Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Interviewing Capitol Hill?

This is the basic gist of the conversation held with Educational Analyst, Dan Lips of the Heritage Foundation. He was very helpful in clarifying a good bit of information based on the No Child Left Behind Legislation. The conversation was as follows:


What is your educational background (this is for clarification of you as an authority in this field)?

-Dan lips

BA from Princeton

Receiving masters from The Institute of World Politics
2.) Understanding the current use of the NCLB Act, do you believe it is a setback to our educational system and if so, why?

Look at the long trend in federal Ed. Policy, it is a great inopportunity- test scores are generally flat- Too much to ask the Federal Government to fix, Problems caused by NCLB- increased funding and amount of resources required to spent on Ed. Increased the paperwork burden by about 6.6 million hours (670 years), NCLB goal of annual testing for all students to be proficient by 2014, states have an incentive to make test easier to pass, more money spent on administration –The administrative burden of NCLB
2a.) what are your feelings on teachers teaching for a specific standardized test?

Good to teach to test to certain extent, test= good tool to see progress, danger in having too much testing and federally driven testing, some subjects are getting less attention- focus on Reading and Math, groups are having to lobby for history and other class tests under NCLB
3.) Have you had any personal encounters with NCLB, where funding for schooling was an issue?
4.) Have you had any personal encounters with NCLB overall?

Not really and not related to any teachers, visited schools
5.) What are the chances of A-PLUS successfully passing in both houses?

Very unlikely, 1999 similar law passed in the Senate- Demo probably not
6.) What nationally, is the biggest reward to using an alternate such as A- PLUS?

Decisions to improve our schools would be closer to the schools themselves, huge administrative burden would be lifted from the States and local government
7.) Are there any undisclosed draw backs to the A- PLUS alternative?

Weakness- it’s based on the assumption that there is no national solution, things prior have unintended consciencequesss, Possiblity for a number of school systems would keep getting it wrong, but an improvement
8.) Is there a model of the A-PLUS plan in action that can be viewed somewhere?

Nothing in education policy, block grant status- no great parallel can be draw anywhere
9.) Are there any other alternatives in the shadows?

Status quo group- key leaders are backing- lead by Senator Kennedy and the chair from California (George_____) Mainstream Democrats favor

Increase Federal spending on NCLB, --- proponents Obama and such

Rep. looking to modestly (Lamar Alexander) reform NCLB

2.) What are the qualifications to receive federal funds for a school? –a state has to agree to implement basic federal regulations, maintain state level testing, teacher creditials, for funding: distributed through State and local grants- Level 1 funding, must comply with fed reg.
Are funds allocated by school or school system?

-Mostly by school system (SEA) to the (LEA), exception to this
If funds are allocated by school system, how does a system compensate for a school which does NOT meet the qualifications?

-State and local district to reform/ sanctions on that school, after a few years students are allowed to transfer and receive after school tutoring (5 years or more- New school or Chater school)

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