The Holeman Lounge
National Press Club of Washington, D.C.
Thursday, February 8, 2001
9:00 - 11:00 AM

Transcript by:
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.

MIKE USDAN: I'm Mike Usdan, president of the Institute for Educational Leadership, and I am delighted to welcome you to this second of our meetings on our leadership development project. IEL, as many of you know, has been in Washington, DC, since 1964 addressing leadership issues in American education, the ever-changing leadership issues. And recently, as the leadership issue has surfaced so dramatically in this country, we basically were fortunate enough as the leadership crisis has become more and more apparent throughout the country, to generate support for what we think is a different kind of leadership development project. Our support is built on a unique mix of public and private funders -- the U.S. Department of Ed, OERI, the Ford Foundation -- and we are pleased that Joe Aguerrebere is here today -- the Carnegie Corporation of New York, UPS Foundation, and the Metropolitan Life Foundation. And it's an interesting manifestation of I think the kind of the eclectic interests if you will in the leadership issue in this country.

As the country's business and political leaders have become more and more preoccupied with public education, and have been concerned, very understandably, with the need to develop standards, accountability, assessments and so forth, the leadership issue has remained kind of in the background. And as the standards movement has kind of hit the ground in school systems throughout the country, there's growing acknowledgement that indeed if these efforts are to be sustained the nation has to begin to pay some attention to its pipeline of educational leaders. And we felt that there was a tremendous need to broaden the discussion and debate about these issues, to generate the political will and support to address the issues, and the need to try to engage the business and political communities in understanding the complexities of school issues.

And our approach has been to develop four task forces on the issue. And obviously these task forces are very much interrelated. It's a systemic kind of issue. The first task force, which reported a month or so ago, was on the principalship, and many of you hopefully have received this report -- we can certainly make them available to you.

Today we are going to be approaching district-level leadership issues, and the report of this task force is in your packets. The teacher as a leader task force will report in April. And the state task force will report in May.

And what's unique as you will sense when you hear from the members of the task force today is that we elicited the names of people to serve on these task forces, in addition to the usual mainstream educational groups. We asked business groups - CED [Committee for Economic Development], NAB [National Alliance of Business], Business Roundtable, the Chamber. We asked political groups, governmental groups -- the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, the National Conference of Mayors -- to also designate people to serve on these task forces, because the schools, as we all recognize, are no longer an island in terms of the issues they face and the interests they have elicited. So you will hear for example today from Mayor Dannel Malloy of Stamford, Connecticut, whose name was elicited from the National Conference of Mayors. So each of these task forces are constituted not just by knowledgeable folks who are the traditional educational leaders, but also representatives of the political and business sectors.

John Gardner some years ago mentioned kind of the anti-leadership vaccine in the public sector, and that's what has to be addressed. And the schools and educational leaders cannot do this unilaterally.

Our hope in these task force reports is to disseminate information about the leadership crisis not only through educational channels and dissemination mechanisms, but through the business and political networks as well.

These reports are the products of one-and-a-half-day meetings. They cannot purport to be comprehensive. They are not prescriptive. They do not present panaceas to very complicated issues. They do represent a distillation of kind of collective knowledge of a range of people who are experienced in these issues for many, many years. And our goal is that these task force reports will be used as a tool to disseminate at the local, regional and state levels for the kinds of local discussions and debates about the complexities of the leadership issue.

And the spirit of this approach I think is reflected in the way we organized the panel. This is another national report, if you will. There have been literally dozens, if not hundreds, in recent decades. But we asked a group of actual local practitioners -- school board members, administrators, school superintendents -- to respond candidly and critically to another national report. And these are folks that obviously are in the trenches right now. So it's an interesting prototype.

I'd like to thank a handful of people for basically helping to make this function possible: Denise Slaughter and Mary Podmostko of the IEL staff; KSA-Plus Publications; Amy Abraham, who helped us launch this project months and months ago has come out of motherhood for a morning to join us, and it's nice to see Amy.

Without further ado, let me introduce my colleague Barbara McCloud, who played a very, very central role in organizing the district task force, who will take us to the next step. And I'll see you a little later in the morning.

BARBARA MCCLOUD: Thank you, Mike. I too would like to welcome you to this occasion. We are quite delighted that you are here to engage with us in what I think is a critical conversation: Who will lead our schools, and what kinds of changes do we need to make in order to increase opportunities for our children?

The district task force was co-chaired by Dr. Rod Paige, our new Secretary of Education, former superintendent in the Houston Independent School District; co-chair Becky Montgomery, who has served as school board member and current chair for 12 years in the St. Paul, Minnesota, school district. We are particularly grateful for their leadership in this endeavor. Dannel Malloy, mayor of Stamford, also served on the task force. Clifford Janey, superintendent in Rochester, New York, and president of the Council of the Great Cities Schools, also served. I'd like to acknowledge the other task force members: Gina Burkhardt is executive director at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory; Bonnie Copeland, president of the Fund for Educational Excellence in Baltimore; Cynthia Guyer, the executive director of the Portland Public Schools Foundation; Dale Kalkofen, who served as vice president at New American Schools; Gary Mielcarek, public affairs manager at United Parcel Service; James Shelton, president of LearnNow, Incorporated; Marla Ucelli, Director of District Redesign, the Annenberg Institute; Edward Lee Vargas, superintendent, Ysleta Independent School District; and James Woolfolk, president of the Saginaw, Michigan, Board of Education. We are particularly thankful for all of the input and activities that these individuals engaged in which led to the report that we will discuss today.

I would like to very quickly introduce the members of the panel. I cited earlier we are delighted to have Dannel Malloy, mayor of Stamford; Clifford Janey, superintendent in Rochester; Becky Montgomery of St. Paul School Board; Betty Hale, my colleague, the vice president of the Institute for Educational Leadership, who will moderate today's session; Robert Smith, superintendent, Arlington County public schools; Libby Garvey, who is the school board chair in Arlington; Kathleen Grove, assistant superintendent for instruction in that community; Cintia Johnson, who is principal at the Patrick Henry Elementary School; and Steven Nixon, who serves as president of the Arlington County Council of PTAs.

Our plan today is to share with you some of the major learnings, if you will, from the discussions of our task force. In that regard, we will begin with asking our panelists who served on the task force to give you an overview of the report through his or her particular lens, if you will. We will then ask each of our guests from Arlington to respond to the report through his or her particular lens, and to share with us some of the disagreements, some of the agreements with those items we have identified in the report. At the end of that discussion, we look forward to an active and lively interaction with you. Your comments, your reactions, are indeed welcomed and appreciated. I am delighted again that you have joined us. What happens in this country is directly related to what we do for our children. And the real, real change happens, in my view, at the district level.

Let me introduce again my colleague Betty Hale, who will move us through this morning's agenda. And thank you.

BETTY HALE: Thank you, Barbara. Barbara has just laid out a very ambitious agenda, and what she didn't tell you was how quickly we are going to be asking people to in fact do all of those things.

This month's Phi Delta Kappan, you will find interesting to note, that the chief articles focus on something called "leaders for the 21st century." Mine happened to arrive last night, and I thought it was sort of serendipitous, as it were. Paul Houston, who is the executive director for the American Association of School Administrators, is quoted as saying, "Preparation programs for the next generation of leaders must involve a constant dance between doing the work and thinking about it." And that's what we are going to try to do this morning. We are going to think about the work of school leaders in the school district level.

Michael indicated to you that the purpose of our task force and these reports was to shine a bright spotlight and yet a targeted spotlight on, in this instance, the school district. So for this morning I want you to wear a couple of hats. We are trying to run this also as a test. We hope that these reports can be used to stimulate conversations at the state, at the local level. So I'd you to imagine -- pick a city, pick a town -- pick any place, and imagine that this is a conversation in your school district about your school district. And, you know, in another era in Washington we might have said, "It's student learning, stupid." So, what we are trying to do this morning is think about organizing for student learning.

What we have happening this morning is that Becky Montgomery, as Barbara said, is going to give us first an overview of the task force and its report. And then we are going to ask Cliff Janey to take -- and each of these people, incidentally, gets five minutes -- so that's how quickly they are going to do this. And my major role here is traffic cop, and to wave my hands when people have gone beyond. You see the superintendent here is probably looking at me like, "Is she really going to do that?" (Laughter.) Well, we shall see.

So, with no further ado, I'm going to ask Becky Montgomery, who was the co-chair of the task force, to speak.

BECKY MONTGOMERY: Thank you, Betty, and good morning. All of us agree that the process, the business, of educating our children has changed over the past 30 years, and even the past five years. But the basic structure of most school districts has not. The critical question is: Should it?

The task force on school district leadership was convened to respond to this very important question. Task force members, as you heard from Michael, represented many of the facets of our communities -- not all, but many -- business, educators, education reformers, foundations and locally-elected officials. Each and every task force member has the same goal: ensuring all our children in our public schools receive the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for life. This means that upon high school graduation all children are equipped to continue on to a post-secondary education program, be it at a major university, a community college, a vocational college and/or into the world of work earning a livable wage.

We had agreement on the what. We had a lively discussion on the how. Leadership is critical to the accomplishment of this common goal. Without competent leadership, school districts are unable to deliver an educational program that prepares all children for life. Leadership is most visibly provided by the district superintendents and board of education, and also by the district's central office staff. The role and the importance of the central office staff were acknowledged. But the task force spent most of its time in discussion around the role of the superintendent and the board of education.

New models for the superintendency are emerging, as are models of governance. We are seeing a slow trend, particularly in large and urban school districts, of mayors taking over the management of the city's public schools. There is much controversy over the strategy, and I am sure we will have some discussion about that this morning. Certainly the pros and cons of such a movement can be debated. However, underlying this movement is a recognition of the importance of the public schools to the community, whether it be a large urban city or a small rural community. The public schools continue to be the focal point of our communities, and their success oftentimes determines the economic vitality of that community. We know that communities with thriving public schools attract people and businesses. And the reverse happens when the public's perception of the local school district is negative. Therefore both business and other units of government should and do have an interest in investment and ensuring the public schools provide an education program that prepares all students for life. How large of a role in the oversight or governance of the local public schools is what is debatable.

The other emerging trend is that of hiring non-educators to run some of our larger school districts. The reason for this trend arises primarily in recognition of the many responsibilities of urban superintendents, the skill sets needed by these superintendents and the shortage of trained educators who currently possess all of these skills. We have educators who know the teaching and learning process, and who are successful leaders in improving student achievement. But these educators do not always possess the skills needed to engage the public and run the operational side of our school districts.

In addition, we are seeing less and less seasoned and successful school building and central office administrators having an interest in and pursuing the job of school district superintendent. As the report points out, the shortage of qualified candidates for superintendent jobs in all sizes of school districts is reaching a crisis point. We have an opportunity to avert that crisis, but only if we act now.

Many recent reports are documenting the improvements that are happening in our public schools, especially many of our large urban schools. These results are happening as school boards and the superintendents become relentless about increasing student achievement, doing whatever it takes. Reform, particularly providing more learning time to students, and training staff in effective teaching and learning strategies, are being implemented, and we are seeing the results.

However, it takes time for the effects of these strategies to become evident. One of the largest deterrents to the successful development and implementation of education reform strategies is the short tenure of many superintendents, especially in our large school districts. It takes three to five years for most reform efforts to take place and for the results to be determined. The collection, analysis, and particularly the disaggregation of data must occur in order to determine the success of the reform strategies. If the reforms don't result in improved student achievement, then they must be adjusted. It is hard to stay on track when the superintendents change every two to three years, and the impact and the effects of those strategies aren't evident for three to five years. The results are not in before a new superintendent is.

Consistency and stability and leadership are critical to the successful development and implementation of reform strategies. It's important that we have consistency. It's critical that we have that consistency and continuity in leadership in order for meaningful student achievements to take place.

The relationship between the superintendent and the school board is critical to the stability of leadership in the district. As stated in the beginning, this report does not provide the answer. It does, however, raise critical question that need to be addressed not only by school districts, superintendents and their boards of education, but by state legislatures which provide the funding to local school districts, and key stakeholders in each and every one of our communities. I hope that you find this morning's discussion not only interesting but the first of many. Our goal is that today's discussion be a catalyst to public discussions that need to occur in each and every one of our communities across this nation. Thank you.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. Becky has now sort of given us the charge: How do we ensure learning of all students? And because she also has indicated that we want this to be a conversation, we are going to do the rest of our discussion from this table. I am now going to ask Clifford Janey, the superintendent of Rochester, to take a few minutes and talk about what this report says to him as a current acting superintendent. And I think Becky also said something that we need to remember: Are we asking the right questions? So, as people speak, I believe that you will also have embedded in their remarks some questions that we need to be thinking about as we continue this pursuit. Cliff?

CLIFFORD JANEY: Thank you, Betty. It's not often I get a chance not to be the target. (Laughter.) So I thank you for letting us sit here among good company. Indeed it's always a pleasure to come to Washington in February, where people think 48 degrees is cold. (Laughter.) I actually didn't bring a topcoat when I walked over from the hotel.

I'm Clifford Janey, and I am the superintendent of education in the City of Rochester. I say that because what we do has a lot to do about the entire city and the region for which we have had a long preparation. But to think about the superintendency, to think about the report, I think it will suit us well to think rather about the context in which we do our work for children.

I was encouraged by the way the report focused on three particular types of leadership. It talked about organizational leadership. It talked also about public leadership. And, thirdly, it remarked about instructional leadership. And if I look at the path of preparation for superintendents, whether they come from conventional routes or they come from non-conventional routes, those three areas I think say volumes about really what's needed to make a difference for children. And I want to spend the next couple of minutes just briefly responding to those three types of leadership.

Organizational. In Rochester we have got about 38,000 students, 6,000 employees. We sit on Lake Ontario and we, like many other public school districts, represent a large chunk of the employer pie in the region as well as the city. And we are in a shift right now trying to identify legacy for those who will be leaving, particularly because of demographics, and those who will be coming on. And it's very important both in schools and in our district offices to understand the importance of leadership, because it's not just a set of competencies; one must think of leadership as a value. And as you think about how it plays out in an organization, there generally are two types of people. There are people who are committed to do the work of the mission of that organization; and then there are individuals who are fundamentally compliant in what they do and how they do their business. And let me just take you through a couple of examples of folks.

Someone who is genuine but compliant would see the benefit of the vision of the organization, and does everything expected and more, but follows the letter of the law. And I would say this person would be a good soldier. There are those who are formally compliant and, on the whole, see the benefit of the vision, and they do what is expected and no more. They are pretty good soldiers. And then there are those who are grudgingly compliant. They do not see the benefits of the vision; but, also, they don't want to lose their job. They do enough of what they're expected to do, and they let it be known that they are not on board. These are the people who you probably know in your own organizations who represent the B Team. They are not on the A Team, they are on the B Team. They've been there a long time and they think they'll be there a long time -- well after your departure. (Laughter.) And as a superintendent of education, that's one of the cultural norms I faced transitioning into Rochester.

With respect to public leadership, there are very few preparatory programs that give sufficient attention to this critical area regarding leadership. People still are confused between who should be the messenger and what the message is. Too often there is temptation to try to do both. One must distinguish between whether it's right for you to do it and whether the cultural norms or the political mood within that community allows it to be ripe for you to do it. So you may want to do the right thing, but it may not be ripe for you to do it as a person in terms of being a leader. You might have to cultivate the community to take on some of this and distribute the leadership in that regard.

And then finally, regarding instructional leadership, nothing is more important in terms of the focus on leadership, and this is where leadership is not just a set of competencies. Leadership is far more than that, and it is indeed in my view a value. I think in this regard the report got it right. Too often we see people confused between mission and job, because they have not understood the power of instructional leadership. You have some people who are 90 percent job and 10 percent mission. Therein lies a huge problem, and I think the notion of focusing on instructional leadership mitigates that kind of norm getting seated in the culture of any organization.

And finally I would just say with regard to instructional leadership I think it is indeed the primary work of what we do as superintendents of education, and everything else is a derivative.

BETTY HALE: Thank you, Clifford.

It seems to me that Cliff has given us three additional questions, or three additional things to think about. And, remember, we started with Paul Houston's notion about this constant dance between doing it and thinking about it. So part of what we want to think about is context, leadership as a value. And I think that's very interesting. We sometimes are always thinking about leadership in terms of action. So leadership as a value within an organization; and then the priority that must be attributed to instructional leadership. Thank you very much.

We now move to the mayor of the city of Stamford, Connecticut. Dannel, thank you.

DANNEL MALLOY: Thank you for allowing me to be with you and serving on the panel. I come at this from a slightly different angle, not having served as a head of a board of education or as a superintendent, but I did serve on a board of education, so I have at least that experience.

I want you to understand that mayors are keenly interested, perhaps more interested in education today than they have ever been. And, quite frankly, you need to understand why that is. It is, in my opinion, a result of a blurring of lines in the view of voters and citizens between the educational side of government and the non-educational side of government. Quite frankly, as voters have become less detailed-oriented, and therefore less understanding of that distinction, they have tended to blame mayors and other politicians for the faults that they assign to a school system. Therefore you should not be surprised that mayors are taking a more active interest. And mayors in some cities have even gone so far as to, in essence, seize control of the educational infrastructure. That is not a movement that is going to take over in many places, but do not expect that mayors will become once again wallflowers on the issue of educational reform. Those days are gone as well.

We care, and we believe that we can have a role, and a positive role, and that's why my involvement in this endeavor was so important to me.

The reality is that systems across the United States, tens of thousands of systems, are going to make decisions this year about leadership either on the superintendent's level or on the deputy or assistant superintendent's level. In fact, on average, systems will spend 11 months in seeking to fill the superintendencies that become vacant. And in our large cities they'll spend 11 months filling the vacancy with someone who will occupy the job for 2.3 years. Those are the actual statistics.

Most of those jobs will be filled without the boards of education understanding to any great degree, in my opinion, what the job is that they are seeking to hire someone to fill and what the challenges of that job are, although I'll be the first to admit that many systems will hire consultants to, quote/unquote, walk them through the process. What I am saying, and I believe this report indicates, is that most boards of education will make that decision without having agreed to what the baseline measurement will be for success, without understanding fully what the challenges of the management of that system are. So we clearly advocate that boards of education do some more homework, and that they establish appropriate roles for themselves in relationship to the leaders that they would hire for their system.

We have even seen some state legislatures, in Kentucky and Tennessee specifically, further define what the roles of boards of education are. And one of my favorites is to point out -- I believe it's in Tennessee -- that the role is not as manager, but rather overseer. I happen to like that term, and perhaps we'll see some movement in that direction in Connecticut.

There are a few other things that we should be mindful of in reviewing this report. Women and minorities are woefully underrepresented in the ranks of district leadership, particularly in superintendents, but also in the deputy and assistant superintendent's role. And we should also remember that we are going to have one half of the people who are leading systems today will not be available for leadership within 10 years. We have a huge requirement. We have huge portions of our potential pool of applicants that we almost excluded from leadership positions. Only 12 percent of superintendencies are filled by women as we speak, although 41 percent of principalship jobs are filled by women on the district level.

So there are huge challenges and huge opportunities. What I would say to you in closing is for a number of years educational reformation has been led by external forces, those people who would seek to require change in education. And during the last 10 years much of that change has been managed in systems by people who resented that change and did not understand the basic political input and requirements of that change. If, in fact, the numbers of jobs which are going to turn over -- we know they are going to turn over -- turn over and are filled successfully by boards of education who understand who they want, what they want, and the measurements by which they will measure the success of the superintendents, that presents a huge change. It will give us the opportunity that instead of having reformation driven by outside forces to have it driven by inside forces. And that will be a very positive thing.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. It seems to me that the mayor has given us another way to think about this. Clifford talked about the priority of instructional leadership; I believe that the mayor is also talking about the public leadership. And I was particularly intrigued that when the voters started blaming the mayors for the performance of the schools then the mayors felt that they needed to get into the middle of this.

Now, I am sure there will be more questions about sort of that tension between sort of who is in charge and who is ultimately accountable. But let's hear again from Becky Montgomery, and this time simply wearing her hat as the chair of the St. Paul Public School Board.

BECKY MONTGOMERY: Thank you, Betty. I think one of the things that really oftentimes gets overlooked at discussions where we talk about school boards in particular is the fact that school boards vary so much across this country. We've got locally-elected school boards, we have got school boards that are appointed by mayors, as well as in New York where they are oftentimes appointed by borough presidents. And so they are of a different nature. We also have school boards of different sizes, school districts of different sizes, each with unique issues and challenges within them. And overall we have school board members with different levels of understanding and sophistication. But, bottom line, we have school board members who are all concerned about kids. And the reason that the vast majority of people serve on school boards is because they are very much concerned about children, their children's education, and, most importantly, the impact that that education has on our communities. And so that is a real common goal that we all have, and that is our children as well as the future of our community.

The challenge is: How do we all work together? And the challenge is: How do we help school board members develop the skill sets that they need to be effective school board members as well as the skill sets that they need to recognize what superintendents need to be doing and to be able to separate and clarify their role as the school board member from the role of the superintendent. And oftentimes the tension that we see develops when school board members and superintendents aren't clear about their respective roles.

I think in the past few years there has been some really good work in that area. Certainly for years we had state school board associations as well as the National School Board Association doing a lot of work around board development, helping board members achieve or develop the skills needed to be effective school board members.

And most recently, as a school board member, we have had a framework to really get us focused on what our key work is, and that is student achievement. Secondarily, our key work is engaging the public. The superintendent needs to be able to focus his or her energies on the operation of the school district. The board needs to focus their energies on student achievement, working with the superintendent, supporting the strategies that the superintendent develops. The superintendent is the educational expert -- school board members don't have the expertise -- although there are times you'll find that there are school board members who think they have that expertise. The bottom line is the superintendent has that expertise.

We need to rely upon that expertise of the superintendent, trust it, and at the same time hold the superintendent [accountable] for results around student achievement. The board needs to become focused on its role as policymaker and to understand what that role is.

The other tension that I believe we have going on in many of our communities is that the public doesn't understand the role of the school board member. They oftentimes think of a school board member in similar terms as the city council member. City council members have a lot of different things that they need to be focused on, from public works to crime and safety, to budget, et cetera. And the city councils by their nature are much more of a political beast than school boards are. However, if the public doesn't understand the difference, they will turn to school board members when they have an issue. When they don't like what's happening in their particular school building, they'll call the school board member expecting that school board and that individual school board member to fix it rather than realizing that member is one of many, and it's the board, and it's the superintendent in particular, that has the responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the district.

The board needs to set the outcomes, the results: What is it that we need to achieve? What is our goal around the issues of student achievement? What do we mean when we say "preparing all children for life"? And that changed and continues to change, and should continue to evolve as the needs of the workplace continue to change and evolve. We are preparing kids, our incoming kindergartners -- we need to prepare them for jobs that don't exist today. And that's really -- that's the challenge of it all.

So we need to work together. School board members need to certainly get clear and focused on their role around student achievement, as well as engaging the public. And we need to be working with the business community as well as the foundations, all facets of our community around forming partnerships, so that our kids get the educational programs that they need. And we need to all stay focused on what's important, which is student learning.

BETTY HALE: Thank you, Becky. Role clarification. It seems to me that one of the questions we might want to pursue is, "If I know exactly what it is you want me to do, does that make it easier for me to do it?"

Now, remember I started by suggesting that this is a test. So what we are trying to now figure out is, "Can this nationally generated report that is embedded with state and local perspectives be used to stimulate discussion at state and local levels?" So we have five individuals who are either in or connected with the Arlington County Public Schools who are going to give us, with their hats on as to the role that they play, they are going to talk about what this report said to them. Did it speak to them? Did it say anything that made sense for their work? And because we just heard from Becky Montgomery, who is on the school board in St. Paul, we are going to let Libby Garvey, who is on the school board in Arlington County, begin. And these individuals have two minutes to talk about what the report said to them, and one minute to say what the report didn't say to them. So this is where we are going to get kind of, "What did we miss in this whole conversation?" So, Libby, you are on.

LIBBY GARVEY: Thank you, and we'll talk really fast. (Laughter.) I'm chair of the school board, but I am going to talk about the role of the school board member as a school board member, even though I may use the word "I" -- and I am going to add a lot to what Becky said. She was describing the Carver model of governance, which is what we have been working with in Arlington. And the first thing I would say is thank you so much for asking about my role as a school board member. No one ever does. (Laughter.) And we don't think about it enough.

As I see our job on the school board, it's very interesting. This is a leadership position, right? But it doesn't look or feel like leadership. We have to work together. And our job is to state clearly the community's goals to the school system; not our individual goals, but the community's goals. And we have to do it all together. We have to stay in close touch with the community -- we talk a lot -- but we need to listen a whole lot. We only make decisions as a group, as a board, not as individuals.

What kind of leader has to go back -- oh, well, just a minute, I have to go and talk to my colleagues? This looks like leadership? You have to talk with people before you can decide anything. We may be leaders, but our job is not to run the school system, but to hire a superintendent who runs the school system. Now, that job looks like leadership -- you make decisions, and you tell people what to do. That's what people expect leaders to do.

Now, we as leaders on the board aren't even supposed to tell the superintendent how to run the school system. Beyond a few limitations: you have to be legal and things like that.

Finally, our job is to monitor and see that our goals and expectations are met, however the superintendent prefers to do it. And then we have to be able to report to the community on what we are doing. And I think this is a very different leadership model from what people think of as leaders. And I happen to think it's a really good one. But I also realize it's really hard for everyone to understand, especially the kind of people who run for elected office, who are used to being out there in front, telling people what to do, we're in charge. People who get on boards tend to like a lot of control.

And I think one of the things we need to do for school board members is define what is leadership. And we could use help defining it for ourselves, talking about it. As I say, thank you for asking. And we also need help explaining it to the community and getting them to understand it. I think there may be other models of leadership like school boards, but I sure don't know of them.

Is that my two minutes?

BETTY HALE: Thank you. Absolutely. Is there anything they missed?

LIBBY GARVEY: Ah! Well, I said my main point of difference, all right, and that was basically on a section on holding leadership accountable. They said that state policymakers should adopt professional standards and developmental requirements and accountability systems for superintendents and school board members. And I'm talking about elected school board members here. So that may be different for not-elected.

And we can always use help evaluating what we do and how we do it, but this is a democracy. If the school board is elected, there is an accountability system. Here in Arlington I'm held accountable every day by the people I work for, the citizens of Arlington. I get phone calls. I get e-mails. I get letters to the editor. We get grilled at community forums. We get grilled at the supermarket, on the street, in the car, seven days a week. We are accountable. And every four years I run for office, having to justify what we've done. It's a really tough accountability system. I think it's good.

Finally, can I make one more comment on another issue I have?

BETTY HALE: Well, actually I was going to ask you, I think you have some constituents in this room, too.

LIBBY GARVEY: Oh, I do. They grill me.

BETTY HALE: Oh, good. Okay. (Laughter.) I thought before you made any more comments, Libby, you might want to explain that.

LIBBY GARVEY: And they know they grill me.

Finally, I think one of the things that I also held issue with was with the suggestion -- they said it was controversial, but examinations and certifications for school board members. And I think this is an example of the confusion between the roles. We have examinations and certifications for professional staff, and that's right. An elected school board is not professional staff. We've got different roles. And part of the role of an elected official is to be connected to the community, and I know no better way to do that than run for election.

I have more to say, but I suspect my time is up.

BETTY HALE: It is indeed. Thank you so much.

I don't know whether anyone else noticed sort of the sight of relief from the two superintendents at the table when Libby said that the role of the school board was to hire a superintendent to run the system. It seemed to me that was pretty refreshing. Didn't you think so? (Laughter.)

Okay, having said that, let's turn to Rob Smith, the superintendent in Arlington County.

ROBERT SMITH: I think Libby has kind of an inflated idea of what superintendents can do in terms of ordering people around and expecting that something's going to happen.

Before I start my two minutes -- this is outside the two minutes -- I want to say just a couple of words about the Arlington County public schools. Many of you may know Arlington, but it's a school system of about 19,000 students, situated in a small urban/suburban county of about 190,000 people. So very few people who live in Arlington County actually have children of school age. Yet we have an extremely supportive community. For our last bond election during this presidential election 65,000 people came out to vote and we had an 80 percent affirmation of the bond issue.

We're a very diverse school district. We have no majority group. About 40 to 45 percent of our students are second language learners. About 40 percent of them qualify for free lunch. And we have very high levels of achievement.

And all of that's within the context of a very supportive community.

Now I'll go to my two minutes.

BETTY HALE: Only because Cliff said that context was something we needed to think about. I thought it was important to sort of lay that out. (Laughter.)

ROBERT SMITH: Thank you, Cliff.

I found the report in the main affirming of the direction we've taken in the Arlington County public schools, and I wanted to reflect on three of the themes that were present in the report. And I'll take three examples of those themes from our work in Arlington. One is the issue of strategic planning. The other is policy governance. And the third is the creation of learning organizations.

Our school board adopted a couple of years ago a strategic plan based on a clear assessment of community need and aspirations. That plan and the supporting management system features the standards and the accountability called for in this report, and it follows the task force's two broad conclusions: First, that action should be focused on the common goal of improving student learning, and that we should organize school systems in a way that makes improvement of student learning a fundamental priority.

The plan that our school board adopted includes two strategic goals treating objectives related to raising student achievement, and eliminating the achievement gap among certain groups of students. Both of those goals are measured in a variety of ways.

Four supporting or what we call instrumental goals: Address the improvement of a rich and rigorous curriculum, improving the quality of teaching, establishing systematic accountability, something in which our school board is extremely interested, particularly in relation to policy governance, and engaging the community in the accomplishment of these important goals. Annually the school board adopts priorities that specify measurable objectives that help move us toward these goals.

Our system of management involves school plans, department plans and individual administrator work plans, all related to these strategic goals. And all of our evaluations are related to those strategic goals as well.

This system allows us to focus our resources, both human and material, on those things that matter most to our school board and to our community. And over the past three years we've experienced both rising achievement and narrowing of the achievement gap, at least as we've measured it.

On the second item, on policy governance, Libby has reflected on the Carver model and the work that we've done around that, so I won't mention that, except to say that this is hard, hard work. And our school board is made up of five very talented, independent thinkers. And for them to come together and work through these issues has been a daunting task, and we're still working on it.

In addition to establishing a focus on student learning, we've also emphasized the importance of collaborative inquiry, or the establishment of a learning organization, in an attempt to realize the objectives of the strategic plan. And when I think about collaborative inquiry, I particularly think about teacher leadership, but it operates in other ways as well. And I generally consider procedures such as study teams, peer observation and teacher-as-researcher activities. For example, the board and I have essentially become a study team, looking at the issue of policy governance.

Our revised system for teacher evaluation focuses on collaborative inquiry activities for experienced, successful teachers. All of our new teachers, new principals, new assistant principals have mentors who work with them during at least the first year of their service in a new position.

Twenty-three of our teachers are currently working toward national board certification, and hundreds more are engaged in small study teams working on teacher-as-researcher activities and/or helping colleagues to understand instructional design.

Now I'll move real quickly --

BETTY HALE: Thank you.

ROBERT SMITH: You're pretty tough. (Laughter.) No, actually very nice.

BETTY HALE: Thank you.

ROBERT SMITH: -- to points of disagreement with the report, and I don't really have a strong disagreement on this particular issue that I'm going to mention, because I want to commend the writers of the report for emphasizing multiple criteria applied to evaluation of outcomes, but at the same time I'd like to offer a caution about the overuse of single measures associated often with the standards movement, particularly in state-driven assessment systems.

And I think that the use of such single measures to look at student achievement or to rate schools shortchanges schools, communities and students, and reduces that which is taught to that which is measured on a very narrow band.

And I think that this is a conversation we need to have and continue to have, I know in the state of Virginia, I think probably in a number of other states as well.

BETTY HALE: Thank you, Rob. I think it's intriguing to think about the superintendent and the school board as a study team as one notion of a learning organization.

We are now going to ask Steven Nixon, who is the president of the Arlington County Council of PTAs, to make remarks.

STEVEN NIXON: Thank you. Thanks for inviting the PTA. I'll try to give you the parent perspective on this discussion and on the report. I very much enjoyed reading this report, because my school district, Arlington County, Virginia, is already doing much of what the report advises. This is not an accident, but rather because the citizens of Arlington appreciate and demand good schools.

Arlington is a small county and the residents of Arlington take an activist role in their government at every level. We believe in parent partnerships, active and meaningful involvement of the parents in school district and also school level decisions. We not only believe in parent partnership, we pretty much demand it over in Arlington County.

I was pleased to read that the report supports that approach. Parents play an active role in education issues in Arlington. At the same time, we have a system in Arlington that encourages strong and professional leadership, as the report advocates, and I feel very proud of our school board and our superintendent in that regard.

I believe that maintaining that clear distinction between policy and management is the right approach. The Arlington school board, the five members of the school board, are not micromanaging our school system, although sometimes their four and five-hour board meetings might lead you to think they are.

The three elements of leadership identified in the report are an excellent framework, I think, by which to evaluate a school system. Organizational and management leadership, public as well as political leadership, and instructional and accountability leadership, it seems to me, are the hallmark of a successful system.

The Arlington system does work, in my opinion, because we recognize and encourage all three elements.

Regarding non-traditional leadership, I think superintendents -- I did have some concern about this--I think superintendents need to be educators first. I do become concerned when the head of any organization is trained in areas that are not central to the needs and mission and purpose of that particular organization. Schools, of course, we've heard it here this morning, are about students and learning. You can hire someone good with budget and financial issues, an expert in real estate and construction; you can get management help. But we need to remember we need an educator at the top, because this is about the students.

Now, I do have some disagreement with the report. I disagree with the report only in the way it begins and in the way it ends, if I can put it that way. (Laughter.)

BETTY HALE: But you liked everything in the middle, right?

STEVEN NIXON: I did pretty much.

But the opening language on page one I think paints an overly dire picture. The lineup of problems facing school districts is not endless, as the report indicates. In my opinion, that lineup of problems is changing, yes, but it is finite. I mean, ultimately it is finite, identifiable and manageable.

In my opinion, overly pessimistic attitudes, such as the report begins with, lead to extreme measures, which, in my opinion again, are not called for.

Now, the extreme measures I refer to are mentioned just briefly at the very end of the report, and those measures constitute my second point of disagreement. On page 21 the report states that, quote, "to demonstrate their commitments to student learning, district leaders should support new options for families, such as charter schools and public school choice that might provide more diverse opportunities for children and compelling incentives for system-wide improvement."

This statement is not only illogical, in my opinion, but it is also a non sequitur. It just seems to come out of nowhere, and that particular paragraph doesn't fit, doesn't fit in with the rest of the report, in my opinion, and I guess you can tell I don't agree with it. I don't think there's much room for vouchers or charter schools in Arlington public schools. I won't speak for your school district, but that's my opinion about Arlington.

But with those two objections, mildly noted, I generally do support the message of the report. Thank you.

BETTY HALE: Thank you.

Clear roles again, distinguishing between policy and management, but thinking about perhaps a less pessimistic beginning so that you don't then end up with extreme measures.

We now turn to Kathy Grove, who is the assistant superintendent for instruction. Kathy.

KATHLEEN GROVE: Thank you. Well, I read the report and I'm happy to say I agree with it, in large part, because I have two minutes to agree and one minute to disagree. So it was fortunate that I agreed with most of it.

And I do have a number of points to make that I found, as Rob said, affirming. And I also found reading the report an opportunity for reflection, and I appreciated that comment about thinking and doing, because I think in today's school system we have much less time to think than we need, because we are doing so much doing.

And what I reflected upon was that Arlington is doing a lot right and that was affirming. And I attribute that as much to our community and the expectations of our community and the support from our community, as from the staff themselves.

First, we are focusing on improving student learning as the fundamental priority, and I sometimes wonder whether we ever were not. It seems like we hear that everywhere. And I can't imagine that we weren't always focusing on student learning. But certainly the accountability and standards movement have made that a greater emphasis.

Another point that I found interesting, and I think that Arlington has averted the danger of, not involving the central school district leadership in reform. There was a reform movement -- some of you may have noticed -- a decade or so ago, and much of that reform happened in individual schools. And in many cases the central office, the superintendent and the school board were not involved in the reform. It was led frequently by a principal and, as sometimes happens in education, when the principal left, so did the reform.

So I think that it's very important, and one thing that we have done is to have a collaborative effort between the schools, the central office, the superintendent and the school board, so that we all know what we're all doing and we all talk and develop new ideas together. And that allows good ideas to be supported centrally. It's very difficult for one individual to sustain good reform. And it also results in that reform when it is tested and found to be successful to be institutionalized, rather than to be sustained by the charisma of one individual, which too often I think has been the case and has resulted in failed reform.

A third point that I think is very important that the report made was the importance of developing leadership at all levels. I believe that we have made a significant effort to empower our teachers to become leaders in curriculum and instruction. We have a very well developed lead teacher initiative, where we have teachers who are leaders in each of the content areas in their schools, as well as leaders in instructional strategies. And these teachers are taking roles where they are appearing before large groups, speaking articulately about what's going on in the schools and the classrooms, developing expertise that they take back to that most important location in a school district, the classroom. And I think that that's a very important element of the report.

I also think that in terms of central office support of that learning and interaction with the community, we do have a common curriculum and we have common expectations for good instruction. And those two have grown out of a collaboration with principals and teachers and the community. But I think to imagine that an individual school or an individual teacher should have so much autonomy that it does not reflect the common values that have been hammered out over many hours of meetings late into the evening, does ignore the community nature of schools. And so I think the central district office has the responsibility to articulate that content for teachers and schools.

I did have a few differences with the report, not significant perhaps, but I do think that in our emphasis of stating goals and emphasizing accountability, as represented in the organizational leadership articulating those goals and public leadership, and representing the instructional needs and the instructional leadership, that we sometimes lose track of leadership that is perhaps less tangible but very important. And that is what I call keeping and communicating the vision. There is a cultural leadership that is hard perhaps to write down as goals that we rate in a rubric at the end of the year, but that cultural leadership in an organization is very important. Celebrating success, creating rituals that make people feel a part of the organization, creating a common identity and sense of mission in the organization, so that we have more people who are committed to the mission and fewer people who are going through the motions, maintains an emotion in the organization and a morale that is critical at this time when we are faced with so many challenges in public education.

So I think creating that sense of belonging, communicating common vocabulary and values, all of those elements are important elements of leadership that we should not ignore in our drive to measure and articulate our goals.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. It's interesting, isn't it, how the themes keep coming together. And do you remember when Clifford began and talked about sort of the kinds of people inside the organization? But one of the questions, Kathy, just to ponder would be that if in the description of organizational leadership, if more was said about the role of the leader in terms of conveying the vision and keeping the focus on it and doing the things that Terry Deal tells us are important.

We are going to wrap this up, and soon it will be your turn. You've been very patient, so we are asking Cintia Johnson, who is a principal in the Arlington County schools. Thank you, Cintia.

CINTIA JOHNSON: Thank you. I am a principal, and I believe in part my role in serving on this panel or being a part of this panel is because in many ways I am impacted and enriched and empowered by district leadership. And I think as you've heard here, Arlington does, in fact, have significant collaboration that allows me to feel very comfortable in saying that that is exactly what I am able to do in Arlington as a result of the district leadership.

The paper really brought to my attention a number of things that I think were really quite salient and important to keep in mind, and one of them, which hasn't been mentioned this morning, was just the historical perspective. So I want to mention that I did feel that the paper talked about then and now and the changing society, and as a result of that, the changing priorities within the educational system. And I believe that that communication was clear and based on research, and so that historical perspective I think provides for us the reason why we need to give the attention and have the dialogue that is taking place this morning.

Probably the most salient point that I think was threaded throughout the paper and is of major importance to me as a principal is this whole notion of establishing and maintaining a common vision, and keeping that focus on student achievement. And I think you've heard that from the panelists, and again I think that was threaded throughout the paper.

But what I think is important along those lines is that you use that focus on student achievement to then set your goals and to be able to identify what professional development should look like and what the duties and responsibilities of members within an organization should be.

And I believe that the paper did a good job in again connecting that to the three related types of leadership you've heard mention again this morning, the organizational, the public and the instructional.

What caught my attention was talking about the organizational leadership and really emphasizing the importance of establishing expectations for teaching and learning, which I believe is an important thing to keep in mind as we move forward, and that is that every stakeholder in education is both teaching and learning, and that in order to bring about effective change and continuous growth, that learning has to continue.

So I felt that the organizational leadership spoke to that, and in speaking to that also emphasized the importance of creating a climate to support this organization, to support this expectation. And that meant creating and responding to the culture. So the word that came to mind for me was responsive leadership.

The other, what you've heard mentioned this morning, has to deal with the public and being an effective communicator and being responsive again to the clientele. And of course one of the areas that is my primary focus is the instruction, and again talking about the clear vision for teaching and learning, and always keeping students as the center focus and as the hub and using that as the vehicle for priorities.

So I thought the paper really promoted that, and I feel very strongly about the fact that those are important focuses for us as educational leaders.

The point that I felt was probably just brushed in the paper and perhaps needs further consideration, was mentioned by a number of the panelists, is that of long-term viability. I mean, we talk about the process for hiring a superintendent or district leaders, and to a great degree there needs to be attention given to longevity to ensure that you're able to give the focus to the priorities and maintain them and have opportunity to respond to that.

So I really felt that the paper just mentioned that, and that perhaps needs quite a bit of attention in this changing society.

And then the other was leadership effectiveness as it related to gender, ethnicity and even prior professions other than education was something that the paper just touched upon. That should be a part of the dialogue that may exist within specific counties, depending again on the culture and the climate within that school system.

BETTY HALE: Thank you, Cintia. As I said, you've been a wonderful audience and now it's your turn. Did you hear anything that you want to probe? We have two colleagues who are going to run around with microphones so that everyone can hear your questions. Here's a question right here. And why don't you take this one, Mary, right in front of you, and then we'll come back this way?

QUESTION: My name is Dick Rowson. I'm director of the Executive Service Corps in Washington, DC. We supply retired managers as volunteer consultants to school systems, and we help charter schools in Washington, DC.

My question is really to Mr. Nixon about charter schools. Here in Washington charter schools represent an instrument of reform. Perhaps they do not in Arlington. But does the fact that charter schools are an instrument of reform here mean we failed somehow in the public school system, even though these charter schools use public funds and are funded entirely by public funds, or is it a difference in the cultural situation in Washington, DC, as compared to Arlington?

STEVEN NIXON: If you don't mind, I'd rather not comment on the situation in DC, but I will tell you that if we had charter schools in Arlington, Virginia, I would take it as a sign that we had failed; we being the people of Arlington, as well as the school board, but also the general assembly in Richmond. If there isn't enough funding to provide adequate resources for our public schools, and that is primarily I believe what leads to the charter school movement, then we have failed.

The charter school concept seems to take it out of what I view as the democratic model of the elected school board in Arlington. The decisions that are made at the school level should be at least endorsed and ratified, it seems to me, by the school board. The farther you get away from the elected school board, then the farther you get away from the democratic model that we like in Arlington, Virginia.

BETTY HALE: Becky Montgomery from Saint Paul wants to respond to that question also.

BECKY MONTGOMERY: Thank you, Betty.

And first let me preface this by saying that the Saint Paul, Minnesota, school board was the school board to charter the first operating charter school in this nation. And we have chartered I think 18. We also this past spring did not renew the charter of two of our charter schools because of both financial difficulties, plus the students weren't learning, as documented over a period of time, taking a look at a number of indicators, including standardized tests, but a number of indicators.

I think first of all we have to understand that charter school legislation varies from state to state, so it's really hard to say what's happening, for instance in Minnesota is the same thing as what's happening in DC as to what's happening in Wisconsin or in Ohio. So it's important to recognize that charter school legislation varies from state to state.

A lot of charter schools are able to do things. They don't have the same kinds of mandates the public school schools have. And so we're willing to invest some public money in doing things differently, but not allowing the rest of the public schools to do the same thing in terms of relief and waivers from some mandates. And so you've got a bit of difference there.

The charter schools do allow innovation to occur. And frankly there are some school boards and some superintendents that have not allowed innovation to occur within their own school systems, sometimes because they are a school system that has only one school, particularly small school districts; other times because they don't have the resources. And again so often it gets to be a resource issue, a lack of adequate resources from the state legislature to be able to do that kind of innovation, and unfortunately rather than providing the existing school districts the resources for innovation to occur, they will provide it to charter schools.

I think charter schools do have more active parent and teacher involvement, which is something that you see of varying differences in our traditional public school system.

You know, we need to look at charter schools carefully, as we do with all public schools. We need to hold them as accountable for student achievement, as we do the rest of our public schools. And if they're not working, we need to close them.

BETTY HALE: Clifford wants to make a comment, and then we're going to take Glenda's question.

CLIFFORD JANEY: We don't want to have this as a debate about charter schools.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. Thank you.

CLIFFORD JANEY: I think that's what you wanted to say.

I would just like to cite an observation about charter schools that hopefully will give some distinction to what they are and what they are not. For me as a superintendent they represent an opportunity for our principal customers, our parents, to make an informed decision regarding a choice. And I think we owe that to our public and I think parents ought to be given informed choices about the educational direction for their students.

I think if we did anything less than that, I think we would be running the risk of an admission of failure.

To the extent that they are a recognition of failure in public schools, I think we'd have to ask the fundamental question: Have they succeeded? So on the one hand, it's a matter of choice, and I'm a standard bearer in that regard, but on the other hand is it a full recognition that public schools have failed? I would say it's mixed, but the other question needs to be asked, and that is to what extend have charter schools succeeded? And if you can answer that question, I think the equation that you implied earlier might bear out.

BETTY HALE: Thanks, Clifford.


QUESTION: I'm Glenda Partee with the American Youth Policy Forum. I want to continue the discussion not about charters, but really about what Kathleen mentioned initially, which is the tension, which I think happens at different levels of leadership. You mentioned the local school reform effort, the tension with the central administration level and I guess the tension with the wider community vision and all.

Can you speak to how that gets managed, in light of the fact that we've got comprehensive school reform grants going out to individual schools that I think are just sort of franchising certain models, and how do you deal with these things?

KATHLEEN GROVE: Well, I think what we've been able to do is -- and perhaps it's a function of the size; we have 31 schools, so the central office is able to stay in close touch with each of those schools -- is to work with the school directly to identify the problems that the school is experiencing and to work with the school and support its endeavor to find solutions to those problems.

That helps kind of guide and facilitate so that the school is keeping informed the superintendent, the school board, through me frequently in that endeavor, and as they identify solutions they're examined in the larger context.

So it's less likely that someone will kind of go off in some unusual direction that hasn't been discussed. I think that we've had some very creative approaches to addressing problems in individual schools, and that may be the context you're hearing that sounds resistant to charter schools -- or is resistant to charter schools.

We have an early childhood center that is multi-age, that is working with youngsters of many varying backgrounds, incomes and languages. That school developed in part out of community interest, and in part out of a recommendation from the central office to open it, and then through the community and the school staff and the central office support, developed that identity and that format.

We have another elementary school that has a traditional emphasis. It teaches the same curriculum. It uses what we would all in the school system refer to as "best practices" that are listed in our teacher evaluation system. But it varies in the sense that it's a single teacher. There's virtually no pull out, no teaming, required homework. So it has its own identity.

We have a high school that felt that there was too much anonymity amongst the youngsters coming into the school, a school again very diverse, many different income levels and languages, and that school developed a house system, and I worked with that school for two years to develop a ninth grade house system. We provided through the school board additional financial support for the school to address and implement its model. And they look very different from some of our other high schools, but they're teaching the same curriculum. They're addressing the same end goals for our students in terms of how we define success. And they are implementing the same best practices and using the same instructional materials.

So I think the issue is where do you allow difference, how do you support difference and facilitate difference, and what do you maintain as commonality.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. And Kathy just made a comment about 31 schools in Arlington and sort of the personal touch, and I want you just to think, and I'm just going to ask Clifford, how many schools do you have in Rochester?


BETTY HALE: Sixty. So could you do that personal -- you can do it? And how many do you have?


BETTY HALE: One hundred. And it's sort of the question becomes, as you think about the school as a system, how many is too many to do the personal. But you wanted to make a comment, and then hands up again for questions so that we -- all right, we have a question here, right here on the front row, Mary, and then we'll switch and go side to side. But wait, first she wants to make a comment.

BECKY MONTGOMERY: I just want to make one comment, and it goes to what Cliff said in his opening remarks, talking about levels of compliance. Diversity can occur within a school system in terms of differences between buildings, differences in curriculum between buildings, as long as you have a common vision. And I think that's really the critical piece. If you've got that common vision, if you have a strategic plan that's developed around that common vision, it doesn't prohibit individual school buildings from then implementing their own strategic plan or a school improvement plan based on the district strategic plan, based on that common vision.

The critical piece is you've got to have the organization aligned around that strategic plan and vision, and in order for it to work everybody has to buy into it. If you don't have the buy-in, then you get inconsistency and you get chaos and you get different levels of student achievement from building to building.

LIBBY GARVEY: Betty, could I add a little bit, because I'd like to say what we're talking about here is schools. You've got to bring your community along too. And we're "committee-ed" to death in Arlington. It's not a perfect system, but we have what's called the Advisory Council on Instruction, and that has citizens. Some are parents, some are non-parents, and they're broken down by the English curriculum, the Math curriculum, and that is county wide. Those people come together and study what we're doing in all our schools and make recommendations to the school board.

So there's a constant ongoing coming together of the community to talk about issues, and different schools raise issues from time to time. Don't forget the community piece when you're doing this. And if you've got a system built up of committees or whatever -- I say we are "committee-ed" to death -- but it allows people to talk and get the buy-in that you need from your community. It also helps you encourage and bring along community leadership, which is another subject.

BETTY HALE: And I think it's important for this whole conversation to remember that while we are focusing on schools, we are really focusing on a school system or "the" school district. So it's all 60 of Clifford's schools and all 100 of Becky's schools and all 30 of Rob's schools and Libby's schools and Kathy's schools that we're trying to figure out how do you organize for student learning.

LIBBY GARVEY: And the 180,000 citizens.

QUESTION: I'd like to ask about the unions. Have the unions had any effect on any of the school districts that you ladies and gentlemen represent? And is it a beneficial effect or is it some other effect? I'd just like to know what [effect] the two major unions have had on the systems?

BETTY HALE: Could everyone hear the question? He wants to know the unions' impact in the school districts.

CLIFFORD JANEY: Yeah. Let me just first say the union president, the Teachers Union president in Rochester and I are born in the same year and on the same day. (Laughter.)

BETTY HALE: Well, there you have it. It's a zodiac thing.

CLIFFORD JANEY: Case closed. It's the only person I know in the universe, which --

QUESTION: You haven't forgotten his birthday, have you? (Laughter.)

CLIFFORD JANEY: No, we don't forget birthdays.

I think teacher unions in particular have observed the need to be held accountable and to be part of the notion of shared accountability much more recently than in the past, and so much so that in Rochester our contract affords the opportunity of parents to participate in the overall appraisal of teachers. We've created an instrument that is sent out to parents, and they have an opportunity then to reflect upon the quality of the work, and the principal then would take that into consideration as part of the overall evaluation.

That suggests to me that teacher unions, at least the one with which I'm very intimately familiar, are prepared to step forward and see themselves as part of the equation for accountability. And I think it's very refreshing.

BETTY HALE: Becky, you, and then, Rob, you want to say a word?

BECKY MONTGOMERY: Well, again just to echo some of Cliff's remarks, first of all, I think it's important for us to recognize that unions vary depending upon the leadership of that particular union, as well as the climate of the state. And so the situation in one community can be dramatically different than in another community. And we're fortunate in St. Paul and in Minnesota we've got good working relationships with our unions for the most part.

The unions have taken some real leadership in reform efforts, and encouraging their members to become involved in reform efforts. They've also taken leadership in reminding school board members and superintendents about the importance of teachers being involved in reform efforts. And it really is teamwork.

Again, it gets back to having that common vision and having all the key stakeholders, which include teachers and staff within our buildings, as well as the community, it all gets back to having that common vision and working together around the issue of student achievement.


ROBERT SMITH: In Virginia we don't have collective bargaining in education, and we work with an affiliate of the National Education Association, and most of our teachers are, in fact, members of that organization.

Over the past three years, four years the teachers' association has been instrumental in the development of a revised teacher evaluation system, which is based upon the assumption that in the first three years of service teachers need to work on whether or not they can manage their behaviors in the classroom; that is, are they in control of teaching the behaviors and what Kathy would call good instructional practices or best practices. And that becomes the basis for observations and judgments about the effectiveness of teaching.

After the third year, the focus is on improving performance in the classroom on the basis of professional assessments made by individual teachers. And teachers are developing professional development plans, many of which go to issues of their impact on student learning in their particular classrooms. And they'll look at various kinds of methodologies in terms of bringing about the changes in student behaviors that they're after.

It's, I think, a wonderful engine for self-initiated professional development. Throughout the process of developing this particular system, the association was centrally involved and very, very much interested in establishing a system like this. I think our next step will need to be to move toward collegial reviews, something the national associations and union have indicated they're interested in working on. And I think it's important that if we conceive of teaching as a professional enterprise, and I certainly do, then we also need to be involved in professionally reviewing performance of our colleagues.


QUESTION: Hi. My name is Audrey Hutchinson. I'm the new program director for Education and After School Initiatives for the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at the National League of Cities. I'm addressing my question to Mayor Malloy.

First of all, I was very pleased to hear you say that mayors are playing a more active role and they're no longer wallflowers. And we are in the process of launching an initiative to engage mayors and city council members, providing technical assistance to help them become more active in the whole school improvement effort.

My question to you, Mr. Mayor, is what do you see as some of the critical roles mayors can play in the whole school improvement effort?

DANNEL MALLOY: I think there are any number of issues, and one of them may be to translate educational rhetoric down to the citizen level. We've actually had a fair amount of rhetoric take place from this table, terminology which the vast majority of citizens have no understanding of.

And I'm going to make another point and then I'm going to come back to yours. I graduated from a Jesuit university. We were required to take Aristotelian logic and statistics. And what we've seen play out so far here today is a general embracement of this report with a pretty stiff hand saying, "But it's not necessary in our situation."

And I would argue to you that if you presented that scenario to the vast majority of citizens in the United States, they would actually tell you that they're not satisfied with the educational process and systems serving their citizens and their children. We know that because that's what polls tell us. So we have to be very careful about using examples of success to thwart that which I think most of us also know that we need to make some positive change and movement in.

To your question, I think what mayors are being asked on an increasing basis to do is offer an opinion. Citizens look to mayors for reassurance. Are we going in the right direction? Are we getting the biggest bang for our educational buck?

And I think in those cities where mayors have said no, then you've seen a quickening of a step towards certain other systems being built or existing systems being replaced. And where mayors have been embraced in educational reform, and have been embraced by educational existing bureaucracies you see a partnership relationship developed.

So in Stamford, for instance, we now maintain all 19 buildings, the city does, as opposed to the Board of Education. The city, in cooperation with a not-for-profit and with the permission of the school system and their participation, took over the early childhood development program. When I was elected mayor, 36 percent of our children came to kindergarten without a preschool experience. In three years we have that down to 12 percent. That would not have been done if that program had remained the exclusive province of the educational system in the city of Stamford.

I think there are huge opportunities. The after-school programming is not -- those needs aren't going to be met exclusively in the educational system. We shouldn't expect it to be, by the way, but they're not. And coupling and partnering city services, such as recreation, to educational services, which are provided by an educational system, are extremely important.

And one final point I want to make, and that is what I would tell you what I think most Americans understand boards of education to be in, whether elections are, in fact, affirmation of accountability, I would argue they're not. This report indicates that we see in many jurisdictions across the United States participation in education board elections fall to the 10 percent level.

We also know that in most jurisdictions in the United States the last position or near the last position on the ballot is the board of education, and that there is a tremendous drop-off from those people that will turn out for presidential elections or congressional or senate or mayoral or a selectman to board of education.

The American people, through politicians, are saying, "We're unhappy, we're uneasy; do something about it." And what I would argue is there's no reason for the educational infrastructure, bureaucracy and governance models, not to take that information and actually lead the way.

BETTY HALE: Libby, I can feel Libby. (Laughter.) I don't even have to see her. I can feel that she wants in this discussion. Libby, very quickly --

LIBBY GARVEY: I'll try to be quick.

BETTY HALE: -- and then a question here and here.

LIBBY GARVEY: There are polls -- and Dr. Smith reminded me, it's the annual Gallup Poll -- that show that most school jurisdictions, that people think their schools are doing fine; it's everybody else's that are having a problem. It's just like with the Congress. And the gentleman, Mr. Malloy, made some good comments about cooperation and things that need to change. However, we are doing so much right in this country with education. Think about what it was like when you were in school. When I was in school, disabled children didn't exist. Minorities didn't exist. And I went to a lot of ones, a lot of different school systems. We were all very separated.

Calculus was a college course. Physics was a college course. We have upped the bar. We are including everybody in the schools. We are doing a darn good job. The problem is we don't get that news out.

Now, I think it is politically expedient for a lot of people to criticize the public schools in this country, and we're all kind of buying into it. I think we need to step back and look at the facts. There are problems. There are things that need to be fixed. We're doing a lot right. Look at the economy of this country. Does a country like this in the world have an education system that's a failure? Most places in the world would trade their test scores, which we hear praise about, for our economy. We're doing something right.

Now, and I'd like an explanation. I really think we need to be careful before we sort of blanketly criticize everything we're doing, we are doing a heck of a lot right. Let's not snap defeat from the jaws of victory.


STEVEN NIXON: Betty, may I add something at this point?

BETTY HALE: Very quickly, because we've got some people in the audience that want to jump in, Steve.

STEVEN NIXON: My concern with having politicians overly involved in the educational system is -- and I'll define what I mean by that -- is that they try to run the school system. I think there is a fine line, but there is a line between supporting and changing. And I encourage all politicians at any level to support the public school system. That is the foundation of democracy, an educated citizenry. Criticizing it is okay. Changing it can be fine. But it's not a whipping boy. We're all in this together. Obviously Mayor Malloy has successfully observed those two points, so I congratulate him on that, but not all politicians are that good at supporting it and yet helping change it.

BETTY HALE: Okay, let's see. Mary, we had a question here.

QUESTION: Hi. I'm Mark Stricherz with Education Week. And I guess my question is devoted to the urban side of the panel here, and that's that a couple panel members have mentioned the problem with superintendents moving on every couple of years. I was wondering, I guess the report doesn't quite tackle I think to the degree it should about why that's a problem. Do you think it's partly because a lot of the superintendents basically didn't grow up in that town, like the situation like Chicago, the heads of that school board have been there -- or the system have been there since '95 and they all kind of grew up, Vallas and Chico both grew up there, or do you think that it's other reasons that are going on? Because, you know, like some systems like New York and Dallas had a number of superintendents, and it's kind of hard, like the report says, to really bring reforms about when you don't have a superintendent who's been there for a while.

CLIFFORD JANEY: I'll start. I believe everyone who thinks of himself or herself as ready-to-be-superintendent in fact may not be ready. I think there are individuals who over-rate themselves in terms of being prepared for the superintendency. And there's not sufficient amount of reflection prior to making a decision of becoming a superintendent. I think that's one major challenge.

I think there's a second major challenge in the preparatory institutions in this country. I don't believe they have done a good job in preparing individuals for the superintendency, given what we have to do and how we have to stay focused on our work, particularly in urban districts.

And then thirdly, once an individual becomes fortunate enough to serve the public as a superintendent, there isn't sufficient systems or relationships within districts or between districts or other entities to develop that person over time. We have been able to do so, I think, in the teacher leadership area. We're continuing to do so working with principals. But when it comes to the superintendency, it's at best a chance operation. That is to say, individuals are able to find out and admit what they don't know without that appearing to be a risk for himself or herself. Too often there is not an admission of what we don't know and people continue to think that you can proceed on some path of success without an acknowledgement of what you don't know.

And I think those are the three -- for me those are the three main reasons: insufficient individual reflection, inadequate preparation by institutions and thirdly, there isn't a professional development system in place; it happens by chance.

BETTY HALE: I want to ask the mayor to respond to that, since in his opening remarks he talked about school boards hiring superintendents without really understanding for what purposes they were hiring these people.

DANNEL MALLOY: I'll take a slightly different tack. I've participated in three searches for superintendents. There comes a point where you enter into a contract with superintendents. On most of those contracts there's not 15 pages devoted to expectations. There's not a common agreement that boards sign as to what those expectations are and how they'll measure them. They have to do with what services the superintendent is going to provide, not what leadership or services the board of education is going to provide.

So we think about this thing in somewhat backward terms. That's tradition. That's how we contract in the United States.

But what I would say to you is that there is a real expectations problem. And particularly when you move someone from another community into a new community, where they don't have the political tools that might otherwise exist from having grown up in that community or having spent substantial amounts of time there, it becomes even more acute, the breakdown or the potential breakdown, and how rapidly that can take place when those tools aren't there.

Having said all of that, there are success stories and there are people who have left one job. In fact, in our report we talk about Mr. Alvarado, who had success as a district superintendent in two different districts in New York City, went on to be chancellor and many would argue was not successful and some would argue was successful there, and is now the educational equivalent of the superintendent -- there's an operational side -- in San Diego. So I think that a different situation, we can't make easy and snap judgments about whether we can predict success in big urban systems based on whether the person comes from in or outside the system.

I will also say one final thing. Having participated in three such searches, the talent pool, quite frankly, is insufficient to meet the needs of very diverse systems. Most superintendent candidates who go into diverse situations have not grown up in diverse situations. That's a reality. And in the three searches that I participated in, from my community, which is a system, which is an extremely diverse system, a small minority of the candidates actually had similar experience to what would be required in a diverse system.

BETTY HALE: A question over here?

QUESTION: Thanks, Betty. I'm Peggy Siegel with the National Alliance of Business. And [I'm] kind of mulling over some of the things the consensus on the panel, in terms of focus and vision and instructional focus, et cetera, in terms of leadership, and I want to pose an idea to you and get your response in moving toward the how-do-we-do-that, how do we build consensus. And it has to do with the leaders' role in data-based decision-making, building a culture that really informs people about what we know, whose role it is to do things, how to format the information to build awareness in the community, educate the community and provide input from the community, and also identify gaps that we don't know so things other than data come in there to start to drive decision-making.

Many of you, Dr. Smith and Dr. Janey have mentioned that, I think, in terms of building a collaborative culture, a learning organization. Certainly the report does that. But I think one of the things that we have to stress in our leadership is the leaders at all levels having a responsibility to provide an opportunity for data-based decision-making to drive decisions as a collaborative, long-term improvement strategy.

And I was wondering if any of you would comment on that as well. Thank you.

KATHLEEN GROVE: I'd like to comment on that, because I've been sitting here thinking about Mayor Malloy's comments about preschool. They resonated with me, because we are engaged right now in -- and I say "we," everyone up here at this table -- engaged at looking at the preschool issues in Arlington and how have we gone about that.

Well, first we've looked at data that do indicate that given that about over 50 percent of our entering kindergartners qualify for free/reduced lunch, and over 50 percent of our entering kindergartners speak English as a second language. We have test data to indicate that those youngsters are coming into kindergarten not ready, and it is test data.

But then you need to raise that issue that comes up from the principals, identified by the central office also from test data, and the specialists in early childhood, communicate that back out to the community that this is an issue that we need to address.

And so we pulled together a group of community leaders, all the people we could think of that had a stake in early childhood education in the community, the private daycare providers, the members on our early childhood advisory committee, many of whom are parents who have chosen to have one parent stay at home and it's very important to them that we not have mandatory programs for four-year olds. And so we need to be respectful of all the settings that four-year olds find themselves in and that those families choose. And so we engage in a discussion. It's time consuming. But we keep putting the information out and bringing the information back.

Then we develop a draft policy for the board to consider that sets the goals for a preschool education program. We send that out to all the stakeholders.

We meet with people who might be a little threatened by that, such as Head Start, "What's my role in this versus the public school system's role, because Head Start is not part of our public school system?"

So we have small caucus meetings, large task force meetings. The board argues over the policy during an evening, debates it, whatever euphemism you want to use, and then we go back and we redraft the policy to better represent what the board is saying and what the community is saying through the board. And then that policy goes back out to all the stakeholders. And the policy tries to respect the fact that not every family wants their child to have a preschool experience, but we need to provide preschool experiences for those youngsters who are not coming into school ready to learn, and for those families, low-income and high income, who want a preschool experience.

And we're now in the process of, I hope, adopting a final policy from the board that then we as a school system will seek to implement, but we will continue to do it collaboratively with the community, and we will recognize the appropriateness of a variety of settings, both the private setting and the public setting.

So I think it's in microcosm an example of what you were speaking of and an example of how a public school system with a lot of community involvement can address a problem that's been identified.

BETTY HALE: And I want to ask a question. It seems to me that one of the issues that the mayor is talking about in terms of the jargon is even the use of the term "data-driven decisions." The National Clearing House on Comprehensive School Reform has just produced a little document called "Unlocking the Nine Components of Comprehensive School Reform." It is a very fine document, but someone said, "What person in any community would know what comprehensive school reform is?" Or actually they didn't even say that, they just said "CSR." So we need to remember that we're trying to communicate with diverse people.

We have a question here, Mary.

QUESTION: I'm Erica Landberg and I work with DC Voice, which is a fairly new education reform collaborative here in Washington, DC. I'd like to go back to this business of superintendent tenure and push it a little farther. We've been very concerned, since we're here in DC, in this last year that when new superintendents come in they all too often are seen as someone coming in with their own bag of tricks and the school system is a blank slate on which they can write. What is already in place may not be valued. What is good there may not be valued. And it's been an extreme concern here in Washington, DC. It's terribly demoralizing for the existing staff, and I would posit for the community itself.

So I'd like to hear comments from anyone about this. We seem to be still in this time of revolving superintendencies. And if that is happening, how can we still have some continuity that keeps what is good going?

And just parenthetically, DC Voice has always been concerned about systems thinking. If we keep just making the changes at the top, like the top of an iceberg, and don't look below that waterline at the middle models instructors below, the top gets done in within 2.3 years. So any comments about that?

DANNEL MALLOY: I want to grab that real quick, if I can, because it really highlights much of what our report says. And if that's the situation -- and I don't actually know whether that's the situation in Washington. I don't know enough about the system. But if that's the situation that plays itself out truthfully in the system, the board did a bad hiring job. That's what we're saying. If you hire people who throw out the baby with the bathwater, you made the wrong decision.

And we're saying that in many ways that wrong decision was made because the process was flawed, because there was not a commonality of understanding of goals, there was not a measurement tool agreed to.

And I think that that's in part what we're talking about: how you can guarantee anybody can do a job. Well, we can't really guarantee that, but we can at least start at the same place. And what we're observing, or many of us were observing, is that's not where boards of education and superintendents are necessarily starting, and in many cases people are being hired ill-prepared for the challenges that present themselves. And one of those challenges, by the way, is to build on what is good and to change what is bad.

BETTY HALE: Do you want to respond too? Cliff and then Rob.

ROBERT SMITH: I'll just build on that, because I essentially agree with the comment that was just made. I think that school boards when they look for a new superintendent need to look at their organizations and their school systems as a teacher looks at a child. And you work with the strengths and you build on the strengths. If you start working with a deficit model immediately you're going to fix all the ills or change everything, because everything's broken. I don't think that's typically the case. I was fortunate in that I came into a school system with a long history and a long tradition of excellence, and so that clearly the school board that employed me asked me to build on those strengths, and that was the approach.

I think too often folks who get elected to positions decide they need to make their mark and they need to make their mark by showing fast, quick -- that's redundant -- change. And they do that by assuming that everything that's gone on before somehow has not served them well, and I think that's typically not the case.

BETTY HALE: Clifford.

CLIFFORD JANEY: Yeah, I would agree with what the mayor said with respect to the point about preparation.

I also would add though that there are times when there's been so much of what has not gone right for all of the children, and there are stories of success, of pockets and individuals and families, that the stakes become so high that there is an expectation that allows the community to demonstrate some failure because individuals then will over-promise and under-deliver.

And what needs to occur I think in this process is not only trying to create a match between where the individual is at this point in his or her development and where the overall community is and the schools that reside in that community in creating this match, but look at what life should resemble down the line, and then put that into the process. I mean, what is it that Washington, DC, ought to look like in its systems, in its organizations? What changes ought to occur after a period of time, four or five years or so, and then begin to establish a set of inquiries about creating this match.

Just to look at what has occurred over time won't get you the kind of picture organizationally or within the broader public or instructionally, as the report affirmed as key aspects of leadership, won't get you what life will look like, and it won't be a path of legacy, because that's what I think you need to really focus on and not looking at paper credentials and not looking at stories and not looking at it from an ethnographic point of view. It really has to be a keen, sharp, deliberate process to create this match.

And everything isn't portable. What one did in one community isn't necessarily going to be portable in the next community. And I think it's really all about a match at that point in time in that person's development, and at that point in time of that community's development. And therein lies the challenge and opportunity.

BETTY HALE: Becky wants to say one thing. Libby wants to say something, and we've got a final question in the rear of the room. Is that correct, Denise? And then we're turning this back to Michael.

BECKY MONTGOMERY: Just to build on what both Dannel and Cliff said, not only is the match critical, but what that new superintendent does within their first 100 days is critical too. In my observation in looking at superintendencies and superintendents that have been successful, particularly as they come into a new district, one of the key things that they have done is engage, immediately engage the public.

There has been a lot of work done prior to their hiring to make sure that they're a match to that community, that they're what the community needs and wants, as well as the board, and there's alignment between the board and community, and then they take it, as they come into a district, take it a step further and engage in a strategic planning process with the community right away, building on what's already been put in place, building on the successes that are occurring in the district, and then taking the district to the next level.

Again, it's that common vision, common understanding, those expectations, which are real clear. That's critical to a superintendent's success.

LIBBY GARVEY: And I think finally to say it is also important, as you said, to focus on what's good and what we're doing right, and that's really difficult. People get elected because they're going to change things. That's why I was elected. I'm one of those people who would not have been appointed. And everybody expects change. And as somebody in my position, one of the most difficult things to do is to try and then talk about it being positive. "Hey, we elected you to change things, and it's all bad, and that's what you were talking about when you got elected; and hey, what's happened? It's been two months. This new superintendent's come in; it's been six months; nothing's happened." And that's a lot of pressure that school boards are under and that's some of the support I think this organization could provide, how to do positive leadership, because we've gotten to a very negative time.

BETTY HALE: This is our final question in the rear of the room. Thank you, sir.

QUESTION: I'm Al Bennett. I'm a consultant with NCREL and a professor of educational administration. And over the last several years we've seen some well publicized instances of superintendents sharing. And I wanted to know whether or not this distributed leadership, where we have two different people doing the same job, is a trend or it's an anomaly.

BETTY HALE: Who wants to take a shot at that? Becky?

BECKY MONTGOMERY: You know, I think that's a good question. I don't think that there's really a good answer in that. Whatever works for the community is what needs to work. And I don't necessarily see them as duplicative, doing the same thing. What I see is you've got one person really as a leader. And my personal bias is I think you need to have one person that ultimately is held responsible. I think having one person who is doing the operation piece and the public engagement piece, and then another person focusing on the academic piece is a model that may be proved to be successful in many communities, but again what you're looking at is what's the fit for that community.

In St. Paul we have an educator who is doing it all. We have an assistant superintendent, or we're actually now moving to a chief operation officer, and I think that will work for us. What needs to be the focus of all of this is student learning, student achievement, and then developing a structure that fits within your community so that you can stay focused on student achievement and you continue to work to make sure that all students are achieving.

CLIFFORD JANEY: My own view -- and I'm going to speak first as a parent of five children, and then secondly as a superintendent in my sixth year in Rochester. As a parent, I think it's a bad idea. I think it's a bad idea because if I go to my son's school, I want to speak to someone who won't refer me to somebody else, won't refer me to the education person at that school and I think the principal has that responsibility educationally. And I do believe the superintendent or the CEO also has that responsibility, and I don't think you can refer to that to somebody else when you go to the public, as I do annually, and give a state of the education report to the public and go over the challenges, go over the points that we did not hit in terms of our benchmarking process, and also identify those benchmarks we did reach. I'm the person who needs to be held to account publicly for that, and I'm the person who needs to be held to account privately. It doesn't mean I don't share responsibility for that in the organization; I do.

If the question was in this direction, I think the notion of having it split or divided is a very different notion of having it distributed or shared. But I think it's a bad idea if it gets to the point where you've got to talk to my deputy or you've got to talk to my assistant principal about your child's worth or your child's portfolio at this point in time. And I apologize for that word "portfolio." I know it's not in line with --

BETTY HALE: You need to tell your partner over there.


DANNEL MALLOY: I just want one minute on this subject, and I wanted to use it to make a point. I think that if educators over time are successful in pushing politicians out of at least their perceived role as forcing change in education, and I think that's what they have right now -- certainly discussions in Washington would indicate that -- if, in fact, they're successful at doing it, it's probably not going to happen because of people who currently hold superintendencies. It's going to happen because of new ways of thinking. And it will happen, I think, in part at the universities, where new degrees are granted to people who are thinking in different ways. And since universities now increasingly are run on a shared system, differences between the presidency and the chancellor and the deanship, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't see more of that model being taught to future administrators, and as a result that model becomes more popular, not that it will necessarily become dominant, but I would expect that it will become more popular because, in fact, that's what's going on where degrees are being granted, and that's the new background.

CLIFFORD JANEY: In my preparation for the superintendency, I had a quality experience with the Superintendents Prepared initiative, which started here in Washington, DC. And I remember we were at the Center of Educational Leadership in North Carolina. Each one of us in the cohort group that I started with, each one of us had either a psychologist or a psychiatrist assigned to us. And they reflected upon how we were on this learning path in preparation for the superintendency. And some of the members of my group decided that the superintendency wasn't for them, and that was a good decision for children and for the public.

But the other thing I think I did deliberately, and I want to build on the mayor's point, I took part of my program at Boston University in the School of Management, and I also took all of my quantitative courses in the Liberal Arts College. I didn't take them deliberately in the School of Ed. And there's a different ballgame when you're studying probabilities and statistics from a mathematician as opposed to someone who's an ed researcher.

And I think it talks about the ways by which you need to build and cull development programs and preparation programs for the new superintendency. And I haven't even talked about the environmental contexts of working with mayors and city councils and delegations to your legislature. But these programs need to be dramatically changed, and it has to be deliberate and not accidental.

BETTY HALE: Thank you. We are going to end where we began. It is the constant dance between doing these jobs and thinking about these jobs, and I think that there have been some very important themes, as well as some very important messages that have been conveyed. The subsequent and I think real question is: Can a nationally generated report be used at the state and local levels to help people just like us who live other places have conversations that may lead to improvement? And every person here at this table has certainly, I think, helped us identify what some of those questions are.

On behalf of the Institute for Educational Leadership, I thank you. I turn this back to Michael Usdan.

MICHAEL USDAN: I will be very brief. It would be presumptuous to try to summarize a very rich discussion. But just segueing from Betty's point, I think the discussion this morning reaffirmed our strategy, if you will, in terms of the infinite variety and diversity of American education of trying to spin this out to local and regional communities.

I'd like to certainly thank the task force -- Becky, Cliff and Dannel -- for so well representing their colleagues on the task force.

I'd certainly like to thank our neighbors from across the river in Arlington County. I haven't been asked by the Chamber of Commerce to say this, but, my goodness, if more school districts had passionate advocates of public education as represented by these five, we'd be probably ahead of the game.

I'd like to thank my colleague Betty Hale for doing her customary consummate job of moderating sessions. Betty overcomes her innate shyness brilliantly in these kinds of functions.

I neglected in my opening comments to mention two other components of our 21st Century Leadership Initiative that I think relate very directly to a lot of the discussion this morning. We will be publishing as part of the program the next couple of months a brief that will be written by Larry Cuban, a professor at Stanford University. Many of you have probably read Larry's work through the years -- pardon me?

COMMENT: [Off-mike.]

MICHAEL USDAN: [Larry Cuban was] A former superintendent in Arlington. Thank you very much. It's very, very incestuous, this world that we're all part of.

And what Larry is going to do, and it really relates to the size issue that was raised, one school district with 30 schools, 60 schools, 90 schools in St. Paul, Larry's going to take a cut at what distinguishes the urban context in leadership from other districts.

Some of us feel that some of the strategies that have been employed by some of the education reformers have basically been shotgun strategies that are predicated on some of the particular problems of size, scope, bureaucracy of the larger districts.

And so this report I think can be very, very helpful. Larry is one of the handful of academics whose lives have been leavened by the kind of experience of running a very diverse school system.

And secondly, we also are undertaking a set of six case studies of large urban districts in which two major macro-governance changes have been underway. Either cities where the majors have become much, much more proactive, very congruent with what Mayor Malloy was discussing today -- Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia -- and also we'll be doing case studies of two cities that have hired non-traditional superintendents, San Diego and Seattle. And also as part of this six-city case study, we'll also be doing Baltimore, which has had a particular history of mayor involvement through the years and now state involvement.

I'm going to speculate about the dates for our future meetings, because as some of you know these dates constantly seem to be changing, but we have tentatively scheduled April 12th [date has now been confirmed for April 19th] for the teacher as a leader task force report, and May 17th for the state task force report, which both of these sessions will be held here at the National Press Club. And let me remind you that we will have transcripts of these forums that will be posted on the 21st Century Project's Website, which is part of, the Institute's Website. Did I say that right, Denise? I missed one "W," okay. For me, that's very good.

Thank you all very, very much for joining us and we thank the panelists again.