amount
of debt that loan companies and colleges are encovaaging students to take on.
"It’s a huge problem," said Barmak Nassiria~ associate executive director of the American Association of
Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. "When a student signs the paper for these loans, they are
basically sighting an indenture," Mr. Nassirian said. "We’re indebting these ldds for life."
Dozens of students interviewed said that when they signed for their loans theywere unclear on what interest rate
they were getting and that financial aid counselors discussing repayment failed to include interest that students
were compounding while in college. The lenders say they are providing a valuable service, helping students who
might otherwise not be able to afford college. Tom Joyee, a spokesman for Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest
student lender, said the company’s average interest rate on p~vate sq:udent loans was just over 10 percent and
that the typical bon’ower was a young person with little or no credit history and no collateral.
"What would the credit card interest rate be for that bol~ower - 24, 25 percent?." Mr. Joyce asked. "Ova goal is
to make it possible for students to gaaduate."
But various members of Congress are now looking at ways to tighten oversight of private student loans.
The large growth in private loans - once confined primarily to graduate students - largely comes fiom steep
Page 815
increases in tuition, which have outpaced inflation and federal aid, and an increasing reluctance among parents
to take on more debt.
For the last 15 years, the limits on the most common federal loans have stagnated at $17,125 for four years.
Theywill increase slightly stating next month. In addition, loan companies have also come to realize that such
loans can be hugely profitable.
Although the federal Education Department has no jurisdiction over private student lom~s, Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings recently pledged to convene the agencies that do, including the Secmities and Exchange
Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Research by the U.S. Public h~terest Research Group and others show that some students are taking private
loans before exhausting their eligibility for low-interest, fixed-rate federal loats.
Janea Morgan, 25, a 2006 gnaduate of California College San Diego, said that college officials had her fill out
the federal financial aid foirn but never tapped federal loans. Instead, she said, they steered her to a private loan
with KeyBank, at an interest rate that could rise four times a year, with no cap.
Now, she is carrying $46,000 in private loans at 9.22 percent interest, which she fears may rise beyond her
abilityto pay. Ms. Morgan said that when she asked college officials why theybypassed federal loans, °°they
said it would take too long."
Barbara Thomas, vice president and chief operating officer at California College San Diego, said that she could
not discuss Ms. Morgan’s situation because of privacy laws, but that generally students sometimes took too long
to fill out the federal financial aid application properly. °°It’s a time thing that kids have to work wiLh," Ms.
Thomas said.
Sometimes marketing is at work. Last September, the United States Student Association complained to the
Federal Trade Commission that a major private lending progranl, Loan to LemT~, made °°false and deceptive
claims" in a brochure called °°Demystifying Financial Aid."
According to the complaint, the brochure stated inaccurately that °~nost government loans are need-based,"
suggested that federal loans could not be used for education-related costs like computers mid books, and that
there were °°strict deadlines" on applying for federal loans. In fact, students can get federal loans to pay for
educational expenses, even retroactively.
George C. Pappas, a spokesman for Loan to Learn, dismissed the complaint as °°absolutely ridiculous."
Nevertheless, EduCap, the parent company, has removed the passages from the guide. The F.T.C. declined to
comment on Loan to Lemn.
Students with private loans can be caught by surprise at how adjustable interest rates allow debt to swell.
Scan Craig Hicks, 35, attended the Westwood College of Aviation Technology, now known as Redstone
College, in Broomfield, Colo., from 1997-2000 in the hope of becoming an airplane mechanic. He said a
financial aid officer gave him an application for a $6,000 private loan through Wells Fargo to help pay
outstanding expenses just before graduation. On the school’s hall walls, he said, were fliers for Wells Fatgo
loans. °°You trust those people when they tell you this is the one to go with," Mr. Hicks said.
Mr. Hicks said his loan documents had promised that if he paid the minimum due each month, he would pay off
the loan by 2010. Instead, after six years of payments, most of them on time, he owes $100 more titan when he
took out the loan.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, Mary Berg, confirmed that Mr. Hicks held a student loan, but called the
dealings with him a private matter. Officials at Redstone College did not respond to requests for comment.
Many students out of dozens interviewed said it was not particularly clear what interest rate they had signed up
for.
Take Attila Valyi, a Motorola employee in Plantation, Fla. Eager to jump-start his education, he turned to
American InterContinental University, a for-profit institution offering a bachelor’s degree in 13 months. But
discovering how much the diploma would cost was an endeavor worthy of a dissertation.
While the $28,000 tuition was no secret, Mr. Valyi said that at the urging of university officials, he had signed
an application for a loan that doubled as a pledge to pay the money back. It did not indicate an interest rate. He
took out two more loans before getting his bachelor’s deglee, realizing only when it was too late, he said, that he
cat-ted loans at tlru-ee different interest rates that could rise from month to month, the largest for $10,745 at 18
percent.
15
Page 816
When Mr. Valyi, 30, contacted the lender, Sallie Mae, to refinance, he said he was told he could not do so until
he graduated. °~You’re locked in at 18 percent," he said he was told.
Martha Holler, a spokeswoman for Sallie Mae, said Mr. Valyi and other borrowers of those years would have
been told, during the application process and in an approval letter, the interest rate as a percentage above the
prime rate. And they were free to cancel, up to 30 days after the money went to the school.
Lynne Bal;er, a spokeswoman for the Career Education Corporation, which owns American InterContinental
and scores of other for-profit colleges, said that the corporation did not track individual student interest rates and
that whether to pay such rates was the students’ decision.
Page 817

The New York Thnes


June 10, 2007
COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES
Iraq Is Backdrop for Many Graduation Speakers
By ALAN FINDER

For many if not most membeas of the class of 2007, the war in ~ has been the constant background of their
college years. And so as seniors graduated from thousands of colleges and uttiversities in recent weeks, the war
was on the mind of many commencement speakers. Some criticized its prosecution, others commended the
sacaifices of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers serving in the armed forces, but few ignored the continuing
stnggle.

°’Most of you were juniors in high school when terrorists attacked America in September 2001, and it became
clear we were a nation at war," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told graduates at the United States Naval
Academ2. "With your credentials, you could have attended another prestigious university, and subsequently
putsued a private life, ~vith all its material rewards, your freedom and safety assured by other young men and
women who volunteered to serve in the American military."

Some speakers offered a critical view of the war and its consequences. Anthony W. Mazx, the president of
Amherst College, spoke at Amherst’s commencement of the lessons of the Roman empire, which he said
declined when leaders turned away from civic action toward private pursuits, abdicating civil authority to the
military.

"Always, out" political reach, our cultmal persuasion, our economic integration and out" military ntight m’e
bounded," Dr. MaIN said, drawing analogies between Rome’s decline and the present. "At those boundaries,
smugness is challenged. If we fail to heed that challenge, if we do not learn fiom the limits of out victories, we
risk the fate of Rome."
Boyd Tir~sley, an electric violinist in the Dave Matthews Band, told graduates in a speech the day before
gl"aduation at the Universi of Vir "nia, his alma mater, "I hope that you will once again bring us back to a time
when a person’s patriotism was judged by how much they loved their country, and not by how much they loved
War."

Still, there was plenty of customary commencement £are. Graduates were exhorted to be bold and public
spMted, to confront environmental degradation and.global warming, to end poverty in the United States and
curb it intelnationally. They were urged to find their irmer voice, to leap confidently over obstacles in their
careers, to avoid apathy and the lure of personal enrichment over civic engagement.
°~i’imes like these call for people like you to stand up and get to work," Kamala D. Harris, the San Francisco
district attorney, told graduates at San Francisco State University. ’°I"o break barriers, to chive change, roll up
your sleeves instead of throwing up your hands."
There was also the usual complement of confessions. Brian Williams_the anchor of the NBC Nightly News,
confided to students at Tulane that he had not earned a college degree, which he described as "one of the great,
great regrets of my life." The mystery novelist Mary Higgins Clark told graduates of _Quinnipiac University that
she could not sing, dance, cook or sew, though she acknowledged she could tell a stoly.

And Tom Brokaw, the former news anchor at NBC, said at the Skidmore College commencement that his
mentor at the University of South Dakota had characterized his undergraduate career this way: "We always
17
Page 818
thought his first deglee was an honoral7 degree."
Then, too, a number of speakers worried aloud that they might be going on too long. The presidential historian
Michael Beschloss reminded graduates at Lafayette College that former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey
was known for giving speeches that lasted as long as three hours.
"Once Humphiey did this, and even he knew he was overdoing it," Mr. Beschloss said. "He yelled at the
audience, ’Anybody here got a watch?’ and someone yelled back, ’How about a calendar?’"

Robert M. Gates
Secretary of defense
The College of William & MaiN
Some of you may know the story of Ryan McGlothlin, William & Mary class of 2001: a high school
valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa here and Ph.D. candidate at Stanford. After being turned dotal bythe Aarny for
medical reasons, he persisted and joined the Marines and was deployed to Iraq in 2005. He was killedleadiug a
platoon of riflemen near the Syrian border.

Ryan’s story attracted media attention because of his academic credentials and family connections. That
someone like him would consider the military surprised some people. When Ryan first told his parents about
joining the Marines, they asked if there was some other way to contribute. He replied that the privileged of this
country bore an equal responsibility to rise to its defense.

It is precisely duriug these trying times that America needs its best and brightest young people, from all walks of
life, to step forward and commit to public service. Because while the obligations of citizenship in any
democracy are considerable, they are even more profound, and more demanding, as citizens of a nation with
America’s global challenges and responsibilities - and America’s values and aspirations.

Tom Brokaw
Folrner anchor, NBC News
Slddmore College
You’ve been told during your high school years and your college years that you are now about to enter the real
world, and you’ve been wondering what it’s like. Let me tell you that the real world is not college. The real
worldis not high school. The real world, it turns out, is much more like jtmior high, You are going to encounter,
for the rest of your life, the same petty jealousies, the same inational juvenile behavior, the same uncertainty
that you encountered dining your adolescent years. That is your burden. We all share it with you. We wish you
well.

Samuel A. Alito Jr.


Supreme Corot justice
St. Mary’s College
Decades from now, you maybe different than you are today in a lot of significant ways. You may have a lot
more than you have today. You may have more rnoney and more status and more power and more
accomplishinents. You may also have more responsibilities, more womes, more regrets and more braises. But
underneath all of that, you will still be the same person who is here to@ graduating from college, and it will be
good for you to stay connected with the people who know the real you.

Gloria Steinem <http://t~pics.nv~mes.c~m/t~p/reference/timest~pics/pe~p~e/s/g~iasteinem/index.htm~?


inline=nvt-per>
Writer
Smith College
In my generation, we were asked by the Smith vocational office how many words we could type a mir~ate, a
question that was never asked of then all-male students at Hal~ral’d
Page 819
<http://topics.nvtimes.eom/top/reference/timestopics/orRanizationsih/hm.vard lmiversity/index, html ?inline-~l,/t
~ or Princeton. Female-only typing was rationalized by supposedly greater female verbal sldlls, attention to
detail, smaller fingers, goodness knows what, but the public imagination just didn’t include male typists,
certailfly not Ivy League
<http://topics.nvfimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/or~anizations/i/iv¥ league/index.html?inline-~Wt-or R>-
educated ones.
Now computers have come along, and ’°typing" is "keyboarding." Suddenly, voila! - men can type! Gives you
faith in men’s ability to change, doesn’t it?

Kamala D. Hanis
San Francisco district attorney
San Francisco State University
As you grow in your career, you may hit ,another balrier - the limits that others set for you. A ceiling on what
you can accomplish and who you can be. That happened to me. When I decided to nm for district attorney, it
was considered a man’s job even here in San Francisco. No woman had ever been elected disla-ict attorney in
San Francisco. No person of color had ever been elected district attorney in San Francisco.
I remember the day I got my first poll results back. I was sitting in a small conference room, a little nervous, but
very hopefifl. Then I read them. I was at 6 percent. And that wasn’t good. So I was told what you all have
probably hemd in your life, and that you will certainly hear in your future. I was told that I should wait my turn.
I was told that I should give up. I was told that I had no chance.
Well, I didn’t listen.
And I’m telling you, don’t you listen either. Don’t listen when they tell you that you can’t do it.

John Grisham <http~//t~pics.nytimes.c~m/t~p/reference/~mest~pics/pe~p~e/g/j~hn-grisham/index.htm~?


inlinc~-nvt-per>
Novelist
University of Virginia
Thirty years ago this week, I graduated from college, class of 1977. I don’t recall much about my
commencement. I do remember that the spewer was dull and long-winded, and he did infolrn us that the future
was ours and the world was at our feet. I do remember sitting tttrough my commencement being pretty smug: I
was graduating from college, I had been accepted to law school and I knew exactly what I was going to do. I
was going to study tax law. I wanted to be a tax lawyer because I was convinced I could make a lot of money
representing wealthy people who did not want to pay all their taxes. That was my dieam, and I had it all
plamled. I knew the day I was going to start law school, the day I was going to finish. I had a pretty good idea
where my office was going to be. It was all planned.

I don’t know where this idea came from. I did not like tax la~v. I sure didn’t know any wealthy people. Looldng
back, I cannot begin to remember where this idea was planted, but that was my dieam. I had everything planned.
The idea of,,vriting a book had never crossed my mind. I had never written anything that had not been required
by school. I had never diemned of it.
Lesson No. 1 : You cannot plan the rest of your life.

Rev. Peter J. Gomes


Professor, Hm~cmd University
Augustalka College
Mound this time of year I have an mmoying habit of asking people, like you seniors, "Do you have a job?" You
resist answering that question, but I repeat it, "Your mother and I want to know, do you have a job?" By job we
don’t mean simply something that gives you a salary; I think we really mean: "Do you have a purpose? Do you
have a calling? Do you have a vocation?"

I want to suggest to you that whether or not you have a job, everyone has a vocation, and that vocation is to live
19
Page 820
a life that is wol~h living. The best advice I can give is that which St. Paul gives us in Romans 12, where he says
to the likes of you, who all look alike fiom here, "Be not conformed to this world." Do not join the thiong.
Don’t get lost in the crowd. Don’t be a part of the coolde-manufactured college generation, but stake out for
yourselves some extraordinmy, maybe even eccent6c, piece and place of the world, and make it your own.

Representative Johil Lewis


<htto://topics.ngdmes.com/top/reference/thnestopics/people/1/iohn 1 ewis/index.htrnl?inline--nvt-p er>
Democrat of Georgia
Adelphia University
Sometimes I hear some young people say nothing has changed. I feel like saying, come and walk in my shoes. In
1956, at the age of 16, being so inspired by Dr. King along with some of my brothers and sisters and first
cousins, we went to the little library in Pike County, Alabama, a public library in the little town of Troy trying to
get libra,3r cards, trying to check out some books. And we were told by the librarian that the library was for
whites only and not for coloreds.

I never went back to that library until July 5, 1998. Bythat time I was a member of Congress, and I went there
for a book signing of my book. Hundreds of blacks and white citizens showed up. I signed many books. In the
end, 1hey gave me a library card. It says someth_ing about the distance we’ve come and the progress we’ve made
in laying dom~ the burden of race.

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Director of the Earth Institute,
Columbia University
<htVp://topics.nytirnes. com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/cohwnbia_university/index.html?
inline=nvt-orR>
Ursinus College
It’s aB about choice, graduates, it reallyis. There is nothing about fate. It’s all about choice. It’s all about values,
creativity, leadership. Let me give you jnst one small example of choice: the choice we are making, the choice
we should be making. Malaria is a disease we don’t know very much in this country, but it is a disease that will
kill two million chil&en this year, over~vhelmingly in Afiica. Two million childien. Now this is a disease that is
largely preventable and 100 percent treatable. And the treatment costs 80 cents. But people are so poor that two
million kids are going to die this year because they don’t even get access to the simplest things, like a bed net
treated with insecticide that would protect them fiom this disease.

Now here’s the basic arithmetic of our time: There are 300 million places in Africa, sleeping sites where people
are vulnerable to being bitten by this disease. 300 million. Each bed net costs five bucks. I trust your economics
course was sufficiently good so you could quickly calculate this, it’s ,vhy I went for a Ph.D. I know that’s $1.5
billion. Or you could take out Excel if you want to do it that ,vay. $1.5 billion~ And yet almost none of these
cttildren sleeps under a bed net because they are too poor. But what is $1.5 billion in today’s world? That is
what we spend every day on the Pentagon. That’s our daily military budget. So here is the calculation and here
is the choice. One day’s Pentagon spending would provide all sleeping sites in Afi-ica with five years of bed net
coverage, to fend off a disease which kills millions every year. That’s a choice. We haven’t made it. My
suggestion is, the Pentagon take next Thursday off.

Shirley Ann Jackson


President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Rochester
<http://topics.ngdmes.com/top/reference/limestopics/organizations/u/universitv of rochester/index.h~n~l?
inline=nvt-or~_
I am an optimist. I am short, and short people can only see the glass as half full. So optimize who you are and
~vhat you are. Optimize your experiences and what you have learned. Optimize others. Optimize your
Page 821
opportunities. Seize them and do meaningful things.
Berry Gordy Jr.
Founder of Motown Records
Occidental College
I was a songwriter, I was struggling, and I loved it. I wanted to be the greatest songwriter. I was writing about
everyflfing - everything I saw. But I was not malting money, and I finally agreed with everyone I ever talked to
who knew me, who said, "Boy, you need to get a job - a real one." So I got a job on the Ford assemblyline. And
every day I watched how a bare metal frame rolling dov, q~ the line would come offthe other end a spanldng
brand-new car. Wow, I thought. What a great idea. Maybe I can do the same thing with my music - create a
place where a ldd off the street can walk in one door an unknov, q~ and come out another door a star. That little
thought that came to me while running up and down that assembly line at Ford Motor Company became a
reality you now know as Motown.

Laura Bush <http://topics.nylimes.com/top/reference/ftmestopics/people/b/laura busMndex.html?inline--nyt-

First lady
Pepperdine Universit’¢
<http://topics.nvtimes. corn/top/re ferenc e/timestopics/or ganizations/p~tmiv ersitv/index.html?
inline=nvt-org>
Today starts a period of incredible liberty and adventure - a time to demand the most of life, before life makes
specific demands on you. And as you work to make the most of what you’ve received, I can tell you one thing
for sure: You won’t waste your talents and education if you freely give them in selwice to others.
This is especially important for the class of 2007. More than any other generation of Americans, yours is tasked
with resolving challenges that lie fro beyond your doorstep - even far beyond America’s borders. Bet~veen
cellphones and the Internet, you have a world of information literally at your fingertips. And because our ~vofld
is so small, you can’t ignore the genocide in Darfur, or the hmnan-rights abuses in Burma. You can’t tam away
as pandemic diseases torment an entire continent. And you can’t look aside as American communities lie in

Dean Kan~en
Inventor and entrepreneur
Bates College
We’re moving from a world of stuff, from the idea that there’s a finite amount of gold out there, a finite amotmt
of almost anything out there. Thioughout all of history, people fought over stuff. land, fuel, sttfff. But in your
generation, the most value that will be created isn’t stuff anymore. It really is ideas. The Interact is an
abstraction, and the value of Google exceeds the value of all the car makers. In a world that’s about ideas, it’s
not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to win by someone else losing, where you have the gold or oil or water,
and somebody else doesn’t.

ka~gela Davis
Professor, UniversiW of California
<http://t~pics.nvfimes.c~m/t~p/reference/timest~pics/~rgaff1zati~ns/u/universitv of califomia/index.htrnl?
inline=nvt-org2_,
Santa Cruz
Glinnell College
I hope that you will treasure the approaches and ways of thinldng that you have learned more than the facts you
have accumulated. For you will never discover a scardty of facts, and these facts will be Nesented in such a
way as to veil the ways of thinldng embedded in them. And so to reveal these hidden ways of thinking, to
suggest alternate fianleworks, to imagine better ways of living in evolving worlds, to imagine new human
relations that are freed from persisting hierarchies, whether they be racial or sexual or geopolitical - yes, I
this is the work of educated beings. I might then ask you to think about education as the practice of freedom.
21
Page 822

Alice Walker
Novdist and poet
Naropa University
When it is all too much, when the news is so bad meditation itself feds useless, and a single life feels too small
a stone to offer on the altar of peace, find a human sunrise. Find those people who are committed to changing
out" scary reality. Human sumises are happening all over the earth, at every moment. People gathering, people
worldng to change the intolerable, people coming in their robes and sandals o1 in their rags and bare feet, and
they are singing, or not, and they are chanting, or not. But they are working to bring peace, light, compassion to
the infinitely frightening downhill slide ofhutnan life.

George Stephanopoulos
<http:/Itopics.nvtimes. comftop/referenceltimestopicslpeople/s/george stephanopoulos/index.html?inline-mwt-
l) er>
Chief Washington coi:respondent, ABC News
2St. Johns University
<http:/Itopics.nyfimes.com/top/referencellJmestopics/orgaff~zafaondstst_johns tmiv ersity/index.html ?iNine=nyt-
org>
Solidarity and love are needed more than ever in a world that confounds us with conlaadictions and confronts us
with the challenge of living with its paradoxes.
We live in the strongest militaT power the world has ever known. No countryin the world can match that
arsenal, but years of war have taught us the painfi~l limits of military force. And we all have been mm’ked by the
day when 19 men aimed only with box cutters and a death wish stmck at the heart of our culture and
consdousness.
You me about to enter one of the biggest economies the world has ever known. We are creating more
billionaires and millionaires than ever before, but the gap between our richest and our poorest is bigger than
ever before. One out of every eight Arnericans is living in poverty, with millions more slruggling to get by.
You’ll be shaping a culture that for better or worse, is copied all over the world. The liberties and opportunities
we take for granted make us a magnet for people from all over the world. But the power we project also makes
us a target. A country with the reach of an empire cannot avoid the envy of those who have less, orthe duty to
help care for them.

Tavis Smiley
Radio and tdevision talk show host
Rut~ers University
<http://topics.nvfimes.com/top/reference/limestopics/organizations/r/rutgers the state university/index.html?
inline~wt-org2_
The tragedy of life does not lie, yotmg folk, in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to
reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to
not be able to captme yore ideals, but it is a disaster to have no ideals to capture. It is not a disgrace to not be
able to reach all the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.

22
Page 823

The New York Thnes

June 10, 2007

ENCOUNTER
Larry Sunnners’s Evolution

By DAVID LEONHARDT

Back in the 1980s, bvo young Haward,professors t~34ng to reinvigorate the Democratic Party wottld meet at the
Wtusthaus restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., to have hmch and argue with each other. They must have made for
an entertaining sight, one of them bearish and the other less than five feet tall, debating each other in a dark
Harvard Square clive. The argument, in a nutshell, came to this. The smaller man - Robert Reich, a futme
secretary of labor - argued for something that he called "industrial policy." Since the government couldn’t avoid
having a big influence on the economy, he said, it should at least do so in a way that promoted fast-growing
industries and invested in worthy public projects.
The bearish professor was Lawrence H. Sumlners~ who was then the youngest person to have received tenme in
the modem history of Harvard University. He loved to tackle big, broad questions, and, byhis lights, industrial
policy an~ounted to another version of the governmental meddling that had helped consign the Democratic Party
to opposition status. How could bm’eaucrats know which industries and projects to support with tax credits? The
better solution, Summers responded, was to get the economy growing fast enough that the problems of the
middle class would begin to solve themselves. And the way to do this was to slow gove~3unent spending and
raise taxes on the wealthy, which would bring down the Reagan-era budget deficits and, eventually, interest
rates. Once that happened, the American economy would be unleashed.
The debate, friendly as it was when Smnmers and Reich were having it, would come to dominate the struggle
over domestic policy within the Democratic Party for more than a decade. Bill Clinton. ended up embracing the
centrist, business-fiiendly ideas of Summers and his mentor, Robert Rubin, and the situation played out just as
they had predicted: interest rates felt, and along came a boom that helped almost everyone. Inthe late ’90s, the
wages of rank-and-file workers rose faster than they had in a generation. A fia~strated Reich left the Labor
Department after Clinton’s first term, while Summers eventually ascended to thetop job at the Treasury
Deparl:ment.
All of which makes it rather fascinating to listen to Summers talk these days. Having left the presidency of
Harvard after a rocky five-year tenure, he has tin-ned his attention back to economics. But he doesn’t sound like
a triun~phant Clinton alumnus who simply wants the country to return to the policies of the 1990s. He sounds,
strangely enough, a little like Bob Reich.
On Oct. 30 of last year, Summers made his debut as a monthly columnist for The Financial Times. The colmnn
was tifled "The Global Middle Cries Out for Reassurance." He began by noting that the world’ s economy had
grown faster over the previous five years than at any other point in recorded history. "Yet in many coiners of the
globe there is growing disillusionment," he continued. The main reason seems to be that the benefits of growth
are flowing largely to only two groups: previously impoverished residents of Asia and an international elite.
Summers’s favorite statistic these days is that, since 1979, the share ofpretaxincome going to the top 1 percent
of American households has risen by 7 percentage points, to 16 percent. Over the same span, the share of
income going to the bottom 80 percent has fallen by 7 percentage points. It’s as if every household in that
bottom 80 percent is writing a check for $7,000 everyyear and sending it to the top 1 percent. This is why the
usual assm’ances that come from people like Summers - that an open, technologically advanced global economy
is inevitable and good - feel, as he himselfvaote in The Financial Times, like "pretty thin gruel."
Dealing with this anxiety - making globalization work for the masses - has become the central economic issue of
the dayin Summers’s mind. And since his H~ard presidency ended a year ago, he has set out on a search for
solutions. To him, it seems like a natm’al sequel to the policies he pushed in fl~e 1990s. To liberal Democrats, it
seems long overdue. "I breathe a great sigh of wistfulness and relief and say, ’Finally, they’ve come around,’ "
23
Page 824
Reich says. "It was, I think, a fundamental failtue on the part of the Democrats in the late ’90s not to face the
stmctm-al changes that needed to be faced."
Summers lecentlyjoined the board of Teach for America, in large measure to think more about education
reform. He has also joined an advisory board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state at the
center of health care refolrn. (His gut instinct is that Massachusetts’s universal-coverage plan isn’t radical
enough.) He has re-engaged in academic life, becoming the co-editor of a jomnal partly so he can nudge other
economists to do research on big policy issues. With the Democrats back in control of Congress, he has testified
at hearings and met privately with members to talk about inequality. His old friends and colleagues from the
Clinton administration have now spread out to the Federal Resei~re, Capitol Hill and, of course, ~nton’s
campaign. In effect, Summers is assembling a virtual think tank. ’°I think the defining issue of our time is: Does
the economic, social and political system work for the middle class?" he told me. "’Because the system’s
viability, its staying power and its health depend on how wall it works for the middle class.’"
At age 52, La:try Summers has already finished his first thi’ee careers. The son of two economists at the
University of Pe~msylvania and the nephew of two Nobel-winning economists, he em’olled at M.I.T..when he
was 16. Then came the swift rise to tenure at Harvard, a flurry of lesearch papers on seemingly evely major
topic in economics and an award called the John Bates Clark Medal, given every other year to the best
economist under 40. "I’ve been around some pretty smmt people," said Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist
and a former student of 8ummers’s. "But it’s a different level with Lan7."
The rap on him - in academia and later in Washington, where he moved in 1991 to become the chief economist
of the World Bank - was always that he kne~v he was the smartest guy in the room and acted like it. At faculty
seminars, he would sometimes interrupt another professor a few minutes into a presentation, succinctly
summmize the undelivered pollJon, poke holes in the argument and offer suggestions about how to make the
same points in more compelling fashion. To the great amusement of his colleagues at Treasmy, he occasionally
did the same thing to officials fi’om foreign governments who had come to call on him.
But the notion that Summers can be a bully misses one thing: he likes it when people fight back. As Treasury
secretaly, he encouraged his own staff to disagree with him when they thought he was wrong. "He was
incredibly open to people pushing back and challenging him," said Timothy Geithner, the era-rent president of
the Federal Resel~re Bank of New York, who worked under Stunmers at Treasury. "It’s what he desires most.
It’s how he thinks through things." During a conversation I was having with him one morning in a Senate
cafeteria, in the midst of explaining why he thought the pay of chief executives was economically rational,
Summers stopped and said, "When I’ve thought about possible explanations for this, one is that I’m m’ong."
As a result of this intellectual playfulness, many people find it thiilling to talk with him. He loves to examine an
idea fiom every possible angle, searching out the weaknesses in order to ai:rive at a better conclusion. Hem21
Kissinger has said that Summers should be given a permanent White House job, a sort of fixer of flabby policy
ideas. Of course, 8un]mers’s style, or lack of it, is also at the root of his well-pulolicized missteps.
By most accounts, he did lemn to soften himself while in Washington, whichhelps explain his successful
decadelong run there. Shortly after Clinton left office in 2001, Sun]mers was given the most prestigious job in
higher education. It’s hard to think of anyone else in public life today who has reached the pinnacle ofthree
different careers. And Harvard was supposed to be the end of the Smnmers story. Given his age and his
anlbitions - his plans to invest hundieds of millions of dollars in the life sciences, elin~inate tuition for lower-
income students and reinvigorate undergraduate education - he seemed destined to lead the m~iveisity for the
next 20 years.
But back in academia, where social skills are not a prerequisite for success, he seemed to forget that his new job
had more in common with bring a cabinet secretm7 than with being a professor. Most famously, he ~vondered
aloud at an academic conference in 2005 ~vhether innate differences helped explain why men dominated the top
ranks of research science. He never recovered.
The most obvious place to land would have been Wall Street, and he talked with Goldman Sachs and ~12.
But he instead took a lucrative part-time job at a big hedge fund, D.E. Shaw. Summers’s main professional
home remains, surprisingly, Harvard, where his wife, Elisa New, is a literature professor and he holds a
distinguished endowed chair.
On a recent sp~ing afternoon, he was the sml)rise guest speaker for the final meeting ofa lectq~re course called
Page 825
Morality and Taboo, taught by Alan Dershowitz, the law professor, and Steven Pinker, the psychologist. They
were prominent supporters of his presidency, and the occasion seemed ripe for self-justification. Summers has
always kept the support of Harvard’s undergraduates, and when he was introduced, the students in the classroom
gave him a 20-second ovatior~_ Some stood. In his introduction, Dershowitz defended Summers’s remarks about
gender and science as honest intellectual inquiry. But Summers wouldn’t have it. °I think it was, in retrospect,
an act of spectacular imprudence," he told the class. He still maintains that some critics mischaracterized his
remarks, but the bottom line is that gifts arotmd the world came to think that the president of Hm-vard believed
they couldn’t be scientists. ~q~nere are enormous benefits to being a leader of a major institution, but there are
also costs and limitations," he co~Nnued. °°I thought t could have it both ways, and I was wrong." Even when
someone is defending him, Summers can’t hold back from a debate.
In many ways, the political path that he has followed over his career is also the path of his proW. The decades
after World War II were dominated by the Keynesian notion - shaped in part by one of his Nobel-winning
uncles, Paul Samuelson - that government was good. But the stagflation of the 1970s caused a whole of
generation of economists to look instead toward the market, which seemed far more efficient at allocating
resources. Today Summers says he believes in markets as much as ever, and he begins almost any discussion of
globalization by pointing out its benefits. Food, clothing, ftu-nittue and dozens of everyday items are more
affordable than they once were. Interest rates are low, as is inflation, and recessions come less oRen. Bringing
down the deficit in the ’90s, he argues, helped make this possible.
But Suntmers says he now has to reckon with a new reality. Despite good growth over the last four years, the
pay of most American workers has barely kept pace with inflation. Techi~ology and global trade are conspiring
to let highly skilled workers do more - to be more productive and to play on a bigger stage - while at the same
time making millions of other workers replaceable. The middle-class income gains of the Clinton years now
look hke an aberration, caused by a combination of low oil prices (which allowed a dollar to go fm-ther) and a
financial bubble that made the job market unusually tight. "I don’t think my general orientation to the world has
changed," Summers says, noting that he favored interventions like tax credits for the poor dmJ_ng the ’90s and
continues to worry about the deficit today. °°But I think if you look at how the economy is working for average
families, the sensible priorityhas shiRed." Geitlmer, the New York Fe&ral Reserve president, puts it this way:
"The facts have changed a line bit. That’s what Larry’s evolution reflects."
What’s striking today is how much Democrats on either side of the 1990s debate agree with one another. Most
say that globalization itself cannot be held back, because it stems more from the inexorable march of technology
than fi’om any change in trade laws. Credit-card call centers have moved to India and Ireland because they can
function there, not because a new law allowed them to go. Trying to prevent jobs from leaving will create the
problems that protectionism always had, like higher inflation and slower economic growth. But leaving the
market to work its magic also won’t do. Even the centrists within the party agree that the government needs to
meddle in the economy more than it once did.
The model that most appeals to Summers is, in fact, the United States - in the decades aRer World War II. At the
time, this countts~ was opening itself to more global competition, by rebuilding Europe and signing financial
agreen~ents like Bretton Woods. But it was also tatting concrete steps to buildthe modern middle class. In
addition to the G.I. Bill, there were the Federal Housing Administration, the Interstate Highway System and a
very different tax code. The history ofprogressivism °°has been one of the mm-ket being protected from its own
excesses," Sunwners says. ~And I think now the challenge is, again, to protect a basic market system based on
open trade and globalization, to make it one that works for everyone or for almost everyone, at a time when
market forces are often producing outcomes that seem increasingly problematic to middle-class families."
A new social contract would look different, of course. The tax code of the 1950s, with a top marginal rate of 91
percent, stifled innovation. Today’s system goes too far in the other direction, Sununers says, exacerbating
inequality with loopholes and deductions that let a lot of affluent families avoid taxes, and the Bush tax cuts
haven’t helped. Health care reform is another obvious priority. In Summers’s view, the ctm’ent employsr-based
system, which creates insecurity for many families and big costs for companies, may need to be replacedby one
in which the govermnent pays for insurance but individuals choose what planthey want. It would be single
payer, but not as England or Canada does it.
Summers becomes really excited by what he sees as the potential for a life-sciences revolution. It will happen
25
Page 826
only if government again does its pat, though, and in the last few years federal support for medical resem’ch has
failed to keep pace with inflation. A more sensible policy, he m-gues, has the potential not only to keep people
healthy and alive for longer but also to create well-paying jobs. He likes to talk about "clusters" like Silicon
Valley - in the life sciences and other areas - where groups of companies can feed off one another to become
more productive. Moving jobs to a low-wage countrythen becomes less attractive. And the government can
help create clusters, just as it built the highway system and the Intemet. If you didn’t know any better, you might
evenrefer to this idea as industrial policy.
Summers now occupies a funny place in the Democratic constellation. His various dust-ups over the years have
left him with a fair number of enemies. But he also has a lot of influential fans, as well as the ability toinject an
issue into the public debate merely by discussing it. Under a Democratic president, he would be an obvious
candidate to run the Federal Reserve or the World Bank. But a more likely path could be the one takenby
Kissinger, who has spent the last 30 years as a force in Republican foreign policy despite having been out of
government. Summers may actmally be better suited for this role than for some of the jobs he has held recently.
It’s one in which the quality of an idea matters more than its delivery.
A freelance career would have its frnstrations, but Summers has had some success in persuading others. Bill
Gates <http://topics.nvtimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/bill gates/index.html?inline--nvt-per> has
said he decided to devote much of his money to global poverty and disease after reading a 1993 World Bank
report - a report that Stm~mers instigated. His efforts to recruit poor students to Harvard helped make a national
issue of the lack of low-income students at elite colleges. In India, where politicians say he influenced their own
approach to trade agreements, they still quote him the way people here quote Alan Greenspan
<htt~://topics.nytimes. com/top/reference/flmestopics/people/g/alan greenspan/index.html?inline-~wt-per>.
"I’m finding my way," Summers said about his newest career, his fourth. ’°I think one has to be prepared to
accept long causal chains. That is, if you’re trying to think about a problem and propose a solution, it does not
happen the next day. But it affects the climate of opinion, and things go from being inconceivable to l:eing
inevitable."
Page 827
The Louisville Courier-Journal

Sunday, dune 10, 2007

HIGH SCHOOL ROUND TABLE


The real world
Does lfigh school prepare students for life after graduation?
By Raven J. Railey
Special to The Courier-dournal
Most a’ea schools are out for the summer, but hoar well are their lessons prepming students for life on the job, at
home and as adults?
Members of The Courier-Journal’s High School Round Table recently talked about their schools’ strengths and
weaknesses in preparing yotmg people for the "real world."
They also discussed where they think educators’ priorities should be and the effect of state and federal standards,
such as the No Child Left Behind Act.
The round table is an annual tradition daring to 1983. This year’s members were chosen from more than 270
applicants.
Here are excerpts of their conversation:
Raven Railey: Do you think the educational system prepares you well for life aRer high school?
K’eion Brown, 18, senior at Fairdale High School: No. It’s harder in the red world than it is in school. In
school, you caI~ slack off, but in the real world if you do, then you are going to fail and get fired from yotu" job.
Danielle Hawks, lg, senior, Bulli~t Central High Schooh I want to be a teacher. So going to school is helping
me be what I want to be.
But to help me compete in the world, I don’t think so much. My school has done a good job this yea’. We were
on a grading scale to where anything below a 50 was an F and 90 to 100 was an A. I skated through school until
this year. Then they changed it -- anything below a 70 is now an F.
Miguel Cruz, 17, senior, Waggener High School: If you want to succeed, you’ll find it at whatever school you
go to. What chives you is not the education that you receive, but the discipline in yourself.
Amanda Kasey, 16, freshman, Charlestown High School: I don’t necessa~ly think high school prepares you
for life, but I don’t think it’s all the school’s fanlt. I third< it’s mostly just out age andimmatufity.
Surr~ya Ahmad, 17, junior, Louisville Collegiate School: I would like to see more required courses that teach
life values so that kids can get exposure to other things before they go out into the real world, like home
economics courses - basic things.
At ota school, we have a life skills course. Each year, we talk about different tlrings. The junior class, we took a
career test so that we could see what we would want to major in.
Bryce Mflburn, 17, senior, B~yle County High Schooh I think high school is more about teaching you how to
deal with people.
Thesill show where your interests are. I tlfink that college is the best pat to teaxt stuff because you actually get
serious.
High school is pretty much like a day care for teenagers. I can skip class and get an A, so I do. I think their l~es
should be a lot stricter.
RMley: Do others have "life skills" classes? Should theybe taught in school?
K’eion: Yes, because I think that people waste money. IfI was taught earlier instead of later how to save it, I
would have a whole lot more than I do now.
Page 828

If they were taught how to speak to people, people wouldn’t jump to conclusions or get aggravated, and then we
wouldn’t have so much violence going on.
Chase Sanders, 17, junior, Male High School: I can think of only one class that I have taken that has helped
me to make good choices in life. That was in my freshman year when I was in ROTC.
If you are going to have a class like that, you need to have it later on. Have them take it one semester their senior

Danielle: I don’t think that we need to lean how to live our lives and how to manage our money by the
government. That is something that you need to find out on your own or with your parents’ influence.
Miguel: I would love to see a combination of a discipline course and a self-confidence course. A lot of ldds that
I know really second-guess themselves.
Amanda: We have fancily consumer science courses: persoual skills, relationship skills and life skills. Mostly
it’s like a health class, so t don’t really learn that muck
But I do like the program "Baby, Think it Over." Youget to carry that little baby around and it squalls all day.
I have never leaned how to balance a checkbook, and I know that’s going to hurt me pretty bad.
Surr~ya: School should offer more courses on how to manage your money aid on things like balancing a
checkbook.
The life skills course, to graduate, you have to give a senior speechin front of the upper school. You have to
develop the confidence to do that.
You also have a week that the seniors get offand theygo and explore a field that they think they might want to
do when they graduate. You shadow a doctor or work in some other field.
Hila~:y Borgmeier, 15, freslnnan, Sacred Heart Academy: We have a class called "Self," and it teaches you
how to control your anger. If something bad happens, like a death or your parents get divorced, it teaches you
how to deal with that.
Business is required and so is computer applications for all four years.
DaNdle: Agniculture is really big at our school. Our business depa-trnent is really, really big. We have a lot of
the family consumer science classes.
I took accounting, and I worked in the bank this yea’. I an certified that I canwork at a bank now, which is
reallygood for me ifI ever need to get a job.
Amanda: We have a big business wing where you could take computer application classes. We have the
Prosser School of Teclmologythat we go to eve~3~ other day. It has culinary, cosmetology, aviation and a bunch
of different programs.
Miguel: We have a child development center where we have a day ca’e.
Chase: My school has business classes you can take, but you can only take these classes when you are a senior.
The Btflldog Bank -- it’s like a bank that they have in our school that’s helped by National City Bank. You can
take law and government classes.
KMon: My school has four programs that you can intern for. I chose to do firefighter. They sent me down to the
fire depa-tment that was close to our school. They taught me how to save people’s lives and get certified in
EMS, and how to do trench rescues:
Bryce: Theyhave this work-study program where if you have a job, you can leave at noon and go work. Most
people leave aid they don’t start the job until 3 p.m. Theyjnst go home and sleep. So it’s kind of a waste of time.
Hfla~d: We have a whole broadcasting wing, and they have TV shows.
RMley: There seems to be more emphasis on testing and teaching to federal mid state standards in public
schools. Is this helpfi~l?
Page 829

Danielle: I don’t think that is working at my school.


With "No Child Left Behind," the focus is bringing everyone who is down low up. So if you are a student that
does take the more advanced classes, you are kind of left to do it on your owlt
I guess that’s kind of a good tiling, because it’s going to teach more self-discipline.
A~l~an~|a: It just stresses us out. We are always testing, andit messes up our schedules. It takes away fiom our
classes.
Peopleju~runthroughitbecause theyknowitdoesn’tcount, sol dofftthinkit’s anaccuraereNesentationof
whNwe arelearNng.
Surr~ya: It’s a good starting point to see if everyone is on equal footing. I dolft think it’s an end-all to see what’s
going on.
Daniellc: CATS tests mean nothing to us in the long nm, whereas the ACT is us getting into school or not. The
test that we really should be studying for, the school doesn’t care about.
Ra~ey: What challenges do you think educators face in teaching effectively?.
Cl~ase: You have so many different kids that have different situations, and they come from different
backgrounds.
A~r~al~la: The standarcLs get in the way, and they can’t teach what they think is more relevant to life. We don’t
go on field tlips anymore, and we can’t watch documentmies.
We don’t actually get to explore or talk about what we thi~lk.
Mig~ael: They have to try and please the government, please the students and please the parents at the same
time.
S~rrtya: At our school, it’s easy to talk to our teache~, and the class size is small. You can’t connect if the class
size is large.
K’e|ol~: This past year I had an integrated-science teacher that I felt was the best teacher. She stayed after every
dayto make sure that you understood what she was trying to teach you. But she had students that didn’t want to
lean.
Railey: Hoar do your schools excd, and what’s one thing you’d change?
A~r~anda: We lean how to get along with people that we don’t necessarily agree with.
I’d rather go in-depth with stuff than just barely cover it because you have to move on to the next standard.
Cl~ase: The school is doing their job. The only change that I would make is that schools give you more choices
toward your career goals, maybe your junior or se~tior year.
Daniel|e: Our teachers are really great teachers, but I don’t think that the school gives them the chance to teach
what they really want to teaclt There are so many restrictions.
The administration does a lot of picking and choosing the role-model students, and they don’t pick vely well.
That sends the waong message to some kids.
They are more outgoing, but are they really the ones that are achieving in school?
M[guel: They excel in providing the teachers for yott I believe that should be the most that they should have to
do.
Sun’tya: The schools excel at the wide variety of academic courses they offer. It gives the students a chance to
prepare themselves for college..
An improvement would be to not just focus on acadelniCs, but bring in other types of courses.
Bryce: The only tiling that my school achieves is fordng all the teenagers in the area to get to know each other.
Page 830

I think they need some more money in peer educatioIt


You spend most of your life in front of the computer screen if you are going to work. They need to let you know
how, other than to just type on a keyboard.
K’eion: I feel like most of our students -- most of our seniors in particular -- wouldn’t have made it without our
teachers. Our teachers cm’e a lot aloout us, and they push us to become better.
My math teacher, he pushes all his students to the maximum of their ability, because that’s how much he wants
them to succeed.
Instead of treating people on the athletics tean~s like they are more important, they just need to treat everyone
equally.

30
Page 831
The Yorktown Patriot
Why are college students going into debt?

Jun 10, 2007, 09:39

WASHINGTON - As the first in her immigrant family to attend college, Lucia DiPoi said she had few clues
about financing her college education. So when financial aid and low-interest government loans did not stretch
far enough, Ms. DiPoi applied for $49,000 in private loans, too. °°How bad could it be?" she recalls thinking.
When Ms. DiPoi graduated from Tufts University in Boston, she found out. With interest, her private loans had
reached $65,000 and she owed an additional $19,000 in federal loans. Her monthly tab is $900, with interest
rates topping 13 percent on the private loans.
Ms. DiPoi, now 24, quickly gave up her dream to work in an overseas refugee camp. The pay, she said, °~ould
have been enough for me but not for Sallie Mae," her lender.
The regulations that the federal Education Department proposed this month to crack down on payments by
lenders to universities and their officials were designed to end conflicts of interest that conld point students to
patticular lenders.
But they do nothing to address a problem that many education officials say may have greater consequences -
more students relying on private loans, which are so unreg~ated that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of
New York recently called them the Wild West of lending.
As college tuition has soaredpast the stagnant limits on federal aid, private loans have become the fastest-
growing sector of the student finance market, more than tripling over five years to $17.3 billion in the 2005-06
school year, according to the Colleg~ Board.
Unlike federal loans, whose interest rates are capped by law - now at 6.8 percent - these loans carry vmiable
rates that can reach 20 percent, like credit cards. Mr. Cuomo and Congress are now investigating how lenders
set those rates.
And while federal loans come with safeguards against students’ overextending themselves, private loans have
no such limits. Students are piling up debts as high as $100,000.
Banks and lenders face negligible risk from allowing students to take out large sums. In the federal overhaul of
the bankruptcy law in 2005, lenders won a provision that makes it virtually impossible to discharge private
student loans in banlm,lptcy. Previously such provisions had only applied to federal loans, as a way to protect the
taxpayer against defaulting by students.
While federal loans also allow bollowers myriad chances to reduce or defer payments for hardship, private loans
typically do not. And many private loan agreements make it impossible for students to reduce the pl~ncipal by
paying extra each month tmless they are paying off the entire loan. Officials say they are troubled by the amount
of debt that loan companies and colleges are encouraging students to take on.
"It’s a huge problem," said Barmal< Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of
Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. "When a student signs the paper for these loans, they are
basically signing an indenture," Mr. Nassirian said. "We’re indebting these ldds for life."
Dozens of students interviewed said that when they signed for their loans theywere unclear on what interest rate
they were getting and that financial aid counselors discussing repayment failed to include interest that students
were compounding ~vhile in college. The lenders saythey are providing a valuable service, helping students who
might otherwise not be able to afford college. Tom Joyce, a spokesman for Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest
31
Page 832
student lender, said the colnpany’s average interest rate on private student loans was just over 10 percent and
that tie typical borrower was a young person with little or no credit histopy and no collateral.
°°What would the credit card interest rate be for that borrower - 24, 25 percent2." Mr. Joyce asked. °°Our goal is
to make it possible for students to graduate."
But various rnembers of Congress are now looking at ways to tighten oversight of private student loans.
The large growth in private loans - once confined primarily to gqaduate students - largely comes from steep
increases in tuition, which have outpaced inflation and federal aid, and an increasing reluctance among parents
to take on more debt.
For the last 15 years, the limits on the most common federal loans have stagnated at $17,125 for four years.
They will increase slightly starting next month. In addition, loan companies have also come to realize that such
loans can be hugely profitable.
Although the federal Education Department has no jurisdiction over private student loans, Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings recently pledged to convene the agencies that do, including the Secmities and Exchange
Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance CorI?oration.
Research bythe U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others show that some students are taking private
loans before exhausting their eligibility for low-interest, fixed-rate federal loans.
Janea Morgan, 25, a 2006 graduate of California College San Diego, said that college officials had her fill out
the federal financial aid fo~rn but never tapped federal loans. Instead, she said, they steeredher to a private loan
with KeyBank, at an interest rote that could rise four times a year, with no cap.
Now, she is carrying $46,000 in private loans at 9.22 percent interest, which she fears may rise beyond her
abilityto pay. Ms. Morgan said that when she asked college officials why they bypassed federal loans, °°1"hey
said it would take too long."
Barbara Thomas, vice president and chief operating officer at California College San Diego, said that she could
not discuss Ms. Morgan’s situation because of privacy laws, but that generally students sometimes took too long
to fill out the federal financial aid application properly. "It’ s a time thing that kids have to work with," Ms.
Thomas said.
Sometimes marketing is at work. Last September, the United States Student Association complained to the
Federal Trade Commission that a major private lending program, Loan to Lean, made °°false and deceptive
claims" in a brochure called ~Demystifying Financial Aid."
According to the complaint, the brochure stated inaccurately that °’most government loans are need-based,"
suggested that federal loans could not be used for education-related costs like computers and books, and that
there were °’sla-ict deadlines" on applying for federal loans. In fact, students can get federal loans to pay for
educational expenses, even retroactively.
George C. Pappas, a spokesman for Loan to Learn, dismissed the complaint as °°absolutely ridiculous."
Neve111aeless, EduCap, the parent company, has removed the passages from the guide. The F.T.C. declined to
comment on Loan to Learn.
Students with private loans can be caught by surprise at how adjustable interest rates allow debt to swell.
Sean Craig Hicks, 35, attended the Westwood College of Aviation Technology, now known as Redstone
College, in Broomfield, Colo., from 1997-2000 in the hope of becoming an airplane mechanic. He said a
financial aid officer gave him an application for a $6,000 private loan tluough Wells Fargo to help pay
outst,-mding expenses just before graduation. On the school’s hall walls, he said, were fliers for Wells Fargo
Page 833
loans. "’You trust those people when they tell you this is the one to go with," Mr. Hicks said.
Mr. Hicks said his loan documents had promised that if tie paid the minimum due each month, he would pay off
the loan by 2010. Instead, after six years of payments, most of them on time, he owes $100 more than when tie
took out the loan.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, Mary Berg, confirmed that Mr. Hicks hdd a student loan, but called the
dealings with him a p~:ivate matter. Officials at Redstone College did not respond to requests for comment.
Many students out of dozens interviewed said it was not particularly clear what interest rate they had signed up
for.
Take Attila Valyi, a Motorota employee in Plantation, Fla. Eager to jump-start his education, he turned to
American InterContinental University, a for-profit institution offering a bachelor’s degree in 13 inonths. But
discovering how much the diploma would cost was an endeavor worthy of a dissertation.
While the $28,000 tuition was no secret, Mr. Valyi said that at the urging of university officials, he had signed
an application for a loan that doubled as a pledge to pay the money back. It did not indicate an interest rate. He
took out two more loans before getting his bachelor’s degree, realizing only when it was too late, he said, that he
oanied loans at three different interest rates that could rise from month to model-t, the largest for $10,745 at 18
percent.
When Mr. Valyi, 30, contacted the lender, Sallie Mac, to refinance, he said he was told he could not do so until
he graduated. "You’re locked in at 18 percent," he said he was told.
Martha Holler, a spokeswoman for Sallie Mae, said Mr. Valyi and other borrowers of those years would have
beentold, dining the application process and in an approval letter, the interest rate as a percentage above the
prime rate. And they were free to cancel, up to 30 days after the money went to the school.
Lynne Baker, a spokeswoman for the Career Education Cool, oration, which owns American InterContinental
and scores of other for-profit colleges, said ttlat the corporation did not track individual student interest rates and
that whether to pay such rates was the students’ decision.

33
Page 834

THE ARAB AMERICAN NEWS

SCHOOL GRANTS TO PROMOTE LEARNING ARABIC

By: Mohamed Kad~T / The Arab American News

200%06-09

DEARBORN HEIGHTS - The U.S. Department of Education presented Stm" International Academy with a
$339,586 check for a federal Foreign Language Assistance Program grant on Friday to promote Arabic among
America’s most populous Middle Eastern population. This program provides grants to establish, improve, or
expand innovative foreign language programs for elementary and secondary school students in order to increase
the number of students studying critical languages to help ensure America’s competitiveness in the international
economic and political spheres.
As part of the federal push to establish and expand foreign language programs in America’s schools, four
schools in Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, and Detroit will be recognized with grants that over three years are
expected to exceed $1 million in value.
Nawal Hamadeh, founder, superintendent mid CEO of Star International Academy, heads an educational
powerhouse that ranks her chm’ter schools in the top 50 nationwide. Her students’ MEAP reading proficiency
levels from 2003-2005 sin-passed Detroit and Dearborn Public schools, and math proficiency gains were higher
than all local public school districts, despite having a much higher number of economically disadvantaged
students. Star International Academy also outperformed 87 percent of Michigan charter schools serving
economically disadvantaged students in reading and 77 percent in math. It also ranked fourth in reading
proficiency and seventh in math of all schools in the entire state serving similar populations.
Nearly 90 percent of the school’s students are of Arab or Middle Eastern descent. Some speak Arabic well but
many have little or no exposure to the language. This grant will allow the school to implement much needed
diversified language programs that will accommodate the entire student body.
Fewer than one percent of American high school students study Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Korean,
Russian or Urdu. Fewer than eight percent of U.S. undergraduates take foreign language courses. U.S. Secretary
of Education Mmgaret Spellings calls the implementation of high-quality foreign language programs, "...not just
an education issue; it’s an economic issue, a civic issue, a social issue, a national security issue, and it’s
everybody’s issue."
The grant comes at a time when American government officials are revitalizing the effort to promote Arabic as a
necessary language particularly in foreign and diplomatic affairs. It is intended to inmaerse all students in all
grades in both the Arabic and English languages, and promote the study of both Arabic and American cultures
through artifacts, geography, customs, traditious, folklore, dances, and music.
"We promote peace, not wars," Hamadeh said. "The more we understand each other, and our cultures, the less
conflict there is. We bring people together, sharing inthe process of learning, sharing meals, sharing lives...our
students, our parents, our start; and the commur~ities around us all share together. It’s a good role model for a
global world."
Students performed Arabic folk songs and traditional dances for the philanthropic guests, higtflighted by a
musical performance from Ali Bazzi who sang and played his Arabic oh’urn to a cheering audience.
Page 835

06,09,07 In the News

Tile Washington Post: A National TestWe Don’t Need (Margaret Spellings)

The Washington Post: Measurable Progress in School; No Child Left Behind is


hdping. The next step will take courage. (Editorial)

The Washington Post: Federal Grant to Support Gradual Charter Rollout (Nelson
Hernandez)

Tile Washington Post: Naval Academy Gets New Leader; Superintendent Leaves
Legacy Of Tough Policies (Raymond McCaffrey)

Tile New York Times: A Plan to Pay for Top Scores on Some Tests Gains Ground
(Julie Bosman)

The New York Times: When Second Graders Run Wild, With Federal Approval
(Paul Vi tello)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: U.S. funds performance pay for prindpals in dry schools
(Joe Smydo)

Leesburg Today: Hatrick Goes To Capitol Over NCLB (Charlie Jackson)

Reuters: Cuomo launches New York student rights drive


Page 836

The Washington Post

A National Test We Don’t Need

By Margaret Spellings

Saturday, June 9, 2007; A17

A quiet revolution of ac countability is s~veeping public education. We’re measuring


students annually, breaking down scores by student group, attd insisting that all childlen
be taught to achieve at grade level or better.
A new study by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy, revealing improved student
perfonnm~ce and a nmrowing achievement gap across most of the cotmtry, shows that
we’re on the right track.
But while test scores are up, has the academic bar been raised? An Education Department
~ released this week found that state standards for reading and math assessments
were generally lower than those of the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP, also l~town as the Nation’s Report Card). Inmost cases, the knowledge required
to reach the. "proficient" level on state tests was comparable to the "basic" level on
NAEP. Other studies have echoed these findings.
This may fuel a Beltw-ay-based movement for "national standards" and a national test
created and mandated by the federal govmlment. Such a move would be unprecedented
and unwise.
National standards me not synonymous with higher standards -- in fact, they’d threaten to
lower the academic bar. And they would do little to addi’ess the persistent achievement
gap.
Why do I believe this approach is wrong?
First, it goes against more than two centuries of American educational tradition. Under
the Constitution, states and localities have the primary leadership role in public
education. They design the cmriculum and pay 90 percent of the bills. NeighboNood
schools deserve neighboNood leadership, not dictates fiom bureaucrats thousands of
miles away.
The proper role of the Education Depmtment is in helping states, districts and schools
collect datato d~ive good decision inaldng, hfformation is our stockin trade. President
Teddy Roosevelt tmderstood this when he called on the federal government to l~ovide
"the fifllest, most accmme [and] most helpful information" about the "best educational
systems."
States that have shown true leadership, such as Al-kansas and Massachusetts, can inspire
others to act.
Second, the debate over national standards would become an exercise in lowest-cormnon-
denominator politics. We’ve seen it before, most recently dra~g the divisive fight over
national history standards in the 1990s. -
The landinark 1983 repo~t" A Nation at Risk" called for "standardized tests of
achievement.., as part of a nationwide (’out not federal) system of state and local
standardized tests" to stem rite rising tide of mediocNy in our schools.
Rather than top-down nm:ndates, we are encouraging a race to the top.
Page 837

Five years ago, many states did not legul~ly measure their students’ performance against
the tongh NAEP standmds. Today, all 50 do. The president’s plan to reanthorize the No
Child Letl Behind Act calls on states to post theh" scores side-by-side with the NAEP
results. This would increase transpareucy and drive up the political will to raise state
stand,~-ds.
We are already seeing heartening signs of change. States are aligning high school
coursework with college and employer expectations. Many have adopted a core
curriculum of four years of English and tluee years each of math mid science. Recently,
itine states atmounced a co~mnon Algebra II assessment, the largest such effort ever
tmde~aken.
In addition, all 50 govemo~,s have agreed to adopt a common measttre of graduation rates
to help solve the dropout crisis. "There is more momentum in the states now than at any
time since.., the release of’A Nation at Risk,’ "repo~s Achieve Inc., an alliance of
governors and business leaders dedicated to high standmds.
Ore aptnoach is worldng for students. According to NAEP, more reading progress was
made by 9-year-olds from 1999 to 2004 than in the previous 28 yeats combined. Math
scores have reached record highs across the board. History scores improved in all three
grade levels tested -- fomth, eighth and 12th. And the number of students taking an
Advanced Placement exam in high school has risen 39 percent since 2000.
President Bush wants to build on this inogress. His plan would train more teachers to lead
adv-anced math and science classes. It would offer incentives for the best teachers to work
in the most challenging enviromnents. It would also provide more choices and options,
such as intensive tutoring and scholarships, to help childien in tmderperforming schools -
- measm’es opposed by the big teachers unions.
Accotmtability can light the way forward. But only higher standards can take us there.
We’ve knocked down the blackboard wall that once stood between schools and parents.
Now we must work with Congress and the states to sl~e and replicate best practices, not
scrap them for an m~tested system.
Ore" goal is a public education system that is transparent and responsive to the needs of
parents and children -- not to the whims of Washington.

The writer is the secretary of education.


Page 838

The Washington Post

Measurable Progress in School

No Child Left Behind is helping. The next step will take courage~

Saturday, June 9, 2007; A16

HAS STUDENT achieveinent increased trader the No Child Left Behind Act? The
answer, according to an objective new report, is a resounding yes. That should give pause
to those who seek to derail reauthoi~zation of the No Ctffld Left Behind legislation.
An exhaustive study loy the Center on Education Policy showed students scoling higher
on state reading and math tests and na~Towing the achievement gap between white and
minolity studei~ts. The pace of itnprovement increased alter President Bush signed the
legislation in 2002. The report has extra credibility because, as The Post’s Amit R. Paley
wrote, it was written by a nonpartisan group that has ciiticized the implementation of No
Child Left Behind.
Tile repoit is full of caveats about crediting the 2002 federal law for any improvements,
and rightly so. Learning depends on many factors. It’s clem; though, that ~nany of the
elements that lead to student success are in place because of the requirements of No Child
Left Behind. Being held accotmtable for the performance of all students leads schools to
pay more attention to black and Hispanic students, children with disabilities and those
lemning English. The law has spuned schools across the country to focus on the
qtmlifications and trahffng of their teacher~, to use datato &~ve instruction and to
emphasize results. Testing students to prove their proficiency and making those results
public brought needed accountability to Alnefica’s classrooms,
It’s troubling that the gaflls students showy on state tests are not mirrored in the National
Assessment of Fxtucational l~ogress. The latter, the "national report card," showed so~ne
gnus, most notably in math, but there is no match with the state tests. Perhaps so~ne of
the difference is attribntable to the difference in nature of the t’,vo tests. Still, it’s cleat; as
was doctunented in a repolt this week from the U.S. Edncafion Department, that there are
",vide and ttnacceptable disparities in state standards. That some states watered down their
standards to nmke it easier to reach NCLB goals for student proficiency is a huge failing
of the law.
Congress can correct that when it reauthofizes No Child Left Bettinct America can no
longer afford the quaint tradition of each state defining success differently. There should
be one measttre for what it ~neans to be proficient in a subject and at a grade level. Some
have argued, as Education Secretm~y Margaret Spellings does on file page opposite today,
that tiffs would lead to a lowming of standards. But that would happen only if she or her
successor allowed it. Get tile best educational minds together; set the bar high. Algebra is
algebra whether in Wyoming or Tennessee, and parents everywhere deselve to know
whether their childien have learned to solve eqtmtions.
Page 839

The Washington Post

Federal Grant to Support Gradual Charter Rollout

By Nelson Hernandez

Washington Post Stall" Writer


Saturday, June 9, 2007; B04

BALTIMORE -- Maryland will receive an $18.2 million federal grant to fimd the
expansion of the state’s nascent charter school program, state education officials
announced yesterday.
The grant may allo~v the state to launch as many as 30 additional chatter schools during
the next three years, a spokesman for the Maryland State Depaltlnent of Education said.
Tiffs would more than double the mmlber of charter schools in Maryland, which began its
chatter programin 2003 as a way of providing alternative methods of public school
instrnction.
The grant also will be used to help with the recntitment and certification of staff at
charter schools, which are considered public schools but are rtm independently. The
money will also help ensure that the new schools meet facility and cuniculmn
requirements.
State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick announced the grant at rite Crossroads School in
the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore., one of the most successful of Maryland’s 23
chmter schools. Graslnick noted that Crossroads, responsible for 150 sixth-, seventh- and
eighth-graders, is the only middle school in Baltimore that met federal standards for
adequate yearly progress. Most of its graduates go to either private schools or selective
public high schools.
The school chooses students by lottery, and so it is demographically similar to other
public middle schools in the city; 85 percent of its students qualify to receive flee or
reduced-Nice meals.
Grasmick said the state’s chatter schools, which handle about 5,000 students, are
generally worldng because of the slo~v mid methodical approach to opening them. Other
states, she said, have launched chattel schools at a ~nuch faster pace, bnt at the cost of
quality.
"We don’t want to start charter schools -- as some other states have done -- that exist for
two years and then they collapse," Grasmick said. "I really think for the next several
yeat~ we ought to continue with ore cmrent approach to this. Most of ore" chmter schools
are good."
Most of the schools are so new it is difficult to judge how successful they have been.
Some schools, such as Crossroads, have scored far better than average in Baltimore;
others, such as Monocacy Valley Montessori School in Frederick, score below the
cotmty’s averages and have raised questions as to their effectiveness.
Chatter schools have gained in popularity nationally, especially as away ofimpro~dng
perfoixrlance in struggling school system~ nearly 20,000 students ill the District attend
chatters. But they have not been adopted without debate. Opponents of charter schools,
Page 840

including representatives of teachers unions, say they cotfld siphon resources a~vay froln
the public school system. They also say that the schools’ academic results have been
lLtleven.
In Maryland, the main arguments have revolved arotmd the folamfla for ftmd~ng the
schools. Each school bom’d has varying lalleS on funding for building and transpoltation,
employee benefits and special education, leading to differences in per-pupil spending
between chalter schools and standard public schools. The Maryland Cotut of Appeals is
expected to role this sunmler on a case concellfing the foslding roles.
At Crossroads, the students and teachers said they have been successful because of the
small setting, high expectations and the dedication of the staff. A group of foltr seventh-
gradels nodded vigorously when asked if they wanted to go to college; students showed
offtheir class projects, which are a centerpiece of the hands-on instructional method
favored by the school.
One of the seventh-gradeR, Dat~ian Antonio Mazyck, 13, said Crossroads ’,was a different
tmivelse flom Lombard Middle School, the school he had attended the year before.
Lombard has about 500 students, compared with Crossroads’ 150 students. At
Crossroads, 51 percent of the students were able to pass the state math test; at Lombard,
only 4.5 percent passed. But Darriatl saidlow test scores ~vere the least of Lombard’s
problems.
"That was the baddest school," DmTian remembered. "They set the lmthrooms on fire.
They smoked in the bathroom."
His classlnates said they wouid never get away with that at Crossroads. One student even
said going there ",was "a privilege."
Page 841

The Washington Post

Naval Academy Gets New Leader

Superintendent Leaves Legacy Of Tough Policies

By Raymond McCaffrey

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, June 9, 2007; B01

Almost everything about U.S. Naval Academy superintendent Rodney P. Rempt evoked
passionate debate -- fi’om his policies to discomage sexual harassment, to more benign
subjects, such as the way he zipped around the Annapolis campus in a golf carl outfitted
with tiny flags and emblazed with his title, "Supe."
Critics and suppoIIers agree that Vice Adm. Rempt, who stepped down yesterday, will be
remembered for his aggressive crackdown on sexual misconduct, alcohol abuse and
honor violations by midshipmen.
But they agree on little else, including whether he should be remembered fondly for
promoting a cultme of change at a troubled academy or loathed for kowtowing to
Congress and liberal women’s groups.
Under Rempt, who is retiring and was replaced by Rear Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler at a
change-of-co~mnand ceremony yesterday, the academy initiated such policies as
subjecting midshipmen to routine breathalyzer tests to suppoll a tough new alcohol policy
and reqniring them to take classes as part of an effort to prevent sexual harassment and
assault. The result, supporters say, is that the acade~ny is providing outstanding leaders of
chm-acter at a time of war.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Rempt was co~nmended for taking a bold stand on gender
equality and sexaml hamsmnent issues and for helping to lead the academy out of a Cold
Win" mind-set and tow’ard the challenges of the futme.
"You served as a bridge between two eras," said Adm. Michael Mttllen, chief of naval
operations.
CNics -- so~ne of whom are academy altunni-- argue that Re~npt went too far in
prosecuting high-profile sexual assault cases, such as the one involving fo~:mer Navy star
quarterback Lamar S. Owens. They have assailed the supefiutendent in message groups
and even thi-eatened to withhold contributions to the academy after Rempt expelled
Owens, who was cleared of raping a female midshitnnan but convicted of misconduct for
having sex in a dorm.
As for the golf cat% some view it as the ultimate sign of arrogance; others see the
avtmcular touch of an academy graduate who liked to ~nix with midshipmen whenever
possible.
"I think being out on that golf cart just adds a little bit ofhvananness and makes people
smile," said J. Bonnie Newman, chair of the academy board of visitors, an advisory
connrdttee that includes membms of Congress.
Page 842

It is Rempt’s humanity, not pressure from Congress, that prompted him to taclde sexual
misconduct and other issues, Newman said. "For Rod Rempt, this is a matter of iight and
wrong."
Rempt is known to be a man of strong opinions. Before the Owens case went to trial,
Rempt was faulted for e-mails sent to tile school colmnnnity that a Navy judge said
insinuated the midshipman’s gtfilt in the alleged rape.
His critics see hint as a pawn of speciai-interest groups. Last yeai; the Center for Military
Readiness nominated him for its inaugural "Patsy" Award, dispensed to "An Official
Whom Felninists Have Used to Impose Their Policies on the Men and Women of the
Military." Rem~, according to the organization’s Web site, was "nomilmted for
repeatedly using ’double standards involving women’ (D SIW) in disciplinary matters,
includiltg several high-profile prosecutions for alcohol abuse and sextml misconduct by
male but not fenmle midstfipmen."
The centel’s founder, Elaine Donnelly, said: "That’s building a pint oftfis legacy, and it’s
not a good legacy."
Rempt, Domlelly said, "went overboard" in response to the congressional pressure from
such feminists as Sen. Barbara A. Miktflski (D-Md.), amember of the academy board of
visitors.
Mikulsld issued a statement saying that she believes that Remptls "most lasting legacy at
the Academy will be changing tile culture regarding sexual misconduct. Under his
leadership, we have a renewed emphasis on accountability and pelsonal responsibility,
which is fostering a culture that does not tolerate sexual harassment or misconduct."
At yesterday’s event, Rempt called the moral development of the midshilxnen "the most
important part of our mission." He said midshipmen should be instilled with "a clear
sense of right and vcrong."
Surveys indicate higher approval ratings than previously among female and male
midshipmen on such issues as whether tile academy provides a positive environment for
women. But Donnelly said Rempt pushed "gender quotas" so that about one in five
midship,nen are now women at a time when tile Navy and Marines need more ,nen to
serve in combat.
Critics also say that in talgeting Owens, a prominent black midshipman, Rempt
unintentionally set back the advancement of African kanericans in t~ Navy. Next yea~s
prospective graduating Class of 2008 has 253 women, rougkly thiee times the mm~ber of
female ,nidshipmen in 1980. By comparison, next year’s graduating class of 2008 has 69
African American inductees, four more tl-o_n in 1980.
Peter Optekal; a former Navy football player, sent a letter to Rmnpt asldng him to recuse
himself from Owens’s case because Rempt’s handling of it would dmnage the recrnitmeut
of qualified black midshipmen.
"The Naval Academy has had a long history of disparity in the treatment of blacks," said
Optekar, who said he observed racial diSClitnination when he was playing football during
tile early 1960s.
Rempt did remove himself from any fitrther consideration of Owens’s legal case,
although he said allegations, of his lack of neutrality were untrue. He made the fmai
administrative decision on Owens’s future.
Rempt declined a request to be interviewed. But Rear Adm. Bruce MacDonald, the
Naves chief lawyer, in a menlo obtained thi’ough a Freedom of Information Act request,
Page 843

sided with Rempt after Optekar submitted an affidavit saying that the superintendent
insinuated Owens’s gtfilt dining a conversation with him and othel" ahmmi at an Idaho
barbecue after the jtuT verdict.
MacDonald, the judge advocate general, said that Rempt was "repo~ted to have said that
the accused was guilty of sexual assatflt, that the victim was in the fetal position for two
days, and that 1lad tiffs case not been refen’ed to trial by general corot-martial, every
fenfinist group and the ACLU wotfld be ’after us.’" Although not conceding that Rempt
made the comments, MacDonald vcrote: "The fact that he m~iculated an observation does
not mean he was espousing an improper motivation."

Staff writer Mary Otto contributed to thix report.


Page 844

The New York Times

June 9, 2007

A Han to Pay for Top Scores on Sortie Tests Gains Ground

By JULIE BOSMAN

Roland G. Fryer, a 30-year-old Harvard. economist known for his study of racial
inequality in schools, is back in New York to again promote a big idea: Pay students cash
for high scores on standardized tests and their perfolanance might improve. And he has
captured the attention of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Mayor Michael R.
Bloomberg.
Across the country, educators have been expelimenting with cash incentives. A program
in Chelsea, Mass., gave children $25 for perfect attendance. Some Dallas schools pay
children $2 for each book they read.
But tile idea is controversial. Many educators maint~L mnong other objections, that
cttildren Nave to learn for the love of it, not for cash.
Until now, Professor Fryer’s idea of cash for performance has had no serious takers.
Three years ago, he tried to implement a pilot program in New York City charter schools
that would have given students cash in exchange for good test scores.
"They kicked us out," Professor Fryer said of the schools that first considered the
program. And solne Depart~nent of Education officials were not enthnsiastic, either, he
said. "They laughed in my face."
But Mr. Bloomberg has recently shown interest in using paylnents, raised from the
private sector, as a way to change behavior and reduce povelty.
In Septe~nber, he proposed giving cash to poor adults to encore’age them to do evei3Nting
from keeping their children in school to seeldng preventive medical care. And so, he said
yesterday at anews conference, he was receptive to Professor Fryer’s idea. "If we aren’t
looking at evelMhing" he said, "shame on us."
This week, Professor Fryer met with a group of school plincipals who are consideling
participating inhis incentives progrmn. Information abont the progrmn was first reported
yesterday in The Daily News.
Education Department officials said that putting the program into effect has a long way to
go. "We are still at a preliminary stage," Debm Wexle~; a depaltment spokeswoman, said
yesterday. "Neither the mayor nor the chancellor have approved any progranl details."
Professor Fryer said that trader his program, fomth graders and seventh graders who take
the new rotmd of inandatory standardizedtests that the city is introducing in the fall
would be rewmrled with at least $5. They would get more money for high scores, with a
cap of $25 for fom~h graders mid $50 for seventh graders. In addition, each pmticipating
school wottld receive $5,000.
Money for the payments will come from private backers, Professor Fryer said, because
there would be no public money available for them.
The prospect of cash introduced into the dassrooln has made some local educators
mleasy.
Page 845

°’It makes me really nervous,~’ said Maggie Siena, the principal of Public School 150 in
TriBeCa. "I suspect paying ldds for achievement in any way tends not to work."
Ernest Logan, the president of the principals’ union, also expressed concerns. "We are
troubled by additional pressure being placed on children to achieve perfection," he said.
"What really matters in education is continued student progress, not perfect test scores."
Professor Fryer and other educational scholars have argued that some chiRh-en, especially
those from impoverished baclcgrotmds, lack the foresight and role models to be self-
motivated.
"The fmldamental problem with education and motivating kids to lean ~vhat riley need to
learn is that the payoffs me so distant," said Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the
Brookings Institution, a lell-leaning research organization. "So it’s very hard to motivate
students to do well. Good students get that motivation from somewhere -- from peels,
their parents, how they’re INsed -- but the kids who are m~notivated have a very hard
time mlderstanding that what they do today pays offdecades from now."
Eric Nadelstern, the chief executive of the school system’s empowerment initiative --
which gives principals more autonomy to ran their schools -- l~ded Professor Flyer in a
recent e-mail message to principals. "He has my enthusiastic support," Mr. Nadelstem
said. "I encourage you to give the program serious consideration."
Professor Fryer, who is black, has explored racial issues in education extensively. He has
written studies on tile gap in test scores between black chil&en and white children, the
economic effect of"acting wtfite," how the mental ability ofyotmg chil&’en differs by
race, and the causes and conseqtmnces of attending historically black colleges and
mtiversifies.
Professor Fryer, on his Web site, ameficaninequalit¥1ab.com, calls the progranl
"Iucentivising: An Experi~nent in NYC Public Schools."
In anear-empty cafeteria at Frank SinatraHigh School of the Arts in Queens on
Wednesday, Professor Fryer promoted the plan to a dozen principals with an informal
speech about poverty, file test score gap, his professional experience ~d personal history
and his grandmother’s suggestions for file plan.
He persuaded at least one principal to change her nfind about the progrmn. "Prior to
going into the meeting, I wasn’t in favor of it," said Crystal Sitmnons, the principal of the
Academy for Social Action in Harlem. "But now I think it could work if it is established
in file light way. There should be some financial-literacy element, for instance."
After the meeting, l~ofessor Flyer said in an e-mail ~nessage to the principals that more
than half the available spots in the proposed incentive progrmn had been filled.
Mr. Loveless of Brooldngs said that though cash-incentive programs tend to make people
uneasy, he believed the proposal was worth consideling. "I would t,~ke it seriously," he
said. "I don’t think we should let our queasiness over directly awarding kids with cash
prevent us fi’om expe15nenting. We need to find out if this works or not."
Page 846

The New York Times

June 9, 2007

WEST BABYLON JOURNAL

When Second Graders Run Wild, With Federal Approval

By PAUL VITELLO

WEST BABYLON, N.Y., June 8 -- As aresult of some speeches made and some laws
passed somewhere fat" away where the president lives, all tile kids in Debra Thuma’s
second-grade class at the Tooker Avenue Elementary School were down on the floor,
bicycle=pedaling their legs in the air on Friday morning.
Except for a few of the gifts. They stood near their desks.
"It’s tile dresses," explakled Mrs. Thmna. "At this age, alot of the gifts wear dresses.
Isn’t that lovely? But they don’t necessarily like putting their legs up in the air."
Exercise in most pnblic schools used to happen only dining two gym periods a week. But
to meet a federal mandate calling for more supervised physical activity, many schools
arotmd the comitry have begun daily fitness workonts like tile one inMrs. Thltma’s class
here.
Some are ilnprovised, and others, like Mrs. Tharna’s, are conducted with the help of
videotaped programs that take the kids throngh a 5- or 10-minnte session ofjtmlping
jacks, running in place, situps, push-ups and the above-mentioned bicycle pedaling,
which some of the gifts, according to Mrs. Thmna, really hate.
It is a condition of childhood that go’m-ups decide what is good for yotL however; and
following a series of stndies chronicling the increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in
children, the deciders in the fedelal government ordered Inore activity.
The order was embodied in Section 204 of Public Law 108-265, the Child Nutrition and
W.I.C. Reanthorization Act of 2004, which requires that by the end of the 2006-7
academic year- by now, in other words-- schools provide daily "physical activity and
other school-based activities designed to pronlote student wellness."
At Tooker, this means a prodigious amount of foot-stamping, hand-clapping, j ack-
jtmlping and other types of othelwise forbidden behavior taking place right ill tile nfiddle
of the morning, between lessons in cm~ive, double-digit addition and the science of
magnets.
"The idea is that it’s not enongh to ]laVe ml athletic program or gym class twice a week,"
said Lou Howatfl Jr., the physical education director for West Babylon schools. "Kids
need to be physically active during file day, evm3~ day. Tiffs is a program that reglllm"
teachers can do. You don’t need to be in phys-ed class."
To meet the federal deadline, three weeks ago administrators at Tooker Avenue
Elementary introduce d a seven-minute exercise tape produced (and provided free of
charge) by a Long Island company, Kid Fitness.
The company, which produces a children’s exercise show of the sanle name for public
television, hopes to have its fitness tape used in elementary schools throughout the
country. As part of a pro~notional effort, it donated 9,800 copies to the New Yoi’l{ City
Page 847

school system in Febmm7 -- enough for ,~ classes from kindelgmten tlnough the
second g~de.
On Friday, the star of the tape, Kid Fitness himself, a very fit 26-year-old actor nmned
Casey UntelTnan, visited the elementary school here.
After asking M~s. Thuma’s 23 students if they were ready to have some tim, Mr.
Unterman, dressed in the superhero costtune of his character, provided a crisp, precise
demonstration of all the exercises that the children, facing t~n, perfor~ned in their own
yotmger, wilder versions.
Mrs. Thmna said that in her 15 years of teaching second graders, she noticed that "inost
kids are pretty fit at this age" but become less active later on. "By flflh grade," she said,
"you start to see the overweight kids."
Stephen J. Virgilio, chairman of the health and physical education depamnent at Adel;phi
University_, and a consttltant to the Kid Fitness company, said that between the fillh and
10th grades, n~y children become physically inactive. "Partly it’s becanse of video-
game and television habits," he said, "and partly it’s the influence of too much organized
spoats -- when the kids drop out of organized spolts, they don’t know how to play. They
just stop."
That is why promoting nonsports exercise for children at a young age, as the federal law
requires, is "such a good idea," he said.
When the kids, sweating and flushed, were done with their exercises for the inorning, Mr.
Unterman asked if they did not love feeling "fit and healthy."
They did, they said.
"I like having it fn~t thing in the morning," said Jessica Marmaroff, 7, speaking later to a
reporter who asked about the regimen, "because then, like, you don’t have to do a lot of
work."
And what about the issue of the ddresses?
Emily Tmtaglia, 7, explained that this was not necessarily the deal breaker that some
might have one believe.
"All you have to do is hold your skirt like this," she said, gathering the folds on either
side of her skilt and in two no-nonsense fists. "Youjnst have to not forget."
Page 848

Pittsburgh Post-Gaz ette

U.S. funds perfor~nance pay for prindpals in dry schools

Saturday, June 09, 2007

By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsbmgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt got a boost yesterday in Iris bid
to have principals shoulder more responsibility for the district’s academic overhaul.
The U.S. Depaltment of Education announced that it is awarding the Pittsbmgh Public
Schools a five-year, $7.4 million grant to help fired a pay-for-perfoiznance program for
the district’s principals.
The money will be used to give salat2¢ increases and bonuses to principals who meet
certain performance goals, such as increasing student achievement. It also vail be used to
pay for Rand Corp. analyses of school progress and to pay five or more employees to
administer the incentive program.
"It’s excellent news," Mr. Roosevelt said.
In all, the program VAIl cost nearly $9 miNon over five yem,~. The district must come up
vAth $1.4 million in program costs not covered by the grant.
U.S. Education Secretaly Margaret Spellings said the grant will come from the Teacher
Incentive Fund, established to fund incentive-based compensation plans for teachers and
pNlcipals in high-poverty distlicts.
The department introduced the fired last year with 16 grants, including one to the School
District of Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is one of 18 recipients this year, and others include
Charlotte-Mecldenburg Schools in Nolth Carolina, four Florida districts, a group of
Texas charter schools and the University of Texas.
Mr. Roosevelt has introduced new ctnxiculum and other programs to boost sagging test
scores. To ratcliet up the pressure on plSncipals at the district’s 65 schools, he’s doing
away with the annual salary increases they’ve traditionally received regardless ofjob
peffolanance.
Instead, Mr. Roosevelt wants to give ammal raises of up to $2,000 to each plincipal who
meets, or shows progress toward, goals in 28 m’eas such as leadership and community
outreach. The raises would be added to the principal’s base pay.
In addition, he wants to offer plincipals bonuses of up to $10,000 each for incre uses in
student achievement dining the year. A bonus would not be added to the principal’s base
pay and could be earned again in following years.
The distlict is waiting to see whether it will receive athree-year, $6.6 million grant from
the Los Angeles-based Broad Folmdation to establish a IaSncipal recruitment and
mentolSng program. The pay-for-performance and reoNtment are part of the distlict’s
broader pl~cipal development efforts.
Page 849

Leesburg Today

Hatrick Goes To Capitol Over NCLB

By Charlie Jadtsou

Created June 8, 2007

As the U.S. Congress debates the reauthodzation oftha No Child Left Behind laws,
superintendents across the country, including Loudoun’s Edgar B. Hatfick, are expressing
their reselvations about the cunent regulations.

Hatfick went to Capitol Hill last month as a representative of the American Association
of School Administratoi, and spoke to seuatol~ about changes that could be made to the
ElementarT and Secondm7 Education Act, more widely known as No Child Lelt Behind.

"My personal concerns center around ldds," Hatrick said last week. "The nature of this
high-stakes testing, it has become a billion dollar industry. It’s just not good to try to
lneasme what children know based on 45 questions multiple-choice tests. I’m opposed to
the labeling that occurs.
"Our message is that standards are a good thing. Now, we’d like to see money come with
the standards."

The federal law, Hatfick said, is interpreted 50 ways in 50 states. In Virginia, school
districts test theh students annually with Standards of Learning tests. These tests are used
to measure the students’ and schools’ progress. If a school fails to meet benchrnar-ks in
specific areas, schools can be placed on probation. Ill some instances, parents are allowed
to opt out of the public school arid use public money to attend a private school. Hatrick
suggests that if private schools are going to take public dollars, they too should be held to
strict standards.

One of the many problems with tile law, Hatfick noted, is tlmt school systelns are forced
to test students who are still learning the English language at grade level. The Vfl’gilfia
Depar~rnent of Education and its school districts had a pnblic spat with the U.S.
Depar0nent of Education earlier this year" concerning English Langrhage lear~ners. Hatfick
believes the law, as wlitten, gives U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
latitude in how she intelprets testing of English language leamels. Hatrick said school
systems are also forced to test special needs students in the same vein.

"They need individualized plans for learning," tie said. "We shouldsfft take those same
ldds we say can’t succeed in a regtflar classroom and tmn aromld and give them a grade
level test. I continue to believe a lot of what is fi-ustrating people, cotfld have been
resolved. We believe that the law gives [Spellings] latitude in the testing of English
language learners."
Page 850

Hataick said he’d also like to see Coitgress add additional performance measmes to g~ade
schools. Instead of just test resttlts, Hattick said schools could be graded on graduation
rates and what students do after college.

But the most important change Hatrick would like to see centers arotmd dollars.

"We have a law that is forcing us to spend an awful lot of money to test these kids, and
the federal government is not paying," he said.
Page 851

Reuters

Cuomo launches New York student rights drive

NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began an
effolt on Friday to educate students about their rights lmder a new state law after a
scandal in the $85 billion U.S. student-loan indust13~.
Cuonlo and congressional investigators have accused major student lenders of paying
kickbacks to college aid officers to curlN favor mid dalml tip business among students.
Many colleges and companies, including major lenders such as Sallie Mae (SLM.N:
Quote, ProNe, Research), Bank of America (BAC.N: ~kO~, ProNe Research) and
Citigroup (C.N: D_~9_k~, Profile Research), have settled with Cuolno.
The attorney general latmched the effolt to educate students about the new law -- Student
Lending Accountability, Transparency and Enforcemeut Act of 2007 -- at the Stuyvesant
High School in New York.
The law includes fights such as knowing the criteria a school uses to select preferred
lenders and whether those lenders are paying the school or financial aid officers.
"This graduation gift is not gilt-wrapped or green, but it is valuable," Cuomo said in a
statement.
Nearly three out of five tmdergraduates inthe state took loans to pay for college
education. Higher education costs average $30,367 ayear at four-year plivate colleges
and about $13,000 at public institutions, according to Cuomo’s office.
Page 852

Nonrespons
From: Yudof, Samara
Sent: June 09, 2007 10:08 AM
To: Private - Spellings, Margaret; Dunn, David; Simon, Ray; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Maddox,
Lauren; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Halaska, Terrell; Flowers, Sarah;
Gribble, Emily; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; McLane, Katherine; Rosenfelt,
Phil; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tad& Wendy; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; ’tracy_d.
_,voung@who.eop.gov’; Williams, C~thia
Subject: 06.09.07 In the News

Attachments: 060907 In the News.doc

06.09.07 In the News

The Washington Post: A National Test We Don’t Need (Margaret Spellings)

The Washington Post: Measurable Pro~-ess in School; No Child Left Behind is helping. The next step
will take courage. (Editorial)

The Washington Post: Federal Grant to Support Gradual Cha~er Rol|ou~ (Nelson Hernandez)

The Washington Post: Naval Academy Gets New Leader; Superintendent Leaves Legacy Of Tough
Policies (Raymond McCaffrey)

The New York Times: A Plan to Pay for Top Scores on Some Tests Gains Ground (Julie Bosman)

The New York Times: When Second Graders Run Wild, With Federal Approval (Paul Vitello)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: U.S. funds performance pay for principals in city schools (Joe Smydo)

Leesburg Today: Hah’ick Goes To Capitol Over NCLB (Char|ie Jackson)

Reuters: Cuomo launches New Yo~-k student rights drive

060907 In the
News.doc (75 KB)...
Page 853
The Washington Post

A National Test We Don’tNeed

By Margaret Spellings

Saturday, June 9, 2007; A17

A quiet revolution of accountability is sweeping public education. We’re measuling students annually, breaking
down scores by student group, and insisting that all children be taught to achieve at grade level or better.
A new study by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy, revealing improved student performance and a
nmTowing achievement gap across most of the country, shows that we’re on the right track.
But while test scores are up, has the academic bat" been raised? An Educafion Department ~released this
week found that state standards for reading and math assessments were generally lower than those of the
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card). In most cases,
the knowledge required to reach the "proficient" level on state tests was comparable to the "basic" level on
NAEP. Other studies have echoed these findings.
This may fuel a Beltway-based movement for "national standards" and a nafional test created and mandated by
the federal government. Such a move would be unprecedented and unwise.
National standards are not synonymous with higher standards -- in fact, they’d threaten to lower the academic
bar. And they would do little to address the persistent achievement gap.
Why do I believe this approach is wrong?
First, it goes against more than two centmies of American educational tradition. Under the Constitution, states
and localities have the primatsr leadership role in public education. They design the curriculum and pay 90
percent of the bills. Neighborhood schools deserve neighborhood leadership, not dictates from bureaucrats
thousands of miles away.
The l~’oper role of the Education Department is in helping states, districts and schools collect data to di~ve good
decision malting. Infoarnation is ore stock in trade. President Teddy Roosevelt understood this when he called
onthe federal government to provide "the fullest, most accurate [and] most helpful infoianation" about the "best
educational systems."
States that have shown true leadership, such as Arkansas and Massachusetts, can inspire others to act.
Second, the debate over national standards would become an exercise in lowest-cormnon-denominator politics.
We’ve seen it before, most recently during the divisive fight over national histo~ standards in the 1990s.
The lan&nark 1983 report" A Nation at Risk" called for "standardized tests of achievement.., as part of a
nationwide (but not federal) system of state and local standaa’dized tests" to stem the aising tide of mediocrity in
our schools.
Rather than top:dom~ mandates, we are encouraging a race to the top.
Five years ago, many states did not regularly measm’e their students’ performance against the tough NAEP
standmds. Today, all 50 do. The president’s plan to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act calls on states to
post their scores side-by-side with the NAEP results. This would increase transparency and drive up the political
will to raise state standards.
We are already seeing heartening signs of change. States me aligning high school coursework with college and
employer expectations. Manyhave adopted a core curriculum of four years of English and ttnee years each of
math and science. Recently, nine states mmounced a common Algebra II assessment, the largest such effort ever
undertaken.
In addition, all 50 governors have agreed to adopt a common measure of gradation rates to help solve the
dropout crisis. "There is more momentum in the states now than at any time since.., the release of’A Nation at
Risk,’ "reports Achieve Inc., an alliance of governors and business leaders dedicated to high standards.
Our approach is working for students. According to NAEP, more reading progress was made by 9-year-olds
from 1999 to 2004 than in the previous 28 years combined. Math scores have reached record highs across the
board. History scores improved in all three grade levels tested -- fomth, eighth and 12th. And the number of
Page 854
students taking an Advanced Placement exam in high school has risen 39 percent since 2000.
President Bush wants to build ou this progress. His plan would train more teachers to lead advanced math and
science classes. It would offer incentives for the best teachers to work in the most challenging enviror~nents. It
would also provide more choices and options, such as intensive tutoring and scholarships, to help children in
underperforming schools -- measures opposed by the big teachers unious.
Accotmtability can light the way forward. But only higher standards can take us there. We’ve knocked down the
blackboard wall that once stood between schools and parents. Now we must work with Congress and the states
to share and replicate best practices, not scrap them for an tmtested system.
Ore goal is a punic education system that is transparent and responsive to the needs of parents and chil&en --
not to the whims of Washington.

The writer is the secretary of education.


Page 855
The Washington Post

Measurable Pro~’ess in School

No Child Lef[ Behind is helpin~ The nex[ s~ep w~H take courage.

Saturday, June 9, 2007; A~16

HAS STUDENT achievement increased under the No Child Left Behind Act? The answer, according to an
objective new report, is a resounding yes. That should give pause to those who seek to derail reauthorization of
the No Child Left Behind legislation.
An exhaustive study by the Center on Education Policy showed students scoring higher on state reading and
math tests and narrowing the achievement gap between white and minority students. The pace of improvement
increased after President Bush signed the legislation in 2002. The report has extra credibility because, as The
Post’s Amit R. Paley wrote, it was mitten by a nonpartisan group that has criticized tile implementation of No
Child Left Behind.
The report is full of caveats about crediting tile 2002 federal law for any improvements, and rightly so. Learning
depends on many factors. It’s clear, though, that many of the elements that lead to student success are in place
because of the requirements of No Child Left Behind. Being held accountable for the performance of all
students leads schools to pay more attention to black and Hispanic students, children with disabilities and those
lem-ning English. The law has spin-red schools across the country to focus on the qualifications and training of
their teachers, to use data to chive instruction and to emphasize results. Testing students to prove their
proficiency and making those results public brought needed accountability to America’s classrooms.
It’s troubling that the gains students show on state tests are not mirrored in the National Assessment of
Educational Progress. The latter, the "national repo~ card," showed some gains, most notably in math, but there
is no match with the state tests. Perhaps some of the diffel"ence is attributable to the difference in nature of the
two tests. Still, it’s cleat, as was documented in a report this week from the U.S. Education Depaltrnent, that
there are wide and unacceptable disparities in state standards. That some states watered down their standards to
make it easier to reach NCLB goals for student proficiency is a hinge failing of the law.
Congress can correct that when it reauthorizes No Child Left Behind. America can no longer afford the quaint
tradition of each state defining success differently. There should be one measure for what it means to be
proficient in a subject and at a grade level. Some have argued, as Education Secretary Margaret Spellings does
on the page opposite today, that this would lead to a lowering of standards. But that would happen only if she or
her successor allowed it. Get the best educational minds together; set the bar high. Algebra is algebra whether in
Wyoming or Tennessee, and parents eve~3avhere desea-ve to know whether thdr children have learned to solve
equations.
Page 856
The Washington Post

Federal Grant to Suppol~ Gradual Charter Rolloul

By Nelson Hernandez

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, June 9, 2007; B04

BALTIMORE -- Marvtand will receive an $18.2 million federal grant to fundthe expansion of the state’s
nascent charter school program, state education officials announced yesterday.
The grant may allow the state to launch as many as 30 additional charter schools dining the next three years, a
spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education said. This would more than double the number of
charter schools in Maryland, which began its cheer program in 2003 as a way of providing alternative methods
of public school instruction.
The grant also will be used to help with the recruitment and certification of staff at charter schools, which are
considered public schools but are run independently. The money will also help ensure that the new schools meet
facility and curriculum requirements.
State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick announced the grant at the Crossroads School in the Fells Point
neighborhood of Baltimore, one of the most successful of Maryland’s 23 charter schools. Grasmick noted that
Crossroads, responsible for 150 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, is the only middle school in Baltimore that
met federal standards for adequate yearly progress. Most of its graduates go to either private schools or selective
public high schools.
The school chooses students by lottery, and so it is den~ographically similar to other public middle schools in
the city, 85 percent of its students qualify to receive fiee or reduced-price meals.
Grasmick said the state’s charter schools, which handle about 5,000 students, are generally working because of
the slow and methodical approach to opening them. Other states, she said, have launched ch~u-ter schools at a
much faster pace, but at the cost of quality.
"We don’t want to start charter schools -- as some other states have done -- that exist for two years and then they
collapse," Grasmick said. "I really think for the next several years we ought to continue with our current
approach to this. Most of our charter schools are good."
Most of the schools are so new it is difficult to judge how successful they have been. Some schools, such as
Crossroads, have scored far better than average in Baltimore; others, such as Monocacy Valley Montessori
School in Frederick, score below the county’s averages and have raised questions as to their effectiveness.
Charter schools have gained in populmity nationally, especially as a way of improving perfoirnance in
struggling school systems; nearly 20,000 students in the District attend charters. But tt~ey have not been adopted
without debate. Opponents ofchm-ter schools, including representatives of teachers unions, say they could
siphon resources away from the public school system. They also say that the schools’ academic results have been
uneven.
In Maryland, the main arguments have revolved around the folrnula for funding the schools. Each school board
has varying rifles on funding for building and transportation, employee benefits and special education, leading to
differences in per-pupil spending between charter schools and standard public schools. The Maryland Court of
Appeals is expected to role this stunmer on a case concerning the funding rules.
At Crossroads, the students and teachers said they have been successful because of the small setting, high
expectations and the dedication of the statt: A group of four seventh-graders nodded vigorously when asked if
they wanted to go to college; students showed off their class projects, which are a centerpiece of the hands-on
instmctional method favored by the school.
One of the seventh-graders, Darrian Antonio Mazyck, 13, said Crossroads was a different tmiverse from
Lombard Middle School, the school he had attended the year before.
Lomlx~-d has about 500 students, compared with Crossroads’ 150 students. At Crossroads, 51 percent of the
Page 857
students were able to pass the state math test; at Lombard, only 4.5 percent passed. But Darfian said low test
scores were the least of Lombard’s problems.
"That was the baddest school," Danian remembered. "They set the batttrooms on fire. They smoked in the
battu’oom."
His classmates said they would never get away with that at Crossroads. One student even said going there was
"a privilege."
Page 858
The Washington Post

Naval Academy Gets New Leader

Superintendent Leaves Legacy Of Tough Policies

By Raymond McCaffrey

WasNngten Post Staff Writer

Saturday, June 9, 2007;


Almost everything about U.S. Naval Academy superintendent Rodney P. Rempt evoked passionate debate --
from his policies to discourage sexual harassment, to more benign subjects, such as the way he zipped around
the ~ campus in a golf cart outfitted with tiny flags and emblazed with his rifle, "Supe."
Critics and supporters agree that Vice Adm. Rempt, who stepped down yesterday, will be remembered for his
aggressive crackdown on sexual misconduct, alcohol abuse and honor violations by midshipmen.
But they agree on little else, including whether he should be remembered fondly for promoting a culture of
change at a troubled academy or loathed for kowtowing to Congress and liberal women’s groups.
Under Rempt, who is retiring and was replaced by Rear Adin. Jeffrey L. Fowler at a change-of-command
ceremony yesterday, the academy initiated such policies as subjecting midshipmen to routine breathalyzer tests
to support a tough new alcohol policy and requiting them to take classes as part of an effort to prevent sexual
harassment and assault. The result, supporters say, is that the academy is providing outstanding leaders of
character at a time of war.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Rempt was commended for taking a bold stand on gender equality and sexual
harassment issues and for helping to lead the academy out of a Cold War mind-set and toward the challenges of
the future.
"You sea, red as a bridge between two eras," said Adm. Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations.
Critics -- some of whom are academy alumni -- argue that Rempt went too far in prosecuting high-profile sexual
assault cases, such as the one involving forrner Navy star qu~-terback Lamar S. Owens. They have assailed the
superintendent in message groups and even threatened to withhold contt~ibutions to the academy after Rempt
expelled Owens, who was cleared of raping a female ntidshipman but convicted of misconduct for having sex in
a dorm.
As for the golf cart, some view it as the ultimate sign of anogance; others see the avuncular touch of an
academy graduate who liked to mix with midshipmen whenever possible.
"I think being out on that golf cart just adds a little bit of humanness and makes people smile," said J. Bonnie
Newman, chair of the academy board of visitors, an advisory committee that includes members of Congress.
It is Rempt’s tmmanity, not pressure fi’om Congress, that prompted him to tackle sexual misconduct and other
issues, Newman said. "For Rod Rempt, this is a matter of right and wrong."
Rempt is known to be a man of strong opinions. Before the Owens case went to trial, Rempt was faulted for e-
mails sent to the school community that a Navy judge said insinuated the midshipman’s guilt in the alleged rape.
His c~itics see him as a pawn of special-interest grouN. Last year, the Center for Military Readiness nominated
him for its inaugural "Patsy" Award, dispensed to "An Official Whom Feminists Have Used to Impose Their
Policies on the Men and Women of the Milita~N." Rempt, according to the organization’s Web site, was
"nominated for repeatedly using ’double standards involving women’ (DSIW) in disciplinary matters, including
several high-profile prosecutions for alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct by male but not female midshipmen."
The center’s founder, Elaine Donnelly, said: "That’s building a part of his legacy, and it’s not a good legacy."
Rempt, Dounelly said, "went overboard" in response to the congressional pressure from such feminists as Sen.
Barbma A. Mikulski (D-M~[k a member of the academy board of visitors.
Mikulsld issued a statement saying that she believes that Rempt’s "most lasting legacy at the Academy will be
changing the culture regarding sexual misconduct. Under his leadership, we have a renewed emphasis on
Page 859
accountability and personal responsibility, which is fostering a culture that does not tolerate sexual hmassment
or misconduct."
At yesterday’s event, Rempt called the moral development of the midshipmen "the most important part of our
mission." He said midshipmen should be instilled with "a clear sense of right and wrong."
Surveys indicate higher approval ratings than previously among female and male midshipmen on such issues as
whether the academy provides a positive environment for women. But Donnelly said Rempt pushed "gender
quotas" so that about one in five midshipmen are now women at a time whenthe Navy and Marines
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/U. S.+Marine+Corps?tid--informline> need more
men to serve in combat.
Critics also say that in targeting Owens, a prominent black midshipman, Rempt lmintenfionally set back the
advancement of African Americans in the Naw. Next year’s prospective graduating Class of 2008 has 253
women, roughly three times the number of female midshipmen in 1980. By compmison, next year’s graduating
class of 2008 has 69 Afi-ican American inductees, four more than in 1980.
Peter Optekar, a former Navy football player, sent a letter to Rempt asldng him to recuse himself from Owens’s
case because Rempt’s handling of it would damage the recruitment of qualified black midshipmen.
"The Naval Academy has had a long history of disparity in the treatment of blacks," said Optekar, who said he
observed racial discrimination when he was playing football during the early 1960s.
Rempt did remove himself from any fitrther consideration of Owens’s legal case, although he said allegations of
his lack of neutrality were untrue. He made the final administrative decision on Owens’s future.
Rempt declined a request to be interviewed. But Rear Adm. Bruce MacDonald, the Navy’s chief lawyer, in a
memo obtained through a Freedom of Info~Tnation Act request, sided with Rempt after Optekar submitted an
affidavit saying that the superintendent insinuated Owens’s guilt during a conversation with him and other
alumni at an Idaho barbecue after the jury verdict.
MacDonald, the judge advocate general, said that Rempt was "reported to have said that the accused was guilty
of sexual assault, tt~at the victim was in the fetal position for two days, and that had this case not been refened
to trial by general corn-t-martial, every feminist group and the ACLU would be ’after us.’ " Although not
conceding that Rempt made the comments, MacDonald wrote: "The fact that he articulated an observation does
not mean he was espousing an improper motivation."
Staff writer Mary Otto contributed to this report.
Page 860
The Ne~v York Thnes

June 9, 2007

A Plan to Pay for Top Scores on Some Tests Gains Ground

By JULIE BOSMAN

Roland G. Fryer, a 30-year-old Harvard economist known for his study ofradal inequality in schools, is back in
New York to again promote a big idea: Pay students cash for high scores on standardized tests and thdr
performance might improve. And he has captured the attention of Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Mayor
Michael R. Bloomberg.
Across the countt% educators have been experimenting with cash incentives. A program in Chelsea, Mass., gave
children $25 for perfect attendance. Some Dallas schools pay children $2 for each book they read.
But the idea is controversial. Many educators maintain, among other objections, that children have to learn for
the love of it, not for cash.
Until now, Professor Fryer’s idea of cash for perfolxnance has had no serious takers. Three years ago, he tried to
implement a pilot program in New York City chm-ter schools that would have given students cash in exchange
for good test scores.
°‘They kicked us out," Professor Fryer said of the schools that first considered the program. And some
Department of Education officials were not enthusiastic, either, he said. °q’hey laughed in my face."
But Mr. Bloomberg has recently shown interest in using payments, raised from the private sector, as a way to
change behavior and reduce poverty.
In September, he proposed giving cash to poor adults to encourage them to do eve~3ahing from keeping their
children in school to seeking preventive medical care. And so, he said yesterday at a news coiff’erence, he was
receptive to Professor Fryer’s idea. °’If we aren’t looking at everything," he said, "shame on us."
This week, Professor F~-yer met with a group of school principals who are considering participating in his
incentives program. Information about the program was first repoiqted yesterday in The Daily News.
Education Depmlxnent officials said that putting the program into effect has a long way to go. "We are still at a
preliminary stage," Debra Wexler, a department spokeswoman, said yesterday. "Neither the mayor nor the
chancellor have approved any program details."
Professor Fryer said that under his program, fourth graders and seventh graders who take the new round of
mandatory standardized tests that the city is introducing in the fall would be rewarded with at least $5. They
would get more money for high scores, with a cap of $25 for fourth graders m~d $50 for seventh graders. In
addition, each participating school would receive $5,000.
Money for the payments will come from private backers, Professor Fryer said, because there would be no public
money available for them.
The txospect of cash introduced into the classroom has made some local educators uneasy.
"It makes me really nervous," said Maggie Siena, the principal of Public School 150 in TriBeCa. ’°I suspect
paying kids for achievement in any way tends not to work."
Ernest Logan, the president of the principals’ union, also expressed concerns. "We are troubled by additional
pressttre being placed on chil&en to achieve perfection," he said. "What really matters in education is continued
student progress, not perfect test scores."
Professor FINer and other educational scholars have m-gued that some children, especially those from
impoverished backgrounds, lack the foresight and role models to be self-motivated.
"The fundamental problem with education and motivating kids to learn what they need to learn is that the
payoffs are so distant," said Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. a left-leaning research
organization. "’So it’s very hard to motivate students to do well. Good students get that motivation from
somewhere - from peers, their parents, how they’re raised - but the kids who me umnotivated have a very hard
time understanding that what they do today pays off decades from now."
Eric Nadelstern, the chief executive of the school system’s empowemlent initiative - which gives principals
Page 861
more autonomy to run their schools - lauded Professor Fryer in a recent e-mail message to principals. "He has
my enthusiastic support," Mr. Nadelstern said. "I encourage you to give the program serious consideration."
Professor Fryer, who is black, has explored racial issues in education extensively. He has written studies on the
gap in test scores between black children and white children, the economic effect of "acting white," how the
mental ability of young children differs by race, and the causes and consequences of attending historically black
colleges and universities.
Professor Fryer, on his Web s~te, americaninequalitylab.com, calls the program "Incentivising: An Experiment
in NYC Public Schools."
In a near-empty cafeteria at Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in Queens on Wednesday, Professor Fryer
promoted the plan to a dozen principals with an informal speech about povelV, the test score gap, his
professional experience and personal history and his grandmother’s suggestions for the plan.
He persuaded at least one principal to change her mind about the program. "lhior to going into the meeting, I
wasn’t in favor of it," said C1ystal Simmons, the principal of the Academy for Social Action in Harlem. "But
now I think it could work if it is established in the right way. There should be some financial-literacy element,
for instance."
After the meeting, Professor Fryer said in an e-mail message to the principals that more than half the available
spots in the proposed incentive program had been filled.
Mr. Loveless of Brookings said that though cash-incentive programs tend to make people uneasy, he believed
the proposal was worth considering. "I would take it seriously," he said. °’I don’t think we should let our
queasiness over directly awarding ldds with cash prevent us from experimenting. We need to find out if this
works or not."

l0
Page 862
The New York Times

June 9, 2007

WEST BABYLON JOURNAL

When Second Graders Run Wild, With Federal Approval

By PAUL VITELLO

WEST BABYLON, N.Y., June 8 - As a result of some speeches made and some laws passed some~vhere far
away where the president lives, all the kids in Debra Thuma’s second-grade class at the Tooker Avenue
Elementary School were down on the floor, bicycle-pedaling their legs in the air on Friday morning.
Except for a few of the girls. They stood near their desks.
"It’s the dresses," explained Mrs. Thuma. "At this age, a lot of the girls wear dresses. Isn’t that lovely? But they
don’t necessmily like putting their legs up in the air."
Exercise in most public schools used to happen only during two gym periods a week. But to meet a federal
mandate calling for more supervised physical activity, many schools around the countt7 have begrm daily fitness
workouts like the one in Mrs. Thuma’s class here.
Some are improvised, and others, like Mrs. Thuma’s, are conducted with the help of videotaped programs that
take the kids through a 5- or 10-minute session of jumping jacks, rtmning in place, situps, push-ups and the
above-mentioned bicycle pedaling, which some of the girls, according to Ivlrs. Thtm~a, really hate.
It is a condition of childhood that grown-ups decide what is good for you, however; and following a selies of
studies chronicling the increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in chilch’en, the deciders in the federal
govenunent ordered more activity.
The order was embodied in Section 204 of Public Law 108-265, the Child Nutrition and W.I.C. Reauthorization
Act of 2004, which requires that bythe end of the 2006-7 academic year" - bynow, in other words - schools
provide daily ’~physical activity and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness."
At Tooker, this means a prodigious amount of foot-stmnping, hand-clapping, jack-flwnping and other types of
otherwise forbidden behavior taking place right in the middle of the morning, between lessons in cursive,
double-digit addition and the science of magnets.
"The idea is that it’s not enough to have an athletic program or gym class twice a week," said Lou Howard Jr.,
the physical education director for West Babylon schools. "Kids need to be physically active during the day,
everyday. This is a proDam that regular teachers can do. You don’t need to be in phys-ed class."
To meet the federal deadline, three weeks ago administrators at Tooker Avenue Elementary introduced a seven-
minute exercise tape produced (and provided fi’ee of charge) by a Long Island company, Kid Fitness.
The company, which produces a children’s exercise show of the same name for public television, hopes to have
its fitness tape used in elementary schools thronghout the country. As part of a promotional effort, it donated
9,800 copies to the New York City school system in Februaw - enough for all classes from kindergarten through
the second grade.
On Friday, the star of the tape, Kid Fitness himself, a very fit 26-year-old actor named Casey Unterman, visited
the elementary school here.
After asking Mrs. Thuma’s 23 students if they were ready to have some fun, Mr. Unterman, diessed in the
superhero costume of his character, provided a crisp, precise demonstration of all the exercises that the children,
facing him, perfo~rned in their own younger, wilder versions.
Mrs. Thuma said that in her 15 years of teaching second graders, she noticed that ’*most kids are pretty fit at this
age" but become less active later on. "By fifkh grade," she said, "you start to see the ovelweight kids."
Stephen J. Virgilio, chai~rnan of the health and physical education department at Adelphi University, and a
consultant to the Kid Fitness company, said that between the fifth and 10th grades, many children become
physically inactive. "Partly it’s because of video-game and television habits," he said, "and partly it’s the
influence of too much organized sports - when the kids drop out of organized sports, they don’t know how to
11
Page 863
play. They just stop."
That is why promoting nonsports exercise for children at a young age, as the federal law requires, is "suCh a
good idea," he said.
When the kids, sweating and flushed, were done with their exercises for the morning, Mr. Unterman asked if
they did not love feeling "fit and healthy."
They did, they said.
"I like having it first thing in the morning," said Jessica Marmaroff, 7, speaking later to a reporter who asked
about the regimen, "because then, like, you don’t have to do a lot of work.’"
And what about the issue of the dresses?
EmilyTartaglia, 7, explainedthat this was not necessarily the deal breaker that some might have one believe.
"All you have to do is hold your skirt like this," she said, gathering the folds on either side of her skirt and in
two no-nonsense fists. "You just have to not forget."

12
Page 864
Pittsburgh Post- Gazette

U.S. funds performance pay for principals in city schools

Saturday, June 09, 2007

By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt got a boost yesterday in his bid to have principals
shoulder more responsibility for the district’s academic overt~aul.
The U.S. Depmtment of Education mmounced that it is awarding the Pittsburgh Public Schools a five-year, $7.4
million grant to help fund a pay-for-performance program for the district’s principals.
The money will be used to give sala17 increases and bonuses to principals who meet certain perfomlance goals,
such as increasing student acbievement. It also will be used to pay for Rand Corp. analyses of school progress
and to pay five or more employees to administer the incentive program.
"It’s excellent news," Mr. Roosevelt said.
In all, the program will cost nearly $9 million over five years. The district must come up with $1.4 million in
program costs not covered by the grant.
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the grant will come from the Teacher Incentive Fund,
established to fired incentive-based compensation plans for teachers and principals in high-poverty districts.
The depar~ent introduced the ftmd last year with 16 grants, including one to the School District of
Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is one of 18 recipients this year, and others include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in
Nol~uh Carolina, four Florida districts, a group of Texas charter schools and the University of Texas.
Mr. Roosevelt has introduced new cmriculurn and other programs to boost sagging test scores. To ratchet up the
pressure on principals at the district’s 65 schools, he’s doing away with the annual salary increases the~ve
traditionally received regardless of job performance.
Instead, Mr. Roosevelt wants to give annual raises of up to $2,000 to each pIs~cipal who meets, or shows
progress toward, goals in 28 areas such as leadership and cornlnuttity outreach. The raises would be added to the
principal’s base pay.
In addition, he wants to offer principals bonuses of up to $10,000 each for increases in student achievement
dtning the year. A bonus would not be added to the principal’s base pay and could be earned again in following
years.
The distlict is waiting to see whether it will receive a three-year, $6.6 million grant from the Los Angeles-based
Broad Foundation to establish a plincipal recruitment and mentoring program. The pay-for-perfoirnance and
recruitment are part of the district’s broader principal development efforts.

13
Page 865
Leesburg Today

Hah’ick Goes To Capitol Over NCLB

By Charlie Jackson

Created June 8, 2007

As the U:S. Congress debates the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind laws, superintendents across the
country, including Loudoun’s Edgar B. Hattick, are expressing their reservations about the cutrent regulations.
Hatrick went to Capitol Hill last month as a representative of the American Association of School
Administiators and spoke to senators about changes that could be made to the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, more widely known as No Child Left Behind.

"My personal concems center around kids," Hatrick said last week. "The nature of this high-stakes testing, it has
become a billion dollar industry. It’s just not good to try to measure what children know based on 45 questions
multiple-choice tests. I’m opposed to the labeling that occurs.

"Our message is that standards are a good thing. Now, we’d like to see money come with the standards."

The federal law, Hatrick said, is intelpreted 50 ways in 50 states. In Vhginia, school districts test their students
almually with Standards of Learning tests. These tests are used to measure the students’ and schools’ progress. If
a school fails to meet benchmarks in specific areas, schools can be placed on probation. In some instances,
parents are allowed to opt out of the public school anduse public money to attend a private school. Hallick
suggests that if private schools are going to take public dollars, they too should be held to strict standards.

One of the many problems with the law, Halaick noted, is that school systems are forced to test students who are
still learning the English language at grrade level. The Virginia Depaltment of Education and its school districts
had a public spat ~vith the U.S. Department of Education earlier this yea concerning English Langnage learners.
Hatrick believes the law, as written, gives U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings latitude inhow she
interla’ets testing of English language learners. Hatlick said school systems are also forced to test spedal needs
students in the same vein.

"Theyneed individualized plans for leaning," he said. "We shouldn’t take those same kids we say can’t succeed
in a regular classroom and tmn around and give them a grade level test. I continue to believe a lot of what is
frustrating people, could have been resolved. We believe that the law gives [Spellings] latitude in the testing of
English language learners."

Hattick said he’d also like to see Congress add additional performance measures to grade schools. Instead ofjnst
test results, Hatrick said schools could be graded on graduation rates and what students do after college.

But the most important change Hatrick would like to see centers around dollars.

"We have a law that is forcing us to spend an awful lot of money to test these kids, and the federal government
is not paying," he said.

14
Page 866
Reuters

Cuomo launches New York ~udent rights drive

NEW YORK, June 8 (Reutels) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began an effort on Friday to
educate students about their rights under a new state law after a scandal in the $85 billion U. S. student-loan
industry.
Cuomo and congressional investigators have accused major student lenders of paying kickbacks to college aid
officers to curry favor and drum up business among students. Many colleges and companies, including major
lenders such as Sallie Mac (SLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Bank of America (BAC.N: ~ Profile,
Research) and Citigroup (C.N: ~.F_9~, Profile, Research), have settled with Cuomo.
The attorney general launched the effort to educate students about the new law -- Student Lending
Accountability, Transparency and Enforcement Act of 2007 -- at the Stuyvesant High School in New York.
The law includes rights such as knowing the criteria a school uses to select preferred lenders and whether those
lenders are paying the school or financial aid officers.
"This graduation gift is not gift-mapped or green, but it is valuable," Cuomo said in a statement.
Nearly three out of five undergraduates in the state took loans to pay for college education. Higher education
costs average $30,367 a year at four-year private colleges and about $13,000 at public institutions, according to
Cuomo’s office.

15
Page 867

lNonresponsi’ ...
FrOITl: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 08, 2007 8:41 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerd; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, C~thia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: National NCES report stories (4)

States Found To Vary Widely On Education (NYT)


’Huge Gap’ Found In States’ Student Testing (WT)
School Standards Vary Widely (AP)
Standards...And Report Politics! Plus, Sins Of The Father... (Eduwonk)

States Found To Vary Widely On Education (NYT)


By Tamar Lewin
The NewYork Times., June 8, 2007
Academic standards vary so drastically from state to state that a fourth grader judged proficient in reading in Mississippi or
Tennessee would fall far short oflhat mark in Massachusetts and South Carolina, the United States Department of Education
said yesterday in a report that, for the first time, measured the extent of the differences.
The wide variation raises questions about whether the federal No Child Left Behind law, President Bush’s signature
education initiative, which is up for renewal this year, has allowed a patchwork of educational inequities around the country, with
no common yardstick to determine whether schoolchildren are learning enough.
The law requires that all students be brought to proficiency by 2014 in reading and math and creates sanctions for failure.
But in a bow to states’ rights it lets each state set its own standards and choose its own tests.
The report provides ammunition for critics who say that one national standard is needed. "Parents and communities in too
many states are being told not to worry, all is well, when their students are far behind," said Michael J. Petrilli, a vice president of
the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation who served in the Education Department during Mr. Bush’s first term.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said in a statement, ’q-his report offers sobering news that serious work remains to
ensure that our schools are teaching students to the highest possible standards." Still, in a conference call with reporters, she
said it was up to the states, not the federal government, to raise standards.
The report for the first time creates a common yardstick to measure the results on s~ate tests against the National
Assessment of Educational Progress, considered the gold standard of testing.
The report examines the minimum score a student would have to get on each state’s reading and math tests to be deemed
proficient - or at grade level - and then determines what the equivalent score for that level of competency would be on the
national test. Results on the national test are not used to judge schools under No Child Left Behind.
The national test divides students’ scores into three achievement levels, basic, proficient and advanced. Grover J.
Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences at lhe Education Department, said the achievement level that many
states called proficient was closer to what the national test rated as just basic. And the report shows that not a single state sets
its reading proficiency levels as high as the national test.
Although results were not available for all states, the Education Department report based on tests given in the 2004-5
school year illustrated starkly the variations in standards.
For example, an eighth grader in Missouri would need the equivalent of a 311 on the national test to be judged proficient.
Page 868
That is actually more rigorous than the national test. In Tennessee, however, a student can meet the state’s proficiency standard
with a 230, a score well below even the basic level on the national exam.
And while a Massachusetts fourth grader would need the equivalent of a 234, or just below the proficiency mark on the
national test, to be judged as proficient by the state, a Mississippi fourth grader can meet the state’s standard with a state score
that corresponds to a 161 on the national test.
Such score differences represent a gap of several grade levels. New York ranked 9th in grade 4 reading, in terms of the
rigor of its standards. Its proficiency standards corresponded to 207 on the national test. It ranked third in grade 8 reading. But it
was toward the bottom, 29th among 33 states in grade 4 math. And it was 13th in grade 8 math.
New York has since approved new math standards. ’The results in reading are positive for New York relative to other
states, but math is mixed," State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said. ’qhe comparison reminds us of the need over time
to keep raising standards and providing extra help to student&"
The report found that eighth graders in North Carolina had to show the least skill to be considered proficient readers while
those in Wyoming had to show the most skill. Tennessee set the lowest bar on grade 4 math while Massachusetts set the
highest one.
The differences between state proficiency standards were sometimes more than double the national gap between minority
and white students’ reading levels, which averages about 30 points on the national test, Mr. Whitehurst said.
Many education experts criticize No Child Left: Behind, saying it gives states an incentive to set low standards to avoid
sanctions on schools that do not increase the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency each year. Those experts argue
that uniform national standards are needed.
But Congress is unlikely to go that far. Ms. Spellings said, "It’s way too early to conclude we need to adopt national
standards" and added that it is also too early to conclude that state standards are too low.
On Tuesday, a survey of state scores in reading and math, released by the Center on Education Policy, an independent
Washington group, found that since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002, student achievement had increased and the
racial achievement gap narrowed in many states.
Ms. Spellings said the results showed the law has "struck a chord of success." Her department’s report, though, raises
doubts about just how much progress has been made.
Mr. Petrilli said, "Even if students are making progress on state tests, if tests are incredibly easy, that doesn’t mean much."
’Huge Gap’ Found In States’ Student Testing (W’I)
By Amy Fagan, The Washington Times
The Washinqton Times, June 8, 2007
There are big differences in how states are measuring student achievement in reading and math, and many state test
standards set the bar far lower than national test standards, a new federal report released yesterday shows.
The study -- by the research arm of the Education Department -- is the government’s first official comparison of states’
testing standards since 2002 enactment of the No Child Let~ Behind (NCLB)law.
It will likely play a role in this year’s effort to renew that law, which requires states to test students and set goals to bring all
to proficiency level in reading and math by 2014, but doesnt mandate specific standards or define "proficiency."
Yesterday’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report found that state definitions of "proficient" for fourth- and
eighth-grade reading and math tests vary greatly from state to state, and most fall far short of the "proficient" level set for national
tests.
In fourth-grade reading, for example, each of the 32 states evaluated by the study set their "proficient" level below the
national proficiency level, and most even set their "proficient" level below the national level for basic reading skills. In fact, only a
few states -- in fourth-grade and eighth-grade math -- set their proficiency levels higher than the national mark.
There’s also "a huge gap between where states are setting their proficiency," said NCES Commissioner Mark Schneider.
The national test used in the study is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which tests students
nationwide in a variety of subjects but doesn’t punish or reward states for the results. The NCES study assigned each state test
standard a number, based on how it compared to the NAEP. This way, researchers could compare very different state test
standards using a common yardstick.
Massachusetts sets it’s fourth-grade reading-proficiency level just below the national proficiency level, but Mississippi’s
proficiency level is a full 73 points lower than Massachusetts’. Missouri’s proficiency level for eighth-grade math is a few points
higher than the national standard. But North Carolina’s proficiency level is a full 64 points lower than Missouri’s.
The report could fuel debate over whether and how lawmakers should aim for more rigorous state standards as they try to
renewthe NCLB lawthis year -- one of President Bush’s top priorities.
Page 869
Senate education panel Chairman Edward M. Kennedy addressed this yesterday, after seeing the report.
"1 look forward to working in No Child Left Behind to help encourage states to adopt a more consistent and rigorous
definition of what students should know and be able to do, in key subjects," the Massachusetts Democrat said.
Just days ago, supporters of the NCLB law trumpeted a report that found many states have made notable progress in
student achievement since the law’s enactment. Yesterday, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings explained the different
findings.
"States have made significant strides under No Child Left Behind to close our nation’s achievement gap, as evidenced by
the Center on Education Policy study released earlier this week," she said. "But today’s report finds that many states’
assessment standards do not measure up to the rigorous standards of the Nation’s Report Card."
She said it’s clear that states must raise the bar, and added, "1 hope this report will be a catalyst for positive change."
The study prompted a letter to be sent to all of the 2008 presidential candidates by the former chairmen of the Republican
and Democratic National Committees -- Democrat Roy Romer and Republican Ken Mehlman. The two men insisted that there is
"no more important issue to our nation" than education reform, and the study "showed that we are failing to set adequate
education standards for our children."

School Standards Vary Widely (AP)


By Nancy Zuckerbrod
AP, June 8, 2007
State differences likely to fuel national debate.
WASHINGTON - A reading score that rates a fourth-grader "proficient" in Mississippi would be failing in Massachusetts, an
example of state-to-state variations likely to fuel debate about a need for more uniform national standards.
An Education Department report on Thursday compared what it takes to be rated proficient on elementary- and middle-
school state reading and math tests to what it means to hit that mark on national tests. The state tests are a key measure for
enforcement of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The report found that most of the scores that would label a student proficient on state tests don’t yield that grade on the
national tests.
There also are huge differences in where states set their benchmarks.
Massachusetts sets the proticiency score on its fourth-grade reading test just belowthe proficiency mark on the national
test. But a fourth-grader in Mississippi can be rated proficient with a state test score that is more than 70 points lower. Proficiency
is defined as working at the level expected for that grade.
The tests given by the states are used to judge schools under No Child Left Behind, the five-year-old education law that is
up for renewal this year.
States pick their own tests and set their own achievement scores. When too few students in a school meet proticiency
standards, that school typically faces consequences such as having to swap out principals or teachers. States that set high
standards generally have fewer sE~dents labeled as proficient than states with low standards.
The national test, called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is a dgorous exam given in a variety of subjects
to students nationwide. It doesn’t have consequences attached to it like those linked to the state tests. But it does offer a way to
compare states to one another.
The study did not find a clear relationship between high standards in a state and high performance on the national test by
students in that state.
For example, North Carolina and South Carolina students score about the same on the national tests, but South Carolina
has higher state performance standards than its neighbor.
Susan Fuhrman, president of Columbia University’s Teachers College, says educators have long known that solid
standards aren’t a silver bullet. "It’s not enough to set standards and test achievement on them. There’s a lot of other stuff that
has to happen instructionally," she said.
The discrepancy in state standards has been identified by previous private studies, but the new report is much more
detailed and is considered important because it is being released by the Education Department’s independent research arm
ratherthan by advocacy groups.
Several groups have called for national standards to be written into the education law in light of the discrepancies in state
standards, but Congress is unlikely to go that far because states see education as a fundamentally local prerogative.
"1 think that in principle it is a good idea. It is hard to argue why you have different math in Mississippi and Montana," said
Fuhrman, but she added that states should band together to set common standards and not rely on Washington to do it. There is
some evidence that’s starting to happen; a group of states recently agreed to share an algebra test.
Page 870
The Education Tn4st, a nonprofit group in Washington that advocates for poor and minority students, has recommended
that if states significantly raise their standards, the government should reward them by loosening rules requiring all kids to be
working on grade level by 2014.
That is among the proposals being considered on Capitol Hill. Massachusetts Democrat Edward M. Kennedy, who chairs
the Senate education committee, also is interested in giving states that raise their standards more money to help with the effort.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings opposes moving away from requiring all students to be at grade level by 2014. She
has said states should be required to publish report cards showing how students did on the states’ tests and on the national
assessment. "1 do think it’s important to kind of amplify that wide variance among states," Spellings said in a conference call with
reporters a day before the report’s public release. "Transparency, in my mind, is always the first place to go."
The report also found:
Eighth-graders in North Carolina had to demonstrate the least knowledge to be considered proficient readers, while
students in Wyoming had to showthe most knowledge.
Tennessee set the lowest bar on the fourth-grade math test, while Massachusetts set the highest one.
In eighth-grade math, Missouri set the highest proficiency standard - 12 points above the national one. Tennessee’s was
the lowest, 69 points below the national bar.
The Education Department’s report was based on tests given in the 2004-05 school year. Scores weren’t available for
some states, because some did not have annual reading and math tests in fourth- and eighth-grade then. All states have them
now.

Standards...And Report Politics! Plus, Sins Of The Father... (Eduwonk)


Eduwonk_, June 7, 2007
There is nothing really new in today’s NCES report on state standards and NAEP in terms of the topline finding: State
standards vary in their rigor. It’s an interesting analysis, but we knewthat. Still, it will fuel the larger debate about No Child Left
Behind. Ed Trust already has a statement out:
’q-he NCES report demonstrates that far too many states have set their proficiency standards at levels below even a basic
knowledge and understanding of core academic subject matter. These findings follow previous research from the U.S.
Department of Education showing that an estimated 75 percent of current high school graduates pursuing post-secondary
education, while one-third of them end up in remedial classes."
But I have to disagree with Sherman Dora’s contention that reports, like the CEP No Child one the other day, never matter
much. They often don’t cause an immediate pivot in a debate, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for not having effect. In the CEP
case, there is a raging debate about the No Child law and Senator Kennedy and Representative Miller are working hard to hold
Democratic support on the law. That’s an easier sell when they can say that, sure, the politics are tough but it’s the right overall
direction for the policy so suck it up. It’s a lot harder if the data show something different. All that said, today’s report doesn’t
matter much!
Update: Referring to the NCES report, in The Times Tamar Lewin writes:
The report supports critics who say the political compromise of the federal No Child Left Behind law, President Bush’s
signature education initiative, has led to a patchwork of educational inequities around the country, with no common yardstick to
determine whether schoolchildren are learning enough.
Fair point except for the "has led" part. That patchwork preceded No Child Left Behind. If anything, put it on Bush’s father
who tried and failed on national standards. The 1994 (Clinton) law subsequently charted the course on state standards. But hard
to see, considering the politics, how either could have done more on the national issue. This Jack Jennings book looks at the
history (but try to score a used copy!). And, the states have always had variance, that’s hardly new. The policy question is
whether a national policy can effectively abate it or needlessly exacerbates it.
Also, while you’re reading The Times story, note the Spellings- Petrilli back and forth. Big fun.
Page 871

Nonresponsi!_
~rorrl: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 08, 2007 8:41 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Advice For U.S. Secretary Of Education Margaret Spellings (BWkly OR)

Advice For U.S. Secretary Of Education Margaret Spellings (BWkly OR)


By Phyllis Schlafly
Bend (’OR) Weekly, June 8, 2007
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, please call your boss and urge him to read your May 9 speech to the National
Summit on America’s Silent Epidemic in Washington, D.C. Your eloquence in describing the silent epidemic was exceeded only
by our shock at the facts you described.
’qhe dropout rate for African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students approaches 50 percent .... Every year
nearly a million kids fail to graduate high school .... The United States has the most severe income gap between high school
graduates and dropouts in the world."
You exhorted us to deal with this problem because "stopping the exodus" is both a "moral imperative" and an "economic
necessity." You lambasted our government’s current "state of denial" and demanded "a state of acknowledgement."
Right on, Secretary Spellings. But your own boss must be one of those in a state of denial. At the same time you were
delivering your call for action, President George W. Bush was demanding passage of the Senate immigration bill that would
dump many more millions of high school dropouts in your lap.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 49 percent of illegal immigrants are high school dropouts, compared with 25 percent
of legal immigrants, and only 9 percent of native-born U.S. citizens.
Spellings proclaimed in her speech, "The days when you could earn a good living off the sweat of your brow are
disappearing. In industries ranging from manufacturing to microprocessing, a high school diploma is the bare minimum for
success."
But that’s not what corporate lobbyists are telling members of the U.S. Senate. Lobbyists say that employers need waiters
and dishwashers to work in restaurants, lettuce and strawberry pickers for big agriculture, and grass-cutters and shrub-trimmers
to tend our lawns.
High school dropouts are the kind of workers these employers want to hire. That’s why employers are lobbying to legalize
between 12 million and 20 million illegal immigrants already here and also to bring in hundreds of thousands more in a guest-
worker program.
The CEOs of multinationals publicly announced their dissatisfaction with the Senate bill because it contains some feeble
provisions to give some limited preference, eight years into the future, to foreigners with skills. They would prefer instead to give
preference to the remote relatives of illegal immigrants, those high school dropouts whom the Senate bill would legalize.
Big business employers prefer to import foreigners who are eager for any kind of menial job. They come from countries
where they have endured poverty so severe that it is incomprehensible to even the poorest of U.S. citizens.
Big business employers know that illegal immigrants and guest-workers are willing to work long hours for pay below the
minimum wage. Employers knowthat U.S. taxpayers will supplement those low wages by the handout called the Earned Income
Tax Credit and to pay the costs of medical care, public schooling, school lunches, housing subsidies, and dozens of other tax-
paid benefits that flow to low-income workers.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy research institute based in Washington, D.C., estimates that U.S.
taxpayers pay about $20,000 peryear to every household headed by a high school dropout. That’s even before retirement age
enables the high school dropouts and their imported relatives to cash in on Social Security and Medicare.
In her speech, Spellings coined one apt phrase and borrowed another pertinent phrase from the immigration debate to
Page 872
describe urban public schools. She called them "dropout factories" and decried the fact that they have been "in the shadows for
so long."
Spellings said it well. It’s not just illegal immigrants who need to be brought out of "the shadows"; it’s the scandal of forcing
taxpayers to pay an average of $10,000 per public school student even though many students are not taught how to read.
Spellings’ solution is to pour more taxpayers’ money into the schools. But that could only address the problem of children
still in school; it does nothing for the dropouts who have given up on schooling and gone out to the streets where they often get
into all sorts of mischief.
What our own high school dropouts need is a job so they can get staffed building a life. Instead of rewarding illegal
immigrants with a "Z visa" to enable them to hold a job legally, Spellings should ask the Senate to authorize a "Z diploma" to
encourage U.S. businesses to hire our own high school dropouts.
The primary result of the Senate immigration bill will be to provide corporations with more high school dropouts, and that’s
exactly what the United States does not need. Secretary Spellings, when you phone President Bush, maybe he will answer if you
press 2 for Spanish.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and the author of the newly revised and expanded "Supremacists." She
can be contacted by e-mail at phytlis@eagleforum.org.© Copley News Service
Page 873

Nonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 07, 2007 8:57 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Cuomo/Student Loan stories (4)

Cuomo Plans To Broaden Student-Lending Inquiry (NYT)


Student-Loan Probe Expands Into Possible Discriminatory Practices (WSJ)
NY AG Faults Oversight Of College Loans (AP)
Cuomo Urges Stronger Loan Oversight, Widens Probe (BLOOM)

Cuomo Plans To Broaden Student-Lending Inquiry (NYT)


By Diana Jean Schemo
The NewYork Times., June 7, 2007
WASHINGTON, June 6 - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, whose scrutiny of student loans has exposed
ties between universities and lenders, said Wednesday that he was broadening his investigation to examine the criteria lenders
use when making loans, and whether they violate civil rights statutes.
Testifying at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on private student loans, which do not carry federal guarantees, Mr.
Cuomo said he was examining whether lenders were discriminating against students based on the institutions they attended or
other factors not directly related to their credit history.
’What criteria are they using in the underwriting of these loans?" Mr. Cuomo asked. "Parental income? Student income?
Student creditworthiness? How about the school you attend? How is that weighted?"
While lenders have the right to consider a borrower’s credit record, he said, ’there are also civil rights and legal
ramifications to what criteria they use, and that’s what we’re looking at."
He suggested that students at historically black colleges and universities were sometimes charged higher interest rates and
fees than other students.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is committee chairman and is running for president, likened
the practice to redlining, in which banks rule out mortgage loans based not on the credit record of potential homeowners but by
whether urban neighborhoods are predominantly black.
The market in private student loans has soared in recent years, tripling to $17.3 billion in the last ~ve years. Such loans
carry variable interest rates, unlike government-backed loans, which have fixed rates.
Mr. Cuomo, whose student-loan "code of conduct" bans secret gifts from lenders to universities became a model for
legislation the House passed overwhelmingly last month, called private student loans the Wild West of consumer lending
because they are largely unregulated and the level of disclosure pales next to that required of the mortgage industry.
Regulations that the federal Education Department issued last week on student lending apply only to loans carrying federal
guarantees. Mr. Cuomo urged Congress to clean tip the private loan industry, but said new legislation was probably not needed.
Rather, he said, the federal agencies charged with oversight, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation and the Federal Trade Commission, have not used the authority the law already gives them.
A number of lenders, including Sallie Mae, which holds more private loans than any other company, consider the institution
Page 874
a student is attending in determining the interest rate, fees and other terms of loans they extend to students, said Barry W.
Goulding, a Sallie Mae senior vice president who testified.
But Mr. Goulding justified the practice, saying Sallie Mae considered "our experience with the borrowers attending that
school" to only "a nominal extent," which could result in interest rates up to one percentage point higher. More important, he said,
is the credit history of the borrower and the co-signer, usually the students’ parents.
In advance of the hearing, he said, Sallie Mae had looked at the rates it charges students at six historically black colleges
and universities: three received the best rates the company offers students, and three received less attractive rates.
In setting interest rates, Mr. Goulding said, Sallie Mae also considers the "competitive landscape," how aggressively
colleges and universities seek the best deal for their students. Institutions that put together their preferred-lender lists by soliciting
companies for their best terms, he said, typically get up to one percentage point lower interest rates for their students.
That disclosure suggested that colleges and universities that relied on perks - like free trips and lucrative board seats for
university employees - to choose which lenders to recommend had hurt their students by not demanding the cheapest loans.
Mr. Cuomo testified that 90 percent of all students select their lenders from their college’s preferred-lender lists.
Asked how common the perks and revenue sharing agreements were, Mr. Cuomo said, "On the private loan side, it’s
rampant."
Executives from two other major student lenders, First Marblehead Corporation and Bank of America, said they did not
consider an institution’s default history in setting terms for loans. Rather, they said, they only make loans to a list of about 6,500
institutions, determined by factors unrelated to borrower history, like accreditation.
The executives said that they were providing a valuable service, investing in human capital, and giving students with no
credit history or collateral a chance to attend college.
Luke Swarthout, the higher education advocate at the United States Public Interest Research Group, a nonpartisan
consumer group, disputed that account, saying many lenders do not readily disclose the terms of loans, and require students to
sign promissory notes before they know what their interest rates will be.

Student-Loan Probe Expands Into Possible Discriminatory Practices (WSJ)


By Anne Marie Chaker
The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2007
WASHINGTON -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said his probe into the student-loan business has expanded
into possible discriminatory practices, and he called for tighter federal oversight to bring the industry in line.
Mr. Cuomo told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that the nonfederal student-loan industry is
like the "Wild West" since it isn’t regulated by the Education Department.
The rapidly rising cost of college -- combined with the relatively low borrowing limits on federally guaranteed loans -- has
meant that students and their families are increasingly turning to private lending to fill that gap. Borrowers took out $17.3 billion in
nonfederal loans to finance educations in the 2005-06 academic year, compared with just over $1 billion a decade earlier,
according to the New York nonprofit College Board.
Since private loans carry interest rates that can vary widely and aren~ controlled by the government, they are far riskier for
students and their families.
Mr. Cuomo said he recently began an investigation into the criteria lenders use to underwrite private loans, suggesting
students attending different schools -- using Harvard and historically black colleges as examples -- could be treated differently on
price. ’q-here are civil rights and legal ramifications," Mr. Cuomo said.
Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) compared the practice to discriminatory "redlining," when banks
and other lending institutions refuse loans to residents of certain areas, such as inner-city neighborhoods.
Lawmakers discussed potential changes in federal law to address private student lending more head-on, such as including
more discussion of student loans in the Truth in Lending Act, which requires full disclosure of terms and payments for other
borrowing such as mortgages.
As lawmakers gear up for the process of renewing the Higher Education Act in the coming weeks, Sen. Dodd suggested
forbidding lenders from offering inducements -- such as gifts and trips -- to colleges in exchange for offering private loans. Such
practices are specifically prohibited for federally backed loans, but not for private ones. Sen. Dodd, who is a candidate for the
presidential nomination, also said he would convene banking and consumer regulators to discuss student-loan matters.
Student-loan giant SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mac, also came under fire, for its pricing techniques and the timing of
its announced acquisition. In April, Sallie Mae agreed to be sold to two private-investment funds and banks J.P. Morgan Chase &
Co. and Bank of America Corp. for $25 billion.
"At a time when we are seeing a greater demand on oversight, it’s interesting that the largest player in this market will
Page 875
become less transparent going from a publicly traded company to a private entity," said Luke Swarthout, higher education
advocate for the US. Public Interest Research Group.
"We have conducted ourselves with transparency and plan to continue to do that, public or private," responded Barry W.
Goulding, senior vice president ofSallie Mae.
Separately, two university financial-aid directors who came under scrutiny for accepting payments from a lender have
their jobs, the schools announced today. Capella University, an online school, said it would dismiss its financial aid director,
Timothy C. Lehmann, and Widener University of Pennsylvania said financial aid dean Walter Cathie had retired from his post.
-John Hechinger and Keith J. Winstein contributed to this article.
Write to Anne Marie Chaker at anne-marie.chaker@wsj.coml
NY AG Faults Oversight Of College Loans (AP)
By Marcy Gordon
AP, June 7, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Rampant abuses by lenders have followed a boom in higher-priced college loans not guaranteed by the
government, and lax federal oversight has made the situation worse, New York’s attorney general said Wednesday.
Andrew Cuomo told Congress his office has begun investigating lenders for possible discriminatory practices ir~olving the
criteria used for pricing student loans. Such criteria may include where a student lives and what type of college he attends,
Cuomo suggested.
Already, his office has taken on student lenders and college financial aid officials over conflicts of interest. That includes
kickbacks to college officials for steering students toward particular lenders.
Private student loans do not have their interest rates capped, unlike government-backed college loans generally.
The $17 billion market for p~ivate loans is "the fastest-growing segment of the student loan industry and (has) become the
most fertile ground for unscrupulous practices," Cuomo said at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Committee. "Private loans are the Wild West of the student loan industry."
At the same time, he said, "The Department of Education was asleep at the switch, but so were the banking regulators _
who must now wake up and act."
Cuomo struck a receptive chord with lawmakers.
The committee chairman, Sen. Christopher Dodd, said he would consider writing legislation that would extend to student
loans the sort of fair-lending laws that cover home mortgages.
The committee also will scrutinize the role of banking regulators in overseeing the private student loan industry, said Dodd,
D-Conn.
"We need to examine this thoroughly and carefully," said Dodd, a 2008 presidential candidate. "Our country will pay an
awful price indeed" if students are priced out of the market for college loans.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the committee’s senior Republican, said the committee must determine whether stronger
banking laws or penalties are needed to protect students.
On the House side, a bill aimed at curbing conflicts of interest and corrupt practices in college lending won approval last
month.
It would ban gifts from lenders to schools and impose strict controls on schools that publish approved lender lists to guide
students to certain loan companies.
Lenders and schools would have to make their business dealings more transparent to borrowers, disclosing terms,
conditions and any incentives involved.
College tuition costs are soaring and private student loans are carrying rates as high as 20 percent. Lawmakers are
seeking to draw public attention to student lending issues in the way they have spotlighted the distress over high-risk home
mortgages in recent months.
Cuomo and congressional Democrats have criticized the Education Department for what they say is lax oversight of the
student loan industry.
But for the first time at Wednesday’s hearing, Cuomo also blamed federal regulators with authority over lenders: the
Federal Trade Commission, the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp.
All of the actions taken by his office in the student loan investigation, which covers more than 100 schools, could have been
made by the regulators, Cuomo said.
In the latest developments in the wide-ranging probe, two universities announced Wednesday that financial aid directors
have left their posts. Capella University said it had fired financial aid director Tim Lehmann for violating the online school’s code
Page 876
of business conduct by accepting consulting fees from a student lender, and Widener University of Pennsylvania said financial
aid dean Walter Cathie had retired.
The two had been on administrative leave since Cuomo accused them in April of accepting improper payments from a
lender that they recommended to students.
Cuomo has secured settlements with Citibank, student lender Sallie Mae, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Education
Finance Partners as well as, CIT, which is the parent of Student Loan Xpress, and 25 colleges.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has disputed Cuomo’s criticisms. "Not only are we not asleep at the switch, but we
are very much at the helm and managing our business," Spellings said recently.
Spellings noted that many of the abuses uncovered by Cuomo’s investigation have been in the private student loan
industry, over which her department has no jurisdiction.
In that case, the department should have referred suspected cases of abuse by lenders to the banking regulators, Cuomo
said Wednesday.
Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for the comptroller’s office, said the agency "is following up with national bank lenders to
determine whether they have engaged in any of the unlawful or unethical practices" cited by Cuomo. Many of the largest national
banks that make student loans have signed on to a new code of ethics for college lenders, he said.
Since 2005, the agency has examined nine of the 11 largest student lenders among major national banks, Hubbard said.
Complaints related to national banks’ student loan practices have been a "very small percentage" of total complaints received by
the agency, he said.

Cuomo Urges Stronger Loan Oversight, Widens Probe (BLOOM)


By Matthew Keenan
Bloomberq, June 7, 2007
June 6 (Bloomberg) -- NewYork Attorney General Andrew Cuomo urged the U.S. Congress to step up supervision of
private education lending and said he is widening his investigation of the $85 billion-a-year industry [o examine loan criteria.
Private lending is more subject to abuse because it isn"~ covered by anti-kickback rules in government loan programs,
Cuomo told the U.S. Senate’s banking committee, chaired by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd. Cuomo also said at the
Washington hearing today that lenders may be using improper criteria such as which school borrowers attend to decide whether
to grant a loan.
Dodd is the third congressional committee chairman to review the student-loan industry’s practices. Probes by Senator
Edward Kennedy and Representative George Miller, like Cuomo’s investigation, have found colleges and their financial-aid
officials receiving consulting fees, git~s and stock from lenders their schools recommended to prospective borrowers.
"’The Department of Education was asleep at the switch, but so were the banking regulators, who also must awake and
act," Cuomo, 49, told the committee. He called private lending the "’Wild West" of the student-loan business.
Education-loan providers such as Sallie Mae, the biggest in the U.S., are under scrutiny for providing payments and perks
to colleges and their officials. At the same time, Congress is considering cuts in federal payments for government-backed student
loans [o save money.
Looking for Redlining
Cuomo, a Democrat who took office in January, said today that lenders also may be setting more favorable terms for
students at prestige schools such as Harvard University, compared with students attending historically black institutions.
"’There are civil rights and also legal ramifications," Cuomo told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban
Affairs.
Dodd, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he was concerned "’that some institutions are being, in
effect, redlined."
Education loans may be more susceptible to redlining, the practice of geographical discrimination in lending, because the
field is less regulated and less transparent than the home- mortgage market, Cuomo said.
Sallie Mae, known formally as SLM Corp., bases lending terms in its private-loan programs in par[ on the historic default
rates at schools, Senior Vice President Barry Goulding told the committee.
Varying Rates
In preparation for the hearing, Sallie Mae examined the loan terms of six historically black colleges. The company found
that students at three schools received the lender’s best rate, while those at three other institutions paid between 0.5 percentage
points and 1 percentage point more each year, Goulding said.
"’Obviously I’m not very happy with Sallie Mae’s answer here, when it comes to making decisions raising the cos[ of the
product for some of the students who can least afford it," Dodd told reporters later.
Page 877
Agencies with jurisdiction over private lending include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve,
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission, Cuomo said. The trade commission is examining
complaints of deceptive marketing by student-loan providers, according to a letter from the chairman to Miller last week.
Regulation
"’1 believe this is a place where the federal government can and should act and they already have the jurisdiction," Cuomo
said. "’They chose not to act."
Cuomo said no federal regulator has contacted him about student loans since he started his investigation.
The FDIC, an independent agency of the federal government that insures deposits and monitors risks, will coordinate with
the Education Department and other banking regulators, spokesman Andrew Gray said.
"’The reports of abusive student loan practices are troubling," Gray said.
In conducting his probe, Cuomo has collected $14.3 million from colleges and lenders including Sallie Mae for an
informational campaign and to reimburse students who have taken out loans. At least four university financial-aid directors and
three corporate executives have lost their jobs during the investigations, and others have been placed on leave.
Proposed regulations issued last week by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to restrict certain practices are "’still
inadequate," Cuomo said. The draft rules don"~ require colleges to make decisions on which financial institutions to recommend
based on students’ best interests, he said.
"’They still allow some perks to be dangled in front of financial-aid administrators," Cuomo said.
Cost of Tuition
Executives of Sallie Mae and Bank of America Corp. told the committee they endorse Spellings’ draf~ regulations and a
code of conduct Cuomo devised for education lenders.
The federal government guarantees loans to students and their families through a variety of programs. About 80 percent of
that money is funneled through banks and other private-sector lenders. The government pays the lenders fees and guarantees
repayment of most of the loan value in case of default.
As the cost of tuition has increased, more students and their families have turned to non-guaranteed private loans that
carry higher interest rates not set by the government. Private loans are the fastest-growing part of education lending, increasing
an average of 27 percent a year from 2001 through 2006, according to the College Board.
"’Because private loan rates are not set by Congress and pricing is generally unregulated, the complex array of private loan
products is, to say the least, dizzying," Cuomo said in prepared testimony.
Last year, such loans accounted for $17.3 billion, about 20 percent, of the money parents and families borrowed to cover
college costs, the College Board reported.
Possible Measures
Cuomo’s findings included agreements under which lenders that colleges and universities recommended paid a share of
their revenue to the schools based on the volume of business there. In every case, the improper payments involved private-loan
programs, Cuomo said.
"’There’s clearly a need here for private loans. There’s no question about that," said Dodd, 63, who also serves on
Kennedy’s commi[tee. "’I’m anticipating some action may be necessary."
Congressional measures might include giving federal agencies authority to act and requiring belier disclosure to borrowers
of the terms of their loans, he said.
Page 878

N°nresp°nsiL ........................
From: Reidl, Heidi
Sent: June 07, 2007 8:55 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Taming The Student Loan ’Wild West’ (IHE)

Taming The Student Loan ’Wild West’ (IHE)


By Doug Lederman
Inside H~ June 7, 2007
The market for private student loans has exploded in recent years, fueled by the growing gap between the price of
attending college and the availability of federal grant and subsidized loan funds. And the competition among student loan
companies to provide those non-federal loans, occurring at a time of little or no federal regulation, created an environment in
which some questionable (if not illegal) marketing practices flourished.
That has been one of the starkest conclusions of the student loan controversy that has unfolded over the last three months.
And at a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday, a slew of witnesses - led by New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, whose
own investigation has spurred inquiries in Congress and elsewhere - discussed the private loan market and what if anything
Congress should do to increase oversight of it. Among the issues debated: Looking back, is there more the federal government
should have done to regulate the private loan industry? And going forward, should federal laws or rules be changed to give
federal agencies more authority to regulate the market?
Wednesday’s hearing was the third in Congress in recent weeks about the cascading student loan scandal, and it had a
decidedly different cant from the earlier ones, both of which took place before the House Education and Labor Committee. In late
April, Cuomo testified and, egged on by the panel’s Democratic leaders, cast significant blame on the U.S. Education
Department for having done too little to regulate the student loan industry generally. In mid-May, before the same House panel,
Secretary Margaret Spellings gamely defended the department’s actions and insisted that the agency had regulated as much as
it could given limitations in federal law on its authority- most notably in the realm of private loans.
The venue and themes of Wednesday’s hearing represented a significant shitt. First, the setting was the Senate Banking
Committee, which generally has not had a role in overseeing the student loan programs. And the topic focused not on student
loan practices in general but specifically the private loan industry, which has seen its share of student borrowing growto nearly
20 percent over the last decade, up from 4 percent. The loans are controversial in part because they tend to have higher rates
and less appealing terms than federally backed loans.
There was very little of the partisan bickering that characterized the House hearings. That was partly because of the nature
of the Senate, where gentility (at least feigned, if not real) usually wins out. But it was also because while discussion of the
federal student loan programs almost inevitably treads onto the partisan subject of the government’s two competing programs -
the Democratic-favored direct loan program and the Republican-preferred guaranteed loan program (to risk oversimplifying
greatly) - there is very little disagreement that private loans are problematic.
The overarching theme of the hearing, which was called by its chairman, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), was that while
private loans play a role in meeting that growing gap between college students’ costs and the other kinds of aid available to them
(and are therefore probably inevitable if not necessarily desirable), the federal government has not sufficiently regulated
borrowers’ use of them, and must do so more.
That argument was made by the day’s star witness, Cuomo, who once again received the equivalent of a hero’s welcome
by the Democrats who control the panel (for what it’s worth, he earned a lot of praise from the committee’s Republicans, too). He
recounted practices ("rampant," Cuomo said) uncovered by his investigation that he said showed that loan providers had offered
incentives to college financial aid officials that made them less-than-honest brokers in advising the students who come to them
for advice about which lenders to choose. And he argued that the federal government had enabled those practices by failing to
Page 879
police the private loan industry.
Cuomo, who had lambasted the Education Depaffment in his last visit to Capitol Hill, responded in this one to Spellings’s
argument that her agency had its hands tied (metaphorically)in its ability to crack down on private lenders. If that’s the case, the
New York official said, the department still botched the job because it failed to refer concerns its officials may have had to federal
banking or consumer protection agencies that, he asserted, definitely did have regulatory authority.
’The Education Department said it cannot extend the government’s supervision [over federally guaranteed loans] to the
private loan sector. Then why not refer these actions to the appropriate banking and consumer protection regulators?" Cuomo
asked rhetorically. "It’s clear that the let~ hand didn’t know what the right hand wasn’t doing."
Cuomo insisted that "all of the actions" his office has brought or threatened to bring against lenders and college officials
"could have been brought" under existing federal laws and rules by regulators like the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp., or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. (Bank officials disagree with that assertion, saying
there is no evidence that many of the practices Cuomo has c~iticized - revenue sharing agreements between lenders and
colleges, for instance - are illegal under any federal law. But consumer advocates say that colleges’ failure to tell student
borrowers about deals that might influence their referrals to a lender would violate federal consumer fraud laws.)
Dodd embraced Cuomo’s suggestion that the Senate panel have "some of the regulators come in and talk abo~ what they
feel they have the authority to do," and "pursue them aggressively to get them to do what they have the authority to do." But the
Connecticut senator and others also pressed Cuomo on whether he believed the government needed to toughen its laws and
roles to ensure better oversight of the private loan market. ’q-he question for us is, can you do it under existing regulations and
statutes, or does this Congress need to act to give the agencies additional authority that they claim not to have?" Dodd said.
Cuomo reiterated his belief that the government already had the authority to regulate private loans, but he endorsed
applying to the private loan sector toughened standards that Congress and the Education Department have proposed imposing
on lenders and college officials in the federal loan programs.
The NewYork attorney general also revealed that his office was widening its investigation into private loans by looking at
whether the criteria lenders use to award private loans discriminate against students attending less-wealthy institutions, much as
mortgage lenders are sometimes accused of refusing to give loans to, or gouging, borrowers in poor neighborhoods. ’q-here are
civil rights and legal ramifications," Mr. Cuomo said.
The other panelists who spoke Wednesday - including student advocates and officials from Sallie Mae, Bank of America
and First Marblehead, three dominant players in the private loan industry - took varying stances on how much new regulation or
legislation they thought was necessary. Bank officials generally said they thought that the changes being considered by
Congress now, and included in the code of conduct that Cuomo has promulgated, were more than sufficient, and that greater
transparency and public information about loan rates and terms would go a long way toward protecting borrowers.
But Luke Swarthout, higher education advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, called for much more
extensive changes, including changing personal bankruptcy laws so that private loans are discharged when a borrower enters
bankruptcy.
In a related development Wednesday, two more college financial aid directors lost their jobs stemming from charges made
against them in the loan investigation.
Capella University released a statement saying that Tim Lehmann, its director of financial aid, ’~11 be leaving Capella."
Lehmann is among the financial aid officials who received had received stock or payments from a lender, Student Loan Xpress,
who had appeared on its list of preferred lenders. Capella had placed him on leave in April.
And Widener University acknowledged that its aid director, Walter Cathie, had retired, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Student Loan XPress had paid tens of thousands of dollars to a consulting company Cathie runs, and he had been seen as a
central figure in the spread of private loans.
Page 880

~,~onresponsi L
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 06, 2007 8:41 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, C~thia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Center on Education Policy study- national reports (3 stories)

No Child Left Behind Seems To Be Working (USAT)


Math, Reading Scores Show Rise After Education Law (WT)
Student Test Scores Up Since 2002 (LAT)

No Child Left Behind Seems To Be Working (USAT)


USA Today, June 6, 2007
As Congress prepares to reauthorize the 5-year-old No Child Left Behind education reform law this year, a provocative new
study shows that students seem to be improving in both math and reading - two key goals.
But while kids have improved basic skills virtually across the board, only 13 states have enough data to compare rates of
improvement before and after the law was passed. Of those, nine can claim post-2002 gains greater than those before the law
took effect. Four show that the rate of improvement has slowed since 2002.
The study, released Tuesday by the Washington D.C.-based Center on Education Policy, also shows that achievement
gaps between white and minority students have closed somewhat since 2002.
Center president Jack Jennings cautions against attributing improvements solely to the law. ’You can’t separate out the
effects" of other state efforts, he says. Jennings, a former Democratic staffer for the House education committee, convened a
panel of five testing experts - including two who have been openly critical of the law - to devise a methodology and study data.
Critics f~om both parties say changes are needed. Conservatives say the law intrudes too heavily on local decision-making
abilities; liberals say its annual testing provisions waste precious class time and are unfair to students in low-income areas.
Previous studies have suggested that many schools are spending less time on subjects the law doesn’t test, such as
history and, until recently, science.

Math, Reading Scores Show Rise After Education Law (WT)


By Amy Fagan, The Washington Times
The Washinqton Times, June 6, 2007
A report by the Center on Education Policy released yesterday found that math and reading scores generally have
increased since the No Child Lett Behind Act was implemented -- giving fodder to the administration and lawmakers as they work
to renew the federal law this year.
The report was designed as a comprehensive analysis of data sets from all 50 states, looking at elementary, middle and
high school levels. It was issued while Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and allies on Capitol Hill were trying to renew the
No Child Lett Behind Act of 2002, President Bush’s signature domestic accomplishment.
Mrs. Spellings said the repo~ "confirms that No Child Left Behind has struck a chord of success with our nation’s schools
and students."
Neal McCluskey, education policy analyst at the Cato Institute, disputed Mrs. Spellings’ assertion. "Nothing even
approaching such confirmation can be found in the CEP or any other NCLB report," he said.
Mr. McCluskey said the Center on Education Policy report makes it clear that relatively few states had adequate test data
Page 881
to obtain a clear picture.
"What we don’t know about NCLB’s effects is much greater than what we do know," he said.
The report found that 13 states submitted enough years of data to specifically compare test trends before and after the
federal education act was implemented. Of those states, nine showed greater average yearly test score gains after the federal
law took effect.
In general, the report said, the number of states showing achievement gains since 2002 "is far greateP than the number
showing declines.
The most improvement was found in elementary math, where 37 of the 41 states with such data showed moderate to large
proficiency gains.
The report noted that it’s "very difficult if not impossible" to credit gains directly to No Child Left Behind, because states,
schools and districts simultaneously enacted other policies to boost achievement. It also found that data sometimes were
inadequate.
The report showed a narrowing of achievement gaps among student subgroups. Fourteen of the 38 states with the
necessary data had narrowed the reading gap between white and black subgroups across all three analyzed grade spans. Still,
the report noted that "sizable" gaps often remained.
Despite efforts by the White House and some lawmakers, education analysts and advocates are skeptical about renewal of
the federal education law.
Congressional Democrats who will play key roles in the process were encouraged by the report yesterday but said much
work remains.
’q-his study offers initial evidence that the hard work of teachers, principals and school administrators across the country is
beginning to pay off," said Rep. George Miller, California Democrat and chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.
"Even with this progress, we still have a long way to go to close the academic achievement gap."
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who leads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committee, said the progress.is encouraging but "we must also do better to promote rigor and relevance in America’s
classrooms."

Student Test Scores Up Since 2002 (LAT)


By Howard Blume, Times Staff Writer
The Los Anqeles Times, June 6, 2007
But the improvements aren’t necessarily due to the No Child Lef~ Behind Act, researchers say.
Student achievement nationwide has increased since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, but that
federal law is not necessarily the reason, according to researchers who looked at results from 50 states.
These gains fall well short of the law’s goal of getting all students performing at grade level or better by 2014, said the
report, released Tuesday by the Center on Education Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.
The picture in California is fairly typical: Students’ test scores have improved, but they have far to go, especially to close the
gap that separates white and Asian students from their low-income, Latino or black peers.
The 18-month, nearly $1 -million study attempted to look at data consistently, but information was unevenly available. In
only 13 states - not including California - were researchers able to compare academic gains before and after the law. In nine of
these 13 states, gains were faster atter No Child Left Behind. And "there is more evidence of achievement gaps between groups
of students narrowing since 2002 than of gaps widening. Still, the magnitude of the gaps is often substantial," the researchers
wrote.
The number of fourth-graders who tested "proficient" or better, for example, rose from 39% to 49% in California from 2004
to 2006. But those improved 2006 numbers break down to 73% of Asians, 69% of whites, 37% of blacks, 35% of Latinos and
35% of low-income students. All the numbers were better than 2004, but the achievement gap barely budged.
The researchers claim independence from partisans battling over No Child Left Behind, which is up for reauthorization by
Congress this year. Their only expressed opinion is regarding the need for better, more consistent and more transparent data.
Researchers declined to credit or criticize No Child Lef~ Behind, noting that states and school districts also have been
carrying out their own reforms.
But a statement from federal Education Secretary Margaret Spellings praised the news. "Under President Bush’s
leadership.., in five short years, w’ve seen encouraging results, especially in our elementary schools. Students are making
remarkable gains in reading and math, and the achievement gap that once seemed intractable is now narrowing in many of our.
nation’s schools." She added: "Now is the time to reauthorize" the law.
In an earlier interview, Spellings said the law had pushed many states to take meaningful measurement of student learning
Page 882
and compelled schools to address the achievement gap.
Even so, at this pace, thousands of schools will fall well short of the law’s 2014 full proficiency target.
Critics say the law is undefended, overly punitive and unrealistic in its goals.
Some changes are in order, said California Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. "1 strongly agree with the goals of No
Child Lef~ Behind," he said, but the federal rules give "no credit for even significant gains in achievement by students who have
not yet reached the high bar of proficiency.
"Also, because state standards vary widely, states such as California that expect more of their students are more likely to
fall short of the federal accountability goal, while states that held lower expectations may appear to be doing better. That is both
misleading and unfair."

howard.blume@latimes.com
Page 883

Nonresponsi L__
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 06, 2007 8:41 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, C~nthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gare, Cassie;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Higgins, Kristan; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers,
Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane,
Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; O’Daniel, Meagan; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie;
Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Kansas City Regional Higher Ed Summit Stories (2)

Spellings Outlines Higher Education Proposals (AP)


By Caryn Grant
The AP, June 6, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- College applicants seeking federal financial aid otten search through a dizzying array of Web sites,
toll-free phone numbers and government programs - a system labeled by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on Tuesday as
"a mess."
Spellings, in Kansas City for a summit on higher education, highlighted her proposals to improve college access,
affordability and accountability in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The Act has been eligible for renewal since
2003 and is set to be addressed by Congress later this month.
’q-co many Americans are being left behind at a time when it has never been more important to have post-secondary
education," Spellings said. "Our competitive economy is making new and greater demands every day."
Spellings said that by 2012 there will be an estimated 3 million more jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree and there won’t be
enough graduates to fill the positions.
The issues begin on the elementary and secondary education levels, Spellings said, where "too many of our high schools
are failing to provide students adequate preparation for college or for the workplace."
Through the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, school districts are working to better align high school
coursework with the expectations of college and the work force after that, she said.
Spellings also called on Congress to enact President Bush’s call for the largest Pell Grant increase in 30 years. The
increase would raise the annual grant to $4,600 next year and $5,400 over the next ~ve years from the current $4,050, she said.
Spellings is proposing $25 million to expand a program aimed at helping states and institutions collect and analyze college
student data. That information would be made available to parents and students so they can make better decisions about where
to attend school.
Undersecretary Sara Martinez Tucker said pilot programs are in progress in Kentucky, Minnesota and Florida. The states
are attempting to create consumer-friendly Web databases "to test what information consumers - particularly low-income and
nontraditional students - what information they need to see," she said.

Shake-up I.n Higher Education Pushed (KCStar)


By MARA ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star, June 6, 2007
Cabinet member, in visit to KC, says she wants college to be more accessible, affordable.
The nation’s top education official on Tuesday called for changes in the federal Higher Education Act to help more people
attend college.
In an appearance in Kansas City, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings outlined her plan for larger federal grants to
help pay for college, simplified federal financial assistance forms, increased enrollment in high school advanced-placement
courses and measuring what college students learn.
She said the Education Department also would push Congress for a $25 million pilot program to create a database to help
all types of college students design their postsecondary plans. The department also will create a blueprint for removing barriers
to transferring college credits to other institutions.
Page 884
The current Higher Education Act of 1998, Spellings said, is focused mainly on money - and howto spend it.
’tAt a minimum, the new bill should be more comprehensive, addressing access and accountability, as well as affordability,"
she said.
Spellings visited Kansas City to talk with education, civic and business leaders, and politicians from 13 states at a regional
summit held to address ways to strengthen higher education.
The Kansas City meeting was the first of lye to be held around the country. Others will be in Boston, Atlanta, Phoenix and
Seattle.
The summit series is a continuation of what Spellings sfarted in 2005 when she formed the bipartisan Commission on the
Future of Higher Education and opened a national dialogue on making college more affordable and more accessible to more
Americans.
Spellings’ commission found several problems that the nation should address to improve higher education. Among them:
¯ Aligning high schools’ curriculums with what colleges expect students to know.
¯Providing underserved populations, such as minorities and low-income students, with easier access to college.
,Making college more affordable.
The ultimate goal of this effort, Spellings said, is to create a better-educated work force and improve the country’s
competitive position in the global marketplace.
’tA lot of teaching of the public needs to go on about what is at stake, because only about a third of Americans have a
college education and about two-thirds ought to," Spellings said, to address the needs of the 21 st-century economy.
Reginald Robinson, president of the Kansas Board of Regents, said Spellings’ message was "strong and positive. She
recognizes how vital access to some postsecondary education is if we are going to remain competitive and maintain the quality
of life we have in this country."
One point of tension in her message, he said, is talk of moving toward holding colleges and universities accountable for
what students learn.
College and university officials, Robinson said, "are not afraid of accountability. They welcome measuring student learning
outcomes. They are nervous that it could be done in a wrong way."
In her proposal, announced at the H&R Block world headquarters downtown, Spellings said she wanted Congress to enact
President Bush’s request to raise the maximum Pell grant allowed from $4,050 to $4,600 next year and to $5,400 over the next
five years. Pell grants help low-income students pay college costs.
And she proposes that people be able to apply for such grants anytime during the year to accommodate adults going to
school and juggling other life responsibilities.
Spellings criticized the cumbersome federal financial aid application process, calling it "redundant, confusing, Byzantine
and broken.., a maze of 60 Web sites, dozens of toll-free numbers and 17 different programs."
To deal with obstacles that make transferring college credits difficult, Spellings proposes bringing together state education
officials with university leaders to establish an easier credit transfer process.
"Every year, millions of students who attempt to transfer are forced to spend more money and time repeating coursework,"
Spellings said, wasting billions of dollars. "The most costly education is one not begun.., or the one you have to pay for twice."
To contact Mar~ Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send e-mail to mdwilliams@kcstar.com
Page 885

Nonresponsi ¯

: June 06, 2007 6:32 AM


To: Warder, Larry; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg,
Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dodman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise;
Eve-s, Bill; Gribble, Emily; Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Moran,
Robert; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc;
Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: New Study Finds Gains Since No Child Lef~ Behind (NYT)

June 6, 2007
New Study Finds Gains Since No Child Left Behind

By SAM DILLON
Student achievement has increased and test score gaps between white students and black and
Hispanic students l~ve narrowed in many states since President Bush signed the No Child
Left Behind law in 2002, according to a new survey of state scores in reading and math.

But the study, released yesterday by the Center on Education Policy, an independent
Washington group that closely monitors the la~, cautioned that "it is difficult if not
impossible to determine the extent to which these trends in test results have occurred
because of N.C.L.B."

"In most states with three or more years of comparable test data, student achievement in
reading and math has gone up since 2002," the study found, even as it warned repeatedly
against concluding that the federal law alone produced the results.

In the decade before the law was passed, many states had adopted policies aimed at raising
achievement, like broadening access to early childhood programs, that could also be
responsible for gains.

The study also acknowledged that the increases in achievement recorded by many state tests
had not been matched by results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress,
nationwide reading and math tests administered by the federal Department of Education.

Those results bmve been mixed. For example, on the national tests given in 2005, fourth-
grade math scores showed an important increase over the previous test administration in
2003, and eighth-grade ~ath scores rose slightly. But fourth-grade reading scores were the
same on the nationwide test in 2005 as in 2002, and eighth-grade reading scores declined.

Despite its caveats, the new report is likely to be closely studied as Congress debates
whether to reauthorize the law this year, partly because the report may be the most
comprehensive study of state test scores in many years. The law is widely considered
President Bush’s most important domestic policy achievement.
"This study confirms that No Child Left Bel~nd has struck a chord of success with our
nation’s schools and students," Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said yesterday.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, who worked closely with the
administration on the law, said the report "proves tl~at the goals at the heart of the No
Child Left Behind Act -- a dedication to accountability and standards, a colmmitment to
closing the achievement gap and a pledge to improve public schools ~ are still the right
ones for moving America forward."

Merely collecting the test data from 50 states proved to be a complex and frustrating task
because n~ny states’ education departments are overworked and their test archives are
flawed by missing or inconsistent data, the report said. "The house of data on which
N.C.L.B. is built is at times a rickety structure," it said.

Those and other limitations notwithstanding, Jack Jennings, the center’s president, said
Page 886
state test scores "remain a more accurate barometer of what kids know" than the r~tional
assessment, often referred to as the NAEP (pronounced nape).

"The NAEP shouldn’t be taken as the gold standard,"


Mr. Jer~nings said.

Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has
compared state and federal achievement scores, said the report "displays methodological
weaknesses which lead to exaggerated inferences" about student progress.

In analyzing state scores, the researchers who carried out the study did not consider all
recent data from all states because, the report said, new tests and other factors in some
states made it impossible to compare scores from one year with others. But Professor
Fuller said the researchers appeared to have eliminated testing periods in some states
that showed predominantly falling scores after 2002.

"It’s like calculating the annual rate of economic growth over the past century after
excluding the Great Depression years," Professor Fuller said. "It upwardly biases their
estimate of annual growth in test scores."

Robert L. Linn, an education professor emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder


and a frequent critic of the law, served on a panel of five prominent testing and
educational policy experts who advised the center on the study.

"I was a little surprised that things were generally as positive as they were, so it may
be that I would say that N.C.L.B. is contributing more positively than I had given it
credit for," Professor Linn said. But he urged readers to pay attention to the report’s
mmny caveats.

"The reason for all the caveats is that it is impossible to reach the conclusion that if
scores go up, it is because of N.C.L.B.," he said. "There are so many other factors that
could lead to rising scores, including state efforts to raise achievement, and also, some
of these gains may be artificial. So my worry is that people who come at it and don’t read
the caveats will come away with an exaggerated impression."

Laura S. H~lilton, a senior behavioral scientist for the Rand Corporation who also served
on the panel of experts, said, "Most people want to know if N.C.L.B.
as a policy has resulted in improved student achievement," but added, "It’s a question
that isn’t answerable." She explained, "To test whether some policy is effective, you’d
want to compare what happened under that policy to what would have happened if the policy
hadn’t been enacted, and we can’t do that with N.C.L.B. because all public schools in the
nation were subject to its provisions."

Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.
http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch?refer=lONXIC
Page 887

June 06, 2007 6:05 AM


To: Warder, Larry; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg,
Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise;
Evers, Bill; Gribble, Emily; Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Moran,
Robert; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc;
Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Su~t: Reading, math scores up since NCLB, report says (AP)

Reading, math scores up since NCLB, report says

June 6, 2007
By Nancy Zuckerbrod Associated Press

WASH~GTON -- Students are doing better on state reading and math tests since the No Child
Left Behind Act was enacted five years ago, according to a report Tuesday.

Students made the most progress on elementary-school math tests, according to the report
by the Center on Education Policy, a natiorml nonprofit policy group.

The report focused on states where trend data are available. Some states have changed
tests in recent years, making it impossible to compare year-to-year results.
Moderate to large gains were found in 37 of the 41 states with trend data on the
percentage of kids hitting the proficient mark on elementary-school math tests. None of
the states showed comparable declines.

A goal of the No Child Left Behind law is for all kids to be proficient in reading and
math, or working on grade level, by 2014.

Another goal is to narrow achievement gaps between children from low-income families and
wealthier ones and between minorities and white students. The new report found achievement
gaps have narrowed since the law was passed.

Specifically, the study foi~d in 14 of 38 states with relevant trend data, gaps narrowed
on the reading tests between black and white students at the elementary and secondary
levels. No state reported a comparable widening of the gap.

In math, a dozen states showed a narrowing of the racial achievement gap at the elementary
and secondary grade levels. Only Washington state showed a widening of that gap.

Results were generally similar for Hispanic and low-income groups, according to the
report.

Just 13 states had enough data to examine ~hether the pace at which students improved has
quickened since No Child Left Behind was enacted.

In nine of those states students improved at a greater rate after 2002 than before:
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington
and Wyoming.

In the other four states -- Delaware; Massachusetts, Oregon and Virginia -- gains were
greater before 2002 than afterward. One possible explanation is that more students, such
as those with disabilities or immigrants, were included in NCLB-era tests but not in the
earlier ones, according to the researchers.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the study shows No Child Left Behind is
working, but the report itself doesn’t assign credit to the law for the improvements made.
It states that other state and local initiatives have taken place during the s~ne period
Page 888
that might deserve some of the credit.

"You can’t tease out the effects of any one of the reform efforts, because they all
overlap on one another," said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy.

Ross Wiener, vice president for program and policy at Education Trust, a group that
advocates for poor and minority children, said he saw good news in the study.
"These trends are encouraging. There’s something to celebrate that’s going on in our
schools," he said.
The rigor of tests varies from state to state, according to Bruce Fuller, a professor of
education and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

He said states generally set the proficiency bar low, since schools face tough
consequences R such as having to fire teachers or administrators -- if their students do
poorly on the tests.

But Jennings said California, Massachusetts and Florida are examples of states with high
standmrds.

Jern%ings and Fuller agreed some of the gain~ may reflect what teachers are focusing on in
their classrooms.
"The teachers teach to the test, and that’s a rational response by classroom teachers
under pressure to raise scores," Fuller said.

On the Net:
Center on Education Policy: http: /wm~.cep-dc.org/

Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative vehicles. Visit the Yahoo!
Auto Green Center.
http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center/
Page 889

lNonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 05, 2007 8:31 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pltts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: San Antonio TIF grant stories (2)

Charter School District Wins $684,000 (SAENewsTX)


Education Department Awards $3.2 Million Grant To School Of Excellence (SABJrnl TX)

Charter School District Wins $684,000 (SAENewsTX)


By Michelle M. Martinez
San Antonio Express-News, June 5, 2007
San Antonio’s largest charter school district has won a $684,000 federal grant to launch a pay system that rewards
teachers based on their students’ academic performance.
The oversized check, presented Monday to the School of Excellence in Education by a U.S. Department of Education
official and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, came with a promise of more money - a total of $3.2 million over five years - if
Congress continues to fund the grant program, called the Teacher Incentive Fund.
The fund, separate from similar programs operated by the state, is designed to boost academic performance among the
nation’s poorest and minority students by giving schools with high numbers of those students the means to attract qualified,
experienced teachers.
In addition to giving educators bonuses based on student performance, the School of Excellence in Education charter
district will use the money to boost salaries for math and science teachers with the hope of luring qualified educators to those
hard-to-fill positions.
"We knowthat nationwide our most experienced and qualified teachers are far more likely to be found in affluent schools
and affluent communities, but (in) high-poverty middle and high schools, only half of math teachers majored or minored in the
subjects they’re teaching," said David Dunn, chief of staff to U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
Dunn and Cornyn presented Superintendent Ricky Hooker with an oversized check at Rick Hawkins High School, one of
six campuses in the charter district.
The district was one of two Texas institutions and 18 nationwide to receive a piece of the $38 million the federal
government awarded in a second round of Teacher Incentive Fund money. In all, Congress appropriated $99 million in incentive
~.~nding. Last week, the University of Texas System was awarded a $1.4 million grant.
Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools open to all students. The state gives charters more leeway than traditional
public schools with the hope that more innovation, coupled with the competition charters create, will improve education.
They are funded by the state based on student attendance and do not receive additional money to pay for facilities.
Hooker said everyone, from the custodian to administrators, will have a shot at extra cash next year, depending on how
well students do on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
Everyone at the school, he said, plays a role in student success. But teachers will also be able to earn additional money
based on how far along they bring struggling students and whether they accomplish professional goals.
"We have people on our statf that work from their heart, and sometimes it breaks my heart not to,be able to compensate
them correctly," Hooker said.
Hooker is the public face of~he charter school system, which enrolled about 2,400 students last year.
His appearance on morning television ads promoting the school seems to be working- a seventh campus is scheduled to
Page 890

open in the fall, and Hooker said he recently received permission from the state to open an additional three schools by 2009.
The charter district’s annual budget is about $I 7 million.
The idea of paying some educators based on how well they do in the classroom, as opposed to their years of experience,
isn’t new. But it’s a controversial idea that has been gaining momentum in recent years in light of the increased educational
standards imposed by the federal No Child Le~ Behind Act of 2002.
Earlier this year, four San Antonio schools rejected incentive funding under a similar state program for fear it would divide
the campus and n.iin teamwork.
But Valade Walker, principal at Burch Elementary School in the School of Excellence in Education chaffer district, said
she’s happy about the federal funding.
"It’s just awesome to be able to add just a little something," she said. "They’re going to spend it all back in the classroom anyway,
most of them. But to be able to do that is awesome."

Education Department Awards $3.2 Million Grant To School Of Excellence (SABJrnl TX)
San Antonio Business Journal, June 5, 2007
The School of Excellence in Education in San Antonio will benefit from a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the U.S.
Depaffment of Education to provide financial incentives for principals and teachers who improve student achievement in high-
poverty schools.
The Education Department’s Chief of Staff David Dunn joined U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in making the award to the
char~er school.
’This funding is used to encourage school districts and states to develop and implement innovative performance-based
compensation systems that reward teachers and principals for raising student achievement and for taking positions in high-need
schools. The initiative helps our children and it works," Comyn says.
The School of Excellence in Education, which meets at several campuses throughout the city, will use the grant to recruit
qualified teachers to six schools in high-poverty areas. This grant will support 2,300 students in San Antonio.
The grant will focus on recruiting teachers for hard-to-staff subjects like math, science and special education.
The School of Excellence in Education will receive $684,373 of the grant for the initial year of the program. Dunn presented
the award on behalf of U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
"If we expect results for every child, as we do with No Child Le~ Behind, then we must support teachers who get the job
done in America’s toughest classrooms," Spellings says.
’These grants will help encourage our most effective teachers to work in challenging schools where they can make a real
difference in the lives of young people," she says.
The grant is part of President Bush’s Teacher Incentive Fund program -- which provides compensation for teachers and
principals where at least 30 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch.
Page 891

Nonresponsiv
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 05, 2007 8:28 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pttts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Spellings In Push To Boost College Access (FT)

Spellings In Push To Boost College Access (FT)


By Rebecca Knight
Financial Times., June 5, 2007
Margaret Spellings, the US secretary of education, will today recommend reforms to increase the access to, and
affordability of, America’s colleges and universities, as Congress prepares to renew the Higher Education Act later this month.
"Higher education has gone from a ’nice to have’ to a ’must have’ [credential] in this global economy," said Ms Spellings, in
an interview with the Financial Times. "You hear that American higher education is the finest in the world today, but I wonder will
it be the finest in the future? If we keep doing the same things were always done, the answer is: no."
Ms Spellings has come under fire recently from the NewYork State attorney-general and members of Congress over
conflicts of interest in the student loan industry. Some colleges and college officials have allegedly taken kickbacks and giEs from
lenders in return for steering borrowers their way.
On Friday, the Department of Education- which has been accused of careless oversight of the programmes - issued a set
of proposed changes that would create stringent regulations for the use of preferred-lender lists and spell out what constitutes a
"prohibited inducement" under federal law.
’qhe system is broken from top to bottom," said Ms Spellings. "It’s complex, it’s Byzantine and it’s un-user friendly. It makes
the home-buying process look easy. It’s all the things that go against making college affordable."
Over the next two weeks, Ms Spellings will attend six regional higher education summits around the US, laying out her
agenda. "We’re losing ground every year on affordability and completion," she said.
"We have to make sure kids - particularly poor and minority students - are getting o~ of high school ready to be successful
in higher education."
One of Ms Spellings’ proposals is to increase the accountability of primary and secondary education by putting more
emphasis on maths and science competencies.
She will also call for greater transparency on completion rates in high schools, as well as "information about the productivity
of our higher education institutions".
"You can find out a heck of a lot about the football record at Notre Dame, but not very much with respect to its academic
output," she said.
"We need more information about the value-added nature of higher education, and we need to know howwell we are
serving our customers."
Ms Spellings said she was committed to making higher education more affordable. The Department of Education recently
launched a new forecaster tool to give high school juniors early notification of their potential financial aid eligibility for college.
Page 892

Nonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: June 05, 2007 8:28 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerd; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfrnan, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; VVilliams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Education Official Visits KC (KCStar)

Education Official Visits KC (KCStar)


By MAR,& ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star, June 5, 2007
Sara Martinez Tucker is in town to discuss ways that more students can attend college.
Getting more and better-educated students through college and into the work force just might take a village.
U.S. Undersecretary of Education Sara Martinez Tucker is visiting Kansas City this week and talking to students,
educators, and civic and business leaders about what Missouri and Kansas are doing to prepare more high school graduates for
college, keep tuition costs down, and provide scholarships and grants for poor students.
They also will talk about what more can be done and the best ways to do it.
Tucker made several stops on Monday, at the University Academy Charter School in Kansas City, the University of
Missouri-Kansas City and The Kansas City Star, where she talked with the newspaper’s editorial board.
"So much of what has to happen has to happen outside of the federal government," she told the editorial board.
The federal government’s role, she said, might be to shine a light on the problem and let state and local institutions come
up with solutions.
’There can’t be a prescriptive answer from the federal government," Tucker said. ’There is a role for each of us and a
shared responsibility.., to commit to work together.., to ensure that higher education remains the way to a better life for more
Americans."
Tucker’s visit is part of a multistate tour during which she and her staff at the U.S. Department of Education intend to talk
up the importance of postsecondary education in providing a more educated work force and improving the country’s competitive
position in the global marketplace.
The tour continues what Education Secretary Margaret Spellings started in 2005 when she formed the bipartisan
Commission on the Future of Higher Education and opened a national dialogue on the issue.
Spellings’ report identified several problems that need fixing to improve higher education: aligning high schools’ curricula
with what colleges expect students to know, providing underserved populations such as minorities and poor students with better
access to college, and making college affordable for the poor.
Tucker will lead a regional summit in Kansas City today at which politicians, business and civic leaders, philanthropists,
students, educators and others from 13 states will begin coming up with ways this region might address problems.
Spellings is expected to speak to the gathering during the summit, which is not open to the public.
On Monday afternoon at UMKC, education officials and civic leaders met with Tucker and talked about programs on both
sides of the state line. The programs are designed to do a better job preparing children for kindergarten, encourage more
students to study math and science in high school, train teachers to work in urban schools, increase financial assistance for poor
students, and convince more of the business community to get involved in supporting higher education.
’This is a huge work force issue," said Guy Bailey, UMKC’s chancellor, adding that it’s everyone’s problem.
To reach Ma~ Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send e-mail to mdwilliams@kcstar, com.
Page 893

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY


June3,2007

1. Clarence Page: The president’s spin doctor for schools (DMN)


2. Partnering might help rural schools (CNO)
3. Why are so many students adng some SOL tests? (VP)
4. Does NCLB Create Unfair Haying Ndd?
5. Let children be children; Is your 5-yor-old stressed out because so much is
ex pected?

1. Clarence Page: The president’s spin doctor for schools


Spellings’ role as a communicator often more important than her credentials as an
educator
Dallas Morning Nexvs
June 2, 2007

It was the day before she would appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose host
is a lmown liberal critic of the Bush administration. But in an interview in her office,
Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling~ put a happy face on it.

"This completes my pop culture trifecta," she said.


Indeed. she recently attended a taping of American Ido! and last fall made history as the
first sitting Cabinet secretary to appear on Jeopardy. She also became the first education
secretary to lose on Jeopardy. She lost to actor Ivlichael McKear~ best known as Lenny
on the old Laverne and Shirley television show. The loss provided ample fodder for her
detractors.

Ms. Spell~gs says she agreed to do The Daily Show several months ago at the urging of
her two daughters. It just happened to come at an awkward time for her department.
Congress is investigating conflict-of-interest complaints involving the federal student
loan program and the Bush administration’s Reading First program.
You lmow those loans that students increasingly need in order to pay for college? When
choosing a lender, many students rely on the "preferred" status list offered by their
college or tmiversity. Now federal and state regulators say some of the lenders in the $85
billion industry earned their preferred status thanks to kickbacks that they offered to the
schools.

Reading First, a key $1 billion-a-year reading program in President Bush’s 2002 No Child
Left Behind education reform, is alleged to have given preferential treatment to materials
favored by top advisers who also had their own reading textbooks or tests to sell. Much
of this happened before Ms. Spellings took over in early 2005, but congressional critics
are accusing her of failing to take action to investigate and clear up the alleged conflicts.
Page 894

Such a difference a Democratic-controlled Congress makes. Were it not for the Bush
administration’s bigger headline-making headaches over the firing of U.S. attorneys, Ms.
Spellings’ depamnent might well be getting alot more attention these days.

The irony of the Reading First controversy is that, regardless of the allegations, reading
scores for students in the program have dramatically improved. The percentage of first-
graders ~vho met or exceeded proficiency standards on reading fluency grew from 43
percent to 57 percent in a study of 2004 to 2006, and thJ_rd-graders who improved grew
from 35 percent to 43 percent.

Ms. Spellings’ role as a communicator - getting the information out about successes -
actually is more important in many ways than her credentials as an educator. She
acknowledged in a congressional hearing that she lacks an education degree. She has a
bachelors degree in political science andjottmalism from the University of Houston, and
her only formal classroom experience was as an uncertified substitute teacher in Texas.

But, as she showed in our interview and on The Daily Show, she speaks up forcefully for
a large group that too o/ten feels shortchanged in school debates: the parents.

I laid on her my biggest complaint about standardized tests: Doesn’t every child learn
differently?

"Yes, but I think sometimes that’s used as an excuse for masking underachievement."

Then she got personal: "I’ll tell you what, Clarence .... I’ve yet to meet a parent who didn’t
want their kid to be reading at anything less than grade level - this year! Not in 2014 [the
goal year set by the administration for closing that academic achievement gaps]. This
year! And that’s not an unreasonable expectation for parents to have of their schools and
their kids."

Many parents have learned the hard way ~vhat President Bush means when he speaks of
"the soft bigotry of low expectations," especially for minority students. Many schools and
teachers perform magnificently, but too often the system rewards mediocre teachers and,
in effect, punishes those who are willing to put extra effort into their job. The Bush
administration’s pay incentives for high-performing teachers and principals move in the
right direction.

I’m still skeptical of emphasizing tests too much. But we all need to set goals in life, and
we need good yardsticks for progress. That’s as good a lesson as any for Margaret
Spellings to teach. No joke.

Clarence Page is a Chicago Tribune columnist. His e-mail address is cpage@


tribune.com.

2. Partnering might help rural schools


Page 895

Charlotte News & Observer


By- Marti Maguire
June 2, 2007

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings xdsited Cary Academy on Friday as part
of anational tour leading up to the expected reauthorization of the federal No Child Left
Behind Act later this year. Here are excerpts of her interview with staff writer Marti
Maguire. To hear more, go online to www.newsobserver.com.
Q: What made you choose to come here, aprivate school?

A: [Cary Academy] is a true laboratory of innovation, particularly in the use of


technology. They feel part of their missionis to help develop practices that can be shared
and used not only here but in the public sector as wel! .... These divisions between private
and public schools are really blurring.

Q: You spoke today with school officials about the importance of math, science,
technology and engineering education. But North Carolina schools are facing a severe
shortage of qualified math and science teachers, particularly in more rural areas. What
can be done about that?

A: We can use technology, of course, to expand and broaden the flo~v of expertise so that
a teacher here at Cary Academy might be partnering with a rural school district and,
through technology, getting additional teaching help more broadly expanded. The other
thing we can dois to start to use resources in our commtmities beyond just the traditional
teaching core. You have many fine universities in this state. Why don’t we find ways for
those folks to come into our public schools?

Q: North Carolina students have. shown essentially no improvement on state tests since
the first year No Child Left Behind act went into effect. How can NCLB deliver on its
promise of closing the achievement gap?

A: One of the things that’s been so important about NCLB is that ~ve have brought real
data to bear about the status of our schools. Who’s being left behind? Who isn’t? Where
are the schools that are challenging what the president calls the "soft bigotry of low
expectations"? Going back to the ostrich approach of burying our heads in the sand,
putting the money out and hoping for the best is the wrong direction Obviously, we need
to pickup the pace. We need to confront those facts. But when I look at the North
Carolina data. in some very key ways, we are really making progress. We’re making
progress in the white-black achievement gap in reading in grades three and four and six
and seven. North Carolina is one of the leaders on Advanced Placement, really double the
national average on the opportunity that kids have to take rigorous coursework.

Q: I saw you on "Jeopardy!" when you lost to Michael McKean, the actor who played
Lenny on ’%averne and Shirley."
A: That was his third time on the showy, not to be bitter. And it’s all about the buzzer.
Page 896

3. Why are so many students acing some SOL tests?


The Vir~ nian-Hlot
June 3, 2007
By Amy Jetter

Last spring, 50 third-graders took the history Standards of Learniug exam at Norfolk’s
Dreamkeepers Academy at J.J. Roberts Elementary School.

More than half of them received a 600, the highest score possible.

Miles away in Chesapeake, the same thing happened at Southeastern Elementary School:
56 percent of the third-graders aced the test. And across the state, 1 in 5 students did.

Perfect scores were far less common in other subjects, such as math and English. In
science, fe~ver than 6 percent of students taking the tests in the state earned the highest
score.

Educators said students’ success in history showed how well Virginia’s standards are
being taught and learned. Others wondered whether the tests are too easy.
"The obvious question," said Steve Dunbar, an education professor at the University of
Iowa, "is, Are kids in tNrd grade in Virginia really better in social studies than anything
else?"

When the Standards of Learning exams were designed in the late 1990s, little thought
was given to h~v many students should be acing them.

In the traditional bell curve - what statisticians call a "normal distribution" of scores -
most students would be inthe middle of the range. About 2.5 percent would receive the
highest mark.

But Virginia’s standardized tests are not graded on a curve. They’re supposed to gauge
how well students know the Standards of Learning, and the hope is that as many students
as possible are proficient.

"The more kids who are getting the perfect score, the better," said Doris Redtield, an
education consultant who headed the Virginia Depamnent of Education’s assessment and
reporting division in the late 1990s.

Before the SOLs are given, a scale is set that links each possible number of correct
answers to a score. The scale changes slightly each year when test questions change.

A 600 means the student missed either zero, one or two questions, depending on the test.
On the elementary science tests last year, students needed to be perfect. On the history
tests, they could miss one or two.
Page 897

While 600s sound impressive, principals, administrators and state officials are most
concerued with pass rates - the percentage of students scoring 400 or above. Pass rates
are important in determining ~vhether a school is accredited by the state and whether it
meets academic goals under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The Virginia Department of Education doesn’t routinely report the actual scores received
on the SOL tests. At the request of The Virginian-Pilot, officials released the number of
600s on all SOL tests in 2005-06 and the scores of all tests taken by third- and fifth-
graders in South Hampton Roads.

Usually when a series of tests is developed, the scoring patterns tend to be the same from
subject to subject, said the University of Iowa’s Dunbar.
The number of Virginia students who passed history and science was similar, with the
rates each at about 90 percent for third-graders and at about 85 percent for filth-graders.
But the difference in the number of perfect scores was much more pronounced. So was
the variation in students scoring "pass/advanced" - a 500 or above. In third grade, 57
percent earned that score on history coml:~red with 40 percent for science; in filth grade,
it was 45 percent for history and 23 percent for science.

There are two disadvantages when lots of students earn the highest score on a test.
Teachers can’t determine the finer details of what students haven’t learned, and there’s no
room left to improve.

"If you’re getting kids who are close to the ceiling or hitting the ceiling, they have
nowhere to go," said Brace Bracken, an education professor at The College of William
and Mary.

Students haven’t always sailed through the SOL history exams.

In the early years, scores were so low in several grade levels that in 2001 the Virginia
Board of Education took the unusual step of lowering the number of questions that
students neededto answer correctly to pass some of the tests. Ttmt included the filth-
grade exam.

"The one thing we’ve always heard is the history tests are too hard," said Charles Pyle, a
spokesman for the VirginiaDepa~tment of Education.

The tests were l~sed on standards from 1995, which required elementary students to
know the basics of economics, geography, civics and history. Before, they had started out
learning about family and community, then eased into state, national and world history.
Page 898

Teachers felt that the SOL tests covered too much ground in one year and that the
standards were unclear.
When the state’s history and social science standards came up for a seven-year review in
2001, committees consisting mostly of teachers recommended a rewire of the
curriculum. Among their suggestions: pare back the information covered.

By 2003-04, the entire test had been changed to meet those new standards.
Historically, scores have dropped in the first year or so of new or revised tests.

But that year, the percentage of perfect scores in third-grade Iffstoryjumped to 16 percent
from 2.6 percent. For fifth-graders, the number increased to 9 percent from 2.4 percent.
State officials say that doesn’t mean the tests are too easy.

"There were some legitimate concerns that had to be addressed about the teachability of
the standards," Pyle said. "Our history and social studies teachers are finding that the
2001 standards are teachable. They’re rigorous, but they’re teachable."

The new tests feature more dear-cut questions and more illustrations, some teachers said.
The ans~ver options for the multiple-choice tests often include at least one that seems
implausible.

Patty Costis, a teacher at Dreamkeepers, approved of the changes.

"The tests were meant to be broad strokes of the genera! knowledge instead ofjust these
individual details," Costis said. "Not, ~Do you remember a line, minute detail of first
grade, second quarter?.’ "
Educators said the large number of high scores last year could be due to the age of the
test.

"Once the test has been out for a while, you have years and years to perfect what you do -
with the instruction, with the strategies, just equipping the students with the knowledge,"
said Patricia S. Williams, principal of Westhaven Elementary in Portsmouth.

At Dreamkeepers, Principal Doreatha White has score improvement down to a science.


She identifies which concept tripped up her students the most in each subject area and has
her teachers include lessons on that concept every week.

In history, tiffs years concept is geography. Maps of the ~vorld in glitter, paint and
colored pencil line the hallways, and students inside the classrooms constantly drill the
names of oceans and continents.
Page 899

"We don’t wait until 1anuary to start test preparation," White said. "We start in
September."

In nine years, the elementary-level science SOL tests have never been significantly
revised.

Elementary students don’t seem to have trouble passing the exams, yet the percentage of
perfect scores statewide has rem~ned relatively !o~w. 5.4 percent for third graders last
year and 2.3 percent for fitlh graders.

Why is it harder for students to ace this test?

It could be the type of questions. Science tends to require problem-solving rather than
fact memorization.

In an example from last years exam, third-graders were given four pictures of animals on
a seesaw and asked, "Which of these shows that the toy cow is lighter than the toy
horse?"
Fifth-graders were shown four pictures and asked ~vhich depicted the type of cloud that
would most likely be seen dining a thunderstorm.

"They have to know the concept, and they have to be able to apply it," said Ashanda
Bickham, a teacher at Norfolk’s Chesterfield Academy of Math, Science and Technology.
"It’s a higher level of thinldng."

Some teachers, such as Bickham, must also figure out how to relay science concepts to
students who have weak reading skills.

She solved the problem by chucking the thick textbooks. Instead, she uses work sheets
from a prepared curriculttm to help students create an "interactive notebook."

The children paste paragraphs and pictures into a spiral notebook in which they also write
notes and draw pictures. Bickham walks the students through the texts, asking
increasingly difficult questions.

Said fourth-grader Lytaja Brown, "You get to draw what it’s about, and it stays in your
head."
More hands-on activities and lessons that promote inqttiry will help students improve in
science, said P~mla Klonowski, a science specialist with the Virginia Department of
Education.

More time in class ~vould also help, teachers say.


Page 900

The most common complaint from elementary teachers is they don~ have enough time in
their schedules to teach science effectively, Klonowsld said.
Costis, at Dreamkeepers Academy, said sdence lessons require more supervision from
teachers and o/ten can’t be intezrupted.

"To have enough time to set up and put down a fall-blown science experiment," she said,
"you’re kind of up a creek."
Additionally, teacher training programs sometimes give sho~t shril[ to science, said
Veronica Haynes, Norfolk’s senior coordinator for the subject.
"I think they’re afraid of science," she said, "and all the hands-on that comes with doing
science education."

Virginia’s standards in U.S. history and ~vorld history have been rated highly by the
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washington think tank.

Standards aren’t necessarily linked to test scores, though. In Georgia, another state with
solid ratings, 120,166 third-graders took the state’s standardized social studies test last
year, andjnst 43 received the highest marlc

Virginia has the chance to revise the history and social science guidelines - and possibly
change the tests -tNs year, as they come up for review again. The science standards,
which also drewpraise from the Fordham Foundation, are up for review in 2010.

Pyle said the history and social science standards are unlikely to change a lot, given the
overhaul in 2001.

Mark Emblidge, president of the state B oard of Education, said scores are one of many
factors considered when standards are reviewed. Ultimately, he said, the goal is for al!
students to pass. But high achievers also should have something substantial to strive for.

Despite the focus on pass rates, some educators are now encouraging students to shoot
for scores higher than 400.

One Southeastern Elementary teacher has a "500 club," and Costis tells her high-
achieving students that "pass/advanced is for sissies."

For 600 scores, some schools offer rewards including trophies, boomboxes and passes to
Busch Gardens.

The ever-rising scores put increasing pressure on teachers and administrators, who are
oilen expected to show improvement eachyear. But parents and children say scoring a
600 is like mcldng up bonus points: good for bragging rights but not much else.
Page 901

"I didn’t tell any of my friends," said Edward Grant, a Dreamkeepers fourth-grader who
scored a 600 on the history test last year. "I was just talking about it in my head. I was so
happy."

4. Does NCLB Create Unfair Haying Field?


By Chris Cosier
Stamford Advocate
June 3, 2007

STAMFORD - Last week’s visit by federal Education Secretary Margaret Spellings dre~v
new attention to an old, and festering, issue: the evaluation of school districts based on a
test some students have trouble reading.

The federal No Child Left Behind act requires testing of all student~ including those who
are still learning English. to hold school districts accountable for students’ progress. It’s a
sore spot for urban districts such as Stamford, which absorb a lot of immigrants.

With the landmark education law up for reauthorization in Washington, Connecticut


officials and educators are pressing for changes to the testing rules, calling them tmfair
because of the sanctions the law places on districts that don’t measure up.

"The test results of these students have animpact on the schools’ ability to make adequate
yearly progress (under No Child Leit Behind), so you want to make sure it’s done fairly,
and it’s an accurate measure," said Bob lVlurphy, policy director for the Connecticut
Education Association, an organization representing teachers.
Stamford Schools Superintendent Joshua Start said "it hurts our standings" and called it
one of many problems with the law.

Stamford’s immigrant students had varied reactions to the Connecticut Academic


Performance Test, used to measure schools’ compliance with the lave, a few weeks alier
taking the test in early March.

Marco Bravo, a Stamford High School sophomore, immigrated 16 months ago from
Mexico and understood about half the words on the test, he said.

Another Stamford High sophomore, Karen Chaguay, said she understood most of it but
thinks she failed the reading test.

"It’s frustrating, because you want to do well," said Karen, who came to the United States
from Ecuador alittle over a year ago.

Dominican Republic native Eliana Lithgow, also of Stamford High, didn’t have much
trouble. But she said she heard a different story from other immigrant students.
Page 902

"I heard them say it was really difficult to them," she said.

Some accommodations are provided. Some students, for instance, were allowed to use
dictionaies that translated words but did not give a deletion. They also were given extra
time to take the tests.

Stamford is a diverse district with an abow-average number of students needing help


with English.

Thirty-five percent of Stamford students spoke a language other than English at home in
the 2005-06 school year, compared with 13 percent statewide, state data show. Two
thousand Stamford students -t~of about 15,000 -g are classified as English-language
learners, said Judith Singer, research director for Stamford public schools.

When students fall short under federally required tests, schools must take corrective
measures, such as allowing students to transfer to better-performing schools within the
district. Management changes also could be required.

Schools can fail federal standards because of the performance of English-language


learners or other student subgroups. Nearly all of Stamford’s public schools have fallen
short to varying degrees under NCLB.

In Connecticut, high schoolers are tested on math, science, reading and writing under the
Connecticut Academic Performance Test; grade school and middle school students take
the Connecticut Mastery Test, with sections on math, reading and writing.

Immio~Fant students have one school year before their scores must be reported to the
federal government for evaluating their schools. All must be initi!lly assessed on their
English skills, said Tom lVIurphy, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of
Education.

Spellings, appearing Tuesday in Stamford at a round-table discussion with business,


educational and community leaders, said the federal government offers help to states in
testing English-language learners.

"There is flexibility there, and I ~vould invite the good people of Cormecficut to take us
up on some of that," she said in an interview.

More than 20 states have entered parmeN~ips with the federal government that give them
other options, she said. States may use tests in students’ native languages, or alternative
assessments such as work samples or portfolios.
State and local educators have other ideas. Murphy said it would be difficult for
Connecticut -~a small state with small budgets, compared with other statesl~-~to develop
tests in all the languages spoken here. More than 140 languages are spoken in
Connecticut schools, he said.
Page 903

"Celtainly the preponderance ofnon-English-spealdng students speak Spanish, but that is


not the only large group," Mushy said.
Stamford students speak 57 languages. The top three are English, Haitian Creole and
Spanish, but there are blocks of students spealdng other languages. Polish is spoken by
202 students; 93 speak Albanim~ 109 speak Russian; and 96 speak Bengali, d~strict data
show.

Murphy said the department favors giving districts three years, not just one, before they
are evaluated on English-lan~gu~age learners’ test results. Students need time -~seven
years, some research showsE-Eto acquire the more formal English used in tests, and
many have trouble learning English because they have limited s~s in their native
language, he said.
A U.S. Education Department official disputed the idea of a three-year wait, saying it
~vonld defeat NCLB’s pro’pose of making student achievement transparent.

"These students are in the country now. They’re part of the school system, and they have
the ability to learn, and we should use this data for better instruction," department
spokesman Chad Colby said.

"The school diStlict can learn from this data to improve instruction," he said.

He provided an editorial, written by Spellings, calling it a myth that most English-


language lemalers are new arrivals to the United States and are disadvantaged. Eighty
percent have lived here at least five years, she wrote. Reading scores for English-
language learners nationally grew by 20 points from 2000 to 2005, she wrote.

Singer praised the law for displaying all students’ achievement levels and making sure
they don’t fall through the cracks. But she supported one change - letting English-
language learners continue to be classified that way after meeting federal standards.
Students now leave that category once they are considered proficient.

With a change, she said, "the evaluation of that group would have half a chance to show
progress and success."

5. Let cNldren be children; Is your 5-y~tr-old stressed out became so much is


expected?
Penelope H. Bevan
June 3, 2007

I was watching one of my second-grade girls try unsuccessfnlly to tie her shoes the other
day, and I thought, "This is a person who is supposed to be learning plural possessives?" I
think not.
Page 904

We’ve just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing
infects everyone from second grade through high school. Because of the rigors and
threats of No Child LelI Behind, schools are desperate to increase their scores. As the
requirements become more stringent, we have completely lost sight of the children taking
these tests.

For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See
principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally
appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is
widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is nc~v tanglg in
kindergmten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why.

Primary-grade children have only the most tenuous grasp on how the world ~vorks.
Having been alive only seven or eight years, they have not figured out that in California
there is a definite wet and dry season. They live in high expectation that it will snow in
the Bay Areain the winter. They reasonably conclude, based on their limited experience
with words, that a thesaurus must be a dinosaur. When asked to name some of the planets
after he heard the word Earth, one of my boys confidently replied, "Mars, Sattm~,
Mercury, Jupiter and Canada!" to which a girl replied, "No, no, no, you gotta go way far
outer than that."
Research has shown that it takes appro~mately 24 repetitions of a new concept to imprint
on a young brain. The aforementioned plural possessives come up twice in the
curricnlmn, yet they are supposed to knowit when they see it. This is folly.

Ctm:ently, 2 1/2 uninterrupted hours are supposed to be devoted to language arts and
reading every morning. I ask you, ~vhat adult could sustain an interest in one subject for
that long? Yet the two reading series adopted by the state for elementary education
require that much time be devoted to reading in the expectation that the scores will shoot
up eventually. Sho~v me a 7-year-old who has that ldnd of concentration. Show me a 64-
year-old teacher who has it. Not I.

The result of this has been a decline in math scores at our school, because the emphasis is
on getting them to read and there isn’t enough time to fit in a proper curricnlum. Early
math education should rely heavily on messing about with concrete materials of
measurements, mass, volume and length, and discovering basic principles through play.

There is no time for this. The teaching of art is all but a subversive activity. Teachers
whisper, "I taught art today!" as if they would be reported to the Reading Police for
stealing time from the reading curriculum, which is what they did.

It is also First Communion time in second grade. Yes, I teach in a public school, but First
Communion happens in second grade, and it is a big deal, the subject of much discussion
in the classroom. The children are exalted.
Page 905

A fe~v months back one of my gifts exclaimed, "Jeez, I have a lot to do alier schoo!
today, Teacher. I gotta do my homework, go to baseball practice and get baptized." I
laughed to myself at the priorities of this little to-do list, so symbolic of the life of one
second-grader. But there was a much larger issue here. What is happening to their souls?
You may ask, what business it is of the schools what is happening to the souls of these
little children?

I will tell you. Any fool can see that those setting the standards for testing of primary-
grade children haven’t been around any actual children in a long time. The difference
between what one can reasonably expect an 8-year-old to know and what is merely a
party trick grows exponentially on these state tests.

Meanwhile, children who kno~v they are bright and can read well are proved wrong time
and again because of the structure of these tests. Teachers spend inordinate amounts of
time trying to teach the children to be careful of the quirky tricks of the tests when they
should be simply teaching how to get on in the world.
Twenty years ago, I had a conference with a parent, a SiktL whose child was brilliant. I
was prepared to show him all her academic work, but he brushed it aside and said, "Yes,
yes, I know she is quite smart, but I want to know how her soul is developing."

The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucldng the soul out of the primary
school experience for both teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and
measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy that comes but once in their
lifetime, the happy messiness of paint, clay, Tinkertoys and jumping rope, the quiet
discovery of a shiny new book of interest to them, the wonders of a magnifying glass.
The teachers around them, under constant pressure to raise those test scores, radiate
urgency mid pressure. Their smiles are grim. They are not enjoying their jobs.

Our children need parents and teachers ~vho, like Hamlet, know a hmvk from a hand saw,
who know foolishness ~vhen they see it and are strong enough to defend these small souls
from the onslaught of escalating developmeutally inappropriate clalXrap. The great
unspoken secret of primary school is that a lot of what is going on is arrant nonsense, and
it’s getting worse. Any fool can see.
Page 906

Nonresponsive
From: Neale, Rebecca
Sent: June 03, 2007 11:55 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunn, David;
Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela;
Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele,
Marc; Simon, Ray; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Uam; tracy_d.
_.young@who.eop.gov; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Yudof, Samara
Subje~t: WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY, 6.3.07

Attachments: 6.3. wknd news summary.doc

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY


June 3, 2007
1. Clarence Page: The president’s spin doctor for schools (DNIN)
2. Partnering might help rural schools (CNO)
3. Why are so many students acing some SOL tests? (VP)
4. Does NCLB Create Unfair Playing Field?
5. Let children be children; Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected?

1. Clarence Page: The president’s spin doctor for schools


Spellings’ role as a communicator often more important than her credentials as an educator
Dallas Morning News
June 2, 2007

It was the day before she would appear on The Daily Showwith Jon Stewart, whose host is a known liberal critic of the
Bush administration. But in an interview in her office, Secre[ary of Education Margare~ Spellings put a happy face on it.

’q-his completes my pop culture trifecta," she said.

Indeed, she recently attended a taping of American Idol and last fall made history as the first sitting Cabinet secretary to
appear on Jeopardy. She also became the first education secretary to lose on Jeopardy. She lost to actor Michael
McKean, best known as Lenny on the old Laverne and Shirley television show. The loss provided ample fodder for her
detractors.

Ms. Spellings says she agreed to do The Daily Show several months ago at the urging of her two daughters. It just
happened to come at an awkward time for her department. Congress is investigating conflict-of-interest com plaints
involving the federal student loan program and the Bush administration’s Reading First program.

You know those loans that students increasingly need in order to pay for college? When choosing a lender, many students
rely on the "preferred" status list offered by their college or university. Now federal and state regulators say some of the
lenders in the $85 billion industry earned their preferred status thanks to kickbacks that they offered to the schools.

Reading First, a key $1 billion-a-year reading program in President Bush’s 2002 No Child Left Behind education reform, is
alleged to have given preferential treatment to materials favored bytop advisers who also had their own reading textbooks
or tests to sell. Much of this happened before Ms. Spellings took over in early 2005, but congressional critics are accusing
her of failing to take action to investigate and clear up the alleged conflicts.

Such a difference a Democratic-controlled Congress makes. Were it not for the Bush administration’s bigger headline-
making headaches over the firing of U.S. attorneys, Ms. Spellings’ department might well be getting a lot more attention
these days.

The irony of the Reading First controversy is that, regardless of the allegations, reading scores for students in the program
have dramatically improved. The percentage of first-graders who met or exceeded proficiency standards on reading
fluency grew from 43 percent to 57 percent in a study of 2004 to 2006, and third-graders who im proved grew from 35
percent to 43 percent.
Page 907

Ms. Spellings’ role as a communicator- getting the information out about successes- actually is more important in many
ways than her credentials as an educator. She acknowledged in a congressional hearing that she lacks an education
degree. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Houston, and her only
formal classroom experience was as an uncertified substitute teacher in Texas.

But, as she showed in our inter~ew and on The Daily Show, she speaks up forcefu ll y for a large group that too often feels
shortchanged in school debates: the parents.

I laid on her my biggest complaint about standardized tests: Doesn’t every child learn differently?

"Yes, but I think sometimes that’s used as an excuse for masking underachievement"

Then she got personal: "1’11 tell you what, Clarence .... I’ve yet to meet a parent who didn’t want their kid to be reading at
anything less than grade level -this year! Not in 2014 [the goal year set by the administration for closing that academic
achievement gaps]. This year! And that’s not an unreasonable expectation for parents to have of their schools and their
kids."

Many parents have learned the hard way wh at President Bush means when h e speaks of "th e soft bigotry of low
expectations," especially for minority students. Many schools and teachers perform magnificently, but too often the system
rewards mediocre teachers and, in effect, punishes those who are willing to put extra effort into their job. The Bush
administration’s pay incentives for high-performing teachers and principals move in the right direction.

I’m still skeptical of emphasizing tests too much. But we all need to set goals in life, and we need good yardsticks for
progress. That’s as good a lesson as any for Margaret Spellings to teach. No joke.

Clarence Page is a Chicago Tribune columnist. His e-mail address is cpage@ tribune.com.

2. Partnering might help rural schools


Charlotte News & Observer
By I~arti I~laguire
June 2, 2007

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings visited CaryAcademy on Friday as part of a national tour leading up to the
expected reauthodzation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act later this year. Here are excerpts of her interview with staff
writer Marti Maguire. To hear more, go online to www.newsobserver.com.
Q: What made you choose to come here, a private school?

A: [Cary Academy] is a true laboratory of innovation, particularly in the use of technology. They feel part of their mission is
to help develop practices that can be shared and used not only here but in the public sector as well ....
These divisions
between private and public schools are really blurring.

Q: You spoke today with school officials about the importance of math, science, technology and engineering education.
But North Carolina schools are facing a severe shortage of qualified math and science teachers, particularly in m ore rural
areas. What can be done about that?

A: We can use technology, of course, to expand and broaden the flow of expertise so that a teacher here at CaryAcademy
might be partnering with a rural school district and, through technology, getting additional teaching help more broadly
expanded. The other thing we can do is to start to use resources in our communities beyond just the traditional teaching
core. You have many fine universities in this state. Why don’t we find ways for those folks to come into our public schools?

Q: North Carolina students have shown essentially no improvement on state tests since the first year No Child Left Behind
act went into effect. How can NCLB deliver on its promise of closing the achievement gap?

A: One of the things that’s been so important about NCLB is that we have brought real data to bear about the status of our
schools. Who’s being left behind? Who isn’t? Where are the schools that are challenging what the president calls the "soft
bigotry of low expectations"? Going back to the ostrich approach of burying our heads in the sand, putting the money out
and hoping for the best is the wrong direction. Obviously, we need to pick up the pace. We need to confront those facts.
But when I look at the North Carolina data, in some very key ways, we are really making progress. We’re making progress
in the white-black achievement gap in reading in grades three and four and six and seven. North Carolina is one of the
leaders on Advanced Placement, really double the national average on the opportunity that kids have to take rigorous
coursework.

Q: I saw you on "Jeopardy!" when you lost to Michael McKean, the actor who played Lenny on "Laverne and Shirley."
2
Page 908

A: That was his third time on the show, not to be bitter. And it’s all about the buzzer.

3. ~ are so many students acing some SOL tests?


The Virginian-Pilot
June 3, 2007
By Amy Jetter

Last spring, 50 third-graders took the history Standards of Learning exam at Norfolk’s Dream keepers Academy at J.J.
Roberts Elementary School.

More than half of them received a 600, the highest score possible.

Miles away in Chesapeake, the same thing happened at Southeastern Elementary School: 56 percent of the third-graders
aced the test. And across the state, 1 in 5 students did.

Perfect scores were far less common in other subjects, such as math and English. In science, fewer than 6 percent of
students taking the tests in the state earned the highest score.

Educators said students’ success in history showed how well Virginia’s standards are being taught and learned. Others
won dered wh ether the tests are too easy.

’q-he obvious question," said Steve Dunbar, an education professor at the University of Iowa, "is, Are kids in third grade in
Virginia really better in social studies than anything else?"

When the Standards of Learning exams were designed in the late 1990s, little thought was given to how many students
should be acing them.

In the traditional bell curve - what statisticians call a "normal distribution" of scores - most students would be in the middle
of the range. About 2.5 percent would receive the highest mark.

But Virginia’s standardized tests are not graded on a curve. They’re supposed to gauge how well students knowthe
Standards of Learning, and the hope is that as many students as possible are proficient.

’q-he more kids who are getting the perfect score, the better," said Doris Redfield, an education consultant who headed the
Virginia Department of Education’s assessment and reporting division in the late 1990s.

Before the SOLs are given, a scale is set that links each possible number of correct answers to a score. The scale
changes slightly each year when test questions change.

A 600 means the student missed either zero, one or two questions, depending on thetest. On the elementary science
tests last year, students needed to be perfect. On the history tests, they could miss one or two.

While 600s sound impressive, principals, administrators and state officials are most concerned with pass rates- the
percentage of students scodng 400 or above. Pass rates are important in determining whether a school is accredited by
the state and whether it meets academic goals under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The Virginia Department of Education doesn’t routinely report the actual scores received on the SOL tests. At the request
of The Virginian-Pilot, officials released the number of 600s on all SOL tests in 2005-06 and the scores of all tests taken by
third- and fifth-graders in South Hampton Roads.

Usually when a series of tests is developed, the scoring patterns tend to be the same from subject to subject, said the
University of Iowa’s Dunbar.

The number of Virginia students who passed history and science was similar, with the rates each at about 90 percent for
third-graders and at about 85 percent for fifth-graders.

But the difference in the number of perfect scores was much more pronounced. So was the variation in students scoring
"pass/advanced" - a 500 or above. In third grade, 57 percent earned that score on history compared with 40 percent for
science; in fifth grade, it was 45 percent for history and 23 percent for science.

There are two disadvantages when lots of students earn the highest score on a test. Teachers can’t determine the finer
Page 909
details of what students haven’t learned, and there’s no room left to improve.

"If you’re getting kids who are close to the ceiling or hitting the ceiling, they have nowhere to go," said Bruce Bracken, an
education professor at The College of William and Mary.

Students haven’t always sailed through the SOL history exams.

In the early years, scores were so low in several grade levels that in 2001 the Virginia Board of Education took the unusual
step of lowering the number of questions that students needed to answer correctly to pass some of the tests. That
included the fifth-grade exam.

’qhe one thing we’ve always heard is the history tests are too hard," said Charles Pyle, a spokesman for the Virginia
Dep artm ent of Education.

The tests were based on standards from 1995, which required elementary students to know the basics of economics,
geography, civics and history. Before, they had started out learning about family and community, then eased into state,
national and world history.

Teachers felt that the SOL tests covered too much ground in one year and that the standards were unclear.

When the state’s history and social science standards came up for a seven-year review in 2001, committees consisting
mostly of teachers recommended a rewrite of the curriculum. Among their suggestions: pare back the information covered.

By 2003-04, the entire test had been changed to meet those new standards.

Historically, scores have dropped in the first year or so of new or revised tests.

But that year, the percentage of perfect scores in third-grade history jumped to 16 percent from 2.6 percent. For fifth-
graders, the number increased to 9 percent from 2.4 percent.

State officials say that doesn’t mean the tests are too easy.

’q-here were some legitimate concerns that had to be addressed about the teachability of the standards," P~e said. "Our
history and social studies teachers are finding that the 2001 standards are teachable. They’re rigorous, but they’re
teachable."

The new tests feature more clear-cut questions and more illustrations, some teachers said. The answer options for the
multiple-choice tests often include at least one that seems implausible.

Patty Costis, a teacher at Dreamkeepers, approved of the changes.

’q’he tests were meant to be broad strokes of the general knowledge instead of just these individual details," Costis said.
"Not, ’Do you remember a little, minute detail of first grade, second quarter?’"

Educators said the large number of high scores last year could be due to the age of the test.

"Once the test has been out for a while, you have years and years to perfect what you do - with the instruction, with the
strategies, just equipping the students with the knowledge," said Patricia S. Williams, principal of Westhaven Elementary in
Portsmouth.

At Dream keepers, Principal Doreatha White has score improvement down to a science. She identifies which concept
tripped up her students the most in each subject area and has her teachers include lessons on that concept every week.

In history, this year’s concept is geography. Maps of the world in glitter, paint and colored pencil line the hallways, and
students inside the classrooms constantly drill the names of oceans and continents.

’M#e don’t wait until January to start test preparation," White said. ’~/e start in September."

In nine years, the elementary-level science SOL tests have never been significantly revised.

Elementary students don’t seem to have trouble passing the exams, yet the percentage of perfect scores statewide has
remained relatively low: 5.4 percent for third graders last year and 2.3 percent for fifth graders.
Page 910
Why is it harder for students to ace this test?

It could be the type of questions. Science tends to require problem-solving rather than fact memorization.

In an example from last year’s exam, third-graders were given four pictures of animals on a seesaw and asked, "Which of
these shows that the toy cow is lighter than the toy horse?"

Fifth-graders were shown four pictures and asked which depicted the type of cloud that would most likely be seen during a
thunderstorm.

’q-hey have to know the concept, and they have to be able to apply it," said Ashanda Bickham, a teacher at Norfolk’s
Chesterfield Academy of Math, Science and Technology. "It’s a higher level of thinking."

Some teachers, such as Bickham, must also figure out howto relay science concepts to students who have weak reading
skills.

She solved the problem by chucking the thick textbooks. Instead, she uses work sheets from a prepared curriculum to
help students create an "interaclJve notebook."

The children paste paragraphs and pictures into a spiral netebook in which they also write notes and draw pictures.
Bickham walks the students through the texts, asking increasingly difficult questions.

Said fourth-grader Lytaja Brown, "You get to draw what it’s about, and it stays in your head."

More hands-on activities and lessons that promote inquirywill help students improve in science, said Paula Klonowski, a
science specialist with the Virginia Department of Education.

Moretime in class would also help, teachers say.

The most common complaint from elementary teachers is they don’t have enough time in their schedules to teach science
effectively, Klonowski said.

Costis, at Dreamkeepers Academy, said science lessons require more supervision from teachers and often can’t be
interrupted.

’qo have enough time to set up and put down a full-blown science experiment," she said, "you’re kind of up a creek."

Additionally, teacher training programs sometimes give short shrift to science, said Veronica Haynes, Norfolk’s senior
coordinator for the subject.

"1 think they’re afraid of science," she said, "and all the hands-on that comes with doing science education."

Virginia’s standards in U.S. history and world history have been rated highly by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a
Washington think tank.

Standards aren’t necessarily linked to test scores, though. In Georgia, another state with solid ratings, 120,166 third-
graders took the state’s standardized social studies test last year, and just 43 received the highest mark.

Virginia has the chance to revise the history and social science guidelines - and possibly change the tests - this year, as
they come up for review again. The science standards, which also drew praise from the Fordham Foundation, are up for
review in 2010.

P~e said the history and social science standards are unlikely to change a lot, given the overhaul in 2001.

Mark Emblidge, president of the state Board of Education, said scores are one of many factors considered when
standards are reviewed. Ultimately, he said, the goal is for all students to pass. But high achievers also should have
som ething substantial to strive for.

Despite the focus on pass rates, some educators are now encouraging students to shoot for scores higher than 400.

One Southeastern Elementary teacher has a "500 club," and Costis tells her high-achieving students that "pass/advanced
is for sissies."
Page 911
For 600 scores, some schools offer rewards including trophies, boomboxes and passes to Busch Gardens.

The ever-rising scores put increasing pressure on teachers and administrators, who are often expected to show
improvement each year. But parents and children say scodng a 600 is like racking up bonus points: good for bragging
rights but not much else.

"1 didn’t tell any of my friends," said Edward Grant, a Dreamkeepers fourth-grader who scored a 600 on the history test last
year. "1 was just talking about it in my head. I was so happy."

4. Does NCLB Create Unfair Playing Field?


By Chris Gosier
Stamford Advocate
June 3, 2007

STAMFORD - Last week’s visit by federal Education Secretary Margaret Spellings drew new attention to an old, and
festering, issue: the evaluation of school districts based on a test some students have trouble reading.

The federal No Child Left Behind act requires testing of all students, including those who are still learning English, to hold
schod districts accountable for students’ progress. It’s a sore spot for urban districts such as Stamford, which absorb a lot
of immigrants.

With the landmark education law up for reauthorization in Washington, Connecticut officials and educators are pressing for
changes to the testing rules, calling them unfair because of the sanctions the law places on districts that don’t measure up.

’qhe test results of these students have an impact on the schools’ ability to make adequate yearly progress (under No
Child Left Behind), so you want to make sure it’s done fairly, and it’s an accurate measure," said Bob Murphy, policy
director for the Connecticut Education Association, an organization representing teachers.

Stamford Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said "it hurts our standings" and called it one of many problem s with the
law.

Stamford’s immigrant students had varied reactions to the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, used to measure
schools’ compliance with the law, a few weeks after taking the test in early March.

Marco Bravo, a Stamford High School sophomore, immigrated 16 months ago from Mexico and understood about half the
words on the test, he said.

Another Stamford High sophomore, Karen Chaguay, said she understood most of it but thinks she failed the reading test.

"It’s frustrating, because you want to do well," said Karen, who came to the United States from Ecuador a little over a year
ago.

Dominican Republic native Eliana Lithgow, also of Stamford High, didn’t have much trouble. But she said she heard a
different story from other immigrant students.

"1 heard them say it was really difficult to them," she said.

Some accommodations are provided. Some students, for instance, were allowed to use dictionaries that translated words
but did not give a definition. They also were given extra time to take the tests.

Stamford is a diverse district with an above-average number of students needing help with English.

Thirty-five percent of Stamford students spoke a language other than English at home in the 2005-06 school.year,
compared with 13 percent statewide, state data show. Two thousand Stamford students-I~of about 15,000-Eare classified
as English-language learners, said Judith Singer, research director for Stamford public schools.

When students fall short under federally required tests, schools must take corrective measures, such as allowing students
to-transfer to better-performing schools within the district. Management changes also could be required.

Schools can fail federal standards because of the performance of English-language learners or other student subgroups.
Nearly all of Stamford’s public schools have fallen short to varying degrees under NCLB.

In Connecticut, high schoolers are tested on math, science, reading and writing under the Connecticut Academic
Performance Test; grade school and middle school students take the Connecticut Mastery Test, with sections on math,
Page 912
reading and writing.

Immigrant students have one school year before their scores must be reported to the federal government for evaluating
their schools. All must be initially assessed on their English skills, said Tom Murphy, spokesman for the Connecticut
Depa[tm ent of Education.

Spellings, appearing Tuesday in Stamford at a round-table discussion with business, educational and community leaders,
said the federal government offers help to states in testing English-language learners.

’There is flexibility there, and I would invite the good people of Connecticut to take us up on some of that," she said in an
interview.

More than 20 states have entered partnerships with the federal government that give them other options, she said. States
may use tests in students’ native languages, or alternative assessments such as work samples or portfolios.

State and local educators have ether ideas. Murphy said it would be difficult for Connecticut -t~a small state with small
budgets, compared with other statesl~-~to develop tests in all the languages spoken here. More than 140 languages are
spoken in Connecticut schools, he said.

"Certainly the preponderance of non-English-speaking students speak Spanish, but that is not the only large group,"
Murphy said.

Stamford students speak 57 languages. The top three are English, Haitian Creole and Spanish, but there are blocks of
students speaking other languages. Polish is spoken by 202 students; 93 speak Albanian; 109 speak Russian; and 96
speak Bengali, district data show.

Murphy said the department favors giving districts three years, not just one, before they are evaluated on English-language
learners’ test results. Students need time-l~seven years, some research showsl~-E~to acquire the more formal English
used in tests, and many have trouble learning English because they have limited skills in their native language, he said.

A U.S. Education Department official disputed the idea of a three-year wait, saying it would defeat NCLB’s purpose of
making student achievement transparent.

’q-hese students are in the country now. They’re part of the school system, and they have the ability to learn, and we
should use this data for better instruction," department spokesman Chad Colby said.

’qhe school distdct can learn from this data to improve instruction," he said.

He provided an editorial, written by Spellings, calling it a myth that most English-language learners are new arrivals to the
United States and are disadvantaged. Eighty percent have lived here at least five years, she wrote. Reading scores for
English-language learners nationally grew by 20 points from 2000 to 2005, she wrote.

Singer praised the law for displaying all students’ achievement levels and making sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
But she supported one change- letting English-language learners continue to be classified that way al~er meeting federal
standards. Students now leave that category once they are considered proficient.

With a change, she said, ’the evaluation of that group would have half a chance to show progress and success."

5. Let children be children; Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected.’?
Penelope H. Bevan
June 3, 2007

I was watching one of my second-grade girls try unsuccessfully to tie her shoes the other day, and I thought, "This is a
person who is supposed to be learning plural possessives.’?’ I think not.

Wek/e just finished test time again in the schools of California. The m ad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second
grade through high school. Because of the rigors and threa~s of No Child Lef~ Behind, schools are desperate to increase
their scores. As the requirements become more stringent, we have completely lost sight of the children taking these tests.

For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that
the spread between what is dev~opmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on
these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-
old stressed out? Perhaps this is why.
Page 913
Primary-grade children have only the most tenuous grasp on how the world works. Having been alive only seven or eight
years, they have not figured out that in California there is a definite wet and dry season. They live in high expectation that it
will snow in the Bay Area in the ’,einter. They reasonably conclude, based on their limited experience with words, that a
thesaurus must be a dinosaur. When asked to name some of the planets after he heard the word Earth, one of my boys
confidently replied, "Mars, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter and Canada!" to which a girl replied, "No, no, no, you gotta go way far
outer than that."

Research has shown that it takes approximately 24 repetitions of a new concept to imprint on a young brain. The
aforementioned plural possessives come up twice in the curriculum, yet they are supposed to know it when they see it.
This is folly.

Currently, 2 1/2 uninterrupted hours are supposed to be devoted to language arts and reading every morning. I ask you,
what adult could sustain an interest in one subject for that long? Yet the two reading series adopted by the state for
elementary education require tha~ much time be devoted to reading in the expectation that the scores wil! shoot up
eventually. Show me a 7-year-old who has that kind of concentration. Show me a 64--year-old teacher who has it. Not I.

The result of this has been a decline in math scores at our school, because the emphasis is on getting them to read and
there isn’t enough time to fit in a proper curriculum. Early math education should rely heavily on messing about with
concrete materials of measurements, mass, volume and length, and discovering basic principles through play.

There is no time for this. The teaching of art is all but a subversive activity. Teachers whisper, "1 taught art today!" as if they
would be reported to the Reading Police for stealing time from the reading curriculum, which is what they did.

It is also First Communion time in second grade. Yes, I teach in a public school, but First Communion happens in second
grade, and it is a big deal, the subject of much discussion in the classroom. The children are excited.

A few months back one of my girls exclaimed, "Jeez, I have a lot to do after school today, Teacher. I gotta do my
homework, go to baseball practice and get baptized." I laughed to myself at the priorities of this little to-do list, so symbolic
of the life of one second-grader. But there was a much larger issue here. What is happening to their souls? You may ask,
what business it is of the schools what is happening to the souls of these little children?

I will tell you. Any fool can see that those setting the standards for testing of prim ary-grade children haven’t been around
any actual children in a long time. The difference between what one can reasonably expect an 8-year-old to know and
what is merely a party tdck grows exponentially on these state tests.

Meanwhile, children who know they are bdght and can read well are proved wrong time and again because of the structure
of these tests. Teachers spend inordinate amounts of tim e trying to teach the children to be careful of the quirky tricks of
the tests when they should be simply teaching how to get on in the world.

Twenty years ago, I had a conference with a parent, a Sikh, whose child was brilliant. I was prepared to show him all her
academic work, but he brushed it aside and said, "Yes, yes, I know she is quite smart, but I want to know how her soul is
developing."

The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucking the soul out of the primary school experience for both
teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy
that comes but once in their lifetime, the happy messiness of paint, clay, Tinkertoys and jumping rope, the quiet discovery
of a shiny new book of interest to them, the wonders of a magnifying glass. The teachers around them, under constant
pressure to raise those test scores, radiate urgency and pressure. Their smiles are grim. They are not enjoying their jobs.

Our children need parents and teachers who, like Hamlet, know a hawk from a hand saw, who know foolishness when
they see it and are strong enough to defend these small souls from the onslaught of escalating developmentally
inappropriate claptrap. The great unspoken secret of pdmary school is that a lot of what is going on is arrant nonsense,
and it’s getting worse. Any fool can see.

6.3. wknd news


summa’,/.doc (58...

Rebecca Neale
U.S. Department of Education
Deputy Press Secretary
Page 914

(~b)(’@Y:l ....
" "" rebecca.neale@ed.~ov
Page 915

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY


Saturday, June2, 2007

1. U.S. Tackles Student Lending (WSJ)


2. Education Depaxtment Issues Rules for Student Loans (NYT)
3. Bush admin, shakes up student aid, proposes rules (Renters)
4. US official proposes limits on lenders, colleges (Bloomberg)
5. U.S. Student Loan Office Gets New Rules and a New Chief (W. Post)
6. Bush proposes rules to curb abuse in student !oan industry (AP)
7.Bush Approves Charter Change for Takeover of Schools (W. Post)

1. U.S. TACKLES STUDENT LENDING; PROPOSALS TAKE AIM AT FIRMS’


PAYMENTS TO SCHOOL OFFICIALS
By Anne Marie Chaker
June 2, 2007

The U.S. Depmtment of Education proposed to clamp down on payments from lending
companies to college financial-aid officials, saying that such inducements are
’Jeopardizing" the rights of student borrowers.

Under the department’s long-awaited rules, which are expected to be finalized in the
coming months and take effect next year, lenders would be prohibited from pa)dng for
everything from entertainment expenses to lodging and training registration fees for
school officials. They would also be barred from providing staffing and other assistance
to college financial-aid offices.

"Special relationships between schools and lenders have developed," the department said
in amore than 200-page document containing the proposed rules, ’Jeopardizing a
borrowers fight to choose a...lender and undermining a student financial aid
administrators role as an impartial and informed resource for students and parents."

The proposed rules would also limit colleges’ practice of listing certain lenders as
"preferred." A national investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has
found that certain preferred lenders provided stock and other inducements to college
financial-aid officers. Several well-known schools have let go financial-aid officials who
accepted such payments or stock from lenders.

The report cites "increasing evidence" that preferred lender lists at many schools "do not
represent the result ofnnbiased research," and that some schools "have been restricting
the ability of borrowers to choose" by providing an electronic link to only one lender.

The new rules wottld reqt~e a school using a preferred-lender list to include at least three
lenders. It would also require the school to disclose how those lenders were chosen, and
advise potential borrowers that they aren’t required to use the listed lenders.
Page 916

Some critics of cozy relationships between lenders and colleges said the restrictions on
preferred-lender lists don’t go far enough. The three-lender rule "is a bare minimum, and
ideally there should be more," said Mark Kantrowitz, a Pittsburgh-based financial-aid
expert.

The document also makes clear that lenders can’t skirt the anti-inducement provisions by
offering payments or other benefits to "school-affiliated" organizations, such as alumni
groups. It would also ban other inducements to universities, such as computer hardware
and printing services. Lenders would also be prohibited from providing scholarships and
other financial contributions to colleges in return for preferred status.

The student-loan scandal also appears to have cost three lending executives their jobs. ’
CIT Group Inc. quietly fired three senior management officials of its Student Loan
Xpress Inc. unit who had been previously placed on administrative leave. Student Loan
Xpress settled hst month with Mr. Cuomo’s office for providing stock or other payments
to several college financial-aid officials who recommended their loans to students. Mr.
Cuomo’s office is conducting an investigation of the three executives, in which CIT has
agreed to cooperate.

2. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ISSUES RULES FOR STUDENT LOANS


The New York Times
June 1, 2007
By Jonathan D. Gtater

The federal Education Department released new rules for federal student loan programs
today that would require uNversities to include at least three lenders on any list
recommended to students and that wouldban many of the incentives loan companies
have been offering colleges and university officials to ~vin student business.
The action represented a change in direction for the department which for years had
failed to respond to calls by its inspector general, Democratic lawmakers and even some
loan-industry officials for it to be more aggressive in policing the $85 billion student loan
industry and defining what practices are banned.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings created a task force in April to draw up the
regulations after the collapse of an effort in the winter to win consensus on new rules
among representatives of students, lenders and academic institutions in a process known
as "negotiated role making."
"The secretary is amending these regulations to strengthen and improve the
administration of the loan programs," states the proposal which the department
announced today.

The proposed regulations, ~vhich were sent to the federal register on Thtwsday, come on
the heels of investigations in the states andin Congress, led by the Ne~v York State’s
Page 917

attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, that turned up an array of undisclosed relationships


between universities and lenders as well as conflicts of interest on the part of financial aid
officers. Some university officials who were promoting particular lenders had received
stock on favorable terms, consttlting payments or gifts from loan companies.

Just this week. the Education Department’s own inspector general reported to Congress
that the department had made "minimal" progress in dealing with complaints about abuse
in the nation’s system ofgovermnent-backed student loans. An earlier report by the
inspector general, in 2003, criticized the department for failing to provide any guidance
on prohibited inducements since 1995.

Department officials have said repeatedly in the past that they did not have the authority
to oversee many of these practices because they involved private loans that are not
federally guaranteed and wanted financial-aid officers and the loan industry to police
themselves.

The proposed regulations, which will be published in the federal register for a 60-day
comment period, identify specific practices that would be barred, including "offering,
directly or in4hectly, any points, premiums, payments, or other benefits to any schoo! or
other party to secure" student loan volume, in the federa!ly guaranteed loan program.
They would also ban a college’s "access to a lender’s other financial products, computer
hardware, and payment of the cost of printing and distribution of college catalogs and
other materials at less than market rate,"

In addition, the rules would require that auniversity’s list of recommended or "preferred"
lenders include at least three loan companies and exclude any lenders that provided
inducements. Perhaps most importantly for students, the rules ~vould reqttire universities
both to explain how and why they recommend specific lenders and to ensure that all
students, not just a few, receive benefits offered by a lender on a preferred list.

The regulations are likely to meet little resistance. The Consumer Bankers Association
indicated that it accepted the need for additional regulation. And on Thursday the trade
group representing college financial aid officers agreed to bar its members from
accepting most lender gifts and to stop allowing lenders to sponsor its conferences.

5. BUSH ADMIN. SHAKES UP STUDENT AID, PROPOSES RULES


Reuters
June 1, 2007; 6:53 PM
By- Kevin Drm~l)augh

*NOTE: ran in The Washington Post

WASHINGTON ~enters) - The U.S. Department of Education on Friday put its college
student financial aid office under a temporary, new leader and proposed a raft of new
rules amid a scandal in the $85 billion student loan business.
Page 918

The department said Lawrence Warder will be acting chief operating officer of federal
student aid. W~rder has been chief financial officer of the department since July 2006.
He ~1 fill both roles while a search continues for a permanent head of the federal
student aid (FSA) office.

An accountant and management consultant, Warder for now will rtm an office that
delivers $77 billion of financial aid annually to more than 10 million students and their
families.

"Larry brings extensive management expertise .... He is ready to hit the ground running at
this important time at FSA," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in a statement.

The department last month announced the resignation of the previous FSA chief, Terri
Shaw. She letl on Monday after critics of the department said it had not done enough
over the years to police the student loan industry.
Spellings also released on Friday a 225-page packet ofproposedrules aimed at fLxing
some of the problems uncovered recently by investigators who allege conflicts of interest
and kickback schemes among lenders and college aid officers.

Investigators allege that lender banks have given payments and gifts to college officials
to curry favor and drum up business by winning spots on "preferred lender lists" shown
to students who need to borrow money for their education.

The Education Department’s proposals address both lender lists and the payments and
gilts, known as inducements.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, who chairs the Senate education
committee, called the proposed rules "a positive development from the Department of
Education."
A department spokeswoman said final rules are expected to be completed by November !
to take effect in July 2008.

The rules would affect how business is done by leading student loan groups such as Sallie
Mae, Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

"Although ~ve have not yet had an opportunity to thoroughly review over 200 pages of
rules that ,vere released today, we are pleased that the Department of Education has
finally joined us in our efforts to clean up the student loan industry," said California
Democratic Rep. George Miller in a statement.
Page 919

Miller chairs the House of Representatives education committee, which has helped lead
the investigations, along with Kennedy’s panel and New York Attorney General Andre~v
Cuomo.
"Given the extent of the corruption within these programs that has been highlighted by
ongoing investigations ... it is long past time for the department to start acting in the best
interests of students and their families," Miller said.

On May 9, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would crock down on student
loan market misconduct, tackling many of the issues addressed in the Education
Department proposals.

The Senate has not acted, although Kennedy said he expects "strong, bipartisan support
for lender-ethics provisions" in an upcoming education spending measure.

The Senate Banking Committee said on Friday it will hold a hearing on student loans and
college affordability on June 6. The plarmed sale of Sa~e Mae will also be a topic, it
said.

4. US OFFICIAL PROPOSES LIMITS ON LENDERS, COLLEGES


Bloomberg
June 2, 2007

US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, criticized for her oversight of the $85
billion-a-year student-loan industry, proposed banning company gifts to colleges and
establishing rules for how schools recommend lenders.

Spellings submitted 225 pages of draft regulations yesterday for publication and public
comment, the department said yesterday in a statement. The proposed rules include a
provision requiting colleges that recommend lenders to students to have at least three
unrelated companies on their lists.
The draft rules follow criticism from Ne~v York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and
Democratic congressional leaders investigating financial arrangements between lenders
and colleges. Their inquiries have found colleges and student-aid officials accepting
undisclosed payments from lenders the schools recommended.

"Our investigation has repeatedly and clearly uncovered rampant conflicts of interest in
the student loan industry," Cuomo said yesterday in a statement. "We will review these
proposals, but it is clear now that the department should have acted with much greater
speed and seriousness."

Department investigations recently found that some schools selected lenders based on
"prohibited inducements" in the form of payments or other benefits, according to the
draft. The department’s inspector general warned in August 2003 that such inducements
were "becoming an increasing problem."
Page 920

"Preferred-lender lists maintained by many schools do not represent the result of


unbiased research by the school to identify the lenders providing the best combination of
service and benefits to borrowers," the draft said.

Separately, US Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the


Senate’s banking committee, yesterday said he plans to examine issues including private
student loans, the fastest-growing segment of the industry, and the proposed $25 billion
takeover of Sallie Mae, the largest US education-loan provider.

5. U.S. STUDENT LOAN OFFICE GETS NEW RULES AND A NEW CHIEF
Washington Post
June 2, 2007; A05
By Amit IL Paley

The Bush administration, fending off criticism tl~t it has failed to provide adequate
oversight to the student loan industry, proposed regulations yesterday that would prohibit
lenders from sho~vering universities with Ntis to drum up business.

The rules, announced by the Education Department, amount to the administration’s


strongest response so far to a nationwide investigation of the $85 billion-a-year business
that has exposed financial ties among lenders, school officials and government regulators.

Also yesterday, Lawrence Warder, the depaxtment’s chief financial officer, became the
acting head of its student lo~m office, after Theresa S. Shaw resigned last month amid
controversy. E~rlier th~ week, the agencgs inspector general said in a report to Congress
that the loan office and the department "have taken only minimal steps to address our
recommendations" to fix problems with student loan programs.

Some Democrats and consumer advocates said the department has taken too long to
develop the roles, which would not take effect until at least July 2008. The agency ldlled
a similar proposal in 2001 that had been drafted dttring the Clinton administration, and
Congress is expected to pass stricter limits on the industry this summer.

"These roles are too little, too late," said Luke Swarthout, an advocate for the U.S. Public
Interest Research Group Higher Education Project.

The proposed regulations emerged after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings initiated
a mlemaking process last year. A committee charged with creating rules on lender gifts
failed to reach consensus, which allowed the department to unilaterally draft the rules
announced yesterday.

Katherine McLane, a department spokeswoman, said the process, although long and
cumbersome, is the only way the agency can change policy. She said the depamnent
could not just wait and hope that Congress takes action.
Page 921

"We are not resting on our laurels," she said. "We have to move forward."

The rules would prevent lenders from offering payments or other inducements to schools
as away to generate business. The proposal also requires schools that create lists of
preferred lenders to put at least three companies on the lists and provide detailed
explanations of how the lists were created.

In a preamble to the proposed regulatious, the department used some of its starkest
language to date in describing the crisis enveloping the loan industry. It said questionable
business practices are ’Jeopardizing a borrowel~S fight to choose a [lxivate] lender and
undermining the student financial aid administrator’s role as an impartial and informed
resource for students and parents."

The proposed roles also disclosed that recent agency investigations have found cases in
which schools recommended a lender in exchange for prohibited inducements. McLane
said she could not immediately provide more details.

6. BUSH PROPOSES RULES TO CURB ABUSE IN STUDENT LOAN


INDUSTRY
Associated Press
June 2, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has proposed new roles aimed at
clamping down on conflicts of interest inthe student loan industry.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings had previously said she would issue the rules
about this time. The action comes amid high-profile investigations into the student loan
industry by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers in Congress.

They have accused the Education Depamnent of failing to police improper relationships
between student lenders and colleges or their employees.
Cuomo’s investigation unveiled arrangements between mniversities and lenders in which
schools received some of the money lenders made from !oans at those schools. And in
some cases, the investigators found schools or loan officials were given incentives to
place loan companies on a school’s preferred-lender list.

7. BUSH APPROVES CHARTER CHANGE FOR TAKEOVER OF SCHOOLS;


CITY ASKS COURT TO OVERTURN ELECTION BOARD DECISION AND
DISALLOW REFERENDUM
Washington Post
June 2, 2007
By David Nakamura
Page 922

President Bush approved a District charter anlondment yesterday that takes power a~vay
from the Board of Education and advances Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s plan to control the
punic schools.

Fenty ~) must ~vait until June 12 -- ~vhen the standard congressional revie~v period for
his takeover legislation expires -- to assume full authority over the struggling 55,000-
student system.

And Fenty’s plan still could be derailed by a cha!lenge from residents. Yesterday, D.C.
Attorney General Linda Singer asked a D.C. Superior Court judge to overturn a decision
by the city’s Board of Elections and Ethics that would give residents a chance to force a
referendum on the mayor’s takeover plan.

The board ruled last month that a referendum would be held in August if residents can
gather signatures from 5 percent of registered voters, about 20,000 people, by the June 12
expiration of the revie~v periock The residents may begin collecting signatures Tuesday.

In her court filing, Singer said a referendum would be improper for two reasons:
Congress has approved the Home Rule Charter amendment that Bush signed yesterday;
and Fenty has signed legislation that funds positions created under the takeover plan and
places the schoo! budget under the control of the mayor and D.C. Council.

"The Board’s acceptance of the Referendum would result in immediate and continuing
uncertainty," she wrote, as officials "prepare for the 2007-2008 academic year."

The case was assigned to Judge Lynn Leibovitz. Mayoral aides said the city and election
board have agreed to an expedited schedule under which the court would hear arguments
Wednesday.

Kenneth McGhie, an attorney for the elections board, was out of the office yesterday and
did not return a message left with an assistant.

The election board had ruled in favor of Mary Spencer, a D.C. resident who argued that
she should have a fight to vote to ovelmrn the takeover legislation approved by the
council. Spencer has two grandchildren in the public schools.

Matthe~v Watson, a lawyer who advised Spencer, called Singers argument "imaginative
but wrong," noting that the mayor’s fiscal 2008 budget has not been approved by
Congress.

"It’s a budget request, not a budget," Watson said.

In an interview, Singer said the budget "expresses the will of the council and mayor. It is
a change of aplaropriations. What the [school] board used to control, the mayor and
council ~q_ll now control."
Page 923

Singer’s court cha!lenge comes a day after she sent a letter to the election board asking it
to reconsider last week’s n~ng. The board had not responded to that letter, Fenty aides
said yesterday.
Page 924 Page ! of 8

~~
onresponsi
From: Neale, Rebecca
Sent: June 02, 2007 11:35 AM
To: Cariello, Dennis; Halaska, Terrell; Dunn, David; Terrell, Julie; Rosenfelt, Phil;
Pitts, Elizabeth; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Ruberg, Casey; Kuzmich, Holly;
Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Flowers, Sarah; Williams, Cynthia;
Toomey, Liam; Tada, Wendy; tracy_d.__young@vvho.eop.gov; Reich, Heidi;
Landers, Angela; Talbert, Kent; Colby, Chad; Briggs, Kerri; McLane, Katherine;
Simon, Ray; Private -Spellings, Margaret; Neale, Rebecca; Herr, John; Ditto,
Trey; Maddox, Lauren; Beaton, Meredith; Yudof, Samara; Gdbble, Emily
Subject: WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY, 6.2.07
Attachments: 6.2.07_wknd news summary.doc

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMLARY


Saturday, June 2, 2007

!. U.S. Tackles Student Lending (WSJ)


2. Education Department Issues Rules for Student Loans ~YT)
3. Bush admin, shakes up student aid, proposes rules (Reuters)
4. US official proposes limits on lenders, colleges (B!oomberg)
5. U.S. Student Loan Office Gets New Rules and a New Chief(W. Post)
6. Bush proposes roles to curb abuse in student loan industry (AP)
7. Bush Approves Charter Change for Takeover of Schools (W. Post)

1. U.S. TACKLES STUDENT LENDING; PROPOSALS TAKE AIM AT FIRMS’


PAYMENTS TO SCHOOL OFFICIALS
By Anne Marie Chaker
June 2, 2007

The U.S. Department of Education proposed to clamp down on payments from lending
companies to collie financial-aid officials, saying that such inducements are "jeopardizing"
the fights of student borrowers.

Under the departrnengs tong-awaited rules, which are expected to be finalized in the coming
months and take effect next year, lenders would be prohibited from paying for everything
from entertainment expenses to lodging and training registration fees for school offidals.
They would also be barred from providing staffing and other assistance to college financial-
aid offices.
"Special relationships between schools and lenders have developed," the department said in a
more than 200-page document containing the proposed rules, "j eopardizing a borro~ver’s right
to choose a...lender and undermining a student financial aid administrator’s role as an
impartial and inform ed resource for students and parents."
The proposed rules would also limit colleges’ practice of listing certain lenders as "preferred."
A national investigation byNew York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has found that
certain preferred lenders provided stock and other inducements to college financial-aid
officers. Several well-known schools have let go financial-aid officials ~vho accepted such

06/05/2008
Page 925 Page 2 of 8

payments or stock from lenders.

The report cites "increasing evidence" that preferred lender lists at m~ny schools "do not
represent the result of unbiased research," and that some schools "have been restricting the
ability of borrowers to choose" by providing an electronic link to only one lender.

The new rules would require a school using a preferred-lender list to include at least three
lenders. It would also require the school to disclose how those lenders were chosen, and
advise potential borrowers that they aren’t required to use the listed lenders.

Some critics of cozy relationships between lenders and colleges said the restrictions on
preferred-lender lists don’t go far enough. The three-lender rule "is a bare minimum, and
ideally there should be more," said Mark K~ntrowitz, a Pittsbur~tt-based fmandal-aid expert.

The document also makes dear that lenders can’t skirt the anti-inducement provisions by
offering payments or other benefits to "school-affiliated" organizations, such as alumni
groups. It would also ban other inducements to universities, such as computer har&vare and
printing services. Lenders would also be prohibited from providing scholarships and other
financial contributions to colleges in return for preferred status.
The student-loan scandal also appears to have cost three lending executives their jobs. CIT
Group Inc. quietly fired three senior management officials of its Student Loan Xpress Inc.
unit who had been previously placed on administrative leave. Student Loan Xpress settled
last month with Mr. Cuomo’s office for providing stock or other payments to several college
financial-aid officials who recommended their loans to students. Mr. Cuomo’s office is
conducting an investigation of the three executives, in which CIT has agreed to cooperate.

2. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ISSUES RULES FOR STUDENT LOANS


The New York Times
June 1, 2007
By Jonathan D. Glater

The federal Education Department released new rules for federal student loan programs today
that ~vould require universities to include at least three lenders on any list recommended to
students and that would ban many of the incentives loan companies have been offering
colleges and university officials to ~in student business.
The action represented a change in direction for the department which for years had failed to
respond to calls by its inspector general, Democratic lawmakers and even some loan-industry
officials for it to be more aggressive in polidng the $85 billion student loan industry and
def~ng what practices are banned.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings created a task force in Aptil to dra~v up the
regulations after the collapse of an effort in the winter to win consensus on new rules among
representatives of students, lenders and academic institutions in a process known as
’~negotiated nge making."
’°The secretary is men~g’t~e~e regulations to strengthen and improve the administration of
the loan programs," states the proposal which the department announced today.

The proposed regulations, which were sent to the federal register on Thursday, come on the
heels of investigations in the states and in Congress, led by the New York State’s attorney

06/05/2008
Page 926 Page 3 of 8

general, Andrew M. Cuomo, that turned up an array of undisclosed relationships bet~veen


universities and lenders as wel! as conflicts of interest on the part of financial aid officers.
Some university officials who were promoting particular lenders had received stock on
favorable terms, consulting payments or gitts from loan companies.
Just this week, the Education Depar~rnent’s own inspector general reported to Congress that
the department had made ~5ninima!’" progress in dealing with complaints about abuse in the
nation’s system of government-backed student loans. An earlier report by the inspector
general, in 2003, criticized the deparh-nent for failing to provide any ~onidance on prohibited
inducements since 1995.
Department offidals have said repeatedly in the past that they did not have the authority to
oversee many of these practices because they involved private loans that are not federally
guaranteed and wanted finandal-aid officers and the loan industry to police themselves.

The proposed regulations, which will be published in the federal register for a 60-day
comment period, identify specific practices that would be barred, including "offering, directly
or indirectly, any points, premiums, payments, or other benefits to any school or other party
to secure" student loan volume, in the federally guaranteed loan program.
They ~vould also ban a college’s °’access to a lender’s other financial products, computer
hardware, and payment of the cost of printing and distribution of college catalogs and other
materials at less than market rate."

In addition, the rules would require that a university’s hst of recommended or ’~preferred"
lenders include at least three !oan companies and exclude any lenders that provided
inducements. Perhaps most importantly for students, the rules would require universities both
to explain how and why they recommend specific lenders and to ensure that all students, not
just a few, receive benefits offered by a lender on a preferred list.
The r%onlations are likely to meet little resistance. The Con~er Bankers Association
indicated that it accepted the need for additional regulation. And on Thursday the trade group
representing college financial aid officers agreed to bar its members from accepting most
lender gifts and to stop allowing lenders to sponsor its conferences.
3. BUSH ADMIN. SHAKES UP STUDENT AID, PROPOSES RULES
Reuters
June 1, 2007; 6:53 PM
By Kevin Drawbaugh

*NOTE: ran in The Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Education on Friday put its college
student financial aid office under a temporary, new leader and proposed a raft of new rifles
amid a scandal in the $85 billion student loan business.

The department said Lawrence Warder will be acting chief operating officer of federal
student aid. Warder has been chief financial officer of the department since July 2006.

He will fill both rdes while a search continues for a permanent head of the federal student
aid (FSA) office.

06/05/2008
Page 927 ~ge 4 of 8

An accountant and management consultant, Warder for now will run an office that delivers
$77 billion of financial aid annually to more than 10 million students and their families.
"Larry brings extensive management expertise .... He is ready to hit the ground running at
this important time at FSA," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings in a statement.

The deparkment last month announced the resignation of the previous FSA chief, Terri Shaw.
She left on Monday after critics of the department said it had not done enough over the years
to police the student loan industry.

Spellings also released on Friday a 225-page packet of proposed rules aimed at fixing some
of the problems uncovered recently by investigators who allege contlicts of interest and
kickback schemes among lenders and college aid officers.

Investigators allege that lender banks have Nven payments and gifts to college officials to
curry favor and drum up business by winnhtg spots on "preferred lender lists" shown to
students ~vho need to borrow money for their education.

The Education Department’s proposals address both lender lists and the payments and gifts,
known as inducements.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, who chairs the Senate education
committee, called the proposed rules "a positive development from the Department of
Education."
A deparhnent spokeswoman said fin!l rules are expected to be completed by November 1 to
take effect in July 2008.

The rules would affect how business is done by leading student loan groups such as Sallie
Mae, Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

"Although ~ve have not yet had an opportunity to thoroughly review over 200 pages of rules
that were released today, we are pleased that the Departxnent of Education has finatlyj oined
us in our efforts to clean up the student loan industry," said California Democratic Rep.
George Miller in a statement.

Miller chairs the House of Representatives education committee, which has helped lead the
investigations, along with Kennedy’s panel and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
"Given the extent of the corruption within these programs that has ben highli~hted by
ongoing investigations ... it is long past lJxne for the department to start acting in the best
interests of students and their families," Miller said.
On May 9, the House ove~vhelmingly passed a bill that would crack down on student loan
market misconduct, tackling many of the issues addressed in the Education Depmlrnent
proposals.

The Senate has not acted, although Kennedy said he expects "strong, bipartisan support for
lender-ethics provisions" in an upcoming education spending measure.

The Senate Banking Committee said on Friday it will hold a hearing on student loans and
college affordability on June 6. The planned sale of Sallie Mac will also be a topic, it said.

06/05/2008
Page 928 Page 5 of 8

4. US OFFICIAL PROPOSES LIMITS ON LENDERS, COLLEGES


Bloomberg
June 2, 2007

US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, criticized for her oversi~t of the $85 billion-a-
year student-loan industry, proposed banning company gifts to colleges and establishing rules
for how schools recommend lenders.

Spellings submitted 225 pages of draft regulations yesterday for publication and public
comment, the department said yesterday in a statement. The proposed roles include a
provision requiting colleges that recommend lenders to students to have at least three
unrelated companies on their lists.
The draft roles follow criticism from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and
Democratic congressional leaders investigating financial arrangements bet~veen lenders and
colleges. Their inquiries have found colleges and student-aid officials accepting undisclosed
payments from lenders the schools recommended.

"Our investigation has repeatedly and clearly uncovered rampant conflicts of interest in the
student !oan industry," Cuomo said yesterday in a statement. "We will review these
proposals, but it is clear now that the department should have acted with much greater speed
and seriousness."
Department investigations recently found that some schools selected lenders based on
"prohibited inducements" in the form of payments or other benefits, according to the draft.
The departmenfs inspector general warned in August 2003 that such inducements were
"becoming an increasing problem."

"Preferred-lender lists maintained by many schools do not represent the result of unbiased
research by the school to identify the lenders providing the best combination of service and
benefits to borrowers," the draft said.
Separately, US Senator Christopher Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut ~nd chairman of the
Senate’s banking committee, yesterday said he plans to examine issues including private
student loans, the fastest-growing segment of the industry, and the proposed $25 billion
takeover ofSallie Mae, the largest US education-loan provider.

5. U.S. STUDENT LOAN OFFICE GETS NEW RULES AND A NEW CHIEF
Washington Post
June 2, 2007; A05
By Amit IL Paley
The Bush administration, fending offcriticism that it has failed to provide adequate oversi~ht
to the student loan industry, proposed regulations yesterday that would prohibit lenders from
showering tmiversities with Ntis to drum up business.

The rules, announced by the Education Department~ amount to the administration’s strongest
response so far to a nationwide investigation of the $85 billion-a-year business that has
exposed financial ties among lenders, school officials and government regulators.
Also yesterday, Lawrence Warder, the department’s chief financial officer, became the acting

06/05/2008
Page 929 Page 6 of 8

head of its student loan office, after Theresa S. Shaw resigned last month amid controversy.
Earlier this week, the agency’s inspector general said in a report to Congress that the loan
office and the department "have taken only minimal steps to address our recommendations"
to fix problems with student loan programs.
Some Democrats and consumer advocates said the department has taken too long to develop
the rifles, which would not take effect until at least July 2008. The agency killed a similar
proposal in 2001 that had been drafted during the Clinton administration, and Congress is
expected to pass slricter limits on the industry this summer.

"These rales are too little, too late," said Luke Swarthout, an advocate for the U.S. Public
Interest Research Group Higher Education Project.

The proposed regxtlations emerged after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings initiated a
rulemaking process last year. A committee charged with creating rules on lender ~fts failed
to reach consensus, which allowed the department to unilaterally draf[ the rules announced
yesterday.

Katherine McLane, a department spokeswoman, said the process, although long and
cumbersome, is the only way the agency can change policy. She said the department could
not just wait and hope that Congress takes action.

"We are not resting on our laurels," she said. "We have to move forward."
The rules would pi~vent lenders from offering payments or other inducements to schools as a
way to generate business. The proposal also requires schools that create lists of preferred
lenders to put at least three companies on the lists and provide detailed explanations of how
the lists were created.

In a preamble to the proposed regulations, the department used some of its starkest langa~age
to date in describing the crisis enveloping the loan industry. It said questionable business
practices are "jeopardizing a borrower’s ri~t to choose a [private] lender and undermining
the student financial aid administrators role as an impartial and informed resource for
students and parents."
The proposed rules also disclosed that recent agency investigations have found cases in
which schools recommended a lender in exchange for prohibited inducements. McLane said
she could not immediately provide more details.
6. BUSH PROPOSES RULES TO CURBABUSE IN STUDENT LOAN INDUSTRY
Associated Press
June 2, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has proposed new roles aimed at damping
down on conflicts of interest in the student loan industry.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings hadprevionsly said she would issue the rules about
this time. The action comes amid high-proNe investigations into the student loan industry by
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers in Congress.

They have accused the Education Department of failing to police improper relationstfips
between student lenders and colleges or thek employees.

06/05/2008
Page 930 Page 7 of 8

Cuomo’s investigation unveiled arrangements between universities and lenders in w1~ch


schools received some of the money lenders made from loans at those schools. And in some
cases, the investigators fotmd schools or loan officials were given incentives to place loan
companies on a school’s p~eferred-lender

7. BUSH APPROVES CHARTER CHANGE FOR TAKEOVER OF SCHOOLS; CITY


ASKS COURT TO OVERTURN ELECTION BOARD DECISION AND DISALLOW
REFERENDUM
Washington Post
June 2, 2007
By David Nakamura

President Bush approved a District charter amendment yesterday that takes power away from
the Board of Education and advances Mayor Adrian M. Fent2is plan to control the public
schools.

Fenty (D) must ~vait until June 12 -- when the standard congressional revie~v period for his
takeover legislation expires -- to assume fin authority over the struggling 55,000-student
system.
And Fenty’s plan still could be derailed by a challenge from residents. Yesterday, D.C.
Attorney General Linda Singer asked a D.C. Superior Court judge to overturn a decision by
the city’s Board of Elections and Ethics that would give residents a chance to force a
referendum on the mayors takeover plan.

The board ruled last month that a referendum would be held in August if residents can gather
signatures from 5 percent of registered voters, about 20,000 people, by the June 12 expiration
of the review period. The residents may beNn collecting signatures Tuesday.
In her court filing, Singer said a referendum would be improper for two reasons: Congress
has approved the Home Rule Charter amendment that Bush signed ye,~terday; and Fenty has
signed legislation that funds positions created under the takeover plan and places the school
budget under the control of the mayor and D.C. Coundl.

"The Board’s acceptance of the Referendum would result in immediale and continuing
uncertainty," she ~vrote, as officials "prepare for the 2007-2008 academic year."

The case was assigned to Judge Lynn Leibovitz. Mayoral aides said the dty and decfion
board have agreed to an expedited schedule under which the court would hear arguments
Wednesday.
Kenneth McGhie, an attorney for the deetions board, was out of the office yesterday and did
not retun~ a message left with an assistant.

The election board had ruled in favor of Mary Spencer, a D.C. resident who argued that she
should have a right to vote to overturn the takeover leNslation approved by the council.
Spencer has two grandchildren in the public schools.
Matthe~v Watson, a lawyer ~vho advised Spencer, called Singer’s argument "imaNnafive but
wrong," noting that the mayors fiscal 2008 budget has not been approved by Congress.

06/05/2008
Page 931 Page 8 of 8

"It’s a budget request, not a budget," Watson said.

In an interview, Singer said the budget "extxesses the will of the counc~ and mayor. It is a
change of appropriations. What the [school] board used to control, the mayor and council wil!
now control."

Singer’s court challenge comes a day aRer she sent a letter to the election board asking it to
reconsider last week’s ruling. The board had not responded to that letter, Fenty aides said
yesterday.
###

06/05/2008
Page 932

Nonresponsi !
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May 31, 2007 8:58 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Time To Foster Innovation (PHI)

Time To Foster Innovation (PHI)


By Paul Kimmelman
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 2007
The parade of witnesses testifying at Education Committee hearings in the House and Senate on the reauthorization of the
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a red flag, warning that Congress may be lulling itself into the belief that simply tweaking
NCLB will raise the quality of U.S. schools.
This false sense of security means that the real direction in which we must take schools - beyond compliance and toward
innovation for a 21 st-century education system - is being ignored. The next frontier for Americans’ lives and livelihoods in the
knowledge economy is a world-class education system that truly works for all students.
Don’t get me wrong: NCLB, as written, has its virtues. Chief among them is that it put teeth into school reform. Over the
years, business leaders had convened summits, academics had written white papers, and policy makers had advocated for
school reform. Although these groups were well-intentioned, it still took the passage of NCLB, a federal law, to make schools
accountable for results.
Congress now has an opportunity to reauthorize NCLB as a policy that supports innovation and responds to the urgency
felt across the country to keep the United States an economic force in the world. When it passed NCLB in 2001, Congress
accomplished its most important goal by creating a culture change within the education profession. Consider that Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings announced recently to a gathering of education writers that 70 percent of the nation’s schools were
in compliance with NCLB standards. This gives me confidence that many educators are ready for the next step - moving schools
beyond a compliance mentality and toward innovation.
Stimulating the education sector to innovate will not be easy, but nothing will contribute more to our nation’s vitality. We can
start with a few simple steps:
Invest in research and development to improve practices in math and science education that emphasize discovery and
problem solving.
Invite more collaboration among business, academia, research organizations and education leaders to stimulate new
approaches to vexing challenges, not the least of which is the need to harness new technologies.
Offer merit-based grants to states that develop winning approaches to teacher preparation, instructional methods and
publictprivate partnerships to disseminate their know-how across the profession.
Education is never short on challenges, but NCLB has led to real changes in the way schools are approaching them. The
experts testifying before Congress should be focusing on a federal policy that encourages innovation. Think of this parallel: After
Congress imposed higher gas-mileage requirements on the auto industry, several automakers responded with revolutionary
hybrid vehicles.
The new NCLB must address how schools will strive toward excellence, not simply meet the minimum requirements of the
law. Hours spent tweaking the mandates of NCLB will not yield a more competitive workforce. What will is developing a forward-
looking agenda to prepare our children for the world they will inherit.
Paul Kimmelman (paul.kimmelman@comcast.net)is author of"Implementing NCLB: Creating a Knowledge Framework to
Support School Improvement."
Page 933

Nonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May 31, 2007 8:52 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfrnan, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talber~, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toom ey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: A Lesson For Spellings: Educators, Leaders Grill U.S. Education Chief (STAMADV CT)

A Lesson For Spellings: Educators, Leaders Grill U.S. Education Chief (STAMADV CT)
By. Chris Gosier
The Stamford (CT) Advocate, May 31, 2007
STAMFORD - During a visit yesterday with U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, educators and community
leaders called for changes to the federal law that pushes schools to raise standardized test scores.
The No Child Let~ Behind Act is up for reauthorization this year, and Spellings is holding meetings nationwide to hear ideas
about how to improve it.
She got an earful yesterday at the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut, where educators said the law should
reflect the progress of students even if their test scores aren’t at the standard.
Students grow a lot before reaching the standard dictated by the law, and the law should account for that, said Dudley
Williams, a board member with Stamford Achieves, a community group that works to improve education.
Wilton schools Superintendent Gary Richards said it’s demoralizing for parents and teachers to make improvements in
education but still see their schools designated as failing. He favored a "growth model" that reflects progress.
’1 am very much supportive of this sort of notion," Spellings said, but it calls for a "graduate-level type of accountability"
because of the data involved.
There’s a push toward more nuanced accountability, and distinguishing between schools that chronically underperform and
those that nearly meet the standards, Spellings said.
"We can make some distinctions like that now" because of the data that’s been gathered since No Child Left Behind was
passed in 2002, she said.
In Connecticut, the law requires schools to meet the state goal on the Connecticut Mastery Test, given in elementary and
middle school, and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, given in high school.
Schools that have substandard test scores for a few years must let students transfer to schools that score better, change
school leadership and meet other standards.
Spellings said the law is narrowing the achievement gap between white and minority students, and the government is
poised to improve it after five years of seeing how it has worked.
"We learned some things, no doubt about it;" she said.
The Rev. Lindsay Curtis, president of the Norwalk NAACP chapter, said children are being left behind in spite of the law,
and there are too many students in some classes. Part of the answer lies with community groups such as the Norwalk Achieves
Partnership, he said.
"It appears to be testing versus learning" in some classrooms, Curtis said. ’q-hat continues to be a major concern in our
communities."
Another concern is that states and cities don’t get enough federal money to meet No Child Left Behind requirements,
educators and officials said.
"Always feel free to send money," Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy said.
"Mayor, resources are a perennial issue in Washington," Spellings replied.
Connecticut and other states have sued the federal education department over the costs of No Child Let~ Behind.
Spellings said she was gratitied after a federal judge ruled against Connecticut in September on three of four claims raised
in the suit.
But Connecticut Attomey General Richard Blumenthal said the issue is alive because of the fourth claim, which has yet to
1
Page 934

be addressed.
He released a statement yesterday welcoming Spellings to Connecticut, saying she "needs to listen to administrators and
teachers in the trenches who know first-hand the devastating impact of unfunded mandates."
Christopher Poulos, Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year, gave Spellings and U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Bridgeport, 10
proposed changes that the national Teachers of the Year organization drew up. Members of the group would like to be non-
voting members of Congress’s education committees, he said.
"We want teachers at the table," said Poulos, a teacher at Joel Barlow High School in Redding.
Spellings and Shays also met with the Business Council of Fairfield County to discuss improving higher education.
Page 935

Nonresponsi

To:
.. ............................. .........................
May31, 2007 5:11 AM
scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby,
Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Evers, Bill;
Gribble, Emily; Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie;
Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Moran,
Robert; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc;
Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Co: McLane, Katherine
Subject: USAT editorial: Our view on education reform: How to fix ’No Child’ law

Our view on education reform: How to fix ’No Child’


law
Act’s sanctions, aid should be targeted at most-troubled schools.

In Florida last year, only 29% of schools made "adequate yearly progress" under the
federal No Child Left Behind law. Can Florida schools really be that bad?

Most likely not. The problems at more than half of the lagging schools are probably easily
fixed. And yet those schools get lumped together with seriously failing ones.

That guilt-by-association is a serious problem for the No Child law, which took effect in
2002 and badly needs friends as Congress decides whether to renew President Bush’s
signature education reform.
Mmny Democrats hate the law because teachers’ unions hate it. Many Republicans dislike it
because they don’t want the federa! government meddling in local schools. Teachers and
parents dislike the testing, which is designed to ensure that all students are learning.

All the opposition is unfortunate, because already the law has helped thousands of poor
and minority students whose teachers and principals are now held accountable for their
education. In years past, these students were allowed to slide through school unti! they
either dropped out or "graduated" with marginml skills.

Fixing the law’s flaws requires narrowing its focus


to:

* Snag fewer schools. Nationally, about 20% of all schools run afoul of the law’s
accountability measures by failing to make adequate progress two years in a row. Many
education experts estimate that less than half of those schools are truly troubled.

The rest are schools with manageable problems.


Appomattox Elementary School in Appomattox County, Va., for example, always did well with
its white students, who make up 68% of the school population, but fell into trouble in
2004 when black and poor students failed to make adequate progress. Teachers scrambled,
and not only did the school get off the troubled list, but two weeks ago it won a state
"distinguished schoo!" award.
The Education Trust, which lobbies on behmlf of poor schools, has a worthy idea: Designate
schools such as Appomattox as needing "focused" reforms and require the worst schools to
undergo "comprehensive" reform.

* Concentrate the assistance. In theory, schools with long track records of failure face
radical restructuring, but most of those schools merely tinker with cosmetic reforms.

Solving this requires state officials to sort out which of the failing schools are in the
deepest trouble and work first with them. For their part, Washington officials have to
squeeze more school rescue money out of Congress, which to date has chipped in a relative
pittance to a school turnaround fund.
Page 936
The foes of No Child Left Behind miss one important
fact: For many students, this is their last, best chance to get a decent education. That’s
why Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and congressional backers need to act quickly
to boost the law’s effectiveness before its many enemies kill it off.

Poor progress
States with the highest number of "chronically troubled" schools under the No Child Left
Behind law:

i. California (357)
2. New York (166)

3. Illinois (138)

4. Pennsylvania (69)

5. Hawaii (50)

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Posted at 12:21 AH/ET, May 31, 2007 in Education - Editorial, Law/Judiciary - Editoria!,
Politics, Government - Editorial, Reforming Washington - Editoria!, USA TODAY editorial
Permalink

Fussy?
Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect. Join Yahoo~’s user panel and lay it on us.
http:!/surveylink, yahoo.com/gmrs/yahoo_panel_invite.asp?a=7
Page 937

Nonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May30, 2007 9:33 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerd; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Dil~o, Trey;
Dorfman, C~thia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddo×,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pttts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: The Education Dept. On The Loan Scandal (NYT)

The Education Dept. On The Loan Scandal (1 Letter) (NYT)


By Margaret Spellings
The NewYork Times, May 30, 2007
To the Editor:
VVhen it comes to protecting college students from shady lending practices, the Department of Education is on the case
("Educating the Education Secretary," editorial, May 14).
Fixing the student loan system is a top priority. We have closed a loophole that allowed some private lenders to game the
system. And we are continually conducting audits and review~
But to change the game we need to change the law.
Current law inhibits enforcement, because of a high burden of proof. It forces the department to demonstrate that a lender’s
actions were clearly intended to result in loan applications. Your editorial does not point out this key fact.
We are committed to injecting more choice, competition and transparency into the federal student aid process.
Our plan would ensure that every borrower has the right to choose any lender, and would require schools with preferred
lender lists to disclose how and why those lenders were chosen.
We’re already taking steps to ban gitts in exchange for loans and to limit deceptive marketing. And we are working closely.
with Congress and the many agencies with partial oversight of the private student loan process.
One final note: To ensure that college remains affordable for as many families as possible, President Bush has proposed
the largest increase in federal Pell Grants in 30 years. We are pleased that Congress is working with us to accomplish this goal.
Margaret Spellings
Secretary of Education
Washington, May 25, 2007
Page 938

Nonresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May30, 2007 9:01 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pttts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: SMS LTE in Washington Post

Making Progress On Student Loans (WP)


The Washin,qton Post, May 30, 2007
I appreciate The Post’s editors agreeing with me that the student loan and financial aid system "needs a lot of work beyond
tightening ethics rules" ["Belated Insight," editorial, May 20]. But it must be added that we are taking action.
This is not a new story. In 2001, the Bush administration inherited a problem-filled system. Millions of dollars of Education
Department money could not be accounted for. Too many student loan borrowers were defaulting. Federal student aid programs
had not received a clean audit opinion in years, earning placement on the high-risk list of the Government Accountability Office
(GAO).
Today, we are far better able to monitor questionable practices, an improvement that can aid state attorneys general in
their investigations. The student loan default rate has fallen, and we’ve had five consecutive clean financial audit opinions. As a
result, in 2005 the GAO took student aid programs off its high-risk list.
We are committed to injecting more choice, competition and transparency into the federal student aid process. Our plan
would ensure that every borrower has the right to choose any lender and would require schools with preferred lender lists to
disclose how and why lenders were chosen. Recently, we closed a regulatory loophole that had allowed some private lenders to
game the system.
We’re also focused on the consumers of education -- students and their families. With tuition outracing family incomes, we
proposed the largest increase in federal Pell Grants in 30 years. And our Commission on the Future of Higher Education has
offered new ways to make a college education more accessible and affordable.
But we have a long way to go. Stopping questionable lending practices will require a long-term commitment by Congress,
the federal government, colleges and universities, and the private lenders themselves. Fortunately, that effort is well underway.
MARGARET SPELLINGS
Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Washington
Page 939

Nonresponsive [
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May30, 2007 8:50 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dorfrnan, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Maguire, Tory;, McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Private - Spellings, Margaret; Tada,
Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toom ey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia;
Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Sen Wyden, Schools Chief Castillo Pledge To Overhaul ’No Child Let~ Behind’ Act (OPB OR)

Sen Wyden, Schools Chief Castillo Pledge To Overhaul ’No Child Left Behind’ Act (OPB OR)
By Rob Manning
Ore,qon Public Broadcastinq, May 30, 2007
PORTLAND, OR 2007-05-29 Senator Ron Wyden and state schools chief Susan Castillo promised Tuesday morning to
help overhaul the federal No Child Lef~ Behind Act. The law, often shorthanded as "NCLB" comes before Congress this year.
Lawmakers and many advocates praised NCLB when it was signed into law more than five years ago. But for nearly as long,
critics have called the law inflexible and underfunded. Some teachers even call it harmful. As Rob Manning reports, Wyden and
Castillo, are leading meetings around Oregon as a step toward reforming the law.
It’s hard to argue with the intent of No Child Left Behind. to close the notorious gap between white kids who tend to do well
in school and minority kids who often don’t. The law has been controversial for how it attempts to get there.
Senator Wyden says the law has fallen far short.
Ron Wyden: "The promise of the law was realistic funding and realistic accountability, and unfortunately there hasn’t been
enough of either."
Next to funding, the biggest complaint among educators is that the law is too rigid. The law tracks specific sub-groups of
students, like low-income kids and foreign language speakers. It’s up to schools to get a high percentage of students in each
group to reach the same high benchmark. If any one sub-group misses, the entire school misses. Sanctions can result.
As this week’s set of listening sessions begin, Senator Wyden promised to push for a model that would judge whether
schools are working or not, not against a fixed benchmark, but based on whether students are making gains overall.
Ron Wyden: "In the past, I think there has been an interest in the federal government, in setting an arbitrary standard, and
everybody trying to figure out howto teach to that. What we’re interested in here, in Oregon, is in making sure all our students
are making substantial growth."
Wyden told educators at a morning round table that with Democrats in control, there should be "dramatic changes" to a law
he called "grotesque and mindless." For years, though, the Bush administration has defended the law, though that may be
changing.
The "growth model" Wyden advocates is an example. In a 2004 interviewwith OPB, then Assistant Secretary of Education
Gene Hickock advocated the current system.
Gene Hickock: "To me, it’s not as big of a problem as some other accountability systems, say ’growth.’ And they want to
see how much students improve over a year, and to reach a certain target, they’ll focus on the ones who are most likely to
improve. No Child Left Behind doesn’t do that. One of the other challenges of a growth model is that you get credit if you get a
child from an ’F,’ for lack of a better term, to a ’D.’ That’s movement, but it’s not grade level."
Fast-forward three years. Hickock and Secretary Rod Paige have left. New secretary Margaret Spellings delivered a very
different message recently. She appeared last week on Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart".
Jon Stewart: "Is there something in it you feel like you’d like to tweak?"
Margaret Spellings: "Well, sure, we passed the best lawwe could ~e years ago, that’s why we have re-authorizations --"
Jon Stewad: "What would you do?"
Margaret Spellings: "We can be more precise about howwe measure kids, looking at their progress over time, it’s called
the ’growth model.’"
Spellings has allowed a fewstates to try out growth models, though not Oregon. But not all school leaders are sold on if_
Among them, Centennial superintendent Bob McKean. He cautioned Senator Ron Wyden that the model may lose track of
Page 940
thousands of students who move from school to school.
McKean says it’s no cure-all for No Child Lett Behind.
Bob McKean: "It’s certainly not the solution to all that ails it. I think as a society, we’re struggling howto measure
adequately, success for students in all schools, but I would just say that the Byzantine model, convoluted model we have, is
certainly not adequate."
Educators made their recommendations at Atkinson Elementary, where there’s a program to teach both English and
Spanish to kids who come from both language backgrounds. As teachers and advocates made their case, kids who speak
English at home were in the halls, practicing Spanish.
(sound of students speaking Spanish)
Atkinson’s principal argued that languages take years to learn, and kids learning English need more time than the current
law allows. Special ed advocates also lobbied for more flexibility for students with disabilities. Some argued for scrapping the taw
entirely.
State schools superintendent Susan Castillo said she’s ready to junk the law’s punitive nature.
Susan Castillo: "Right now, the law is very focused on punishment, rather than support for improvement, and we’ve been
doing a lot of work not only in Oregon but across the country on school improvement, we~’e learned a lot, and things we can to
help our schools be successful. But the first options under this law are punishment."
After Portland, Wyden and Castillo head to Bend, Eugene, and Medford. They’re likely to hear about another problem
there.
Rural districts say that getting enough "highly qualified teachers" under the federal definition can be close to impossible.
Portland teachers also suggested making that part of the law more flexible.
Administrators cautioned, though, that like many aspects of NCLB, making time to help the law work gets back to the first,
most common, complaint: It’s going to take more funding.
Page 941 Page 1 of 8

LN,~onresponsi [
From: Ditto, Trey
Sent" May 25, 2007 11:53 AM
To: ’katherine mclane’; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad;
Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly; La
Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private -
Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Neale, Rebecca;
Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell;
Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: RE: Howto Fix No Child Left Behind (TIME)

Here is the "printer friendly version." My blackberry battery died from all the scrolling on the first one.

How to Fix No Child Left Behind


By Claudia Wallis, Sonja Steptoe

Ilts countdown dine in Philadelphia’s public schools. Just 21 days remain before the state
reading and math tests in March, and the kids and faculty at James G. Blaine Elementary, an
all-black, inner-city school that spans pre-K to eighth grade, have been drilling for much of
the day. At 2:45 in the afternoon, Rasheed Abdullah, the kinetic lead math teacher, stages
what could be called a prep rally with 11 third-graders. The kids, who are at neither the top
nor the bottom of their class, have been selected for intensive review--as has a contingent
from other grades--because the~ test scores hold the key to putting the school over the top on
the pivotal Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSAS). Last year, after a history
of failure, the school, under new leadership, managed to meet the federal goal for adequate
yearly pro~ess (AYP) on the state tests for the first time. If it does so again, Blaine moves
offthe dreaded list of failing schools, no longer a target for intensive oversight and sanctions
that could include replacing the staff.

Abdullah, who has an easy rapport with students, issues a quick reminder to sign up for
"Super Saturday" review classes and then begins his math-athon with a rousing recitation of
the school’s declaration of education. "We believe that we can learn at high levels," the
children chant. "We believe we can reach our learning potential ... We believe that Blaine
wi!l become a high-performing institution."

Quite a mouthful for an 8-year-old. And there’s more. Abdullah starts pumping his fists as the
kids finish with passionate vows.
’TI1 never give up[" he shouts.

"I’11 never give up!" they echo.

"Even on the PSSA test!"

"Even on the PSSA test["

’"Cause winners never lose, and I am the best["

06/05/2008
Page 942 Page 2 of 8

For the next 15 minutes, the kids, divided into teams, compete to win points by solving math
problems, with Abdullah acting as a combination game-show host and math coach. There are
giggles and cheers and plenty of correct answers, but everyone in the room knows the fate of
the school is at st~e.

To understand the impact of the 2001 Elementm7 and Secondary Education Act, indelibly
rebranded as No C1~d Left Behind (NCLB), you need to visit a school like Blaine. The
astonish~gly ambitious law, the Bush Administration’s proudest domestic achievement, was
crat~ed with high-poverty, low-achieving schools like this one in mind. NCLB proponents
and critics alike a~ee that the law’s greatest accomplishment has been shining an unforgiving
spotlight on such languishing schools and demanding that they do better. At Blaine, for
instance, only 13% of fifth- and eighth-graders were reading on grade level or above in 2004-
-a number that has since risen to 36%.

Under the law’s most visible stipulation, states must test public school students in reading and
math every year from third through eighth grade, plus once in high school, and reveal the
results for each school or face a loss of federal funds. Just as critical, schools must break out
test results for certain groups: blacks, Hisparfics, English-langaage learners, learning-disabled
students. This has embarrassed many a top suburban school where high-flying majorities
have masked the low achievement of minorities and special-ed students. The law insists--
with consequences for failure--that schools make annual progress toward closing the
achievement gap between rich and poor, black and white, and bring all students to grade-
level proficiency in math and reading by 2014, ending what the President memorably called
"the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Ask almost any school administrator, education policymaker or think-tank wonk about
NCLB, and you’re guaranteed to get at least one sunny metaphor about ho~v the law opened a
window, raised a curtain or otherwise illuminated the plight of the nalion’s underserved kids.
This is NCLB’S biggest achievement and the best reason for Congress to reauthorize the law.
"At the end of the day, who can argue with holding schools accountable for all children?"
asks Paul Vallas, outgoing chief executive of Philadelphia’s schools and incoming head of the
New Orleans school district. "Who can argu~ with not tolerating failJ_ng schools or with
giving poor kids the kinds of choices that wealthier kids have? Ills a dvil fights issue."

There’s plenty of argm-nent, ho~vever, about how the law seeks to achieve these goals. NCLB
takes the Federal Government--which contributes only 9¢ of every $1 spent on U.S. schools--
where ifs never gone before: telling the states how to measure school success, specifying
interventions for failure, mandating qualifications for teachers and even telling the nation
ho~v to teach reading. This year, as the five-year-old la~v comes up for debate, an unforgiving
spotlight will be focused on its impact thus far, including its numerous unintended
consequences. Many teachers are enraged by the lady’s reliance on high-stakes exams that
lead schools like Blaine to focus relentlessly on boosting scores rather than pursuing a
broader vision of education. More than 30,000 educators and concerned citizens have signed
an online petition calling for the repea! of the 1,100-page statute. Some offer comments like
this one from a former superintendent of schools in Ohio: "NCLB is like a Russian novel.
ThaWs because it’s long, it’s complicated, and in the end, everybody gets killed."

Whether NCLB is achieving its objectives remains an open question. Fourth-grade reading
scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) rose sharply from 1999
to 2004, but most of the gains occurred before the law took effect The achievement gap
appears to be narrowing in some spots--fourth- and eighth-grade math scores for minorities,
for instance--but not others. The gap between white and black eighth-graders has widened

06/05/2008
Page 943 Page 3 of 8

slightly in math, for example. Gains for eighth-graders in general remain stubbornly elusive.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who has been advising the President on education
since his days as Texas Governor, notes that the law went into fi~ effect only last year and
that more time is needed for it to work. Still, she and the Administration have proposed a
large number of adjustments to a law she once compared to Ivory soap, saying "Ifs 99.9%
pure." "We wrote the very best bill we could five years ago," Spellin~ told TIME, "but we’ve
learned from our experiences." Meanwhile, members of Congress have their own fix-it
agendas, as do state education officials and, of course, the teachers unions.

Much of the debate over renewing the law is focused on five areas of controversy:

oAYP on reading and math tests: Is it the right tool for measuring learning and raising
achievement in the nation’s schools?

°Are the 50 states, each of which devises its own annual tests and cundculum standards,
setting the bar high enough for students, and if not, what should be done about it?

¯ Is the focus on reading and math distorting and narrowing education?

¯ Do the la~v’s requirements for teacher qualifications make sense, and are they raising the
quality of the U.S. teaching force?

°Are the directives aimed at failing schools having the intended impact? What is the right role
for the Federal Government in f~xing bad schools?

In addition to these policy questions, there’s the matter of money. The states have complained
bitterly that NCLB imposes its many mandates without the federal funds originally promised
to implement them. Providing more money for NCLB is a key goal for the Democrats, who
control Confess, and is almost certainly part of their price for reauthorizing the law. A look
at some of the more challenging issues:

HOW SHOULD WE MEASURE LEARNING?

The heart and soul of No Child Left Behind are its reql~ements for armual testing and proof
that students of every stripe are making adequate yearly progress. AYP is as basic to U.S.
education as ABC, but most thoughtfifl educators oloj ect to the way it’s measured. One of the
biggest problems: there are too many ways to fail, even when a school is moving in the right
direction.

Consider the case of Bud Carson Middle School in Hawthorne, Calif. In 2005 the school,
which is 92% Lafino and black, pulled out the stops to reverse its failing record and hit 20 out
of its 21 AYP goals, lifting scores for blacks, Hispanics and special-ed students; c!osing
achievement ~o-aps; and raising attendance. Nonetheless, the school remained on the "needs
improvement" list that year because it nmxowly missed the reading-score goal for its En~ish-
language learners. (Happily, it made AYP ayear later.)

Jack O’Colmell, California’s superintendent ofpubhc instruction, is one of many


administrators around the country who findthe AYP system too infl~.ible, too arbitrary and
too punitive. Some Cahfornia schools, he says, have made huge progress, but because they
did not make AYP they are reqtfired to help students transfer to another school. "So," he

06/05/2008
Page 944 Page 4 of 8

laments, "we have to take away resources that we can document are improving achievement
and put them into transportation to bus kids to other schools."

In addition, the do-or-die AYP system crea~s perverse incentives. It re,yards schools that
focus on kids on the edge of achieving grade-level proficiency--like those 11 students in
Blaine’s math-review class. There’s no incentive for schools to do much of anything for the
kids who are on grade level or above, which is one reason the law is unpopular in wealthier,
high-achieving communities. And sadly, says O’Connell, "NCLB provides no incentive to
work on the kids far below the bar."

Sterling Garris, prindpal at Bla~e, has plenty of such low achievers at his school. As he
walked down the hallway on a recent spring day, an elated reading teacher came rushing up
to him with a third-grader who, she exclaimed, had jumped four reading levels. Garfis
offered the boy his hearty congratulations, but later he ruefully noted that the achievement
won’t be recognized under the terms set by NCLB. "This child has had tremendous growth,
but he’ll still bomb the PSSA test because he isn’t on grade leve!," says Garris. Whafs worse,
a child who has worked so hard will be stuck with a sense of failure. At test time, says Garris,
"some kids get so frustrated they cry."

What’s the alternative to AYP? Most educators, Garris included, prefer a more fle~ble
measure of student improvement known as the ~owth model. In this approach, schools Wack
the pro~ess of each student year to year. Success is defined by a certain amount of growth,
even if the student isn’t on grade level. So a child like that Blaine third-grader would be
judged a success--and his teachers and school would get credit for his achievement. "The
~owth model," says O’Cormell, "is amuchmore accurate portrayal of a school’s
perform ante."

Spellings says she appreciates the need for "a more nuanced accountability system," and her
department is testing the growth model in North Carolina, Termessee, Florida, Arkansas and
Delaware. The main sticking point, she says, is having a data-management system that can
accurately track the performance of individual students statewide. Another sticking poing she
says, is ensuring that growth doesn’t replace the goal of moving kids up to grade level.
"Growth models have to be within what I call the bright-line principles ofthe law, which is
grade-level proficiency by 2014. Moving the goalposts is not what we are talking about."

CAN WE TRUST THE STATES TO SET STANDA~S?

But moving the goalposts may be inevitable. Decreeing that all kids (except 1% with serious
disabilities and an additional 2% with other issues) must be proficient by 2014 is a little like
declaring that all the children are above average in the mythical town of Lake Wobegon.
California has some of the toughest K-12 curriculum standards in the nation, and O’Cormell
despairs ofhit~g the 201~1 goal. "Today we don’t have any of our schools with 100% student
proficiency, and I will predict that we won’t by 2014," he says. "Right now about one-quarter
of our kids have to be proficient [to make AYP], but soon it’s going to be increased 12% a
year until 2014. You have to question the accountability system when !00% of your schools
are going to be failing, by deflation."

There are, however, two surefire ways to hit the 2014 target. One is for schools to cheat on
the tests--a frighteningly commonplace solution, according to David I3erliner, a respected
education scholar at Arizona State University and a co-author of a new book, Collateral
Damage, that documents the cheating trend. The other solution is to make the state tests

06/05/2008
Page 945 Page 5 of 8

easier, a phenomenon known among educators as "the race to the bottom." Philadelphia’s
Vallas likes to joke that there are two paths to success for his city’s schools: improve
instruction for students "or give them the Illinois tests."

Or better yet, Mississippi’s. In 2005, 89% of fourth-graders in Mississippi xvere rated


profident in reading--the highest percentage in the nation. But when Mississippi youngsters
sat for the rigorous NAEP--the closest thing to a national gold standard--they landed at the
bottom: just 18% of fourth-graders made the grade in reading. States that have a tough
curriculum and correspondingly tough exams--such as California and Massachusetts--are
delivering a more rigorous education, but they’re setting themselves up to fail in NCLB’s
terms.

No wonder so many states have watered down their expectations. An analysis by researchers
at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washin~on-based nonprofit, found that the quality
of educational standards--which are detailed, grade-by-grade, subject-by-subj ect learning
goals--declined in 30 states from 2000 to 2006. That includes the four states--Delaware,
Kansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma--said to be on track for 2014. Overall, only three
states earned an A from Fordham on curriculum standards--which are also the basis for state
tests; 37 rated C-- or belo~v.

In European countries, for example, such weak and uneven expectations aren’t a problem
because most have a uniform national curriculum and national tests. But that approach has
been politically unacceptable in the U.S., where schools are largely funded and controlled at
the state and local levels. Besides, says Spellings, "do you really want me sitting in
Washington ~vorking on how we teach evolution or ereationism? I don’t want to!"

Her deparlxnent has instead proposed a new requirement that every school, in addition to
publishing its results on state tests, provide parents with the statewide scores on NAEP. The
idea is that parents would complain if the state falls too far behind the national standard. Ifs a
sensible start, but few experts think it will be enough to ensure hi~tt standards in all the
nation’s schools.

TOO MUCH READING AND MATH?

Sinking state standards are not the only unintended consequence of NCLB. Because the law
holds schools accountable only in reading and math, there’s growing evidence that schools
are ~ving short shrift to other subjects. In a survey of 300 school disNcts conducted by the
Center on Education Policy, 71% of!ocal administrators admitted that this was the case in
their elementary schools. Martin West of Brown University found that, on average, from
1999 to 2004, reading instruction gained 40 rain. a week, while social studies and science lost
about 17 rain. and 23 min, respectively.

But the decline of science and social studies is often much steeper in schools struggling to
end a record of failure. At Arizona Desert Elementary in San Luis, Ariz., students spend three
hours of their 6 1/2-hr. day on literacy and 90 min. on arithmetic. Science is no longer taught
as a stand-alone subject. "We had to find ways to embed it within the content of reading,
writing and math," says principal Rafael Sanchez, with some regret. Social studies is handled
the sane way. The payofffor this laser-like attention to reading and math: the school ~vent
from failing in 2004 to making AYP and earning a high-flying "performing plus" designation
by the Arizona department of education last year.

06/05/2008
Page 946 Page 6 of 8

But reading about science isn’t the same as incubating chick eggs and watching them hatch.
And cutting out field trips to Civil War sites and museums to drill social studies vocabulary
~vords is not the way to build a !ove of history. Hands-on activities are, for many kids, the
best part of school, the part that keeps them engaged. The scope of education isn’t supposed
to be based on whWs tested; it’s the other way around, says P. David Pearson, dean of the
University of California, Berkeley, graduate school of education. "Never send a test out to do
a curriculum’s job," he says.

FIXING FAILING S CHOOLS

As evidence that NCLB is working, fans of the law love to point to schools that have
reversed a long record of failure. Not far from Blaine, in a crime-infested part ofto~vn, sits
M. Hall Stanton Elementary, everybody’s favorite Philadelphia story. In 2002, only 12% of
Stanton’s fifth-graders were reading at grade level, and the third- and fourth-graders were
engaged in what teachers called "gang wars." By 2006, 70% of fifth-graders were proficient
readers, and the school was a model ofdeconm~ and lemzting, hitting its AYP goals three
years in a ro~v ~vithout sacrificing art, music or social studies--an achievement that has earned
it national coverage and a visit from Spellings. Today the place pulses with purpose:
hallways are bursting with murals, math games and word challenges, as if every square inch
of the school were devoted to instruction.

But it’s hard to say how much of the transformation can be attributed to NCLB. Much is due
to changes made to the curriculum in Philadelphia and even more to Stanton’s dynamo
principal, Barbara Adderley. Certainly, she is a big fan of testing and accountability. She
holds grade-level meetings with teachers in a room with two long assessment walls, which
display the latest test results for every student The walls show, at a ~ance, who’s making
progress and who isn’t, and if it’s the latter, Adderley and her team have a million creative
ideas on what to do about it.

No one likes to talk much about the fate of failing schools that continue to founder. Under
NCLB, such schools face escalating interventions. If they miss AYP two years in a row, they
must offer students a chance to transfer out. After three years, they must provide tutoring
services. After five years of failure, the law says the school must be restructured, which
means repladng the staff, converting to a charter school, having the state or a private
company take the reins or some other intervention_

None of these remedies are worldng very well. In the 2003-04 school year, only 17% of the
1.4 million studenls who ~vere eli~ble for tutoring got assistance. Of the 3.9 million eligible
to transfer out of failing schools in 2004-05, only about 1% did so. Inmany ciries there just
aren’t enough good schools to go around. In the Baltimore school sysl~m, for exanaple, says
Kate Waist, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, "the vast majority aren’t
schools where anyone who has a choice would want to send their kid."

And no one knows what to do about the 2,000 U.S. schools that have fa~ed to make AYP
five years in a row. "Research sho~vs that the path most often chosen is ’other,’" which often
means minor tinkering, says Kati Haycock, director of the nonprofit Education Trust. But
school districts say the more radical federal options aren’t al~vays feasible or affordable. Nor
is it clear that turning a school over to the state or making it a charter will raise its
performance. "None of these remedies have any basis in reality or research," says Diane
Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University.

06/05/2008
Page 947 Page 7 of 8

REVISING NCLB

There is no shortage of ideas for improving No Child Left Behind. Senator Edward Kennedy,
who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Congressman
George Miller, Kennedy’s counterpart in the House, are sorting throu~ a mind-numbing
number of proposals to address AYP’s shortcomings, lackluster state standards, curriculum
narrowing and remedies for failing schools as well as issues concerning the lady’s requ~ement
for a "qualified teacher" in every classroom and other concerns.

Miller and Kennedy hope to pass a new and improved vernon of the law by year’s end. If that
doesn’t happen, the current law--~vith all its flaws--will remain in force, probably until a new
Administration tackles the matter.

No one has all the answers to America’s challenges in education, but in revising the law,
Congress would do well to focus on the things the Federal Govermnent can handle
successfully and steer clear of long-distance micromanagement. A few suggestions:

More daylight Maintain the reporting requirements of NCLB but encourage states to provide
a fi~er picture of school quality than the bare bones of AYP. Congress should offer
incentives--carrots, not sticks--for school districts to provide more information to their
communities, including high school graduation rates, measures of student growth,
participation in gifted and talented programs and achievement in the arts.

One nation, one test Create strong incentives for the states to move away from 50 different
standards and 50 different tests and instead converge on NAEP or some other gold standard--
perhaps Massachusetts’ high-quality exams--as the national assessment. This woNd stop the
states from watering down their standards--one of the most dama~ng side effect of NCLB
and one the nation can’t afford in a globally competitive economy. The estimated $600
million a year now spent on state testing programs could be used to improve instruction.

Local solutions Back off from the business of slapping failure labels on schools and imposing
remedies. Leave schoo! turnaround to the people who are closer to the students, but fund
research into what works.

Better teachers for bad schools Improve federal-funding formulas so that schools in poor
nei~borhoods have the resources to adctress their ~veaknesses and, most especially, could
afford to hire experienced teachers. This is the best way to address the achievement gap
between rich and poor.

Most important, federal policymakers need to listen hard to the people who are workfig in
the nation’s schools every day. It’s the only way to ensure that policies that sound great in
Washington aren’t leaving educational reality behind. [This article contains a complex
diagram. Please see hardcopy of magazine.] Early Report Card. The law demands that
schools get better, but progress may be in the eye of the beholder

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must show improvement. The goal: to have all
students proficient in reading and math by 2014. Math scores are creeping up, but reading
scores are flat.

1. SLOW GROWTH OVERALL

06/05/2008
Page 948 Page 8 of 8

Average national test scores, all students ’92--’04

4th grade Math Reading

8th ~ade Math Reading

2. LESS SCIENCE AND HISTORY


Because state assessment tests focus on reading and math, other subjects get squeezed out. A
recent study looked at how elementary-school teachers apportion their ~e each week:
Weekly hours ofinstmctiona! time, Crrades ! through 6

Reading [Up] 40 rain. ’99--’04

Math [Down] 17 rain. ’99--’04

Science [Down] 23 min. ’99--’04

History [Down] 17 min_ ’99--’04

3. LOWER STATE STANDARDS


Federal law requ~es that students be tested annually to determine their reading and math
skills but leaves it to each state to devise the exam. The result, critics say, is that some states
make thdr tests easier so it appears that their students are doing wel!. The evidence: huge
gaps between state results and scores on nalional standardized tests. State test results
Percentage of fourth-graders scoring as proficient or better in reading Federal test results
Percentage of fourth-graders scoring as proficient or better in reading

By its own count, Mississippi is tied for the best score in the count,y. But on the U.S. test, the
state drops to 50th place--a whopping 71 points lower

On average, 30% ofU.S, fourth~raders score as proficient or better on the U.S. exam, called
the National Assessment of Educational Pro~ess

The average gap between state and national fourth-grade reading scores is 40 points

Massachusetts students score best on the federal test

Missouri has the smallest scoring gap: 2 points MORE SCORES To see how your state
scored in math, visit our interactive map at lime.com/nochild Note: State-by-state scores for
both tests are for 2005, the latest complete 3rear available. The Washington, D.C., reading
score is for fiPth-graders. Sources: National Center for Education Statistics; the Edncation
Trust; Testing, Learning and Teaching by Mar~ West, Brown University

06/0512008
Page 949

Nonresponsive
............................. k~ith~rine-mclanef
May 25, 2007 12:~ u
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela;
MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar,
Doug; Moran, Robert; Neale, Rebecca: Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara;
Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto,
Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Howto Fix No Child Let~ Behind (TIME)

Time magazine cover story?Thursday, }4ay. 24, 2007??How to Fix No Child Left Behind??By
Claudia Wallis, Son~a Steptoe??It’s coumtdo~ time in Philadelphia’s public schools. Just
21 days remain before the state reading and math tests in }{arch, and the kids and faculty
at James G. Blaine Elementary, an all-black, inner-city school that spans pre-K to eighth
grade, have been drilling for much of the dmy. At 2:45 in the afternoon, Rasheed Abdullah,
the kinetic lead math teacher, stages what could be called a prep rally with
ii third-graders. The kids, who areat neither the top nor the bottom of their class, have
been selected for intensive review--as has a contingent from other grades--because their
test scores hold the key to putting the school over the top on the pivotal Pennsylvania
System of School Assessments (PSSAS).
Last year, after a history of failure, the school, under new leadership, managed to meet
the federal goal for adequate yearly progress (AYP) on the state tests for the first time.
If it does so again, Blaine moves off the dreaded list of failing schools, no longer a
target for intensive oversight and sanctions that could include replacing the staff.??
~dullah, who has an easy rapport with students, zssues a quick reminder to sign up for
"Super Saturdmy" review classes and then begins his math-athon with a rousing recitation
of the schoo!’s declaration of education. "We believe that we can learn at high levels,"
the children chant.
"We believe we can reach our learning potentia! ... We believe that Blaine will become a
high-performing institution."??Quite a mouthful for a~ 8-year-old. And there’s more.
Abdullah starts pumping his fists as the kids finish with passionate vows.??"I’ll never
give up~" he shouts.??"I’ll never give up!" they echo.??"Even on the PSSA test!"??"Even on
the PSSA test["??"’Cause winners never !ose, and I am the best["??For the next 15 minutes,
the kids, divided into teams, compete to win points by solving math problems, with
Abdullah acting as a combination game-show host and math coach. There are giggles and
cheers and plenty of correct answers, but everyone in the room knows the fate of the
school is at stake.??To understand the impact of the 2001 Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, indelibly rebranded as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), you need to visit a
school like Blaine. The astonishingly ambitious law, the Bush Administration’s proudest
domestic achievement, was crafted with high-poverty, low-achieving schools like this one
in mind. NCLB proponents and critics alike agree that the law’s greatest accomplishment
has been shining an unforgiving spotlight on such languishing schools and demanding that
they do better. At Blaine, for instance, only 13% of fifth- and eighth-graders were
reading on grade level or above in 2004--a number that has since risen to 96%.??Under the
law’s most visible stipulation, states must test public school students in reading and
math every year from third through eighth grade, plus once in high school, and reveal the
results for each school or face a loss of federal funds. Just as critical, schools must
break out test results for certain groups: blacks, Hispanics, English-language learners,
learning-disabled students. This has embarrassed many a top suburban school where high-
flying majorities have masked the low achievement of minorities and special-ed students.
The law insists--with consequences for failure--that schools ~mke annual progress toward
c!osing the achievement gap between rich and poor, black and white, and bring al! students
to grade-level proficiency in mmth and reading by 2014, ending what the President
memorably called "the soft bigotry of !ow expectations."??Ask almost any school
administrator, education policymaker or think-tank wonk about NCLB, and you’re g~mranteed
to get at least one sunlly metaphor about how the law opened a window, raised a curtain or
otherwise illuminated the plight of the nation’s underserved kids. This is NCLB’S biggest
achievement and the best reason for Congress to reauthorize the law. "At the end of the
day, who can argue with holding schools accountable for all children?" asks Paul Vallas,
outgoing chief executive of Philadelphia’s schools and incoming head of the New Orleans
schoo! district. "Who can argue with not tolerating failing schools or with giving poor
kids the kinds of choices that wealthier kids have? It’s a civil rights issue."??There’s
Page 950
plenty of argument, however, about how the law seeks to achieve these goals. NCLB takes
the Federal Government--which contributes only 9A¢ of every $i spent on U.S. schools--
where it’s never gone before:
telling the states how to measure schoo! success, specifying interventions for failure,
mandating qualifications for teachers and even telling the nation how to teach reading.
This year, as the five-year-old law comes t~o for debate, an u~forgiving spotlight will be
focused on its impact thus far, including its numerous unintended consequences. }4mny
teachers are enraged by the law’s reliance on high-stakes exams that lead schools like
Blaine to focus relentlessly on boosting scores rather than pursuing a broader vision of
education. More than SO,000 educators and concerned citizens have signed an online
petition calling for the repeal of the 1,100-page statute. Some offer comments like this
one from a former superintendent of schools in Ohio: "NCLB is like a Russian novel. That’s
because it’s long, it’s complicated, and in the end, everybody gets killed."??Whether NCLB
is achieving its objectives remains an open question. Fourth-grade reading scores on the
National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) rose sharply from 1999 to 2004, but most of the gains occurred before the law took
effect. The achievement gap appears to be narrowing in some
spots--fourth- and eighth-grade math scores for minorities, for instance--but not others.
The gap between white and black eighth-graders has widened slightly in math, for example.
Gains for eighth-graders in general remain stubbornly elusive.??Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings, who hms been advising the President on education since his days as
Texas Governor, notes that the law went into full effect only last year and that more time
is needed for it to work. Still, she and the Administration have proposed a large number
of adjustments to a law she once compared to Ivory soap, saying "It’s 99.9% pure." "We
wrote the very best bill we could five years ago," Spellings told TI~E, "but we’ve learned
from our experiences." Meanwhile, members of Congress have their o~ fix-it agendms, as do
state education officials and, of course, the teachers unions.??Much of the debate over
renewing the law is focused on five areas of controversy:??&¢AYP on reading and mmth
tests: Is it the right tool for measuring learning and raising achievement in the nation’s
schools???&¢Are the 50 states, each of which devises its own annual tests and curriculum
standards, setting the bar high enough for students, and if not, what should be done about
it???&¢Is the focus on reading and math distorting and narrowing education???&¢Do the
law’s requirements for teacher qumlifications make sense, and are they raising the quality
of the U.S. teaching force???~¢Are the directives aimed at failing schools having the
intended impact? What is the right role for the Federal Government in fixing bad
schools???In addition to these policy questions, there’s the matter of money. The states
h~ve complained bitterly that NCLB imposes its many mandates without the federal funds
originally promised to implement them. Providing more money for NCLB is a key goal for the
Democrats, who contro! Congress, and is almost certainly part of their price for
reauthorizing the law. A look at some of the more challenging issues:??HOW SHOULD WE
~EASURE LEAB_N~NG???The heart and soul of No Child Left Behind are its requirements for
ar~ual testing and proof that students of every stripe are making adequate yearly
progress. AYP is as basic to U.S. education as ABC, but most thoughtful educators object
to the way it’s measured. One of the biggest problems: there are too many ways to fail,
even when a school is moving in the right direction.??Consider the case of Bud Carson
Middle School in Hawthorne, Calif. In 2005 the schoo!, which is 92% Latino and black,
pulled out the stops to reverse its failing record and hit 20 out of its 21 AYP goals,
lifting scores for blacks, Hispanics and special-ed students; closing achievement gaps;
and raising attendance. Nonetheless, the school remained on the "needs improvement" list
that year because it narrowly missed the reading-score goal for its English-langumge
learners. (Happily, it mmde AYP a year later.)??Jack O’Connell, California’s
superintendent of public instruction, is one of many administrators around the country who
find the AYP system too inflexible, too arbitrary and too punitive.
Some California schools, he says, have made huge progress, but because they did not make
AYP they are required to help students transfer to another sohool.
"So," he laments, "we have to take away resources that we can document are improving
achievement and put them into transportation to bus kids to other schools."??In addition,
the do-or-die AYP system creates perverse i~centives. It rewards schools that focus on
kids on the edge of achieving grade-leve! proficiency--like those Ii students in Blaine’s
math-review class.
There’s no incentive for schools to do much of anything for the kids who are on grade
level or above, which is one reason the law is unpopular in wealthier, high-achieving
communities. And sadly, says O’Connell, "NCLB provides no incentive to work on the kids
far below the bar."??Sterling Garris, principal at Blaine, has plenty of such !ow
achievers at his school. As he walked do~n the hallway on a recent spring dmy, an elated
reading teacher came rushing up to him with a third-grader who, she exclaimed, had ~umped
four reading levels. Garris offered the boy his hearty congratulations, but later he
Page 951
ruefully noted that the achievement won’t be recognized under the terms set by NCLB. "This
child has had tremendous growth, but he’ll still bomb the PSSA test because he isn’t on
grade level," says Garris. What’s worse, a child who has worked so hard wil! be stuck with
a semse of failure.
At test time, says Garris, "some kids get so frustrated they cry."??What’s the alternative
to AYP?
Most educators, Garris included, prefer a more flexible measure of student improvement
known as the growth model. In this approach, schools track the progress of each student
year to year. Success is defined by a certain amount of growth, even if the student isn’t
on grade level. So a child like that Blaine third-grader would be 9udged a success--and
his teachers and school would get credit for his achievement. "The growth model," says
O’Connell, "is a much more accurate portraya! of a school’s performance."??Spellings says
she appreciates the need for "a more nuanced accountability system," and her department is
testing the growth model in North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and Delaware.
The mmin sticking point, she says, is having a data-management system that can accurately
track the performance of individual students statewide. A~other sticking point, she says,
is ensuring that growth doesn’t replace the goa! of moving kids up to grade level. "Growth
models have to be within whmt I call the bright-line principles of the law, which is
grade-level proficiency by 2014. Moving the goalposts is not what we are talking about."??
CAIq WE TRUST TP~ STATES TO SET STANDARDS???But moving the goalposts may be inevitable.
Decreeing that all kids (except 1% with serious disabilities and an additiona! 2% with
other
issues) must be proficient by 2014 is a little like declaring that all the children are
above average in the mythical town of Lake Wobegon. California has some of the toughest
K-12 curriculum standards in the nation, and O’Connell despairs of hitting the 2014 goal.
"Today we don’t have any of our schools with 100% student proficiency, and I will predict
that we won’t by 2014," he says. "Right now about one-quarter of our kids have to be
proficient [to make AYP], but soon it’s going to be increased 12% a year unti! 2014.
You h~ve to question the accountability system when 100% of your schools are going to be
failing, by definition."??There are, however, two surefire ways to hit the 2014 target.
One is for schools to cheat on the tests--a frighteningly commonplace solution, according
to David Berliner, a respected education scholar at Arizona State University and a co-
author of a new book, Collateral Damage, tbmt documents the cheating trend. The other
solution is to make the state tests easier, a phenomenon know~ among educators as "the
race to the bottom." Philadelphia’s Vallas likes to ~oke that there are two paths to
success for his city’s schools: improve instruction for students "or give them the
Illinois tests."??Or better yet, Mississippi’s. In 2005, 89% of fourth-graders in
~ssissippi were rated proficient in reading--the highest percentage in the nation. But
when Hississippi youngsters sat for the rigorous NAEP--the closest thing to a national
gold standard--they landed at the
bottom: just 18% of fourth-graders made the grade in reading. States that have a tough
curriculum and correspondingly tough exams--such as California and Massachusetts--are
delivering a more rigorous education, but they’re setting themselves up to fail in NCLB’s
terms.??No wonder so many states have watered down their expectations. An amalysis by
researchers at the Thomas B. Ford_ham Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit, found that
the quality of educational standards--which are detailed, grade-by-grade, subject-by-
subject learning goals--declined in 30 states from 2000 to 2006. That includes the four
states--Delaware, Kansas, North Carolina amd Oklahoma--said to be on track for 2014.
Overall, only three states earned an A from Fordham on curriculum standards--which are
also the basis for state tests; 37 rated C-- or below.??In European countries, for
example, such weak and u~even expectations aren’t a problem because most have a uniform
n~tional curriculum and national tests. But that approach has been politically
unacceptable in the U.S., where schools are largely funded and controlled at the state and
!ocal levels. Besides, says Spellings, "do you really want me sitting in Washington
working on how we teach evolution or creationism? I don’t want to!"??Her department has
instead proposed a new requirement that every school, in addition to publishing its
results on state tests, provide parents with the statewide scores on NAEP. The idea is
that parents would complain if the state falls too far behind the nationa! standard. It’s
a sensible start, but few experts think it will be enough to ensure high standards in all
the nation’s schools.??TOO MUCH READING AND MATH???Sinking state standards are not the
only unintended consequence of NCLB. Because the law holds schools accountable only in
reading and math, there’s growing evidence that schools are giving short shrift to other
subjects. In a survey of 900 school districts conducted by the Center on Education Policy,
71% of !oca! administrators admitted that this was the case in their elementary schools.
~rtin West of Brown University found that, on average, from 1999 to 2004, reading
instruction gained 40 min. a week, while social studies and science !ost about 17 min. and
23 min, respectively.??But the decline of science and social studies is often much steeper
Page 952
in schoolsstruggling to end a record of failure. At Arizona Desert Elementary in San
Luis, Ariz., students spend three hours of their 6 i/2-hr, day on literacy and 90 min. on
arithmetic. Science is no longer taught as a stand-alone subject. "We had to find ways to
embed it within the content of reading, writing and math," says principal Rafael Sanchez,
with some regret. Social studies is handled the same way. The payoff for this laser-like
attention to reading and math: the school went from failing in 2004 to making AYP and
earning a high-flying "performing plus" designation by the Arizona department of education
last year.??But reading about science isn’t the same as incubating chick eggs and watching
them hatch. And cutting out field trips to Civil War sites and museums to drill social
studies vocabulary words is not the way to build a love of history. Hands-on activities
are, for many kids, the best part of school, the part that keeps them engaged. The scope
of education isn’t supposed to be based on what’s tested; it’s the other way around, says
P. David Pearson, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, graduate school of
education. "Never send a test out to do a curriculum’s ~ob," he says.??FIX!N® FAILIN®
SCHOOLS??As evidence that NCLB is working, fans of the law love to point to schools that
have reversed a !ong record of failure.
Not far from Blaine, in a crime-infested part of town, sits H. Hall Stanton Elementary,
everybody’s favorite Philadelphia story. In 2002, only 12% of Stanton’s fifth-graders were
reading at grade level, and the
third- and fourth-graders were engaged in what teachers called "gang wars." By 2006, 70%
of fifth-graders were proficient readers, and the school was a model of decorum and
learning, hitting its AYP goals three years in a row without sacrificing art, music or
social studies--an achievement that has earned it national coverage and a visit from
Spellings. Today the place pulses with purpose:
ha!!m-ays are bursting with murals, math games and word challenges, as if every squmre inch
of the sohool were devoted to instruotion.??But it’s hard to say how much of the
transformation can be attributed to NCLB. Much is due to chmnges made to the curricultnm in
Philadelphia and even more to Stanton’s dynamo principal, Barbara Adderley. Certainly, she
is a big fan of testing and accountability. She holds grade-level meetings with teachers
in a room with two long assessment walls, which display the latest test results for every
student. The walls show, at a glance, who’s mmking progress and who isn’t, and if it’s the
latter, Adderley and her team have a million creative ideas on what to do about it.??No
one likes to talk much about the fate of failing schools thmt continue to founder. Under
NCLB, such schools face escalating interventions. If they miss AYP two years in a row,
they must offer students a chance to transfer out. After three years, they must provide
tutoring services. After five years of failure, the law says the school must be
restructured, which means replacing the staff, converting to a charter school, having the
state or a private company take the reins or some other intervention.??None of these
remedies are working very well. In the 2003-04 school year, only 17% of the 1.4 million
students who were eligible for tutoring got assistance. Of the 3.9 million eligible to
transfer out of failing schools in 2004-05, only about 1% did so. In many cities there
9ust aren’t enough good schools to go around. In the Baltimore school system, for example,
says Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, "the vast majority
aren’t schools where anyone who has a choice would want to send their kid."??And no one
knows what to do about the 2,000 U.S. schools that have failed to make AYP five years in a
row. "Research shows that the path most often chosen is ’other,’"
which often means minor tinkering, says Hati Haycock, director of the nonprofit Education
Trust. But school districts say the more radical federal options aren’t always feasible or
affordable. Nor is it clear that turning a school over to the state or making it a charter
will raise its performance. "None of these remedies have any basis in reality or
research," says Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University.??
REVISING NCLB??There is no shortage of ideas for improving No Child Left Behind. Senator
Edward Kennedy, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and
Congressman George Miller, Kennedy’s counterpart in the House, are sorting through a mind-
numbing number of proposals to address AYP’s shortcomings, lackluster state standards,
curriculum narrowing and remedies for failing schools as well as issues concerning the
law’s requirement for a "qumlified teacher" in every classroom and other concerns.??Miller
and Kennedy hope to pass a new and improved version of the law by year’s end. If that
doesn’t happen, the current law--with all its flaws--will remain in force, probably until
a new Administration tackles the matter.??No one has all the answers to ~erica’s
challenges in education, but in revising the law, Congress would do well to focus on the
things the Federal Government can handle successfully and steer clear of long-distance
micromanagement. A few suggestions:??More daylight Maintain the reporting requirements of
NCLB but encourage states to provide a fuller picture of school quality than the bare
bones of AYP. Congress should offer incentives--carrots, not sticks--for school districts
to provide more information to their communities, including high school graduation rates,
measures of student growth, participation in gifted and talented programs and achievement
4
Page 953
in the arts.??One nmtion, one test Create strong incentives for the states to move away
from 50 different standards and 50 different tests and instead converge on NAEP or some
other gold standard--perhaps Massachusetts’ high-quality exams--as the nationa!
assessment. This would stop the states from watering down their standards--one of the most
damaging side effect of NCLB and one the nation can’t afford in a globally competitive
economy. The estimated $600 million a year now spent on state testing programs could be
used to improve instruction.??Loca! solutions Back off from the business of slapping
failure labels on schools and imposing remedies. Leave school turnaround to the people who
are closer to the students, but fund research into what works.??Better teachers for bad
schools Improve federal-funding formulas so that schools in poor neighborhoods have the
resources to address their weaknesses and, most especially, could afford to hire
experienced teachers.
This is the best way to address the achievement gap between rich and poor.??Most
important, federal policymakers need to listen hard to the people who are working in the
nation’s schools every day. It’s the only ~y to ensure that policies that sound great in
Washington aren’t leaving educational reality behind.
[This article contains a complex diagram. Please see hardcopy of magazine.] Early Report
Card. The law demands that schools get better, but progress may be in the eye of the
beholder??Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must show improvement. The goal:
to have all students proficient in reading and math by 2014. ~%~th scores are creeping up,
but reading scores are flat.??l. SLOW GROWTH OVERALL??Average nmtional test scores, all
students ’92--’04??4th grade Math Reading??Sth grade Math Reading??2. LESS SCIENCE AND
HlSTORY??Because state assessment tests focus on reading and m~th, other subjects get
squeezed out. A recent study looked at how elementary-school teachers apportion their time
each week: Weekly hours of instructional time, Grades 1 through 6??Reading [Up] 40 min.
’99--’04??I~ath [Down] 17 rain.
’99--’04??Science [Down] 23 rain. ’99--’04??History [Down] 17 rain. ’99--’04??3. LOWER STATE
STANDARDS??Federal law requires that students be tested annually to determine their
reading and mmth skills but leaves it to each state to devise the exam.
The result, critics say, is that some states make their tests easier so it appears that
their students are doing well. The evidence: huge gaps between state results and scores on
national standardized tests.
State test results Percentage of fourth-graders scoring as proficient or better in reading
Federal test results Percentage of fourth-graders scoring as proficient or better in
reading??By its own cot~nt, Mississippi is tied for the best score in the country.
But on the U.S. test, the state drops to 5Oth place&"a whopping 71 points lower??On
average, 30% of U.S. fourth-graders score as proficient or better on the U.S. exam, called
the National Assessment of Educational Progress??The average gap between state and
nmtional fourth-grade reading scores is 40 points??Massachusetts students score best on
the federal test??Missouri has the smallest scoring gap: 2 points MORE SCORES To see how
your state scored in math, visit our interactive map at <http://time.com/nochild>
time.com/nochild Note:
State-by-state scores for both tests are for 2005, the latest complete year available. The
Washington, D.C., reading score is for fifth-graders. Sources: National Center for
Education Statistics; the Education Trust; Testing, Learning and Teaching by Martin West,
Bro~nUniversity??
<http://www. time.com/time/magazine/article!0,9171, 1625192, O0.html>
http://~.time, com/time/magazine/article/O, 9171,1625192,00.html???

Luggag
e? ®PS? Comic books?
Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo~ Search
http://search, yahoo.com/search?fr=oni on mail&p=graduation+gifts&cs=bz
Page 954

~Nonresponsiv
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent" May 23, 2007 9:13 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angeta; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory;
McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken;
Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar,
Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Pitts, Elizabeth; McGrath, John;Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerd; Toomey,
Liam; Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Halaska, Terrell
Subject: Test Gains Reigniting Old Debate (EDWEEK)

Test Gains Reigniting Old Debate (EDWEEK)


By Sean Cavanagh
Education Week, May 23, 2007
Did NCLB law play a role in history, civics scores?
Elementary school students have a stronger grasp of U.S. history, and what it means to be a knowledgeable citizen, than
they did a few years ago, new test results suggest. And part of the reason they’re better informed about history and dtizenship,
some argue, is that they’re better readers.
That was the view put forward by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, among others, who saw the hand of the
No Child Lett Behind Act’s reading requirements in the latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress,
released last week.
Debating what role, if any, those mandates are playing in improving student progress has become almost a ritual
accompanying the release of test scores for the heavily scrutinized NAEP, otten referred to as ’the nation’s report card."
That ritual played out again with the latest results as some advocates for history and civics education questioned the
connection between federal reading efforts and the gains in 4th grade on NAEP.
The federal law requires students in the early grades to be tested annually in reading, as well as math. Its backers,
including the secretary, say that schools’ work in reading is paying dividends in other subjects, as shown by the 4th grade history
and civics results. Scores for 8th and 12th grade students, meanwhile, rose in history but remained fiat in civics.
Ms. Spellings drew a similar connection between reading skills and NAEP gains in 4th grade science last year. Last week,
she also rejected the notion that the No Child Left: Behind law has forced teachers to cut back on subjects other than reading and
math, as the laws detractors have claimed.
’These results are a testament to what works," Ms. Spellings said in a statement issued May 16, the same day as the test
results. "While critics may argue that NCLB leads educators to narrow their curriculum focus, the fact is, when students know
how to read and comprehend, they apply these skills to other subjects like history and civics. The result is greater academic
gains."
The secretary further suggested that the laws Reading First program is helping students in other academic areas.
Building Skills
Reading First awards grants to schools and districts that try to improve the skills of struggling readers in the early grades by
using a variety of approved skills, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary-building, and reading comprehension.
Federal officials did not have an estimate of what percentage of schools participating in NAEP civics and history also
receive Reading First money. The vast majority of Reading First schools receive Title I funding; federal officials estimate that
about 70 percent of the roughly 7,000 4th graders on both tests were in Title I schools, though the percentages were lower in the
upper grades.
Peggy Altoff, the president of the National Council for the Social Studies, in Silver Spring, Md., did not dispute the idea that
stronger reading skills result in higher 4th grade history and civics scores-especially because the NAEP questions at that level
are very basic.
’With a lot of them, if you can read, you’re going to do well," she said.
Page 955

But Ms. Altoff also said elementary teachers have been forced to reduce time devoted to social studies topics as a result of
the NCLB law.
Data from a federal survey from the 2003-04 school year, released last year, showed that instructional time in history in
grades 1-4 dropped by about 30 minutes per day from the early 1990s. Time for Englishtlanguage arts instruction rose by an
hour per day.
Reading scores on a NAEP test that measures long-term trends have improved for 9-year-olds by a significant margin over
the past five years, though some of those gains occurred before the law took effect. But on what’s called the "national" NAEP,
reading scores for 4th graders have remained flat since 2002.
Ms. Spellings, however, last week pointed to recent, state-reported data showing that reading proficiency increased among
1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders participating in the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program. ("State Data Show Gains in Reading," April
25, 2007.)
Ms. Altoff also said Reading First has led many teachers to use exercises geared overwhelmingly toward very basic
reading instruction-and not toward building coherent understanding of history and civics.
’There’s no sequence to it," Ms. Altoff said of that instruction. ’~’ou could be reading about Martin Luther King one day and
the American Revolution the next."
Jeffrey Cohen, the lead consultant for Reading First at the California education department, also was skeptical that
Reading First played a role in the NAEP 4th grade scores in history and civics. Under California’s Reading First model, the skill
likely to have helped students the most on NAEP-reading comprehension-isn’t typically taught until 3rd grade, he said.
’Teachers are complaining in our state that they don’t have enough time to teach other things" besides basic reading skills,
Mr. Cohen said.
But Janice Dole, an education professor at the University of Utah, who is also a co-evaluator of that state’s Reading First
program, believes many schools are balancing basic reading instruction with comprehension.
’There’s no doubt in my mind it’s having an impact on NAEP scores," Ms. Dole said of Reading First. "Kids are being taught
how to read a text, and it’s translating to other texts."
Richard M. Long, the direcl~or of government relations for the International Reading Association, based in Newark, Del.,
said the No Child Left Behind law is "clearly having an effect" on students’ ability to read across different subjects. While it is
debatable whether Reading First improves student performance in other subjects, the program was created with a different goal
in mind, he noted.
’That’s not its primary mission," Mr. Long said. Reading First schools, he said, are those ’~vhere you’re trying to make a
very specific investment."
His organization is working with the National Council for the Social Studies and other subject-area groups on a project to
give teachers guidance on how to blend other subject lessons into reading instruction.
Older Students Falter
The NAEP history and civics tests were given to a nationally representative sample of students from both public and private
schools. The history exam gauges students’ knowledge of specific historical facts, as well as their ability to evaluate evidence
and trends over time. The civics test covers students’ understanding of American politics, government, and ’the responsibilities of
citizenship" in a democracy.
The average 4th grade score in civics climbed from 150 to 154, on a 300-point scale, from 1998 to 2006, when the latest
test was administered. In history, students in that grade saw their average score rise from 208 to 211, on a 500-point scale,
between 2001 and 2006. Both increases were statistically significant. Students at the lowest-performing level, rather than high
achievers, accomplished the bulk of the gains.
At the 8th and 12th grade levels, however, the results were mixed. Middle and high school students’ scores increased in
history by statistically relevant margins. Eighth graders’ scores rose from 260 to 263, on a 500-point scale, and seniors’ average
scores increased from 287 to 290, also with a maximum of 500 points.
But on the civics test, 8th and 12th grade scores remained stagnant from 1998 to 2006.
White students continued to outperform other students at all grade levels. Gaps between black and Hispanic students and
their ,white counterparts narrowed in history and civics in 4th grade, but remained roughly the same in the upper grades.
Students at all grade levels showed a strong knowledge of some basic facts of history and civics and only a feeble grasp of
others. At the 12th grade level, for instance, only 14 percent of students on the history test could explain why the United States
had been involved in the Korean War. Just one-third of 8th graders could identify U.S. foreign-policy positions in Latin America.
In civics, 75 percent of 4th graders knew that only citizens can vote in the United States, but only 14 percent knew that
defendants have the right to a lawyer. In 8th grade, 80 percent successfully identified a notice for jury duty, but only 28 percent
could explain the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence.
Page 956

Cathy Gorn, the executive director of National History Day, an organization based at the University of Maryland College
Park, attributed older students’ weak showing in civics partly to shortcomings in the way that subject, and history, are taught.
Too many teachers encourage memorization of facts and dates, rather than the kind of in-depth analysis of political events
and trends that students need when they encounter more difficult material, she said. Her organization, which tries to increase
students’ interest in history, encourages teachers to use primary sources and have students conduct independent research
beyond the textbook.
’When they’re engaged, they really start to think critically about topics," Ms. Gom said. "What is the legacy of this [event]?
How do we understand it through time?"
Vol. 26, Issue 38, Pages 1,16
Page 957

Nonresponsive
From: Ditto, Trey
Sent: May23, 2007 9:09 AM
To: Reich, Heidi; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bil!; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angeta; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory;
McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele,
Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; ’Young, Tracy D. ’; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken; Landers,
Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Don’man, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug;
Dunckel, Denise; Pitts, Elizabeth; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerd; Toomey, Liam;
Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Halaska, Terrell
Subject: RE: Secretary Spellings on The Daily Show (Politico)

If you missed it, you can click on the a link on the Daily Show website:
http:llwww.comedycentral.comlshowslthe_daily_showlindex.jhtm I.

---Orighal Message---
Frer~: Reich, Heidi
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 8:55 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, ]essica; Carielb, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditl~, Trey; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Maguire, Tory; McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L .; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert; Morffi, Jessica; Neale,
Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfell:, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Schees~ele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Taberl:, Ken~ Terrell,
Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara Marthez; Williams, Cynl~ia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken;
Angela Landers; B~ll Evers; Chad Coby; Cindy Williams; Dorfman, Cynbhia; Doug Mesecar; Dunckel, Denise; Elizabeth Pitts;
John McGrath; Kent Talbert; Kerri Briggs; Liam Toomey; Marc Scheessele; Margaret Privat~ - Spellings (E-mail); Meredith
BeN:on; Sara Martinez Tucker; Terrell Halaska
Subject: Secretary Spellings on The Daily Show (PolilJco)

Politico Playbook: Peeling the onion


By. Mike Allen
May 23, 2007 07:09 AM EST

3) HIGH-WIRE ACT: Publicity coups are in short supply for the Bush administration these days, but
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings nailed an appearance last night on ’Fhe Daily Show".Jon Stewart
said: "You are the only active member of our government, in terms of the executive branch, who is not
allergic to me." Laughter. Spellings: "’So far, so good." Applause." Stewart: "So I’m delighted to have you."
The host gave her an apple, which they playfully pushed back and forth throughout the interview. He
showed off No. 2 pencils and brandished a Lunchables, sipping from the CapriSun °’juice beverage."
Spellings wedged in a serious, detailed plug for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act:
have to expect more from our kids, and we have lowered the bar and !owered the bar .... What we’ve done
with this law is peel the onion and bring to bear infoimation about how wel! are ~ve serving every single kid.
And the answer is not well enough, by far these days. What we’re causing is anxiety with gownups, on
behalf of kids .... We have to pay more attention to our high schools - No Child Left Behind is about our
elementary and middle schools." As a parting shot, Stewart asked the secretary: "°Alberto Gonzales is to °I
don’t recall’ as trees are to sunshine, oxygen or °I don’t recall.’?" With a broad wink and nod, Spellings
replied to whoops and applause: °’I don’t recall." Stewart was clearly taken by her Texas sassiness, and
apparently it was mutual. ARer the taping, Spellings was heard to say: "’I’m smitten. He’s adorable."
Page 958

Bashford, Ter~
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May 23, 2007 8:58 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerd; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angeta; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory;
McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken;
Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar,
Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Pitts, Elizabeth; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerd; Toomey,
Liam; Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Halaska, Terrell
Subject: Comedy Escapes Jon Stewart In Spellings’s Appearance On ’Daily Show’ (CHRONED)

Comedy Escapes Jon Stewart In Spellings’s Appearance On ’Daily Show’ (CHRONED)


By Paul Basken
The Chronicle of Hi,qher Education, May 23, 2007
rvlargaret Spellings is the secretary of education, not the secretary of defense, but she may nevertheless be the bravest
member of President Bush’s cabinet.
Ms. Spellings, capping a visit on Tuesday to New York City, sat down as the evening’s guest on The Daily ShowWith Jon
Stewart, a comedy program on cable television known for its caustic - and decidedly left-of-center - treatment of current events.
Mr. Stewart began by handing his guest a traditional gift for teachers, a polished apple. He also pulled out a No. 2 pencil
and a children’s lunch snack. He then praised Ms. Spellings’s willingness to submit to his questions, calling her the only top
administration official ’k~ho is not allergic to me."
Their eight-minute encounter at the end of Mr. Stewart’s half-hour program went without any of the more pointed jabs that
the comedian routinely levels at Mr. Bush and his administration.
He asked several questions about the No Child Left Behind law, the federal statute that requires states to test grade-school
students in subjects that include mathematics and reading. Ms. Spellings responded with some well-worn talking points about the
need to fix a system in which half of all minodty children don’t finish high school on time.
Mr. Stewart expressed exasperation when his guest repeated the president’s trademark warning against schools’ practicing
"the soft bigotry of low expectations." He got his most animated response - an exaggerated impish gdn from the secretary - when
he suggested that she might "smite the teachers’ unions" if given one moment of omnipotent authority over education policy.
Before finishing with the secretary, Mr. Stewart raised the subject of the scandal in the student-loan industry, a controversy
that has prompted both colleges and lenders to change practices, pay legal settlements, and fire some top officials.
In an apparent reference to a member of his staff watching from off-stage, Mr. Stewart said he had a "lady up here" who is
’~ery mad" about her college loans
MS. Spellings said she’s undertaking a far-reaching examination of the problem. ’q-here’s obviously issues in the way
everybody runs student loans," the secretary said. "We have to fix the system comprehensively. It’s not just one little thing."
Page 959

~ ~onrespons
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May 23, 2007 8:55 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory;
McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken;
Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar,
Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Pitts, Elizabeth; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Toomey,
Liam; Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Halaska, Terrell
Subject: Secretary Spellings on The Daily Show (Politico)

Politico Playbook: Peeling the onion


By. Mike Allen
May 23, 2007 07:09 AM EST
3) HIGH-WIRE ACT: Publidty coups are in short supply for the Bush administration these days, but Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings nailed an appearance last night on "el’he Daily Show".Jon Stewart said: "You are
the only active member of our govemment~ in terms of the executive branch, who is not allergic to me."
Laughter. Spellings: "So far, so good." Applause." Stewart: "So I’m delighted to have you." The host gave her
an apple, which they playfi~ypushed back and forth throughout the interview. He showed off‘No. 2 pencils and
brandished a Lunchables, sipping from the CapriSun "juice beverage." Spellings wedged in a serious, detailed
plug for the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act: "’We have to expect more from our kids, and we
have lowered the bar and lowered the bar .... What we’ve done with this law is peel the onion and bring to bear
information about how wd! are we serving every single kid. And the ans~ver is not well enough, by far these
days. What we’re causing is anxiety with grownups, on behalf of kids .... We have to pay more attention to our
high schools - No Child Left Beb~d is about our elementary and middle schools." As a parting shot, Stewart
asked the secretary: "’Alberto Gonzales is to ’I don’t recall’ as trees are to sunshine, oxygen or °I don’t recall.’?’"
With a broad wink and nod, Spellings replied to whoops and applause: °I don’t recall." Stewart was dearly
taken by her Texas sassiness, and apparently it ~vas mutual. After the taping, Spellings was heard to say: "I’m
smitten. He’s adorable."
Page 960

Nonresponsiv
(b)(@)or.: .............................
J .................
Sent: May 22, 2007 5:43 AM
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, Kristin; Schray, Vickie; Duncke!, Denise; Sampson, Vincent;
Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; Moran, Robert; scckt m. stanzel@who.eop.gov;
jeanie_s._mamo@who.eop.gov; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby,
Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly; La
Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings,
Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman;
Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey;, Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Education put to the humor test (USAT)

Education put to the humor test


By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
With twin scandals nipping at her heels, Education Secretary ~rgaret Spellings tonight
appeals directly to America’s youth: She appears on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
"She actually is a guest thmt we’ve been trying to book for a long time," says executive
producer David Javerbaum, who jokes that Spellings’ appearance is "the ultimate admission
of defeat for education."

Producers first asked Spellings last fall about appearing on the show on cable’s Comedy
Central. Her spokeswoman, Katherine McLane, says the timing worked out for tonight’s
taping because Spellings appears today at a conference in Mew York.

She Im~de history last fall as the first sitting Cabinet secretary to appear on Jeopardy!.
She’ll make history again tonight as the first to appear on Stewart’s show.
"For some reason, they seem to feel that we hmve some kind of problem with some of the
things the Bush administration has done," Javerbaum says.

Spellings, a self-proclaimed American Idol fan who recently attended a taping of the hit
show, commented Monday, "I’m completing my trifecta of U.S. popular
culture: Jeopardy!, America~ Idol and now The Daily Show."

Daughters ~ry, 20, and Grace, 15, urged her to do the show.

Congress is investigating conflict-of-interest complaints involving the federal student


loan program and the Bush ackainistration’s Reading First program.
Stewart, a regular critic of the Bush administration, will be free to ask about beth,
McLane says.
The tactic is common enough in Washington, says former assistant education secretary
Chester Firn~ Jr.:
"Whenever the hot water rises in Washington, those in peri! of poached hips seem to
discover that they have a sense of humor after all -- especially if they think it will
encourage people to laugh rather than grimace at them."

Andrew Rotherham of the think tank Education Sector says the administration realizes it
has "a pretty substantial public relations problem and that they need to get out there and
try to turn it around."

Public relations executive Patrick Riccards, who writes the blog eduflack, com, calls the
appearance Spellings’ bid to change the subject: "She’s going to let (Stewart) make fun of
her, she’s going to let him make fun of the scandals, and then she’s going to say, ’It’s
al! behind us.’ "

Lookin
g for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo[ FareChase.
Page 961
http://farecb~se.yahoo.com/
Page 962

l?~onresponsi
From: Reich, Heidi
Sent: May22, 2007 9:02 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerd; Bryant, Jessica; Cariello, Dennis; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angeta; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Maguire, Tory;
McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Moran, Robert;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Young, Tracy D. ; Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken;
Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar,
Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Pitts, Elizabeth; McGrath, John;Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Toomey,
Liam; Scheessele, Marc; Private- Spellings, Margaret; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara
Martinez; Halaska, Terrell
Subject: Spellings and McKeon promote Promise Scholarships (Education Daily)

Spellings and McKeon promote Promise Scholarships (Education Daily)


By Stephen Sawchuk
Education Daily, May 22, 2007
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and House Education and Labor Committee ranking member Rep. Howard "Buck"
McKeon, R-Calif., are highlighting positive results from a new study of Washington, D.C.’s school choice initiative to promote
national versions of the program.
Released by Georgetown University, the study showed widespread parental satisfaction with the D.C. Opportunity
Scholarship Program, which begin in 2004.
According to the report, 90 percent of parents indicated they wanted their children to remain in the program for another
year. Parents also said that several logistical issues in the early days of the program’s implementation had been resolved to their
satisfaction.
Earlier this year, President Bush proposed tying national versions of the D.C. program, dubbed Promise and Opportunity
Scholarships, to the school intervention components of NCLB.
Under the Promise Scholarships, schools that fail to meet state NCLB testing benchmarks for five consecutive years must
offer $4,000 vouchers to students in those schools. The funds could be used to cover the cost of a student’s tuition, fees, and
transportation to a private or public school of their choice. Parents could alternatively opt to choose $3,000 scholarships for
intensive tutoring.
The Opportunity Scholarships program, meanwhile, would fund district-designed school choice programs based on the
D.C. program model.
Bush’s FY 2008 budget request proposed $300 million in funding for the two programs.
With the D.C. study results in, both Spellings and McKeon said they supported Bush’s proposed national expansions.
’lt comes as no surprise that parents know what’s best for their children," Spellings said in a statement, q-he promising
results and positive feedback in this report underscore the importance of giving families options.°
McKeon said the D.C. program was "making a difference for students in our nation’s capital, and their parents are taking
note. Hopefully opponents of parental choice will as well."
Earlier in the year, McKeon introduced H.R. 1486, the Empowering Parents Through Choice Act, which would officially
authorize the Promise and Opportunity Scholarships.
So far, however, Hill Democrats have given the proposals a chilly reception.
Page 963

_NonresponsivI
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 18, 2007 3:59 PM
To: Pdvate- Spellings, Margaret; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers,
Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich, Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox,
Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Beaton, Meredith; Moran, Robert; Tucker,
Sara Martinez; Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy; Zeff, Ken
Cc: Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: SMS in TIME’s Verbatim section

’"Not only are we not asleep at the switch but very much at the helm and managing our business.’ Margaret Spellings,
Secretary of Education, referring to a comment by NY AG Andrew Cuomo who said the department had been ’~sleep at
the switch" when it came to overseeing the student-loan industry."
Page 964

L
N,~onresponsi
From: Neale, Rebecca
Sent: May 17, 2007 9:16 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Williams, Cynthia; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dorfman, Cynthia;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath,
John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts,
Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent;
Terrell, Julie; Toom ey, Liam; Tracy Young (E-m all); Tucker, Sara Martinez; Young, Tracy;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: SMS on NAEP reports

Students Show Scant Gains In History, Civics Knowledge (WSJ)


Students Gain Only Marginally On Test Of U.S. History (NYT)
U.S. Test Scores Rise In History, Level In Civics (WT)

Students Show Scant Gains In History, Civics Knowledge (WSJ)


By Robert Tomsho
The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2007
More students have a basic understanding of U.S. history and civics, but the number who are proficient in the subjects has
changed little in recent years, according to a key national test.
The mixed results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are unlikely to quell complaints by some
educators that the federal No Child Lett Behind laws heavy focus on reading and math has shortchanged social studies and
other subjects. The statute is in the midst of a reauthorization debate.
The Bush administration called the results a sign the law’s emphasis on boosting literacy, particularly in the early grades,
has begun to pay dividends across the curriculum. "As students’ skills in reading fluency and comprehension strengthen,
so does their ability to do well in other subject areas," Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said in a prepared
statement.
O~hers saw no cause for celebration. "To say that anyone would be satisfied with these results at any level is kind of
amazing," said Peggy Altoff, president of the National Council for the Social Studies, an educators’ association. "They are telling
us that very little progress has been made and that most of our students are not prepared to assume the responsibilities of
citizens."
The NAEP is the chief federally sponsored test measuring academic achievement. The latest results were for history and
civics tests given in 2006 to a nationwide sampling of fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders.
On a scale of zero to 500 points, history scores for students in all three grades increased by three points over results in
2001, the previous time the same test was given. Lower-performing students posted the biggest gains. The average score for
fourth-graders was 211, while the average scores for eighth- and 12th-graders were 263 and 290, respectively.
All three grade levels had gains in the proportion of students scoring at or above the basic level, with 70% of fourth-graders
falling in that range, up from 66%in 2001. About 18% of fourth-graders scored at or above the proficient range, unchanged from
2001. Even with gains, more than half of high-school seniors had below-basic scores in history.
In civics, the only significant improvement was among fourth-graders, whose average score was 154 on a scale of zero to
300 points, up from 150 in t998, the last time the civics test was given.
Some critics said the NAEP results were most remarkable for what students didnt know. Only 14% of seniors taking the
history test could explain a reason for U.S. involvement in the Korean War. In civics, 28% of eighth-graders could explain the
historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence and about 14% of fourth-graders knew a defendant has a right to a lawyer.
Write to Robert Tomsho at rob.tomsho@wsj.coml

Students Gain Only Marginally On Test Of U.S. History (NYT)


Page 965

By Sam Dillon
The NewYork Times,, May 17, 2007
Federal officials reported yesterday that students in 4th, 8th and 12th grades had scored modestly higher on an American
history test than five years eadier, although more than half of high school seniors still showed poor command of basic facts like
the effect of the cotton gin on the slave economy or the causes of the Korean War.
Federal officials said they considered the results encouraging because at each level tested, student performance had
improved since the last time the exam was administered, in 2001.
’In U.S. history there were higher scores in 2006 for all three grades," said Mark Schneider, commissioner of the National
Center for Education Statistics, which administers the test, at a Boston news conference that the Education Department carried
by Webcast.
The results were less encouraging on a national civics test, on which only fourth graders made any progress.
The best results in the history test were also in fourth grade, where 70 percent of students attained the basic level of
achievement or better.
The test results in the two subjects are likely to be closely studied, because Congress is considering the renewal of
President Bush’s signature education law, the No Child Left Behind Act.
A number of studies have shown that because No Child Left Behind requires states to administer annual tests in math and
reading, and punishes schools where scores in those subjects fail to rise, many schools have reduced time spent on other
subjects, including history. In a recent study, Martin West, an education professor at Brown, used federal data to show that
during 2003-4, first- and sixth-grade teachers spent 23 fewer minutes a week on history than during 1999-2000.
Given such circumstances, lawmakers and educators are likely to puzzle over why achievement in history has increased.
Some suggested that the fourth-grade results were tied to be~er reading skills.
The tests, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, divide achievement levels into basic, proficient and
advanced. The 2006 history assessment had the highest percentage of 12th-grade students scoring below basic of any subject
tested in 2005 and 2006. And only 1 percent of students at any grade level scored at the advanced level.
The history test was given to a national sample of 29,200 4th-, 8th- and 12th-grade students. Among the results were
these:
¶Some 47 percent of the l:2th graders performed at the basic level or above. In 2001, 43 percent were at or above basic.
11Sixty-five percent of eighth graders achieved the basic level or better, up from 62 percent six years ago.
¶Seventy percent of fourth graders attained or exceeded the basic level, compared with 66 percent in 2001. Even this
result, however, left 30 percent who, for instance, lacked an ability to identify even the most familiar historic figures or explain the
reasons for celebrating national holidays.
’It’s heartwarming that the test organizers have found positive things to say, but this report is not anything to break out the
Champagne over," said Theodore K. Rabb, a professor of history at Princeton who advocates devoting more classroom time to
the subject.
The civics exam was given to a national sample of 25,300 4th, 8th and 12th grader~ Seventy-three percent of fourth-grade
pupils performed at the basic level or better, up from 69 percent in 1998, the last time the civics exam was administered. The
scores of 8th and 12th graders showed no change.
’What is most discouraging is that as students grow older and progress through the grades towards adulthood and eligibility
to vote, their civic knowledge and dispositions seems to growweaker," said David W. Gordon, superintendent of the Sacramento
County School District in California, who is a member of the board that sets policies for the test.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings seized on yesterday’s results to rebut critics who argue that the federal
law has narrowed the curriculum.
"When students know howto read and comprehend," Ms. Spellings said, "they apply these skills to other subjects
like history and civics."
But Kim KozbiaI-Hess, a fourth-grade teacher from Toledo, Ohio, who is a member of the assessment board, argued that
the test results were not promising enough to justify the federal law,s focus on reading and math alone.
’tAre we doing well enough in U.S. history that it should continue to be left out of the No Child Left Behind legislation?" she
asked at the Boston news conference.
In Washington, Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Lamar Alexander, Republican of
Tennessee, reintroduced a bill on Wednesday based on the premise that the National Assessment gave history sho~ shrift,
testing it every five to seven years instead of every other year as with reading and math. Their legislation would require national
history tests every four years, with more students tested.
David McCullough, John Hope Franklin, Douglas Brinkley and dozens of other prominent historians have sent Congress a
Page 966
petition urging the bill’s passage.

U.S. Test Scores Rise In History, Level In Civics (WT)


By Amy Fagan, The Washington Times
The Washinqton Times, May 17, 2007
Fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders are showing improved knowledge of U.S. history, national test results show, but only
fourth-graders improved in civics and students across the board still struggle to reach higher achievement levels in both subjects.
Officials issued a mixed report card on results of the 2006 national civics and history tests -- part of the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that is given to a sampling of public and private school students nationwide.
Results, released yesterday, are "both encouraging and discouraging," said David Gordon, a member of the National
Assessment Governing Board.
All three grades improved their average history scores from 2001, the last time the test was administered. In civics, low-
performing fourth-graders improved their scores the most since 1998, the last time that test was given, while scores for the two
higher grades stayed essentially the same.
Little or no increase was seen in either subject in the percentage of students reaching proficient level or higher.
Officials and researchers praised the history gains but lamented the civics results. Mr. Gordon said he is concerned that
civics knowledge seems to weaken as students get closer to becoming adult participants in society.
’qhe results released today are encouraging, but it must be noted that while these scores are headed in the right direction,
they still remain alarmingly low," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Some critics of the 2002 No Child Lett Behind Act have said the education law forces schools to focus on math and reading
scores at the cost of subjects such as social studies. But Education Secretary Margaret Spellings yesterday said the focus
on reading is the reason for the gains in civics and history.
"[’r]he fact is, when students know how to read and comprehend, they apply these skills to other subjects like
history and civics," she said. "The result is greater academic gains."
The tests were administered to nationally representative samples of students -- 25,000 for civics, 29,000 for history -- in the
fourth, eighth and 12th grades.
In history, the average score improved three points in each grade. Seventy percent of fourth-graders reached the basic
level or better in history, an improvement from 66 percent in 2001. The percentage of eighth-graders reaching basic or better in
history increased from 62 percent to 65 percent. The percentage of 12th-graders reaching basic or better also increased, but is
still only 47 percent.
No significant improvement was found from 2001 in the percentage of students reaching the proficient level or better in
history.
On Capitol Hill yesterday, Sons. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Lamar Alexander, Tennessee
Republican, introduced a bill that would provide $14 million for 10 states to test students in American history and civics under
NAEP and deliver comparable state-by-state results.
Page 967

~Nonresponsiv
From: Neale, Rebecca
Sent: May 17, 2007 9:09 AM
To: Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Williams, Cynthia; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dorfman, Cynthia;
Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Herr, John;
Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angeia; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath,
John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts,
Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent;
Terrell, Julie; Toom ey, Liam; Tracy Young (E-m ail); Tucker, Sara Martinez; Young, Tracy;
Yudof, Samara; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Reading Recovery (BSUN)

Reading Recovery (BSUN)


The Baltimore Sun, May 17, 2007
A report released last week has reinforced that the reading improvement program that has been part of the federal No
Child Left Behind law has been awash in cronyism and conflicts of interest. The report, prepared by staff members for Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, attests to the level of congressional
interest in the problems with the program - and underscores the need for changes in the law as soon as possible. In addition, the
Department of Education needs to be able to show Congress and the public that its procedures are transparent and above
board.
The program, Reading First, tries to improve the reading skills of first-, second- and third-graders through instruction
methods that are supposed to be scientifically based with a record of effectiveness. But a report last year by DOE’s inspector
general confirmed complaints from some reading specialists that the process of awarding almost $5 billion in grants to nearly
5,000 schools has been corrupted by conflicts of interest and a propensity by some DOE officials to push for teaching methods
that they happened to like, regardless of any scientific underpinnings.
rv’r. Kennedy’s report goes even further in demonstrating how a group of DOE subcontractors, who offered guidance to
school districts on specific reading programs that could be purchased with Reading First grants, also had substantial financial ties
to the handful of publishers who produced books and other materials associated with the recommended programs.
These cozy and lucrative relationships resulted in some effective programs being downplayed or shut out entirely. One
such program, Success for All, was developed by Robert Slavin, a professor of education and school reform expert at the Johns
Hopkins University. They also probably cheated some poor-performing students of the best methods to improve their reading
abilities and perhaps their chances for overall academic success.
IV’r. Kennedy, with some bipartisan support, would impose broader financial disclosure requirements on contractors and
subcontractors and fi.=rther restrict their ability to influence local curriculum decisions. Beyond legislation, Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings, who has shaken up leadership of the Reading First program, has vowed to continue working with her
inspector general’s office to correct problems. Better legislative and administrative controls will be needed to get this program
back in focus.
Page 968

~leonresponsi
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 14, 2007 10:36 AM
To: Private- Spellings, Margaret; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers,
Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich, Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox,
Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Beaton, Meredith; Moran, Robert; Tucker,
Sara Martinez; Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy; Zeff, Ken; Quarles,
Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; Watkins, Tiffany; Sampson, Vincent; Conklin, Kristin; Oldham,
Cheryl; Schray, Vickie
Cc: Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Educating the Education Secretary (NYT)

May 14, 2007


Editorial

Educating the Education Secretary


"It’s not our fault." That’s what Education Secretary Margaret Spe!lings seemed to say while testifying before
Congress last week about her department’s failure to halt the payoffs, kickbacks and general looting of the
public treasury by a lending company that collected nearly $300 million in undeserved subsidies. But that
doesn’t track with the federal Higher Education Act, which clearly authorizes the secretary to disqualify from
federal programs lenders who employ payoffs, kickbacks and unethical practices like those that have been found
to be commonplace in the college lending business.
Angry at the department’s failure to control corruption in the loan program, Congress has taken the unusual step
of reiterating the secretary’s powers in the Student Loan Sunshine Act, which passed the House last week. The
bill, which deserves to pass the Senate, too, makes it a crime for lenders to offer colleges anything of value in
exchange for the right to do business at a given school. It authorizes the secretary of education to fine, suspend
or even terminate lenders who violate the new guidelines.
The new bill requires colleges to explain publicly whythey placed a given lender on the schoo!’s "preferred
lender" list. It expressly bans kickbacks, payoffs and so-called revenue sharing arrangements. If this bill
becomes law, students applying for lom~ will be entitled to all kinds of reformation that they had trouble getting
in the past. For example, before offering pricey private loans, lenders would have to inform students that they
might be eligible for less expensive federal !oans.
The proposed la~v makes for a marked improvement over the current situatiorL But it won’t make up for what
has developed in the current Deparh-nent of Education, where officials have seemed more interested in
kowtowing to the lenders than anything else. Cortgress should think of some way to insulate the oversight office
from partisan tampering. It could be moved into the department’s inspector general’s office -- or it could be
moved out of the department altogether.
Page 969

lNonresponsive
............................. ..........................
May 14, 2007 6:09 AM
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KrislJn; Schray, Vickie; Dunckel, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Pdvate- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Urban dropout epidemic (WT)

Urban dropout epidemic

By Donald Lambro
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published May 14, 2007
Advert is ement

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings called last week for combating ~merica’s "silent
epidemic," a high-school dropout rate of crisis proportions.
We have long kno~Tn about the problem, but the numbers are still just as shocking as
ever -- more so now because of new data showing the real dropout rates have been masked by
varying definitions of what constitutes a dropout.
In 1963, President Kennedy addressed the problem when 4 in i0 fifth-graders did not
finish high school.

"Forty-four years later, the dropout rate for African-American, Hispanic and Native
American students approaches 50 percent. We are wasting not just lives but time," Mrs.
Spellings said in an address to the National Summit on America’s Silent Epidemic, where
she and first lady Laura Bush, a former teacher and educators from around the country met
to discuss ways to cure a critical illness at the core of America’s schoo! system.
"Despite our best efforts, there are still vast inequities within our education
system," Mrs.
Spellings said. "In too many of our cities, the reality faced by minority and low-income
kids is shocking .... 15 percent of our high schools produce more than half of our
dropouts."
Nationally, more kids are graduating then ever, but the story is very different in
urban, inner-city school districts where public schools sorely lack educationa!
leadership, resources and the politica! wil! to overcome a very solvable problem.
In these schools, which Mrs. Spellings says are more appropriately called "dropout
factories," a majority of the students are minorities, and their high-school e~perience
looks vastly different from what most kids encounter.
"They go to schools where trash litters the f!oors, where graffiti decorates the
walls.., where most freshmen enter unable to read or do math at an eighth-grade level and
where graduation is a 50/50 shot, or worse," she said. As a result, each year nearly 1
million high-school students do not graduate and thus become virtually unemployable in a
knowledge-based economy where even many factory jobs require skills in science, math and
technology.
This social epidemic’s deepening dimensions have festered in the shadows for so long
because, in many schoo! districts, such dropouts are counted "only if he or she registered
as one." In other districts, dropouts are listed under "graduate" status if they promise
to get a diplomm at a future time.
But now a new online database showing graduation rates in school districts across the
country will give parents the tools to find out how their own communities measure up.
Notably, the data produced by the trade journal Education Week show graduation rates lower
than previously reported in most states.
How can we turn this tragic situation around?
®iving parents data about their schools may help in some areas, but minorities in the
poorest schoo! districts may lack access to such data and, in most cases, may not need it
to tell them about a dropout rate they may be all too familiar with.
Page 970
Mrs. Spellings proposes Title I spending in President Bush’s No Child Left Behind
reauthorization be increased another $i billion "to improve and strengthen our public high
schools serving low-income students."
There are legitimate reasons to doubt whether more federa! funding will reverse the
dropout rate. We’ve been increasing federal aid-to-education budgets for decades now by
huge amounts, with little improvement in our SAT scores. This problem ultimately will be
solved within the states, communities and the four walls of our classrooms, by outside-
the-box thinking about how schools are run, and teachers are hired and how to provide
incentives for students to stay in school.
We need to end the prohibition against hiring non-education-degree alternative
teachers. Mrs.
Spellings called for creating an Adjunct Teacher Corps to bring math and science
professionals into the classroom. It’s a good idea. There are great numbers among the
soon-to-retire Baby Boom generation in many academic fields who can bring a new and
challenging enthusiasm and discipline into our schools.
We need to encourage schoo!-choice programs that allow parents to move their kids out
of failing, high-dropout-rate schools into better public, private and parochial schools of
their choice. Wisconsin pioneered the school-choice movement with great success. It needs
to be copied around the country.
Rather than pour more money into failing schools, why not provide tax-subsidy
incentives for major corporations to establish technology and science high schools within
inner cities to educate and train the workers they need to remain competitive in the
global economy?
Microsoft, IBM and hundreds of other U.S.
corporations say they cannot fill thousands of job openings because of a lack of skills in
math, science and computer progranu~ing.
Such companies would bring the same innovation and excellence to education they have
brought to the marketplace. I have a feeling the first Microsoft High Schoo! of Science
and Technology in, say, the South Bronx, would have few if any dropouts. How about it,
Bill Gates?
Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times, is a nationally
syndicated columnist.

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Page 971

INonresponsiI
............................. .........................
May 11, 2007 6:20 AM I
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, Kristin; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_rnamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Pdvate- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Spellings Lessons (vvr)

N O"she:too, deplores~ contractors and private companies profiting at students’ expense. Who

ve doesn’t? But she was very quick to point out the limitations in the law that prevent her
from solving the problem -- and this seemed to knock Chairman George Miller, California
Democrat, off his partisan horse somewhat."

Spellings Lessons
Published May ll, 2007

In a time of divided government, Republicans must learn to work with a Democratic


Congress. They could surely look to Education Secretary ~rgaret Spellings’
testimony yesterday before the House Committee on Education and Labor for an example. Mrs.
Spellings’
lesson is this: Get the discussion moving in the zone of proper, forward-looking
oversight, where these hearings belong -- in this case, student loan abuses.
Don’t take the partisan bait. Acknowledge problems where they exist, identify solutions
and then invite the Democratic Congress to help fix it.
Granted, this problem is tailor-made for bipartisanship. In Mrs. Spelling’s case, it
lies with the approximately 30 percent of the $85 billion college-loan industry in private
hands, where abuses of "preferred lender" lists and undue coziness with college loan
officers have resulted from gaps in existing law. The headlines recount lenders wining and
dining college loan officers, including offering colleges a cut of the profits, to secure
their place on the lists. The lists are crucial, since many hundreds of companies are
competing in a market where differentiation is difficult. On Wednesday the House passed
the bipartisan Student Loan Sunshine Act to crack down on conflicts of interest.
Another problem is a fault in the landmmrk No Child Left Behind law’s provisions for
the "Reading First" program, a $i billion-a-year "scientific"
reading initiative, which has allowed officials to walk through a lucrative revolving door
with textbook contractors. This, apparently, is a completely legal loophole in NCLB.
Mrs. Spellings welcomed the committee’s interest
-- and was believable when she said so. She praised the House’s loan-industry bill as "an
important first step in this process." She, too, dep!ores contractors and private
companies profiting at students’ expense.
Who doesn’t? But she was very quick to point out the limitations in the law that prevent
her from solving the problem -- and this seemed to knock Chairman George Miller,
California Democrat, off his partisan horse somewhat.
Rep. Buck McKeon, California Republican, who seemed to ask only about the Clinton
administration, was overshadowed by Rep. Ric Keller, Florida Republican, who made sure the
scope of the problem, the legal jurisdiction and the chicanery of New York State Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo were all on record. It emerged that Mr. Cuomo did not even phone Mrs.
Spellings a single time before announcing to great fanfare this spring that the education
secretary and her advisers were "asleep at the switch." He hasn’t called her since,
either. It’s also worth noting that only Mr. Keller seemed truly interested in what we
consider a much larger problem: tuition inflation. Of course, federally subsidized student
!oans are the great driver in that regard, as are university empire-building and
administrative bloat.
The lesson here is not so much "getting ahead" of the problem, as so many Washington
politicians often recommend, as it is being genuinely committed to fixing it. Hrs.
Spellings seemed that way yesterday.
Page 972
We look forward to the bipartisan fix.

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Page 973

~Nonresponsiv
(b) (~s)e°nT: ~’h~n~-~-°l~n~t ..........................
: ............................. May 11, 2007 6:02
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KristJn; Schray, Vickie; Dunckel, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Spellings Defends Loan-Program Oversight (WSJ)

Nmy ii, 2007

Spellings Defends Loan-Program Oversight By ANNE MARIE CHAKER and JOHN HECHINGERMay ii,
2007; Page A4 WASHINGTON -- Education Secretary l~argaret Spellings defended her oversight
of the federal college-loan program, even as a top House Democrat disclosed that the
Justice Department has opened an investigation into the Education Department’s treatment
of a major student-!oan company.

At a House Education and Labor Committee hearing yesterday, Ms. Spellings said the system
she heads is "broken," but defended her stewardship of it, arguing that the problems
predate the Bush administration. She assembled a task force last month of department
officials to look into colleges referring students to "preferred" lenders and the
inducements those lenders m~ke to schools to promote their services. She said it reported
back with recommendmtions that included a bar against schools recommending only one or two
lenders as "preferred."

Committee Chairman Rep. George Miller (D., Calif.), however, contended that the department
shirked its responsibility in overseeing colleges and student-!oan companies. "Did nobody
at the department think of picking up the phone and saying, ’You’ve got to stop this’~’’

He also announced that the Justice Department is now looking into the department’s audit
of student-loan giant Nelnet Inc., but it is unclear what action, if any, the department
might take.

In a September 2006 report, the Education Department’s inspector general detailed how
Nelnet had figured out a strategy to collect about $278 million in what the report said
were excessive payments from the government from January 2003 through June 2005. The
report recommended that officials require Nelnet to return those "overpayments." Despite
the inspector general’s report, the Education Department ar~nounced in January that because
of the prospect of lengthy litigation, it would let Nelnet keep the overpayments, but
c!ose the loophole that allowed the payments.

Nelnet spokesman Ben Kiser said following the settlement, the company was advised that the
Civil Division of the Justice Department had opened a file regarding the matter, and added
that "we are cooperating with the Department of Justice."
An Education Department spokeswommn referred calls to the Justice Department. The Justice
Department had no immediate comment.

Meanwhile yesterday, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced a settlement with
Student Loan Xpress Inc., a unit of financial-services firm CIT Group Inc.
Student Loan Xpress had provided stock or other payments to six college financial-aid
officials, including those at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University,
investigators said. The schools have recommended the company’s !oans to students. ~
Education Department financial-aid official was placed on leave last month after it was
disclosed that in
2003 he held $i00,000 of stock in the parent company of Student Loan Xpress.
Page 974
Fir. Cuomo said that, along with paying for meals and trips, Student Loan Xpress provided
personnel at no charge to financial-aid offices and offered free printing and other
services. CIT agreed to pay $9 million to a financial-aid education fund for high-schoo!
students and their families.

Write to Anne Marie Chaker at


anne-marie.chaker@wsj.coml and John Hechinger at john. hechinger@wsj.com2

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Page 975

Nonresponsi
(b)( 9eOn~..: ............................. 1
I~th~ii i’i ~ - ~- ~1~ii ~t .........................
May 11, 2007 5:51 AM "
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, Krislin; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, K~rri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorrman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Pdvate- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Spellings Rejects Criticism on Student Loan Scandal (NYT)

May ii, 2007


Spellings Rejects Criticism on Student Loan Scandal

By SAI~[ DILLON
WASHINGTON, May i0 -- With scandal rattling the $85 billion student !oan industry,
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings argued at a House hearing on Thursday that she
lacked legal authority to clamp down on many abuses.

Ms. Spellings faced pointed questioning at the hearing from Congressional Democrats, who
accused her department of mismanagement and complacency.

In about three hours of testimony before the House education conunittee, Ms. Spellings
portrayed her department’s oversight of federal lending programs as vigorous, but said
that the world of private lending, which has become increasingly important as college
costs hmve outstripped federa! loan programs, was mostly beyond her regulatory authority.

She told the panel that the entire student loan system needed overhaul, saying, "The
system is redundant, it’s byzantine and it’s broken."

Severa! Democrats, led by Representative George Hiller, questioned her aggressively,


asserting that she had regulatory power and moral influence that she had neglected to
wield to stop loan companies from paying universities or giving gifts, trips, stock and
consulting payments to the university financial aid officers who guide students toward
loans.

Mr. Killer, the California Democrat who heads the education committee, also took up a
separate issue of questionable federal subsidy payments to lenders. He particularly
criticized Ms. Spellings’s decision to ignore a recommendation of the department’s
inspector general that she recover $278 million in federal subsidy payments improperly
obtained by Nelnet, a lender based in Nebraska. He also said the Justice Department was
now reviewing the inspector general’s September audit that found Nelnet ineligible for
those payments.
After the hearing, a Justice Department spokesmmn, Charles Hiller, did not contradict
Representative Miller’s assertions, but said, "We have no comment at this time."

Mr, I~iller openly dismissed Ms. Spellings’s portrayal of her department’s monitoring of
student lending as robust. He also criticized the department for its oversight of Reading
First, a program designed to teach poor children to read that has been besieged by reports
of conflicts of interest among Education Department consultants.

"When I look at the whole body of evidence that has been amassed about both the student
loan and Reading First programs, it is clear that -- at a minimum -- the Education
Department’s oversight failures have been monumenta!," he said.
"We monitor these programs vigorously," Ms. Spellings replied.

"Who is monitoring?" Hr. Miller shot back. "’Do they have blinders on?"
Page 976
Ms. Spellings countered that her critics were focusing too narrowly on scattered abuses in
student lending, without offering much constructive help in changing the system, which she
said was "crying out for reform."

"’We cannot fix this broken enterprise by cherry-picking a few nmrrow issues to address,"
she said. "We must peel back the layers, increase transparency, streamline the entire
system and provide more aid to students."

Ms. Spellings said she would convene a meeting of other federal agencies that deal with
lending issues, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange
Commission and the Federal Reserve, to forge a coherent federal response to improper
relationships between lenders and universities.

Lenders have come under scrutiny in recent months as New York’s attorney general, Andrew
M. Cuomo, has highlighted practices of lenders to get on university preferred lender
lists, ~hich students rely on in seeking loans.

Mr. Cuomo on Thursday announced a new agreement with Student Loan Xpress, a student loan
company that engaged in some of the questionable practices, and the CIT Group, the
company’s parent. Under the terms of the new agreement, CIT wil! pay $3 million to a
nmtional fund for educating high schoo! students and their parents about financial aid.
The company also signed a code of conduct developed by Mr. Cuomo, governing relationships
between colleges and lenders.

The department has also come under scrutiny from Congress for its failure to halt millions
of dollars in subsidy payments to lenders that exploited loopholes to inflate their
eligibility for subsidies on the student loans, including those paid to Nelnet.

Mr. Hiller and other la~~kers pressed Ms. Spellings, the lone witness, to explain her
decision in January to allow Nelnet, a major contributor to Republican campaigns, to keep
the $278 million. In exchange, Nelnet agreed not to bill for nearly $900 million in
subsidies it believed it was eligible for.
Ms. Spellings said that she thought the fact that the department had been paying the
subsidies without question could have put it in legal ~eopardy and that Nelnet might have
prevailed in a lawsuit.

"The reason that I settled was that there was a risk of nearly $900 million that this
government was in danger of losing if we lost a lawsuit," Ms. Spellings said.

Representative John F. Tierney, Democrat of Massachusetts, said, "It boggles my mind -- we


al!owed somebody to get away essentially with theft."

Mr. Miller declined to answer questions after the hearing about any Justice Department
action against Nelnet.
The loan company itself hinted to investors in a filing with the Securities and Exchange
Commission earlier this year that the matter might not be closed, saying that "the company
was informed by the department that a civil attorney with the Department of Justice has
opened a file regarding this issue."
Ben Kiser, a Nelnet spokesman, said in an interview, "We are fully cooperating with the
Department of Justice and are confident that there are no grounds for any action against
Nelnet."
Jonathan D. Glarer contributed reporting.

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Page 978

~NonresponsivI
May 11, 2007 5:46 AM
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KrislJn; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Private-Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Justice Probes Student Lender Payments (AP)

Ymy ii, 2007


Justice Probes Student Lender Payments
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 12:57 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AB) -- The Justice Department is reviewing an audit that found hundreds of
millions of dollars have been ~mproperly paid to a student loan company, House Education
Committee Chairman George Miller said Thursday.
Miller, D-Calif., mmde the review public during a hearing in w1~ch he pressed Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings on her decision to ignore a recommendation by her
department’s inspector general, John Higgins, to recover an estimated $278 million.
It’s the IG’s audit that Justice is reviewing.

A Justice Department spokesman declined comment Thursday.


Spellings defended her decision not to recover the improper payments to the lender,
Nebraska-based Nelnet, saying it was prudent to simply extract a promise from Nelnet that
it would halt the practice, avoiding a costly lawsuit.

Some lawmakers were skeptical.

’’Do you not have confidence in your inspector general?’’ asked Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass.
’’I’m extremely uncomfortable with this.’’

Spellings also traded barbs with Miller over allegations that the department’s oversight
of the student loan industry has been lax.
Miller said the department failed to do its job when it came to u!icovering improper
relationships between student lenders and colleges or student loan officials at those
oolleges. He pointed to a 2003 notice from Higgins’ office urging the department to curb
inducements mmde by lenders to colleges or their staffs.

Miller said the department promised it would keep an eye on such activities, a response he
called inadequate. Spellings countered that the department has done what it could under
existing law. ’’We monitor these programs vigorously,’’ she said.

’’Who is monitoring? Do they have blinders on?’’


Miller asked.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been leading an investigation into the $85
billion-a-year student loan industry. He has found evidence thmt some colleges received a
percentage of loan proceeds from lenders given preferred status by the schools and found
college loan officers got gifts from lenders to encourage them to steer borrowers their
way.

Cuomo said Thursday he had reached a $3 million settlement with Student Loan Xpress, Inc.
and its parent company CIT Group Inc. Student Loan Xpress also agreed to cooperate with
Page 979
the investigation into potentially improper stock transactions.

Cuomo’s investigation revealed that the former CEO of Student Loan Xpress, Fabrizio
Balestri, sold or transferred securities to financial aid officers at several colleges and
to Matteo Fontana, a senior Education Department officia! who was recently placed on leave
due to the disclosure of his stock holdings.

Cuomo previously reached similar agreements with Citibank, Sallie ~e, JP Morgan Chase,
Bank of America and Education Finance Partners.

The congressional hearing came a day after the House overwhel~Lingly passed a bipartisan
bil! that would ban gifts from lenders to schools and impose strict controls on schools
that publish approved lender lists to guide students to certain loan companies.

Spellings called the vote ’’an important first step in this process.’’

But she als0 noted that she was pushing through new regulations to protect against
conflicts of interest.
She said proposed regulations would be completed this month and would include a
requirement of at least three lenders on any school’s preferred-lender list, together with
an explanation of how and why they were chosen. The rules also wil! spell out what is
allowed and what is prohibited with regard to inducements from lenders to schools, she
said.
Spellings said her department hms oversight only for loans made through the federal
student loan programs in which the government guarantees the !oans. She said she has no
authority over the growing private student !oan industry, in which the government doesn’t
make or guarantee the !oans.

She announced at the hearing that she was convening the chairs of other federal agencies
that deal with banking and lending issues to help her examine the problems in this sector
of the student loan industry.

California Rep. Buck McKeon, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor
Committee, came to Spellings’ defense, saying she couldn’t be ’’expected to be the ethics
police for the nation’s colleges.’’

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Page 980

NonresponsiI
( )(}s)ent:b e ............................. ..........................
May 10, 2007 10:13 PM
]
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KdslJn; Schray, Vickie; Dunckel, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kdstin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Moran, Robert; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri;
Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill;
Kuzmich, Holly; La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren;
Private-Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi;
rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Education Secretary Defends Loans Record (WP)

Education Secretary Defends Loans Record ~~ersight Is Lax, Committee Chief Asserts By ~mit
R. Paley Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, May 11, 2007; A08

Education Secretary ~rgaret Spellings, facing aggressive questions about her department’
oversight of the $85 billion-a-year student loan industry, offered a vigorous defense of
her actions yesterday and called for a multi-agency effort to prevent corruption in the
loan system.

"Federal student aid is crying out for reform,"


Spellings told the House education committee. "The system is redundant, it’s byzantine and
it’s broken.
In fact, it’s often more difficult for students to get aid thmn it is for bad actors to
game the system."
In a sometimes-tense hearing, Democratic lammmkers accused the Bush ackLlinistration of
failing to clamp down on conflicts of interest and various industry practices that have
drawn criticism from Congress and attorneys general across the nation. The House voted
this week to increase federal regulation of the loan business.

"The Education Department’s oversight failures have been monumental," said Rep. George
Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the committee. "Was this simply laziness?
Was it incompetence? Was it a deliberate decision to !ook the other way while these things
hmppened? Or was it a failing more sinister than that?"
Miller disclosed at the hearing that the Justice Department is examining a controversial
accounting loophole used by Nelnet, a Nebraska-based lending company, in an attempt to
collect more than $1 billion in government subsidies. Spellings decided this year to halt
the payments but allowed Nelnet to keep $278 million it had collected.

Ben Kiser, a Nelnet spokesman, said the company is "fully cooperating" with the Justice
Department and remains "confident that there are no grounds for any action against
Nelnet." The department is looking into potential civil fraud, according to a source who
spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

Spellings offered her fullest explanation yet of the decision to settle with Nelnet,
saying she believed there was a significant chance that the company would have won if it
had filed a lawsuit against the government to continue receiving payments.

But Hiller, in one of several verbal sparring sessions with Spellings, said the
explanation made little sense. "if it’s such an easy case for them, why did they walk away
from $1 billion?" he asked.

Spellings said the Bush administration has taken significant steps to regulate the student
loan industry. She announced that a task force named to create rules forbidding gifts from
lenders to universities had made its recommendations, which she pledged to implement.

One of the biggest areas of contention was the department’s oversight of companies that
offer private loans, a fast-growing sect$on of the market. Spellings said she had the
ability to regulate only federally guaranteed loans, but Miller insisted that she could
Page 981
h~ve used her bully pulpit as secretary to stop controversial practices in the private
loan business.

"Who was monitoring?" Miller asked. "Did they h~ve blinders on?"

Spellings replied: "It was not a violation of the laws I’m charged with overseeing."

"That’s become a crutch," Miller said.

Spellings said responsibility for regulation of the private loan market rested with the
Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp. and Federal Reserve.
But she promised to convene the heads of all the agencies "to coordinate a government-wide
endeavor to end student-loan abuse -- no matter where it occurs."

Several Republicans came to the secretary’s defense.


"We must be cautious not to engage in an endless, partisan fishing expedition that, after
a while, runs the risk of becoming a witch hunt instead of a serious pursuit of changes to
public policy," said Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Calif.), the committee’s ranking
Republican.

Also yesterday, New York Attorney General Andrew M.


Cuomo announced that the parent company of lender Student Loan Xpress, which placed three
executives on leave amid a conflict-of-interest investigation, agreed to pay $3 million
and sign a code of conduct that forbids controversial business practices.

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Page 982

~l~nresponsi1
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 10, 2007 6:32 PM
To: Private-Spellings, Margaret; Shaw, Terri; Manning, James; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill;
Colby, Chad; VVilliams, C:ynthia; Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn,
David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers, Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich,
Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox, Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Beaton,
Meredith; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy;
Zeff, Ken; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; Watkins, Tiffany; Sampson, Vincent; Conklin,
Kristin; Oldham, Cheryl; Schray, Vickie
Cc: Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Justice Dept. investigating overpayments to student loan company (AP)

Justice Dept. investigating overpayments to student loan company


By NANCY ZUCKERBROD
AP Education Writer

May !0, 2007, 6:06 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department is reviewing an audit that found hundreds of millions of dollars
have been improperly paid to a student loan company, House Education Committee Chairman George lViiller
said Thursday.
Miller, D-Calif, made the review public during a hearing in which he pressed Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings on her decision to ignore a recommendation by her deparlment’s inspector general, John Higgins, to
recover an estimated $278 million. It’s the IG’s audit that Justice is reviewing.

A Justice Department spokesman declined comment Thursday.


Spellings defended her decision not to recover the improper payments to the lender, Nebraska-based Ndnet,
saying it was prudent to simply extract a promise from Nelnet that it would halt the practice, avoiding a costly
lawsuit.

Some lawmakers were skeptical.

"Do you not have confidence in your inspector general?" asked Rep. John Tiemey, D-Mass. "I’m extremely
uncomfortable with this."
Spellings also traded barbs with lVliller over allegations that the department’s oversight of the student loan
industry has been lax.

Miller said the department failed to do its job when it came to uncovering improper relationships between
student lenders and colleges or student loan officials at those colleges. He pointed to a 2003 notice from
Higgins’ office urging the department to curb inducements made by lenders to colleges or their staffs.

Miller said the department promised it would keep an eye on such activities, a response he called inadequate.
Spellings countered that the department has done what it could under existing law. "We monitor these programs
vigorously," she said.
Page 983

"Who is monitoring? Do they have blinders on?" Ivliller asked.

New York Attomey General Andrew Cuomo has been leading an investigation into the $85 billion-a-year
student loan industry. He has found evidence that some colleges received a percentage of loan proceeds from
lenders given preferred status by the schools and found college loan officers got gifts from lenders to encourage
them to steer borrowers their way.

Cuomo said Thursday he had reached a $3 million settlement with Student Loan Xpress, Inc. and its parent
company C1T Group Inc. Student Loan Xpress also agreed to cooperate with the investigation into potentially
improper stock transactions.

Cuomo’s investigation revealed that the former CEO of Student Loan Xpress, Fabrizio Balestri, sold or
transferred securities to flnandal aid officers at several colleges and to Matteo Fontana, a senior Education
Department official who was recently placed on leave due to the disclosure of his stock holdings.

Cuomo previously reached similar agreements with Citibank, Sallie Mae, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America
and Education Finance Partners.

The congressional hearing came a day after the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill that would ban
gifts from lenders to schools and impose strict controls on schools that publish approved lender lists to guide
students to certain loan companies.
Spellings called the vote "an important first step in Lhis process."

But she also noted that she was pushing through new regulations to protect against conflicts of interest. She said
proposed reg~ations would be completed this month and would include a requirement of at least three lenders
on any school’s preferred-lender list, together with an explanation of how and why they ~vere chosen. The roles
also will spell out what is allowed and what is prohibited with regard to inducements from lenders to schools,
she said.
Spellings said her department has oversight only for loans made through the federal student loan programs in
which the government guarantees the loans. She said she has no authority over the growing private student loan
industry, in which the government doesn’t make or guarantee the loans.

She announced at the hearing that she was convening the chairs of other federal agencies that deal with banking
and lending issues to help her examine the problems in this sector of the student loan industry.
California Rep. Buck McKeon, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, came to
Spellings’ defense, saying she couldn’t be "expected to be the ethics police for the nation’s colleges."
Page 984

lNonresponsivI
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 10, 2007 3:25 PM
To: Private- Spellings, Margaret; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers,
Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich, Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox,
Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy; Zeff, Ken; Quarles, Karen;
Bannerman, Kristin; Watkins, Tiffany; Sampson, Vincent; Conklin, Kdstin; Oldham, Cheryl;
Schray, Vickie
Cc: Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Student aid system broken - U.S. education secretary (Reuters)

Attachments: Picture (Metafile)

Student aid system broken education


secretary
By Kevin Drawbaugh ] May 10, 2007
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. college student financial aid system is broken and needs changes,
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings told a congressional hearing Thursday amid a widening scandal in
the $85 billion student loan business that her agency oversees.
"Federal student aid is crying out for reform. The system is redundant, it’s Byzantine, and it’s broken," Spellings
told the House Education and Labor Committee.
With federal and state investigators probing alleged conflicts of interest among loan companies and universities,
committee Chairman George Miller grilled Spellings about what he said was chronic inaction by the depar~ent
on the matter.
"The U.S. Department of Education has been conspicuously missing in action," said the California Democrat.
"What makes all of this evenmore troubling is that many Education Department officials who have worked
directly on the student loan programs appear, according to press accounts, to have their own conflicts of
interest," he said.
Some Congressional Democrats have said student loan companies that handle the federally guaranteed student
loan program exert too much influence in the department. Spellings became education secretary two years ago
after working as a domestic policy adviser to President Bush_
Spellings said any suggestion that her department has shown favoritism to the federally guaranteed student loan
program "is totally without merit and has no basis in fact."
The department faces high hurdles before it can bring enforcement actions over possible misconduct in student
loan programs, she said. Some questionable practices alleged by investigators now fall under the jurisdiction of
other federal agencies, Spellings added.
"We have conducted thousands and thousands of audits of programs," she said. "We monitor these programs
vigilantly."
The scandal shaking the loan industry has swept up the department, numerous universities and student aid
Page 985
officers, as well as major lenders including Sallie Mae, Citigoup, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America.
Investigators allege t~t banks have given college financial aid oNcers pay and perks -- such as stock and gifts
-- to win inclusion on so-called "preferred lender" lists that are shown to students seeking loans.
The House voted 414-3 on Wednesday to approve a bill that would crack down on such lists, ban lender gifts to
college aid officers and protect students from ag~essive marketing practices.
The Senate is considering a similar measure.
Spellings announced Tuesday the resignation of a key subordinate at the Education Department. Tern Shaw,
chief operating officer for federal student aid, roll quit June 1.
Facedwith fast-rising college tuition fees, already the world’s highest, U.S. student debt is rising sharply.
Most students who take out loans get them from banks or from Sallie Mae, either with a federal guarantee
backing them or, increasingly, without one. Loans are also available directly from the government and from
other sources.
Congressional Democrats -- including Miller and Senate Education Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy of
Massachusetts -- support far-reaching reforms for student loans that directly threaten the business models of
Sallie Mae and the banks.
Critics of the loan indusWy charge it makes unfair profits at the expense of students, while lenders say their
loans are cost-efficient and that they provide valuable financial services to both students and the universities
they attend.
Page 986 Page 1 of 2

[Nonresponsiv J
From: katherine mclane~(h~t(R~t
Sent: April 27, 2007 7:32 AM
To: scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; Oldham, Cheryl; Sampson, Vincent; Bannerman,
Kristin; Quarles, Karen; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby, Chad;
Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Doffman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly; La
Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private-
Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob
Saliterman; Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Ten-ell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt,
Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; 7"eft, Ken
Subject: Congressional probe of student loans widens (Reuters)

Congressional probe of student loans widens


By Kevin Drawbaugh
Reuters
Thursday, April 26, 2007; 7:41 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional investigators probing the $85 billion student loan
market pushed into new areas on Thursday by raising concerns about collection tactics and
seeking an inqttiry into possible conflicts of interest inNde the U.S. Education Department.
Edward Kenned¥, chairman of the Senate education committee, wrote to the heads of two
major student loan firms expressing concerns about allegedly abusive !oan collection tactics.
"I am concerned that several private lenders may be engaging in harsh and inappropriate
tactics with regard to borrowers whose payments are overdue ... tactics that are prohibited by
federal law and regulations," Kennedy wrote in a letter to Tim Fitzpatrick, chief executive
officer of Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest student lender.
Senate investigators have obtained information indicating lenders may have told a borrowers
spouse that the borrower wottld go to jail if he did not pay, which is "a blatantly false
assertion," said K~medy, a Massachusetts Democrat.
Investigators are also looking into whether lenders have refused to n~otiate with borrowers
on payment deferment, called borrowers on the job after being told to stop, harassed
borrowers’ neighbors, family and co-workers and used profane language to intimidate
borrowers.
Kennedy asked Filzpalfick to provide information about Sallie Mac’s collection practices
trader the federally g~aranteed student loan system.
Sallie Mae spokesman Tom Joyce said, "It is a shame that Senator Kennedy’s staff is
continuing to investigate through press releases ... The media received this letter before we
did."
He said Satlie Mae is proud of helping coll~e graduates avoid loan defaults and keep healthy
credit ratings throngh its debt counseling efforts. He said the company will cooperate with
Kennedy’s request for information_
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT INQUIRY
Also known as SLM Corp., Sallie Mae has been swept up in an expanding inqttiry by state
and congressional officials, which has led to allegations of misconduct and conflicts of
interest across the student loan industry.
Kennedy also wrote a letter hi~hlighfing his concerns about collection practices to Michael
Dtmlap, chief executive of Nelnet Inc., another student loan group.
Separately, the chnirman of the House of Representatives education committee on Thursday
asked for an internal inquiry at the Education Department into possible conflicts of interest
among department employees, lenders and others.
California Democrat Geo~e Miller made his request in a letter to department Inspector

06/05/2008
Page 987 Page 2 of 2

General John
Kennedy asked Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on Wednesday to hand over to his
once the persormd files and financial disclosure reports for 27 Education Department
employees, including Chief of Staff James Manning.
Earlier tlfis month, a manager in the departrnenffs financial aid ot~ce was put on leave
pending a review of his ownel~hip of stock in Education Lending Group Inc., former parent
of Student Loan Xpress, now a unit of CIT Group Inc..
Along with Kennedy and Miller, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been
leading a campaign to shake up the student loan business.
Testifying before Mille,’s committee on Wednesday, Cuomo said criminal charges may result
from his inquiry into ties between banks that lend money to college students and individual
tmiversity financial aid officers.
Investigators have said some college aid oNcers took payments and perks t~om lenders in
exchange for placing the companies on "preferred lender" lists sho~m to students.
As the inquiry has progressed, major lenders -- including Citigroup, Sallie Mac, JPMorgan
Chase and Bank of America -- have agreed to a code of conduct recommended by Cuomo
that bans school-lender financial ties, "preferred lender" list payments and lender ~fts to
college employees.

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06/05/2008
Page 988

INonresponsiv
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 10, 2007 2:56 PM
To: Pdvate- Spellings, Margaret; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers,
Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich, Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox,
Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy; Zeff, Ken; Quarles, Karen;
Bannerman, Kristin; Watkins, Tiffany; Sampson, Vincent; Conklin, Kdstin; Oldham, Cheryl;
Schray, Vickie
Cc: Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: AP on headng: "Education chief: Department responding to student loan problems"

[Nonresponsive J
Education chief. Department responding to student loan problems
By NANCY ZUCKERBROD
Thursday, May 10, 2007 11:49 AM CDT
~VASHINGTON - Education Secretary Margaret Spellings sparred with the chairman of the House education
committee Thursday amid allegations that the department’s oversight of the student !oan industry has been lax.
Rep. George Miller, D-Cali£, said in a hearing that the department failed to do its job when it came to
uncovering improper relationships between student lenders and colleges or student loan officials at those
colleges.
Iviiller pointed to a 2003 notice from Education Department Inspector General John Higgins’ office urging the
department to take action to curb gift-giving by lenders to colleges or their staffs.
Miller said the department promised that it would keep an eye on such activities, a response he called
inadequate. Spellings countered that the department has done what it could under existing law. "We monitor
these programs vigorously," she said.
"Who is monitoring? Do theyhave blinders on?" Miller asked.
The hearing was focused on recent findings of an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
into the $85 billion-a-year student loan industry. Cuomo has turned up evidence that some colleges received a
percentage of loan proceeds from lenders given preferred status by the schools _ a practice Cuomo calls
"kickbacks."
Cuomo also found that some college loan officers received gifts from lenders to encourage them to steer
borrowers their way.

On Wednesday, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bil! that would ban gifts from lenders to schools
and impose strict controls on schools that publish approved lender lists to guide students to certain loan
companies.

Spellings called the vote "an important first step in this process."

But she also noted that she also was taldng steps to push through new regulations to protect against conflicts of
interest. She said proposed rega,tlations ~vould be completed this month and would include a requirement of at
Page 989
least three lenders on any school’s preferred-lender list, together with an explanation of how and why they were
chosen. The rules also ,~,511 spell out what is a!lowed and what is prohibited with regard to inducements from
lenders to schools, Spellings said.

She said the Education Department has oversight only for loans made through the federal student loan progams
in which the govermnent guarantees the loans. She said she has no authority over the growing private student
loan industry, in which the government doesn’t make or guarantee the loans.

Spellings announced at the hearing that she was conven~g the chairs of other federal agencies that deal with
banking and lending issues to help her examine the problems in this sector of the student loan industry.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)


Page 990

[Nonresponsiv!
From: McLane, Katherine
Sent: May 10, 2007 2:46 PM
To: Private- Spellings, Margaret; Landers, Angela; Evers, Bill; Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Mesecar, Doug; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Pitts, Elizabeth; Flowers,
Sarah; McGrath, John; Talbert, Kent; Briggs, Kerri; Kuzmich, Holly; Toomey, Liam; Maddox,
Lauren; Scheessele, Marc; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Beaton, Meredith; Tucker, Sara Mar[inez;
Tada, Wendy; Halaska, Terrell; Tracy WH; Young, Tracy; Zeff, Ken; Quarles, Karen;
Bannerman, Kristin; Watkins, Tiffany; Sampson, Vincent; Conklin, Kristin; Oldham, Cher:yl;
Schray, Vickie
Cc" Ditto, Trey; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Terrell, Julie; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Spellings vows headway on student loans (AP)

Spellings vows headway on student loans


Staff ~’~d agencies
10 May, 2007

By NANCY ZUCKERBROD, AP Education Writer 1 minute ago

WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Margaret Spellings Margaret Spellings sparred with the chairman of the
House education committee Thursday amid allegations that the department’s oversight of the student loan
industry has been lax.
Miller pointed to a 2003 notice from Education Department Inspector General John Higgins’ office urging the
department to take action to curb gift-giving by lenders to colleges or their staffs.
"Who is monitoring? Do they have blinders on?" Miller asked.
Cuomo also found that some college loan officers received gifts from lenders to encourage them to steer
borrowers their way.
Spellings called the vote "an important first step in this process."

She said the Education Department has oversight only for loans made through the federal student loan programs
in which the government guarantees the loans. She said she has no authority over the growing private student
loan industry, in which the government doesn’t make or guarantee the loans.
Page 991

[NonresponsivI
J
May 10, 2007 7:05 AM
Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KrislJn; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie_s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey;
Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly;
La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings,
Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman;
Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Four Officials Profited From Publishers, Report Finds (WP)

Four Officials Profited From Publishers, Report Finds By ~it R. Paley Washington Post
Staff Writer Thursdmy, ~y I0, 2007; All

Four officials who helped oversee a federal reading program for young students have
pocketed significant sums of money from textbook publishers thmt profited from the $i
billion-a-year initiative, a Democratic congressionml report disclosed yesterday.

The report from the office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy


(D-Mass.) offers fresh details on the extensive financial ties between publishers and
officials who helped implement the Reading First program. Over the past several months,
the program has faced numerous allegations of conflicts of interest and cronyism.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is expected to face questions about the program, a
key provision of the No Child Left Behind law, from a House oversight committee today.
David Dunn, her chief of staff, said the department is reviewing the report’s findings.

Congress and the Justice Department are examining the initiative, which provides grants to
improve reading for children from kindergarten through third grade.

Kennedy’s report focused on how much current or former directors of three regional Reading
First technical assistance centers have earned in recent years from
publishers: Douglas Carnine (more than $800,000), Edward Kame’enui (more than $750,000),
Joseph Torgesen (more th~_n $50,000) and Sharon Vaughn (more than $1.2 million).

All four denied wrongdoing, and two accused Kep~nedy of distorting the situation for
political benefit. "The report is inaccurate, unfair and has no basis in fact," said
Lizette D. Benedi, an attorney for Kame’enui, who works for the Education Department as
commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research.

Carnine and Torgesen still run regional Reading First centers. "At no time did anyone from
the Department of Education or anywhere else tell me that [the earnings from publishers]
was a problem as !ong as I disclosed my contracts," Torgesen said.

The four officials were not covered by federal conflict-of-interest rules because they
worked for a contracted company, not the department, experts said.
Kennedy said the rules should be tightened.

Staff researcher Meg SmAth contributed to this report.

Do You YahooS?
Tired of spam? Yahoo~ Hail h~s the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com
Page 992

Nonresponsiv
~ ~t’6~i-ii-i i~ -i’h- ~1~ii ~t ...........................
(b)( 9e°n~: ............................. May 10, 2007 7:01 AM
To; Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KrislJn; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Cagey;
Colby, Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, C’ynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly;
La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings,
Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman;
Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey;, Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Subject: Bill: Bar gifts to school officials from student lenders (USAT)

Bill: Bar gifts to school officials from student lenders By Kathy Chu, USA TODAY On the
eve of a congressiona! hearing on student !can practices, the House passed a bipartisan
bil! Wednesday that would bar lenders from giving gifts to colleges or school officials to
win business, and would require schools to disc!ose any financial ties to lenders.
The passage of the bil!, pushed by House education committee chair George Miller, D-
Calif., comes a day before Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is to testify at the
hearing. Spellings is expected to be grilled about how her agency hmndled conflicts of
interest and what it’s doing to combat questionable loan practices.

Miller and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., have criticized the department’s oversight of
student lenders and its own department officials. New York Attorney General ~tndrew Cuomo
said at a Mouse hearing last month that conflicts of interest between lenders and
universities escalated because the department had been "asleep at the switch" in
overseeing the federal loan program.

The House bill’s passage is "promising" and comes at a pivotal time, says Michael
Dannenberg of the New America Foundation, a policy institute. "Congress wants to show
action in response to the disturbing press reports we’ve seen about conflicts." Prospects
for a similar bil! in the Senate are not clear.
Cuomo and other critics charge that lenders plied college officials with cash and trips to
get on their "preferred lender" lists. Documents obtained by Miller’s office shows that
one lender, JPMorgan Chase, paid five unidentified university officials as consultants.
Chase also paid about $70,000 for a dinner cruise for about 200 college officers. Chase
says it’s halted these practices to erase "the appearance of conflicts of interest."

The Education Department itself has been accused of forging cozy ties with lenders it
regulates. A handful of agency emp!oyees formerly worked at private lenders. One senior
official, Matteo Fontana, owned stock in a lender the department oversaw; Eontana has been
put on leave. In 2006, the Education Department’s inspector genera! criticized the agency
for focusing on "partnership over compliance" in dealing with lenders.
The department has recently taken steps to ease those concerns. It’s imposed new rules on
lenders’ access to a national student !can database. At Miller’s urging, the inspector
general has begun investigating conflicts of interest at the agency. And the official in
charge of the department’s student loan program has resigned. (The Education Department
says the resigr~tion is unrelated to the loan investigations.)

The Education Department has said it takes its oversight role "very seriously." David
Dunn, Spellings’ chief of staff, says Spellings plans today to unveil suggestions by an
internal task force to revamp preferred-lender lists. Most students use those lists to
choose a lender.

Do You Yahoo~?
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Page 994

INonresponsive
’, ~ I \ "S~nt:¯ May 10, 2007 6:58 AM
To: Oldham, Cheryl; Conklin, KrislJn; Schray, Vickie; Duncket, Denise; Shaw, Terri; Sampson,
Vincent; Quarles, Karen; Bannerman, Kristin; scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; jeanie s.
_mamo@who.eop.gov; Manning, James; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Cagey;
Colby, Chad; Williams, C~thia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Evers, Bill; Kuzmich, Holly;
La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings,
Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman;
Yudof, Samara; Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Young, Tracy; Ditto, Trey;, Tucker, Sara Martinez; Zeff, Ken
Su~t: House Passes Ban on Gifts From Student Lenders (NYT)

Mmy i0, 2007


House Passes Ban on Gifts From Student Lenders
By SAM DILLON and JONATHAN D. GLATER
WASHINGTON, ~y 9 -- The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ban
gifts and payments by student loan companies to universities, showing bipartisan resolve
to clean up the $85 billion industry.

The vote, 414 to 3, demonstrated how politically potent the issue of paying for college
hms become at a time when tuition is steadily rising and millions of students depend on
borrowing to finance college.

"With this vote," said Representative George Miller, the California Democrat who leads the
House education committee, "the House has taken a huge step in the right direction to put
a stop to those practices and mmke sure that the student loan programs operate on the
level, in the best interests of students and families trying to pay for college."

The bill passed a day before Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was scheduled to
testify before the House education committee about oversight of the industry.

It comes in the wake of revelations that lenders paid universities money contingent on
student loan volume, gave gifts to the financial aid administrators whom students rely on
to recommend lenders, and hired financial aid officials as paid consultants.

The m~tion’s four largest student lenders and at least


22 colleges have already signed on to a code of conduct developed by Attorney General
Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.
Mr. Miller was joined by the ranking Republican on his committee, Representative Howard P.
McKeon of California, in promoting the bill. "We’re stepping up today for a single,
fundamental reason," Mr. McKeon said before the vote, "to ensure our nation’s financial
aid system continues to serve the needs of our students.’"

But he also urged that Congress be careful "not to overreach." The bill has bipartisan
support in the Senate, said Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and
chairman of the education committee.
A senior Education Department official said that the agency was prepared to move quickly
to draft regulations to enforce the bil!.

Ms. Spellings is expected to face tough questions Thursday about the department’s policing
of the industry, as well as about enforcement of its own internal policies on conflicts of
interest after reports that an officia! with oversight over the student loan database held
stock in a student loan company.

Ms. Spellings’s chief of staff, David Dunm, said in an interview that the secretary wanted
to "set the record straight" and show that the department had taken the steps it could to
regulate lenders. Ms. Spellings has convened a task force that is to make recommendations
by the end of May on how to regulate the lists of recommended lenders at university aid
Page 995
offices.

Ms. Spellings is also expected to face questions about the oversight of Reading First, a
program designed to teach poor children to read by third grade. The department’s inspector
general, John P. Higgins, has issued reports finding conflicts of interest, cronyism and
bias in how officials and private consultants operated the program and awarded grants.

Mr. Kennedy, in a report, added new detail Wednesday on how four officials contracted by
the education agency to advise states on buying reading materials had lucrative ties with
publishers.

Edward Kame’enui, head of the department’s western technical assistance center in Oregon
from 2002 through May 2005, earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from
Pearson!Scott Foresman from
2001 to 2006, the report said. It also said that Douglas Carnine, who replaced Dr.
Kmme’enui in 2005, also earned royalties -- $168,470 from McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin
and Pearson last year.

Joseph Torgesen, who advised Eastern states about mmterials, and Sharon Vaughn, who
advised Central states, also received thousands of dollars in royalties from educational
publishers while representing the department, the report said.
Kmtherine McLane, a department spokeswoman, said: "The department is deeply concerned
about conflicts of interest and takes the allegations contained in Senator Kennedy’s
report very seriously.

"’We are studying this report to determine if further actions are necessary and will act
aggressively if any wrongdoing is found."

Do You YahooS?
Tired of spam? Yahoo~ Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com
Green Dot Hans A School In New York ~LAT) Page 1 of 9
~age 996

INonresponsiv
From: Ditto, Trey
Sent: July 14, 2007 9:43 AM
To: Neale, Rebecca; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Williams, Cynthia; Colby, Chad;
Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska,
Ten-ell; Herr, John; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; Maddox, Lauren; Private -
Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; McLane, Katherine; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar,
Doug; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele,
Marc; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young (E-mail);
Tucker, Sara Martinez; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: WE EKEN D N EWS SU MMARY 07.14.07

WeeHy Standard praising Reading First stoly


The Cabinet Press (NC) on Elizabeth Edwards stumping for husband (she says NCLB was
just an excuse for vouchers)
Deseret Morning Ne~vs (UT) on Richardson (he says NCLB should be eliminated)
Wa!l Street Jottmal op-ed saying because of NCLB music instmchon is shrinking
WaPo Letter to the Editor on NCLB
Contm Costa Times on Miller haxdng townhall meeting toni~ht
Government Executive on the increase in STEM fimding in NCLB.

Weekly Standard
h ttp: / /ww w. wee kl ystan dar d. com/ Ch ec k.asp ?i dArfi d e=13 8 7 9 &r=zlcmk c
Read It and Weep.
FIGHT FOR READING FIRST
CHARLOTI?E ALLEN’s "Read It and Weep" (July t6) hit the nail on the head. For once a
journalist did her homework and described accurately and cogently Bush’s Reading First
initiative. Reid Lyon and I were tasked to develop legislation that would reflect President
Bush’s determination to change the paradigm of how reading is taught in the United States.
As Texas governor, Bush learned from Lyonthat if the findings of science were applied to
reading instruction it could make the difference beb,veen ~ccess and failure for generations
of children in our public schools. No Child Left Behind became law with bipartisan support
on January 8, 2002. Reading First was a signature part of that law and was carefully guided
throu~h the le~slafive process by Margaret Spellings, then an assistant to the president for
domestic policy and now secretary of education.

When the inspector general’s reports on Reading First were released over a period of several
months beginning in September 2006, the new Democratic leadership had a political club to
beat up the Bush administration. Although neither the inspector general nor the Justice
Department has ever issued any charges, Senate and House Education Committee chairmen
Ted Kennedy and George Miller were not deterred from using the report to gain what they
saw as a political advantage. Both of these leaders had worked closely with then-House
Education Committee chairman John Boehner and Senate education chairman Judd Gregg
during the writing of the Reading First law.

The Cabinet Press


http~//x~vw~cabinet~c~m/apps/pbcs.d~l/ar~cle?AID=/2~7~714~BEDF~RD~/7~713~7/-

06/05/2008 ,
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age 997

I/bedford01

200 pack in to hear Edwards


But it’s Elizabeth, not John, who speaks at Bedford gathering
Elizabeth Edwards is smack dab in the middle of the "sand~vich generation," with a college
graduate daughter, two young children, and an ailing 83-year-old mother.

Plus Edwards works for the family business -- her husband John’s presidential campaign --
and she runs the educational foundation the pair set up after their first son died at 16.

Then there’s her stage 4 cancer.

Still, even after spending the night before in North Carolina having her mother checked at a
hospital after a fall, and attending a morrdng meeting in that state, she looked little worse for
the wear in a Bedford Village Green condo with more than 200 people on Tuesday.
And she still had two more house parties to go to, in Keene and Hoptdnton.

Why does Edwards, 58, the mother of three and an attorney, do it?
"Because I believe we need John to be president." she told the packed crowd, many of whom
were fanning themselves with campaign literature as they stood elbow to elbow in the living
and dining room, kitchen, hallways and ~assed-in porch.
That so many people ~vould brave the "steam bath" speaks to the excitement about what’s
going on in the country, and about Edwards, hostess Beth Salzman said_
Richard and Rita Ivlorrissette have lived in Bedford for 47 years. The couple is retired -- he
for 14 years, she for 13 -- and are being courted by several Democratic presidential
wannabes.
When they got invited to see Edwards at the house party they came ’~o see what she’s all
about.’"

"She’s very courageous," Rita said, refening to Edwards’ ongoing battle with breast cancer.
They’d heard that the candidate himself might show, but he didn’t.
Edwards opened with her husband’s priorities. In addition to Iraq -- John Edwards believes
we should withdraw -- one of the biggest issues is global warming, his wife of 30 years said.

This is an emergency, she said, and we’re ’Netting to a tipping point"where the Earth’s
warming will be out of our control, no matter what we do.
Other hot button issues for the campaign are eradicating poverty °~_nd uplifting the middle
class 2’

"Bankruptcies are more common"in the middle class than divorce, Edwards said.

Edwards spoke briefly, then took questions, the first one was "How are you feeling?"

"Well, thank you," she said to applause.

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~age 998

What is John going to do about Medicare? a senior citizen from Manchester asked.

He is committed to universal healthcare, Edwards said. Once President Bush "took the cap
offMedicare," it %reded up costing seniors more and more and became a real burden on
those with fixed incomes."

A teacher asked about the No Child Left Behind Act and Edwards explained how the original
program, ABCs, was started in North Carolina and was successful. But Bush refused "to fund
the fix," she said. His admi~stration never intended it to be a fLX for schools: "It was an
excuse to go to vouchers."

The program as currently set up doesn’t make sense, she added.

When John ~vas senator of North Carolina (t~om 1996 to 2005), he chose as legislative
assistants a nurse to advise him on healthcare and a teacher for education, noted Edwards. He
solicits others’ opinions and experts’ advice.

Also, John, 54, doesn’t take money from lobbsdsts "even if they believe in the same things,"
and looks to his conscience first when he needs to make a decision, she said.
"’We need to know this is the best president." she said, "’not the best president that money can
buy. ""

At one point she interrupted herself to chide a photographer who was taking her photo from
the floor.

"’Don’t you hate that angle, ladies?" she asked.


To a chorus of spontaneous groans when she mentioned conservative political colttmnist Ann
Coulter, one woman said that the right wing and especially Coulter seemed °’particularly
venomous" in their attacks against John and asked if Edwards knew why.

They find him andhis principles threatening, Edwards said, because "Jotm is the most
dectable candidate."

About immigration, Ed~vards said there are three options: pretend the problem doesn’t exit,
"rout out" illegal aliens, or help them find apath to dtizenship.

Her husband supports the latter option, but she said that part of becoming a citizen should be
to learn English "because that’s the language of commerce that they need to succeed.’"
Afterward, Richard Morrissette said, "I thought it,vas very good; we both did. She’s a very
smart lady.’"

But they’re not ready to pick a candidate yet, they said Tuesday before Edwards spoke: "It’s
still early."

Deseret Morning Ne~vs


http://desere~e~vs.com/dn/view/0,1249,685193551,00.hh-nl

’We have lot in common,’ Richardson tdls Utahns

06/05/2008
Green Dot Plans A School In New York (.~AT) Page 4 of 9
b’age 999

Presidential hopeful makes quick, busy visit


By ~ie Welling

As governor of a neighboring state, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told hundreds of
Utahns Friday night that he is in a unique position to understand and bring their concerns to
the White House.

"Utah, New Mexico, we have a lot in common," the presidential candidate said at the Utah
Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson/Jackson Day dinner. "We care about preserving the
environment ... open spaces ... agriculture ... immigration."

Richardson was in Utah for only about three hours, appearing first at two private fund-raisers,
one for himself and another for the state Democrats, and then delivering the nighfs keynote
address.

Some 700 UNtms paid $65 apiece to attendthe buffet dinner at This Is the Place Heritage
Park. Others paid either $500 or $2,300 eachto attend the private receptions.

Richardson touched on all the major issues ~pected to be discussed by a presidenti!l


candidate, outlining his first five days in office. First on his agenda, he said, would be
"ending the war in an honorable way."

Outlined on his campaign Web site, Richardson’s "7-point plan for Iraq" calls for immediate
deauthorization of the war, followed by a complete troop withdra~val within six months.

"We elected this Congress to end the ~var and they’re not. And I’m not happy, and you
shouldn’t be either," he said. ,The whole soul of this country is wrapped up in this war that is
totally divided."

Second on his list is "an energy revolution," which wonld require significantly reduced
greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. Third is revi~zing education
through an increased focus on math and science in the classroom, a $40,000 a year
"minimum ~vage" for teachers and the elimination of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind
effort.

On his fourth day, Richardson said, he ~vould work to f~x a national economy that has "left
the middle class behind_" The governor earned a standing ovation and enthusiastic cheers
when discussing tis support of unions and promising that "a union member will be my
Secretary of Labor."

Finally, Richardson said, he would turn his focus to establishing tmiversal health care in the
United States. The plan, according to Richardson’s Web site, calls for increasing access to
affordable health care by allowing working families and small businesses to purchase
coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, allowing Americans over the
age of 55 to purchase coverage through Medicare and low-income Americans to obtain
coverage through expanded Medicaid and s~ate child health insurance programs.

Though his goals may sound expensive, Richardson said all could be funded with the money
being spent on the war in Iraq. A recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research
Service recently put the war’s cost at nearly a half-trillion dollars.

06/05/2008
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~’age 1000

"We’re going to take money from that war and we’re going to invest itin our own people," he
said. "America is ready to come together to do what is best for this country."

Earlier Friday, several local Democrats endorsed Richardson’s presidential bid at an


afternoon news conference. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, Salt Lake City Mayor
Rocky Anderson, state Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, and Hispanic leader David Ibarra all
noted that Richardson’s broad-based career makes him qualified to lead the nation --
something Richardson himself touched on in his evening speech.

"We cannot afford another president with a need for on-the-job training," he said to the
laughter and applause of the crowd-

During his 25 years in public service, Richardson has been a member of the U.S. House, a
U.N. ambassador and a U.S. Secretary of Energy, andhe is now a Western governor.

Richardson is the second Democratic presidential candidate to visit Utah, though two more
hopefuls are expected soon.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd is today’s fea~ared speaker atthe Utah Democratic Party’s state
convention. A fund-raiser for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is scheduled for Aug. 1 in either
Salt Lake City or Park City, according to the Utah Democratic Party.

Sen. John E&wards of North Carolina also made a brief fund-raising stop here in early June,
collecting some $100,000 during his three hottrs in the Beehive State.

The three top-tier Republican presidential candidates -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney, Arizona Ser~ John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Criuliani -- have
also been to Utah lhis year to raise money.

Despite consistently falling behind high-profile Democratic candidates, Obama and Sen.
Hillary Clinton of Ne~v York in the polls, Richardson ~vas confident Friday that he could earn
his party’s nomination.

"I promise you my best effort," he said. "I promise you that I will outwork everybody."

Wall Street Journal


http://online.wsj .comiarficle/S B 118436292695466235.html?mod=go~lenews wsj

"Music stopped, Symphony shuttered." In the past decade, headlines ~mouncing the demise
of a symphony were an unforttmate feature of our cultural landscape. Were. Past tense.
Because, if the upbeat mood of the 1,300 delegates to the Nashville meeting of the League of
American Orcheslras at the end of last month is to be trusted, those days are fading.

Of course, there are significant problems. In the past, organizations such as the Chicago and
Boston symphonies had generally funded themselves according to a formula of 45-45-10 --

06/05/2008
C~een Dot Hans A School In New York (LAT) Page 6 of 9
Page 1001

45% of the annual budget from ticket sales and hall rental, 45% from annual contributions,
and 10% from recording income. But these percentages have change& Although there are
exceptions, philanthropies are increasin~y directing their gifts away from support for the arts
and to environmental and world health concerns. Similarly, state andlocal governments are
finding it difficult to support the arts as their aging populations demand more generous slices
of the tax pie for health and social services. Because the tests mandated by No Child Left
Behind have no musical content, many school districts are shrinking what little music
instruction they once offered, resulting in a growing population of young adults who, though
passionate about music, find the classical realm terra incognita. And the academy
increasingly vie~vs orchestras and the core repertory for which they were developed as
irrelevant in an age ofmulticultaralism.

Ticket and CD sales mirror this change in taste. Income from ticket sales for regular-season
classical concerts now peaks at 37%, with some ensembles’ percentage being substantially
lower. And orchestras’ income from new recordings has disappeared. In all areas of music,
CD sales fell 20% dttfing the first quarter of 2007 alone and it’s estimated that one bi!lion
pieces of music are traded illegally every month. While relatively few of these trades (or
sales) are works like Stravinsky’s "Thieni," the loss of income is genuine and unites
symphony directors with the pop managers in their belief that CDs are not income generators
but instead marketing tools for profit-making tours and T-shirt sales. When asked when the
Nashville Symphony might see a return on its critically acclaimed recording of the Ives
Second Symphony with Naxos, Alan Valentine, the symphony’s CEO, said, "Never."

But Mr. Valentine’s "never" was mischievous, and here lies the basis of the delegates’
optimism. He was sitting two blocks from one of the country’s most successful new
auditoriums in a city that in 2006 Kiplinger ranked as the country’s No. 1 "smart" destination
partly because of its Naxos-recording orchestra. Orchestras, and the music they play, are
important part of American civic pride.

When last year the Duluth Superior Symphony needed a million-dollar acoustic shall for its
performing hall, a quarter of the funds were given by a !ocal hospital. The hospital leadership
told Andrew Berryhill, the orchestra’s executive director, that the presence of a vibrant
symphony in Duluth, Mich., was necessary for the hospital to attract quality physidans to its
staff. When CVS/Caremark was !ooking for a city in which to relocate its headquarters, the
orchestra and the depth of the arts culture it exemplified played a prominent role in the
company’s decision to settle in Nashville.

But civic boosterism itself isn’t enough to sustain an orchestra. The delegates ~vere told that
the findings of a two-year study in St. Paul, Minn., and Pittsburgh suggests that orchestras’
institutional health lies in the adoption of a new business model. Music managers typically
think that their job is to present the l~ghest level of musical performances possible and pay
for them by selling seats and catching grants. It isn’t. Sell all the seats to all your
performances, market through every site on the Web and corral every foundation executive
you can, and your orchestra will still face a deficit. Music executives’ real business is
developing communities of patrons. And educating their children.

This is hardly news. From Machaut’s dinner with Charles V of Francein 1361 to Klaus
Heymann’s 1987 founding of the Naxos label, the culture ofclassicalmusic has been funded
through the generosity of informed patrons. The "new" business model simply recognizes
this ancient reality.

But the business of creating an informed patron begins in the first grade. Here the San

06/05/2008
Green Dot Plans A School In New York (LAT) Page 7 of 9
Page 1002

Francisco Symphon~v serves as the industry’s benchmark.

For 20 years it has underwritten a program that yearly takes musidans into the classrooms of
24,000 San Frandsco students in grades one through five. This year the program is being
expanded to provide middle- and high-school students with instnmaents they can boi~row. In
the "Keeping Score" TV series, the SFO’s music director, Michael Tilson Thomas and
members of the symphony discuss and perform maj or works of the Western canon. Programs
on works by Beethoven, Copland and Stravinsky (nine are projected) have already been
carried on most PBS affiliates, and the school districts in California, Arizona and Oklahoma
are integrating elements of the programs into their basic curricula. Have a 7-year-old listen to
the opening chords of the "Eroica," give him a clarinet when he’s 9, and by the time he’s 50
chances are he’s a subscriber looking for ways he can become a patron because all that music
changed his life.

Jesse Rosen, the League’s executive vice president and manae~ng director, said that there
were a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future of America’s symphonic music. The
204 works premiered by League orchestras last season alone could h~rdly have been
presented by an institution that wasn’t robust. Let’s hope he’s right. Silenced music and
shuttered orchestras can’t change anybody’s life.

Mr. Linton is a composer and teaches at ~/~ddle Tennessee State University.

Washington Post
http://~wwv.washingtonpo st .com/wp-
dyn/content/arlicld2007/O7/13/AR2007071301957~f.html
Education: If It Ain’t Broke...
Saturday, July 14, 2007; A16

The first sentence of the July 2 editorial "No Child in the Crosshairs" was spot on: "No one in
his right mind would demolish his home because it had a leaky basement or it needed new
carpeting."

However, the editorial went on to apply that reasoning to the No Child Left Behind Act
instead of to public education. NCLB was based on the false premise that the entire public
education system was broken and therefore needed to be brought to heel. When one starts
from a false premise, one eventually reaches a false conclusion.

There are some parts of the educational system that are in need of improvement, but NCLB
guidelines require a district to be placed on a watch list if only one s~ment of its student
body falls to make adequate yearly progress. Instead ofidentif34ng those students most in
need of help, the entire district is placed under a cloud.

Legs provide the funds to fix public education’s leaky basements (apparently the District has,
literally, lots of those) and stop demolishing the nation’s public education system, which is
overwhelmingly doing a good job.

PAT HEEFNER

Waynesboro, Pa.

06/05/2008
Green Dot Plans A School In New York (LAT) Page 8 of 9
Page" 1003

The writer is a candiffate forthe Waynesboro At~a School Board.

Contra Costa Times


h ttp:/A~’ww.con tracosta tiin es.co~n/solanocounty/ci_63 67560

Rep. Miller to meet with constituents in Benicia, Marfinez


Times-Herald staffreport
Article Launched: 07/13/2007 09:02:50 AM PDT

U.S. Rep. George IVliller, D-Martinez, will hold town meetings Saturday in Benicia and
Martinez to discuss a range of issues.

Topics will include the Iraq war, energy and global warming, the No Child Left Behind Act
and a new bib on college aid.
Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, holds town meetings
annually in dries in his district, which includes Vallej o and Benicia.

http:/iwww.govexec.com/dailyfedY0707/071307tdpm 1.htm
Goverrkm ent Executive

Science, tech advocates eye increased federal resources


By Aliya S ternstein National Journal’s Tect~oto~ov Daily July 13, 2007
Six months into 2007, education in the areas of science, teclmology, engineering and
mathematics, or STEM education, is finally getting much needed attention in
Washington, education advocates and lawmakers say.

"The budget request contained the first meaningfu! increase for the Narional Science
Foundation’s education programs in many years, something the STEM ed commm~ty has
really made a hi~ priority," said James Brown, co-chairman of the STEM Education
Coalition.

Aside from the presidenfs actions, House and Senate appropriators are supporting
substantial funding increases for NSF’s STEM education programs this budget season, he
said. The funding would go partly toward a math and science professional development
program that produced measurable improvements in student proficiency at the
elementary, middle- and high-school levels over a three-year period

And Brown said it looks possible that the House and Senate will reach an agreement on
major competitiveness legislation this summer, which would bring "a badly needed shot
in the arm" to the NSF programs. Also looming over the horizon is reanthorization of the
signature 2002 education law known as the No C~ld Left Behind Act.

Despite many promising developments in Washington, students and teachers are still
struggling in the STEM fields, according to Brown. "I am hopeful that these positive
actions in Congress will soon be translated into real progress on the ground," he said.

Betty Shanahan, executive director and CEO of the Society of Women Engineers, said
she is optimistic that recent grants awarded by the Education Department will assist
under-represented members of the population in pursuing STEM careers.

06/05/2008
Green Dot Hans A School In New York2LAT) J Page 9 of 9
Page ~004

On June 29, the department awarded $22 million in grants to universities, state and local
educational agencies, and nonprofits to devise strategies for tapping higlfly qualified
individuals who do not have teaching credentials to teach core subjects, such as math,
science and spedal education in high-need school districts.

That same day, the department gave 25 predominantly minority universities $3.5 million
to better prepare ethnic minorities, especially minority women, for jobs in science and
technology.

Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions Committee, said Tuesday that "it is critical" that Congress reauthorize a
comprehensive hipster education bill this year, as well as No Child Left Behind, to
enhance America’s technological and economic competitiveness. Enzi said the
competitiveness leNslation is expected to be "signed into law before the end of the year."

A spokeswoman for HELP Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said


current federal efforts include grants, which Kennedy helped craft, that encourage
students to pursue STEM majors. Legislative proposals backed by the committee would
increase access to the g-rants, she said.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Science and Technology Committee noted that
the panel has passed severa! measures aimed at boosting the quality and quantity of
STEM teachers in the United States.

06/05/2008
Page 1005

~lonresponsiv
(b)( .............................
July 16, 2007 6:05 AM
To: scott m. stanzel@who.eop.gov; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Ruberg, Casey; Colby,
Chad; Williams, Cynthia; Dunn, David; Dorfman, Cynthia; Dunckel, Denise; Evers, Bill;
Gribble, Emily; Kuzmich, Holly;, La Force, Hudson; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie;
Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mesecar, Doug; Moran,
Robert; Neale, Rebecca; Oldham, Cheryl; Reich, Heidi; rob Saliterman; Yudof, Samara;
Scheessele, Marc; Halaska, Terrell; Toner, Jana; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Young, Tracy; Ditto,
Trey; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Wurman, Ze’ev
Subject: No Child law’s authors work on a revision (Boston Globe)

No Child law’s authors work on a revision Respond to complaints By Susan Milligan, Globe
Staff 1 July 16, 2007

WASHENGTON -- The landmark No Child Left Behind law, which has dragon impassioned criticism
from educators and parents tun_happy with its stringent requirements for public schools to
raise students’ test scores, is being rewritten on Capitol Hill to fix what the bill’s
authors now acknowledge are flaws.
La~makers say they will not abandon the basic tenets of the legislation, which requires
yearly testing of elementary and some secondary school students, and holds schools and
districts accountable for poor test scores.

But after five years of complaints -- followed by sit-dom-ns in recent months with
teachers, administrators, and civil rights leaders -- ConGress and the Bush administration
are ready to change the way schools and students are rate~.

They say the changes will help states and school districts identify more clearly which
students need extra help, while avoiding labeling entire schools as failing because they
have students who are harder to teach, such as those with learning disabilities or limited
English skills.

The original authors of the bill, Senator Edward M.


Kennedy and Representative George Miller, are looking at a slew of changes, inoluding
expanding the way "adequate yearly progress" is calculated, so schools that barely miss
the testing thresholds are not put in the same failing category as schools with across-
the-board learning problems.

Other proposals include giving schools more time to improve test scores before schools are
forced to take corrective action.

"Everything’s up for review," said Miller , Democrat of California and chairman of the
House Education and Labor Committee. "I’ve always said I was the proud co author of No
Child Left Behind. . Now, I’m determined to be the proud author of a No Child Left
Behind that works."

Kerznedy, who worked closely with President Bush in writing the law, has for years said the
much-reviled measure would work if the administration provided the money schools need to
develop good tests and help struggling students, especially those in poorer school
districts.

But the ~ssachusetts Democrat said in a Globe interview that he now believes the law
itself must be changed as well. Many of the presidential candidates in both parties have
called for changes in the law, and several -- including Democratic Senators Chris Dodd of
Connecticut, Hillary Clinton of New York, and Barack Obama of Illinois -- have introduced
legislation.

"We still have to have the concept of accountability,"


said Kennedy, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
But "what we need to do is get away from labeling, get away from the punitive aspects, and
give help and assistance to the neediest schools. We’re now on a path}~ay to make some
Page 1006
sense on this. "

Miller and Kennedy said they hope to begin work this month on ~-iting the revised version
of No Child Left Behind. The law is up for reauthorization this year, which means Congress
must vote on whether to extend it.

Miller said he was pessimistic only six weeks ago that he could rally his Democratic
colleagues to extend the controversia! law, but hms recently convinced fel!ow la}~nakers
that the law can work well if it is rewritten to address the complaints from constituents.

The law requires yearly testing in math and reading for students in grades 3 through 8;
students are also tested once in high school to gauge their academic progress. Schools can
be labeled as in need of improvement -- and eventually, as a failing schoo! -- if
students’ scores do not meet whmt the law calls "adequate yearly progress."

The law provides for additional help for students needing assistance, and parents can also
send their children to another public schoo! if a school is deemed unsuccessful. In
extreme cases, a schoo! can be closed for poor performance.

Educators have complained mightily about the law, saying the testing rules do not fully
measure whether a student is learning. School administrators say they are being wrongly
punished for lower test scores from students with learning difficulties, and some parents
are unhappy with schools’ decisions to curtai! art and music education to focus on meeting
testing thresholds in math and reading.

Funding, too, is a major complaint from both educators and congressional Democrats, who
say that No Child Left Behind has never been given all the money authorized in the law by
Congress. The Bush administration said thmt funding for elementary and secondmry schools
has increased each year since Bush took office, often by more than it did under President
Bil! Clinton -- a fact Kennedy acknowledges.
But states are still not getting the money they need to develop appropriate tests and
provide the extra help students need to make the test-score improvements demanded in the
law, Kennedy said.

Nonetheless, complaints from teachers hmve been so strong that some say it is unclear
whether the changes under consideration will appease educators, and some political
leaders, up_happy with No Child Left Behind.

While teachers say they share the goals of providing a high-quality education to all
children, regardless of race, economic background, or disability, many fear that the rules
might undermine public education and send more students fleeing into private schools.

"The Bush administration was setting up the public schools to fai!, and to undermine
public confidence"
in them, said Kevin Fleming , a teacher at Winnacunnet High Schoo! in Exeter, N.H.

At a conference late last month for the Nationa! Education Association, candidates for
president slammed the law, saying the testing requirements force educators to "teach to
the test" and stifle creativity in the classroom.

Further, the testing structure -- which holds schools accountable for the progress of an
entire class, instead of individual students -- is unrealistic, said NEA president Reg
Weaver. "Not all children learn at the same rate, at the same speed," Weaver said in an
interview.

Dodd is author of the most sweeping package on Capitol Hill to overhaul No Child Left
Behind. Dodd annoyed some of his colleagues when he introduced his proposal severa! years
ago, when the education law was still new. He is now drawing support for some of the
alterations he’s seeking. They include easing certification requirements for teachers and
giving schools more ways to show they are making students better at math and reading.

"Test scores obviously have value, but if it’s the only thing you’re doing, you’re not
making a coherent and substantial judgment of how an individual is doing or how a school
is doing," Dodd said in an interview.

Hore than 30 pieces of legislation to alter No Child Left Behind have been introduced on
Page 1007
Capitol Hill, by the NEA’s count -- some of them from Republicans.

Senators Judd ®regg of New Hampshire and Richmrd Burr of North Carolina -- both
Republicans -- introduced legislation last week aimed at keeping the accountability and
testing concepts while giving more leeway to schools. For example, the bill would give
schools more time to achieve test standards among children ~ust learning English, and
treat schools with small populations of low-achieving students less harshly than those
with widespread problems.

The Bush administration is also ready to make some changes in the law.

The Department of Education has launched a limited program allowing several states to use
different ways of calculating a school’s progress in boosting test scores.

"We shifted our national education dialogue from how much we are spending to how much
children are learning," Education Secretary Hargaret Spellings said in a statement.
"Today, we need a new conversation about how to strengthen and improve this law."

Don’t get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast with the Yahoo! Search weather
shortcut.
http://tools.search, yahoo, com/shortcuts/#1oo weather
Support C~ows For Teacher Bonuses (W..P) Page ! of 2
~age 1008

Nonresponsi
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 24, 2007 8:24 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Ten-ell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Va. Tech Clips (2)

Grant To Help Va. Tech Upgrade Counseling (WP)


By Maria Glod, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post, September 22, 2007
U.S. Funding for Model Program
The U.S. Department of Education announced yesterday that it has awarded Virginia Tech a $960,685
grant to help the university improve its efforts to identify and help troubled students and staff.
University officials sought the funding in the wake of the April 16 mass shooting on campus. Student
Seung Hut Cho, who was found to be mentally ill but never received counseling that had been ordered
by a court, fatally shot 32 people before killing himself.
A panel appointed by Gov. ]]mothy M Kaine (D) to investigate the rampage - the deadliest mass
shooting by an individual in U.S. history -- found gaps in the mental health system, confusion over
student privacy laws and breakdowns in communications.
Virginia Tech will use the federal grant to identify, treat and monitor students, faculty and staff with
mental health issues who may be a danger to themselves or others. The money also will be used to
improve coordination of mental health services.
Mark Owczarski, a university spokesman, said the school has been working since the shooting to
improve its mental health services and respond to problems identified by the governor’s panel and in
other reviews. He said the grant funding, which will be used to hire case managers and increase
training, will help refine and strengthen the system.
Owszarski said the university also will develop a model for assessing and helping troubled students and
staff that will be shared with other schools across the country.
"We will share the information with other universities so as many universities as possible can benefit
from what we learn," Owczarski said.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said in a statement that the grant will help ensure that people
at the university have the "continued support they need to recover, rebuild and prevent future acts of
violence."
The shooting sparked efforts in schools nationwide to tighten security, improve mental health services
and create systemsto alert students of any danger.
According to the governor’s report, professors, police and officials at Tesh all had indications of Cho’s
mental instability, b~t the university did not "intervene effectively." In some cases there were privacy
concerns about sharing information.
Cho, a quiet loner who did not like to be touched as a toddler, was in middle school when he was found
to have a severe anxiety disorder. At Westfield High School in Chantilly, he was in a special education
program and allowances were made for his inability to communicate and lack of social skills.
At Virginia Tech, Cho grew more isolated, and frightened teachers and classmates with violent writings.
In 2005, a judge ordered Cho to receive outpatient care atter female sb.~dents complained that Cho was

06/05/2008
Support Gro~vs For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 009 Page 2 of 2

stalking them, according to the governor’s report A judge ordered Cho to go to the university’s Cook
Counseling Center, but he was not treated by health-care professionals there, the report said.

Va. Tech Fund To Be Disbursed Within Weeks (WP)


By Brigid Schulte
The Washington Post, September 24, 2007
The administrator of the memorial fund created after the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech says he
hopes to disburse the $7.5 million by the end of next month. The decision to accept the money, he
added, does not prevent the families of victims #ore pursuing legal action against the university or the
state.
"Unlike the’9/11 victim compensation fund, which was public money, this is private money," fund
administrator Kenneth R. Feinberg said of the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. "There is no requirement
that any of these victims waive their right to sue. There is no condition at all to receive this money. It’s
essentially a gi&"
Vincent J. Bore, a spokesman for several victims’ families, said many are considering legal action and
have retained lawyers for that purpose.
"My understanding is there will be significant legal action," he said. "They feel that only through legal
action will the troth unfold and accountability fall into place."
Some victims’ families had criticized Virginia Tech for initially wanting to use half the memorial fund for
scholarships.
"The families want to make it known that they appreciate the generosity of the donors," Bore said, "and
that the intention of the donors is finally being honored."
The families of all 32 victims killed in the shootings, as well as those physically injured and those
psychologically traumatized from being on the second floor of Norris Hall that day, have applied for
money from the fund.
The fund was created after the shooting from an outpouring of 20,000 donations from across the
country, ranging from $5 to $1 million. Families and those injured, 78 people in all, had until Sept. 15 to
apply for funds.
"It is very gratifying to know that 100 percent, every single eligible claimant, whether the family of a
victim, one of the 32 killed in April, or those physically injured or suffering mental trauma, every one
filed a claim," Feinberg said.
Families of those killed will receive about $180,000 each, Feinberg said. Those injured will receive
either $45,000 or $90,000, depending on the lengths of their hospital stays, md free tuition at Virginia
Tech. Those mentally traumatized will receive $10,000 or free tuition.
Feinberg said the fund will remain open until the end of the year, with a possible supplemental
disbursement if sufficient funds are received.
Feinberg said it is unclear whether the funds are taxable.
"Virginia Tech thinks the money is taxable. Other individual family members have consulted with their
tax attorneys, and they say it isnt," he said. "That’s a decision that’s left to each family member."

06/05/2008
Suppol~ Grows For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 010 Page 1 of 1

[Nonresponsiv [
From: Anderson, Chdsty
Sent: September 24, 2007 8:23 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Ken’i; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: U.S. Secretary Of Education Visits STARBASE, Wright-Part (FDHOH)

U.S. Secretary Of Education Visits STARBASE, Wright-Part (FDHOH)


By Mary Beth Lehman
Fairbom Daily Herald (OH), September 21, 2007
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings answered to the call name "Starbuck" Thursday, when
she visited with students and staff at STARBASE, Wright-Part in Riverside.
Spellings and her entourage rolled into town on the Education Express, her No Child Lett Behind tour
bus, and met with military families at The Prairies Community Center in Riverside, before heading to
Indiana Thursday evening and Cincinnati today.
Spellings toured classroom activities, as students from Miamisburg participated in mission control,
flight-simulator and rocket launch activities. She also stopped to read to a group of Wright Care daycare
children from the book "The Story of Ferdinand," as part of the "Read for the Record" program.
The STARBASE program is part of the educational outreach from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The program invites fifth graders from area elementary schools to join in a.five-week program to
examine math and science in an interesting way, through the study of space and flight.
Spellings said the program is on track with one of the United States’ administration’s goals to foster
math and science learning in young children.
"It’s a great program," Spellings said. "It makes math and science interesting and exciting. I didn’t meet
one kid today ,,vho wasnt excited about learning."
Spellings said the president just signed new legislation called the "America Competes Act" that will
work to expand math and science programs, areas of learning that will lead to the jobs of the future.
STARBASE Executive Director Kathy Schweinfurth said the program is important to start Day~on-area
children on a pathway to loving math and science so they could consider working for Wright-Part, as
they grow older.
"These are our neighbors," Schweinfurth said. "lfwe can go out and invite these children here to learn
about math and science, they’re more likely to want to work for us in the future. It is a big investment on
our part."
Fairborn Superintendent Dave Scarberry attended the visit, along with other area school officials who
got their chance to meet the secretary.
Scarberry said this will be the third year for Fairborn to participate in the STARBASE programs, and it
has benefited the students to learn more from the Wright-Part education outreach.
"We are very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it," he said.

06/05/2008
Secreta7 of Education Criticizes Propos~al (NYI~)~ Page 1 of 3
~age °~ul J1

IN_nresp°nsi
From: Ditto, Trey
Sent: September 20, 2007 8:05 AM
To: Ditto, Trey; Yudof, Samara; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cadello,
Dennis; Cohn, Kdstine; Colby, Chad; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble,
Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Tucker, Sara (Restricted)
Cc: Anderson, Chdsty
Subject: Spellings’ Bus Tour (Politico)

Secretary’s bus tour and Yeas mid Nays blurb ~nentioned below
http://d~q~.polifi co.com/plavb ook/
Politico Playbook: Another confirmation fight

Good morning. On Friday and Saturday, the NRA will hear from seven presidential candidates (not
counting Newt- four live and three via video- six Republicans plus Gov. Richardson) during its
"Celebration of Amedcan Values conference" at a Washington hotel.

Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyta gets a jump on the drama with "Giuliani, Romney Shilts Fail to Allay Gun
Owners’ Suspicions":

"Guns haven’t much figured as an issue in the Republicans’ 2008 presidential campaign,
overshadowed by the war in Iraq and health care. That will change tomorrow, when the nation’s
largest gun-owners’ advocacy group, the National Rifle Association, holds a forum where its members
will assess the leading Republican candidates’ commitment to their cause. At least two of the party’s
frontrunners, former NewYork Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt
Romney, have histories of support for gun control. While the two are shifting their stances, it may not
be enough to overcome the suspicions of gun owners, who may be more attracted by former
Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson."

The NRA says presidential candidates who have confirmed participation are Sen. McCain, Fred
Thompson, Giuliani and former Gov. Mike Huckabee. Via videotape message: Romney, Gov.
Richardson and Rep. Duncan Hunter.

Kevin Madden says Gov. Romney, who will be elsewhere, will "address issues important to NRA
members and reaffi~ his support for the Second Amendment." (Promise?)
Other speakers (an interesting list): Newt Gingrich; John Ashcroft; Sens. Mitch McConnell, John
Thune and John Barrasso; Rep. John Dingell; former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.; Gov. Haley Barbour;
former Gov. James Gilmore; and Glenn Beck.
ALSO FOR YOUR RADAR SCREEN:

1) ANOTHER GOP OPEN SEAT: Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), engulfed in a scandal about his overseas
real estate investments, will not run for re-electi~, Republican sources tell The Politico’s Josh
Kraushaar and Patrick O’Connor.
http:llwww.politico.comlblo.q, slthecq~ptlOgO711s ~ller the next Republican to bow out.html
Roll Call adds: "Democrats point particularly to Weller’s district, which runs due west from the Indiana
border just south of Chicago, doglegging south and through Bloomington, as a potential pickup
opportunity. Former President Bill Clinton carried the district throughout the 1990s, while President
Bush received 49.5 percent of the vote there in 2000 and 53 percent four years later .... Despite the

06/05/2008
Secretmy of Education Criticizes Propos~al ~Y~)~ ~ Page 2 of 3
~’age ]u]2

apparent hospitable environment, House Democrats have been slow in recruiting a strong candidate
less than Nvo months out from Illinois’ eady filing deadline -- though that could change with Weller’s
departure."

2) OMAHA WORLD-HERALD: "U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns is resigning to run for the
U.S. Senate in Nebraska. The White House scheduled an announcement for this morning by
President Bush, who will be joined by Johanns, a senior administration official said Wednesday
evening. David Kramer, former Republican Party chairman for Nebraska, said that Johanns’
resignation is "imminent" and that the former governor will make a formal announcement about his
Senate bid in a week to 10 days. A~ler reports surfaced about Johanns’ plans, some critics quickly
went on the attack. Johanns would be leaving the U.S. Department of Agriculture before Congress
approves a new farm bill, which happens every five years, said state Democratic Party spokesman
Eric Fought."

3) THE OTHER CONFIRMATION FIGHT - Jon Ward of The Washington Times picks up on the buzz
in both parties over Steven Bradbury, 49, http:llwashinqtontimes.comlappslpbcs.dlllarticle?
AID=/20070920/NATION/109200057/1002&template=printart the nominee to succeed Jack Goldsmith
at OLC:
"The public White House push for confirmation of the nominee for attorney general will be
accompanied in coming weeks by a much less-visible effort to get Senate approval of the man who is
advising President Bush on the extent of his terrorism-fighting powers. The top spot in Justice
Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has been officially vacant since July 2004, when Jack L.
Goldsmith resigned in part over disagreement with the Bush administration’s legal grounds for several
assertions of executive power. Mr. Bush nominated Steven G. Bradbury, Mr. Goldsmith’s deputy, on
June 23, 2005, but that appointment since has languished in the Senate. Mr. Bradbury’s nomination
passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but a handful of unnamed Democratic senators placed holds
on Mr. Bradbunfs nomination at different times, in an attempt to force the Bush administration to turn
over information on other matters. White House officials said that atter the attomey general
nomination, Mr. Bradbury’s nomination is their next pdodty this fall, though they have nine major slots
at a depleted Justice Department to fill."

4) AN INSTANT CLASSIC - The Politico’s Ben Smith jumped on the verbate on Sen. Clinton at a
N.Y. funder last night: "Vice President Cheney came up to see the Republicans yesterday. You can
always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President’s motorcade pulls
into the Capitol, and Darth Vader emerges."

5) Washington Post, top orAl, col. 1 : "Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists: Names From ’90s
Scandal Among Clinton ’Bundlers,’ "By John Solomon and Matthew Mosk: "A list of the donors who
have ’bundled’ large sums from dozens of individuals to give to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential
campaign includes several figures who were involved in the 1990s Democratic Party fundraising
scandal that tamished her husband’s record."
YAWN: "Clinton includes on her list of’Hillraisers’ - those who have committed to raising more than
$100,000 for her White House bid - several financiers linked to past troubles. They include Marvin
Rosen, the former Democratic National Committee finance chairman whose efforts to reward six-
figure party donors with attendance at White House coffees and overnight stays in the Lincoln
Bedroom became the focal point of Senate hearings into fundraising abuses.... William Stuart Price,
the Oklahoma oilman also on the ’Hillraiser’ list, stunned a courtroom in 1995 when he detailed how
his former gas company had tried to ’gain infiuence’ with the Clinton administration by providing
$160,000 in money and membership in a dtzy Washington golf club to the son of a Cabinet secretary.
...Also on the list is former senator Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.) ....
Torch! Solid!
6) ARNOLD AND BILL - L.A. Times, "Schwarzenegger touts healthcare plan, takes GOP to task
again," By Jordan Rau: "Gov. Amold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that a healthcare overhaul
would not be derailed by "Mickey Mouse"-type concerns about covering illegal immigrants. He also
compared Califomia’s Republican Party to an obese person in denial, and predicted that Rudolph W.
Giuliani would be his party’s nominee for president. The comments came in an eclectic discussion
with The Times’ editorial board in which the governor championed his $9-billion plan to expand water
storage efforts and promoted his proposal to require everyone in the state to have health insurance.

06/05/2008
Secretary of Education Criticizes Propos~ (NY~I]~)~ ~ ^ Page 3 of 3
vage

... Earlier in the day, the governor- embodying the "post-partisan" approach he has been touting all
year- teamed with former President Clinton to celebrate an El Monte school’s effort to fight obesity."

7) PAGING DAVIDS MARANISS AND SIROTA: AP, "Evoking Vietnam clash, University of Vvisconsin-
Madison students to protest Halliburton visit": Organizers expected anywhere from dozens to
hundreds of students to tum out to protest the company’s visit to an engineering career fair. They
hope to discourage students from talking to Halliburton representatives. Some planned to carry signs
saying, "Cudy, offcampus!," a reference to the Dow Chemical representative who visited the school,
William "Curly" Hendershot.

8) OUT AN D ABOUT: Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) worked a roomful of noshing
businesspeople at the VIP reception before Alan Greenspan’s speech at George Washington
University yesterday. Shepherding Warner (GWU ’77) yeas the new Dan Sullivan - personal aide
Andrew Smith, a DNC veteran and Georgetown grad. Andrew already has his MarkWamer08
business cards (no apostrophe before the 08 - that would be so 20th centur,j). When it was pointed
out to Wamer that attendees craving the Benjamins should be listening to HIM, not Greenspan,
Warner replied diplomatically: "He has the knov~edge."

Congresswoman Jane Harman, explaining to The Week’s Margaret Carlson why "Thelma and Louise"
is a Capitol classic: ’~hat about women who rob banks and drive over a cliff isn’t about Washington?"
Senator Collins says the sequel would be about: Jane Harman and Susan Collins!

9) DESSERT, from Washington Examiner’s "Yeas and Nays": Secretary of Education Margaret
Spellings earned major cool points Wednesdaywhen she showed up at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame as part of her ongoing Midwest bus tour. And she even sang. Spellings sang the chorus
to Stevie Wonder’s "Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I’m Yours," and a group of students analyzed the
voice vibrations as a science lesson. "You just can’t help but tap your toe and sing along," she told
Yeas & Nays. "It’s great that they are teaching science and math through sound and using the rich
resources of the museum to reinforce it all." And did the tour of the museum bring backfond
memories for the secretary? You bet. "1 still remember that one of my first dates was to a Peter
Frampton concert," she said. And no: Despite earlier revelations that Karl Rove once asked her out
on a date, it wasn’t him.
SECONDS: LONDON (AP) - Kanye West has 50 Cent’s number. The rapper beat out 50 yet again,
this time at Britain’s Mobo (Music of Black Origin) Awards, where he won Best Hip Hop act on
Wednesday. On Tuesday, West was crowned the victor in the pair’s hotly contested battle to see
which one of their albums, released on the same day, would sell the most in the first week: West’s
"Graduation" sold 957,000, while 50’s "Curtis" sold 691,000 in the United States. West also beat 50
on top of the British album charts. 50 was supposed to attend the Mobos but canceled his European
appearances this week.

Y’all enjoy graduation - don’t register late or drop out. Tips, links and videos to Playbook(at)
Politico.com. Credits: The Playbook 24/7 team of Aoife McCarthy, Erika Lovley, Avi Zenilman and
Richard Cullen.

06/05/2008
S eeretm3r of Education Criticizes Propos~ (NYT) . Page 1 of 1
~’age 1014

Nonresponsive
From: Ditto, Trey
Sent: September 20, 2007 7:57 AM
To: Yudof, Samara; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Keni; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; Landers, Angela; MacGuidwin, Katie;
Maddox, Lauren; Pdvate - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend L.;
Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessiea; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tmcy Young; Tucker, Sara Mart!nez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Tucker, Sara (Restricted)
13c: Anderson, Chdsty
Subject: Spellings is Rocking (Yeas and Nays)

http://www.examiner.com/blogs/Yeas and Nays/2OO7/9/20/Spellings-is-rocldalg


Spellings is rocking
September 20, 2:14 AM
Seeretary of Education Margaret Spellings earned maj or
cool points Wednesday when she showed up at Cleveland’s
Rock and Roll Hall of Fmne as part of her ongoing Midwest
bus tom’. And she even sm~g. Spellings sang fl~e chorus to
Stevie Wo~der’s ’%igned. Sealed. Delivered. I’m Youls,"
and a group of students analyzed the voice vibrations as a
science lesson.

"You just can’t help but tap yore toe and sing along," she
told Yeas & Nays. "It’s great that they are teaclfing science
and math through sotmd and ush~g the rich resources oftt~e
museum to reinforce it all."
~p And clid the toar of the museum bring back fond memories
for the secretary? You bet.

"°I still remember that one of my first dates was to a Peter Frampton conce~t," she said. And
no: Despite earlier revelations that Karl Rove once asked her out on a date, it wasn’t him.

06/05/2008
Support Crrows For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age 1015 Page 1 of 2

Nonrespons1
From: Anderson, Chdsty
Sent: September 19, 2007 8:19 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; O-ibble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Ladies Who Lunch With Laura (CSM)

Ladies Who Lunch With Laura (CSM)


By Linda Feldmann
The Christian Science Monitor, September 19, 2007
The phone call came out of the blue: Would I be interested in having lunch with Laura Bush in the
White House residence?
Urn, yeah. My instructions were to meet the first lady’s press aides on the driveway in front of the
briefing room, 11:30 &m. sharp, Sept. 17. All told, about 20 female White House reporters were invited.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Ambassador Karen Hughes, two of President Bush’s
Iongtime aides from Texas, would join us.
Suddenly, we were Ladies Who Lunch, not Ladies Who Wolf Down Sandwiches at Our Desks.
Columnist Helen Thomas, another invitee who has covered the White House since the Kennedy
administration, confirmed my suspicion that this was indeed an unusual event. She could not recall
another one quite like it.
We were told the luncheon would be on the record. Then, it shilted to "on background," a journalistic
term that means quotes can be used, but with attribution agreed upon in advance. But the usual "senior
administration official" would not do for Mrs. Bush, since she is not one. Alter some deliberation, we
agreed to call her a "source close to the presidert."
But alas, once we had gathered upstairs in the living room called the Yellow Oval, the first lady told us
the lunch would be "social and off the record, so we can be free to say what we really want to say."
"1 wanted to ask everyone here for the fun of it," Mrs. Bush said.
Alter an on-the-record discussion on education and international public diplomacy, we filed into the
cozy private dining room where the Bushes usually have breakfast. That’s when we went offthe record,
but I do have clearance to discuss the menu, the accoutrements, and the White House curator’s alter-
lunch tour.
As expected, everything was just so - the gold-accented decorative dinner plates, the hand-
calligraphed place markers, the bouquets bursting with roses and accented aith crab apples. The menu
was light, but sumptuous: a tangy salad of citrus fillets, hearts of palm, and chicory and butter lettuce; a
creative melange of pancetta-wrapped sea bass, balsamic bordelaise, and ricotta and spinach ravioli
with artichokes; and for dessert, "Chocolate Chat." Not a "chocolate cat" - as my daughter the French
student wondered ~hen I showed her the printed menu - but a chocolate microphone and spiral-bound
reporter’s notebook.
Alter lunch, curator Bill AIIman took us on a tour of the White House’s most famous bedrooms - the
Lincoln and the Queen’s, which are still used by guests. What is now called the Lincoln Bedroom was
used as a cabinet room and office by President Lincoln, but now contains a big, ornate bed bought by
Lincoln’s wife. The bed was originally used in the room where we had lunch, but was moved into
Lincoln’s old office af[er President Truman’s reconstruction of the White House. No doubt, the most

06/05/2008
Suppol~ C~’ows For Teacher Bonuses (~)age ] 0] 6 Page 2 of 2

prized artifact in there is a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address, the only one of five that Lincoln
signed and dated.
The fact that the big rosewood bed has survived is a matter of some gratitude for Mr. AIIman. In the
191h century, he explained, it was normal for an incoming president to have a garage sale. "Congress
said, ’Here’s money to move in, and if that’s not enough, sell off the old stuff and buy what you want,’"
AIIman said. "So every four or eight years, there would be a public auction of what they called ’decayed
property’ or anything they felt no longer fashionable and stylish."
The last big sale was in 1903, ~en President Theodore Roosevelt renovated the White House. "Now,
everything in the house belongs to our office to care for permanently," said AIIman. To this day,
furnishings that once belonged to the White House are being returned.

06/05/2008
Page 1017

INonresponsi L- :=
From: Yudof, Samara
Sent: September 25, 2007 12:48 AM
To: Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn, Kristine; Colby, Chad;
Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah; Gribble, Emily;
Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private-
Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica;
Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele,
Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy
Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, C~thia; Young, Tracy; Anderson, Christy; Tucker,
Sara (Restricted); Schray, Vickie; Oldham, Cheryl; Schneider, Mark
Subject: Need to pick a college? New websites can help (USAT)

USA TODAY

Need to pick a college? New websites can help


By Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY
A year has passed since a conm~ission appointed by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings
called on colleges to provide clearer, comparable information to families.

Since then, higher-education groups of all shapes and sizes have been developing their
responses -- some in hopes of fending off congressional or federal intervention.

On Wednesday, for instance, the non-profit National Association of Independent Colleges


and Universities is to launch a website on which students can compare 600 of its 1,000
melmber schools using a standard format. Other groups plan to roll out similar efforts this
fall.
Today, the Education Department itself weighs in with a revamped version of its 7-year-old
site featuring inforraation such as academic majors, tuition and average financial aid for
nearly 7,000 schools.

The site, College Navigator (collegenavigator.ed. gov), provides no new inforination, such
as net price or student performance; such additions would require legislative or federal
approval. Nor are data on part-time or transfer students avail~Jole.

The site also does not include the level of detail offered by some co~m~ercial sites. U.S.
News & World Report, for example, lists the number of full-time faculty and average class
size. The College Board allows users to include interests, such as dra~r~, cheerleading or
jazz clubs.

But Spellings says the new, more user-friendly site will better serve key audiences,
including low-income students, their parents and families in which the kids would be the
first to plan for college.

"We’re on a journey here, and the fact that we’ve started ... is a huge step forward," she
says.

The site draws primarily from information that institutions must report to the National
Center for Education Statistics as a condition of receiving federal aid. Institutions
include two- and four-year public and private non-profit schools and for-profit
institutions; credentials range from certificates to bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Like the original site (called College Opportunity Online Locator), College Navigator
enables users to search for colleges based on location and program of study. But the new
site requires fewer steps to prodnce the same results and allows users to factor more
criteria into their initial searches, including tuition and SAT or ACT scores.

Users also can build and save a list of favorites, tweak criteria without having to start
anew and view side-by-side comparisons of up to four institutions. In a nod to adult and
Page 1018
working students, users can search for schools that offer distance learning, weekend and
evening courses, and credit for life experience.

The site design, based on feedback from 90 people in 11 focus groups nationwide, remains a
work in progress. Improvements are ongoing, and plans call for a Spanish-language version
and campus crime statistics.

Spellings says it’s too soon to consider measures of student performance, something the
commission recommended as a way for colleges to be more accountable. Though a number of
relatively new national tools are available, "the state of the art is in its infancy," she
says.

That’s fine with Doug Bennett, president of Earlhmm College in Richmond, Ind. He, like
many of his peers, says he would resist federal oversight on student learning measures.
Though he sees no "real harm" in improving an Education Department website, there’s more
to be done on a related problem: He’s spending today with ~]other education group that is
looking to minimize the influence of U.S. News rankings. "This is the beginning of a very
important, long conversation, " he says.
Page 1019

N°nresp°nsiL_
From: Neale, Rebecca
Sent: September 23, 2007 8:47 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers, Sarah;
Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin, Katie; Maddox,
Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend L.; Mesecar, Doug;
Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi; Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey;
Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy; Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey,
Liam; ’TracyYoung’; Tucker, Sara Martinez; Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara;
Simon, Ray
Subject: WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY, 9.23.07

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY


9.23.07

1.No Child Left Behind law is up for rene~val but some say changes are needed (Media General)
2. Mixed Grades for a University’s Gro~vfl~ Plan (NYT)
3.Welcome or Not, Orthodox~y Is Back in Russia’s Public Schools (NYT)
4. Dis~’ict High Schools Greet 1,200 Fresh Faces (W. Post)
5. To Africa, For Culture and Credits (W. Pos~)

1. No Child Left Behind law is up for renewal but some say changes are needed
Sunday, Sop 23, 2007
By Khristopher J. Brooks and Gil Klein
Media General

From the hallways of Congress to srnall classrooms in Bristol, everyone in public education is talkiIN about four
letters: NCLB.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act - considered by many to be the most important yet con~oversial
education law since the mid-1960s - is up for reauthorization by Congress.

Whether you talk to school officials, teachers, parents or local legislators, everyone seems to have strong
opinions on the act.
The general consensus is that NCLB, which aims for all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014,
needs a few changes before it goes to a final reauthorization vote. NCLB, approved in 2002, will be re-evaluated
evely five years for its effectiveness.

"The biggest criticism of this is ho~v are we going to make all students proficient by 2014 when all kids are
leamfl~g at a different level?" said Je~mifer Rouse, federal programs director for Bristol Tennessee’s school
system. "We don’t know if that’s a realistic goal. In fact, we question that."

Some view NCLB as a law with an mneasonable deadline and unfair penalties. Another common complaint is it
puts too much emphasis on test scores and not enough on learning.

WHAT IS NCLB?
Page 1020
Signed into law in Janum7 2002, NCLB was designedto make school systems more accountable for academic
progress through federally mandated testing.

EvelTyear, students across the nation take a statewide exam - the Standards of Learning [SOLs] in Vhginia and
the Comprehensive Assessment Program [TCAP] in Tennessee. Test scores are then sent to the federal
govenunent for assessment on academic growth.

Withtest results as evidence, schools are required to show that students are lealning more every year. School
systems that show progress in 29 categories - or federal benchmarks - receive an adequate yearly progress status,
or AYP.
States are required to publish a school system’s AYP status, letting parents know how their kids fared that year.

For schools and systems that don’t comply, there are penalties.

Ifa school fails to meet AYP two years in a row, it’s considered "in need of improvement" and must offer
parents the choice of sending their kids to another school.

Ifa school fails to meet AYP for four straight years, it faces stiffer corrective actions such as restructuring the
school through state takeover or private management.

"The law seems like it’s almost punitive," said Debbie Morelock, federal projects supervisor for Sullivan
County schools in Tennessee. "But [federal government officials] needto come here and help us and guide us
on this."

No Child Left Behind is the Bush adnfinistration’s updated version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary
Education Act.

The goal is for all students to perfolrn at grade-level proficiency by 2014 regardless of race, poverty level or
disability.

"[NCLB] is changing tl~e waythe leaning process happens for ore kids," said Alminia Wheder, a Bristol
Tennessee parent who says she’s fi-ustrated. "They study for these tests, but realistically - when you get to
college - colleges don’t evenuse half the stuff that’s on those tests."

One of NCLB’s most talked-about features is Title I, which is the government’s plan to narrow the educational
achievement gap by giving more money to schools with mostly disadvantaged students. Although it has endured
scruliny over the last five years, many federal legislators see NCLB and Title I as a good way to close ttmt gap.

At the local level, Sullivan County has 13 Title I schools and typically receives $1.8 million in Title I funding.
In the Twin City, Bristol Virginia has five Title I schools and usually gets about $775,000, while Bristol
Tennessee has four Title I schools and regularly receives $620,000.

Bristol-area school officials like Morelock say NCLB has changed their daily operations and recordkeeping,
mostly through mountains of cumbersome paperwork.

Doug Arnold, superintendent of Bristol Virginia Public Schools, said he spends hours reviewing test data from
different students in search of areas where improvements can be made.

Rouse, on the other hand, said she spends "too manyhours" sorting through and signing paperwork pertaining to
NCLB.
Page 1021

On any given day, Rouse fills out forms for state education officials detaihng characteristics of the school
system’s students who are trying to learn to speak English, counting how many highly qualified teachers the
schools have or signing papers that confirm she met with principals at Title I schools.

"From what I hear from others, this is way too much papelwork," Rouse said.
Since the law passed, Rouse said NCLB has forced her and other local officials to pay closer attention to
different student subgroups, like disabled students or the economically disadvantaged. That’s because school
systems now have to further focus on raising the academic progress of those students, she said.

Morelock echoed Rouse’s statements.

"The most difficult pat for us is sel~cing our special needs childien and our English language learners,"
Morelock said. "When it comes testing time, we have to test them all on the same level as other students."

For Morelock, NCLB tasks include working with reading specialists and talking to technology personnel who
install reading software in classrooms.

Morelock said NCLB also has changed the curriculum taught at the elementary level. Now, in its 17 elementary
schools, Sullivan Cotmty teachers instruct for 90 minutes on reading and 90 minutes on math, she said.

"We are emphasizing math and reading because that’s what’s going to be on the test," Morelock said.
tN NEED OF CHANGE?
As school administrators go about their day, they constantly hear two main criticisms of NCLB from their staffs.

The No. 1 problem is money. The federal government has mandated the changes, but does not provide enough
money to implement them, educators say.

The second criticism most often heard is that NCLB forces educators to "teach to the test," meaning a teacher’s
cun~iculum is based on what will be on the statewide exarns later that year. Students are taught what they need to
know to pass a one-day test rather than focusing on learning sldlls for a successfitl, productive future.
Many Bristol teachers say they spend their semesters focusing solely on the questions and material that will be
on the statewide exam.
They do that so tests scores will show students malting progress, thus allowing the school to earn AYP status for
the year.
"As NCLB came into fruition, my push has been more to teach to the test," admitted Katie Sword, a science
teacher at Vance Middle School on the Tennessee side of town.
And the criticisms don’t stop there.

For example, Wheeler, who has two children in Bristol Tennessee schools, said she and other parents feel
students are being forced back to school earlier eve~2~year so teachers can get a jump-start on teaching material
that will be on the exams.

"But when you send them to school that much earlier, how much are they actually paying attention?" Wheeler
3
Page 1022
asks. "It’s so hot outside that they don’t even want to be there."

Wheeler also said evaluating students through forced testing is not a good way to measure progress.

"I think these tests are geared in a way of grading the teacher more so than the kids," said Wheeler, who worked
as a substitute teacher. "If kids don’t do well, then that means the teacher - in a roundabout way - has failed."
Tracy Easterling, a math teacher at Vance, said she can’t teach detailed lessous to her students because she must
first make sure she covers all the material that will be on exams.

"I taught before NCLB and there was more flexibility and more time to be creative and just spend more time on
a unit where you found students interested rather than making sure you covered eve~Nthing," Eastefling said.

Arnold, in Bristol, Va., agrees the measure is underfunded.

"The demands for paperwork, the recordkeeping, the bookkeeping [and] the testing is nowhere near funded," the
superintendent said. "I know it’s underfunded."

Sword, the science teacher at Vance, agreed.


"If they’re going to require children to be to grade level, there’s got to be a lot of support out there for children
who need tutoring," she said.
Another of Arnold’s critidisms is that NCLB demands that all students - regardless of learning style - understand
the same course work at the same time.

"For example, a special education student who has a learning disability is expected to meet the same benchmark
as an academically gifted student who has no learning impediment," Arnold explained. "Let’s be realistic in how
we compare [special education students] to someone who doesn’t have a learning disability."

Because students learn in different ways and at different rates, Arnold said NCLB’s 2014 goal is unrealistic.
"It’s a slap in the face to education to label a school or school division as not adequate because you don’t meet
one of X nurnber of arbitrm3r benchmarks," he said. "And to arbitrarily say in 2014, we’re all going to meet 100
mastery in eveiNthing probably is asking for something that never was and never will be."

AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL

Sit down with almost any local educator, and they’ll go on and on with their gripes about NCLB.
Meanwhile, federal legislators have been discussing ways to retool NCLB for the next five years.

"No Child Left Behind is a promising program, but it needs to be improved and funded adequately by the
federal government in order for our schools to achieve the goals t!~e program has mandated," said U.S. Rep.
Rick Boucher, a Democrat who represents Southwest Virginia. "Improvements could be made to provide greater
resources to assist states in providing the best training possible for educators and enhancing school
infrastmctm’e."

Boucher said he’s willing to vote again for NCLB if a few changes are made, especially the requirements for
disabled students.
Page 1023
U.S. Pep. David Davis, R-Tenn., said he’ s also inclined to support NCLB reauthorization because "I don’t think
anybody wants any child left behind."
"But some of the concerns I have is that of special needs chil&en," Davis said "There are some chil&en that
can get from point A to B to C, but then there’s some kids who will never get to that, so we need to find a way
to conect that."
Davis, who represents Northeast Tennessee, said he has other issues with NCLB, particularly that lawmakers
should take more time worldng on a new version.

"This is a piece of legislation we should have been looking at all year," he said. "I think we ought to do it right,
not quickly."

U.S. Pep. George Miller, D-Cali£, chai~nan of the House Education and Labor Conm~ittee, proposes two
changes. The federal government should help pay for bonuses up to $12,500 annually for highly qt~ified
teachers willing to work at schools in inner cities and l~al areas that are tough to staff, he said. And schools
should not have to rely only on single tests in reading and math to determine if students ae making academic
progress. He proposes that states be allowed to consider tests in other subjects.

Furthermore, Miller said, "it doesn’t make sense" for a state to completely reorganize a school because one
small group of students doesn’t meet federal requirements for progress. Schools should be allowed to focus on
the group having difficulty, he said, "without going through wholesale interventions."

U.S. Education Secreta-y Mmgaret Spellings is way of any chartges that loosenthe requirements. The law
already is flexible, she said, for special education students and students learning to speak English.

"I believe in my heat, mind mid soul that a time period from 2002 to 2014 is not an lmreasonable expectation to
have lots and lots more kids reading on grade level," Spellings said.
Miller’s draft creates "gigantic loopholes," she said, that would make it "too easy for low-perfo~sning schools to
escape needed intervention and improvement."

"But I believe that in this country, kids should be reading on grade level in a period of 12 years," Spellings said.
"That’s what our expectation ought to be."

Miller and Spellings agree that the law should be changed so tint student progress is measured as each class
progresses, rather than measuring one class against the perfo~rnance of the class ahead of it, as the law now
requires.

Discussions and debate over NCLB will continue until both legislative bodies come to an agreement. The debate
is being followed closely by educators, locally and across the nation.
"We think inthe first five years of No Child Left Behind, we have done a remarkable job of getting people
focused on the task at hand," Miller said. "But we now know enough to recognize there may be other factors that
give us a more complete picture before we rush to judgment and star characterizing people as failures."

2. M~xed Grades for a University’s Grov~h Plan


By ALEX MINDLIN
The New York Thnes
Sep~tember 23~ 2007
Page 1024
For five decades, Fordham University’s campus near Lincoln Center has had the feel of a cathedial close. The
campus, which extends from Columbus to Amsterdam Avenue between 60th and 62nd Streets, is relatively
tmderbuilt. At its heart is a grassy plaza fiom which the sky is visible in three directions. The land was sold to
Fordham in the 1950s by the city, which had acquired it using eminent domahl.

In 2005, citing enrollment that was double what could comfortably fit, Fordham proposed to vasty expand this
campus over the next 25 yeas, tripling the built space on its land with eight new buildings in a horseshoe
anangement. The tallest buildings, at 50 and 55 stories, would be a pair of private apartment towers on
Amsterdam Avenue. Proceeds from the sale of those lots would help finance Fordham’s other new buildings,
including 25- and 31-story dormitories along Colttmbus Avenue.

To carry out the plan, Fordham is asldng the city to waive some requirements governing height and setback, and
to allow underground parldng space for 470 cars. On Sept. 10, the university’s plans were the subject of two
preliminary hearings at the Department of City Planning. Among those present were representatives from a local
group called Fordham Neighbors United, which has criticized the size of the proposed buildings.

Three days before the hearings, Representative Jen’old Nadler, who holds a Fordham law degree, and ttnee state
legislators wrote to the university’s president, the Rev. Joseph McShane, urgh~g him "to revise a plan that, as it
stands, we cannot currently support."

The officials predicted that placing new buildings onthree sides of the campus would "create a foreboding sense
of impregnability," isolating Fordham from the neighborhood. They asked the university to shift more of the
project’s bulk into buildings that would not be visible from the street.
B~ian Byme, Fordham’s vice president for administration, said in an e-mail message that such a change was
"impossible except at extraordinary cost" and would "destroy the plaza" at the center of the campus.

Dr. Byme also defended the tu~iversity’s proposal to sell pats of its once-public land, saying that any
resix-ictions on use of the parcel had expired. "We have an opportunity to take advantage of the increased value
of that property," he said. "But we’re not doing anything with the money except developing the campus for
educational purposes."

3. Welcome or Not, Orthodoxy Is Back in Russia’s Public Schools


By CLIFFORD J. LEVY
The Ne~v York Times
September 23, 2007

KOLOMNA, Russia - One of the most discordant debates in Russian societyis playing out in public schools
like those in this city not fat from Moscow, where the other day a teacher named Ii]na Donshina set aside her
textbooks, strode before her second graders and, as ifspealdng from a pulpit, posed a simple question:
°’Whom should we learn to do good from?"

"From God[" the childien said.

"’Right!" Ms. Donshina said. "Because people he created crucified him. But did he accuse them or curse them or
hate them? Of course not! He continued loving and feeling pity for them, though he could have eliminated all of
us and the ~vhole world in a fraction of a second."
Nearly two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retm-n of religion to public life, localities in
Russia are increasingly decreeing that to receive a proper public school education, childi’en should be steeped in
Page 1025
the ~vays of the Russian Orthodox Church, including its traditions, liturgy and historic fignres.

The lessons are typically introduced at the urging of church leaders, who say the enforced atheism of
Communism left Russians out of touch with a faith that was once at the core of their identity.
The new cm-riculum reflects the nation’s continuing straggle to define what it means to be Russian in the post-
Communist era and what role religion should play after being brutally suppressed under Soviet rule. Yet the
diive by a revitalized church to weave its tenets into the education system has prompted a backlash, and not only
from the remains of the Communist Party.

Opponents assert that the Russian Orthodox leadersttip is weakening the constitutional separation of church and
state by proselytizing in public schools. They say Russia is a multiethnic, pluralistic nation and risks alienating
its large Muslim minority if Russian Orthodoxy takes on the trappings of a state religion.

The church calls those accusations unfounded, maintaining that the courses are cultural, not religious.

In Ms. Donshina’s class at least, the chil&en seem to have their own understanding of a primary theme of the
coarse. "One has to love God," said Kristina Posobilova. ’We should believe in God only."

The dispute came to a head recently when 10 prominent Russian scientists, including two Nobel laureates, sent a
letter to President Vladimir V. Putin, protesting what they termed the "growing clericalization" of Russian
society. In addition to criticizing religious teachings in public schools, the scientists attacked church efforts to
obtain recognition of degrees in theology, and the presence of Russian Orthodox chaplains in the militm%
Local officials carry out education policy under Moscow’s oversight, with some latitude. Some regions require
the courses in Russian Orthodoxy, while others allow parents to remove their children from them, though they
rarely, if ever, do. Other areas have not adopted them.

Mr. Putin, though usually not reluctant to ovenule local authorities, has skirted the issue. He said in September
that he preferred that childrenlearn about religion in general, especially four faiths with longstanding ties to
Russia - Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. But the president, who has been photographed
wealing a cross and sometimes attends church services and other church events, did not say current practices
should be scaled back.

°°We have to find a form acceptable for the entire society," he said. °°Let’s think about it together."

Polls show that roughly half to two-thirds of Russiaus consider themselves Russian Orthodox, a sharp increase
since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Clergy members frequently take part in government events, and
people often weal crosses. But Russia remains deeply secular, and most Russial~s say they never attend church.

About 10 to 15 percent of Russians are Muslim, most of whom live in the south, though Moscow and other
major cities have large Muslim populations. With emiglation and assimilation, the Jewish population has
dwindled to a few hundred thousand people, of 140 million. Muslim and Jewish leaders have generally opposed
Russian Orthodoxy courses, though some say schools should be permitted to offer them as extracunicular
activities.

"We do not want Muslim cttildi’en forced to study other religions," said Marat Kham’at Murtazin, rectc~ of the
Moscow Islamic University. "Muslims should study their own religion."

Dining imperial Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church wielded enormous influence as the official religion, and
virtually all ctfildren took a Russian Orthodox course known as the Law of God.
Page 1026

One of the scientists who signed the letter to Mr. Putin, Zhores I. Alferov, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in
Physics in 2000, said he feared that the com~try was returning to those days. He recalled that his own father had
to study the Law of God lmder the last czar, Nicholas II.

"’The church would like to have more believers," said Mr. Alferov, a member of Parliament in the Communist
bloc. "But they can have their religious schools and their Sunday schools. In noxrnal government schools,
absolutely not."

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, leader of the church, has repeatedly asserted that to appreciate the arts, literature,
heritage and history of Russia, children need to know about Russian OxChodoxy. He described the scientists’
letter to Mr. Putin as "’an echo of the atheistic propaganda of the past."

Five years ago, Kolomna, 60 miles south of Moscow, was one of the first cities to take up the curriculum. Local
church and education officials noted that before the revolution, Kolomna was a Russian Orthodox center, site of
many cathedrals and monasteries that were demolished or used as warehouses and the like trader Commtmism.
Given the area’s history, they asked, is it not fitting that students learn about Russian Orthodoxy?.

"The goal, I would say, is that all the powers that be, the church and the govenunent, make sure that people,
children, know their history and their roots," said the Rev. Vladimir Pakhachev, a church leader here who helps
oversee the curriculum.

For example, Father Pakhachev said, it would be absurd to study the Russian language without learning about
SS. Cyril and Methodius, the two ninth-century brothers who are credited with helping to create Cyrillic, the
alphabet used in Russian. The brothers were monks and significant religious figures, and that aspect of their
lives cmmot be ignored, he said.

At Public School No. 3 here, in the shadow of a restored cathedral, the courses are voluntm-y, but occur one
period a week during the school day, and are taught byregular teachers. No parents have ever asked that their
children be exempted, said a school official, Anna Kikhtenko.

"’No rights are being violated," she said. "Children fiom Muslim families, the parents often say, "We are living
among Russian Orthodox people. We also want our chil&en to understand what these beliefs are about.’ "

Rece~Ny, Oksana Telnova, a sixth-grade teacher, descaibed to her class how Grand Prince Vladimir introduced
Ortt~odox Christianity to Russia in 988 after rejecting other religions, an event that the church calls the Baptism
of Russia. Some chil&en read aloud verses t}om the Bible.

"Sacred orthodoxy transformed and revived the Slavic soul after becoming its moral and spiritual foundation,"
Ms. Telnova said, quoting Patriarch Alexy II. ’’Thiough the ages, Chiistianity helped to create a great country
and a great culture."
Nearby, Ms. Donshina, the second-grade teacher, led her students in reciting the Ten Commandments before
pointing to a tiny tree at the front of the room with branches but no leaves.

"Faithin God is as important for every human as the root for a tree," she said. "But our tree unfortunately has
died just like a human soul can die without doing good. This is what happens to people who do not do good
things and do not follow God’s laws."

She asked the children to choose from a group of flowers, some with Chiistian virtues mitten on them, some
with undeshable qualities, and attach those with the virtues to the tree.
Page 1027

She ended with a discussion of the Russian saints, saying that they °’have shown us how one must live to be
close to God." With that, she dismissed the class, but not before giving a piece of chocolate to each child.

4. Dista’ic~ High Schools Greet 1,200 Fresh Faces


Ninth-Graders Shifted In as City Eliminates Junior High
By TheMa Labbz
The Washington Pos~
SumLay, September 23, 2007; Cll

Nikolas Mikolaski bobbed his way through the throngs of students at Woodrow Wilson Senior High School on
a recent day, lugging his textbooks in a backpack because lockers for ninth-grade students hadn’t arrived yet.

The 15-year-old dropped his heavy bag to the floor and sat down to lunch with a group of fellow freshman,
displaying none of the sheepistmess that sometimes accompanies being at the bottom of the high school totem
pole. Better to be a lowly freshman, he said, than to have stayed another year in jtmior high.
"I like my teachers. I like my classes," he said. "It’s awesome."

For the first time since the 1940s, the D.C. schooi system has shifted all ninth-graders to high schools and
turned its eight jullior high schools into middle schools, joining 12 middle schools already in existence. The
move affects about 1,200 students.
The adjustment puts tile District in the company of other Washington region school systems, such as those in
Prince George’s and Fairfax colmties, which use the middle school model. If sixth-graders are shifted out of
elementalsr schools in the 2008-09 school year as planned, all middle schools will have a full complement of
sixth-to eighth-grade students.
Students and parents say they are excited about the transfolrnation plan and optimistic it will lead to higher
academic achievement.
Research shows that ninth grade is a critical educational juncture. It’s when students leave a highly stmctmed
environment for the maze of high school, with more teachers, more homework and more independence,
academically and socially. Students who don’t adjust to the added responsibilities at that turning point are more
likely to di’op out.

To accommodate the ninth-graders, Wilson officials have put them in a wing decorated with international flags
as a tribute to student diversity and a sign that reads "Freshman Academy." Lunch is one of the few times dining
the day when the younger students mix with older ones

All D.C. high schools have freshman academies, but they differ depending onthe needs of the schools and its
students, officials said. According to the city’s Master Education Plan, the propose oftmning junior high schools
into middle schools is to have students grouped together in age-appropriate environments.

"Ninth grade transition is a great way to introduce incoming ninth graders to the new graduation requirements as
well as jumpstart their high school experience in an environment that focuses on college readiness," Schools
Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said in a statement.
Rhee is convening a task force to study the sixth-grade transition to middle school next year, spokeswoman
Mafara Hobson said.
Page 1028
Nmnerous national foundations have been funding initiatives that focus on ninth-graders and the transition to
high school.

Rebecca Dedmond, director of the School Counseling Program and Freshman Transition Initiative at George
Washington University, said being part of a smaller group can cushion the shock of freshman year.
"In middle school, students are nmAtred and have small classes and have an identity," Dedmond said. "They go
from that to ninth grade and say to themselves, ’Where’s my locker? How an~ I going to find my way to class?
The teacher doesn’t know myname?’ " In the midst of the confusion, Dedmond said, students must laythe
fotmdation for their futures as they pick classes and hear about impending SATs and college applications.

Dedmond has worked with several school systems on creating a course, known as an "advisory," in which a
smaller group of students meets with a teacher mid works on developing social and academic skills.

In the District, the advisory will come to Ballou Senior High School within weeks, Principal Karen Smith said.
At the Southeast school, ninth-grade students take their core classes -- English, math, science and social studies
- on one floor and such electives as art, music mad physical education in other parts of the building.

On a recent night at Wilson, about 40 parents gathered in the school library for an orientation about what their
children can expect this year. Counselor Emyrtle Be~mett gave a brief overview of new graduation requirements
mid told them that most freshmen would be taking the PSAT next month.
Freshman Academy director @egory Bargeman explained that ninth-grade teachers are divided into teams that
work with a group of students. The team meets weekly to discuss field trips, student attendance and academics.

Jackie Mikolasld, Nikolas’s mother, said she was reluctant at first to send her son to Wilson because it has so
many students, close to 1,500. She offered him his choice of high schools, including private school.

But he wanted to go to Wilson. She said she felt reasstned after orientation that the interim principal, Jacqueline
Williams, and the teachers would take care of the students. And Mikolasld was impressed when, over the
summer, an information packet came in the mail stuffed with facts about high school. "They are very organized
for a big school like that," she said.

The freshman class at Wilson jumped this year to 362 fiom 154. The ninth-gn~de lockers ar~rived and were
installed last week. Nikolas signed up for one.

"It’s a lot better," Nikolas said, "Now I don’t have to lug my stuff around all over the place."

5. To Africa, For Culture and Credits


U.S.-Born Students Are Going Back to Their Family Roots
By Karin Brulliard
The Washington Post
Sumlay, September 23, 2007;

As the first day of school approached tiffs month, Brian Agugoesi, 13, packed his bags with pens and notebooks.
He also included Honeycomb cereal, whichis impossible to get at his school, and tablets to fend off malaria,
~vhich u~ffol~xtnately is not.

The Randallstown, Md., boy was pacldng for his second year at Gnmdtvig International Secondary School in the
Niger River Valley of southeast Nigeria, an institution that, according to its Web site, boasts a water borehole
and "network of tinTed roads" on a 10-hectare campus. Gmndtvig also offers, according to Brian, packed school
l0
Page 1029
days and teachers who require ~e-flouters -- such as Brian the time he forgot to empty the trash in his dorm
room -- to cut the campus grass "tmtil they’re satisfie&"
Brian’s parents, Rita and Charles Agugoesi, chuckled at that story on the recent eve of Brian’s flight to Lagos. It
is just what they wanted when they decided, like many of their Nigerian fiiends, to send their U.S.-bom child to
school in their Afiican homeland.
"Every individual comes from somewhere," said Rita Agugoesi, a social worker. "When you have children, you
want them to know where you came from."
Immigrants’ jomneys to America have long been inspired by educational oppo~mities for children. But unlike
previous generations ofimmignants, who often encouraged their kids’ full assimilation, today’s newcomers strive
and sometimes struggle to transmit traditions to chil&en submerged in a high-speed, diverse American culture.
For some Africans, many of whom came to the United States for higher education, the answer is filll immersion
-- in Africa. A few years abroad, immigrant parents say, teaches children about Africa and, even better, some
perspective about life in America.

"There are a lot of people over there who 0ae dreaming to come here. They would be willing to have one of their
fingels chopped off to come here," said Cosmas U. Nwokeafor, whose elder son spent three years in Nigeria and
whose younger son will go there in December.

On a recent night, Nwokeafor, who toiled his way from busboy to Bowie State University professor and
assistant provost, stretched out his arms in his spacious, frestlly built Upper Marlboro home. "This was not made
ina day."
Africans are immigrating to the United States faster than ever, and they are among the best-educated of all
immigrant groups. But the African immigrant population, at about 1.4 million, is relatively small andnew, so
there is scant research on parenting and second-generation integration. No one tracks how many children of
Afiican immigrants attend school in their ancestral lands.

Community leaders say the practice is most common among Nigerians and Ghanaians, whose countries offer the
unusual combination of relative political stability and established boarding schools with strict discipline and
rigorous courses in English. At $5,000 to $10,000 a year, the schools are generally more affordable than
American private schools.

Nwokeafor said he and his wife, Catheline, made great efforts to teach their four children traditional Nigerian
songs and folk tales about turtles and lions. They took thegn to Nigeria often, taught them to address adults as
"sir" and "auntie," and spoke to them in Igbo, their language.

But they wondered whether it was enough. The children told stories about American fiiends talking back to
teachers and telling their parents to "shut up."

"I dolft even know ifI could spell my name the next dayif I did that," Chinedu, 14, the younger son, said softly
on a recent night.

Once, Nwokeafor noticed that a photo album -- filled with snapshots of the fanlily posing by tile Mercedes-Benz
and the grand white house they keep in the village of Umubasi in southern Nigeria -- was missing from its spot.
Chinedu confessed that he had taken it to school to prove to teasing classmates that Africans did not "live in
trees, like monkeys."

"Whatever we try to put into them is being challenged by the dominant culture," Nwokeafor said. "At times, I
ll
Page 1030
feel so sot17 for them because they are in a battle. They don’t know whether to believe their parents or the
dominant cultme."
Uche~ma Nwokeafor, 20, no longer has doubts. He spent seventh ttu’ough ninth grade shaling a dorm room with
12 other students at a school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The crack-of-dawn treks to fetch bath water fiom a tap a
mile away, 5 a.m. prayers, 7 a.m. classes and weekends cutting grass with a machete, he said, taught him that
"you have to work for your own."

Now a lanky social-work major at Bowie State who wears hip black-rimmed glasses, Uche~ma remembers
fondly the basketball tom~lament he played in with his Nigerian classmates, who called him "Americana." He
banters fluently in Igbo with his father and listens to Nigerian pop music in his car. He said he feels "like the
tree Afiican American."
"Cultme-wise, it changed mylife," Ucherma Nwokeafor said. "Those three years, it showed me another place
called home."

That sort of review has made Chinedu enthusiastic about his upcoming year in Nigeria. A stellar student who
dreams of attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he hopes Nigeria will help him focus.

"Here, I’m with all my friends," he said. "I have too many dis~actions."

Cosmas Nwokeafor said that he is too "overprotective" to send his two daughters to Nigeria and that other
parents he knows feel the same. In most cases, immigrants say, children are sent abroad for a few yeals in their
earlyteens and then complete high school and prepare for the SAT in the United States.

Not evely alumnus has glowing memories. Riverdale area resident Faraday Okoro, 20, said attending grades
nine and 10 in a Nigerian school hurt his grades. Students there, he said, were incredibly competitive, and that
made him work hard. But although 75 was a top grade there, it still translated to a C on his U.S. tr~cript.
His mother, Adaku Okoro, decided for that reason against sending Faraday*s brother and two sisters, to their
relief. (Faraday’s sister Maryland, 15, wrote a letter to her parents, making a case for not having to go. "But I
would suggest that I could visit," she concluded.)

Neve~lheless, Faraday and his mother agree that the sojourn taught him valuable lessons. He learned that getting
malmia felt "just like being really sick," grew to love soccer and, his mother said, became less obsessed with
buying the latest Nike shoes. An aspiring fihnmaker, the Prince George’s Community College student said his
time in Nigeria sparked his love of cinema.

"They don’t have consistent po~ver, and once they turnit on, and the television came on, and you have a movie,
it seemed, like, tmreal," he recalled. "I learned more about Nigeria -- and maybe you can stretch and say the
worldin general .... I can set a movie in a foreign place and really go into detail into how a character fi’om a
foreign land will act."

The Agugoesis said they hope to retire in Nigeria and wanted their ttuee sons to feel comfortable there. They
started talking to Brian about going to school there when he was in fifth grade. He was game.
Rita Agugoesi said she alInost changed her mind when she took Brian to Nigeria last fall. Then she sa~v her
exceedingly shy son mingling with other students. Brian did not complain the whole year, except about the
snakes that sometimes slither across the school grounds.

"It’s the same," Brian, deep-voiced and tall, said nonchalantly when asked to compare Nigerian schools with
12
Page 1031
schools in subm’ban Baltimore.

For now, the Agugoesis say they are pleased ttkat Brian came back for his summer vacation more mature and
relaxed than a year ago, with a voracious appetite for books and Nigerian "Nollywood" films.

"Sometimes you feel so alone, doing it all by yourself; raising them, trying to pass on the culture," Rita
Agugoesi said, sitting in the hving room, near Brian’s suitcases, which bulged with Pringles, peanut butter and
shiny &ess shoes. "It has really made a big difference."

13
Support Crro~vs For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 032 Page 1 of 2

Nonresponsiv[
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 20, 2007 8:23 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private -Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Colleges, Pressed By Spellings And Cuomo, Step Up Scrutiny Of Possible Conflicts In
Their Business Relationships (CHRONED)

Colleges, Pressed By Spellings And Cuomo, Step Up Scrutiny Of Possible


Conflicts In Their Business Relationships (CHRONED)
By Paul Basken
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2007
Higher-education leaders, under pressure from the secretary of education, are planning a stepped-up
examination of all possible conflicts of interest in American colleges’ operations, in light of the
continuing student-loan scandal.
Representatives of several college associations and a number of college presidents have been invited
to meet with officials of the American Council on Education on Thursday in Washington to review
potential areas of legal and ethical vulnerability and possible steps that colleges could take to avoid
them.
The meeting will follow a different gathering in Washington in June at which the secretary, Margaret
Spellings, warned college leaders that both they and the Education Department faced the possibility of
further public embarrassment from investigations like the one into financial relationships between
colleges and student-loan companies being pursued by New York State’s attorney general, Andrew M.
Cuomo.
"It seems clear that similar questions may be raised about other campus offices in the near future,"
David Ward, the council’s president, wrote in his invitation to Thursday’s strategy session.
"Given the public controversy and attention, I think we would be seriously remiss if we did not
investigate this issue," Mr. Ward wrote.
Pressure to Act
Ms. Spellings, in an interview on Tuesday, said she had felt the need this summer to press the college
leaders to take action.
"1 said, you know, ’Gang, we need to be for a solution here,"’ she said, describing the June meeting at
which she first raised the need to consider potential conflicts of interest beyond the issue of student
loans.
"Leadership can either come from the academy and be informed by the experience they have, or it can
be forced on them by others -- be it attorneys general, people in Congress, the secretary of education,"
Ms. Spellings said. "And I just think, if we think we’re the finest system in the wodd, with the world’s
best thinkers and problem solvers -- that’s what the academy is about -- that that kind of leadership
ought to be coming from the community."
Mr. Cuomo has been investigating contracts between pdvate lenders and colleges, exploring whether
the lenders have been providing illegal inducements to win student-loan business. In some cases,
colleges have received payments for steedng students to certain lenders, or lenders have paid colleges
based on the volume of loans that originated from students at the institution.

06/05/2008
Support Grows For Teacher Bonuses (W[~)age ] 033 Page 2 of 2

More than two dozen colleges have agreed to settlements with Mr. Cuomo’s office and signed a code
of conduct governing their relationships with lenders. At least six college administrators lost their jobs
atter being accused of accepting financial benefits from lenders, and one top Education Department
official remains on leave.
Other state attorneys general around the country have followed Mr. Cuomo’s lead, starting their own
investigations into student lending, and Mr. Cuomo has taken steps to expand his work into other areas
of the relationship between colleges and businesses, including companies that provide study-abroad
programs.
"In many cases, vendors have relationships that are too cozy with schools, and benefit the schools and
the vendors but not the students," a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, Jeffrey Lerner, said in an interview last
month. "Under every rock we turn over, it seems like we find a new program that needs more
oversight."
Examining Potential Conflicts of Interest
At the meeting scheduled for Thursday, Mr. Ward said he hopes to lead a "candid, off-the-record
conversation" about current practices regarding conflicts of interest and what, if anything, should be
done to strengthen them.
In a recent interview, Mr. Ward described American colleges as being caught between Mr. Cuomo’s
investigative zeal and the growing demands they face to lower costs and find more creative ways of
financing their operations.
"In the last 15 years, there’s been a fairly uninhibited pressure, within and without universities, to be
entrepreneurial," Mr. Ward said.
Potential problem areas could range from credit cards for alumni to policies governing luxury boxes in
sports stadiums, he said. "All of this sounds, when you first do it, fairly innocent," Mr. Ward said. And
those practices "may be just fine," he said, "but we need to do a review."
College presidents ~ho will attend this week’s meeting understand both the pressures they face to be
more creative in managing their budgets, and the need to make sure their actions are beyond reproach,
said Ricardo R. Fernandez, who is chairman of the council’s Board of Directors and president of
Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York.
"At CUNY we’re taking it very seriously -- maybe because Mr. Cuomo is our attorney general," Mr.
FernSndez said.
The changes on college campuses initiated by rvk Cuomo could strengthen the hand of those
"defenders of the pure public-utility concept of higher education," including many faculty members who
have been warning about getting too close to the corporate wodd, Mr. Ward said.
"I’m thinking of trying to see if we can sustain a debate about our soul, if you like," he said.
Mary Andom contrilx~ted to this report.

06/05/2008
Support C~’ows For Teacher Bonuses (W[~)age J 034 Page 1 of 2

Nonresponsi
From: Anderson, Christy
Sen{: September 21, 2007 8:11 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis;,Cohn,
Kdstine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; O-ibble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private -Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Bus Tour Clips (3)

Education Secretary Says ’No Child’ I~ostly Works (ClNE)


By Ben Fischer, Bfischer@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 21, 2007
Bus tour bdngs Spellings to Cincinnati
HYDE PARK - As Congress contemplates changes to the 6-year-old No Child Left Behind law, U.S.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Thursday that America’s schools need even more
accountability standards.
Among the Bush administration’s major goals, shared by business groups nationwide and locally, she
said, is to expand the law’s provisions into high school grades.
"The business community, I think would say, they want more No Child Left Behind, not less No Child
Left Behind," Spellings said.
Spellings, President Bush’s top education official, spent a little more than three hours in Cincinnati on
Thursday, on the second day of a three-day, four-city bus tour to tout the 2001 education act.
The law, which transformed public education by requiring that all students become proficient in reading
and math by 2014, is up for reauthorization this year.
It’s a prime opportunity for educators, teachers mions and recently empowered Congressional
Democrats to make changes to an oft-criticized law. Traveling on a motor coach painted school-bus
yellow, Spellings delivered a two-pronged political message during hei time in Cincinnati.
The first part was that the administration is open to some changes, such as dstinguishing between
schools that just barely fall short of meeting federal goals and those that show deep, sustained failures.
The other part was that changes such as giving schools more alternative paths to meeting goals are
non-starters, she said.
The simple, clear goals, while demanding, have forced achievement up at struggling schools, she said.
Spellings first met with a small group of business leaders and former Congressman Rob Portman at the
Queen City Club downtown. Reporters and the public were excluded.
John Jacobs, chief executive of Unifi Cos. and co-chairman of the Cincinnati Business Committee’s
education task force, said businesses are asking for better graduation rates, more rigorous high
schools and more students moving on to college.
"We need children to grow up to be educated, productive adults," Jacobs said
"We desperately need them."
From there, Spellings moved on to an event at Withrow High School where she demonstrated a new
tool to help high school students estimate earlier in their high school years the amount of financial aid
they are likely to receive from the government.
That event, with about 150 students, parents and teachers, was also closed to the general public.
Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Rosa Blackwell did not spend any one-on-one time with
Spellings during her visit, but has lobbied in the past for what she calls "some tweaking" to No Child

06/05/2008
Support Crrows For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 035 Page 2 of 2

Left Behind - but no fundamental changes.


"1 continue to believe it’s probably one of the best things that has happened for children of color and
children who have special needs, who for many years were overlooked," Blackwell said.
Withrow International High School Principal Charlene Cleveland, who took part in the event with
Spellings, said money is atop her wish list as No Child Let~ Behind is debated
"We do an excellent job, but with more funding there are some other areas that we could expand upon,"
she said.

New Tool Helps High School Students Prepare For College (WCPO)
WCPO-TV Cincinnati, Ohio, September 20, 2007
The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a newtool in the Tri-state this ’~ek to help high school
students prepare for college.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings visited Withrow University High School Thursday to kickoff
the federally funded program FAFSA-4caster.
It’s a planning tool to help high school students learn about the financial aid available to them.

Spellings Is Rocking (EXAM)


Examiner, September 21, 2007
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings earned major cool points Wednesday when she showed up
at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as pat of her ongoing Midwest bus tour. And she even
sang. Spellings sang the chores to Stevie Wonder’s "Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I’m Yours," and a
group of students analyzed the voice vibrations as a science lesson.
"You just can’t help but tap your toe and sing along," she told Yeas & Nays. "It’s great that they are
teaching science and math through sound and using the rich resources of the museum to reinforce it
all."
And did the tour of the museum bring back fond memories for the secretary? You bet.
"1 still remember that one of my first dates was to a Peter Frampton concert," she said. And no: Despite
earlier revelations that Karl Rove once asked herout on a date, it wasn’t him.

06/05/2008
Suppolt Cn’ows For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 036 Page 1 of 2

!~~
onrespons
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 21, 2007 8:11 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Ken’i; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morlfi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: In This Battle, No Effort Left Behind (HC)

In This Battle, No Effort Left Behind (HC)


By Julie Mason, Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle., September 21, 2007
When President Bush signed the No Child Le~t Behind education reform bill in 2002, it was the
capstone of a hard-won bipartisan alliance; the rewards of a tough sell to skeptics in his own party.
The bill is up for renewal and, demanding as the first-term battle was for Bush, this go-round looks
worse. Many Republicans are no longer on board Special interest groups are forming unlikely alliances
to torpedo the reauthorization.
For Bush, the stakes are high. The bill is a signature initiative and so far he has no other major
domestic policy accomplishments in his second term.
"We often say we passed the very best lawwe could five years ago, or five md a half years ago, but
certainly we can make some improvements based on what were learned," said Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings, who along with first lady Laura Bush is leading the renewal campaign.
Tides have shittedThe law, which stresses testing and accountability, set a goal of math and reading
proficiency for all students by 2014. Proposed enhancements include more finding and tougher
standards.
Critics claim it restricts educators and forces schools to teach to the test. Supporters contend the law
has forced public schools to perform better and is narrowing the achievement gap between Anglo and
minority students.
The 2001 bill passed 381-41 in the House and 87-10 in the Senate.
Butwith time to see the law in action and Bush less politically powerrul, the tides have shifted.
More than 60 House Republicans have co-sponsored a bill by Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., that would
allow states to exempt themselves from the law. A similar bill in the Senate is gathering strength.
In all, more than 100 bills have been introduced that would keep, change or abolish No Child Left
Behind.
Outside forces also play a role. Largely Democratic teachers unions, which strongly oppose the law,
are aligned with conservative Republicans such as Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who would like to shift
education back to local control.
Advocates for reauthorizing the law include business groups and civil rights organizations.
Lobbying has begunHow determined is the White House to overcome the dissenters and get the law
rene~d?
Laura Bush, the administration’s most popular member, is already lobbying Congress on behalf of the
bill.
"The test isnt really punitive, it’s not to punish people," the first lady said this week. "It’s just to find out
what the problems are. It’s like, you wouldn’t go to your doctor and say, ’Tell me what’s wrong with me
bt~ you cant run any tests.’ The outcry against the tests, to me, just seems really silly."

06/05/2008
Support C~ows For Teacher Bonuses (W[~)age ] 0:37 Page 2 of 2

As part of their campaign, Bush and Spellings discussed the education bill in a rare, invitation-only
briefing this week with female ~Nhite House reporters. And Spellings is on a Ix~s tour of the Midwest,
highlighting back-to-school issues and the No CNId Left Behind debate.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, she sang a chorus of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed,
Delivered --an anthem, perhaps, for the White House’s hopes on the bill.

06/05/2008
SuiYport Ga’ows For Teacher Bonuses (W~)age ] 038 Page 1 of 2

Nonresponsive L
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 20, 2007 8:23 AM
To; Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; @ibble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; rvlacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Ten’ell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Ohio Clips (3)

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings Pushes No Child Left Behind (CLPD)


By Scott Stephens, Plain Dealer Reporter
The Cleveland Plain De_aler, September 20, 2007
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings’ big yellow school bus navigated its way through
Cleveland’s orange construction barrels and Indians game traffic Wednesday without so much as a
bump or a scrape.
Spellings can only hope the renewal of No Child Left Behind, the much-touted federal education reform
act she helped create, sees as smooth a voyage through Congress.
Spellings, a Iongtime confidante of President Bush and one of the chief architects of the 2001 bill, has
been making the rounds to build public support for reauthorization of the law, often viewed as the
cornerstone of the administration’s domestic policy.
She has been sharply critical of a draft proposal circulated by influential House Democrats and
Republicans that would take many suburban schools ofrthe hook if they raise achievement for most
students but miss academic targets for a few groups of children.
Others have criticized the law for being too focused on standardized testing, which they say penalized
high-poverty districts such as Cleveland.
"I’d like to see changes, too, but I don’t support watering down accountability," Spellings said during an
hourlong stop at the 5@-pupil Watterson Lake School in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. "This is
not some pie-eyed, wild dream. This is something we can and must do."
It is something that has been largely accomplished at Watterson Lake. Last year, about 85 percent of
the school’s sixth-graders read at grade level. There was virtually no difference between the
performance of white and black children at the school.
Spellings, Cleveland schools Chief Executive Eugene Sanders and Principal Caren Geissinger walked
through the school and greeted children and teachers.
They helped Jackie Glenn’s sixth-graders with reading, worked with Mary Beth Leifner’s seventh-
graders on vocabulary, and helped David Roth’s kindergartners fashion a response to the Big Bad Wolf
after he blew the Three Little Pigs’ house down.
From there it was to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where Spellings continued to beat
the drum for No Child Lett Behind and even belted out a rendition of the Stevie Wonder hit "Signed,
Sealed Delivered" - a reference to her faith that the law will be renewed.
She finished the day at an invitation-only "town hall" gathering at Collinwood High School, where she
fielded questions from a mostly friendly audience of about 150 parents, students and teachers.
Her next stop is Dayton, followed by Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
"No Child Left Behind works," Spellings declared. "It’s been a true game-changer in American
education."
But not everyone in the audience embraced those changes.

06/05/2008
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"Testing, punishment, sanctions -it’s very unjust," said Jan Resseger of the United Church of Christ,
one of 140 groups seeking dramatic changes in the law. "And it doesn,t provide the funding to help
districts like Cleveland."
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
sstephens@plaind.com, 216-999-4827
Nation’s Top Educator Is In Cleveland (WKYC)
By Kim Wheeler
WKYC-TV Cleveland, Ohio, September 19, 2007
WATCH Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m.
CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Secretary of Education is visiting the Cleveland School District Wednesday
and will hold a National Town Meeting.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is in town in support of President Bush’s "No Child Left Behind
Act."
Secretary Spellings toured Watterson Lake School on the west side Wednesday afternoon.
Ninety-three percent of 3rd graders passed the math achievement test--a 30 point increase.
Many parents and educators feel, "No Child Left Behind" focuses too much on testing and doesn’t
include enough federal funding.
At 6:00 p.m., Dr. Sanders and Secretary Spellings will participate in a town hall meeting with parents
and school leaders to get input on methods to strengthen education in the United States. The
discussion will take place at Collinweod High School.
Education Reporter Kim Wheeler will help moderate the town hall event that will be broadcast live and
you can watch it at wkyc.com
Secretary Of Education’s Meeting Limited (CINE)
The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 20, 2007
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is expected to have a "town hall" meeting at Withrow
University High School this afternoon, but only part of the town is invited.
Because of limited space at Withrow, ~hat had been billed as a forum for parents will include only
about 100 people, Cincinnati Public officials said. Only parents, staff and community members who~’e
received invitations can attend Spellings’ 2 p.m. presentation, Janet Walsh, district spokeswoman, said.
Spellings is expected to discuss the FAFSA4Caster, a tool launched this spring to help families plan for
college financing.
Spellings’ speech is expected to follow a luncheon with members of the Cincinnati Business
Committee. There, Spellings is expected to answer questions about No Child Left Behind, the group of
federal education laws that Congress is considering reshaping.
The luncheon is not open to the public.

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Nonresponsiv
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 20, 2007 8:23 AM
To: Anderson, Chdsty; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Ken’i; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private - Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Pelosi ’fully supportive’ of Miller’s efforts (Education Daily)

Pelosi ’fully supportive’ of Miller’s efforts (Education Daily)


By Frank Wolfe
Education Daily, September 20, 2007
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Education Daily®that House Education and Labor
Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., is making the necessary changes to reform NCLB without
subverting the accountability measures in the original law, which Congress passed in 2001.
"I’m fully supportive of what Chairman Miller is doing, and I hope that we can maintain the momentum
to get it passed because I think it’s very important," Pelosi responded this week when asked to
comment on the committee’s discussion drY.
"NCLB was bipartism and received the support of many of us. As I traveled the country, people had
some concerns about its implementation. Chairman Miller listened in Washington. He listened across
the country and addressed the concerns without gutting the bill. I’m very proud of that work."
Congressional sources said a markup by the House committee may begin in the next several weeks, as
the committee staff compiles reactions from interest groups on the discussion dratt.
Last month in Boston, Pelosi told the National Conference of State Legislatures 2007 legislative summit
that Miller had listened to the public during a series of field hearings. She said the NCLB bill up for
reauthorization would be "so different.., that we are thinking about changing its name." Pelosi also
vowed the new bill would be fully funded.
This week, Pelosi and Miller suggested "multiple measures" would be part of a final bill, which House
and Senate sources expect to emerge from a conference committee before the end of the year.
"1 believe this bill addresses some of those concerns [about testing] by expanding how we measure
progress," Pelosi said of the discussion drNt. "But on the other hand, we want to see progress. We
want these children to be well served."
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Committee, said last week that he is open to a ~scussion of multiple measues, and the key issue will
be which measures to use and how to weigh them. Graduation rates and Advanced Placement courses
appear to be two of the top measures under discussion in the Senate committee.
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., ranking member of the committee, told Education Daily®this week that he
and Kennedy have had "great meetings" with their House counterparts "in conjunction with" Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings, President Bush, and First Lady Laura Bush. Enzi expects Congress to
send a reauthorization bill to the White House for signature before the end ofthe year.
A bigger worry, Enzi said, is the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which expired in 2003 but
has been extended by Congress three times. The recently passed College Cost Reduction and Access
Act is just a "small piece" of higher education and relies on reauthorization ofthe Higher Education Act
to work, Enzi said.
"We put a Band-Aid on higher education, but we need to cure the patient," he said. The Senate passed

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its version of the reatthorization on a vote of 95 to 0, but Miller wants to pursue his own version of
reauthorization in the House.
"It shouldn’t be real difficult for the House to tinish up that portion, and that portion’s kind o1’ what’s
holding up No Child LetI Behind on this side," Enzi said.

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lNonresponsivI
From: Anderson, Christy
Sent: September 19, 2007 8:19 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerti; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private- Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; rvlesecar, Doug; MorN, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; Tracy Young; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara
Subject: Broad Pdze Clips (14)

NYC Public Schools Win Education Pdze (USAT)


By Bdttany Levine
USA Today, September 19, 2007
The NewYork City public schools won the largest education pdze in the country Tuesday, a $500,000
award that will fund scholarships for graduating seniors.
The Broad Prize for Urban Education honors large urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest
performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps plaguing poor
and minority students.
The four other finalists also received a portion of the annual $1 million prize ~yen by the Eli and Edythe
Broad Foundation. Bridgeport (Conn.) Public Schools, Long Beach (Calif.) Unitied School District,
Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Northern Independent School District in San Antonio each
received $125,000.
The NewYork City Department of Education was honored for greater overall performance, greater
overall improvement and greater success at closing achievement gaps.
For example, New York City has a larger percentage of low-income students than the state average,
but the department’s low-income students achieved higher average proficiency rates than their
statewide counterparts in elementary and middle school math last year, according to Broad Pdze
statistics.
In high school math, the Hispanic-white achievement gap closed by 14% and the African-American-
white gap closed by 13% between 2003 and 2006.
"If it can be done in New York City, it can be done anywhere," Eli Broad said in prepared remarks.
Broad is a business mogul turned philanthropist who founded the Broad Prize in 2002.
New York City has been a finalist for the Broad Pdze the past two years, but this is the first time the
school system won. More than 70% of the district’s 1 million students are African-American or Hispanic,
and 75% are eligible for free or discounted lunches, Broad Pdze statistics show.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings annomced the winner with Broad at a ceremony at the
Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She said in a release, "With the help of strong, innovative
leadership, Broad Pdze school districts are proving that if we raise our expectations, our children will
dse to the challenge"
A panel of nationally prominent leaders from business, industry, government and public service sectors
chose the winner.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he wants to be held accountable for his education record
above anything else. In his first term, he put control of the school system under mayoral authority and
has been in charge for nearly seven years.
The city’s education system is hardly perfect. While the overall graduation rate is inching upward,
roughly half of NewYork City high school students do not graduate in four years.

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New York Schools Win Award For Improvement (NYT)


By Jennifer Medina
The NewYork limes, September 19, 2007
New York City’s public school system, the largest in the country, yesterday won the Broad Prize, given
each year to an urban school district that has made great improvements in student achievement,
particularly in closing gaps between white and minority students.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who took control of the schools in 2002 and has made education a
cornerstone of his time in office, accepted the avcard yesterday in Washington along with Schools
Chancellor Joel I. Klein.
The two were flanked by high-ranking officials from both parties, including Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. The prize is awarded
each year by Eli Broad, a Los Angeles philanthropist and head of the Broad Foundation, which works to
improve large school districts nationwide.
"1 guess three times is the charm," said Mayor Bloomberg, who had been striving for this prize since its
inception in 2002. The city was a finalist the past two years.
Atler the ceremony, Mr. Klein said many cities saw New York as a model. "For so long in American
education it has been stuck and stymied," he said. "Under the mayor’s efforts, we’ve changed that."
Although the prize will give the city a boost of attention, it is not quieting critics of the mayor and Mr.
Klein. Before the award was announced, dozens of parents signed a letter to the foundation asking it
not to give the prize to New York. The letter said that the administration was "scornful" about parents’
concerns.
Since 2000, the Broad Foundation has given nearly $15 million to the city’s schools to finance principal
training programs, systems to track student data and other projects. It also gave the teachers’ union $1
million to start a charter school in Brooklyn.
Foundation officials noted that it did not pick the winner, relying instead on a panel of experts, including
two former secretaries of education, Rod PaNe and Richard W. Riley.
In choosing NewYork for the $500,000 prize, the panel noted that the city outperformed other large
urban districts in the state on math and reading tests and showed greater improvement at all grade
levels. Low-income, black and Latino students also showed more improvement than their peers in other
cities in the state, the foundation said.
"The strong leadership by the mayor, the chancellor and a progressive teachers’ union has allowed a
school system the size of New York City to dramatically improve student achievement in a relatively
short period of time," Mr. Broad said in a statement.
In a show of unity, the mayor and chancellor traveled with a large delegation, including Randi
Weingarten, the president of the city teachers’ union, and Ernest A. Logan, the president of the
principals’ union, who are olen at odds with the mayor.
Representative George Miller, the California Democrat who leads the House education committee,
praised the city for making changes in the schools quickly and being willing to "break a little china to get
ahead."
But back in New York City, David M. Quintana, a Queens parent who was consulted by officials judging
the system, said he was "disappointed" that the dty had received the award.
"They were asking how our voices wore heard," lVlr. Quintana said, "and across the board we told them
that the city didn’t listen to our views."
And Betsy Gotbaum, the city’s public advocate, who has been a vocal critic of Mr. Klein, said the award
ignored many problems. "If we are No. 1 in terms of achievement, it’s pretty sad news for the rest of the
nation," Ms. Gotbaum said in a statement.
Other finalists this yearwere Miami; Long Beach, Calif.; Bridgeport, Conn.; and San Antonio.
Diana Jean Schemo contributed reporting from Washington.
City Wins Top Urban Education Award (NYSUN)

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By Elizabeth Green
New York Sun, September 19, 2007
New York City has won the nation’s most presti~ous pdze for urban education, known as the Broad
Pdze.
The announcement by the Broad Foundation is expected at noon today in Washington, D.C. Mayor
Bloomberg, the city schools chancellor, Joel Klein, and the president of the city teachers union, Randi
Weingarten, are scheduled to attend the announcement, spokesmen for the leaders said.
The prize was estal:tished in 2002 by the Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad to honor urban school
systems that narrowgaps between racial groups and boost the performance of poor students. It relies
heavily on test score data to determine which school systems are named finalists.
A member of the prize’s jury told The NewYork Sun that he favored the city above the four other
finalists because of its sheer size --with 1.1 million students and 1,450 schools, the public school
system here is the largest in the nation -- and its progress in closing the racial achievement gap.
"New York City’s got a terrific story to tell and I was very impressed with the rate of progress that’s been
made," the jurist said. "It’s a tribute to everyone who’s worked on it. The kids of NewYork are the real
winners."
He said votes had been tallied several weeks ago to decide which of tire finalist cities would win the
prize. The jury member asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak in advance of
today’s announcement.
This is NewYork City’s third consecutive year as a finalist.
When Mr. Broad offered his prize to the Long Beach, California, school district in 2003, he invited Mr.
Klein, who had just been named schools chancellor, to attend the announcement. NewYork City was
not nominated for the prize, but Mr. Broad challenged Mr. Klein to change that in coming years.
Mr. Klein reportedly said, "1 hope you hear the footprints, because these are big footprints coming up
behind you."
In the years since, Mr. Broad has been a vocal proponent and a financial supporter of Messrs.
Bloomberg and Klein’s reorganization of the school system.
The winner of the Broad Prize receives $500,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors.
CITY SCHOOLS AT HEAD OF THE CLASS (NYPOST)
By Charles Hurt And Yoav Gonen
The New York Pos!, September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -The New York City school system won the nation’s top prize in public education
yesterday for greatest improvement in urban teaching.
The award- which US. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings called the Oscars of public education -
comes with $500,000 in college scholarships for New York high-school grad[Lares. "If it can be done in
New York City, it can be done anywhere," said Eli Broad, who with his wife established the Broad
Foundation to spur innovations and improvements in large city schools.
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg accepted the award at the Library of Congress.
"While it hasn’t always been all sweet and nice, we have all pulled together," Klein said.
"1 have never been more privileged to serve with a group of people who are as committed, as talented,
and as uncompromising about changing the face of public education," he said.
Bloomberg shined credit to Klein and others, joking that his biggest contribution to education was as a
middling student who "made the top half of the class possible."
The four other finalist school districts - Bridgeport, Conn., Long Beach, Calif., Miami-Dade County, Fla.,
and San Antonio- each won $125,000 in scholarships.
A panel selected the finalists out of 100 districts, based on data compiled and analyzed by MPR
Associates Inc., a national education-research consulting firm.
The Broad Foundation said NewYork City, the nation’s largest district with 1,450 schools, 80,000
teachers and an annual budget of $17 billion, stood out for several reasons.
On reading and math in all grades in 2006, it outperformed other districts in the state that serve

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students at similar income levels, according to Broad methodology.


The city’s poor students and its black and Hispanic pupils also outperformed their peers in comparable
districts. The student body is 39 percent Hispanic, 32 percent black, 14 percent white and 13 percent
Asian.
New York was also heralded for progress it has shown in closing the achievement gap for Hispanic
children in high-school and elementary reading and math, compared with whites. More black and
Hispanic children are also taking the SAT exam, the foundation noted.
To choose the winner, teams visited each finalist district last spring to interview administrators, observe
classrooms and conduct focus groups with teachers and parents. Those research teams also talked to
community leaders and union representatives.
A nonpartisan jury of nine people from government, business, education and public service then
reviewed the performance data and the information from site visits.
NYC Wins Top Public Education Award (AP)
By Sara Kugler
AP, September 19, 2007
NEW YORK (AP)--The city’s school system, taken over about five years ago by Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, has won the country’s top prize for ~rban school districts for its student improvement and
success reducing achievement gaps between rich and poor, and minorities and whites.
New York City’s system --with 1 million students the nation’s largest- was awarded half of the $1
million Broad Prize for Public Education, handed out annually by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
Graduating high school seniors will get the money in scholarships.
Eli Broad (pronounced "brode") said in a news release that NewYork is "a model of successful urban
school district reform." U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings joined the philanthropist in
Washington on Tuesday for the announcement.
The four other finalist school districts each won $125, 000 in scholarships. They are in Bridgeport,
Conn., Long Beach, Calif., Miami-Dade County, Fla., and San Antonio.
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who yeas in Washington for the event, agreed with critics that New
York’s system has a long way to go on graduatim rates and other performance issues, but said
important progress has been made.
"We’re privileged to have won," Klein said. "Obviously we have a lot of work ahead of us and we intend
to do the hard work .... At the same time, I think this is a moment to celebrata"
In his first term, Bloomberg wrestled away control of the school system from the now-defunct Board of
Education and picked Klein, a former federal prosecutor, as chancellor.
The Broad Foundation said NewYork City, with its 1,450 schools, 80,000 teachers and annual budget
of $17 billion, stood out for several reasons. On reading and math in all grades in 2006, it outperformed
other districts in the state that serve students at similar income levels, accorctng to Broad methodology.
The city’s poor students and its black and Hispanic pupils also outperformed their peers in comparable
districts. The studert body is 39 percent Hispanic, 32 percent black, 14 percent white and 13 percent
Asian.
New York was also heralded for progress it has shown in closing the achievement gap for Hispanic
children in high school and elementary reading and math, compared with whites. More black and
Hispanic children are also taking the SAT exam, the foundation noted.
"tf it can be done in New York City, it can be done anywhere," Broad said in a news release. "The
strong leadership by the mayor, the chancellor and a progressive teachers union has allowed a school
system the size of New York City to dramatically improve student achievement in a relatively short
period of time."
The changes and modest gains have won Bloomberg national attention -- nunerous mayors of other
big cities have sought his advice on school reform, and he has been trumpeting the achievements all
over the country, otten sounding like a presidential candidate.
While the overall graduation rate is inching upward, still roughly half of New York City high school

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~age 1046

students do not graduate in four years.


"New York City still maintains dismally low graduation rates, especially for black and Latino students,
and the Department of Education has failed to engage parents," said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum,
a vocal critic of Bloomberg’s reforms. "If we are No. 1 in terms of achievement, it’s pretty sad news for
the rest of the nation."
Klein acknowledged that an entire generation of students may pass through the system before gains
reach acceptable heights.
"It’s a mixed message -- we’ve made real progress, as have some others, but the road ahead is very
long and it’s going to take the kind of leadership that Mayor Bloomberg provides," Klein said.
The school year that began earlier this month saw a major reorganization, where the mayor eased his
more centralized system and gave principals more control over their own schools. Also beginning this
year, schools will be given letter grades, a system Bloomberg believes will bring more accountability.
NYC Wins Nation’s Top Public Education Award ONNBC)
WNBC-TV New York New York, September 18, 2007
NEW YORK -- The nation’s largest school system has won the country’s top pdze in public education,
which honors an urban district with the greatest student improvement and most success reducing
achievement gaps anong the poor and minorities.
The NewYork City school system of 1 million students was awarded the largest share of the $1 million
Broad Prize for Public Education, handed out annually by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. It will
receive $500,000 in college scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
Eli Broad said in a statement that NewYork is "a model of successful urban school district reform."
The four other finalist school districts each won $125,000 in scholarships. They are in Bridgeport,
Conn., Long Beach, Calif., Miami-Dade County, Fla., and San Antonio.
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was to join philanthropist Broad in Washington Tuesday
for the announcement. Former Secretary of State Colin Powsll and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were
to speak at the event.
New York City had not yet been notified it was the winner, but when asked about the possibility,
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said in an interviewthat the top prize "shines the spotlight on our work
and does help us continue, puts wind to our back for the additional changes we want to make and the
things we need to do."
A panel selected the finalists out of 100 districts, based on data compiled and analyzed by MPR
Associates, Inc., a national education research consulting firm.
To choose the winner, teams visited each finalist district last spring to interview administrators, observe
classrooms and conduct focus groups with teachers and parents. Those research teams also talked to
community leaders and union representatives.
A non-partisan jury of nine people from government, business, education and public service then
reviewed the performance data and the information from site visits.
The Broad Foundation said NewYork City, with its 1,450 schools, 80,000 teachers and annual budget
of $t 7 billion, stood out for several reasons. On reading and math in all grades in 2006, it outperformed
other districts in the state that serve students at similar income levels, accordng to Broad methodology.
The city’s poor students and its black and Hispanic pupils also outperformed their peers in comparable
districts. The student body is 39 percent Hispanic, 32 percent black, 14 percent white and 13 percent
Asian.
New York was also heralded for progress it has shown in closing the achievement gap for Hispanic
children in high school and elementary reading and math, compared with whites. More black and
Hispanic children are also taking the SAT exam, the foundation noted.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said wants to be held accountable for his education record
above anything else. In his first term, he wrestled away control of the school system, putting it under
mayoral authority, and has been in charge for neady seven years.
The city’s education system is hardly perfect. While the overall graduation rate is inching upward, still

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roughly half of NewYork City high school students do not graduate in four years.
"New York City still maintains dismally low graduation rates, especially for black and Latino students,
and the Department of Education has failed to engage parents," said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum,
a vocal critic of Bloomberg’s reforms. "If we are No. 1 in terms of achievement, it’s pretty sad news for
the rest of the nation."
City Schools Recognized For Gains (AI~INY)
By Beth Murtagh
amNewYork, September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON- The New York City Department of Education garnered the "Nobel prize of education"
and $500,000 in college scholarships Tuesday for narrowing the racial achievement gap and boosting
overall performance.
"1 think this is a real tribute to the work teachers and principals have done in moving this city fonNard,"
Chancellor Joel Klein said of the Broad Prize for Urban Education. He accepted the award from
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings at a Library of Congress ceremony.
"If it can be done in New York City, it can be done anywhere," billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad said in
a statement. ’q-he strong leadership by the mayor, the chancellor and a progressive teachers’ union has
allowed a school system the size of New York City to dramatically improve student achievement in a
relatively short period of time."
The district won for greater performance overall md among minority students, and for reducing the
testing gap between Hispanic and African-American students and white students. In 2006, New York
City students’ reading and math scores for all grades outdid other districts in the state that served
students with similar income levels.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised school districts’ "ACE formula" -- shorthand for accountability,
competition and empowerment.
Atter his 2002 appointment, Klein led a massive restructuring of the nation’s largest school system,
confronting what Bloomberg called "institutional inertia."
But receipt of the prize was not celebrated by all.
"New York City still maintains dismally low graduation rates, especially for black and Latino students,
and the Department of Education has failed to engage parents," said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum,
a critic of Bloomberg’s reforms."
Bloomberg acknowledged in his speech that NewYork City still has "a long way to go," but that he was
proud of the progress so far.
"You don~ do things in a revolutionary way, you do it in an evolutionary way," he said.
Two-time finalist NewYork City won over the school districts from Long Beach, Calif.; San Antonio,
Texas; Bridgeport, Conn.; and Miami-Dade, Fla., which will receive $125,000 each from the Eli and
Edythe Broad Foundation.
NYC Schools Win Education Award (CRAIN)
By Samantha Marshall
Crain’s New York Business, September 19, 2007
The New York City Department of Education has won the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education
for 2007. The largest education prize in the country, the Broad Prize is given out to large urban school
districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation also rewards school districts that have closed the performance
gap among poor and minority students. The money goes directly to graduating high school seniors for
college scholarships.
New York won this year because in 2006 the city outperformed other districts in the state in reading and
math at all grade levels. Low-income African-American and Hispanic students also showed greater
improvement than their peers in other state districts.
Between 2003 and 2006 the achievement gap in high school between Hispanic students in the city and

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the state average for white students closed 14 percentage points, while the African-American-white
student achievement gap closed t 3 percentage points. The percentage of students at the most
advanced level of elementary school math also grew 7 percentage points for Hispanic children and 9
percentage points for black children.
"If it can be done in NewYork City, it can be done anywhere," said Eli Broad, the philanthropist who
started the education non-protit. "The strong leadership by the major, the chancellor and a progressive
teachers union has allowed a school system the size of NewYork City to dramatically improve in a
relatively short period of time."
Northside School District Awarded $125,000 In Scholarship Money (SABJ)
San Antonio Business Journal, September 19, 2007
For months, Northside Independent School District officials had been waiting on pins and needles to
~nd out whether the district would win the 2007 national Broad Prize for Urban Education.
However, the wait ended with word Tuesday thatthe honor wen to the NewYork City Department of
Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the winner at a luncheon at the
Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Public schools in the Big Apple will receive a $500,000 check from the Eli and Edythe Broad
Foundation for winning the 2007 award.
But even though San Antonio’s Northside did not win the big prize, the district will still receive a check
for $125,000 just for being a finalist. The money will be used toward scholarships to graduating seniors.
"Our students are still winners," Superintendent John Folks says, who was in Washington, D.C., for the
awards ceremony. "It’s a tremendous honor to be one of five finalists in the nation and to be recognized
as one of the best school districts in the United States."
The other finalists were: Bridgeport Public Schools in Connectic~l; Long Beach Unified School District
in California; and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Northside became a finalist for the award because students outperformed other students in Texas with
similar demographics in reading and math at all grade levels, according to the Broad Foundation.
In addition, Northside’s test scores demonstrated that the achievement gap was narrowing for minority
and low-income students. This is the first time Ncrthside has ever been a fin~ist for the national award.
The Broad Foundation, based in Los Angeles, was established by Edythe and Eli Broad. The
foundation’s mission is to improve urban K-12 public education. Broad founded two Fortune 500
companies, SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home.
Northside ISD Gets $125,000 In Scholarships (SAENTX)
By Gary Martin
San Antonio Express-News, September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON --They came for the brass ring and grabbed runner-up status instead, but Northside
Independent School District educators were feeling good about taking home $125,000 in college
scholarships Tuesday as one of four finalists for the 2007 Broad Prize in Urban Education.
About a dozen Northside administrators and board members were on hand at the Library of Congress,
where the winner --the NewYork City Department of Education -- was announced by Secretary of
Education Margaret Spellings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Colin Powell
spoke at a luncheon for the honorees.
The $500,000 top prize is given annually to the urban school district that demonstrates the greatest
overall performance and improvement. The prize money is donated by philanthropist Eli Broad, a real
estate baron who has made public education a philanthropic priority. Each of the four tinalist districts
will get $125,000.
"It is really an honor to be nominated," Spellings said. "Everybody is a winner."
She said that, in many cases, Board Prize nominees often outperform their suburban peers, achieving
higher participation rates by minorities taking college admission tests and closing the achievement gap
between ethnic and economic groups.

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Northside, the fourth-largest school district in Texas, has 85,000 students. Hispanics make up 62
percent of the students; Anglos, 26 percent; and African Americans, 8 percent.
One of the fastest-growing districts in Texas, Northside is increasing by 4,000 students each year.
Katie Reed, president of Northside’s board of trustees, said the selection of the district as a finalist was
recognition that "we are doing a great job."
Other finalists were Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, Long Beach Unified School District in
California and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, said Northside embraced the challenge of educating a
large, diverse student body with innovative programs.
"They were able to get their arms around the challenge," Gonzalez said.
The judges found that African American and Hisl:anic students from Northside outperformed their peers
from other Texas school districts in 2006 in reading and math at all grade levels.
Students at Northside also showed the greatest overall improvement, from 2003 to 2006, of peer Texas
schools across all ethnic and income levels in reading and math.
Participation by Hispanic and African American students taking the standardized test for college
admission also increased for students in Northside during that period.
During a panel discussion, Superintendent John Folks said the most important initiative implemented at
Northside allowed teachers to see and compare data on every student.
Folks also said it was important to get the community and other groups involved in new education
initiatives.
"You have to have strong communication: to your staff, to your community, to everyone involved," Folks
said. "We have to show people and convince people that that is what is going to be best for the kids."
The Education Department will begin notifying students about the scholarships and encouraging them
to apply. Scholarships of $10,000 are available for students attending four-year universities and
colleges. Students applying to two-year schools can receive $2,500.
Bridgeport Public Schools Win Improvement Award (HARTC)
By David Lightman, Washington Bureau Chief
The Hartford Courant September 19, 2007
Bridgeport Public Schools won $125,000 today as a finalist for the Broad Fomdation Prize, which
recognizes the nation’s most improved urban school districts.
The New York City Department of Education won the top $500,000 award, while runners-up included
Bridgeport, Long Beach (Calif.) Unified School District, the Miami-Dade County (Fla.) schools and the
Northside Independent School District in San Antonio.
Bridgeport Superintendent John J. Ramos Sr. said the money will be used for college scholarships. The
district was a finalist last year and used the money to help 14 students.
Ramos was upbeat after the elaborate 90-minute ceremony at the Library of Congress, where the
grand prize was announced by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
"This is like the Osca’s for public education," she beamed.
Ramos said atterward he was pleased. "We won because we’re here," and Pep. Christopher Shays, R-
4th District, proclaimed, "This is a tremendous boost to the city of Bridgeport."
Eli Broad, foundation founder, said New York was chosen because "if it can be done in New York City,
it can be done anywhere." Among the achievements cited were that, in reading and math at all grade
levels last year, the city outperformed other districts in NewYork state that serve students with similar
income levels.
Bridgeport, with 34 schools and 21,722 students, was lauded for similar success. The system’s
population is z16 percent Hispanic and 42 percent African-American. Ninety-five percent of students are
eligible for free or reduced price school lunches. Among the points cited by the foundation jury, which
consisted of former U.S. secretaries of education, corporate officials and members of Congress:
Using the prize’s methodology, Bridgeport outperformed similar districts in Connecticut in math and
reading at all grade levels.

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The city’s low income, African-American and Hispanic students outperformed their peers in similar
Connecticut districts.
The city showed more improvement than other districts in the state serving stt~dents at similar income
levels in math at all grade levels, and in elementary and middle school reading.
Bridgeport "narrowed the achievement gap between the district’s Hispanic students and the state
average for white students" in reading and math at all grade levels.
City’s Schools Enter Top 5 For Broad Prize (ConnPst)
By Peter Urban
Connecticut Post, September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON --Although NewYork City walked away with the biggest prize, Bridgeport School
Superintendent John Ramos was all smiles Tuesday that his department was a finalist for one of the
most prestigious education awards in the nation.
"We did win because we are here," Ramos said. "There were 100 eligible school systems and that
Bridgeport is a finalist speaks volumes."
Bridgeport was one of tire finalists for the 2007 Broad Prize for Urban Education, a national competition
to reward urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in
student achievemert.
As a finalist, the city’s schools will receive $125,000 from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation that wilt
go to high school seniors for college scholarship~ Bridgeport was also a finalist last year and divided
the $125,000 prize among 14 deserving students, Ramos said.
Ramos hopes to claim the top spot, which includes a $500,000 scholarship prize, next year.
"We need to continue to build on the work we have done and continue to focus and kick up our
strategic planning," he said. "It’s not winning for the sake of winning but for what it represents."
About 300 people gathered inside the Library of Congress Tuesday for an awards ceremony where
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings congratulated New York City and the four other finalists for
demonstrating that large city school systems can close the achievement gap between the wealthy and
the poor.
"1 love this award because it recognizes that great things can and do happen and are happening in
American education," she said.
Spellings joked thatthe awards ceremony was like the "Oscars, " only withoutthe Hollywood bling.
"1 wish l was dripping with jewels and a fancy dress," she said.
While there were no movie stars, members of Congress lined up to praise the five school systems for
their efforts including Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Ca., and Rep.
Christopher Shays, R-4.
"This is just a tremendous boost for the city of Bridgeport," Shays said.
Bridgeport Mayor John M. Fabrizi also attended the ceremony and was the first to shake NewYork City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s hand when the winner was announced.
Fabrizi, who attended Bridgeport public schools and is a former teacher, said that being named a
finalist is a prize in itself.
"We did win. We won national recognition. We won inspiration. We won encouragement. And, we are
winning in the classroom," Fabrizi said.
The three other finalists for the prize were: Long Beach Unified School District in California, Miami-
Dade County Public Schools in Florida, and Northside Independent School District in San Antonio,
Texas.
The five large urban school districts each demonstrated improved student achievement.
The Broad Prize pointed out that Bridgeport outperformed other districts in Connecticut serving
students with similar income levels in reading and math at all grade levels in 2006. Its low-income,
Hispanic and black students also outperformed their peers that year.
The city’s schools also narrowed the achievement gap between Hispanic students and the state
average for white students in reading and math at all grade levels. Bridgeport was also recognized for

06/05/2008
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engaging the local b.~siness community in the education process.


NewYork Schools Win Broad Prize; Long Beach Is A Finalist (LBPT)
By Kevin Butler
Long Beach Press-Telegram, September 19, 2007
LONG BEACH - The New York City school district has received the 2007 Broad Prize for Urban
Education, beating previous winner and repeat finalist Long Beach Unified School District, it was
announced today.
But LBUSD is not walking away from the contest empty-handed. As a finalist for the award, it will
receive $125, 000 in scholarships for this year’s senior class.
"Congratulations to New York," said LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou. "They join a select group of
school districts, including Long Beach, that are leading the way in public education.
"The good news is that our well-deserving students will receive 125,000 dollars in scholarships, and we
are consistently being recognized as one of America’s best school systems," he added.
The NewYork City Department of Education will receive the $500,000 prize, given to urban school
districts that show the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while
reducing achievement gaps among ethnic and economic groups.
LBUSD, which received the prize in 2003, is the first past winner to again become a finalist in the
awards program, which was started by The Broad Foundation, a Los Angeles-based philanthropic
organization founded by businessman Eli Broad- pronounced "Brode" - and his wife, Edythe.
The LBUSD was among five finalists competing for the award this year. The other finalists will also
each receive $125,000 in scholarship money.
The other finalists were Bridgeport Public Schools in Bridgeport, Conn., Miami-Dade County Public
Schools in Florida and the Northside Independent School District in San Antmio.
LBUSD was judged on its record subsequent to its 2003 win. The district also was a finalist for the
award in 2002.
"The prize is important, bd[ what is more important is that our schools are continuing to improve,"
E~ychiou said.
The LBUSD scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and demonstrated academic
improvement, Eftychiou said.
The Broad Foundation cited several LBUSD accomplishments that led to the district being named a
finalist this year. Among the achievements, according to Broad officials:
In 2006, Long Beach outperformed California districts serving students with similar income levels in
reading and math at all grade levels: Elementary, middle and high school, according to The Broad Prize
methodology.
Low-income, African-American and Hispanic students also outperformed their peers in comparable
California districts in reading and math at all grade levels.
Between 2003 and 2006, Long Beach showed greater improvement than other California districts
serving similar income levels in middle and high school reading and math, according to The Broad
Prize methodology.
The district’s low-income students showed greater improvement than their peers in similar California
districts in math at all grade levels and in middle and high school reading, Broad officials said.
Between 2003 and 2006, Long Beach narrowed the achievement gap between Hispanic and white
students in elementary reading and math at a greater pace than the state as a whole.
Between 2003 and 2006, LBUSD narrowed the achievement gap between African-American students
and their white peers in elementary and middle school reading and in elementary school math. The
improvement ottpaced that of the state as a whole.
The Broad winner was announced at a Washington, D.C., ceremony attended by Long Beach Mayor
Bob Foster, LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and other district officials.
Kevin Butler can be reached at kevin.butler@_.presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1308.

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Learning From Long Beach Schools (LAT)


The Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2007
The city’s school district is again recognized as anong the nation’s best. LA. should take note.
Once again, Long Beach Unified School District has been recognized as one of America’s best.
Although NewYork City won the Broad Prize for Urban Education on Tuesday -- a distinction awarded
to the district for demonstrating progress in closing the achievement gap bergen black and Latino
students and whites -- Long Beach, which won the prize in 2003, made history by returning this year as
a top-five finalist.
It did so by improving on its past performance in a way that should be an inspiration for urban school
districts everywhere -- especially a big one just to its north. So what is the "Long Beach Way" that has
educators from Japan to Romania visiting the port city?
* Education trumps politics. Mayor, school board and superintendent stay focused on instruction, and
there is extensive parent, teacher and community participation. Thus, actual work gets accomplished.
Last week, the Long Beach school board meeting lasted ~ minutes. In L.A., it can take that long just
for the board to get through its inspirational "moment."
* Standards for dress, behavior and achievement are in place and upheld. Those reforms, instituted 15
years ago, have freed teachers and administrators to concentrate on the classroom.
* Race is explicitly a part of the district’s ongoing instructional conversation. Supt. Chris Steinhauser,
one of California’s heroic educational leaders, demands that every school close its achievement gap --
including those in which the test scores of white students lag those of black ones.
* New teachers get help. They aren’t just thrown into the classroom to sink or swim -- they go through
two years of training once hired. And they are trained to teach English learners.
* Finally, and perhaps most important, Long Beach has truly ended social promotion. Roughly 1,000
students a year, most of them black or Latino, are held back rather than allo~d to progress to the next
grade. That’s tough medicine that L.A. has been unwilling to take.
The results are enviable. As a result of opening rigorous courses to all -- not just honors students --
African American enrollment in Advanced Placement classes is up 105% the percentage of Latinos in
AP classes is beginning to mirror the racial composition of the district and, every year, an additional
1,000 students pass AP tests.
Long Beach still has a way to go. At the present rate, the gap will close in 2022. But the district shows
no signs of resting on its laurels. Its progress gives all who care about educating all children confidence
that it can be done.

06/05/2008
Page 1 of 12
Page 1053

lNonresponsiJ.
Neale, Rebecca
Sent: September 22, 2007 8:47 AM
To: Anderson, Christy; Aud, Susan; Beaton, Meredith; Briggs, Kerri; Cariello, Dennis; Cohn,
Kristine; Colby, Chad; Ditto, Trey; Dunckel, Denise; Dunn, David; Evers, Bill; Flowers,
Sarah; Gribble, Emily; Halaska, Terrell; Jones, Diane; Kuzmich, Holly; MacGuidwin,
Katie; Maddox, Lauren; Private -Spellings, Margaret; McGrath, John; Mcnitt, Townsend
L.; Mesecar, Doug; Morffi, Jessica; Neale, Rebecca; Pitts, Elizabeth; Reich, Heidi;
Rosenfelt, Phil; Ruberg, Casey; Scheessele, Marc; Skandera, Hanna; Tada, Wendy;
Talbert, Kent; Terrell, Julie; Toomey, Liam; ’Tracy Young’; Tucker, Sara Martinez;
Williams, Cynthia; Young, Tracy; Yudof, Samara; Simon, Ray; Ridgway, Marcie
Subject: WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY, 9.22.07

WEEKEND NEWS SUMMARY


9.22.07

1. Columbia U. to Let Iran President Speak (AP)


2. Quick Lod(down After College Shooting (W. Post)
3. Basic Instincts (NYT)
4. Mass. Testing (WSJ)
5. U.S. ed chief visits charter school in Inch/(Indy Star)
6. Q&Awith secretary of education (Indy Star)
7. U.S. schods chief touts No Child Left Behind (AP)
8. U.S. Secretary of Education Wants’No Child Left Behind’ Law Renewed (WISH-TV)

1. Columbia U. to Let Iran President Speak


By AMY WESTFELDr
The Associated Press
Friday, September 21, 2007

NEW YORK -- Columbia University planned Friday to go forward with a speech by Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while the city mobilized securityto protect him from
protests during his New York visit.

Ahmadinejad, who is to arrive in New York on Sunday to address the United Nations
General Assembly, is scheduled to speak at a Columbia question-and-answer forum on
Monday. His request to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site was denied and
condemned by Sept. 11 family members and politicians.

Several Columbia students _ even some who planned to rally against him _ said they
supported his appearance.

"He’s a leader of a large nation and what he says is important, even if it’s wrong," said
Dmitry Zakharov, 25, a Col umbia U n ivers ity graduate student.

Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust "a myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the

06/05/2008
Page 1054 Page 2 of 12

map.,’ The White House has said Iran sponsors terrorism and is tryingto develop nuclear
weapons. Columbia canceled a planned visit by the Iranian president last year, citing
security and logistical reasons.

Rallies are planned outside the university building where he was to speak and at the United
Nations, prompting city and state officials to prepare a security detail for him. The city
police and the U.S. Secret Service are charged with protecting the Iranian leader along with
dozens of heads of state arriving for the assembly.

No threats have been called in, police Detective Joseph Cavitolo said Friday.

The Iranian mission has not disclosed Ahmadinejad’s specific itinerary. Ahmadinejad told
CBS’ "60 Minutes" that he would not stop at the World Trade Center site after his request to
lay a wreath at the base of the twin towers was denied.

Leaders voiced mixed opinions about his Columbia appearance.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he wouldn’t go listen to him. "1 think he’s said enough that I
find disgusting and despicable," he said.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said in a statement that "anyone who
supports terror, pledges to destroy a sovereign nation (Israel), punishes by death anyone
who ’insults’ religion ... denies the Holocaust and thumbs his nose at the international
community, has no legitimate role to play at a university."

The governor took a different approach.

"His comments defy logic, history and reason," Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. "He is someone
whose views we scorn. But that said, he is here in the state and will be protected by the
NYPD and state police and everyone else."

2. Quick Lockdown After College Shooting


Delaware State Students From D.C. Hurt in First Such Incident Since Va. Tech Case
By Daniel de Vise and Susan Kinzie
The Washington Post
Saturday, September 22, 2007; B01

DOVER, Del., Sept. 21 -- A fight over a card game escalated into a shooting Friday at
Delaware State University that left two 17-year-old students from the District injured and
prompted authorities to shut down the campus.

The vi.ctims were Shalita Middleton and Nathaniel Pugh, a D.C. schools spokesman said.
Middleton, who was a cheerleader at Woodrow Wilson High School, was shot twice in the
stomach and was in a hospital in serious condition. Pugh, who attended Dunbar High
School, according to the spokesman, John Stokes, was shot in the leg and ankle. The dispute
arose at a game night Tuesday, students said.

06/05/2008
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It was the country’s first campus shooting since a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech
in April, and the university’s response showed how much that day has saturated campus
life. Less than an hour after the police received a call about the shooting around I a.m.,
administrators met and sent warnings by flier, Web site and phone and in person, knocking
on doors in dorms. The lesson they learned from Virginia Tech, university spokesman Carlos
Holmes said, was: "Don’t wait."

Many students said their first thought was of Virginia Tech, of a gunman on a rampage. But
the case was quite different: It happened at night and did not appear to be a random
shooting.

"This was not an act of terrorism," said the campus’s police chief, James Overton. "This was
not a crazed gunman who found his way onto campus ....This was a Delaware State
student who caused this action."

Students remained locked in their dorm rooms for much of the day Friday, with classes
canceled, nonessential employees told to stay home and access to the historically black
university restricted. Of the 3,700 students, 1,200 live on campus.

By Friday evening, two students identified by the police as "persons of interest" had been
taken into custody. Still, officials said classes would be canceled Saturday.

Darryl Salley, a freshman from Washington who has been friends with Middleton since
childhood, said the fight began after a game of Spades.

Police said the shooting happened after a group of eight to 10 students left the Village Cafe,
a dining hall on the campus, shortly before i a.m. Four to six shots were fired at the Campus
Mall, a pedestrian area, Overton said.

Ryan Robinson, a freshman from Bear, Del., had climbed into bed after writing a paper
when he heard three gunshots. "Three seconds later" officers were there, he said, and he
felt safe enough to peer out the window. "You just saw everybody running to their dorms,
trying to get out ofthe way ....Maybe 150 people were outside trying to see what was
going on."

In the chaos, he saw Pugh on the ground. He saw students pick Pugh up and carry him to a
dormitory. "1 just wanted to stay low," Robinson said, "get out of the way."

Minutes after the shooting, he heard a knock at the door. He immediately thought of the
shootings at Virginia Tech, and he refused to open the door until he learned that the person
outside was his hall adviser.

Salley was in the cafe when the shooting happened. He came out to find his friend on the
ground. "They had Shalita on the floor, and my friend Fats was holding her," he said. "She
was just laying there."

He said other students carried Pugh to Evers Hall. "After that, the ambulance came to get

06/05/2008
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[Pugh] and a helicopter came and got Shalita. And then they told everybody to go back to
the dorm."

Middleton was taken to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., with serious wounds. "They
could potentially be life-threatening," Holmes, the university spokesman, said.

Carolyn Dowdte, a neighbor of Middleton’s mother, said she had talked with her several
times yesterday and was told about Middleton’s condition and surgeries.

At Wilson High on Friday, the school psychologist consoled members of the cheerleading
squad. Sharron Pittman-Brice, the head cheerleading coach, said tha~ when Middle, on tried
out, "1’11 never forget, she came to me and said, Tm Shalita Middleton, and I’m representing
thebig girls.’ That became her nickname. We called her BG for big girl .... She was the best.
She had all the energy inthe world."

Middle, on was an outgoing student who was intent on attending Delaware State, said
Ravyn Hall, an adviser with the nonprofit D.C. College Access Program. "She’s a fighter, and
when she has the willpower, she can’t be stopped. I just pray that she pulls through," Hall
said.

Pugh was taken to Kent General Hospital in Dover.

Salley said the two wounded students are friends. "Everybody knows who did the shooting.
But nobody told .... Depending on where you come from, it’s not the right thing to do," he
said.

This was "students against students," said Allen L. Sessoms, the school’s president.

"This is safer than some of the places they come back to. But they bring some of the
tensions and some of the issues with them to campus ....This is a case of our students
making very poor choices and acting incredibly badly."

Delaware State started the school year in mourning, after four current and incoming
students were shot execution-style at an elementary school in Newark, N.J., in August.

"We’re still not over that shooting in Jersey," said senior Franz Delima, a physics and
engineering major. "We still haven’t gotten over that, and now this thing happens."

He said he was impressed by how quickly the school responded. "That’s one of the mistakes
Virginia Tech made -- they didn’t lock down campus," he said.

In the months since that attack, which brought harsh criticism to Virginia Tech’s
administration for not warning students that a gunman was at large, many college
administrators added crisis alert systems.

Schools revamped Web sites, added security officers and updated emergency plans made
after the Sept. 11 attacks.

06/05/2008
Page 5 of 12
Page 1057

Students at George Mason, Georgetown, George Washington and Catholic universities and
at the University of Maryland, among other schools, can sign up for cellphone text-message
alerts. Some schools, such as Georgetown and American, have held simulated campus
shootings with city police officers.

Delaware State officials said they used "multiple redundancies" to notify people, but they
did not send either text messages or e-mails to all students, which some students said
would have been the quickest way to notify everyone.

"We can’t assume people are going to read their e-mails at :~ a.m.," Sessoms said. "We went
around and knocked on doors."

3. Basic Instincts
Creative? College Costs Will Test You
By M, P. DUNLEAVEY
The New YorkTimes
September 22, 2007

YOU might be relieved to know that College Savings Month, formerly known as September,
will soon be drawingto a close.

I hate those artificial designations. They’re meant to inspire people to action, but a month
of nudging can become overbearing. I received a news release recently stating that families
needed to be more aggressive in tapping one obvious source of college funding:
grandparents!

Enough already. I am as concerned as any parent. I have a 1-year-old who will be taking
college entrance exams any day now, and the cost of a college education looks scary enough
from here. According to Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of FinAid.or~ a leading source of
financial aid information, the bill for my son’s four-year education could be four times what
it would be today.

Given the average cost now -- from soup to books to coming home for the holidays, it is
nearly :~50,000 at a public college and more than ~120,000 at a private one, according to the
College Board -- the future is daunting.

So in honor of October, which I’m renaming Let’s Rethink This Month, let’s start to consider
some creative, open-minded college savings strategies.

Balancing the desire for a good education with what’s affordable is a tough calculus, says
Galia Gichon, president of Down-to-Earth Finance, a financial education organization in New
York. "Many people seem to feel they have to provide for their children, often at the
sacrifice of their own savings," Ms. Gichon said.

Parents aren’t the only ones making a sacrifice when families choose a college that’s
desirable but perhaps not affordable. According to FinAid.org, students at public colleges

06/05/2008
Page 1058 Page 6 of 12

graduate with an average of 5:17,277 in loan debt; for private school graduates, the average
debt load is 528,138.

Ambitious parents, or their children, may argue that a more expensive private education is
worth the money in the long run. The Ivy League halo is well established, but its financial
benefits are not well documented. While completing at least a bachelor’s degree typically
makes a huge difference for your child’s future earning power -- "About 5:1.2 million during
their earningyears," said Mr. Kantrowitz, who based his analysis on Census Bureau data --
it’s unclear whether a private degree confers a similar income boost compared with a public
degree, over the long haul.

Small wonder some parents are pursuing cheaper options.

"Many families still believe that a high price tag gets you more for your money," said Lillian
Imbelli, director of admissions at the Loyola School, a private high school in Manhattan. She
says the best college is one that matches a child’s needs and may not require spen.ding
more.

Her daughter found a good fit at Boston College, a private institution, and her oldest son is a
self-taught chef who works at Chanterelle, a top restaurant in Manhattan. "My youngest
son," she said, "wasn’t sure what he wanted. So we decided that a state school, with a very
solid education, was best. I said, Why pay 550,000 a year when we can pay 520,000?"

"I’m the product of a state university, SUNY Stony Brook," she added, "and I’m very happy
with the education my son is getting."

OTHER parents are investigating hybrid options. Because Jane Benedict, a secretary in East
Falmouth, Mass., couldn’t afford to pay for her oldest son’s college tuition, she said, "He is
doing all his prerequisites at a local community college." He works at a bank, pays his own
tuition and plans to transfer to a state college next year, she added.

One or two years at a community college, which costs on average about 52,100 a year --
and often allows the student to live at home -- can save families a bundle. Some states
even offer "articulation agreements," policies that give community college students who
meet certain criteria guaranteed admission to a four-year state school.

You can even get somewhat creative about saving. Upromise.com is a program that helps
parents save a small percentage of the expenses they charge on various debit, credit or
retail cards; you can now deposit that money into a proper 529 state-sponsored investment
account.

Of course, creativity only gets you so far. Don’t forget to save early and often. Or ca II the
grandparents.

4, Mass. Testing
By GUY DARST
The Wall Street Journal

06/05/2008
Page 1059 Page 7 of 12

September 22, 2007; Page AIO

BOSTON -- Massachuse{ts Gov. Deval Patrick has produced one surprise after another since
taking office nine months ago. He stunned people by spending 512,000 on office curtains,
by suggesting that union construction workers be asked to find illegal immigrants at job
sites, and by sayingthat the 9/13. terrorist attacks were partly about "the failure of human
beings to understand each other and to learn to love each other."

But his biggest surprise is the scope of a planned overhaul of what is probably the nation’s
best public school system -- a reform effort he calls his "Readiness Project." He has asked for
reports on 66 proposals ranging from making school days longer to droppingtuition in
community colleges. The fear is that he’s about to emasculate testing requirements put in
place more than a decade ago.

It’s not an irrational fear. The governor is strongly supported by labor unions that oppose
the tests, has appointed a testing critic to the Board of Education, and aims to kill school-
district performance audits.

Back in the 1992-93 school year, the Bay State instituted rigorous testing requirements,
including exams 10th-graders must pass in order to graduate from high school.
Massachus~ts students usually do well on the exams of the National Assessment of
Educational Progress. But fourth-graders and eighth-graders in the past two years came in
first, or statistically tied for first, in both English and mathematics on the NAEP. No state had
ever done that.

Many credit the success to the state’s testing regime, the Massachusetts Comprehensive
Assessment System (MCAS), and the reforms that came with it, including money (inflation-
adjusted state aid to local education has doubled since 1993). Unlike the dumbed-down
standards of some states, the MCAS "proficiency" award tracks well with the same NAEP
designation.

A writer for the liberal Washington Monthly said in 2001, when the tests were given for the
first time, "The MCAS, and the reforms that have come with it, may be the best thing to
happen to poor students in a generation in terms of improving the quality of their
education."

Each student gets five chances to pass English and math exams and may continue to try
after leaving school. Eighty-seven percent of the class of 2009 passed both on the first try,
an increase from 84% last year and 68% for the class of 2003. More than two-thirds
achieved a "proficiency" rating. After five tries, 97% pass. Even a majority of dropouts have
passed. The tests are sophisticated: English requires a brief essay; math requires a showing
of the work on some questions for which partial credit is possible.

The anti-testers, however, aren’t happy. "In states throughout the country, student
assessment is done with multiple measures including course work, projects, in-depth study
and grades, along with standardized test scores," two of them wrote earlier this year. Gov.
Patrick insists he supports MCAS as one measure of achievement. In announcing his

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"Readiness Project" in June, he said, "Being ready means public education that is about the
whole child, not just success on a single standardized test." That’s the kind of language that
can be code for junking standardized tests.

Former State Senate President Tom Birmingham, a Democrat and Rhodes Scholar, is from
Chelsea, Mass., a gritty Boston suburb with schools so bad that they were given to Boston
University to run in the :2980s. He worked with three Republican governors to strengthen
education. He found the governor’s appointment of Ruth Kaplan, an activist and founder of
the Alliance for the Education of the Whole Child, to the Board of Education "troubling."
And he has said that his "understanding of Ruth is that she’s Janey one-note" against MCAS.

James Peyser, chairman of the Board of Education until last year, also says he "worries"
about Ms. Kaplan’s appointment. As does former Board of Education member Rober~a
Schaefer. She fears the governor "is about to gut" the testing requirement by making it just
one of several measuring sticks schools use.

Gov. Patrick has already demonstrated a willingness to bend to union desires. In January,
the ~tate Labor Relations Commission ordered the Boston Teachers Union to back off of a
threat to call a strike. Gov. Patrick’s response was to propose a budget that would zero out
the commission. The legislature funded it anyway.

The legislature, however, went along with his proposal to get rid of another union bugbear,
the Office of Educational Quality and Assessment. The EQA examines the performance of
dozens of school districts across the state each year. And accordingto an analysis of 76 EQA
reports by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, 44 of those 76 districts had curricula that did
not meet state standards -- their students could have been facing MCAS without havin~
been taught some of the material on the tests. The governor this year recommended
defunding the agency and the legislature agreed, giving it just enough fundin~ to wind up its
work. Ms. Schaefer, calls the move "a mistake." Instead, she says, the agency "should have
been strengthened."

So far, many of the people the governor has turned to help him institute reforms dispute
the idea that the governor will water down standards. One of whom is Paul Reville. He’s a
lecturer at Harvard and in the early 1990s was instrumental in helpingto create MCAS. This
year the 8overnor tapped him to be the new chairman of the state Board of Education. If
the 8overnor did want to dilute MCAS, he said recently, "1 hardly think he would have
chosen me [to be chairman]."

Chris Anderson, executive director of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and a
member of the Board of Education, says the state needs to do better and not view "the 49
[other] states as competitors." Instead, Massachusetts educators need to worry about India
and China.

But the fact that debates over education center on whether the state will backslide is a bad
sign. Massachusetts should be pressing ahead -- closing the achievement gap between
white and minority students, for one thing - not resting on its laurels. The 8overnor wants
reform. But if he wants better schools, he’ll need good testing.

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Page 1061

Mr. Darst is a retired deputy editorial page editor of the Boston Herald.

5. U.S. ed chief visits charter school in Indy


The Indianapolis Star
By Andy Gammill
September 21, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- The U.S. secretary of education visited an Indianapolis charter school and
the city’s children’s museum Friday as part of a Midwest bus tour to promote a federal
accountability law.

Margaret Spellings said the~No Child Left Behind law, which is now upfor renewal, holds
schools accountable while empowering parents and students.

A congressional proposal would allow schools to get credit for tests in subjects other than
math and reading. Supporters of the plan say that would make No Child Left Behind more
flexible.
Spellings says the law can be improved, but cautions against changes that would create
loopholes.
"The law is working," she said. "More kids are performing better since this law passed. We
need to stay the course."

The 2002 law requires annual testing in grades three through eight in math and reading.
Schools that miss yearly goals face consequences, such as having to pay for tutoring or
replace principals.
At the Andrew J. Brown Academy in Indianapolis, Spellings called on Congress to tweak the
five-year-old education accountability legislation and renew it.

Some Indiana school officials believe some schools should not be held to the same
standards, particularly those with high numbers of children who speak English as their
second language or special needs students.
"On special education we need to, you know, advance the state of the art and how we
intervene and how we assess students, but to make the demand for accountability go away
will actually cause that work not to happen," said Spellings.

At the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Spellings toured exhibits and said science will
help prepare students to be innovators of tomorrow.

Spellings’ three-day bus tour also included stops in Cleveland and Cincinnati. She last visited
Indiana in 2005, when she attended the state’s annual high school summit sponsored by the
Indiana Department of Education.

6. Q&A with secretary of education


No Child Left Behind; its lessons, its future

06/05/2008
Page 10 of 12
Page 1062

The Indianapolis Star


September 22, 2007

Margaret Spellings, U.S. secretary of education, is responsible for enforcingthe


controversial No Child Left Behind Act, which sets up an accountability system for schools.
Before being appointed secretary, she served as a domestic policy adviser to President Bush
and helped create No Child Left Behind.
Spellings was in Indianapolis on Friday as part of a Midwestern bus tour promoting the
reauthorization of the act, and visited The Children’s Museum.
o,uestion: Are there lessons learned, changes you would like to see in No Child Left Behind?

Answer: Oh yes, we have learned a lot in the 51/2 years. We need todo a better job of
giving our schools credit for the job they were doing. But 51/2 years ago, only a handful of
states were doing annual assessments. Indiana was one of them, I’m proud to say ....

Obviously unions are not very enthusiastic about the idea that we start to pay people who
do the most challenging work and who get results. But you know what? We need to start
thinking about highly effective teachers instead of highly qualified teachers, sothat’s going
to be an important part of the law.

O.: M any schools with low test scores are in urban settings. How do we fix urban schools?

A: It’s going to take a variety of strategies. Obviously the things that are going on at the
school I was at this morning, the charter school, Andrew J. Brown. Charter schools, there’s
great potentiality there. But you know what it’s going to really take is more time and earlier
intervention. That’s what they do at these very successful schools. They work harder; they
go longer. They engage parents and families. It’s not any one thing. I see those things
working all over the country.

We know what we have to do; we just have to have the will to do it and to continue to hold
ourselves accountable for doing it. That’s what’s so important about No Child Left Behind. If
we don’t have that accountability, we reduce the will, the appetite, the motivation to really
do that work.
Q: Has No Child Left Behind sparked changein American schools?
A: You bet. It has been a huge game-changer. I dare say prior to the passage of No Child Left
Behind, people didn’t think about the federal role (in education) at all. There was no
accountability. We just sort of put the money out and hoped for the best .... Now we look
ourselves in the mirror and say we need every kid on grade level by 2014, and that’s just not
too much to ask.

Q: Is it realistic to expect that every single child in the U nited States will pass state tests by
20147

A: Hell yeah, absolutely. There are plenty of legitimate accommodations for kids who are
transitioning. There is i percent of the student population who’s so profoundly disabled
that they shouldn’t be a part of the accountability system.
We have transitional timelines so that kids who are coming intothe school who don’t speak

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Page 1063

English can get upto speed in their language before we assess them for accountability
purposes. You kn