Teacher Quality and Quantity: Proposals in the 105th Congress

98-166 EPW CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Teacher Quality and Quantity: Proposals in the 105th Congress Updated December 3, 1998 James B. Stedman Specialist in Social Legislation Education and Public Welfare Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress ABSTRACT Policymakers are concerned about the quality and quantity of elementary and secondary school teachers. Efforts to raise curriculum standards and student performance standards are increasing the knowledge and skills that teachers are expected to have. Concurrently, projections of enrollment growth and increased attrition from teaching due to retirements are generating concerns about a substantial increase in future demand for teachers. This report provides background on the issues of teacher quality and quantity. It reviews relevant legislative proposals that were made in the 105th Congress and action on those proposals. It describes the new teacher programs enacted in the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 and the class size reduction/teacher hiring program included in the FY1999 omnibus appropriations legislation. There will not be further updates to this report. Teacher Quality and Quantity: Proposals in the 105th Congress Summary The 105th Congress considered a broad array of proposals responding generally to two issues of teacher quality and quantity. Some of the legislative interest was prompted by the expiration of the funding authority for the Higher Education Act (HEA). Title V of that legislation authorized a large number of programs focused on precollege teaching; only one of these authorities was funded for FY1998. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (P.L. 105-244) repeal the Title V programs and add new ones to improve preservice teacher training and teacher recruitment. In other major action regarding teachers, the FY1999 omnibus appropriations legislation (P.L. 105-277) includes $1.2 billion for the hiring of teachers to reduce class size. Policymakers are concerned about the quality and quantity of elementary and secondary school teachers. Efforts to raise curriculum standards and student performance standards are increasing the knowledge and skills that teachers are expected to have. Concurrently, projections of enrollment growth and increased attrition from teaching due to retirements are generating concerns about a substantial increase in future demand for teachers. The current and anticipated need for more teachers, and for more highly qualified teachers, may be exacerbated by efforts to reduce class size. The process of preparing, recruiting, licensing, compensating, testing, and structuring the working conditions of the elementary and secondary teaching force is primarily the responsibility of states and localities. Nevertheless, the federal government provides a wide array of support for teachers. Many of the proposals that were before the 105th Congress could be placed in one of two groups depending upon their focus: (1) proposals that sought primarily to improve the quality of teachers through such steps as reform of teacher education and strengthening of recruitment incentives, or (2) proposals that principally addressed the issue of teacher quantity by supporting the hiring of new teachers. Among the issues raised by proposals in the first group was the effectiveness of their approaches to reforming teacher education. Issues involving the second group of proposals included the consequences for student achievement and teacher quality of substantial federal support for teacher hiring, particularly in an effort to reduce class size. Contents Recent Legislative Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Quality and Quantity Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teacher Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teacher Quantity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crosscutting Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Class Size Reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2 4 4 5 Current Federal Role Supporting Precollege Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Selected Proposals Before the 105th Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Improving Teacher Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Enacted Provisions and Selected Proposals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Selected Issues Raised by These Proposals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Increasing the Number of Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Enacted Provisions and Selected Proposals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Selected Issues Raised by These Proposals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Concluding Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Teacher Quality and Quantity: Proposals in the 105th Congress Recent Legislative Action The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (H.R. 6), signed into law on October 7, 1998 (P.L. 105-244), add new programs to the Higher Education Act (HEA) to support improvements in the training of prospective teachers and in the recruitment of qualified individuals to teaching. The omnibus appropriations legislation for FY1999 (H.R. 4328), which was signed into law on October 21, 1998 (P.L. 105-277), includes $1.2 billion for the hiring of new teachers in order to reduce class size. In other major action, the Congress approved H.R. 2646, a bill to amend the new education individual retirement accounts, to which was added support for state teacher tests and merit pay programs for teachers. The President vetoed that bill on July 21, 1998. All of these enacted provisions and legislative proposals are described below in the section on Selected Proposals Before the 105th Congress. Introduction Policymakers at all levels are increasingly concerned about the quality and quantity of elementary and secondary school teachers. Ongoing efforts to raise curriculum standards and student performance standards are increasing the subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills that teachers are expected to have. Concurrently, projections of student enrollment growth and increased attrition from the teaching force due to retirements are generating concerns about a substantial increase in future demand for teachers. In addition, the current and anticipated need for more teachers, and for more highly qualified teachers, may be exacerbated as policymakers undertake or propose initiatives to reduce class size. Proposals to address teacher quality or quantity may concentrate on a number of broad aspects of teaching, such as the following: preservice teacher education (preparation of prospective teachers); inservice training (professional development for current teachers); teacher recruitment; induction (the process for introducing new teachers to teaching); licensure (licensure and certification are used interchangeably in this report to refer to the process of granting the license to teach); teacher testing; and general working conditions (including compensation, tenure, as well as the organization and management of schools and classrooms). The 105th Congress considered a broad array of proposals responding generally to the two issues of teacher quality and quantity. This report analyzes two groups of proposals: CRS-2 ! ! proposals that sought primarily to improve the quality of teachers through such steps as reform of teacher education and strengthening of recruitment incentives, and proposals that principally addressed the issue of teacher quantity by supporting the hiring of new teachers.1 Some of the legislative interest in the 105th Congress was prompted by the expiration of the funding authority for the HEA. Title V of the HEA under prior law authorized a large number of programs focused on precollege teaching (see discussion below). This entire array of programs was repealed and new programs enacted in its stead. This report provides analysis of the teacher quality and quantity issues, a brief overview of the current federal role supporting elementary and secondary school teachers, and a review of the proposals considered by the 105th Congress in each of the groups listed above. This report describes legislative action on these proposals during the 105th Congress. The Quality and Quantity Issues The elementary and secondary education teaching force is large; in 1995, there were an estimated 2.6 million public school teachers and 380,000 private school teachers.2 Teacher Quality Teacher quality may be defined by, and measured by, the level of education a teacher has completed, the teacher’s tested ability level, or the teaching credentials he or she has earned, among other characteristics.3 In particular, concern about the quality of current teachers has centered, in part, on the extent to which teachers are currently teaching “out-of-field,” that is, providing instruction in subjects in which they have relatively little preparation and academic background. One analysis, which considered the extent to which secondary school students were being taught an academic subject by teachers who had neither a college major or college minor in that subject, found, for example, that over a quarter of all public secondary school students enrolled in math classes, and that over half of public school students in 1 This report does not cover proposals for the education and training of individuals providing educational services outside of the K-12 level, such as individuals being trained in early childhood education or entering the early child care profession. 2 U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Projections of Education Statistics to 2007. Washington, 1997. Table 32. (Hereafter cited as NCES, Projections.) 3 Boe, Erling E. and Gilford, Dorothy M., eds. Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. National Research Council. Washington, 1992. p. 33. See also, The Problem of Improving Teacher Quality While Balancing Supply and Demand, by Mary M. Kennedy, included in this volume. CRS-3 physical science classes had such teachers.4 Another analysis, found that, in 1993-94, 21% of high school teachers teaching academic subjects had neither a major or minor in their main teaching subjects; in specific subject areas, this percentage of teachers was, for example, 28% for mathematics and 18% for science.5 It should be noted that this measure of quality (out-of-field teaching) is partly a reflection of teacher assignment practices. There is a growing recognition that the success of nearly any effort to improve the academic performance of U.S. students depends critically upon their teachers’ mastery of subject matter knowledge and their ability to teach it.6 As a result, teachers’ capabilities in the classroom and their impact on student performance are increasingly considered integral components of teacher quality. Further, concern about teacher quality takes on more urgency as states and local school districts raise curriculum content and student performance standards in different subject areas. This changes expectations about what teachers need to know and be able to do in the classroom. Factors that have been identified by different analysts and policymakers as contributing to the quality problem include the following: the abilities of individuals entering teaching;7 poor preservice education; limited, ineffective professional development; compensation systems that do not reward good performance; organization of schools that militates against effective teaching; teacher assignment 4 U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Out-of-Field Teaching and Educational Equality. NCES 96-040 by Richard M. Ingersoll. Washington, 1996. This study was based on the U.S. Department of Education’s 1990-91 Schools and Staffing Survey. 5 National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future. Doing What Matters Most: Investing in Quality Teaching. November, 1997. Data cited are from the 1993-94 iteration of the Schools and Staffing Survey. 6 See, for example: National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future. What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future. New York, 1996. (Hereafter cited as National Commission, What Matters Most.) 7 For example, some analyses have found that the college entrance examination scores of individuals who enter teaching are somewhat lower than those of individuals who do not prepare to teach. See, for example: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Out of the Lecture Hall and Into the Classroom: 1992-1993 College Graduates and Elementary/Secondary School Teaching. NCES 96-899. Washington, 1996. p. 20-22. CRS-4 practices; and state tenure laws that are viewed by many as unduly protecting poorly performing teachers.8 Teacher Quantity Concurrently, there are warnings of a potential shortage of teachers during the next decade, precipitated by large projected increases in student enrollment and an anticipated surge in retirements from an aging teaching force. Overall, public school enrollment is expected to rise by over 4% between 1997 and 2007, an increase fueled primarily by projected growth at the secondary school level of about 13%.9 Further, the average age of public school teachers has grown sharply and more teachers will be eligible to retire. In 1993-1994, the average age was 43, nearly 3 full years higher than it was in 1987-1988.10 Based on data such as these for public and private elementary and secondary education, some projections have been made that, during the next decade, 2 million teachers will have to be hired to keep up with enrollment growth and higher teacher attrition rates.11 Crosscutting Concerns Teacher quality and quantity are inextricably linked; actions to address one have consequences for the other. Of particular concern are possible negative interactions. For instance, tightening licensure requirements in order to improve teacher quality may make it difficult for districts to find enough teachers who meet the higher standards. When school districts struggle to meet their need for teachers, they may circumvent quality standards by such steps as hiring teachers under emergency certification procedures. This interaction is particularly evident in efforts to reduce class size. 8 For background on these issues, see: National Commission, What Matters Most; Corcoran, Thomas B. Helping Teachers Teach Well: Transforming Professional Development. Consortium for Policy Research in Education. RB-16-June 1995; Kelley, Carolyn and Odden, Allan. Reinventing Teacher Compensation Systems. Consortium for Policy Research in Education. FB-06-September 1995; LaRue, Andrea Holland. The Changing Face of Teacher Tenure. Report presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence and Masters of Public Affairs. The University of Austin. August 1996. Online: [http://www.aft.org/research/reports/tenure/laruep.htm] 9 NCES, Projections, Table 1. 10 U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. America’s Teachers: Profile of a Profession, 1993-1994. NCES 97-460. Washington, 1997. Table 2.2. p. 10. (Hereafter cited as U.S. Department of Education, America’s Teachers.) 11 National Commission, What Matters Most, p. 8; statement by Terry Dozier, special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, before the House Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, Training, and Lifelong Learning, July 15, 1997. Online: [http://www.ed.gov/offices/OLCA/dozier2.html]. November 14, 1997. See also, Kronholz, June. Teacher Retirements Portend Acute Shortage. The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 1997. CRS-5 Class Size Reduction.12 Initiatives to reduce class size are increasingly popular; many states and localities are considering or implementing their own reductions in class size, and, as described below, the Administration included a class size reduction program in its FY1999 budget request13 and the omnibus appropriation for FY1999 includes funding for such action. These efforts have been prompted partly by a belief that reduced class size will improve student performance. This specific issue is addressed in a latter section of these report. The impact on the demand for teachers resulting from large scale reductions in class size may be substantial, and may have direct consequences for teacher quality. The experience to date with the class size reduction initiative in California is informative in this regard. As perhaps the most prominent effort to reduce class size currently underway, the California class size reduction program, created as a result of 1996-1997 budget legislation, provides local school districts with funds to help them reduce class size in the early elementary grades to not more than 20 students, from an average that was over 28 in all grades. The initial year’s funding for the program was $771 million in operational funding which paid for teacher compensation, furniture, instructional materials, and supplies; and $200 million for facilities. Funding for the second year consists of $1.5 billion for operational expenditures (facilities funding can be drawn from each participating districts’ operational funds that remain after operational expenses are met). Participating 12 Class size is a measure of the number of students in a class. Often, average class sizes are calculated separately for teachers with self-contained classes (typically, elementary school teachers who teach an array of subject to a single class) and for those in departmentalized classes (typically, secondary school teachers who teach a subject to several classes of students). For the latter, the average size of all of the classes taught by each individual teacher may be determined, and then an average taken of those class size averages across all departmentalized teachers. Generally, special emphasis teachers (such as those teaching the disabled, or those teaching specific subjects at the elementary school level, such as music or art) are excluded from the calculation of class size since the number of students they work with at any one time is often unusually small (e.g., special education teachers) or unusually large (e.g., physical education teachers). Class size is distinct from pupil-teacher ratios. Those ratios are most frequently calculated by dividing the number of enrolled students by the number of full-time equivalent teachers (full-time teachers plus an estimate of the full-time equivalent of part-time teachers), regardless of the kinds of classes taught or whether a teacher’s duties are non-instructional. Partly as a result of including the full breadth of the teaching force, the pupil-teacher ratio is almost always lower than the average class size. For example, the size of the class taught by the average public school teacher in 1993-1994 was 23.2 at the elementary school level and 23.7 at the secondary school level. The pupil-teacher ratio for the fall of 1993 was 18.9 and 15.1 at the public elementary and secondary levels, respectively. 13 Reportedly, class size reduction initiatives are being implemented, or are under consideration, in 20 or more states. (Viadero, Debra. Small Classes: Popular, But Still Unproven. Education Week. February 18, 1998. (Hereafter cited as Viadero, Small Classes.) CRS-6 school districts are to certify that they have provided their teachers with staff training on topics related to effective instruction in smaller classes.14 In the initial year of the program, some 18,400 teachers were hired, 115% more than the number that would have been needed to compensate for normal teacher attrition and enrollment growth.15 According to several analyses of the initial year, teacher quality may have suffered in the drive to satisfy the greater demand for new teachers. Approximately one-fourth of the individuals hired did not have a teaching credential. As one analysis concluded: “Desperation hiring has brought in new teachers who are less experienced, less qualified and less skilled, on average, than those of previous years. The teachers on emergency permits have bachelor’s degrees and passed the minimum competency test, but most have no teaching experience or preparation.”16 It remains to be seen what impact these characteristics will actually have on the quality of classroom practice and student performance. Current Federal Role Supporting Precollege Teachers The process of preparing, recruiting, licensing, compensating, testing, and structuring the working conditions of the elementary and secondary teaching force is primarily the responsibility of states and localities. Nevertheless, the federal government provides a wide array of support for teachers. Prior to the 105th Congress, the federal aid that was specifically targeted on elementary and secondary school teachers focused on inservice training, with some additional funding for preservice training and recruitment. Further, under several federal programs, local school districts were able to use federal funds to hire teachers and instructional specialists. The 105th Congress has shifted this balance regarding the focus of federal efforts. It enacted new programs in the HEA primarily addressing teacher preparation and recruitment, and appropriated $1.2 billion for hiring new teachers. These new initiatives are described below in the section on Selected Proposals Before the 105th Congress. Overall, although federal aid for precollege teachers comes from multiple federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the primary source. Next to the class size reduction initiative in the FY1999 appropriation legislation, the largest of the programs administered by ED is the Eisenhower Professional Development program (Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)). The Eisenhower state grant program ($335 million for FY1999) allocates 14 For descriptions of the California program, see, for example: Illig, David C. Early Implementation of the Class Size Reduction Initiative. California Research Bureau. 1997; California Legislative Analyst’s Office. Class Size Reduction. Policy Brief. February 12, 1997. (Hereafter cited as California Legislative Analyst’s Office, Class Size Reduction.) 15 16 California Legislative Analyst’s Office, Class Size Reduction, p. 12. McRobbie, Joan. Class Size Reduction: A One-Year Status Check. Thrust for Educational Leadership. September, 1997. Online: [http://www.wested.org/policy/class_size/leadership.htm]. See, also, California Legislative Analyst’s Office, Class Size Reduction. CRS-7 funds to states for activities by state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to strengthen the elementary and secondary teaching force in core academic subjects. The HEA authorizes some assistance for teachers. The HEA Title IV student aid programs provide assistance to prospective teachers; also borrowers under the Federal Perkins Loans (HEA Title IV) are eligible for loan forgiveness for performing certain kinds of service, including teaching at high poverty schools. New teacher loan forgiveness was added to the HEA by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (see description in a section below). Prior to its 1998 reauthorization, the HEA authorized in its Title V a wide array of programs addressing elementary and secondary school teacher training. Nevertheless, only 1 of its 17 separate funding authorities was funded in FY1998 — the Minority Teacher Recruitment program ($2.2 million).17 As already noted, the new HEA programs replace the previous programs in Title V. Other teacher programs in ED are the personnel preparation program ($82.1 million for FY1999) and state improvement program ($35.2 million for FY1999) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These programs support preservice and inservice training, respectively, for teachers working with disabled students. Also, the Bilingual Education Act’s professional development program ($50 million for FY1999) funds preservice and inservice activities for teachers working with limited English proficient students. Federal funds also support the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards ($18.5 million for FY1998; the level for FY1999 is not yet available) which is creating an assessment process to certify on a voluntary basis teachers across the country who meet high standards. ED programs that are not primarily targeted on teachers may fund significant amounts of inservice training; the exact level of this spending is not known. These include the Title I program of the ESEA (aggregate appropriation of $7.7 billion in grants to LEAs for FY1999) which supports compensatory education for disadvantaged students, and the Innovative Education Program Strategies state grant program, ESEA Title VI ($375 million for FY1999), which can be used for a wide array of education reform-related activities. Other ED programs may also provide federal support for the hiring of teachers and instructors, although not usually general classroom teachers. Among them are the ESEA Title I program, and the ESEA Magnet Schools program (assisting local school districts establishing special schools and programs to desegregate student enrollment voluntarily). Other relevant programs are the responsibility of many different federal agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Energy (DOE), as well as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Many of these programs are focused on providing professional development opportunities for 17 CRS Report 97-449, Title V of the Higher Education Act: Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Development, by James B. Stedman. CRS-8 current teachers. For example, the NSF administers the Teacher Enhancement Program, conducted collaboratively with DOE national laboratories. This program supports training opportunities, including summer workshops and support activities during the school year, for elementary and secondary mathematics and science teachers. NSF is also funding Statewide Systemic Initiatives, Urban Systemic Initiatives, and Rural Systemic Initiatives. Under these programs, participants work to strengthen and reform science, mathematics, and technology education by providing standards-based instruction aligned with the curriculum, professional development for teachers, and assessments. Other examples of relevant programs include Educational Workshops at NASA field centers; these workshops provide elementary and secondary school teachers with the opportunity of interacting directly with NASA scientists in research and development projects. Selected Proposals Before the 105th Congress In this section, selected proposals in the 105th Congress addressing the quality and quantity of elementary and secondary school teachers are reviewed. Two major groups of proposals are considered below: ! proposals with a primary focus on improving teacher quality through reform of teacher education and enhancement of teacher recruitment; many of the proposals in this group sought to amend the HEA; and ! proposals principally addressing the teacher quantity issue by supporting the hiring of new teachers; the quality of teachers hired was also a concern of these proposals. These groupings are intended to bring together relatively similar kinds of proposals with similar focuses. Nevertheless, the distinctions between proposals in one group and those in the other are not always clear cut. For example, proposals to support alternative routes for highly qualified individuals to teacher certification are considered below in the section on efforts to increase teacher quality, although such efforts are likely to also increase the number of teachers available for the classroom. For each group, brief summaries of individual proposals are provided and key issues related to the proposals are analyzed. Proposals on which there was legislative action are described at the beginning of each of the sections below, beginning with those enacted into law.18 18 Resolutions expressing the sense of the House or Senate regarding teacher preparation, recruitment, and hiring are not covered below, e.g., the following amendments added to S.Con.Res. 86 (Senate FY1999-2003 budget resolution): amendment 2225 (DeWine) concerning enactment of legislation focusing on teacher training and alternative certification, and amendment 2229 (Feinstein) concerning federal support for state and local education goals including teacher recruitment and certification. CRS-9 Improving Teacher Quality This section provides brief overviews of selected legislative proposals introduced in the 105th Congress to address broadly the improvement of the quality of the elementary and secondary teaching force. The major activities supported by these proposals generally involved reform of teacher education programs and financial incentives to attract highly able individuals to teaching. Inservice training was addressed by some of these bills, as well. Many of the proposals considered below would have amended HEA Title V or some other title in the HEA. Proposals that addressed preservice or inservice education of teachers by targeting a particular subject area or skill are not considered here. Among such proposals are the following: S. 839 (Bingaman) and H.R. 2065 (Morella) to fund preservice and inservice training in information technology, and H.R. 2614 (Goodling), S. 1596 (Coverdell), and H.R. 2646 (Senate-passed version) to improve reading instruction partly through professional development activities.19 Enacted Provisions and Selected Proposals. The following descriptions necessarily omit many important details. They identify the specific funding level, if given, for the initial year of each program. When substantially similar or identical bills were introduced in both the House and Senate, they are described together in the order in which they were introduced. Proposals on which there was legislative action are described first and in greater detail. There was no action on most of these proposals. P.L. 105-244 — Higher Education Amendments of 1998. The Higher Education Amendments of 1998, as signed into law, authorize several new programs to reform teacher preparation in higher education institutions and increase teacher recruitment efforts. These amendments also newly authorized loan forgiveness for individuals teaching in high poverty schools. These various provisions are described below. Title II of HEA, as newly amended, authorizes Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants for States and Partnerships. There are two main components to this title — an array of three grant programs to improve teacher preparation programs at higher education institutions and to recruit highly able individuals to teaching; and a set of broad-based teacher education accountability requirements. The three grant programs include state grants, partnership grants, and teacher recruitment grants. The statute authorizes $300 million for FY1999 and such sums as necessary for the 4 succeeding fiscal years. The annual appropriation is divided among the three programs as follows: 45% for state grants, 45% for partnership grants, and 10% for recruitment grants. The FY1999 omnibus appropriations legislation includes $75 million for this authority. State Grants. These are one-time, 3-year competitive grants awarded to the state governor unless state constitution or law designates another person, entity, or agency 19 See CRS Report 97-972, Reading Instruction: New Federal Initiatives, by Wayne Riddle. CRS-10 as responsible for teacher certification and preparation. Participating states must provide a matching amount in cash or kind from non-federal sources equal to 50% of the amount of the federal grant. Examples of the activities for which state grant funds must be used include holding teacher preparation programs accountable for the academic and teaching qualifications of the teachers they prepare; reforming teacher certification; and supporting the recruitment of teachers. Partnership Grants. These are one-time, 5-year grants awarded competitively to partnerships that must include a partner institution,20 a school of arts and sciences at a higher education institution, and a high need local educational agency.21 Partnerships must match from non-federal sources 25% of the partnership grant in the first year, 35% in the second, and 50% in each succeeding year. Examples of the activities for which these grants must be used are: holding teacher preparation programs accountable for the academic and teaching quality of the teachers they prepare; providing preservice clinical experience to teacher candidates; and providing professional development opportunities. Partnerships may also support such activities as teacher recruitment and leadership training to principals and superintendents. Teacher Recruitment Grants. These are one-time, 3-year grants awarded competitively to states or to the partnerships eligible for partnership grants. States and partnerships have the same matching requirements for these grants as they have under their separate grant programs (see descriptions above). Recruitment grant funds must be used for either of the following: teacher education scholarships, as well as support services to help recipients complete college and stay in teaching (each year of scholarship assistance requires a year of teaching in high need LEAs), or activities enabling high need LEAs and schools to recruit highly qualified teachers. Other Grant Program Requirements. Among other requirements, the new HEA Title II requires that any LEA or school that benefits from activities under the title must, upon request, provide parents of students with information about the subject matter qualifications of students’ classroom teachers. Further, each state receiving a state grant must report annually on progress toward certain specified objectives, such as raising the academic standards required for entering teaching; increasing the pass rate on initial certification assessments; increasing the percentage of secondary school classes in core subjects taught by 20 A partner institution is a public or private higher education institution with a teacher training program that (1) has either an 80% or higher pass rate by its graduates on state qualifying assessments for new teachers, or is ranked among the highest performing programs in the state; or (2) requires its students to participate in intensive clinical experience, meet high academic standards, and either complete an academic major (in the subject in which the student intends to teach if preparing to teach at the secondary level, or in the arts and sciences if preparing to teach at the elementary level) or otherwise demonstrate competence. 21 A high need LEA is one that is serving an elementary or secondary school in an area with a high percentage of individuals from families in poverty, a high percentage of out-of-field secondary school teachers, or a high teacher turnover rate. CRS-11 teachers with academic majors in those or related fields, or who are able to demonstrate competence through subject tests or classroom performance in core subjects; increasing the percentage of elementary school classes taught by teachers who have academic majors in the arts and sciences or who can demonstrate competence through high levels of performance in core subjects; and increasing the number of teachers able to apply technology to the classroom. Each partnership that receives a partnership grant must include an evaluation plan in its application. That plan must include objectives and measures that are similar to those on which states must report, with the inclusion of an objective to increase teacher retention in the first 3 years of teaching. Failure to demonstrate progress (by the end of the second year of state grants and recruitment grants and the third year of partnership grants) can lead to termination of the grant. General Accountability Provisions for Teacher Preparation. Certain accountability provisions included in the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant Program are likely to affect nearly all teacher education programs in the country, not just the programs receiving funding under this program. Beginning within 2 years of enactment of the legislation, each state receiving funds under the HEA is required to prepare an annual report card on the quality of its teacher preparation programs, including such information as the pass rate on each of the assessments used for teacher certification (disaggregated and ranked by teacher preparation program) and the extent that certification requirements are waived, particularly in high and low poverty districts and in different subject areas. Beginning within 18 months of enactment, any higher education institution with a teacher preparation program that enrolls students aided under the HEA must release an annual report that includes such information as the latest annual pass rate of graduates on certification assessments and whether the program has been designated as low-performing (see below) by the state. As a condition of continued receipt of HEA funds and within 2 years of enactment, a state must have established a procedure for identifying low-performing teacher preparation programs and for providing them with technical assistance. Any higher education institution with a teacher preparation program that has lost state approval or financial support because of its designation by the state as a lowperforming programs is ineligible for any professional development funding from ED, and cannot accept or enroll in its teacher preparation program any student receiving assistance under HEA Title IV. Loan Cancellation for Teachers. As amended by P.L. 105-244, the HEA newly provides for cancellation of subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Family Education Loans and Direct Loans for individuals who teach on a full-time basis in eligible lowincome public or private nonprofit elementary or secondary schools for 5 years. Secondary school teachers must teach in a subject that is relevant to their academic major; elementary school teachers must demonstrate that they have knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, and other areas of the elementary curriculum. A maximum of $5,000 can be canceled for each borrower after the fifth year of teaching. Only loans made to new borrowers on or after October 1, 1998 can be canceled. CRS-12 H.R. 2646 (as passed by the Congress). As passed by the Congress (conference report approved June 18, 1998 by the House and June 24, 1998 by the Senate) and vetoed by the President (July 21, 1998), the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998, legislation to expand the new education individual retirement accounts,22 includes language supporting teacher testing and merit pay for teachers. It amends the Eisenhower Professional Development program (ESEA Title II) to provide that 50% of any funds appropriated for this program in excess of the amount appropriated for FY1999 is to be awarded among states that administer a test of every elementary and secondary school teacher in the state every 3 to 5 years, and that have a teacher compensation system based on merit. This provision would no longer apply if the annual appropriation for the Eisenhower program exceeds $600 million or every state has an eligible teacher testing and merit pay program. Further, the legislation provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, all federal education funds (not defined) can be used by states to implement a teacher test or establish a merit pay program.23 H.R. 1435 (Clay).24 Among other provisions, this bill amends HEA Title IV to provide borrowers with the option of canceling their federally supported higher education student loans (both FFELs and DLs) if they teach full-time in public schools with over 30% low-income enrollment in ESEA Title I-eligible LEAs, or teach full-time in math, science, foreign language, bilingual education or SEAdesignated shortage fields. H.R. 2228 (Miller of California)/S. 1484 (Bingaman). The Teaching Excellence for All Children Act of 1997 (H.R. 2228) and the Quality Teacher in Every Classroom Act (S. 1484) share many basic features; several of their differences are also noted here. They amend HEA Title IV to provide loan cancellation similar to that in H.R. 1435. In contrast to that bill, though, H.R. 2228 conditions forgiveness upon teachers having demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching; and S. 1484 requires that borrowers have graduated in the top 25% of their college class or have scored in the top 20% on the Graduate Record Examination or the state’s teacher licensure exam, and that they have a liberal arts major — secondary school teachers must have majored in the subject they teach. Both bills require any IHE receiving federal funds for teacher training to meet nationally recognized accreditation standards or have at least 90% of its graduates entering teaching pass state assessments for new teachers on their first try (S. 1484 also requires that an IHE ensure that its graduates have a liberal arts degree in addition to having completed teacher education courses). Both would fund partnerships of LEAs and nonprofit entities including IHEs to serve schools with greater than 30% low-income enrollment. The partnerships would support activities 22 CRS Report 97-852, Education Savings Accounts for Elementary and Secondary Education, by Bob Lyke. 23 For a related proposal to permit all federal education funds to be used for teacher hiring, see the description of S. 1590 in the subsection below on Increasing the Number of Teachers. Also, during consideration of H.R. 2646, an amendment to amend the HEA to include a loan forgiveness program for teachers was defeated. 24 Although this proposal does not have a focus on teacher quality, it is included here because its loan forgiveness provisions are largely duplicated in other bills which do. CRS-13 to improve such areas as teacher recruitment and induction (activities occurring in the initial years of teaching to introduce the new teacher to the career). Both bills amend the ESEA to condition receipt of ESEA funds on public schools informing parents of the qualifications of their children’s teachers and ensuring that teachers meet certain knowledge and skill requirements. Teachers for whom these qualifications are waived in order to respond to emergency teacher shortages must, within 3 years, demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills for effective teaching. H.R. 2495 (Hinojosa). Among other provisions, the Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century Act amends Title V to authorize a $350 million (FY1999) grant program for IHEs or consortia of IHEs and LEAs to train teachers and counselors in technology, train bilingual education teachers, recruit minorities into teaching and counseling, and instruct teachers in ways to raise students’ academic achievement. It also authorizes a $35 million (FY1999) grant program to counsel students about career and college opportunities, establish community partnerships (LEAs and other entities such as businesses) to increase college access, and provide inservice training to counselors. The bill also amends HEA Title IV to authorize loan forgiveness for certain services, including teaching at low-income schools. H.R. 3085 (Woolsey). The Partnership for Professional Renewal Act of 1997 adds a grant program to Title V to fund partnerships between IHEs and individual elementary and secondary schools. These partnerships support individuals being prepared to teach as well as provide professional development to teachers at participating schools. H.R. 3440 (Roemer). Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification Act of 1998 authorizes competitive, matching grants to partnerships that recruit mid-career changers with degrees related to the subjects they would be teaching and recent recipients of bachelor’s degrees in areas related to the subjects they would be teaching. Partnerships are also to help develop new teacher licensing policies that are based on subject matter knowledge. Each partnership is to be composed of the state agency responsible for teacher certification and low-income LEAs. The initial year’s authorization is $15 million. H.R. 3881 (Gallegly). The Teacher Investment and Enhancement Act would increase the size of a full-time secondary school teacher’s Lifetime Learning tax credit25 for qualified higher education tuition and related expenses incurred for courses of instruction directly relevant to the subject taught by the teacher. S. 1169 (Reed)/H.R. 3115 (Millender-McDonald). The Teacher Excellence in America Challenge Act of 1997 authorizes a $100 million (FY1999) program supporting partnerships involving IHEs that have teacher education programs, elementary or secondary schools, and LEAs. Among other activities, these partnerships would create and support professional development schools (schools 25 For information on this tax credit, see CRS Report 97-915, Tax Benefits for Education in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, by Bob Lyke. CRS-14 operated in close cooperation with IHEs), strengthen teacher preparation programs at IHEs, and provide inservice training. IHEs participating in the partnerships must be accredited by a national accrediting agency or provide a program determined by the U.S. Secretary of Education to be at least equal in quality to accredited programs. S. 1201 (Frist)/H.R. 2698 (McCarthy of New York). These similar bills — America’s Teacher Preparation Improvement Act — would amend Title V to extend the Minority Teacher Recruitment from current law; and authorize a grant program for IHEs establishing partnerships with other entities such as LEAs and schools. The initial funding authorization (FY1998) would be $237.5 million under H.R. 2698 and $235 million under S. 1201. The partnerships must strengthen teacher preparation programs and support enhanced induction processes for new teachers. They may establish preparation programs for nontraditional students (e.g., paraprofessionals and career changers) and recruit teachers for urban and rural areas. S. 1209 (Kennedy)/H.R. 2852 (Kildee). This is the Clinton Administration’s Title V reauthorization proposal. It permits continuation awards to Minority Teacher Recruitment grantees. Among other provisions, it authorizes a $30 million (FY1999) program of grants to “Lighthouse Partnerships” that include “lead” IHEs with exemplary teacher programs, “partner” IHEs with teacher programs, SEAs, and LEAs, for such activities as disseminating information about lead institutions’ programs, subgrants to partner institutions for program improvement, and joint activities with LEAs to improve teacher preparation. IHEs must be preparing teachers for urban and rural areas with concentrations of low-income children. The bill authorizes a $37 million (FY1999) program for partnerships of IHEs with teacher education programs and LEAs to recruit new teachers into “underserved areas” (high poverty LEAs) through the awarding of scholarships with teaching service payback requirements to individuals with “high potential to be effective teachers,”26 support services for scholarship recipients, and services during the induction period, with special consideration to projects to increase participation of minorities and the disabled in teaching. S. 1261 (Frist). This legislation would add the Teacher Investment Act to HEA Title IV to fund 2-year scholarships, with a teaching service payback requirement, for individuals with outstanding academic achievement who have completed at least half of the requirements for graduation from IHEs with programs preparing students for teacher licensure. S. 1741 (DeWine). The Teacher Quality Act of 1998 authorizes competitive, matching grants to LEAs for the establishment of teacher training facilities for elementary and secondary school teachers. LEAs must enter into partnerships with nongovernmental organizations to establish these facilities. Each grant is to be 26 The term teaching service payback is used in this report to describe a requirement, imposed on recipients of grants, scholarships, or fellowships, to provide teaching service in exchange for their assistance. This is contrasted with loan forgiveness for teaching which provides borrowers with an opportunity to reduce or cancel their debt by providing teaching service. CRS-15 awarded in the amount of $4 million (matched dollar for dollar by each LEA). The initial year authorization is $8 million. S. 1742 (DeWine). Alternative Certification and Licensure of Teachers Act of 1998 establishes a state formula grant program to support implementation of new or expanded alternative teacher certification programs, evaluation of such programs, staff training to assist teachers entering teaching through such programs, recruitment for alternative certification, and creation of reciprocal arrangements among states regarding teacher certification. The initial year’s authorization is $15 million. Selected Issues Raised by These Proposals. The primary focus of many of these proposals was preservice teacher education. Somewhat lesser attention was paid to teacher recruitment and inservice training. Reform of preservice education was being widely sought because of strong criticism of its overall quality. For example, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future concluded that, in comparison to education in other professions and to teacher education in other countries, teacher education in the United States “has historically been thin, uneven, and poorly financed.”27 As a result, one of the most critical aspects of these proposals is how they intended to generate reform of teacher education. Nearly all of these proposals funded partnerships that link IHEs with other entities, principally LEAs. In some instances the partnerships included individual schools, as well as businesses. The partnership requirement appears to be part of an effort to ensure that the faculty and the content of teacher education programs are closely tied to the needs of teachers in the classroom. As a result, partnerships might influence the content and delivery of teacher education. Nevertheless, partnerships by themselves might have only a marginal impact on teacher education programs which are subject to myriad other influences, such as the policies of their own higher education institutions, state level policies, and their faculties’ abilities and willingness to undertake change. Some of the proposals under consideration would have taken other steps to generate reform. Several would have required participating IHEs to have teacher preparation programs that are accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or that can demonstrate certain outcomes. Among the purposes of such a requirement is to bring all teacher education programs eligible for federal funding up to a set of standards applied nationally. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future made accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) part of its recommendations for teacher education programs, noting that “NCATE’s quality standards, ..., are demanding, but not beyond the reach of any school of education genuinely committed to preparing excellent teachers for the classrooms of a new century.”28 NCATE, the only teacher 27 National Commission, What Matters Most, p. 14. 28 National Commission, What Matters Most, p. 70. CRS-16 education accrediting agency currently recognized by ED,29 accredits 532 of 1,336 state-approved teacher education institutions in the United States.30 A requirement for national accreditation was controversial, generating resistance particularly from the teacher education programs, schools, and departments not currently accredited. At present, institutionwide accreditation is an eligibility requirement for participation in HEA programs; accreditation of specific programs is not. Among the concerns raised about such a requirement were its costs and its potentially adverse consequences for teacher education programs at small liberal arts colleges and selective universities.31 A debate in this area was not something new.32 Proposals to hold schools of education or their host institutions accountable for the performance of education graduates on certification assessments was also controversial. As described above, the new teacher provisions in the HEA address this kind of accountability. Among the issues raised by this approach include how to measure and compare each institution’s performance given that certification assessments and the standards for determining passage of those assessments can vary significantly from state to state. Further, the question of what consequences were to be applied to institutions not meeting the requirement was debated as well. Deliberation over other features of these proposals addressing other issues also occurred. For example, primarily in an effort to attract highly able individuals to teaching, loan forgiveness for teaching was to be expanded under some of the proposals and was included in the reauthorized HEA (see above); scholarships with a teaching service payback requirement were proposed and included in the recruitment component of the new Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants. Available research suggests that initiatives such as these, particularly loan forgiveness, are 29 A new organization to accredit teacher education programs — the Teacher Education Accreditation Council — has been established. It is expected shortly to apply to ED for recognition as an accrediting agency. See: Bradley, Ann. Alternative Accrediting Organization Taking Form with Federal Assistance. Education Week. January 21, 1998. 30 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. State Approved Teacher Education Institutions & NCATE: A State by State Analysis. November 14, 1997. 31 Ballou, Dale and Podgursky, Michael. Reforming Teacher Training and Recruitment: A Critical Appraisal of the Recommendations of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. September 15, 1997. Online: [http://www.psrf.org/doc/v174_art.html]. 32 For example, in 1995, the membership of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) debated whether to change the criteria for membership in the Association to require that all members be NCATE accredited. After a heated debate over the impact of the proposal on the AACTE’s membership and the merits of the NCATE accreditation process, the proposal was rejected by a 3 to 1 margin. Of the 720 institutions that were members of AACTE at the time, some 200 were not NCATE accredited. (Bradley, Ann. Teacher Training Group Trounces NCATE Mandate. Education Week. February 22, 1995.) CRS-17 likely primarily to reward individuals who would have taught anyway.33 Nevertheless, the research evidence is limited and relatively dated. Based on this research, it appears that certain features of loan forgiveness and service payback scholarships are keys to their effectiveness. These features include the amount of assistance provided and the “buy out” terms (that is, the conditions under which the beneficiary can avoid providing service). With regard to loan forgiveness, it is possible that loan debt among college students has increased sufficiently in recent years that the prospect of loan forgiveness will induce individuals to consider teaching who otherwise would not, and keep them in teaching at least as long as necessary to forgive their debt. Further, in an effort to make these provisions more attractive, the portion of a borrower’s debt forgiven for each year of teaching might be set relatively high, thereby, requiring fewer years of teaching to cancel the debt. In addition, there may also be other steps that could be taken to increase the effectiveness of loan forgiveness. For example, information might be widely and systematically disseminated early in students’ college years concerning the availability and conditions of the forgiveness. The more targeted nature of service payback scholarships may increase their effectiveness. The primary purpose of such programs is teacher recruitment, in contrast to loan programs to which loan forgiveness for teaching is added. Scholarship recipients will be aware from the inception of their involvement that teaching service is required. The effectiveness of such payback programs might be strengthened if a substantial amount of scholarship aid is provided annually. At the same time, the number of years of service required will directly affect the program’s attractiveness; a relatively long service requirement may create a disincentive for participation. Increasing the Number of Teachers The 105th Congress had before it a number of proposals for broad efforts to support local school districts’ hiring of new teachers. These responded to concerns about enrollment growth and projected increases in attrition from the teaching force. At the same time, some also reflected a widespread belief that reducing class size has a positive effect on student performance, and that, in contrast to other uses of federal resources, funds devoted to class size reduction are more likely to have a direct effect on students in the classroom. These proposals also sought to address the compensation of teachers, as well as teacher testing, in an effort to improve teacher quality. Enacted Provisions and Selected Proposals. The following descriptions necessarily omit many important details. They identify the specific funding level, if given, for the initial year of each program. When substantially similar or identical bills were introduced in both the House and Senate, they are described together in the 33 U.S. Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. The Experience With Loan Forgiveness and Service Payback in Federal and State Student Aid Programs. Report by Jim Stedman, LTR83-2037, January 27, 1983; Westat, Inc. Loan Forgiveness in Postsecondary Education: A Review of Recent Legislation and Relevant Literature. 1993. CRS-18 order in which they were introduced. Proposals on which there has been legislative action are described first and in greater detail. P.L. 105-277 — Omnibus FY1999 Appropriations . This legislation includes $1.2 billion for FY1999 primarily intended for the hiring of new teachers to reduce class sizes in the early grades. From the appropriation, $6 million is reserved for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the outlying areas. The remainder is distributed among the states based on either state shares of ESEA Title I, Part A funding (based primarily on numbers of children 5-17 years old living in poverty and levels of state per pupil expenditure), or state shares of ESEA Title II funding (based on school aged population and the distribution of Title I, Part A funding), whichever share would provide the state with a larger amount. All of the state allocation must be distributed to LEAs — 80% on the basis of the distribution of children 5-17 living in poverty and 20% on the basis of enrollments of students 5-17 enrolled in public and private nonprofit elementary and secondary schools. No award can be made to an LEA if the size of the allocation is less than the starting salary for a new teacher in that district; such an LEA can form a consortium with at least one other LEA and receive funds for reducing class size. Funds can be used for: (1) recruiting, hiring, and training certified teachers, including special education teachers and teachers of children with special needs (teachers certified through state and local alternative routes are included among eligible teachers); (2) testing the academic content knowledge of new teachers and meeting state certification requirements consistent with HEA Title II (see above); and (3) providing professional development consistent with HEA Title II. But, only 15% of the district’s allocation can be used for activities listed under (2) and (3) above. The legislation appears to suggest that class size reduction efforts must be focused on grades 1-3, unless class size in those grades has been reduced to 18 or fewer children.34 At that juncture, the local district is authorized to make further reductions in class size in those grade levels, reduce class size in kindergarten or other grades, or provide professional development and other activities improving teacher quality. These funds must supplement, not supplant, state and local funds that would otherwise have been spent for these activities. Further, no funds may be used to increase teacher salaries. Each state receiving funds must report on activities supported; each school benefitting from these funds or an LEA serving such school must report annually on student achievement that results from hiring new highly qualified teachers. 34 This is clearly not congressional intent as expressed in a letter (November 20, 1998) to U.S. Secretary of Education Riley, from Senator James Jeffords, chair of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, and Representative William Goodling, chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. They state: “We would also like to clarify that, despite arguably conflicting language in the new law, it was and is clearly our intent that local educational agencies have the flexibility to hire teachers in grades other than 1-3, in order to reduce class size. This issue was strongly debated during the negotiations and the final legislation does not require school districts to hire teachers only in the early grades.” (emphasis in original) CRS-19 ED has announced that these funds will enable schools districts to hire over 30,000 new teachers for school year 1999-2000. States can first receive these funds beginning July 1, 1999.35 The original class size reduction proposal from the Clinton Administration is described immediately below. Clinton Class Size Reduction Proposal and Related Bills — S. 1708 (Daschle), S. 2209 (Murray), H.R. 3876 (Clay), H.R. 4169 (Forbes). In his FY1999 budget proposal, President Clinton called for funding of a class size reduction initiative to reduce the average class size in grades 1 through 3 from 22 students to 18 students.36 The overall purpose appeared to be improved student performance, particularly in reading. Under this initiative, federal funds would be awarded to states on the basis of the allocation of ESEA Title I funds (a formula based primarily on counts of children in poverty); within states, high poverty districts would receive the same share of these class size reduction funds as they do of Title I funds and the remaining funds would be distributed on the basis of districts’ class size. Districts would be required to match the federal funds on a scale ranging from 10% to 50%, depending upon the poverty of the district. For the initial year of this proposal, the President would provide $1.1 billion in funds to be generated from a future settlement against tobacco companies. When fully implemented in 2005, this initiative is projected to have cost a total of $12 billion ($7.3 billion over the first 5 years) and have supported the hiring of 100,000 new teachers. In addition to using these funds to pay salaries of new teachers, up to 10% of the funds could be used to train teachers in successful methods of teaching reading and in ways of instructing smaller classes; to provide mentors to new teachers; to provide incentives for teachers who teach in high poverty schools; and to raise standards by initiating more rigorous testing programs for new teachers and raising the requirements for licensure. Any participating state would be required to implement “basic skills” tests for new teachers. The selection of these tests rests with the states. Further, states and local school districts would have to ensure that teachers hired under this initiative were fully certified or progressing satisfactorily toward certification. Finally, districts would be held accountable for achieving improvement in reading performance in each school within 3 years of receiving these funds. If they failed to do so, they would be required to take corrective action. Subsequent failure to improve reading achievement could result in loss of funding. Districts would also 35 U.S. Department of Education. Vice President Gore Announces $1.2 Billion to Begin Hiring 100,000 Teachers in Local School Districts. October 22, 1998. Downloaded October 23, 1998 from: www.ed.gov/PressReleases/. 36 U.S. Department of Education. A National Effort to Reduce Class Size: Smaller Classes with Qualified Teachers. January 26, 1998. Online: [http://www.ed.gov/inits/ClassSize/]. This document describes the class size proposal in general terms. CRS-20 be required to publish an annual report containing information on achievement, class size, and teacher qualifications.37 In general, the focus and provisions of Title II of S. 1708, S. 2209, H.R. 3876, and H.R. 4169 appear similar to those of the President’s proposal. As a result, they are not described separately here. During House debate on the Dollars to the Classroom Act (H.R. 3248), Representative Martinez offered a substitute amendment (Class-Size Reduction and Teacher Quality Act) that would have authorized $20.8 billion in funds over the next 10 years to reduce class size in grades 1-3. It was defeated by a vote of 190 ayes and 215 noes. H.R. 3157 (Paxon). The Teachers in the Classroom Act would fund the hiring of new elementary and secondary school teachers.38 Based on its findings, this legislation appears to support such hiring in order to address the growing demand for teachers due to enrollment growth, and to improve student performance by reducing class sizes. The annual authorization is $500 million for FY1999, rising in $500 million increments to $2.5 billion by FY2003.39 The U.S. Secretary of Education would be authorized to award grants, on the basis of school age population, to state governors, who would, in turn, provide funds to local school districts on the basis of their need to address overcrowded classes. Districts could use these funds to hire elementary and secondary school teachers or qualified instructional personnel as authorized under state law. Teachers hired with these funds would be obligated to teach for at least 1 year. Federal funds provided under this program would have to supplement, not supplant, non-federal funds that, in the absence of these federal funds, would be used “for the education of students participating in programs assisted under this Act.”40 To receive continued funding, participating districts would have to demonstrate an increased number of teachers in the classroom. They would also have to review annually the performance of individuals hired with these funds. Up to 10% of the funds awarded to each governor could be used for a program encouraging innovative teacher training programs, alternative certification, or the hiring of nontraditional individuals as teachers. Finally, the bill provides that nothing 37 In a related proposal, the President has also called for a 10 year/$10 billion investment in expanding and improving school facilities. This proposal is designed to address demands for classroom space generated by the class size reduction program. See: CRS Report 951090, School Facilities Infrastructure: Background and Funding in the 105th Congress, by Susan Boren. 38 A total of 100,000 new teachers are expected to be hired under this program over the 5 year period of its authorization (Lazarovici, Laureen. Paxon Teacher Training Bill Hits Tenure, Goals 2000. Education Daily. January 26, 1998). 39 According to information provided by Representative Paxon’s office, these funds are to be offset in the budget by eliminating funding for various current programs (e.g., Goals 2000), and agencies (e.g., National Endowment for the Arts), and by reducing departmental administrative funding by 20% annually for ED and DOE. 40 It is not clear precisely what those non-federal funds would be. CRS-21 in this legislation “may be construed to provide tenure to personnel hired pursuant to this Act.”41 H.R. 3986 (Schumer). The Student and Teachers Excellence in Education Act would, among its provisions, establish a nonrefundable federal income tax credit for full-time teachers of up to $2,000 a year; allow a deduction of up to $2,000 for federal income tax purposes of the expenses paid by a teacher for receiving certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; and authorize forgiveness of FFELs and DLs for public elementary or secondary school teaching. S. 1590 (Coverdell). In its title IV (Testing and Merit Pay for Teachers), the Better Opportunities for Our Kids and Schools Act provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, states may use federal education funds (not defined) to assess the performance of every elementary or secondary school teacher, to establish a merit pay program, or to hire elementary or secondary school teachers who are certified to teach. Selected Issues Raised by These Proposals. Although a number of issues were debated concerning these proposals, the analysis here focuses on three: the evidence that reducing class size will raise students’ academic achievement, the costs of hiring new teachers, and the impact on teacher quality. Effects on Student Achievement of Class Size Reduction. The research literature on class size reductions has been punctuated by caustic battles among analysts contending over the impact of reducing classes on academic achievement.42 Substantially different interpretations of the research literature continue to be used in policy debates over class size reduction. Nevertheless, the generally positive findings from Tennessee’s Project STAR (Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio), a longitudinal study of the effects of class size reduction in grades K through 3, have 41 Although, this language does not preclude teachers hired with funds provided under this legislation from securing tenure under state law, it has been characterized as a prohibition of the granting of tenure to teachers hired with these funds (Peterson, Molly. Representative Paxon Proposes Hiring 100,000 Teachers, Cutting Federal Bureaucracy. LEGI-SLATE News Service. January 8, 1998. Online: [http://legiweb.legislate.com/n/news/980108.htm]). 42 The debate has been carried on in numerous works. See, for example: Glass, Gene V., et al. School Class Size: Research and Policy. 1982; and Educational Research Service. Class Size: A Summary of Research. 1978. Glass et al. concluded: “The relationship of class size to pupil achievement is remarkably strong. Large reductions in school class size promise learning benefits of a magnitude commonly believed not within the power of educators to achieve.” (p. 50) Educational Research Service concluded: “There is general consensus that the research findings on the effects of class size on pupil achievement across all grade levels are contradictory and inconclusive.” (p. 68) CRS-22 helped lead many analysts and policymakers to the following conclusions concerning class size reduction:43 ! enrollment in the early grades in classes of 15 or fewer students may have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement compared to enrollment in substantially larger classes; ! minority students, in particular, may benefit from smaller classes; and, ! the benefits students experience from a reduction in class size may persist into later grades, albeit at somewhat reduced levels. In keeping with these findings, the funding including in P.L. 105-277 and other proposals are targeted to the early grades. But the degree of reduction in average class size likely to be achieved may be less than the literature suggests may be necessary for substantive achievement gains.44 Costs of Teacher Hiring. Nevertheless, even assuming that national efforts to reduce class size do lead to some degree of improvement in student achievement, it must be asked whether the gains achieved are worth the cost of the effort. That the costs of hiring new teachers can be high is suggested by the aggregate levels of funding in the President’s proposal ($12 billion over a 7-year period) and in H.R. 3157 ($7.5 billion over a 5-year period) that would be used to hire 100,000 teachers (a number equal to 3-4% of the current teaching force). The funds required to hire a new teacher are only a portion of the total costs that are, and will be, associated with that new teacher, particularly if that teacher is only one of many being hired. These costs include the expenses involved in creating a sufficient number of new classrooms to house the new teachers; providing staff training to new teachers; and compensating teachers at higher levels as they gain 43 See, for example: Mosteller, Frederick. The Tennessee Study of Class Size in the Early School Grades. The Future of Children. Summer/Fall 1995; Word, Elizabeth R., et al. The State of Tennessee’s Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) Project. Technical Report 1985-1990. 1990. Under Project STAR, teachers and students in participating schools were randomly assigned to one of three different kinds of classes — small classes (13 to 17 students), regular size classes (22 to 25 students), and regular size classes with a teacher’s aide. The study started with kindergarten and advanced a grade each year through the third grade. In addition, students who participated where tracked over time to determine whether the effects of small classes persisted into higher grades (Nye, Barbara A., et al. The Lasting Benefits Study: A Continuing Analysis of the Effect of Small Class Size in Kindergarten Through Third Grade on Student Achievement Test Scores in Subsequent Grade Levels: Fifth Grade. Technical Report. Tennessee State University. 1992.) 44 Gene Glass, who as noted above did some of the original work synthesizing research on class size, has been quoted as characterizing the amount of achievement gain to be realized by the size of the class size reduction under the President’s proposal as “very small.” (Associated Press. Teachers, Parents Equate Smaller With Better Classes. As printed in the Washington Times. February 9, 1998.) CRS-23 experience and move up the pay scale. The decision by school districts to use federal funds to hire more teachers is a step with long-term financial consequences.45 Increasingly, analyses of class size reduction have focused on the benefits relative to the costs of such initiatives. Many of them conclude that there are equally or more effective reform strategies that cost substantially less money in the shortterm and, in particular, over the long-term.46 Slavin, for example, identifies one-onone tutoring by certified teachers for at-risk first and second graders, peer tutoring, and cooperative learning, as among intervention strategies that can raise performance by larger amounts at a fraction of the cost. Effects on Teacher Quality. The potential impact on teacher quality of a major, nationwide hiring of teachers is also a significant concern. To address this issue, for example, the funds provided by P.L. 105-277 can be used to hire only certified teachers. The experience in California suggests that finding enough teachers who meet regular certification standards can be a difficult task. At the same time, some would argue that certification, as currently awarded, offers no substantial assurance of teacher quality. Permitting the hiring of teachers recruited to teaching through alternative routes would open the potential pool of teachers, but, in the view of some analysts, such provisions could threaten teacher quality as well.47 The proposals described above would also seek to address the quality issue in some other ways: annual performance review of the teachers, testing of new teachers, and performance assessments of current teachers. With regard to testing, current state efforts to test teachers as a condition of the granting of certification also may not constitute much of a gauge of teacher quality. As asserted by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the testing required for certification “are little more than multiple-choice tests of basic skills and general knowledge, widely criticized by educators and experts as woefully inadequate to measure teaching skills. Furthermore, in many states the cutoff scores are so low there is no effective standard for entry.”48 45 Hoff, David J. “Clinton’s 100,000-Teacher Plan Faces Hurdles.” Education Week. February 4, 1998. 46 See, for example: Slavin, Robert. Class Size and Student Achievement: Is Smaller Better? Contemporary Education. Fall, 1990; Tomlinson, Tommy M. Class Size and Public Policy: The Plot Thickens. Contemporary Education. Fall, 1990; Levin, Henry M., et al. Cost-Effectiveness of Four Educational Interventions. Institute for Research on Education Finance and Governance. Stanford University. May, 1984. 47 The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future asserts that, although “welldesigned nontraditional routes” to teaching can be effective, there is concern that some alternative routes provide inadequate levels of preparation and training for teacher candidates with potentially adverse consequences for student performance. (National Commission, What Matters Most, p. 53.) 48 National Commission, What Matters Most, p. 28. CRS-24 Concluding Observations The 105th Congress considered a large number of proposals to address the quality of elementary and secondary school teachers and their overall quantity. It enacted new programs to reform teacher preparation, and increase available funding for recruiting and hiring new teachers. Fashioning a federal response to these issues raised numerous questions concerning the appropriateness of such a response given the traditional responsibility at the state and local levels for teacher preparation, training, and hiring. Further, as was discussed earlier, some activities, particularly the hiring of a significant number of new teachers, have substantial federal costs associated with them. At the same time, the effectiveness of these efforts to address either of these issues are weighed against their costs. Perhaps most significant is the interplay between quality and quantity. As has been observed in this report, action to address one issue may have consequences for the other, and some of those consequences may be negative.