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S 812

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 812

To build capacity and provide support at the leadership level for successful school turnaround efforts.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 13, 2011

Mr. BENNET (for himself, Ms. LANDRIEU, and Mr. BROWN of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To build capacity and provide support at the leadership level for successful school turnaround efforts.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Lead Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) Research shows that school leadership quality is second only to teacher quality among school-related factors in the factors' impact on student learning.

      (2) Research shows that nearly 60 percent of a school's impact on student achievement is attributable to teacher and principal effectiveness, with 25 percent being attributable directly to the principal.

      (3) As of May of 2010, there are 3,419 schools implementing restructuring under section 1116(b)(8) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6316(b)(8)).

      (4) Research shows that only 2,000 high schools, 12 percent of all high schools, produce one-half of the Nation's high school dropouts. In order to turn those schools around, the United States will need effective principals in those schools.

      (5) Developing an effective method and delivery system for training and supporting effective principals in these schools is essential to the success of the students and the economy of the United States.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to build the capacity and increase the supply of effective principals and other school leaders to successfully lead school transformation and turnaround efforts;

      (2) to train and support a cohort of expert principals and other school leaders to lead successful school transformations and turnarounds;

      (3) to recruit and train effective mentors and coaches to support and increase the effectiveness of turnaround leaders;

      (4) to collect, build on, and disseminate information about effective leadership practice for school transformations and turnarounds;

      (5) to support the development of open source professional development materials for principals and other school leaders; and

      (6) to support school transformation and turnaround efforts.

SEC. 4. PRINCIPAL AND SCHOOL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) Principal and School Leadership Development- Part A of title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Subpart 6--Principal and School Leadership Development

`SEC. 2161. DEFINITIONS.

    `In this subpart:

      `(1) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- The term `eligible entity' means a partnership between--

        `(A) a nonprofit organization with a demonstrated commitment and capacity to develop and support principals and other school leaders; and

        `(B) an institution of higher education.

      `(2) LEARNING COMMUNITY-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The term `learning community' means a community within a school in which--

          `(i) adults and students work together to demonstrate a commitment to continuous and substantial improvement of school performance; and

          `(ii) the turnaround leaders and teachers have established the core attributes described in subparagraph (B).

        `(B) CORE ATTRIBUTES- The core attributes of a learning community are--

          `(i) a shared school mission and goals with an explicit vision of quality teaching and learning that guides all instructional decisions;

          `(ii) turnaround leader and teacher commitment to student outcomes and improving performance;

          `(iii) the establishment of a continuous cycle of improvement for the learning community;

          `(iv) fostering a culture of accountability and teamwork where teachers, principals, and other school leaders work together on a daily basis to analyze and improve practice;

          `(v) engagement by turnaround leaders and teachers in data analysis, improvement, and inquiry about what is working and what is not working; and

          `(vi) supporting and sharing leadership of the school, including fostering active community and family engagement.

      `(3) QUALIFIED PARTNERSHIP- The term `qualified partnership' means a partnership between or among--

        `(A)(i) a nonprofit organization with a demonstrated commitment and capacity to develop and support principals and other school leaders;

        `(ii) an institution of higher education; or

        `(iii) a nonprofit organization described in clause (i) and an institution of higher education; and

        `(B) one or more State educational agencies or local educational agencies.

      `(4) SCHOOL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY- The term `school leadership academy' means the school leadership academy established under section 2162(d)(1).

      `(5) TURNAROUND LEADER- The term `turnaround leader' means an experienced principal or other school leader who--

        `(A) is selected for participation in a leadership training program under this subpart on the basis of rigorous, competency-based, criteria determined by the school leadership academy;

        `(B) participates in a leadership training program provided through the school leadership academy or through a school leadership center of excellence established under section 2163; and

        `(C) makes a commitment to serve, for not less than 4 years, in a turnaround school, as described in section 2164(a)(1).

      `(6) TURNAROUND MENTOR- The term `turnaround mentor' means a mentor or coach who--

        `(A) participates in a leadership training program provided through the school leadership academy or through a school leadership center of excellence established under section 2163;

        `(B) provides ongoing, individualized support to turnaround leaders; and

        `(C) makes a commitment, for not less than 4 years, to support turnaround leaders.

      `(7) TURNAROUND SCHOOL- The term `turnaround school' means a school that--

        `(A) is subject to corrective action or restructuring under paragraph (7) or (8) of section 1116(b); or

        `(B) in the case of a secondary school, has a 4-year graduation rate of less than 60 percent.

`SEC. 2162. SCHOOL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY.

    `(a) School Leadership Academy Authorized-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- From amounts made available to carry out this subpart, the Secretary shall award, on a competitive basis, not more than 1 grant to an eligible entity to enable the eligible entity to establish not more than 1 school leadership academy for the development of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors, in order to transform and improve turnaround schools.

      `(2) GRANT RENEWAL- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Secretary may renew the grant under this section on the basis of the performance of the eligible entity under the grant.

    `(b) Application- An eligible entity desiring the grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

    `(c) Award Basis- In awarding the grant under this section, the Secretary shall give a competitive preference to eligible entities--

      `(1) with a demonstrated capacity to train principals and other school leaders to serve high-need local educational agencies; and

      `(2) that are committed to training principals and other school leaders to serve rural areas.

    `(d) Uses of Funds-

      `(1) SCHOOL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY AND CORE PRINCIPLES- The eligible entity receiving the grant under this section shall use the grant funds to establish a school leadership academy for the development of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors, in order to improve low-performing schools. The school leadership academy supported under this section, and the activities carried out by the school leadership academy, shall be based on the following core principles for school leadership:

        `(A) Developing a school culture, instructional program, and professional development program, with a primary focus on improving the learning of all students.

        `(B) Ensuring effective management of the organization, operation staff, and resources of the school for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

        `(C) Supporting school faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

        `(D) Acting with integrity and fairness, and in an ethical manner.

        `(E) Understanding and influencing the political, social, legal, and cultural context of the school.

        `(F) Utilizing student level data to drive instructional improvement and school level data to drive decisionmaking.

      `(2) INITIAL YEAR OF THE GRANT- During the first year of the grant under this section, the school leadership academy shall use grant funds--

        `(A) to bring together experts in school leadership who are committed to dramatic and effective turnaround of low-performing schools and who can provide input about what the evidence base shows regarding effective school leadership in turnaround schools, such as--

          `(i) representatives of institutions of higher education;

          `(ii) representatives of teacher labor organizations;

          `(iii) principals;

          `(iv) teachers;

          `(v) administrators;

          `(vi) representatives from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards;

          `(vii) academic experts in the field of school transformations and turnarounds;

          `(viii) principals and individuals who have successfully turned around low-performing schools;

          `(ix) Governors or the Governors' representatives;

          `(x) school support staff;

          `(xi) parents;

          `(xii) representatives of community-based organizations;

          `(xiii) business leaders;

          `(xiv) representatives of organizations that represent principals; and

          `(xv) other stakeholders;

        `(B) to collect and develop, in consultation with the experts described in subparagraph (A), a core body of knowledge regarding effective school leadership, which is evidence-based and tested over time;

        `(C) to create the infrastructure to support the development of open source professional development materials for principals and other school leaders;

        `(D) to develop a leadership training program, for turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors, that provides training in areas such as--

          `(i) designing and implementing data-driven school improvement plans;

          `(ii) using student assessment data, including formative and summative assessments and program evaluation data, for the purpose of making instructional decisions and improving school-based programs;

          `(iii) building relationships within the learning community and supporting the school community, including parents of students and community stakeholders;

          `(iv) designing professional development approaches that are school-based and evidence-based;

          `(v) facilitating and conducting group meetings;

          `(vi) building relationships and communicating effectively with State and local educational agency officials and teacher labor organizations;

          `(vii) ensuring that rigorous, relevant, and effective teaching practices are implemented through strong instructional leadership;

          `(viii) preparing turnaround leaders to provide teachers with useful feedback to improve the practice of the teachers;

          `(ix) understanding staff recruitment, hiring, and dismissal courses of action to create highly functional instructional teams;

          `(x) understanding collective bargaining rules;

          `(xi) understanding the needs of adult learners;

          `(xii) creating a high-performance culture by cultivating a commitment to achievement and accountability for results from all adults and students in the school;

          `(xiii) establishing performance benchmarks, identifying leading indicators of change, and assessing progress against goals;

          `(xiv) understanding high-need student populations, particularly special education students, English language learners, and high-poverty students; and

          `(xv) enforcing a safe, disciplined environment with flexible, yet clear, orders of behavior;

        `(E)(i) to select an initial cohort of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors from the individuals who seek to participate in the leadership training programs using rigorous, competency-based, selection criteria determined by the school leadership academy;

        `(ii) to carry out the leadership training program described in subparagraph (D) for the cohort; and

        `(iii) to ensure that the leadership training program described in subparagraph (D) is informed, on an ongoing basis, by evidence regarding effective school leadership;

        `(F) to provide stipends for turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors to support their participation in the leadership training program; and

        `(G) to provide support for, and encourage interaction among, the initial cohort of participants after the cohort's completion of the leadership training program.

      `(3) SUCCEEDING GRANT YEARS- For the second year, and each succeeding year, of the grant under this section, the school leadership academy shall--

        `(A) continue supporting the development of open source professional development materials for principals and other school leaders;

        `(B) for the second year only, select a second cohort of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors from the individuals who seek to participate in the leadership training programs and carry out the leadership training program described in paragraph (2)(D) for the cohort;

        `(C) provide support for, and encourage interaction among, turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors in the leadership training programs conducted by the school leadership academy and by the school leadership centers of excellence supported under section 2163; and

        `(D) disseminate information to turnaround leaders, turnaround mentors, the school leadership centers of excellence established under section 2163, and others engaging in transformation and turnaround efforts, about lessons learned from, and best practices informed by, past school transformation and turnaround efforts.

`SEC. 2163. SCHOOL LEADERSHIP CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.

    `(a) Program Authorized-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning in the first school year after the initial cohort of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors have been trained by the school leadership academy under section 2162(d)(2)(E), the Secretary shall award, from amounts made available to carry out this subpart and on a competitive basis, grants to qualified partnerships (as defined in section 2161(3)) to enable the qualified partnerships to establish school leadership centers of excellence.

      `(2) RENEWAL- The Secretary may renew a grant under this section on the basis of the performance of the qualified partnership under the grant.

    `(b) Application- A qualified partnership desiring to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

    `(c) Rural Area- The Secretary shall award not less than 1 grant under this section to a qualified partnership that intends to establish a school leadership center of excellence that focuses on training turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors to serve rural areas.

    `(d) Authorized Activities- A qualified partnership receiving a grant under this section shall use the grant funds to establish a school leadership center of excellence to support cohorts of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors to be served under the grant as the turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors lead school transformation and school turnaround efforts. Each school leadership center of excellence shall carry out the following activities:

      `(1) Adopt and adapt the turnaround leader and turnaround mentor training program described in section 2162(d)(2)(D)--

        `(A) to meet the needs of the local educational agencies proposed to be served by the qualified partnership; and

        `(B) so that the program is informed, on an ongoing basis, by the evidence regarding effective school leadership.

      `(2) Beginning in the school year after the second cohort of turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors have been trained by the school leadership academy under section 2162(d)(3)(B), and for each succeeding school year of the grant--

        `(A) select, from individuals desiring to be turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors, using rigorous, competency-based, selection criteria that is adapted from the criteria described in section 2162(d)(2)(E) to meet the needs of the local educational agencies proposed to be served by the qualified partnership in accordance with section 2164, the cohort of the turnaround leaders and turnaround mentors who will--

          `(i) participate in the leadership training program in order to effectively lead school transformation and turnaround efforts; and

          `(ii) receive stipends to support their participation in the leadership training program; and

        `(B) carry out the leadership training program, as adapted under paragraph (1), for each cohort, in cooperation with participating local educational agencies.

      `(3) Use the open source materials supported by the school leadership academy under paragraphs (2)(C) and (3)(A) of section 2162(d) and work with the school leadership academy in order to best train and support the participants.

`SEC. 2164. PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS AND APPLICATIONS.

    `(a) Agreement- In order for a turnaround leader or turnaround mentor to participate in a leadership training program carried out by the school leadership academy or by a school leadership center of excellence under this subpart, the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, shall enter into an agreement with the school leadership academy or school leadership center of excellence, as the case may be, under which--

      `(1) the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, agrees to participate in the leadership training program and to make a commitment to serve, for not less than 4 years, in a turnaround school after the leadership training program, pursuant to a mutual agreement between the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, and the local educational agency that the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, will serve; and

      `(2) the local educational agency that the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, will serve agrees--

        `(A) to provide ongoing support for the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively;

        `(B) to support the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, in developing a leadership team at the school;

        `(C) to participate in the leadership training program, as appropriate;

        `(D) to work to build community support for the school transformation or turnaround effort by involving parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff in the planning and implementation process;

        `(E) to put the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, in touch with labor organizations; and

        `(F) to implement the recommendations of the school leadership academy or school leadership center of excellence to ensure success in the turnaround school where the turnaround leader or turnaround mentor, respectively, will serve.

    `(b) Noncompliance With Agreement- If, after receiving notification from the school leadership academy or a school leadership center of excellence supported under this subpart that a local educational agency which has entered into an agreement described in subsection (a) has failed to comply with such agreement, the Secretary determines that the local educational agency failed to comply with such agreement, then the Secretary shall ensure that no turnaround leaders or turnaround mentors from such local educational agency shall be selected for participation in the leadership training programs under this subpart after the date of such determination.

    `(c) Application- Each turnaround leader, turnaround mentor, and local educational agency desiring to participate in the programs and activities assisted under this subpart shall submit an application to the appropriate eligible entity or qualified partnership at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the eligible entity or qualified partnership, respectively, may require.

`SEC. 2165. RESEARCH, EVALUATION, DISSEMINATION, AND REPORTS.

    `(a) In General- From amounts made available for this subpart, the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall support, directly or through grants or contracts, research on identifying the skills and conditions necessary for principals and other school leaders to improve turnaround schools and evaluations of the programs and activities funded by grants under sections 2162 and 2163, including studies and evaluations that--

      `(1) assess the effectiveness of the programs and activities carried out by each eligible entity and qualified partnership receiving a grant under section 2162 or 2163 in--

        `(A) providing professional development for turnaround leaders that supports--

          `(i) the core attributes of a learning community, as described in section 2161(2)(B); and

          `(ii) effective school leadership to improve student and school performance;

        `(B) creating the conditions and factors that positively impact a school culture and lead to improved student academic performance; and

        `(C) sustaining school-based reforms focused on learner-centered models and a cycle of continuous improvement;

      `(2) assess how the programs and activities carried out by each such eligible entity or qualified partnership can be replicated to meet the unique needs of schools; and

      `(3) assess how such programs and activities improve turnaround schools.

    `(b) Dissemination- The Secretary shall, based on the results of the studies and evaluations completed under subsection (a), disseminate information and analysis to the public, including information regarding the best practices in professional development to support principals and other school leaders.

    `(c) Reports-

      `(1) ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE SECRETARY- Each eligible entity and qualified partnership that receives a grant under this subpart shall submit an annual report to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. The report, at minimum, shall include--

        `(A) data on the number and characteristics of individuals who have received training or other support under the grant;

        `(B) data on the schools led by such individuals, including--

          `(i) characteristics of the schools and the students the schools serve, including the number and percentage of students in each of the subgroups listed in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II);

          `(ii) student academic achievement growth and other evidence of student academic success, disaggregated, where possible, by the subgroups listed in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v);

          `(iii) student attendance;

          `(iv) student secondary school graduation and college-going rates, if applicable;

          `(v) Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate enrollment rates and test scores, if applicable; and

          `(vi) recruitment, development, and retention of teachers who are determined to be effective based on multiple measures; and

        `(C) evidence that turnaround schools led by individuals described in subparagraph (A) have improved in areas in which those individuals received training or other support under the grant.

      `(2) PERMISSIBLE- An eligible entity or qualified partnership that receives a grant under this subpart may include in the annual report under paragraph (1) other evidence of progress in schools led by principals trained by the eligible entity or qualified partnership, respectively.

`SEC. 2166. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

    `(a) Applicability- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of subparts 1 through 5 shall not apply to grants under this subpart.

    `(b) Rule of Construction- The rule of construction described in section 1116(d) shall apply to this subpart in the same manner as such rule applies to section 1116.'.

    (b) Authorization of Appropriations- Section 2103 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6603) is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a), by striking `subpart 5' and inserting `subparts 5 and 6'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

    `(c) Principal and School Leadership- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out subpart 6 such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.'.

    (c) Conforming Amendments- The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2151 the following:

`subpart 6--principal and school leadership development

      `Sec. 2161. Definitions.

      `Sec. 2162. School leadership academy.

      `Sec. 2163. School leadership centers of excellence.

      `Sec. 2164. Participation agreements and applications.

      `Sec. 2165. Research, evaluation, dissemination, and reports.

      `Sec. 2166. General provisions.'.

END