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As Congress Weighs Additional Funding, DeVos Suggests Schools That Stay Closed Don’t Need More Federal Relief

As Congress Weighs Additional Funding, DeVos Suggests Schools That Stay Closed Don’t Need More Federal Relief

In light of the increasing number of school districts opting for remote learning this fall, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has emphasized that keeping schools closed will impact negotiations for the next pandemic relief package.

During a conversation with faith-based school leaders on Wednesday, DeVos expressed her belief that districts choosing to keep their schools closed should not receive additional funding. Instead, she suggested that the funding should be given to parents who should have the ability to choose a faith-based education option for their children.

As Congress resumes its activities on Monday after a break, there will be pressure on the Senate to address the latest federal relief package, known as the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which was passed by the House in mid-May. However, the ongoing debate on school reopening is likely to complicate efforts to secure additional funding.

Marguerite Roza, the director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, highlights the real tension surrounding the decisions on school reopening while the discussion around funding continues. Online learning often requires a significant investment, leaving less resources available for other purposes.

Some district leaders have reported that remote teaching is actually more expensive than in-person instruction. This was particularly true during the spring, when schools had to purchase and distribute devices, provide internet access, and train teachers quickly in virtual instruction. Many districts also had to provide hazard pay for staff members who continued working in school buildings.

Laura Preston, a legislative advocate with the Association of California School Administrators, explains that these costs were enormous and had to be incurred without prior budgeting.

Looking ahead, the costliest options are likely to be hybrid models that combine online learning with in-person instruction. Many state and local officials seem to favor this approach. However, hybrid models can lead to increased costs as districts must implement safety protocols in school buildings while simultaneously conducting online classes. Additionally, double shifts and the need for additional bus routes can further add to the expenses.

For instance, the Milwaukee Public Schools estimate that their hybrid plan would require an additional $90 million in funding.

DeVos’s comments to faith-based school leaders align with President Donald Trump’s tweets from the previous week, indicating that he may cut off funding if schools remained closed. DeVos reinforced this stance in an interview, emphasizing that schools should be fully operational and open.

Despite the administration’s position, more and more school districts are rejecting the idea due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Wyoming state Superintendent Jillian Balow, the current president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, urges fellow state chiefs to prioritize what is best for the students rather than be swayed by the politics of reopening.

The administration has hinted that it will utilize the relief package to advocate for its Education Freedom Scholarships plan, a tax-credit system akin to the Montana program recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, DeVos’s plan has faced resistance in Congress. Noelle Ellerson Ng from AASA, The School Superintendents Association, suggests that the Secretary might view the next relief package as her final opportunity to achieve anything regarding school choice in this administration.

During the call with faith-based leaders, DeVos also discussed her intention for K-12 districts to share funds with private schools. She suggested that these funds could be used for health and safety procedures.

DeVos assured attendees that the administration would fight against any bias or discrimination against people of faith. Under current federal law, districts use Title I funds to provide services for low-income students in private schools. However, DeVos’s plan would require districts to share the funding allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with all students attending private schools in the district’s geographic area. She reiterated this point during the call, emphasizing that all students were affected by the pandemic and should benefit from the emergency funds.

Education groups argue that this broader interpretation, which would allocate more money to private schools, goes against the original purpose of federal law. Five states and the District of Columbia have recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging this rule.

The current version of the HEROES Act has proposed changes to the interpretation of the "equitable services" rule in the previous relief package passed in March.

Florida is being referred to as "ground zero" due to the significant increase in coronavirus cases. The HEROES Act includes funding of nearly $60 billion for K-12 schools to cover various expenses related to teaching, student services, and school operations. However, this amount is far less than what the state chiefs organization estimates is necessary to safely reopen school buildings, which is estimated to be between $158 billion and $244 billion.

Steve Gallon III, the vice chair of Miami-Dade County Schools, emphasized the need for additional resources to limit the spread of COVID-19. He estimated that the district would require an additional $65 million to $85 million for personal protective equipment (PPE), transportation, and custodial staff.

Additionally, the HEROES Act includes $875 billion in flexible funding for states, cities, and counties. This funding not only benefits businesses but also supports schools.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that schools will be a priority in the next stimulus deal. However, he has described the HEROES Act as an unrealistic wish list from House Democrats.

Superintendents are concerned about liability and are hoping for legal protections as well as flexible timelines for providing special education services. The number of lawsuits against districts due to the lack of services for special education students has increased.

Parent advocacy groups are pushing for specific requirements in distance learning plans, which include live interaction with teachers, assessments, feedback on student work, and access to proper technology.

Districts are still addressing teachers’ concerns about reopening, and some unions have yet to agree on a plan. Different states have proposed phased-in reopening plans, while others are advocating for a virtual start to the year.

While a new relief package is being considered, many districts have yet to receive funds from the previous package, including the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Only a small percentage of the promised funds have reached districts so far.

States are planning to use the flexible fund provided by the CARES Act to improve their distance learning systems, primarily focusing on devices, internet access, and virtual learning platforms. Reports on the usage of these funds are expected to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

Overall, districts and schools are facing various challenges and financial constraints as they navigate the reopening process and adapt to the needs of students during the ongoing pandemic.

The department required states to commit to maintaining their current spending on education in order to receive the stabilization funds. This was one of the reasons why Wyoming was the last state to apply for federal aid. According to Balow, it was a difficult guarantee to make.

However, states will have the option to request a waiver from this requirement if they experience significant decreases in revenue. Balow believes that this will be a major concern for many states as they face funding shortfalls.

While President Trump has been pushing for schools to reopen, he has not paid much attention to the child care industry, which is seen as crucial for economic recovery by advocates and Democrats.

The HEROES Act allocates $7 billion for child care, but advocates argue that $50 billion is needed to rebuild the system, as many providers are at risk of permanent closure. This $50 billion figure is also proposed in the Child Care Is Essential Act, sponsored by Senator Patty Murray and other Democrats.

Recently, Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Lamar Alexander introduced the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act, which would provide assistance to child care providers for nine months as they reopen. The exact funding amount would be determined through the appropriations process.

Senator Alexander emphasized the importance of child care for working parents, stating that without safe child care options, parents cannot go to work.

However, Senator Murray criticized this proposal, claiming that it is insufficient to address the current crisis.

The HEROES Act also includes $3 billion for child nutrition programs to compensate for the losses experienced by school meal programs during school closures. The School Nutrition Association has called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend waivers that have allowed schools to operate grab-and-go meal sites, have flexibility in menu options, and distribute meals in more locations.

In summary, the Department of Education requires states to maintain their education spending to receive stabilization funds, with waivers available for states facing revenue declines. The child care industry, seen as crucial to economic recovery, has received less attention from President Trump. Different proposals, such as the HEROES Act and the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act, aim to provide funding for child care providers. Additionally, the HEROES Act includes funding for child nutrition programs, and the School Nutrition Association is advocating for waivers to continue providing free meals to students.

How To Write A Life Goal Essay

A life goal essay is an essay that describes your long-term goals and how you plan to achieve them. It is important to be clear and specific when writing this type of essay, and to outline your goals in a way that is measurable and achievable.

When writing a life goal essay, you should start by describing your long-term goals. What are you hoping to achieve in your professional and personal life? Are there any specific things you want to accomplish? Once you have outlined your goals, you should then describe how you plan to achieve them. What steps do you need to take to reach your target?

It is important to be realistic when writing a life goal essay. Your goals should be achievable and measurable, and you should have a clear plan of action for reaching them. You should also be prepared to adjust your goals as you progress towards them.

The best way to approach writing a life goal essay is to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Start by outlining your long-term goals, and then describe how you plan to achieve them. Once you have a clear plan in place, you can start taking steps towards reaching your targets.

Understanding the Purpose of a Life Goal Essay

When tasked with writing a life goal essay, many students feel overwhelmed. They know they want to succeed in life, but they don’t know how to articulate their goals in a way that will impress their teacher.

In order to write a life goal essay that will be effective, it is important to understand the purpose of this type of assignment. This type of essay is designed to help a student reflect on their life goals and to articulate what they hope to achieve.

The best way to approach this type of essay is to start by brainstorming. Jot down all of the things that you hope to achieve in life. Don’t worry about whether or not they are realistic at this point. Just write down everything that comes to mind.

Once you have a list of your goals, it is time to start sorting them. Which goals are the most important to you? Which ones are you most passionate about? Which ones do you think are most achievable?

Once you have sorted your goals, it is time to start writing your essay. The introduction should be brief, but it should introduce your topic and explain why it is important to you. The body of the essay should be devoted to explaining your goals in detail. Be sure to explain why each goal is important to you and how you plan to achieve it. The conclusion should summarize your essay and reaffirm your commitment to achieving your goals.

When writing a life goal essay, it is important to be honest and authentic. This essay is designed to help you reflect on your goals, so don’t be afraid to be honest about what you want to achieve. Be sure to stay positive and focus on what you hope to achieve, rather than what you don’t want to happen.

A life goal essay can be a valuable tool in helping you achieve your goals. If you take the time to write it properly, it can be a powerful tool in helping you stay focused and motivated.

Reflecting on Your Personal Goals and Aspirations

When it comes to writing a life goal essay, the first step is to take some time to reflect on your personal goals and aspirations. What are you working towards? What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? What are you most passionate about? What are you most afraid of?

Once you have a clear idea of what you want, the next step is to start writing. Your essay should be structured like a standard essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion. In the introduction, you should introduce your topic and briefly explain why it’s important to you. In the body, you should discuss your goals in detail, explaining why each one is important to you and how you plan to achieve them. In the conclusion, you should summarize your goals and explain why they matter to you.

When writing your essay, be sure to stay positive and optimistic. Remember, you’re writing about your goals, not your failures. Be confident in your ability to achieve them and don’t be afraid to dream big.

For help refining and optimizing a life goals essay for an MBA program application, consider utilizing an mba essay writing service. Their experienced writers can ensure your essay aligns with your target school’s values.

The most important thing to remember when writing a life goal essay is to be honest and authentic. The essay should reflect who you are and what you want out of life. So don’t be afraid to be yourself, and let your goals and aspirations shine through.

Setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) Goals

Setting goals is an important part of any successful person’s life. But writing effective life goal essays can be tricky.

To make sure your essay is on track, be sure to use the SMART goal setting method. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Specific: When setting a goal, be as specific as possible. This will make it easier to measure your progress and stay on track.

Measurable: Make sure your goal can be quantified in some way. This will help you to track your progress and stay motivated.

Achievable: Make sure your goal is something you can actually achieve. This will help to avoid disappointment and frustration.

Relevant: Make sure your goal is relevant to your life and your overall goals.

Time-bound: Set a deadline for your goal and make sure it’s something you can realistically achieve in the allotted time.

When putting these five factors together, you will have a SMART goal. Here’s an example:

I want to be able to bench press 100 pounds by the end of the month.

This is a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal.

Structuring Your Life Goal Essay for Clarity and Impact

When writing a life goal essay, it’s important to be clear and concise in order to make a strong impact. The essay should be structured in a way that allows the reader to easily follow your thought process. Here are three tips for structuring your life goal essay:

1. Start with a strong introduction

Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention and introduce your main point. It’s important to be clear and specific in your introduction, so the reader knows what to expect from the essay.

2. Develop your argument

The body of your essay should develop your argument step-by-step. Each point should be clearly illustrated and supported by evidence. Make sure your argument is well-organized and easy to follow.

3. Summarize your argument

Your conclusion should summarize your argument and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your point of view. It’s important to be succinct and to the point in your conclusion.

Describing Your Action Plan and Strategies to Achieve Your Goals

A life goal essay is a paper that you write to describe your action plan and strategies to achieve your goals. It is important to be very specific when writing this type of essay, as it will help you stay on track and achieve your goals.

The first step in writing a life goal essay is to come up with a list of goals. These can be anything from becoming a millionaire to learning a new skill. Once you have a list of goals, you need to prioritize them and choose the one that you would like to focus on.

Next, you need to come up with a plan of action for how you will achieve your goal. This should be a specific, step-by-step plan that will help you reach your goal. Make sure to include a timeline for your plan, as this will help you stay on track.

Finally, you need to come up with a strategy for staying motivated. This can be anything from setting a goal for yourself to writing down your progress each week. Whatever works for you, make sure to stick to it so you can achieve your goal.

When writing a life goal essay, it is important to be honest with yourself. Make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable, and be prepared to put in the work to achieve them. If you are willing to commit to your goal and put in the effort, you will be successful.

Polishing Your Life Goal Essay with Editing and Revision

A life goal essay is an essay that you write to articulate and clarify your goals for the future. It can be helpful to think of this essay as an opportunity to clarify your thinking and to explain your goals to yourself and to others. When you are writing your life goal essay, be sure to focus on your specific goals and not on generalized statements. Also, be sure to explain why your goals are important to you and how you plan to achieve them.

One of the most important things to remember when writing your life goal essay is to be clear and concise. Make sure that your goals are specific and measurable, and be sure to explain why they are important to you. Also, be sure to explain how you plan to achieve your goals.

When editing and revising your life goal essay, be sure to focus on making your essay clear and concise. Make sure that your goals are specific and measurable, and be sure to explain why they are important to you. Also, be sure to explain how you plan to achieve your goals. Finally, be sure to proofread your essay for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Week’s Events Herald Debate On Federal K-12 Policies

The topic of the federal government’s involvement in schools was widely debated last week, giving a preview of the discussions that will likely occur this year as Congress renews the main federal K-12 education law. Three Republican governors urged Congress to reconsider federal involvement in schools by granting states more power to fulfill their explicit constitutional duty. "Allow us more flexibility so that federal programs and funding complement and integrate with our state reforms," said Gov. Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey during a Senate hearing on February 23.

In a separate development, a influential senator proposed a significant increase in federal education spending, but suggested that the funds should be given directly to states in the form of block grants. A conservative research group also released a report criticizing current federal policies and proposing alternative solutions.

These calls for change come as Congress prepares to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is the main education policy of the federal government. As the debate progresses, observers believe that a key issue will be how, if at all, the federal government’s involvement in K-12 schooling should be reshaped.

During the National Governors’ Association’s winter meeting, governors visited Congress and the White House to advocate for freedom from federal regulations at a time when President Clinton is proposing to tie federal funding to school performance mandates. In a speech to the governors on February 22, President Clinton outlined his vision for the federal role in education. He argued that the federal government should provide more flexibility while demanding greater accountability. He stated, "We should not allow schools to fail year after year."

At the Senate hearing, Michigan Governor John Engler urged senators to provide block grants to states instead of setting specific priorities for how grant dollars should be spent. He said, "I urge you to allow policies to be set and money to be spent at the state level." However, Engler also suggested a "Super Ed Flex" plan as an alternative, which would give states broad flexibility in applying regulations in exchange for guaranteeing results.

In a surprising twist, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici proposed a 40 percent increase in federal education spending over five years. Although details of the plan were not provided, the additional funds would be given to states in the form of direct block grants.

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation also entered the debate by releasing a report called "New Directions: Federal Education Policy in the 21st Century." The report includes contributions from scholars, journalists, and state and local officials, with the aim of generating fresh ideas about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the federal role in education. According to the foundation’s president, Chester E. Finn Jr., the current programs under the ESEA are outdated, ineffective, and in many ways harmful.

In the report, Diane Ravitch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Manhattan Institute, suggests a direct way to reform Title I, the largest program within the ESEA. She proposes converting the $8 billion program into a "portable entitlement" that would allow funding to follow a student to the school or tutor of their choice. Title I currently provides aid to schools with high concentrations of students from low-income households.

Your assignment is to rephrase the entire text using improved vocabulary and natural language while ensuring uniqueness. The resulting text should be in English. Here is the initial text for you to revise:

"Rewriting the text with enhanced language and ensuring originality in English is your given task."

Unions’ Positions Unheeded On ESEA

The congressman openly sought assistance from the country’s largest teachers’ unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), in developing the "No Child Left Behind" Act in 2001. He asked for their guidance on improving failing schools and utilized their research on professional development programs for teachers. The congressman also sought their help in defining the terms "highly qualified" teachers and "scientifically based" research, which were important considerations in the reauthorization of the federal law on K-12 education.

According to a congressional aide, the unions’ influence was valued because of their expertise and knowledge about the education system. Interviews with experts and policymakers revealed that many members of Congress turned to the NEA and AFT for advice when drafting the legislation. However, it was noted that only a few actually followed their recommendations this time.

It was also observed that there was a widespread perception that the unions were resistant to change or unwilling to offer meaningful alternatives. One Democratic aide stated that although Americans were demanding education reform, both the White House and Congress were determined to deliver regardless of the unions’ involvement.

As a result, there are few indications of the unions’ influence in the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was championed by President Bush and passed with bipartisan support. Despite being a significant force in shaping education policy, the unions had only a few victories and many losses in relation to this important federal legislation. They did not formally endorse the measure, despite making polite statements praising certain aspects of it. Now, the unions must rely on the states to implement the law according to their preferences.

According to Jack Jennings, a former education aide and director of a research group, the unions and the teachers they represent experienced a major defeat with the legislation. He noted that while the unions hold significant power in elementary and secondary education, the current climate demands more accountability, which clashed with their interests.

The reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes Title I, the flagship federal program for disadvantaged students, as well as a new accountability system for public schools. It mandates annual tests in reading and math for grades 3-8, requires progress towards academic proficiency for all students within 12 years, imposes penalties on low-performing schools, and calls for highly qualified teachers in every classroom. Additionally, the accompanying spending bill provided the largest increase in federal education aid to date.

Despite the broad support the legislation received in Congress, the unions had a relatively indifferent response. Charlotte Fraas, the legislative director of the AFT, stated that they neither overtly supported nor objected to the law and acknowledged both positive aspects and desired changes.

However, the unions had already been brainstorming strategies to influence the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act long before the actual debate began, during the Clinton administration.

Building Momentum

A lobbyist, who wishes to remain anonymous, recounted an experience with Joel Packer, a lobbyist for the National Education Association (NEA). During a legislative markup session with Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, the lobbyist observed Packer standing behind her while her own staffer struggled to answer her technical questions. This highlights the level of expertise possessed by lobbyists like Packer.

The unions also relied on their members in state and local affiliates to help lobby lawmakers in their respective districts, advocating for their desired provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The NEA, for instance, utilized its list of 90,000 to 100,000 "cyber lobbyists" by regularly sending them emails before critical points in the negotiations, in the hope that they would communicate with their elected representatives.

Furthermore, the unions made significant contributions to candidates who supported their positions on the ESEA. During the 2000 election cycle, the NEA provided $2 million to Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, while the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) gave $1 million. These contributions were reported to the Federal Election Commission. Additionally, the NEA’s political action committee (PAC) spent $5.1 million in 2000, making it the eighth highest-spending PAC in the country. The AFT’s PAC, on the other hand, spent $4.2 million, ranking as the twelfth highest-spending PAC. According to federal law, PAC funds can be used for federal office candidates, state and national party committees, and administrative costs.

James W. Guthrie, the director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy and a professor at Vanderbilt University, emphasized the significant influence of money in politics. He referred to it as an "elixir" that has an outsized impact.

Despite having such resources at their disposal, teachers’ union lobbyists found themselves on the defensive when it came to shaping the ESEA. The previous renewal of the law happened in 1994 and was initially slated for revision in 1999.

The reauthorization debate began in 1999 when President Clinton was in office, and the unions were optimistic that he would be an advocate for issues such as federal aid for smaller class sizes. However, the legislation was delayed and pushed back until after the 2000 elections. The unions’ prospects took a hit when George W. Bush was elected president. They suddenly found themselves at odds with the administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Although the AFT’s state affiliate had worked with Bush during his governorship in Texas, neither national union had endorsed him during the presidential race. Bush’s education platform, which included federally financed tuition vouchers and the "Straight A’s" plan favored by congressional Republicans, clashed with the unions’ positions. President Bush also had a different vision of accountability compared to the unions.

Counting the Scorecard

Many observers attribute the success of the unions in achieving their initial objectives: the exclusion of a voucher plan and Straight A’s from the new law. However, the law does offer a publicly funded tutoring option for students in certain underperforming schools and consolidates several federal programs into block grants. "The unions’ power in Washington lies not so much in creating, but in stopping," stated Bruce Hunter, chief lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrators. "Teachers always have one or two demands, and they get them." One Democratic Hill aide agreed that the unions alone won those debates. "That victory was effortless," the aide remarked. "Conservatives entered this bill with two main priorities – vouchers and block grants – and the NEA and AFT secured the votes necessary to prevent them." However, observers assert that the unions had the most influence in the significant increase in education funding in the ESEA’s companion budget bill. The Education Department initially received $48.9 billion in the final budget, $4.4 billion more than the president’s request. Since then, this amount has been raised to $49.9 billion during the appropriations process. "The question is, what would have happened to these issues if the NEA and AFT were not present?" questioned Arnold F. Fege, director of public engagement for the Public Education Network. "It would have been a much tougher battle to fight."

Observers, however, have conflicting opinions on the extent of the unions’ leverage. "Clearly, each group holds influence," noted Sandy Kress, Mr. Bush’s chief education adviser during the reauthorization, "but none of them controls the agenda." Others argue that the unions were excluded from significant involvement in the final stages of the No Child Left Behind law. "There were moments when certain people had an impact, but on many major issues, there was surprising consensus among the Hill," said Richard Long, a lobbyist representing the National Association of State Title I Directors and the International Reading Association. "Much of this was done with a high level of secrecy, allowing the process to move forward." The final legislation was drafted behind closed doors by the leaders of the Senate and House education committees, including Rep. John A. Boehner, Rep. George Miller, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and Sen. Judd Gregg, as revealed by David Schnittger, spokesman for Rep. Boehner. "The process of writing, negotiating, and passing last year’s groundbreaking education bill largely took place without the involvement of the Washington lobbying community," Schnittger explained. "At the start of the process, it was recognized that for progress to be made, Republicans and Democrats needed to collaborate in a room."

The NEA, one of the two unions, faced bigger challenges due to its fundamental disagreement with the way the testing provisions were outlined in the new law. The AFT, although more satisfied with the provision, still did not see it as the ideal scenario. Union officials chose not to provide further details. However, the fact that the unions considered it a draw is noteworthy, according to Andrew J. Rotherham, the director of education policy for the Progressive Policy Institute.

According to an anonymous Democratic aide, the unions lost on some issues because they failed to propose reasonable alternatives. Instead, they mostly advocated for maintaining the status quo. Amy Wilkins, a policy analyst for Education Trust, pointed out that the new law was centered around reform, and the unions were seen as part of the system that needed to be reformed rather than advocates for children. She acknowledged that their main responsibility is to advocate for their members.

Despite setbacks at the federal level, the unions intend to continue shaping education policy at the state level where the No Child Left Behind Act will be implemented. The United Federation of Teachers aims to influence how low-performing schools are defined in New York state by highlighting specific challenges they face. For instance, they want to recognize schools that may be performing well overall but struggling with students who are non-native English speakers. The goal is to have a more comprehensive and accurate description of schools that won’t negatively affect their reputation.

The NEA plans to allocate a significant portion of its budget to help state and local affiliates understand and refine the law. They aim to document the consequences of the law, inform members of its requirements, communicate its negative aspects to the public, advocate for amendments, and support alternative approaches to high-stakes exams. The NEA believes that decisions about the law will largely be made at the state and local levels, so they want their members to be actively engaged with school boards and administrators to determine what works best.

On the other hand, the AFT has primarily focused on informing its members about the law. They believe that their members at the state and local levels are already working to influence the implementation of the law according to the union’s priorities. The California Teachers Association has established a teacher-liaison program to ensure that teachers have a say in the implementation of the law and can influence state policy.

While the unions may have faced setbacks, many believe they are resilient and capable of regrouping to push for changes in the law. Their determination to have a lasting influence on education policy cannot be underestimated.

Title I Turns 20: A Commemoration And Debate

President Lyndon Baines Johnson implemented the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was the first significant federal aid program for education. This marked a new era in education as the federal government entered a field that was previously dominated by states and local authorities. The act included the Title I program, which allocated $1 billion towards compensatory education, emphasizing the belief that education was the key to overcoming poverty. The bill quickly passed through Congress in just three months, leading some Republican Congressmen to refer to it as the "railroad bill of 1965."

In an unprecedented move, the Senate approved the measure without any amendments. By the middle of the 1965-66 school year, funds were already being distributed to local school districts across the country. Last week, key figures involved in shaping and passing the bill, along with those who have developed its programs, gathered at the Capitol to reflect on the past two decades and discuss the future of this major federal spending program in precollegiate education. During a banquet and subsequent seminar, two themes emerged: the landmark bill, with its emphasis on federal involvement and addressing the needs of disadvantaged students, revolutionized American education. However, the original funding and scope envisioned for the program were never fully realized, resulting in a more focused program that has still achieved measurable success.

At the time of its passing, many Congress members saw the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as the first step towards making the federal government an equal partner in the education of the nation’s children. They hoped that within a few years, school systems would incorporate remedial or compensatory education into their regular curriculum, and increasing federal funds would be used to provide financial aid to all students. Twenty years later, the compensatory education program, known as Title I, serves approximately 4.7 million children under the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981. It has withstood criticism and amendments, surviving near dissolution during the Reagan Administration. However, despite the program’s $3.7 billion funding, which is equivalent to the $1 billion spent in 1966, approximately 45% of the 11 million eligible children still do not receive Title I services.

According to Samuel Halperin, a senior fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership, the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was primarily a political event. Over the 20 years preceding the act, Congress had repeatedly tried to establish a federal role in education, but issues of race, religion, fear of federal control, and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives consistently hindered progress. President Lyndon B. Johnson made education a central focus of his War on Poverty, despite only sponsoring one education bill during his time in Congress.

The balance of political power shifted with the election of 69 freshman Democratic representatives in 1964, 60 of whom were elected due to President Johnson’s influence. This change in power was instrumental in making an education bill a reality. The Johnson Administration’s bill was introduced in the House on January 12 and was rushed through Congress to prevent it from falling apart due to potential delays, as explained by John F. Jennings, counsel for education for the House Education and Labor Committee. Hearings began on January 22 and the bill passed both houses of Congress by April 9. Two days later, President Johnson signed the bill in a one-room schoolhouse in his hometown in Texas, affirming education as the only true escape from poverty.

Overall, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 had a significant impact on American education, although the program did not achieve the original funding and scope that was anticipated. However, it remains the largest federal spending program in precollegiate education and has demonstrated measurable success in providing support to disadvantaged students.

‘The Widest Possible’

Mr. Halperin described Title I as the "broadest form of categorical assistance imaginable". The program was so broad that even after it was passed, some members of Congress believed they had voted for a general aid program for education. However, this broadness later led to some problems for the program. Initially, the law was only 10 pages long, but it grew to over 40 pages in subsequent years. President Johnson compared the act to a Model T Ford that was destined for change. At that time, there were very few models of compensatory education, so states were unsure how to utilize the funds. Representative William F. Goodling stated that states and local districts were given broad authority to experiment in the hopes that the best approaches would emerge over time. Initially, there was no requirement for a state plan to administer the funds, and schools received the money late in the school year with little time for planning. Even before federal regulations were released, suppliers had already sold instructional approaches and materials to local school systems.

Early Misuse

Title I funds were intended to support schools in the poorest areas of each district and focus on academically needy children. However, early studies found that the funds were being used to replace state and local expenditures, finance systemwide programs and general school needs, purchase books and supplies for all schoolchildren, cover overhead expenses, increase teacher salaries, build swimming pools, and renovate superintendents’ offices. Federal audits confirmed the extensive use of funds for purchases rather than services. According to John F. Hughes, there was difficulty in getting officials to use the funds for specialized programs instead of intensifying regular services. These early shortcomings were later addressed through amendments to the program, but they left a stain on Title I that was hard to erase.

War and Transformation

The original expectations for funding of Title I were much higher than what was actually provided. By 1967, the financial strain caused by the Vietnam War led to a realization that funding would not substantially grow. This prompted changes to the program, turning it into a more targeted approach for compensatory aid. The Nixon Administration contended that the program had not achieved educational gains, which further accelerated the shift towards targeting specific populations.

Current Impact

According to Mr. Jennings, there is now little disagreement that better targeting of Title I has led to improved basic skills among disadvantaged students. A study conducted for the Education Department in the late 1970s and early 1980s found that Title I students showed progress in mathematics and reading over the course of a school year. The effects of Title I were also found to persist even after services had ended, continuing into the next summer and school year. Archie Lapointe, executive director of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, suggested that the improved reading scores of certain student groups could be attributed, at least in part, to Title I.

Critics’ Perspectives

The authors argue that the restrictions on the use of Title I aid have created a separate organizational structure within the school system. This includes hiring separate personnel, offering separate classes for students, and having separate administrative systems. They believe that this separation has limited the influence and effectiveness of the Title I program.

However, participants at the Title I celebration disagree with this argument. They believe that the program has had positive effects beyond improved student test scores. They argue that Title I has been successful in reallocating educational funds and redistributing resources. It has also raised awareness about the learning needs of disadvantaged children and has led to changes in state funding formulas.

The program has also been credited with addressing disparities in funding within school districts. It has allowed resources to flow to individual disadvantaged students in private and parochial schools, creating a successful public-private school partnership. Title I has also served as a model for other federal programs aimed at supporting handicapped students, migrant children, Indians, and delinquent youngsters.

Despite these positive contributions, there are concerns about the future of the program. There has been a decrease in the number of children served by Title I due to federal budget cuts, even though the need for support has not decreased. Poverty rates among young children have increased, indicating a growing need for compensatory education. Changes in the demographics of poverty and the student population also need to be addressed.

Moreover, secondary schools have specific needs that the Chapter 1 program has not adequately addressed. Big-city school systems, in particular, continue to struggle with achievement problems unique to their context. The rural areas also require increased support for Chapter 1 services.

In conclusion, while there are differing opinions about the effectiveness of Title I, it has undeniably brought attention to the needs of disadvantaged children and has sparked changes in educational funding and support. However, challenges still persist, and there is a need for continued efforts to improve the educational opportunities for those who need it the most.

The current school-reform movement is said to have a hint of cynicism, implying that we have spent too much of our resources on high-need children, according to Patrick Proctor, the coordinator of the school-development unit in the Connecticut Department of Education. However, Robert L. Woodson, the president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprises, argues that the resources have been spent inefficiently. He believes that the massive increase in federal funding over the past two decades has not led to a proportional improvement in the condition of the poor.

Woodson suggests that a portion of the funds allocated for Chapter 1 should be used to provide vouchers to parents, giving them the freedom to choose schools for their children. Despite the positive opinions expressed by Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and Vice-President George Bush, there are concerns among seminar participants that the Administration’s plan to freeze Chapter 1 funding for fiscal 1986 would exclude many more children from the program. Additionally, converting the program into a voucher system could put its long-term survival at risk.

Representative Hawkins, on the other hand, is confident that there is a significant group of supporters who firmly believe in Chapter 1. Despite acknowledging the program’s initial challenges, he emphasizes its importance and vitality throughout the years. If American students are indeed experiencing a decline in educational achievement, Hawkins argues that Chapter 1 becomes even more crucial and essential than ever before.

Later this month, Education Week will explore the 20th anniversary of Project Head Start.

New AFT Leader Vows To Bring Down NCLB Law

Randi Weingarten, the newly appointed president of the American Federation of Teachers, launched a strong attack on the No Child Left Behind Act in her inaugural speech at the union’s biennial convention. She referred to the act as a "four-letter word" for many union members. Weingarten, expected to play a prominent role in the reauthorization of the federal law, stated that "overhauling" it would be the union’s most pressing concern.

She argued that the NCLB has outlived its usefulness and is too broken to be fixed. Weingarten criticized the fact that the law, conceived by accountants, drafted by lawyers, and distorted by ideologues, is very unpopular among teachers. She expressed the need for a new vision for schools in the 21st century, one that focuses on closing the achievement gap and ensuring accountability.

Weingarten, who succeeds Edward J. McElroy as president of the 1.4 million-member union, was elected unopposed, alongside Antonia Cortese as secretary-treasurer and Lorretta Johnson as executive vice president. Notably, Johnson became the first paraprofessional union leader to hold one of the top three posts in the AFT. Weingarten will also continue to lead the United Federation of Teachers, the New York City affiliate.

The election of Weingarten, Cortese, and Johnson marks a historic milestone in trade-union history as this is the first time a major union will be led by three women. Additionally, two of the top three elected officials in the National Education Association are also women. This may indicate significant differences between the AFT and the larger NEA, particularly as the NEA recently developed a plan to fix the federal education law.

In her speech, Weingarten called for a federal law that supports community schools serving disadvantaged children, providing comprehensive services and activities for both students and their families. These schools would offer extended hours, after-school and evening programs, as well as childcare, medical clinics, and counseling services tailored to the community’s needs. Weingarten emphasized the importance of exposing every child to a rich core curriculum, ensuring teacher quality through competitive salaries, professional compensation models, and embedded professional development.

Weingarten also shared her personal motivation as a unionist, recounting the experience of her own father being laid off as an electrical engineer. She never forgot the pain, humiliation, and tears in his eyes that shaped her commitment to fighting for workers’ rights.

Overall, Weingarten’s speech signifies a strong stance against the current state of the No Child Left Behind Act and presents a vision for a more inclusive and effective education system that prioritizes student success and supports teachers.

Ms. Weingarten acknowledged that peer review can be intimidating for those who have not yet experienced it. She expressed that it may feel like teachers are giving up their role in the due process, but assured that this is not the case. She emphasized her frustration with principals who dismiss teachers and stated that the resolution is aimed at providing assistance to teachers and reclaiming the dignity of the teaching profession.

Additionally, delegates agreed to an increase in dues, with a portion of the funds allocated to the Solidarity Fund. This fund is dedicated to fighting against local initiatives that aim to reduce education funding and teacher benefits. Starting in September, members will pay $15.35 monthly to the national union, a slight increase from the previous amount of $14.70. This amount will further rise to $16 in the following September.

Moving on to presidential politics, the delegates had the honor of a personal visit from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She urged them to mobilize their efforts in support of Barack Obama, her former rival and the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate. Senator Clinton warned of the potential consequences of another four years under Republican rule and emphasized the importance of the AFT’s 1.4 million members in ensuring victory.

Senator Obama, appearing live via satellite from San Diego, echoed his support for rectifying the broken promises of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). He also expressed his endorsement of performance pay and charter schools, acknowledging that some AFT locals have already implemented performance-pay plans. Senator Obama commended the AFT for their representation of charter school teachers and support staff and acknowledged the value of well-designed public charter schools. It is worth noting that under Ms. Weingarten’s leadership, the UFT has established two charter schools in New York City.

It’s No Secret: Progress Prized In Brownsville

Located near the border of the United States and Mexico, Cromack Elementary School provides education to many young children in Spanish. However, by 4th grade, these students smoothly transition into English language classrooms. This success in helping students demonstrates the strengths of the school district, which has a high number of English-language learners and low-income families. In fact, students from all grades outperform those in similar districts when it comes to reading and math. The remarkable performance is attributed to the school district’s commitment to teacher professional development and data-based instruction. As a result, the Brownsville Independent School District was awarded the prestigious 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education, recognizing it as the most improved urban school district in the nation.

As part of the prize, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has awarded $1 million, which will be used to provide college scholarships to graduating seniors in the school system. This generous gesture highlights the district’s success in supporting Hispanic and low-income students. The key to this success lies in its track record of helping Spanish-speaking students acquire English proficiency, enabling them to thrive academically and perform well on state tests. The district has a significant number of English-language learners, making up around 42 percent of the student population, compared to the state average of 15 percent.

An overview of the Brownsville Independent School District reveals that the city of Brownsville has a population of 161,225. The district has a total of 48,858 students, with 42.4% of them being English-language learners, 98% identifying as Hispanic, and 94.4% coming from low-income families. It is worth noting that the district did not meet the adequate yearly progress goals in 2008 for reading and math among special education students, as well as the graduation rate in 2007 and the reading goal for special education students in 2006.

When comparing the dropout and graduation rates for the Class of 2007, the Brownsville district had a dropout rate of 17.9%, higher than the statewide rate of 11.4%. However, the district’s graduation rate was 53.2%, while the statewide rate was 78.0%. For English-language learners in Brownsville, the graduation rate was significantly lower at 26.8%, and the dropout rate was higher at 38.5%.

Despite these challenges, the Broad prize acknowledges the district’s progress on various indicators. In 2007, the district outperformed other Texas districts serving low-income students in reading and math across all grade levels. Over 94% of the district’s students come from low-income families. Additionally, the district has made significant strides in narrowing the achievement gap between Hispanic students, who make up the majority of the student population, and non-Hispanic whites statewide in math at the elementary school level.

While the district has not met the adequate yearly progress goals under the No Child Left Behind Act for the past three years, it is important to note that this is just one of many indicators considered by the Broad prize jury. Previous prize winners, such as the New York City and Boston school districts, have also missed these goals. The Broad prize recognizes districts that are making significant progress in closing the achievement gap at a faster rate than their peers.


Closing the Achievement Gap

According to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Hispanic students in the Brownsville Independent School District are narrowing the gap with their non-Hispanic white peers statewide in terms of reading and math proficiency.

READING: Proficiency Rates in Elementary School

READING: Proficiency Rates in High School

MATHEMATICS: Proficiency Rates in Elementary School

MATHEMATICS: Proficiency Rates in High School

SOURCE: Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

However, educators face the greatest challenge in reaching a specific group of English-learners, as the parents of these students often remain in Mexico while their children are sent to school in Brownsville. This separation can have negative effects on the students’ self-esteem, so it is crucial for educators to make an extra effort to help them feel valued and included.

Brownsville places a strong emphasis on its transitional bilingual education program when working with both American-born and foreign-born ELL students. Miguel Angel Escotet, the dean of the school of education at the University of Texas at Brownsville, describes Brownsville’s bilingual education program as one of the best in the nation.

The University of Texas at Brownsville is the only four-year university in the city and provides 75 percent of the school district’s teachers, most of whom graduate with bilingual certification. Many of these teachers have personal experience growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, so they understand the unique challenges faced by their students.

Teacher turnover and student mobility rates in Brownsville are both low, indicating a stable and consistent learning environment.

Strong Elementary Schools

Brownsville’s elementary schools excel according to Texas’ accountability system. The district as a whole has an "academically acceptable" rating for 2007, which falls below the levels of "exemplary" and "recognized" but is higher than "academically unacceptable" on the four-level ranking system.

The elementary schools stand out with all but one of the 33 schools receiving an "exemplary" or "recognized" ranking in 2007. In contrast, only four out of the 11 middle schools and just one out of the five high schools achieved a ranking as high as "recognized."

In terms of English proficiency, students in Brownsville show significant progress in the early grades. While 62 percent of kindergartners are classified as having limited English proficiency, this drops to 30 percent by 5th grade.

During the reading class, the instruction was entirely in Spanish. However, in social studies, Ms. Rodriguez delivered a lesson on world geography in English, and her students mostly spoke in English during that lesson. Transitioning to English is not easy, according to Gladis Garcia, a 10-year-old who moved from Mexico to Brownsville 3 ½ years ago and is currently in 4th grade. She said, "I get confused with some words. Sometimes the words are too difficult."

Concerns in High School

Mr. Gonzales recognizes that the district faces a challenge in educating students who arrive in Brownsville without speaking English at the middle or high school levels. Currently, English-as-a-second-language classes are the main support for middle and high school English language learners (ELLs) in this area. Officials are particularly worried about the low graduation rate for English learners. Only 26.8 percent of students in the class of 2007, who were English learners in 9th grade, graduated within four years. Brownsville’s overall four-year dropout rate for the class of 2007 was 17.9 percent, higher than the average rate of 11.4 percent for Texas high schools. No one in Brownsville believes that the dropout problem will be easily solved, but officials are taking action.

One initiative is the alternative school that was established a few years ago to assist students who are falling behind in the middle school grades to catch up with their peers. The school district started an effort this school year to ensure that 9th graders stay in school by reducing class sizes and assigning teachers to monitor their progress.

Additionally, starting this school year, the district has appointed a dropout specialist for each high school. The new dropout specialist and staff members at Pace High School, for example, were able to convince 30 students to return to school out of approximately 80 who did not show up at the beginning of the school year.

In a broader sense, Mr. Gonzales stated that his school district is working towards improving the achievement of secondary students by implementing a hands-on science curriculum at the elementary level. Previously, elementary students did not have access to a strong science curriculum, and these students are now performing poorly on the state’s science test at the secondary level. Teacher training is a crucial component of the improvement strategy for high school ELLs. The district is providing training to mainstream teachers on "sheltered English" approaches that help make their teaching more accessible to ELLs. Currently, 44 percent of the 922 secondary teachers who teach core subjects have received such training.

Adriana Garza, a 10th grade world history teacher at Pace High, has embraced the techniques she learned to make her teaching more accessible to ELLs. For instance, in a recent lesson about Alexander the Great, she had students discuss what they learned in pairs and changed the pairings every few minutes, giving them opportunities to practice the language. Pace High officials are also continually exploring new approaches for the school’s 300 English learners. They have introduced an online curriculum developed by the University of Texas at Austin this school year, which allows ELLs to take either a biology or math course in Spanish each semester. Nevertheless, Ms. Senteno, the school’s principal, humorously suggests that it would be nice if winning the Broad Prize exempted her school from the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals set by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Pace has not met AYP for special education students and ELLs in reading and math for the past three years, and has also missed its graduation goals in the past two years.

After successfully leading a Brownsville middle school, Ms. Senteno is now tasked with achieving the same success at Pace High, where she is in her second year as principal. She has directed the school to compensate teachers for working with students before and after school as well as on Saturdays, and to use data to identify and address any learning gaps. She said, "My passion has always been that the content-area teacher needs to take responsibility for all special populations, such as those from low socioeconomic backgrounds or who are ESL students."

Competition from Charter Schools

"We are committed to engaging with every child," expressed Mr. Gonzales. "Our dedication lies in educating each individual, and we take immense pride in that achievement."

How Data Helped Head Start Centers Tackle A ‘No Show’ Problem

How do you handle a situation where you have built a preschool class, but many of the children do not show up? This was the situation faced by the Head Start program run by CAP Tulsa in Oklahoma. In September 2016, a significant portion of the program’s preschoolers, 135 in total, did not appear for the start of the school year even though their parents had enrolled them. In response, CAP Tulsa turned to data to identify the problem and come up with a solution. This example demonstrates how all of Head Start’s grantees are now expected to incorporate data into their decision-making and continuous improvement processes.

CAP Tulsa provides care and educational services for newborns to preschoolers. However, when it comes to 4-year-olds, there is competition from preschools offered by the Tulsa school district or local charter schools. To better predict the program’s enrollment, CAP Tulsa’s director of research and innovation, Cindy Decker, and her team developed a statistical model. The model identified common factors among the children who did not show up, such as having an older sibling in elementary school. This suggested that parents may prefer to have their younger child attend a preschool in the same building for convenience. The model also found that new program enrollees or those not receiving behavioral or disability supports were more likely to be no-shows. Armed with this information, staff members started proactively communicating with parents to understand their plans. CAP Tulsa also collaborated with the district and local charters to ensure that the same children were not showing up on multiple rolls. As a result, the number of no-shows decreased from 135 to 99 the following year, reducing disruption in the first weeks of the school year.

In addition to this data-driven approach to enrollment, CAP Tulsa uses data in various other ways to enhance its program. By analyzing data, they can identify both problem areas that need attention and successes that should be celebrated. This data-driven approach is part of a broader effort within the Head Start community to improve the use of data. Historically, data has primarily been collected for compliance purposes rather than to drive program improvement or improve outcomes for children. Recognizing the need for change, the National Head Start Association commissioned a report called "Moneyball for Head Start" in 2016. The report advocated for the use of data in a similar way to how statistical analysis is used in sports, specifically referring to Billy Beane’s approach in assembling competitive baseball teams. The report emphasized the importance of embracing data and called for federal support to facilitate this shift.

In response to this call for change, Head Start released new performance standards in 2016, which required programs to use data in decision-making related to budgeting, teacher coaching, and instruction improvement. This represented a significant shift in mindset, and Head Start provided technical support at various levels to help grantees make this transition. This included practice-based coaching, where data is used to support teacher professional development. Head Start also organized a "data boot camp" to enhance the data-related skills of staff members and technical assistance providers. Overall, the aim is to move away from a compliance-focused approach towards a performance-focused one, where data plays a central role in driving program effectiveness.

In conclusion, CAP Tulsa’s experience demonstrates the power of using data to address challenges and improve outcomes in the Head Start program. By leveraging data, programs can better understand enrollment patterns, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions. This shift towards data-driven decision-making is now being embraced across the Head Start community, supported by new performance standards and technical assistance from Head Start.

"When data was first introduced to Head Start, there was a sense of hesitation and uncertainty," explained Esmirna Valencia, the executive director of Riverside County’s early childhood programs. "We recognized the need to present data in a way that made sense to our staff." Program managers began discussing how they already utilized data in their daily work, even if they didn’t explicitly refer to it as "data-driven decision making." To further support this approach, program leaders recruited staff members who were skilled in understanding and manipulating the existing data management systems used in Riverside County. One such system, ChildPlus, captured a vast array of data points on children and families. In addition to allowing users to generate basic reports, the creators of ChildPlus granted Riverside County access to the entire database, enabling them to generate their own customized reports. Riverside also integrated the database with a visualization program called Tableau, providing them with extensive analytical capabilities. For instance, Riverside now maintains a "dynamic dashboard" that displays enrollment information, allowing managers to quickly identify program capacities, areas that require more children, and the number of potential students awaiting eligibility confirmation.

Aiming to Enhance Teaching Practices

Guilford Child Development Center in North Carolina, another organization funded by Head Start, leverages data to improve teaching practices. Serving approximately 1,200 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, Guilford relies on a tool called the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as a key component of its evaluation process. Programs that fall below a certain threshold on the CLASS data and other metrics are required to recompete for federal funding. To facilitate this evaluation, Guilford employs its own trained CLASS assessors who regularly observe classrooms. While federal officials do not mandate their own CLASS assessments, comparing Guilford’s performance to other programs within the state and nationwide is crucial for identifying areas that require professional development. Robin Sink, an educational coach specialist for the program, emphasizes that while analyzing numbers is essential, establishing trust and building relationships with teachers is equally important. "I need to connect with them and establish a foundation of trust," Sink stated. "The process of building relationships is more complex than simply sharing data." The use of data for continuous improvement extends beyond Head Start managers and extends to teachers who utilize student assessments to make daily decisions regarding how to best support their students. In Riverside, for example, Head Start teachers have access to real-time data on their students through a program called Learning Genie. Teachers can input observations and assessments, and the program generates interactive reports for educators and parents.

Boris Sanchez, a Head Start teacher in Riverside, shares how she utilizes the program on a daily basis to monitor her students’ progress. The data helps her determine which students require individualized attention, which ones can work together in small groups, and how she can adapt her lesson plans accordingly. Sanchez explains that if her students show an interest in learning about butterflies but also need support with letter recognition, she integrates the two topics. "We merge the technical aspects with the fun elements," she says. Sanchez appreciates the focus on data-driven continuous improvement as it aligns with the practices she was already accustomed to. "We always had our checklists. I’m not afraid of data because we were already utilizing it," she adds.

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Clare College Cashes In On Financial Crisis

A year is a significant amount of time for those involved in the finance industry, where share prices rise and plummet and financial institutions face the risk of collapse. However, at prestigious Cambridge University, the concept of one year is considered a mere blip in financial history. The brightest academics in the country are confident that the good times will roll again.

Clare College at Cambridge University is seizing the opportunity to benefit from the current economic crisis by borrowing money for the first time in its 700-year history. The college has borrowed £15m for a 40-year inflation-linked loan in the hope that this savvy investment will bring a hefty profit of £36m at some time in the distant future. The decision to invest was based on advice given by the college’s wealthy alumni.

The college has managed to squirrel away £15m, thanks to its long-term perspective. Clare College looks forward to at least another 700 years of existence, which means there is little concern with achieving short-term gains. "Because we have a very, very long term perspective – we’ve been around for 700 years and plan to be around for at least 700 more – we have the advantage of not worrying about short term thresholds," explains Donald Hearn, the college’s bursar.

The money was borrowed at an incredibly low-interest rate of 1%, which is adjusted for inflation, making it a groundbreaking deal for a British or American college. Clare College plans to invest the funds in severely undervalued stocks and shares, hoping for a good return on investment. In comparison, Imperial College and Sheffield University have both taken long-term loans, but purely to fund capital projects, with traditional payback terms of 50 and 40 years, respectively.

This innovative transaction is the result of sage advice from several of Clare College’s notable alumni. These individuals include Andrew Smithers, investment expert and consultant, and committee member at the college; Norman Cumming, head of the CR Global hedge fund and investment committee member at Clare College, and Martin Weale, head of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The notion was also discussed with David Swenson, Yale’s chief investment officer, who is a Clare fellow and alumni. The college recognizes that their alumni played a crucial role in approving the investment.

The college’s expected profits are significant compared to Cambridge University’s total loss of £11m due to the Icelandic bank collapse. Oxford University’s losses could be more substantial, estimated to reach £30m. Regardless, these losses are minimal compared to the universities’ respective annual cash deposits of £600m and £3.4bn endowment fund.

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