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Report: Preparing Utah's Workforce to Compete and Prosper in the 21st Century

Report of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative Steering Committee to
Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
December 18, 2008

Executive Summary

Developing Utah's workforce should be a concern to all Utahns. From nurturing an infant to retraining a retiree, the preparation of individuals to compete, contribute and prosper in society is a shared responsibility. It is everyone's job. It is the core of our national productivity and it is the future of Utah's economic growth.

The workforce needs of the 21st century change what we have traditionally understood about human talent or human capital. Worldwide markets and unprecedented advances in communication and technology have forced us to rethink our assumptions about what is most important to teach, which competencies we should encourage most, what standards we should strive for and what we mean by workforce preparedness.

Parents, policymakers, educators, businesses and communities play vital roles in this endeavor. It is essential that each recognize his or her part and respond accordingly. The decisions made today will shape the future of Utah's long-term economic potential and involvement in the global marketplace.

The purpose of this report is to uncover some opportunities before us, state the case for action and outline steps to move forward.

The Globally Competitive Workforce Steering Committee (Attachment A lists the committee's membership) presents its findings for consideration by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. Individually, steering committee members have pursued, supported and championed workforce-related causes throughout their lives. Their participation in this effort, Utah's 21st Century Workforce Initiative, is in most, if not all cases, simply an extension of that commitment.

The committee's recommendations are marked by breakthroughs, insights and discoveries that helped to create an understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Utah. This understanding is the result of system-level examination of processes that determine the preparation of Utah's workforce. Many findings build upon existing workforce-related research. In the end, the value of the opportunities identified in this report is in their combined potential to make a difference. A common enthusiasm by participants that Utah can do better if we are willing to change has permeated the process and survived the SMART Sessions. This is evident by the steady flow of queries about where we go from here and the continuous expressions of support to continue what was started. Whether we realize that potential - whether change actually occurs is a matter of leadership.

It is the power of integration that sets apart the contribution of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative. The current array of independent, somewhat connected workforce preparation components within the state can only take us so far. The emerging knowledge-based, technology-driven, interconnected global marketplace demands more. We must elevate and unify our approach. Other countries and other states are preparing now for the unparalleled opportunities of the future. Utah is in a prime position to act. To harness the virtually limitless talent of our people, we must align our efforts toward a common purpose.

Throughout the summer of 2008, this initiative brought together people from many walks of life and different perspectives. The participants represented educators and leaders in education, including teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members from local districts and the State Board of Education, and people from higher education, technical training and private sector training. In an environment and process where they could look at the system, not just the parts, many insights surfaced and were discussed. Not only educators, but business people from large companies and small entrepreneurs, labor leaders and teachers' organizations and people from government who deal with workforce issues and economic development were participants in these discussions. Together they mapped the current system and processes, identified opportunities for improvement and outlined steps forward. The results have been remarkable. A corps of committed volunteers, experts nominated by the steering committee, has invested heart, mind and soul and a large, precious portion of time to focus on the vision of this initiative: Utahns will have the skills required to succeed in the 21st century.

These volunteer specialists have participated in four intense working sessions that lasted five days for the first session and four days each for the other four. Through these sessions they identified a series of concerns and formulated a set of actions that can carry this initiative to the level of a proactive, results-driven process. The opportunities, from the view of these volunteers, are described below.

SMART Session observations

During the summer of 2008, work moved forward through a series of "SMART" Sessions, the acronym signifying Stakeholder-focused, Measure and data-driven, Action-oriented, Responsive to customers, and Time-bounded. During these sessions, participants used data, a systemic view of workforce-related processes and their collective backgrounds and perspectives to assess the current systems and processes and identify opportunities for improvement. There were many times during the summer when people who have made careers in the area being discussed saw things from a different perspective and over time concluded we can improve.

1. System governance

Session participants described the current system of workforce preparation as multiple workforce development-related streams of effort without coordinated objectives, plans, priorities or accountabilities. The Department of Workforce Services, the Chambers of Commerce, local and state economic development entities, business and industry in general, Public Education, Higher Education, Career Technical Education, the Utah College of Applied Technology, community groups, professional associations and others represent various entities within these streams.

Without a common organizing principle to achieve 21st century workforce development objectives, misalignment will continue. It became clear during the session that there are systemic challenges such as competition for funding, time and resource-consuming regulations and varying direction from disconnected governing bodies, and time and energy wasted in activities that duplicate or are inconsistent across the system.

Finally, session participants agreed that disconnects across workforce development compromise Utah's potential for economic development.
Finding 1: Utah's workforce system needs to build the capacity of talent in our citizens. We need a workforce development governance structure to establish overall strategy and align statewide efforts toward this end.

2. System funding

There was clear consensus among session participants that as a result of not being aligned and without coordinated measures or processes, workforce funding can inadvertently hinder efforts it intends to finance. Many of our current funding processes for workforce development are complicated, constrained by a disconnected network of regulations, wasteful through duplication or inefficiency and make it difficult to require accountability. Existing funding requirements and regulations remove most local control or discretion over budget decisions and give power to those who do not have responsibilities and leaves those responsible without authority or power to accomplish expected results.
Finding 2: Budget and finance processes need to be changed and aligned across all workforce development activities.

3. Management Systems

After mapping out the flow of student identification, coursework, grades and other descriptors across public education, postsecondary education, government and the marketplace, session participants described Utah's workforce data stream as being as narrow or limited as a "cow path" compared to what is needed: an information superhighway. Each organization or education sector has its own policies and data systems that often do not communicate nor integrate nor align in support of common objectives.
Finding 3. The policies and data within management systems need to be aligned in order to support and inform statewide workforce objectives.

4. Educational leadership

From their own experience, expert analysis and review of supporting data, session participants affirmed the decisive influence of principals, superintendents and other educational leaders on both teaching and student achievement. Participants concluded that Utah currently has no coordinated process for training or measuring of educational leaders, and that uneven school leadership results in low teacher morale, uneven teacher performance and teacher attrition, underperforming students and poor public relations.
Finding 4: There is a need for establishing a process for leadership training and continuous improvement, as well as research-based evaluation tools for monitoring leadership performance.

5. Teaching

Beyond the home, the earliest and most influential impact on skills and talents of a person is the classroom. The session on teaching focused on fundamental challenges of attracting and keeping high quality teachers, as well as the role and quality of teaching in developing people with skills and talent. Participants concluded that despite increasing attrition, there is no effective integrated or common set of systems or processes for recruiting, selecting, developing or compensating the best teachers or administrators. In addition, measuring and fostering accountability in the way needed is inadequate.
Finding 5. Processes for recruiting, retaining and compensating high quality teachers should mutually reinforce and support common objectives, including 21st century skill attainment.

6. Early childhood education

According to the experts and stakeholders who participated in this session, there are few policy investments with as high or long-term return as early childhood care and education. Despite the evidence of the importance of getting early childhood training right and the data that show what should be done, SMART Session participants asked themselves why haven't we been able to implement what we know. The problem is not that we don't know what works. The problem is that we do not have political support to do what we know needs to be done.
Finding 6: There is a need to establish a system that provides public and government support for early childhood education.

7. Dropouts

Session participants examined data about students who start but do not finish school both in public education and post-high school state institutions. They also looked at what they came to describe as the Grand Canyon between high school and post high school enrollment. In that chasm we lose too many students who become underemployed, underpaid, and over-represented in the ranks of the unemployed, those on public assistance, in the judicial system, and whose children tend to perpetuate this cycle. With the demographic changes forecast for Utah and corresponding increases in disadvantaged students, this challenge will only intensify.
Finding 7. The root causes of dropouts need to be identified and systematically addressed, from their inception through higher education.

8. Curriculum

During this session, an illustration of the entire two-year public education curriculum development cycle, including its sub-routines and multiple "veto" and public comment opportunities and return loops, helped participants recognize the inability of this process to keep pace with a changing world, or to respond to the dynamic, rapidly evolving requirements of a 21st century economy. The participants concluded the system or processes for development of curriculum in both public and higher education should change and improve in terms of content, rigor and cycle time in accordance with change in all relevant disciplines, including 21st century skills, to fulfill evolving market needs.
Finding 8: The system for development of curriculum needs to be changed to be responsive to the demand for 21st century worker skills.

9. Development of Utah's talent pool

Session participants studied the system in place for training workers after they have left school. They concluded there is a need for a strong, seamless connection among education, training and 21st century skill sets, including soft skills and work ethic focus. To achieve this connection, the session looked at the potential to integrate education, economic development and the development of Utah's talent pool through identified clusters and occupations and clear career pathways that lead to high skill levels necessary for the 21st century workforce. The approach should encourage personal creativity and innovation while increasing a system-wide focus on science, math and technology. A better system to facilitate retraining people already in the workforce with family and other responsibilities is needed.
Finding 9: A methodology for identifying 21st century skills, attitudes, pathways and counseling, as well as greater emphasis on science, technology and math, would provide a critical connection between workers and the global marketplace.

10. Assessment of student achievement

Assessment was not included as a SMART Session because the Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment was working on that subject. This report is an opportunity to consider a paradigm change that was not part of the Blue Ribbon Panel's focus. There are good reasons we must test for skills needed in the workplace that are not now measured. Also a different approach to testing could dramatically aid the learning process.
Finding 10: It is worthwhile to take another look at our current system and processes for testing student progress. This review is necessary if our system is not to become obsolete in a few short years.

Additional considerations

The design and structure of the SMART Sessions was as comprehensive as possible within the available time frame and availability of resources. There remain many vital aspects of 21st century workforce preparation that are either sub-categories of the issues noted above or special categories on their own. Below is a list of several other areas that are worthy of attention:

Other than our Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment programs, we dedicate precious few resources to gifted and talented students. What steps can we take toward delivering programs and opportunities that recognize superior abilities and channel those in productive and service focused ways to help gifted and less gifted students? Data shows that even our best students do not compete favorably with the best of the nations with which we compete.

What are the most critical intervention points and effective methods that will help the most disadvantaged of our students to be successful in preparing for the 21st century workforce? What would it take to intervene and apply those methods?

How can we recruit the most able students to become teachers by repositioning compensation, selection and training career pathway design and elevating general esteem for the teaching profession? We need to design certification and compensation to recognize superior performance and contributions just like every other high status profession.

Should we study options for achieving competitive total compensation for teachers including base salaries and benefit programs from starting levels through career path progression for experienced professionals?

Have we unfairly and unrealistically shifted the accountability for student outcomes and achieving the 21st century workforce to the schools? How do we address the parental and community influences that have an undeniably huge impact on dropouts, student performance and our progress toward achieving a globally competitive workforce? This is an opportunity to mobilize the most influential voices of our entrepreneurial culture to compete on a global basis.

Students in other countries are attending school for much longer periods of time during a calendar year than students in the United States. Does this give international students a competitive advantage? Utah should explore the implications and opportunities of considering innovation in our academic calendar.

Throughout many of the SMART Sessions, the need for public support and political leadership became evident. Without leadership, opportunity cannot transition into action. This report not only states the case for action in the subjects reported but recommends projects which if implemented, would lead to change and improvement. The findings, recommendations and project plans are not perfect. There are multitudes of open questions and data and process gaps. As a whole, however, the report outlines a suggested approach and direction.

It is the hope of the steering committee that our state's leadership will view the findings and recommendations presented herein worthy of serious consideration. Deciding on a course of action will be the beginning; the test of our conviction and our leadership will be in moving from discussion to effective action.

Findings and Recommendations

This section of the report presents the findings and recommendations of the SMART Sessions. A description of the process that SMART Session participants followed in developing these findings and recommendations is presented at a later point in this document.

The intent of this section is to convey an accurate and complete account of the results of the SMART Sessions. Participants in these sessions were invited to deliver their best effort, to be bold, to stretch their thinking around ideas that would benefit the entire State of Utah and not just individual groups or sectors. They did. Most of the words, thoughts and conclusions that follow are the work of the session participants. The steering committee received the work of the SMART Sessions and added perspective, judgment and insight. At times certain members of the steering committee disagreed with the recommended actions and disagreed among themselves. The steering committee member comments and suggestions have been inserted where appropriate to give the Governor and others reading this report the benefit of steering committee perspective.

1. Governance

The case for action
The first SMART Session began with a system-level overview of Utah's array of governance efforts relevant to the scope of this initiative. Participants from the major workforce-related sectors (government, business and education) outlined their general structures, policies and processes for helping prepare the state's workforce. The result was a collective recognition that Utah has several uncoordinated systems or processes where factions compete for resources and value different results, and of opportunities for complementary effort and acknowledgements of duplication.

A more fundamental point participants highlighted was the absence of a coordinating, governing structure and the lack of a central, organizing principle. The group observed there has been no agreement on a clear plan (strategic or operational) to develop Utah's human capital to meet 21st century needs.

Session participants explored the root causes as well as the implications of the lack of a coordinated plan. The root causes included the following:
A vital yet missing element necessary for a statewide workforce plan, according to session participants, is a leadership structure with focused accountability. No clear, unifying leadership or organizational structure currently exists to coalesce disparate and independent boards around a data-driven 21st century approach to workforce capacity-building with clear accountability.
There is a limited and fragmented system of leadership to guide the establishment of priorities, objectives or resources inherent in a statewide plan.
Citizens lack sufficient awareness and understanding of the implications of increasing changes in both local and global markets. Without a sense of the need to respond to dynamic, global market demands, citizens may be resistant to proposed change. Effective leadership is a related factor here as well; a strong, credible voice and supporting vision would be required to persuade stakeholders (especially parents) of the need to improve our skills and prepare for a 21st century job market.

A workforce development system without a plan presents far-reaching implications:
Lack of planning leads to difficulty in defining or managing accountability. Without a system that establishes responsibility, standards and expectations, organizations or sectors within the system pursue distinct, disparate versions of acceptable performance.
A unifying, organizing principle is fundamental to the integrity of the system. Lacking common understanding of their place within the system, organizations or sectors are less likely to collaborate. Collaboration becomes challenging due to inconsistent values, missions, policies, definitions, measurements and expectations.
The entire system lacks the capacity to respond to changing needs and environments. As organizations, demographics, markets and business climates evolve, a system without a coordinated governing structure or plan cannot easily process the need for collective change, nor can it effectively or efficiently coordinate to act on that need.

Additional implications identified by participants included disconnects between business needs and an updated education or training curriculum, less than satisfactory information or resources available to provide counseling or career guidance, economic development impacts and many other factors.
Specific recommendations
Establish a governance structure that is accountable for achieving a statewide 21st century plan to develop required human capital.

Summary of proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Establish a nine-member State Workforce Alliance Council Core Group with three private sector members appointed by the Governor and other members representing leadership of public education, higher education, DWS, GOED, USTAR, and UCAT1
The State Workforce Alliance Council would integrate research and development, economic development, workforce development and secondary and post-secondary education to build a globally competitive workforce and ensure a strong Utah economy, with the following responsibilities:
Assess statewide workforce needs using input from Regional Councils and other data
In collaboration with stakeholders, develop a statewide 21st century workforce strategic plan that:
Emphasizes workforce capacity-building as an organizing principle
Balances the need to foster student creativity and innovation with the increasing demand for science, technology, engineering and math expertise
Engages private sector leadership and includes an executive level, adequately resourced implementation process
Lead the plan's implementation and monitor progress and allocation of resources
Facilitate integration of workforce preparation across industry
Assist in the alignment of education and training curriculum to industry needs
Develop and disseminate collaborative regional competency models
Approve regional workforce development plans and ensure statewide coordination
Establish an expanded State Workforce Alliance Council that would meet at least once a year to fulfill responsibilities of the federally mandated State Council on Workforce Services/State Workforce Investment Board.
Establish Regional Workforce Alliance Councils that consist of private sector members (voting); and representatives from education, vocational rehabilitation, UCAT, AOGs, local economic development and DWS (non-voting).
Provide staff to the State Workforce Alliance Council to support statewide and regional planning.
Review workforce program delivery for cost benefit, duplication, and strategic effectiveness.
Measure how well the workforce development process meets verified needs of employers.
Eliminate groups, committees, or councils with duplicate roles. A first step would be to temporarily modify the meeting schedule of the existing Utah Partnership for Education and Economic Development, the Workforce Education Economic Development Alliance (WEEDA), and the WIRED Integration Team to explore opportunities to consolidate functions or activities into the State Workforce Alliance Council.
The State Workforce Alliance Council would replace the State Council on Workforce Services/State Workforce Investment Board, along with the entities listed above, while remaining compliant with the functions required by federal law. This council would be chaired by a Governor appointee from the private sector and would focus on the state's workforce needs and actions to meet those needs, including those of industries within the economic development targets for the state.
Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) as criteria for measuring system performance. Derive these indicators from the objectives and strategies of the state's workforce plan (to be developed by the State Workforce Alliance Council).
Create a process and template for continuing KPI development as needs, objectives and strategies are developed.
Develop a return on investment (ROI) tracking and feedback methodology.

Project summaries
Projects within the governance recommendation include the following:

Project Rationale
Establish a statewide workforce governance structure A central governing structure is needed to enable alignment, collaboration and mutual support among Utah's workforce development entities. This body would establish a statewide workforce development plan and oversee its implementation.
Develop Trackable Key Performance Indicators The current system does not identify the inputs for workforce needs and allocations, measure the outcomes in relation to the inputs, or easily identify opportunities for investment to increase outcomes.

This recommendation on creating a governance structure generated energetic and often conflicting comments from steering committee members. Some of those comments are included here for the benefit of the reader. No effort has been made to reconcile the views expressed. Comments included:

The recommended Workforce Alliance will not work because individual boards within the system can ignore the suggestions of the alliance.
Unless the alliance has control of money to implement its views, nothing will happen except talk.
The alliance won't work because the constitution places authority to make public school decisions in the State Board of Education and it is improper to have other groups trying to dictate policies and outcomes to the board.
Let's find a way to move forward without arguing about who has legal authority.
It is not a good idea to make workforce development the main focus of education. It tends to narrow the curriculum and omit broad skills and knowledge important to having flexibility to meet future needs and competitive capacity.

If the Governor should decide to not create the SMART Session recommended Workforce Alliance with an executive director and budget and instead chair a coordinating group made up of other representatives of the same interests, the steering committee counseled that staff would be critical to moving forward the work proposed by this report. Suggestions included having the alliance hosted at the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education with that office supplying staff or alternatively housing the alliance out of the Governor's office. Several thought it critical that some person head up the staffing who has credibility with all parties and in particular the business community, and who has experience and respect both in and outside of the education establishment.

SMART Session participants
Dixie Allen (Board of Education)
Mason Bishop (Salt Lake Community College)
David Doty (System of Higher Education)
Greg Gardner (Department of Workforce Services)
Marshall Garrett (Logan School District)
Natalie Gochnour (Chamber of Commerce)
Meghan Holbrook (Zions Bank)
Richard Kendell (Former Commissioner, Higher Education)
Suzanne Pierce-Moore (USU Board of Trustees)
Debbie Swenson (Nebo School Board)
Rick White (Utah College of Applied Technology)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Governance:
Mason Bishop, Salt Lake Community College, Richard Thorn, Private Sector Employer, Dixie Allen, State Board of Education, Natalie Gochnour, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Rick White, Utah College of Applied Technology, Dave Buhler, Board of Regents, Gary Harter, Governor's Office of Economic Development, Greg Gardner, Department of Workforce Services

Key Performance Indicators:
David Patton, CPPA, UPP, Sara McCormick, CPPA; Jennifer Smith, Zions Bank; Michael Hansen, GOPB; Higher Education, Darren Marshall; Public Education, Judy Park; Workforce Services, Mike Richardson
2. Budgeting and Finance
The case for action
After mapping funding processes across various systems (including higher education, early childhood, workforce services, and economic development), participants in the budgeting and finance SMART Session concluded that it is difficult if not impossible to measure or have accountability of workforce funding across the system. Participants narrowed their focus to two areas that in their estimation warranted the most attention and improvement. The first was the need for aligning funding processes across Utah's workforce development system. The second was the K-12 financing model.

Alignment of funding processes
In the current budget and finance process, participants noted that some state agencies compete with each other for resources while pursuing the same goals. In many cases, current budgets are created by agencies' objectives and desires versus the state's overall workforce development objectives. Agencies do not always pool resources to meet common goals, which if done would maximize the effectiveness of the financing process. The current process lacks flexibility when it comes to modifying program objectives to achieve strategic goals. The return on investment of current budget and finance processes is not measured.

In order to respond to the workforce needs of the 21st century, participants suggested we must have a budget and finance process that aligns workforce development-related funding for common purposes rather than fostering competition. This new process must have a method of measuring the return on dollars spent, and it must incorporate several key performance indicators (KPIs) that clearly indicate the progress and direction of financial decisions.

K-12 financing model
In their focus on the K-12 school finance model, participants noted the system is impeded by too many legislative mandates, policies, and is often disconnected from schools' needs, priorities, goals and timelines. They also articulated a distrust of the system among some stakeholders, and that this lack of confidence perpetuates a cycle of increased legislation, oversight, regulation and bureaucracy.

Participants agreed that these challenges often are reinforced by a tiered regulatory structure in which federal, legislative, state, and district oversight can result in layer-upon-layer of rules and policies, all of which can contribute to the inefficient delivery of funds to the actual classroom, discourage innovation, and undermine clearly understood and traceable accountability measures. Other areas impacting school financing such as adequacy of funding also merit additional analysis, especially since Utah receives the lowest per pupil allocation in the country and the highest teacher to pupil ratio.

The system and processes through which dollars flow and funding decisions are made is the foundation upon which all other financial considerations are assessed and where trust can be strengthened. Improving and streamlining the finance system and integrating it with clearly understood accountability measures is the first step toward addressing funding adequacy and other issues that impact the quality of Utah's K-12 education system.
Specific recommendations
Align the budget and finance processes across all workforce development activities and improve the efficiency, transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the K-12 school financing system

Summary of Proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Establish an annual budgeting and finance process that identifies, coordinates and supports the analysis of return on investment (ROI) on workforce development expenditures:
Identify current state workforce development resources
Coordinating with the proposed State Workforce Alliance Council, develop a budget and finance methodology that accounts for system workforce-related spending aligned with statewide workforce objectives
Identify a streamlined, flexible and accountable model for K-12 school financing
Conduct a 3-day SMART Session to map the current K-12 school financing model and design a "to be" model that is more efficient, streamlined, accountable, and transparent
Project summaries

Project Rationale
1. Identify current State Workforce Development resources. 1a. Describe and account for funding sources, funding amounts, and purpose. 1b. Validate these findings with agencies and modify as required. This establishes the "baseline" for this project. It will also identify overlap and gaps in the resources allocation process.
2. Develop a workforce budgeting and expenditure finance methodology that uniformly accounts for workforce development spending across all agencies with alignment to 21st Century Workforce goals. 2a. Identify tools and resources necessary to accomplish this. This is the "development phase" for this project. During this phase the plans are created, the tools and resources are identified, and the structure is identified for a successful implementation.
3. Implement the new 21st Century Workforce Finance and Budget Process. This puts the new process into action.
4. Measure the results with the appropriate KPIs and ROI. Ongoing. Celebrate success!
Because the K-12 finance model is so complex, a stand-alone SMART Session should be held to focus exclusively on the following objectives: 1) Identify options that will result in a more efficient, streamlined, accountable, and transparent K-12 school financing model, 2) Design financing mechanisms which integrate with and support accountability, 3) Determine the adequacy of existing accounting systems for collecting and analyzing data by school, academic subject, and grade to help better correlate spending to performance, 4) Recommend how to align better decision points, roles, and responsibilities of local schools, school districts, local school boards, USOE, the State School Board, and the legislature to support a more efficient, accountable, and flexible financing model. The outcome of this SMART Session is a set of recommendations and implementations plans to be provided to the Governor, Steering Committee, and/or the 21st Century Workforce Alliance. This specific project, which is a stand-alone SMART Session, will dig deeply into the whole K-12 "AS IS" financing system. It will develop recommendations that meet the stated objectives for this project.
SMART Session participants
Dirk Anderson (Governor's Office of Planning & Budget)
Janet Cannon (Board of Education)
Nolan Karras (Rocky Mountain Power)
Brad Mortensen (Weber State University)
Mike Richardson (Department of Workforce Services)
Steven Roy (USTAR)
Jennifer Smith (Zions Bancorp)
Mark Spencer (System of Higher Education)
Senator Howard Stephenson
Christian Ward (Governor's Office of Planning & Budget)
Courtney White (Utah Education Association)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

K-12 financing:
Janet Cannon, Board of Education Kristen Cox, Department of Workforce Services
Phil Jeffries, Deputy Director GOPB Kyle Hansen, Elementary Principal
State School Board Member Todd Hauber, USOE Finance Office
Rulon Homer, Davis High School D'Lynn Poll, Assn. of School Business Admins.
(Jack Britton) Private Sector Rep Representative Ron Bigelow
Sarah Meier, Granite School Board Vernon Henshaw, Alpine School District
PTA Representative Financial Analyst
Steve Norton, Cache County School District Larry Odon, Middle School Principal

 

3. Management Systems
The case for action

Education policy
Each governing agency and subunit for public and higher education have policy sets (often referred to as policy manuals) that provide each with a variety of policies ranging from management structure and processes to defined levels and types of services. In their review of these processes, SMART Session participants found that policies can be in conflict with those of other agencies and result in unintended costs, waste and inefficiency.

The primary challenge understood by session participants is the unintentional impact of policy misalignment across Utah's education enterprise. There is a secondary misalignment between the education enterprise and the state (i.e., DWS). Workforce development impacts arise when policies dealing with like topics contain standards and procedures that yield different understandings and acceptable outcomes that also cause confusion for the end user (i.e., parents, students, faculty, staff, employers, and workers). Additionally, absent any system that can easily query the policy sets of the USOE, USHE and DWS and establish a collaborative structure for developing like policies, it will be too easy for one entity to cast blame upon the other(s) for not adequately setting acceptable standards or meeting the educational and workforce needs of the state.

Data systems
After assessing current processes for definition, transfer and utilization of educational information, participants in the SMART Session on management systems concluded that policy makers, educators, parents and students have insufficient and potentially inappropriate data to inform their decisions.

While student data is collected, it requires standardization and simplification for efficient flow. This lack of data flow from P-12 to Post-Secondary to Workforce and Economic Development restricts the ability to have transparency about the talent, skills and abilities of the current and future workforce. This causes difficulty in measuring outcomes, performance, strategically plan for future enrollments, encourage additional enrollments in specific disciplines, identify weak points in the flow, or predict where/what talent exists for business expansion. It also causes difficulty in determining how Utah ranks both nationally and internationally in education and skill attainment.

The lack of uniformity in managing policy sets within the P-16 educational systems creates difficulty for continuity between policy sets across agencies/institutions while creating difficulty in locating and accessing those policy sets. Due to institutional mission policies which limit institutions in meeting their regional, state and system higher educational needs and responsibilities, related to economic development, there is constant tension between institutional priorities, strategies and visions which creates a lack of alignment between legislators, the board of regents, and community and business leaders.

Session participants concluded that Utah needs to align its data systems to transform a "cow path" sized conduit of educational information into one the size of the "I-15 corridor."
Specific recommendations
Align management systems including processes for defining, sharing and utilizing institutional policy and educational data, using workforce development as an organizing principle.

Summary of Proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Align and simplify 21st workforce development-related policies for preschool-grade 16 including DWS, economic development entities and UCAT.
Design and develop a shared data system that identifies critical student information and labor market and skills data that integrates across organizational and school boundaries.
Aligned systems for accounting for or reporting workforce-related expenditures.
Establish an annual budgeting, finance and allocation process that identifies, coordinates and supports the analysis of ROI on workforce development expenditures.
Validate/invalidate the concept of standardizing preschool-grade 16 longitudinal student data information and systems.
Survey states for best practice models.
Define and evaluate the "As Is" current environment.
Determine barriers and gaps for student data information systems optimization.
Project summaries

Project Rationale
Alignment in Institution Policy Systems Policy system alignment across educational institutions will lead to consistent content and institutional mission alignment.
Longitudinal Student Data Information Systems Complete, accurate data and analysis leads to better decisions, increased trust, and improved student data information, optimizing the efforts of the broader student information system and more effective utilization of existing resources.
SMART Session participants
Dixie Allen (Board of Education)
Mark Cluff (Board of Education)
Marshall Garrett (Logan School District)
Jeff Hansen (Zions Management Services)
Kimberly Henrie (System of Higher Education)
Meghan Holbrook (Zions Bank)
Richard Kendall (Utah System of Higher Education)
Stephen Maas (Department of Workforce Services)
Cameron Martin (Utah Valley University)
Charles Nelson (Uintah School District)
Mike Richardson (Department of Workforce Services)
Steven Roy (USTAR)
Dennis Wood (vSpring)
Bruce Schroeder (Office of Education)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Policy alignment:
Cameron Martin

Longitudinal student data system:
Marshal Garrett; John Brandt, Utah State Office of Education, Joseph Curtin - Utah State Office of Higher Education; Dennis Wood - vSpring; Steve Maas, Department of Workforce Services

4. Educational Leadership
The case for action
In surveys of teachers and the education community before the teaching SMART Session, in comments of teachers who participated in the session and in conversations with teachers outside this process, there was a consistent sense that principals make a huge difference in the performance of teachers and students in their schools. There was anecdotal evidence, backed up in the research of the Schools of the Future at Utah State, which identified specific factors that contributed to school success. Between the anecdotal and empirical, there is a solid foundation to help principals identify and implement best practices that have a basis in fact on how to improve their schools.

Research clearly identifies the school principal as a primary factor affecting individual student and school performance. Uneven school leadership (leadership that is inconsistent, variable, imbalanced across a system) tends to result in low teacher morale, under performing students and poor public relations. A greater and renewed effort will be required to recruit effective instructional leaders, help them develop quality leadership skills and empower them with necessary resources. Such an effort will create an educational environment where teachers are fully invested, quality curricula are created and implemented well, students realize their full potential, public trust is restored and Utah's 21st century school initiative is complete.

These observations may be applicable to department chairs and others within higher education as well as principals and superintendents at the public education level.

Participants discussed the following critical elements of school leadership performance:

Defining expectations for excellent performance
Establishing standards and goals for school advancement
Strategies for ensuring continuous school improvement
Data-based decision making
Managing relationships
School to home relationships
Student relationships
Student and teacher relationships in relation to ratio, class size
Faculty and staff relationships (e.g., professional learning communities)
Community relationships
Other organizational relationships (e.g., district, USOE, legislature, PTA, accrediting agencies)
Building capacity
Recruiting and retaining high quality teachers and staff
Managing professional development (e.g., teachers, staff and future school leaders)
Rigors and challenge in curriculum
Managing abilities
Time and resource management
Organizing abilities
Follow through
Improved key educational outcomes:
Academic achievement
Improve social competency in kids
Reducing school dropouts
Improve teacher relations and empowerment
Improve public trust
Corps of leaders with high levels of skills
Specific recommendations
Establish a process for educational leadership training and continuous improvement.

Summary of Proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Develop a leadership academy for principals, prospective principals and superintendents, as well as department chairs and other higher education leaders, that will serve as a fact-based foundation for continuous improvement in schools across the state.
Develop the academy outcomes, criteria and objectives for administration (supervision and curriculum development)
Design an application process to identify state wide faculty
Schedule and communicate the academy process and benefits to local districts and statewide academic institutions
Identify funding and develop an implementation plan
Enroll candidates for the first session
Project summary

Project Rationale
Establish a statewide education leadership academy and explore discipline-based training funded with private sector support Inconsistency and imbalance in school leadership results in low teacher morale, under performing students and poor public relations. Building expertise among educational leaders in relevant disciplines will be valued by the private sector and offer opportunities for partnership.
Principal Leadership We have an empirical system for identifying and measuring those factors which lead to school success. By using these in a pre and post assessment, we can teach or reinforce those best practices for principals that can be used to certify high performance and certify our best principals throughout the state
Transfer of expertise among educators Because of inefficient or non-existent transfer of expertise among educators, there are islands of excellence instead of systemic excellence.

SMART Session participants
Charles Nelson (Uintah School District)
Richard West (Schools of the Future, Utah State University)
Mike Richardson (Department of Workforce Services)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Charlie Nelson (Uintah district); USU and BYU Schools Of Ed, Larry Shumway (USOE), Business Community (TBD), Dave Steadman (NAAS), Barry Newbold (Jordan School District), Principal - Davis High School, Julie Wilde, principal (Uintah High School)
5. Teaching
The case for action
Several studies in Utah found that half of new teachers quit the profession by their fifth year of teaching. SMART participants added that they believe the higher performing young teachers are leaving. Utah has the highest student to teacher ratio in the country. About half of the difference between Utah and the rest of the country in per pupil spending is the result of large class sizes and relatively low teacher pay.

In the SMART Session on teachers, participants described how new teachers are typically given the hardest classes/students, the least desirable extracurricular assignments, receive widely varying degrees and quality of professional support from peers or others, and inconsistent quality of feedback and support from their principals. New teachers who provided input into the session confirmed these experiences and added that classroom management was often lacking either in their preparation or in subsequent professional development once they started in the classroom. Causes for attrition included pay/compensation, life decisions (spouse moving, having a family, etc.) working conditions, the system of teaching to mandatory tests and lack of professional discretion to meet individual needs.

One of the most expensive and politically sensitive possibilities from the SMART Sessions is teacher compensation. The analysis of what approach to use should consider the cost of the current level of attrition for teachers in the first five years of their tenure. That cost has to include a sizeable portion of the education departments of those colleges of education to train these teachers (to say nothing about the cost of tuition), the cost of recruiting new teachers each year, the cost of developing new teachers over their first five years and the loss of quality in the classroom from discouraged and inexperienced teachers going through the system.

Discussing teacher compensation, session participants emphasized that improvements to base salaries is only one piece of the puzzle. Participants found, for example, that Utah's starting teacher salaries were competitive with surrounding states including Nevada, particularly when considering total compensation including the value of pension contributions. To improve teaching quality, other aspects of teaching and its development must be addressed. Those parts include pay for skills and knowledge and pay for taking on additional responsibility (e.g., mentoring). Neither the current nor proposed assessment designs under the Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment include these factors.

The SMART Session on teaching did not go into great depth to evaluate total teacher compensation. It is recommended that this issue be examined further, given its pivotal nature. A discussion of teacher compensation also needs to be coupled with an exploration of each element of total compensation just like every other similar competitive analysis of other professions vying for the career aspirations of our most talented college students. Our considerations should complement or take into account work the State Board of Education has already done in studying professional pay models, which includes elements of mentoring, recruiting, teacher leadership and alternative certification. To compete for top college talent in the teaching ranks, we need to study total competitive compensation including base salaries and benefit programs from starting levels through career path progression for experienced professionals. Please refer to the section on teacher compensation for a broader explanation of project possibilities. The point here is that there is a broad consensus that we need to be more competitive. By bringing the best of the private and public sector compensation designs together, this may not be so expensive that it paralyzes thought and progress.

McKinsey and Company studied 25 school systems across the world including the top ten performing systems. They identified that each of the top performing systems and found three things matter the most: 1) Getting the right people to become teachers, 2) developing them into effective teachers and 3) Ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child. In fact they concluded that, "The available evidence suggests that the main driver of the variation in student learning at school is the quality of the teachers." How the Worlds' Best-Performing School Systems come Out on Top, McKinsey &Company September 2007
Specific recommendations
Improve processes for recruiting, retaining and compensating high quality teachers.

There is a need for a and common set of systems or processes for recruiting, selecting, developing, assessing or compensating the best teachers or administrators.

Summary of Proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Develop processes that facilitate transfer of expertise and development among teachers statewide, improve teaching quality and professional development for existing teachers, orient new teachers, and effectively improve instruction on 21st century workforce development skills. Recruit more retired or experienced teachers to mentor new educators and teach effective instructional skills.
Identify which causes and which districts/schools have the highest attrition.
Develop specific action plans at the state and local level to address the attrition.
Track impacts and modify interventions.
Train retired teachers in mentoring processes and connect teacher mentors with new teachers.
Recruit and identify high quality retired teachers.
Use mentor teachers to recruit minority population to enter education profession.
Develop technological systems that will facilitate expertise transfer.
Develop real-time supports for educators.
Establish repositories for best practices, including web video.
To support teacher retention and increase the relevance of teaching to workforce preparation, develop a valid assessment of quality teaching related to 21st century workforce development that has a direct link to teaching quality and student outcomes and performance.
Utilize 21st century workforce skills in determining corresponding teacher capabilities and instruction standards.
Develop teacher training curriculum/development consistent with 21st century workforce needs and best practices from current quality teaching research.
Pilot, refine and implement this training/development statewide.
Hold districts and schools responsible for achieving training/development objectives.
Create methods and techniques to develop teachers related to 21st century skill standards.
Measure effectiveness of project and make final recommendations for full statewide system launch.
Build on or take into account work done by the State Board of Education in exploring professional pay model criteria and their interaction with other aspects of teaching. Develop differentiated compensation plans, which include pay for performance and clear occupational pathways, that integrate merit and base salary advancement, and that create incentives to remain in the profession during periods when they tend to leave.
Implement a statewide, integrated growth model of assessment that combines student progress and feedback with pre-post assessment.
Use existing research based indicators of quality teaching at each level in combination with the growth model to assess instruction effectiveness.
Build a measurement tool to efficiently collect data on quality of teaching.
Validate a model for existing/future measures of student achievement as an element of differentiated compensation.
Develop a funding source.
Create and deploy a statewide model.
Project summaries
In this SMART Session, key projects were divided into two phases. In the first phase were those strategic initiatives related to teaching that were required collectively to identify the assessments and data that were essential to subsequent projects in the second phase.

Project Rationale
Develop Measurement tools to assess High Quality Instruction (subproject of Differentiated Compensation) Before we decide how to target competitive compensation for beginning and experienced teachers, we need to define the 21st century skills students need, how quality teaching aligns with those needs and an efficient means of measuring the outcome.
Teacher Development This project will take the results of several phase 1 projects like the identification of 21st century workforce skills and quality teaching indicators, and design effective teacher development including both traditional in service, technology and mentoring programs
Teacher Compensation Building on the assessment work of phase 1, total compensation designs would be created that include base salaries for beginning and experienced teachers, professional development and career stages, student outcomes and defined benefit plans.
Teacher Attrition The objective here would be simple, reduce the 50% attrition in the first five years especially among the highest performing teachers. The cost savings from this one project would be huge especially if it were data based and targeted.
SMART Session participants
Jay Blain (Granite Education Association)
Kim Campbell (Utah Education Association)
Brandt Goble (AFL CIO)
Tom Gregory (Board of Education)
Margaret Krubsack (Teacher, Uintah School District)
Charles Nelson (Superintendent, Uintah School District)
Susan Selim (Zions Bank)
Larry Shumway (Utah State Office of Education)
Senator Howard Stephenson
Lisa Vehrenkamp (American Express)
Governor Olene Walker
Steven Warren (Logan School District)
Richard West (Utah State University)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Attrition:
Kim Campbell, Minority community members, veteran teachers, minority teachers, retired teachers, DWS, UEA, business

Transfer of Expertise:
UEN (Mike Petersen), USOE Curriculum (Lynn Greenwood), NEA (access via UEA), Master Teachers, 21st Century Communication Team - Patti Harrington, Holly Langton (PTA), Kim Campbell (UEA), Technical Assistance, George Angerbauer, Department of Workforce Services

Professional Development:
Jay Blain, JoAnn Tuttle (Nebo District), Curriculum Directors (district - urban/rural), Teachers, USOE , DWS, State PTA, Business (3, representing key industries)

Teacher professional development:
JoAnn Tuttle (Nebo District), UEN (Mike Petersen), USOE Curriculum (Lynn Greenwood), Master Teachers, George Angerbauer, Patti Harrington, Holly Langton (PTA), Kim Campbell (UEA), Debbie White (AFT) (Jay Blain), NCCTQ (Sabrina Lange), SWCC (Marie Mancuso), ETS (Laura Goe), DWS Steve Maas, State PTA, Business (3 members representing key industries)

Measurement Tools to Assess High Quality Instruction:
USBE Differentiated Compensation Work Group, plus UEA (Jay Blain), technical Support from NCCTQ (Sabrina Lange), SWCC (Marie Mancuso), ETS (Laura Goe)

Compensation:
USBE Differentiated Compensation Work Group: Chairs- Debra Roberts (USBE), Larry
Shumway (USOE), Legislative Task Force on Performance Based Pay - Public Education (Chairs: Howard Stephenson, Brad Last), UEA, Teachers, Local LEA Gov Boards, UBE Staff, Principals, Business Community Representation
6. Early Childhood Education
The case for action
A short time into their discussion, participants in the early childhood SMART Session concluded they were essentially duplicating what has been done before. They cited studies, reports and committees appointed during the past several years that covered many, if not all, of the topics and directions this session was considering. It is time, participants concluded, for Utah to graduate from simply studying these issues to doing something about them.

Some of the data referred to in this session, which has been used previously, included the following:

According to the Study of the Child Care Workforce in Utah, the turnover rate for Utah's childcare providers is 31% and the average hourly wage for childcare center teachers is $7.90.
Cost- benefit studies have shown positive returns from early childhood programs. The High/Scope Perry Preschool study through age 40 shows a rate of return of $16.14 on each dollar invested.
Quality early childhood education for children birth to age five is an investment in the 21st century workforce through public and private collaboration that helps families and supports early childhood professionals to provide meaningful early childhood experiences.
The pre-school years are critical for brain development and child development overall. Adequate public and private investments that inform families and support early childhood professionals lays the foundation in these early years that will affect children and the quality of their contribution to society for the rest of their life.
50% of children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn.
A survey of Utah teachers indicates that 30 - 40 percent of children entering kindergarten have a health or developmental condition that potentially interferes with their readiness to learn. (USOE)
Children that start behind stay behind.

The implications of these data for Utah are significant. A growing proportion of our workforce will be raised in disadvantaged environments that are associated with relatively high proportions of individuals with diminished cognitive and social skills. Research across multiple disciplines has found that early experiences have a powerful influence on the development of cognitive and social skills and on brain architecture and neurochemistry, that higher level functions depend and build on lower level functions in both skill development and brain maturation, and that the capacity for change in fundamental human skill development and neural circuitry is highest earlier in life and decreases over time.
We can do better. The encouraging news comes from extensive scientific research. There are science-based solutions that policymakers at all levels of government can rely on to help build stronger communities that will produce healthier and more capable children and adults.

Simply said, if we really want to secure a promising economic, social and political future for our state, and thereby strengthen Utah's future workforce, we must enhance the value of our investments in all young children.

Session participants noted that Utah is not among the many states that have a system for early childhood education.

After fours days of robust discussion, SMART Session participants asked: "Why are we not doing what we know to be so important? We need to close the gap between what we know and what we do." The session then focused on answering this question and determining what could be done about it.
Specific recommendations
Translate the research and recommendations that we have developed over the years on childhood education into action. Establish an early childhood program that demonstrates positive, long-term learning outcomes and enhances Utah's workforce preparedness

Summary of proposed actions, roles and responsibilities

Analyze best practices for state early childhood systems and synthesize data to recommend an organizational structure for Utah to the governor and legislative leadership.
Integrate and utilize previous analysis and recommendations that have been completed for systems improvement.
Build upon the previous planning and analysis efforts in Utah and move to action.
Design an assessment of early childhood education interventions that has a longitudinal impact on learning outcomes that serves as the foundation of continuous improvement for Utah kids.
Identify and engage political and community change agents.
Analyze funding streams for all areas of early childhood education and conduct a gap analysis.
Project summaries

Project Rationale
Identify and recruit political and community change agents. The projects are cumulative. Specific effort is required at each distinct level.
Analyze funding streams for all areas of early childhood education and conduct a gap analysis.
Analyze current best practices for state early childhood systems and synthesize data to recommend an organizational structure for Utah.
Build upon the previous planning and analysis efforts in Utah and move to action.
Develop a measurement system to track the progress of the project.

SMART Session participants
Amy VanderLinden (Private Preschool Provider)
Barbara Smith (Utah Family Partnership Network)
Genan Anderson (Utah Valley University)
Janna Forsgren (Department of Health, Head Start Collaboration Director)
Johnny Anderson (Utah Private Child Care Association)
Karen Ballif (Utah State Office of Education)
Karen Crompton (Voices for Utah Children)
Konnie Nink (Utah State Office of Education)
Lynette Rasmussen (Department of Workforce Services)
Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson (University of Utah, Social Research Institute)
Nancy Livingston (Utah State Office of Education)
Sharon Stubbs (Utah Association for the Education of Young Children)

 

7. Dropouts
The case for action
The SMART Session on dropouts categorized students who don't complete school into two areas: 1) those that drop out before high school graduation and 2) those that drop out after graduating from high school before completing their post secondary goals.

Many participants arrived at the session with data and statistics on dropouts in Utah, adding a particularly rigorous tone to their discussion. According to these participants, 1) 84.7 percent of 18-24 year olds in Utah have completed high school, 2) 57.4 percent of the high school graduates in Utah do not attend any post secondary education, 3) this is 12.9 percent below the national average, 4) The percentage of Utahns holding post-secondary certificates and degrees falls below the national average and is decreasing over time, 5) only half of the first-time-freshmen seeking a two-year certificate or degree or a four-year degree return the second year, 6) only 3.9 percent of Utahns 25 to 49 are attending any kind of college education. About 5,500 students drop out of grades 10, 11 and 12 in Utah each year.

Participants concluded from these data we are losing a lot of students throughout Utah's education system and we can do much better. A more educated workforce is essential to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Workforce. Decreasing the dropout rate throughout the system is key to achieving a more educated workforce.

Their assessment led participants to identify the lack of student and parental understanding of the relevance of education, and a lack of parental involvement with their children's education as fundamental reasons for dropping out before high school graduation. In many cases parents disengage from their children's education experience prior to graduation. What is the role of the guidance counselor in situations where children have little support or recourse in their home or community? Until schools have the staff resources to identify at-risk students and work with them in a wraparound, encompassing manner, we may never get a handle on this issue. The family, cultural, ethnic and other environmental factors that affect dropping out of school are essential elements of this discussion. As Utah's demographics continue to change, we will need to increase our understanding and capacity for engaging and retaining minority student in our education system.

For those that drop out of (or never enter) post secondary education, the issues are much more complex but the central theme is still a lack of understanding of the relevance of higher education. Inadequate parental support during students' earlier school years seems to be a major factor as well in the decision not to continue post secondary education.

Most students who do choose a post-high school direction are unprepared to succeed. Utah's Higher Education System reports that 50 percent of students who enter postsecondary education need remedial help. Utah is ranked third in the nation in high school graduation rates, but 45th in high school graduates going into higher education (William Sederburg, Commissioner of Higher Education).
Specific recommendations
Identify and systematically address the root causes of dropouts from high school through higher education.

Summary of proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Facilitate translation of common notices to parents and families by standardizing their format.
Gather data through parent focus groups about their involvement in linking student performance to career options.
Develop a statewide public relations campaign to positively engage parents in how to link student performance to career options.
Create "Utah Family Nights" to implement effective parent engagement models at local schools.
Create meaningful individual education plans for all students.
Introduce all high school students and their parents to how individual education plans link to post-secondary, college and career pathway opportunities.
Identify and analyze reasons for exiting college before completion of a program of study.
Develop and deploy campus-based campaigns that addresses identified issues.
Measure post-secondary participation to validate or invalidate a positive impact over time in college graduation rates.
Increase student access to counselors and assess the supportive, "wraparound" role guidance counselors and other support services could play in helping to identify at-risk students and helping prevent dropouts.
Help students identify scholarships, grants and other resources to pay for tuition.
Project summaries

Project Rationale
1. Student and Parent engagement from linking student performance in school with educational and career options This project focuses on the students' education experience from K-12.
2. High School to College Transition (participants called this the "Grand Canyon") 57.4% of high school graduates in Utah don't go to postsecondary education.
3. Increase Graduation Rate of Post-Secondary Students These are students who have started post secondary education, but have quit. The issues and project plans may be different from project 2.
4. Recruit and Reengage Adult Students Utah is well below the national average in this category. The needs of the 21st Century Workforce will require an increase in "adult education."

SMART Session participants
Jay Blain (Granite Education Association)
David Doty (System of Higher Education)
Stanley Ellington (Utah Black Chamber of Commerce)
Bob Gowans (Tooele School District)
Mike Gowans (Alpine School District)
Cynthia Grua (System of Higher Education)
Brenda Hales (Office of Education)
Dawn Kay Stevenson (Board of Education)
Marty Kelly (Office of Education)
Susan Loving (Office of Education)
Suzanne Pierce-Moore (USU Board of Trustees)
Barbara Ray (Vantage Point Advisors)
Debbie White (American Federation of Teachers)
Noel Zabriskie (Ogden School District)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Student and parent engagement:
USOE drop-out team, PTA (Holly Langton), Senator Pat Jones, Supt. Zabriskie, USOE CTE and CTE teacher, K-12 teacher, Utah School Counselor Association (Jesse DeHay), Minority Community (Tony Yapias), Charter Schools (Patricia Dark) USHE

High School to College Transition:
Cynthia Grua; USOE representative including district data staff and metro and rural counselors, USHE representatives including campus institutional research and student services staff.

Increase graduation rate of postsecondary students:
USHE institution graduation administrator, other student services administrators

Recruit and re-engage adult students:
Cynthia Grua; USHE institution graduation administrator, other student services administrators

8. Curriculum
The case for action
Next to the quality of teaching, what we teach has the most direct impact on the competitiveness of our students and adults in the workplace. Participants in the curriculum SMART Session observed that while Utah has made strides with a tougher curriculum for graduates in 2011, this improvement only brings us into the middle ranks of other states and does not approach global competitiveness. Participants also agreed that there are many soft, life or employability skills that are difficult to measure, teach and are often the most important skills that our best employers need. These "new" skills are crucial to student success in the job market.

Additionally, while some employers are tapped to identify CTE curriculum needs, they are not involved in the design or execution of core curriculums for K-12. Current business environments, especially those competing in high technology, change so rapidly that just keeping up is a matter of survival and not a ticket to success. Session participants mapped our current curriculum design process and were surprised that it takes two years from beginning to end and requires 15-18 reviews, public comment periods and approval cycles. This entire curriculum cycle is repeated every 5-7 years. In terms of 21st century workforce requirements, there's no question that the world changes several times in that period.

Those who mapped this process in the SMART Session commented, "Wow, we can do better than this. We have accepted for too long that this is just the way it is." Discussion around the process included concerns about special interests potentially diluting curriculum design or standards, particularly with so many review cycles. Building the process maps for both public and higher education were one of the most eye opening breakthrough moments of any of the SMART Sessions.

One of the primary considerations of participants across several SMART Sessions was to integrate CTE, UCAT and Higher Education. More than half of our students do not go on to post secondary training. This unfortunate statistic combined with our drop out rate strongly suggests we need to offer better counseling on CTE possibilities and design articulation agreements early enough so they can see a connection between their training and 21st century workforce skills.

In sum, participants concluded that the content and process for establishing curriculum are out of sync with the requirements of 21st century workforce development in terms of content, rigor, and cycle time both in public and much of higher education.
Specific recommendations
Find a streamlined process for development of curriculum that is responsive to 21st century workforce skills and needs

Summary of Proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Improve and shorten the process for providing curriculum in K-16 with seamless articulation agreements, targeted 21st century workforce skills and employer involvement.
Involve parent, business and community input into the curriculum development process with an assessment component that measures progress and benchmarks against national and global academic levels.
Implement articulation models where appropriate for UCAT students and programs with higher education institutions.
Create a development and review process that assesses the systemic linking of curricula to workforce goals/needs and blends academic and technical studies.
Align curricula with essential postsecondary and career-readiness standards.
Manage this process with a cycle time that addresses both academic outcomes and business needs.
Demonstrate how curricula prepares all students for post-secondary, college, and career opportunities, including basic skills such as reading, writing and verbal communication.
Assess curricula by how it will improve academic and technical achievement.
Assess curricula for applications in authentic activities, projects and problems that guide teachers how to link essential academic skills with workforce skills.
Create statewide system to align and evaluate curriculum with regard to 21st century workforce needs:
Develop matrix comparing post secondary curriculum with work force needs
Use matrix to quantify how curriculum alignment adds value in meeting the needs of the 21st century workforce
Comment from the steering committee: Examine who should be providing curriculum and whether cooperation with Higher Education, other states and those doing assessment would better serve the system.
Project summaries

Project Rationale
UCAT curriculum There are areas of duplication, even competition between public ed, UCAT and higher ed that do not serve students or taxpayers well. Integrating CTE offerings in a seamless articulation tracks will save money, time and give both students and adults a more efficient way to acquire 21st century workforce skills
Public Education Curriculum Alignment, Development and Implementation (Phase 1) This project would shorten the two-year curriculum cycle to a process that would redefine and streamline the public comment and approval cycles such that we can target 21st century workforce skills, design a curriculum to teach those and a measurement system with workplace feedback to see how well we are providing the most important curriculum. This will bring the curriculum process into synchronization with the pace of change in the workplace.
Curriculum Alignment with 21st Century Workforce Needs (Phase 1)
Using the output from the career paths, job keys and direct feedback from employers, we would identify specific skills (including the employability skills) that are needed for the occupations that are in highest demand, those most sustainable into the future and those which pay the best. This project is the link to target curriculum at specific skills needed in the workplace.
SMART Session participants
Genan Anderson (Utah Valley University)
Bruce Davis (Weber State University)
Jim Dorward (Utah State University)
Brad Flitton (Intermountain Healthcare)
Lynne Greenwood (Office of Education)
Brenda Hales (Office of Education)
Heather Kralik (ATK)
Dana Slaughter (UCAT)
Ellen Thompson (Utah Education Association)
Fred Wasden (ATK)
Debbie White (AFT Utah)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

UCAT curriculum:
Board of Regents nominee; Gary Wixom, UCAT president; UCAT nominee (Campus President's), GOED Training expert, DWS cluster leads,

Public Education curriculum:
Lynne Greenwood; Brenda Barrel; Brenda Hales; Janet Gibb; Mary Shumway; Charlene Lui; Jeff Oejda; Fred Wasden; Teddi Safeman; Dixie Allen; Geralynn Hargrove; Ellen Thompson; Mary Alice Rudeleich; Terry Pickett; Duke Mossman; Kathleen Cronster; Holly Langton

Curriculum alignment with 21st century workforce needs:
GOED-Jason Perry, USHE Commissioner, Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment, UCAT President; Richard White, DWS: Steve Maas, Private Sector Reps, CTE Director; Mary Shumway, Greg Gardner

 

9. Workforce Development
The case for action
Currently, public education, GOED, higher education, and DWS use different assumptions and methodologies when identifying workforce needs and growth sectors. Without an integrated interagency approach, Utah's limited resources are diminished and we miss the opportunity to target key leverage points that would make a substantial difference for our employers and upcoming workforce.

We need to identify key jobs that will drive the economy. We need to create career pathways that will allow students to prepare for these high level jobs. SMART Session participants estimated that at least 20 to 30 of these career pathways should be developed over the next three years. Information should be easily available to students, parents, school counselors and others.

We need to identify and communicate to all parts of the workforce development system the skills that students and workers should possess to succeed in the 21st century. The workforce of the 21st century will possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet the current needs of business and industry, and to adapt to the ever-changing and entrepreneurial economy. In this workforce, all individuals should have access to the P-12 and post-high school education or training opportunities that will prepare them to succeed in work and in life.

Effective, successful 21st century workers will need to bring multiple skill sets and perspectives to bear within a dynamic, increasingly interconnected global environment. In addition to possessing an applied understanding of the basic sciences (math, physics) and advanced technology, these workers should be able to incorporate abstract concepts, ideas, innovative thinking and creativity to a problem or situation. To develop such a rounded, balanced aptitude, workers should receive a balanced education that also includes the arts, humanities, development of physical abilities and other elements that enrich and deepen the educational experience. Teamwork, highly effective communication, leadership and facilitated problem-solving should be among the skills taught and trained to a prospective 21st century worker. The system should view its desired outcomes as:

Personal effectiveness
Academic effectiveness
Workplace effectiveness

Students need better information to prepare themselves for the jobs of the future. SMART Session participants considered personal educational plans for each student as central to improving the performance of public and higher education in preparing students for the future economy. All estimates show that almost 80 percent of jobs now and in the future will require some level of post-high school training. Increasing the number of school counselors and focusing their energies and expertise on key counseling functions is critical to a 21st century workforce plan.

Workforce development is not the result of a single strategy, but rather the combination of several key strategies that collectively produce better prepared and more competitive talent pool. Such strategies begin with quality educational opportunities for children before formal schooling begins. Quality educational opportunities for those in school and for those returning from the workforce for increased training are keys to workforce development plans. Apprenticeship opportunities, of which there are many current examples, play a valuable role in offering real-world experience while demonstrating the relevance of academic disciplines such as math or physics to workforce success. In addition, many apprenticeship programs are accredited and contribute to student progress toward degrees or certificates. The research and development capacity of colleges and universities is also critical to future workforce plans. New ideas, innovations, and discoveries will drive the businesses of the future

The majority of our workers are not enrolled in school or in post secondary training, but are already in the workforce. Fundamental questions we must ask are to what extent we can assess this population's retraining needs and whether we have the capacity to deliver needed training. Our current adult education system is not designed to meet the needs of Utahns who are already working, particularly those that have language, cultural and previous basic education challenges. As the need for better prepared and trained employees increases, it is important that we design and execute strategies that target and effectively support those adults that are most at risk of displacement.
Specific recommendations
Develop and implement methods for identifying 21st century workforce skills, pathways and counseling.

Summary of proposed actions, roles and responsibilities
Develop and implement a methodology to coordinate with employers to select high-growth/potential industry clusters and occupational skills and use industry data to create a baseline of high demand, high wage occupations within each cluster. Assess industry clusters with greatest potential for growth and workforce investment benefit and develop a list of skills for each identified occupation and implement a process to validate those skills.
Develop a process to review and modify career pathways to reflect targeted industry clusters. Publicize these pathways and related opportunities for training, education and funding/resources, ensuring this information is available to career counselors, academic advisors, employment specialists and others. Track the utilization and impact of such resources.
Target 21st century occupations
Identify related skills and develop related curricula and pathways
Review and refine articulation from high school through post-secondary training/education
Develop competency-based assessment
Inform stakeholders so career pathways are fully utilized and applied
Increase the ratio of counselors to students to 1:350 across all schools within 4 years.
Reduce school counselors' administrative responsibilities.
Provide more relevant, current workforce development information to counselors.
Leverage community, business and other non-school counseling opportunities.
Initiate a targeted process that encourages more students and teachers to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related fields.
Utah's future economy (the Twenty-first Century Economy) will be driven in part by existing and new company growth in such areas as pharmaceutical products, information technologies, medical devices, biomedical products and services, alternative fuels and aerospace engineering. There will be a growing need for computer scientists, engineers and others with a strong background in science, mathematics, and engineering. Utah took a major step in providing the workforce required by investing in the engineering initiative, the Public Education Job Enhancement Program, USTAR, USTAR high schools and others. Utah must keep this momentum going if we are to compete in the national and international marketplace. The U.S. may lose manufacturing market share but should maintain its position as the most productive and respected research and development capacity in the world. Utah needs policies and practices that nudge students into math and science disciplines, reward teachers who effectively teach math and science subjects, and that expand the capacity of USTAR to create new ideas, products, and services that grows Utah economy.

Project summaries
The projects below are part of a larger workforce plan but each of these elements needs specific and detailed planning. Such planning cannot be done in isolation of other projects, and some level of coordinated effort will be required. Each project is significant and will require attention and resources.

Project Rationale
21st Century Workforce Skills and Curriculum Specific strategies have been advanced to create a more rigorous program of study focused on basic subjects. Developments in other state should be studied and a plan developed for Utah. Some states have focused on incentives for students to nudge them into math and science programs. Other states have adopted " default curriculums" that increase the number of required courses that can be altered only with the specific approval of a student's parents. There are other options that should be explored as the focus of a future project.
21st century workforce pathways Several efforts are underway to develop career pathways for students. Coordination of effort across all of the agencies and institutions has not been done. Key job clusters need to be identified and agreed to as part of the overall economic development plan of the state. Career pathways in areas like engineering, information technology, health occupations, teaching, pharmacy, etc., could then be developed by those who design and implement the training programs.
The role of school counseling Increasing the number of school counselors has been a prominent theme running across all four SMART Sessions. Full implementation could be done in a few years with modest costs to implement.
Increased focus on STEM related fields The 21st century global economy and Utah's economic future will be built in part on the innovative ideas and solutions of workers with advanced technical, scientific, math and engineering skills. While manufacturing jobs may shift overseas, occupations requiring STEM abilities will fuel growth, create demand for supporting skill sets and strengthen Utah's position in an increasingly competitive market for ideas, knowledge and innovation.

SMART Session participants
Mason Bishop (Salt Lake Community College)
Steve Burge (Savage Services)
Kim Burningham (Board of Education)
Dan Curtis (Larry Miller Group)
Bruce Davis (Weber State University)
Beverly Evans (Governor's Office of Economic Development)
Melissa Freigang (Job Corps)
Gary Harter (Governor's Office of Economic Development)
Ron Kusina (Weber Economic Development Corporation)
J. Kent Millington ( ? )
Allison Rowland (Voices for Utah's Children)
Susan Selim (Zions Bank)
Mary Shumway (Office of Education)
Leon Stewart (Snow College)
Richard Thorn (Association of General Contractors)
Russell Thelin (Vocal Rehabilitation)
Rick White (UCAT)
Gary Wixon (System of Higher Education)

Individuals or roles identified for any future work around this project include:

Pathways, Skills and Curriculum:
Mary Shumway, Brad Flitton Gary Wixom, Steve Maas, Gary Harter, Diane Lovell, Rick Pruitt (Richfield) Todd (Jordon ATC), Paul Jackson, Bob Gowens (Tooele ATC) Add higher ed institution

Counseling:
Meghan Holbrook, Members of the Regents and the Utah State School Board of Education, Richard Kendell, Former Commissioner of Higher Education (retired); Suzanne Pierce Moore, Trustee, Utah State University, Mary Shumway, Director of Career and Technical Education, Utah State Office of Education, Kari Ellingson, Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs, University of Utah, Helen Thatcher, Counseling Specialist, Department of Workforce Services, Brian McGill, Counselor, Riverton High School, Jordan School District, Aretha Minor, Program Manager, Utah College Advising Corp.

10. Assessment of Student Achievement
The case for action
A SMART Session on testing or student assessment was not held because of concerns that the session's results might duplicate or conflict with the work of a group already convened by Governor Huntsman, the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment.

The Blue Ribbon Panel's recommendations have now been made public. There are differing views within the core team and steering committee on which direction is best. Assessment has an integral role in students' preparation for success in the 21st century. Our report would be incomplete if it did not include assessment.

This section of the report includes several options for approaching assessment as part of the recommendations of the 21st century initiative's steering committee.

One option would be to say nothing about assessment in the steering committee's recommendations. To do so would be to omit something that affects almost every other aspect of the report. Bypassing such a fundamental issue would result in only a partial report. As the report "Tough Choices or Tough Times" states, if nothing is done to change our testing system then nothing else will matter.

A second option would be to incorporate and adopt the Blue Ribbon Panel's report as part of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative report. Doing so would conflict with the rest of this work. Each of these efforts (the Blue Ribbon Panel and the 21st Century Workforce Initiative) utilized a very different approach to develop recommendations. The SMART Sessions dealt with issues from a systemic and process perspective that included business and global considerations as well as a focus on preparing the workforce of the future. The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations would enhance the traditional approach to testing. There is a paradigm level difference between these two approaches and their presumed outcomes.

A third option for the 21st Century Workforce Initiative would be to recommend further study in the form of a SMART Session or some similar approach to examine topics in addition to what the Blue Ribbon Panel had covered. This option should involve members of the Blue Ribbon Panel as well as representatives from rural school districts, to address the following issues:

How the present assessment and testing system fits into workforce development.

How testing can be used as a learning tool to enable measurement of student increase in knowledge and understanding and mastery of material before being moved on the next level of material.

How the present system measures things other than discipline-based knowledge in core subjects in the curriculum; things like creativity, innovation, self-discipline, organization and teamwork skills and the ability to use ideas and abstractions. All these things spell the difference between success or failure in the workplace.

How testing impacts such areas as teacher retention and evaluation, school leadership, curriculum development, etc.

What teachers are doing already in the classroom to conduct pre-assessments and other assessment activities, to ensure that any recommendations incorporate or acknowledge what is already working.

Suggestions for improvement in each of the above areas and cost savings in both time and money, together with the identification of key "tipping points" and which factors provide the best return on dollars spent.

The affordability of the various options.

A simultaneous activity could be to monitor the progress and results from the pilot implementations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment recommendations and determine next steps for this initiative accordingly. The expected results of pilot activities should be clear and observable. For example, the results from a pilot assessment program in Sevier County provide useful information. The pilot used adaptive testing integrated into individualized and targeted instruction along with student, parent and teacher goal setting, accountability and results monitoring during the school year. This pilot program's progress should be closely watched and expanded to urban and diverse student populations where academic progress and improvement particularly with disadvantaged and ESL students is tested. At the same time, the pilot participants strongly requested relief from the old CRT and other NCLB tests which they claim are duplicative and ineffective. Evidence from the pilots should enable broader evaluation of the overall recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel. Attention should be given to the relevance of testing to workforce requirements including employability skills such as innovative thinking, teamwork and dealing with abstract ideas. Monitoring should address implications for teacher attrition and curriculum development. As these factors are considered, opportunities for complementary action or further study will become apparent.

Because of the decision to await the results of the Blue Ribbon Panel and not conduct a SMART Session on assessment, this report has a huge gap. It is recommended that further examination of testing and assessment be done. The important role assessment plays in so many other areas of a person's development leaves our report incomplete unless something can be done to include this topic.

 

Phase 3 Recommendations
Phase 3 recommendations represent the missing projects that have been discussed, implied or recommended by the work done so far in SMART Sessions 1-4, or in the research done in preparation for the sessions but not identified above.

Also included are those projects, identified as possible ongoing improvement projects, which would be a part of the 21st Century Workforce Alliance work. In other words, it can be forecast that there are other things to be done that are not addressed in this report.

As part of a revised assessment of student and teaching performance, ensure that the metrics are globally comparable to allow assessment and continuous improvement.

Fund and implement a targeted gifted and talented program at each grade level with appropriate articulation agreements and has the ability to accelerate advancement and graduation where appropriate.

Fund and implement a targeted disabled and disadvantaged program at each grade level with appropriate articulation agreements.

Identify financial opportunities through either cost savings or reallocation of funds by implementing analysis of waste, duplication and non-contributing programs in current workforce development organizations and activities as modeled in the SMART Sessions.

With improvements and options to teacher total compensation, design a process that recruits more students from the top third of college students to the teaching profession. Track first year teachers and address career, job and other factors, which contribute to attrition.

Identify and act on opportunities to establish, encourage and support apprenticeship programs that increase students' awareness of career pathways, appreciation of the importance of academic preparation, chances for occupational success, likelihood of further study or training and which strengthen partnerships between education and workforce sectors.

Identify the workforce implications of Utah's changing demographics and design a project to address those implications.

The Foundation of the Approach
All of the recommendations in this report are vital to prepare Utah's workforce for the 21st century. Some recommendations are dependent upon others, whether by logical sequence or organizational necessity. Our analysis finds that a few recommendations must occur first as a foundation in order for others to follow, such as the establishment of a statewide body to develop a plan prior to the alignment of training or education objectives to that plan.

To support prioritization, sequencing and resourcing decisions by the steering committee and policy makers, the following list represents the "critical path" of report recommendations. This list includes those recommendations that serve as the foundation for all others. Absent action on the items below, all other recommendations would be less amenable to action and would be substantially (perhaps critically) weakened in implementation.

Statewide Workforce Governance Structure: Create an integrated governance structure for Utah's workforce development system, leveraging the combined potential of all players while eliminating costly, time-consuming redundancy or waste.
Statewide Workforce Plan Implementation Process: Design and execute an implementation process for a 21st century workforce strategic plan.
System Performance Measures: Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) and incorporate these into a balanced scorecard tool to enable system management.
Aligned Budgeting and Finance Processes: Align budgeting and finance processes related to workforce development to support system-wide support of common objectives, accountability for results and collective efficiencies needed to fund the initiative.
K-16 Financing Model: Establish a streamlined, flexible and accountable model for financing K-12 education.
Teaching Compensation Model: Validate, develop and implement a statewide teaching compensation model that attracts and retains the best professional candidates.
System-wide Data Consistency and Tracking: Determine the potential for system-wide tracking and information sharing across education, business and government by assessing the feasibility of standardizing P-16 data definitions, processes and system interfaces.
Quality Teaching Benchmarks: Establish benchmarks linked to key workforce development predictors for student achievement and high quality teaching and use these benchmarks to increase consistency and overall performance in preparing youth and adults for a 21st century market.
Early Childhood Education Structure: From an analysis of best practices and supporting research, recommend to the Governor and the Utah State Legislature an early childhood education organizational structure for the state. Utilize previous analysis, reports and recommendations to achieve systemic improvement.
21st Century Skill Identification Methodology: Develop and implement a responsive, dynamic process and uniform methodology for incorporating relevant market data and collaborating with employers to identify 21st century workforce skills, linking those skills to occupations and transparent career paths, and preparing supportive, integrated curriculum for students P-16 (including applied technical training).

Budget Overview and Analysis
Each of the project frameworks in Attachment D includes a section labeled cost. Cost estimates are the product of asking project team leaders along with their SMART team members to estimate the cost of potential implementation of that project. There are three levels of cost estimates:

Low: 0-$200,000.
Moderate: $200,000-$1,000,000
High: $1,000,000+ and + or - 30%

We estimate that the vast majority of potential projects in phases 1 and 2 were estimated to be low cost. That means that the costs would be the time for volunteers to meet and fulfill their assignments as project team members within the timeframes indicated for each project. We considered the collection of phases 1 and 2 with consideration for the time required for team members to participate as a volunteer and who had a full time job as well. Our estimates were also a product of our experience with other professionally managed projects with aggressive timelines and results objectives, and the involvement of skilled facilitators to manage the project management process. There is a momentum for involvement and completion from the SMART teams and their leaders. They are eager to get on with their project work and produce the end results.

The other assumption with those low cost projects is that the end result would be a reallocation of existing funds. Those existing funds may need to be redirected by the appropriate governance structure and may require a different targeting description. The intent in each of these cases is that the project work would create a much higher return on investment in the context of the objectives for the 21st Century Workforce. To the extent that the work fulfills a higher return for an agreed objective, only then would the money be reallocated.

The work of the SMART Sessions was based on a series of change management principles. One of the most important of these principles is the criticality of measurement of outcomes. The reality we found throughout each session and topic was that each organization has a multitude of measures. What was missing were those few key measurements of either the process or the outcome that would tell what was really being produced or not, the cost of that product and the return to the customers of that investment. The result of the current system of measurement was fragmentation, complexity and the virtual impossibility of holding any segment of the organization or any individual accountable for performance particularly for the cost of the current system.

Therefore, each project has measurement of cost and return on investment as its basis. When prioritizing, the differential cost benefit would be one of the factors that guides decisions on which projects should be approved, which should be done at the same time, and which have the greatest strategic value. Someone will need to oversee and provide feedback if these projects go forward.

The projects with moderate or higher costs are estimates with a + or - or 30% margin. Part of the initial work of these projects would be to refine those estimates. There are several unknowns. For example, the counseling project has a huge variable cost estimate. If the project only involved adding additional counselors or lowering the current student to counselor ratios, then the estimate would be very straightforward and very expensive. However, part of this project is to explore some non-traditional means of counseling and delivering critical information to students, parents and others who need it to make good decisions. SMART Session participants thought we could mobilize, train and provide the information for volunteers to augment the traditional counseling staff. These volunteers could be drawn from the ranks of gifted students both in high school and in college, parents, community members, retirees and representatives from the private sector. One possibility is to leverage Department of Workforce Service employment counselors by streamlining current case management models or processes to free up counseling resources that could then be utilized in a school setting. Also, SMART Session participants said that if we unloaded non-counseling duties to either administrative personnel or volunteers, we could cut the current ratio of students to counselors in half. The point is that anything we do to improve counseling will require an investment. But, we could combine a number of non-traditional possibilities to cut that cost significantly.

We know that any process to integrate computer systems is expensive. Our experience is that rather than chartering a huge customized system to do all things for all customers, there are more cost effective possibilities. One would be to see which of our current systems have the capacity to do most of what we need. Then, see if there aren't some off-the-shelf integration programs that could help us connect these systems to get 80% of what we want and serve as a baseline for improvement when additional funds are available. In other words, use existing systems to the extent possible, use simple non customized integration systems and build a system incrementally. In any event, until we conduct the review of best practices, existing systems, integration possibilities, we only have a very wild guess on costs.

 

 

Project Prioritization

Phase 1 Project Cluster
Governance
KPI's
Finance and Budget
Student Data research
Teacher Leadership
Teacher Attrition
Quality Teaching Assessment
Early Childhood Education
Curriculum Projects:
UCAT, Public ed, Alignment with 21st Century Workforce Skills
Workforce Development Projects:
21st Century Workforce Pathways, Skills and Counseling
STEM education/training alignment
Present/beginning in the short-term

Phase 2 Project Cluster
Educational Management: Policies
Teacher Development and Transfer of Expertise
Teacher Compensation
Dropout Projects:
Student and Parent Engagement, High School to College, Increase Grad Rates of Post Secondary, Recruit and reengage Adult Students
Beginning within 4-6 months

Phase 3 Projects Possibilities
Gifted and Talented
Disadvantaged Students
Recruit the Best
Total Teacher Compensation Options
Parents and Culture
Adult Training
Funding Options for P-12 and Adult Training
Possibly beginning within 1 year

Preparing Utah's Workforce for the 21st Century

tah enjoys one of the nation's best economies and a high quality of life. We pride ourselves in our core values of industry and self-sufficiency and we work to demonstrate those values. We are the beneficiaries of abundant natural resources, rapid growth and sound economic policies. The ultimate source of our prosperity, however, is our people, the citizens of Utah.

We have been recognized for our good schools and well-trained and productive workforce. Still, as we acknowledge where we do well we must be willing to step back and assess our competitive position objectively. We must open our view to the possibility of the need for improvement. This spirit of self-critique and an interest in Utah's future are the driving forces in the work of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative and the findings and recommendations in this report.
The challenge
We started with the challenge set forth in the Report of the New Commission on Skills of the American Workforce in its report, Tough Choices or Tough Times. That report caused us to examine how Utah is preparing to meet the demand for 21st century skills and talent. We found a need for improvement and recommend a path to make improvement.

The overall message is clear. While Utah enjoys significant economic strengths and several workforce advantages, we must elevate and align our approach to enhancing and developing the capacity of our people to meet the challenges of a new world. If we do nothing, other states and countries will seize the opportunities that the 21st century presents. We must find ways to improve our education and training system and work together to enhance performance so that we prepare our citizens with the most competent, creative and innovative skills on the planet. We must produce knowledge workers and managers who can adapt quickly to changing markets and create new solutions, rather than assembly line workers who follow instructions (and whose work is vulnerable to automation or international outsourcing).The successful citizen of the 21st Century will be one with strong skills in language, mathematics, technology, science, literature, history and the arts. He or she must be comfortable with ideas and abstracts, good at both analysis and synthesis, creative and innovative, well disciplined, well organized, able to learn very quickly, work well as a member of a team, and have the flexibility to adapt quickly to frequent changes in the labor market.

Our approach to workforce development must include early childhood education through life and must comprise a partnership among family, community and business to influence and shape each individual's readiness to thrive as a 21st century citizen. Parents must recognize and address the needs of their children for a changing world. Businesses must become active participants in the development and preparation of the workforce. Preparation for some form of post-high school education or training must become the norm, the standard expectation for our youth. Education and training must produce highly skilled, creative and resourceful individuals who can adapt to rapid changes in society and compete on an international level. What we teach, how we train and what we expect need to remain current and innovative to meet national as well as global demands. We must foster a culture that meets the challenges of the future while building on lessons from the past.
Initiative background
In late 2007, representatives of The National Center on Education and the Economy presented the report "Tough Choices or Tough Times" to Governor Huntsman. The report argued the case for a change in the education system in the United States based on an assessment that the United States continues to fall behind other developed countries in workforce preparation and academic performance. Additionally, the report points to potential loss of global economic leadership, an increased flow of jobs out of the country, and ultimately a decline in our standard of living unless the nation responds with prompt reform of our education and workforce development system. The report raised important questions, chief among which were "How is Utah doing?" and "What are the implications of globalization, regional competitiveness and the 21st century for Utah's future?" To address these questions, Governor Huntsman asked a team to design a process for analyzing Utah's workforce development system and to develop recommendations. Gayle McKeachnie was appointed to lead that team. The other members included Christine Kearl, the Governor's Education Deputy, and Kristen Cox, the Executive Director of the Department of Workforce Services. Governor Huntsman remained involved as well.

Under the Governor's direction, a Globally Competitive Workforce Steering Committee (see Attachment A) was invited to assume an oversight and guiding role in the initiative. The steering committee membership included representatives of the business community, public advocacy, public education, higher education, teachers, the Utah Legislature, organized labor, the Governor's office and the Department of Workforce Services.

The 21st Century Workforce Initiative officially began with a kick-off meeting and press conference at the Governor's Mansion on May 7, 2008. At that meeting, Governor Huntsman addressed the steering committee and challenged them to expand their vision, entertain unconventional possibilities, join forces and apply their best thinking to the challenge at hand: preparing Utah's future generations for a new kind of economy and global job market.
Initiative objectives
The following objectives define the results focus of the initiative and were presented to the steering committee at the kick-off meeting:

Significantly improve Utah's capacity to compete for high paying jobs in the highest growth occupations and industries on a global basis.
Identify and improve competencies existing workers need to compete and bring sustainable long-term economic development to Utah.
Design and recommend systemic changes that improve measurable outcomes.
Suggest an effective change process for realizing our common interests.

These objectives provide guidance to the initiative as a whole. The steering committee's role in the initiative was identified through the following list of roles and responsibilities:

Nominate and support working session participants.
Review data, analyses and recommendations.
Make decisions and support their execution.
Assign priority and allocate time to the initiative.
Help communicate and enroll others.
Work through breakdowns.
Recommendation development process
At the kick-off meeting described above, the steering committee was briefed on the process the initiative would take through the summer of 2008. The methodology selected as the initiative's analytical framework was Lean Six Sigma. A validated operational excellence model, Lean Six Sigma offered rigorous tools and proven techniques to distill solutions and achieve results while minimizing resources and increasing accountability. (See Attachment G for a list of the attributes of the Lean Six Sigma model.)
SMART Session schedule
The initial phase of activity (through September 2008) consisted of a series of structured work sessions on key aspects of Utah's workforce development. These discussions, termed SMART (Stakeholder-focused, Measure and data-driven, Action-oriented, Responsive to customers, and Time- bound) Sessions, were scheduled to address two topics each during four periods, as follows:

June 16-20, 2008: Governance and Finance
July 14-17, 2008: Teaching and Management Systems
August 18-21, 2008: Workforce Development and Preventing Dropouts from Public School through Higher Education
September 15-18, 2008: Early Childhood Education and Curriculum Development

Each member of the steering committee was asked to nominate subject matter experts to participate in these SMART Sessions. Attachment C includes a list of the participants.

There were about 23 individual participants in each SMART Session during the summer of 2008. Given that nearly all participants devoted a full eight hours each day for the entire four or five-day session, nearly 100 individuals have invested (collectively) over 2,900 intensive hours in analysis and formal development of recommendations. Counting the ensuing project planning and follow-up effort by session participants and dozens of additional volunteers serving as project team members, the total number of volunteer hours spent in the 21st Century Workforce Initiative is over 5,000.
All SMART Sessions had the following purposes:

Developing focused problem definitions
Finding root causes
Developing alternate solutions
Creating sound project plans
Achieving disciplined follow through
Integrating measurement and results

The SMART Sessions were not about:

Pre-determined solutions
Intellectual debates or philosophy forums
Fully vetted, quickly executed solutions
Open-ended activity without a results focus
A way to cut jobs or budgets

During each session, participants followed a rigorous, facilitated process to identify opportunities for improving major aspects of our system of workforce development. The facilitators were highly qualified Lean Six Sigma experts with worldwide experience. In general, the discussion developed around the following steps:

Day 1. Illustrate the current process (workforce development financing, teaching assessment, adult retraining, etc.).

During this step, participants divided into groups and mapped each step of their current processes from a systemic perspective, working toward a common understanding of the relationships involved. Data on current outputs and outcomes (requested and collected prior to the session) were linked to each process. Ample amounts of butcher paper, markers and sticky pads supported the discussion and allowed for rework and fine-tuning of the "as-is" process illustration.

Day 1-2. Identify bottlenecks, non-value added activities, areas of pain or frustration in the current process, and root causes.

During this step, participants were given a set of colored adhesive dots and asked to place them on the steps of the current process that are most troublesome or least valuable from a customer's perspective. Session facilitators asked participants for evidence to support their assessments. Opinions or conjecture were discouraged. Greater weight was given to areas where participants' observations were backed by customer feedback, documented outcomes or other actual data.

As participants stepped back and viewed the areas where the most dots finally clustered, there was often a collective sense of discovery and increased unity among participants. These areas become topics for discussion by the entire group. The group ranked and categorized each bottleneck or area of frustration, and then addressed the question of root cause. Facilitators asked the group to identify, where possible, the ultimate "upstream" source of each problem, and finally define a problem statement that summed up the group's assessment of the areas of greatest impact and most relevance to them.

Day 3. Identify potential solutions or innovations to address systemic weaknesses.

Prior to this point, participants had focused solely on the current process. In this step, each group covered the walls of their meeting rooms with sticky notes describing ideas to resolve the areas of frustration previously identified in the group's problem statements. Participants combined their ideas into categories and ranked them by feasibility and potential impact. Considerable discussion occurred among participants in determining the most practical, meaningful resolutions to complex problems. The solutions discussed incorporated all of the perspectives, functional areas and diverse disciplines represented by the group.

 

Day 4. Develop recommendations for project plans to test and implement potential solutions.

During this step, participants formed project teams for each set of recommended solutions and developed project plans using the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC model (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control). Each team's initial project plans usually focused on gathering sufficient data to develop a complete project plan with thoroughly defined objectives.

All of these steps occurred during each four or five-day SMART Session. On the final day of the session, participants presented to the steering committee their recommendations and project plans.

 

The calendar for each session looks like this:

Day 1 Mon Day 2 Tue Day 3 Wed Day 4 Thu Day 5*
8:00 a.m.

Define as-is process, identify waste and undesirable effects

5:00 p.m. Identify root causes and define problems Identify solutions and define projects Finalize projects and present recommen-dations *Session 1 included one day of initial orientation/training on Monday
Session products
Each SMART session produced the following products for each of its two areas of focus:

An analysis of the current process including waste, undesirable effects or pain points to stakeholders, duplication, misalignment of planning, processes, finances, accountability, gaps in reporting and connection between activities and results and measurement.
A prioritization of the above in terms of impact on results or magnitude of waste.
Identification of root causes with supporting data.
Design of alternative solutions with objectives and solution specifications.
Project charters with case statements, objectives, project member nominations, and project plans with critical activities, communications, milestones and accountabilities.
A prioritization and sequencing of projects by time frame, with integration of similar initiatives with other groups working on educational improvement.
Session assumptions and expectations
Before conducting any SMART Session, and embedded in the planning for each session, were the following assumptions:

None of the SMART focus areas are new.
Capable people and groups have been working on these areas for some time and data is available in each area.
SMART Sessions are a forum to integrate and mobilize changes to the current system.
Piecemeal change hasn't worked.
Technology, economics and political priorities change faster than our ability to change workforce development processes.
We need to identify projects that together constitute a critical mass of changes that will be mutually reinforcing.
A few changes taken together represent a "tipping point" that will have a disproportionate impact and create critical momentum.
SMART Sessions are a search for the critical data and the critical few changes that will have the most impact to develop a 21st Century Workforce.
A distinguishing feature of this initiative is the use of data, focus on tipping points, systemic vs. piecemeal change and a disciplined project management structure that takes out waste and has clear accountabilities within a tight time frame.

While the validity of these assumptions may be debated, they resulted in a process that was viewed by both participants and steering committee members as effective, focused and true to its intent.

At each session, participants were briefed on the 21st Century Workforce Initiative and invited to apply their expertise and passion to the session topics. Specific expectations of SMART Session participants included the following:

Experience in a key constituency of stakeholders
Knowledge of the focus area at a detail working level within and across organizations
Ability to analyze data and think systematically and are not silo bound
Ability to separate facts and data from opinion
Ability to design creative solutions
Ability to help design and execute a detailed project plan
Track record of delivering results on time, in complex and challenging projects
Trusted, creditable and effective communicator
Can dedicate enough of their time for project execution

Invitations were extended, with varied levels of success, for SMART Session participants to bring with them and incorporate into session discussions findings or data points from the following activities:

K-16 Alliance
Blue Ribbon Panel on Assessment
Task Force to Study UCAT and CTE
Task Force to Study Math and Science Curriculum
Governor's Child and Family Cabinet Council
Governor's Early Childhood Commission
World Language Summit
Native American Summit
Public Education Coalition
Parents for Choice in Education
National Board Certification Working Group
Public Education Job Enhancement Program
Daniel's Fund
Governor's Literacy Commission
Governor's Math Advisory Board
USTAR - Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative
Task Force to Study Performance Pay
Utah Scholar's Initiative
Parents for Public Education
The Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) Integration Group
GOED's Board
WEEDA - Workforce, Education and Economic Development Alliance
State Council on Workforce Services
Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce - Education Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The customer
A competitive talent pool is indispensable to Utah's long-term economic potential, future growth and prosperity. The families, individuals, employees, students, schools and economic entities of our state will experience long-range impacts from the workforce policy and process decisions made now.

So in making these decisions, who is the direct customer? Who is the front-line audience for the policies and processes under consideration?

One of the first things each session focused on was the customer. In terms of workforce development, how do we define the customer? It's simple: the customer is the one who pays the bill. Our customers are the students, parents, businesses and taxpayers that pay for the education and training of our workforce through tuition or taxes. It is easy to get sidetracked and overlook the fact that the students and workers are what it should be all about. It is not the school or the teacher, it's what is best for our students and future workforce that matters most.

If we maintain that perspective, if we keep a clear focus on our customer, we will be headed in the right direction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments

Attachment A: Utah's Globally Competitive Workforce Steering Committee
Scott Anderson, President and CEO, Zions Bank
Pamela Atkinson, Community Advocate
Lane Beattie, President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
Dave Buhler, Interim Commissioner of Higher Education
Kim Campbell, President, Utah Education Association
Kristen Cox, Executive Director, Department of Workforce Services
Patti Harrington, Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education
Senator Lyle Hillyard, Utah State Senate
Representative Greg Hughes, Utah State House of Representatives
Senator Pat Jones, Utah State Senate
Jim Judd, President, AFL CIO
Christine Kearl, Education Director, Office of the Governor
Gayle McKeachnie, Rural and Legislative Affairs, Office of the Governor
Dinesh Patel, Managing Director, vSpring
Representative Phil Riesen, Utah State House of Representatives
Rich Sadler, Chair, State Board of Education
William Sederburg, Commissioner of Higher Education
Michael Young, President, University of Utah

 

Attachment B: A Note About SMART Session Participants

We had nearly 100 volunteers participate in our SMART Sessions during the summer of 2008. Many responded not only by committing to spend a week away from busy work and personal activities, but also often on short notice. They learned a different way of data gathering, analysis, and problem solving that was intense, often chaotic and demanding. They were challenged to think differently about every aspect of workforce development organization, work processes and funding. They were asked to step outside their familiar organizational perspectives and design breakthrough improvements, which were best for all the citizens of Utah. They took risks, took criticism, some from their own organizations, and put aside a myriad of personal and professional distractions to produce outstanding work. Several were dealing with painful and acute health issues, family crisis, and powerful back-home work demands. Many arrived wondering if this effort would make any difference or at least, more difference than several attempts to improve politically sensitive, partisan polarized and incredibly complex processes that had defeated many previous worthy efforts. They were willing to suppress their natural cynicism and passionately, thoughtfully and responsibly reach across boundaries, comfortable paradigms and personal inertia. Those of us who worked closely with them feel privileged and honored. The commitment of these people to make a big difference for Utah is incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachment C: SMART Session Participants

Session 1 Participants

GOVERNANCE
Dixie Allen (Board of Education)
Mason Bishop (Salt Lake Community College)
David Doty (System of Higher Education)
Greg Gardner (Department of Workforce Services)
Marshall Garrett (Logan School District)
Natalie Gochnour (Chamber of Commerce)
Meghan Holbrook (Zions Bank)
Richard Kendell (System of Higher Education)
Suzanne Pierce-Moore (USU Board of Trustees)
Debbie Swenson (Nebo School Board)
Rick White (Utah College of Applied Technology)

FINANCE
Dirk Anderson (Governor's Office of Planning & Budget)
Janet Cannon (Board of Education)
Nolan Karras (Rocky Mountain Power)
Brad Mortensen (Weber State University)
Mike Richardson (Department of Workforce Services)
Steven Roy (USTAR)
Jennifer Smith (Zions Bancorp)
Mark Spencer (System of Higher Education)
Senator Howard Stephenson
Christian Ward (Governor's Office of Planning & Budget)
Courtney White (Utah Education Association)

Session 2 Participants

MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Dixie Allen (Board of Education)
Mark Cluff (Board of Education)
Marshall Garrett (Logan School District)
Jeff Hansen (Zions Management Services)
Kimberly Henrie (System of Higher Education)
Meghan Holbrook (Zions Bank)
Richard Kendall (System of Higher Education)
Stephen Maas (Department of Workforce Services)
Cameron Martin (Utah Valley University)
Charles Nelson (Uintah School District)
Mike Richardson (Department of Workforce Services)
Steven Roy (USTAR)
Dennis Wood (vSpring)
Bruce Schroeder (Office of Education)

TEACHING
Jay Blain (Granite Education Association)
Kim Campbell (Utah Education Association)
Brandt Goble (AFL CIO)
Tom Gregory (Board of Education)
Margaret Krubsack (Uintah School District)
Charles Nelson (Uintah School District)
Susan Selim (Zions Bank)
Larry Shumway (Office of Education)
Senator Howard Stephenson
Lisa Vehrenkamp (American Express)
Governor Olene Walker
Steven Warren (Logan School District)
Richard West (Utah State University)

Session 3 Participants

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Mason Bishop (Salt Lake Community College)
Steve Burge (Savage Services)
Kim Burningham (Board of Education)
Dan Curtis (Larry Miller Group)
Bruce Davis (Weber State University)
Beverly Evans (Governor's Office of Economic Development)
Melissa Freigang (Job Corps)
Gary Harter (Governor's Office of Economic Development)
Ron Kusina (Weber Economic Development Corporation)
J. Kent Millington
Allison Rowland (Voices for Utah's Children)
Susan Selim (Zions Bank)
Mary Shumway (Office of Education)
Leon Stewart (Snow College)
Richard Thorn (Association of General Contractors)
Russell Thelin (Vocal Rehabilitation)
Rick White (UCAT)
Gary Wixon (System of Higher Education)

DROPOUTS
Jay Blain (Granite Education Association)
David Doty (System of Higher Education)
Stanley Ellington (Utah Black Chamber of Commerce)
Bob Gowans (Tooele School District)
Mike Gowans (Alpine School District)
Cynthia Grua (System of Higher Education)
Brenda Hales (Office of Education)
Dawn Kay Stevenson (Board of Education)
Marty Kelly (Office of Education)
Susan Loving (Office of EducationSuzanne Pierce-Moore (USU Board of Trustees)
Barbara Ray (Vantage Point Advisors)
Debbie White (American Federation of Teachers)
Noel Zabriskie (Ogden School District)

Session 4 Participants

EARLY CHILDHOOD
Genan Anderson (Utah Valley University)
Johnny Anderson (Utah Private Child Care Association)
Karen Crompton (Voices for Utah Children)
Julie Fisher
Janna Forsgren (Utah Head Start)
Christine Kearl (Governor's Office)
Nancy Livingston (Utah State Office of Education)
Connie Nink (Office of Education)
Suzanne Pierce-Moore (USU Board of Trustees)
Lynette Rasmussen (Department of Workforce Services)
Barbara Smith (Utah Family Partnership Network)
Amy VanderLinden (Preschool Provider)
Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson (University of Utah)

CURRICULUM
Bruce Davis (Weber State University)
Jim Dorward (Utah State University)
Brad Flitton (Intermountain Healthcare)
Lynne Greenwood (Office of Education)
Brenda Hales (Office of Education)
Heather Kralik (ATK)
Dana Slaughter (UCAT)
Ellen Thompson (Utah Education Association)
Fred Wasden (ATK)
Debbie White (AFT Utah)
Attachment D: Project organization and future planning frameworks

Governance project frameworks
Governance (Phase 1)

Project Title
Governance Structure: Twenty-First Century Workforce
Case for Change
Lack of a unifying governance structure has produced no clear means to develop and implement a comprehensive Workforce Plan that links public education, higher education, workforce services, economic development, and the private sector to address Utah's workforce needs and goals for the 21st century.
Objectives
1. To recommend the governance authority, roles, responsibilities (including creating the 21st Century workforce plan) and duties of the proposed state and regional Workforce Alliance Councils along with inputs to and outputs of the councils.
2. To recommend structure, staffing, and resources to support state and regional Workforce Alliance Councils.
Scope
A structure to align and empower all agencies, educational organizations and the private sector across Utah.
Benefit
Unify efforts to achieve 21st century Global Workforce outcomes with clarity and cooperation
Ensure more efficient use of public resources
Eliminate inconsistent governance structures
Strengthen the role of Governor in creating a globally competitive workforce
Create a common set of data that can be used to make decisions
Commit leadership
Create transparent career pathways that lead to high wage, high demand jobs
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame
Integrate research and development, economic development, workforce development, secondary and post-secondary education to build a globally competitive workforce and ensure a strong Utah economy:
Receive input from the Regional Councils on regional economic and workforce development needs
Collect, examine and interpret performance data to identify opportunities for improvement
Develop the 21st Century Workforce Strategic Plan with stakeholders
Provide leadership to implement and monitor the progress of the plan and the allocation of resources
Bring business, government, and education together to collaborate, communicate, and identify duplication in the workforce system
Maintain the alignment of common goals
Ensure statewide and regional coordination
Approve Regional Workforce Alliance Councils' workforce development plans
Recommendations
State Workforce Alliance Council Core Group Recommendations:
Three private sector representatives appointed by the Governor with one to be appointed as Alliance Chair2
Superintendent of Public Education
Commissioner of Higher Education
President, Utah College of Applied Technology (if not under Board of Regents governance)
Executive Director, Department of Workforce Services
Executive Director, Governor's Office of Economic Development
Executive Director, Utah Science Technology and Research

The Governor will appoint the private sector members. One representative from each organization will serve on the Alliance for a total of nine top executive level members. The Governor would issue an Executive Order creating the State Workforce Alliance Council. The order would be a temporary measure until a change to state statute was approved by the State Legislature.

State Workforce Alliance Council Expanded Group Recommendations:
At least once a year, the Workforce Alliance Council would meet with an expanded membership to perform the functions of the federally mandated State Council on Workforce Services/State Workforce Investment Board. The expanded group is required to approve the Workforce Investment Act/Wagner-Peyser strategic plan as required by federal law. This expanded group includes the following membership:
Voting Members
Large Employers (4)
Small Employers (4)
Employee Organizations/Labor (4)
Community-Based Organizations (2)
Veterans Representative (1)
Superintendent of Public Instruction (1)
Commissioner of Higher Education (1)
President, Utah College of Applied Technology (if not under Board of Regents governance)
Executive Director, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (1)
Regional Workforce Alliance Council Chairs (7)
Non-Voting, Ex Officio Members
Legislator (1)
Executive Director, Department of Workforce Services (1)
Executive Director, Department of Human Services (1)
Executive Director, Department of Health (1)
Executive Director, Governor's Office of Economic Development (1)

Regional Workforce Alliance Councils Recommendations
Voting Members
Private Sector Chair to be appointed by the Chair of the Association of Governments from nominations from the local Chamber(s) of Commerce
5 to 9 additional private sector representatives from targeted business sectors
Non-Voting (ex-officio) members:
Higher Education
Public Education
Vocational Rehabilitation
UCAT
Associations of Government AOG(s)
Local Economic Development
Department of Workforce Services

Staff to the State Workforce Alliance Council will be responsible to: 1) develop the instructions for the formation of the Regional Councils, and 2) plan how to staff the Regional Councils
(The Regional Workforce Alliance Councils would replace the existing Workforce Services Regional Councils)

Regional Workforce Alliance Council Roles:
Develop a deep, forward-looking understanding of the workforce needs and critical challenges of various industries through comprehensive data and the regular interaction of regional workforce council members, trade associations, and industry experts
Identify the training needs of businesses, including skill gaps critical to regional competitiveness and innovation
Facilitate companies to come together to aggregate training and education needs and achieve economies of scale
Assist educational and training institutions to align curriculum and programs to meet industry demands, particularly for higher skill occupations
Develop and disseminate regional competency models collaboratively by business, education, government, parents and career counselors
Address common organizational and workforce challenges, including:
Recruitment
Retention
Implementing high performance organizations
Adopting new technologies
Advancement
Fostering OJT
Develop a regional workforce development plan
Require that all delivery and programs are reviewed for cost benefit, duplication, and effectiveness through the 21st Century Workforce Council and hold that council accountable for performance against their strategic plan.
Establish a process by which the needs of employers are established for their workforces and measure how well the workforce development process is meeting those needs.

Recommendations for Staffing
Governor to select from the following options the best method for staffing the State Workforce Alliance Council. The recommendations of the Governance Project Workgroup in priority order are to:

1) Appoint a Workforce Alliance Executive Director (with cabinet rank, not an existing cabinet member) and hire a professional staff member and an administrative assistant (see chart). The knowledge, skills and abilities for the Executive Director position include: project management skills, the ability to facilitate alignment and commitment among groups, the ability to manage key performance indicators, continuous improvement and change leadership skills, and strategic planning skills.

1) Re-deploy the appropriate staff person to the Governor's office to assume the Executive Director position. Use existing staff in support of the Executive Director position.

2) Assign an existing department or agency to provide staff support for the Council1)

3) Re-deploy the appropriate staff person to the Governor's office to assume the Executive Director position. Use existing staff in support of the Executive Director position.

Recommendations for Staff Assignments
Staff to the State Workforce Alliance Council to: 1) develop the instructions for the formation of the Regional Councils, and 2) plan how to staff the Regional Councils (The recommendation of the Governance Work Group is that there should be a staff person assigned to each Regional Alliance Council and that the Department of Workforce Services would provide that function.)

If the State Workforce Alliance Council replaces the existing State Council on Workforce Services, the Department of Workforce Services could transfer the State Council budget to the Governor's Office to help make this recommendation cost neutral.

The Alliance Executive Director may receive funding authority to carry out statewide workforce initiatives, i.e., a public relations campaign.

Form the Regional Workforce Alliance geographic designations according to the seven Association of Government (AOG) planning areas.
Estimated Cost
Low: (0-$200,000)

Key Performance Indicators (Phase 1)

Project Title
Key Performance Indicators: Develop Trackable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that Measure Processes and Outcomes, providing data-driven feedback to inform the Governance, Budget and Finance Processes
Case for Change
The current system does not identify the inputs for workforce needs and allocations.
The current system does not measure the outcomes in relation to the inputs (ROI).
The current system does not easily identify opportunities for investment to increase outcomes.
Objectives
Confirm or identify the appropriate measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) as defined by the strategic plan.
Create or develop a template for continuing KPI development.
Develop a return on investment tracking and feedback methodology.
Scope
Develop KPIs according to the overall strategic plan as developed by the Governance and Budget and finance workgroups
Provide the needed data and analysis for the Budget and Finance workgroup to determine return on investment
Benefit
Allow decision makers to measure/assess past budgeting decisions, thus connecting future budgeting decisions to the strategic plan.
Allow decision makers to create solutions based on desired outcomes.
Insulate the decision-making process from political pressure.
Plan

Include time frame
Organize a team of individuals experienced in the development of KPIs to develop a template for the ongoing development and measurement of specific, measurable metrics as they proceed on their assigned projects.
Train workgroups on the development of KPIs for each project area.
Review the 21st Century Workforce Strategic Plan to develop a set of KPIs that measure progress on the objectives and strategies of the plan.
Prepare a set of KPI and ROI metrics for project teams to track progress on the objectives of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative.
Advise project teams on the development and use of KPI and ROI metrics.
Recommendations
Recommendation #1: Develop the Strategic Plan for Utah's 21st Century Workforce Initiative - KPIs are to be developed from the objectives and strategies of the strategic plan.

Examples of possible Leading and Lagging KPIs follow, but would be modified to reflect the specific objectives and strategies of the strategic plan.

Examples of Leading KPIs

Stakeholders engaged in 21st Century Workforce Initiative
# of contributed hours dedicated to 21st C.W.I.
# of workforce development programs in the State
$ of Federal funds spent on workforce development programs in Utah
% of students that graduate prepared to meet 21st workforce requirements.
% of students at various levels (pre K, elementary, secondary, technical, higher ed, etc.) who have completed requirements to be prepared for 21st century work force.
Teachers and programs prepared to deliver 21st century workforce curriculum.
Compensation of teachers in K-12 and higher education
# and type of new courses developed at K-12 and higher education institutions
# of 21st century workforce jobs filled by those who are graduates of Utah's education systems
By institution
# of jobs that we have to go outside to obtain).
# of 21st century workforce jobs in the state
$ spent on 21st CWI
# served by 21st CWI
# of individuals retrained for 21st Century jobs
# of teachers recruited as a result of 21st CWI
By subject area
By years of service
% of teachers leaving the public education system
By years of experience
By subject area
Reason for leaving

Recommendation #2: Create a process and template for continuing KPI development as needs, objectives and strategies are developed

Develop a Return on Investment (ROI) tracking and feedback methodology

Examples:
$ invested to create the 21st century worker compared to state equivalent of GDP or income levels
$ invested compared to # retrained
Teacher incentives compared to recruitment levels
Taxpayer cost of supporting those that drop out of system or to remediate. (Maybe simply the # of dropouts).
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Budgeting and finance project frameworks
Finance and Budget (Phase 1)

Project Title
21st Century Workforce Finance and Budget Process
Case for Change
State agencies compete with each other for resources toward similar goals
Current budgets are created by agencies' objectives versus the state's overall objectives
Current practices lack full accountability for KPIs and ROI.
Current practices lack visibility and flexibility when it comes to modifying program objectives to achieve strategic goals
Objectives
Step 1 - Identify current State Workforce Development resources
1a. Describe and account for funding source, funding amount, and purpose
1b. Validate Step 1 product with agencies - Modify as needed
Step 2 - Coordinating with proposed Workforce Alliance, Identify resources from Step 1 product, that support Workforce Development
2a. Develop a Workforce budgeting and expenditure finance methodology that uniformly accounts for Workforce Development spending across all agencies with alignment to 21st Century Workforce goals
2a. Identify tools and resources necessary to accomplish Step 2 objectives
Scope
Establish an annual budgeting and expenditure process that identifies, coordinates and supports the analysis of ROI on Workforce Development expenditures.
Benefit
Provides a statewide transparent view of Workforce Development funds
Ensures related funding is tied to Workforce Development strategic objectives
Allows accountability for funding
Focuses available training funds on better jobs/careers
Creates the potential to reduce administrative burden
Establishes a system to leverage additional federal grants in support of Workforce Development
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Sept. 18: Define project scope and objectives
Oct. 10: Complete and validate the funding source data and rules
Oct. 24: Identify gaps and overlaps in workforce development funding; Establish criteria for potential solutions
Nov. 14: Define proposed solutions / Recommendations
Dec. 1: Establish a control plan (review KPIs) and link to KPI's in that project
Dec 5: Review plan with Governor
Recommendations
Request the Steering Committee accept a common definition of "workforce development resources"
Approve Finance and Budget workforce development resource list
Connect Finance and Budget resource list to the budgeting, finance and resource allocation processes of the proposed Workforce Alliance
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Improving the efficiency, transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of the K-12 school financing system (Phase 2)

Project Title
Improving the efficiency, transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of the K-12 school financing system
Case for Change
The first SMART Session of the Governor's 21st Century Workforce Initiative focused on financing of programs and systems that contribute to the development of Utah's workforce. After mapping funding processes across various systems (including higher education, early childhood, workforce services, and economic development), participants identified the K-12 school finance model as the most critical area that warrants improvement and elevated it to a priority project. Specifically, SMART Session participants noted the system is impeded by too many legislative mandates, policies, and is often disconnected from schools' needs, priorities, and timelines. The team also articulated a distrust of the system among some stakeholders, and that this lack of confidence may perpetuate a cycle of increased legislation, regulation, and bureaucracy.

These challenges are often reinforced by a shared governance structure in which federal, legislative, state, and district oversight can result in layer-upon-layer of rules and policies; all of which can contribute to the inefficient delivery of funds to the actual classroom, discourage innovation, and undermine clearly understood and traceable accountability measures. Other areas impacting school financing such as adequacy of funding also merit additional analysis - especially since Utah receives the lowest per pupil allocation in the country. However, the system and processes through which dollars flow and funding decisions are made is the foundation upon which all other financial considerations are assessed and where trust can be strengthened. Improving and streamlining the finance system and integrating it with clearly understood accountability measures is the first step toward addressing funding adequacy and other issues that impact the quality of Utah's K-12 education system.
Objectives
Identify options that would result in a more efficient, streamlined, accountable, and transparent K-12 school financing model

Design financing mechanisms which integrate with and support accountability

Determine if existing accounting systems are adequate for collecting and analyzing data by school, academic subject, grade and other areas that would help to better correlate spending to performance and improve financial analysis at both the local and state levels

Recommend how to align better decision points, roles, and responsibilities of local schools, school districts, local school boards, USOE, the State School Board, and the legislature to support a more efficient, accountable, and flexible financing model.
Scope

Benefit
Ensure that existing resources are being maximized and meeting school and classroom needs
Reduce needless oversight and regulation
Reduce duplication of effort among education entities
Create more accountability and transparency in the use of education dollars
Align accounting procedures and reporting requirements to support better financial analysis
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Hold a SMART Session designed to meet the stated project objectives.
Provide to the Governor, Steering Committee, and/or the 21st Century Workforce Alliance with a set of recommendations and implementation plan by March of 2009.
Recommendations
Because the K-12 finance model is so complex, it is recommended that a stand- alone SMART Session be held to focus exclusively on the objectives listed above. Within a 3-day SMART Session, team participants would map the current K-12 school financing model and design a "to be" model consistent with project objectives - with the final implementation plan and recommendations being submitted in March of 2009. SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely)
Estimated Cost

Management Systems project frameworks

Policy Alignment (Phase 2)

Project Title
21st Century Workforce Policy Alignment
Case for Change
Each governing agency and subunit for public and higher education have policy sets (often referred to as policy manuals) that provide each with a variety of policies ranging from management structure and processes to defined levels and types of services. These policies can be in conflict with other policies of agencies and is problematic.

The primary challenge is understood to be the unintentional and perceived conflict of policy within Utah's education enterprise. The secondary conflict is between the education enterprise and the state (i.e., DWS). Policy conflicts arise when policies dealing with like topics contain standards and procedures that yield different understandings and acceptable outcomes that also cause confusion for the end user (i.e., parents, students, faculty, staff, employers, and workers). Additionally, absent any system that can easily query the policy sets of the USOE, USHE and DWS and establish a collaborative structure for developing like policies, it will be too easy for one entity to cast blame upon the other(s) for not adequately setting acceptable standards or meeting the educational and workforce needs of the state.
Objectives
The objective of this endeavor is to determine how to best align policies of like topics within Utah's education enterprise (between USOE and USHE) and other state entities (i.e., DWS) and thereby establish a system and structure that will improve the coordination, communication and outcomes. To effectively accomplish this objective, two primary projects were defined by the initial group that met in July. They identified policy alignment as an essential endeavor if Utah was to be optimally prepared for 21st century workforce needs and demands. The two projects are: (1) policy system analysis and (2) policy content analysis.
Scope
Establish an annual budgeting, finance and allocation process that identifies, coordinates and supports the analysis of ROI on Workforce Development expenditures.
Benefit
1. Improve the ease of access to the policy sets of USOE, USHE, DWS and their associated subunits from a single "policy hub."
2. Establish a system of accountability and responsibility for policy standards and procedures.
3. Create a tool to query USOE, USHE, DWS and their associated subunits' policies to ensure continuity and avoid conflicts when developing policies.
4. Enhance transparency and communication for approved policies.
Improve communication and collaboration between USOE, USHE, and DWS.
Enhanced ability to manage the educational agenda of the state through a collaborated process and system.
Provide a clear understanding of what current policies are in conflict, if any, which will help dispel misplaced perceptions of any entity's inadequate policies and standards.
Establish a system of accountability and responsibility for policy standards and procedures.
Better ensure continuity and avoid conflicts when developing policies.
Enhance transparency and communication of approved policies.
Improve communication and collaboration between USOE, USHE, DWS and the business community.

Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Project One Plan:
1. Attain a charge from the Governor addressed to the Board of Education and the Board of Regents to work with the DWS to assess the policy management structure of USOE and USHE.
2. Have the Board of Education and the Board of Regents approve the involvement of their governing agencies in assessing their policy management structure and appoint a lead person for this project who has the technical background and ability to implement changes to their respective on-line policy website to serve as a member of the steering committee.
3. Convene the steering committee, which should include a lead person form DWS and any other key persons that the Governor may deem appropriate that have the technical background and ability to implement changes to their respective on-line policy websites.
4. Have the steering committee identify key persons at the appropriate level from within their enterprise who can serve as a focus group team member, provide meaningful input into the assessment process, and help champion final recommendations and outcomes.
5. Conduct an assessment of the USOE, USHE, and DWS policy websites (including those of subunits) for ease of navigation, website location, and the ability to search content based upon key words. Pending the results of this assessment, any entity (USOE, USHE, DWS or any subunit) lacking such capability would be instructed to develop a key word search function for their policy website.
6. Review the formal policy approval process for each entity and determine which entities have an established process of cross referencing other entities' policies of like kind; for those that do not, identify the appropriate means by which a reference section can be added to their policy approval process.
Recommend to the appropriate policy approving authorities for USOE, USHE, and DWS to formally include a reference section within each policy. The reference section would list a web link to any related policies from the other entities.
8. Record policies that deal with the same topics or of like kind to assist with policy content analysis project.
9. Develop a "policy hub" website (i.e., a policy open-source website) that provides direct links into the on-line policy sets of USOE, USHE, and DWS and their respective subunits; develop a master search function that can search all entities policy sets by key word.

Project One Timeline

The initial assessment of management structure could be done within a six month period of time. Also within the same six months, the "policy hub," with its links to the other policy set websites, could be created and made live. Pending available resources, the development of the master search function that can word search the policy sets linked to the "policy hub" may take a year to complete.

Project One Benefits

The benefits to completing the policy systems analysis include:
Improve the ease of access to the policy sets of USOE, USHE, DWS and their associated subunits from a single "policy hub."
Establish a system of accountability and responsibility for policy standards and procedures.
Create a tool to query USOE, USHE, DWS and their associated subunits' policies to ensure continuity and avoid conflicts when developing policies.
Enhance transparency and communication for approved policies.
Improve communication and collaboration between USOE, USHE, and DWS.

PROJECT TWO
A policy content analysis includes a search of the USOE, USHE, and DWS policy sets that deal with like topics so a review of each policy can be conducted to identify any conflicts between entities. The primary objective is to ensure continuity between policy sets of USOE, USHE, and DWS. A secondary objective is to ensure continuity and compliance with related federal and state laws. The following is the action plan to accomplish this project.

1. Attain a charge from the Governor addressed to the Board of Education and the Board of Regents to work with the Department of Workforce Services to assess the policy content of their governing agencies' (USOE and USHE) policy sets.
2. Have the Board of Education and the Board of Regents approve the involvement of their governing agencies in assessing the content of their policy sets and those of their subunits, as well as to appoint a lead policy person to serve as a member of the steering committee of this project.
3. Convene the steering committee, which should include a lead person from DWS and any other key persons that the Governor may deem appropriate that have an appropriate background in policy writing and content assessment.
4. Have the steering committee identify key persons at the appropriate level from within their enterprise who can serve as a focus group team member, provide meaningful input into the content assessment process, and help champion final recommendations and outcomes.
5. Conduct a word (topic) search at the state level on the policy sets of USOE, USHE, and DWS and record policies of like kind or shared topics.
6. Conduct a domain analysis that charts the policies by topic that are of a like kind or shared between USOE, USHE, and DWS (policies that are not shared will not be included in this analysis or this project).
7. Review each policy for conflict and continuity; identify any conflicts between like policies.
8. Uniformly submit to the appropriate policy approving authorities for USOE, USHE, and DWS a report that itemizes specific policies shared by the entities to establish a joint policy taskforce to recommend amendments to the specific policies that would eliminate conflicts and ensure continuity.
9. Repeat this policy content analysis among the USOE and USHE subunits as well as other applicable state and federal laws to ensure continuity of all policies.
Project Two Timeline

This is a long-term project that would take an estimated one year time period to conduct the domain analysis for policies shared by USOE, USHE, and DWS. Thereafter, the policies needing redrafting due to content conflict could begin immediately. Once all parties agree upon prioritization of policies to be redrafted, a taskforce could be selected and the process of redrafting could begin. This project would be ongoing as it pertains to approving new policies through the established policy management system, which is the outcome of Project One.

Project Two Benefits

The benefits to completing the policy content analysis include:
1. Alignment of policy, terminology, content, and impact throughout the whole education enterprise and the DWS.
2. Enhanced ability to manage the educational agenda of the state through a collaborated process and system.
3. Provide a clear understanding of what current policies are in conflict, if any, which will help dispel misplaced perceptions of any entity's inadequate policies and standards.
4. Establish a system of accountability and responsibility for policy standards and procedures.
5. Better ensure continuity and avoid conflicts when developing policies.
6. Enhance transparency and communication of approved policies.
7. Improve communication and collaboration between USOE, USHE, DWS and the business community
Recommendations
The identified projects of policy system and content analysis will produce a collaborative process by which USOE, USHE, and DWS can improve communication among each other and establish standards of operation that will position the workforce of Utah for prosperity in the 21st Century. While the long-term benefits and outcomes of these two projects will provide structure and continuity for policy management and development, the short-term gain will be immediate by merely engaging in the process because it forges organizational relationships between entities. The value of these projects goes beyond the alignment of like or shared policies; they align USOE, USHE, and DWS organizationally to better prepare the citizens of Utah to meet the workforce demands of the 21st Century.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Longitudinal Student Data Information System (Phase 1)

Project Title
Longitudinal Student Data Information System
Case for Change
Our current system lacks integration for efficient and effective data flow. It requires defined standards and simplification across the system allowing efficient flow of intra/inter agency data
Objectives
Validate/invalidate the concept of standardizing P-16 longitudinal student data information and systems
Survey states for Best Practice models
Define and evaluate the 'As Is" current environment
Determine barriers and gaps for student data information systems optimization
Recommend 'To Be' system
Scope
Student data P-12, 13+, DWS All other identified stakeholders (feds, legislature, business, students, parents, citizens, accreditation agencies).
Benefit
Complete accurate data and analysis leads to better decisions, increased trust, and improved student data information, optimizing the efforts of the broader student information system
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Obtain agreement with the governor USOE, USHE, DWS and other identified partners to collaborate to achieve the stated objective

60 Days:
Survey all states to locate those who have operational or planned Longitudinal Student Information Systems to establish a benchmark for comparison
Identify aspects, frameworks and components of benchmarked systems that make them successful
90 Days:
Interview and analyze benchmarked states to identify the data collected and methods used, usefulness of the data and the cost benefit of the systems (ROI)
Map and analyze 'AS IS' (current) system to clearly understand current environment - Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) analysis
120 Days:
Perform comparative analysis of our 'AS IS' (current) environment/system to benchmarked systems identifying gaps
Prepare a project scoping document that outlines what needs to be done to achieve the desired 'TO BE' (future) system
Provide recommendations, proposed implementation plan, time line and estimated costs
Recommendations
Propose model or models for system design and data integration
Propose method for exchange of data between USOE, USHE and DWS
Propose method for, collection, warehousing, and querying of data across system
Propose acceptance and integration across system for use of Statewide Student Identifier (SSID)
Propose method for collection and matching of Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) with Social Security Number (SSN) for outcome measurement
Propose method to 'cross walk' Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with Classification of Industrial Program (CIP)
Propose method for data query through a web based public portal
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)
Cost for meetings, potential travel and proposal preparation to be absorbed by the partner agency from within established budgets

 

Educational leadership project frameworks

Teacher Leadership (Phase 1)

Project Title
Leadership: Leadership Academy for Current and aspiring School Principals and superintendents.
Case for Change
Uneven school leadership results in low teacher morale, underperforming students and poor public relations.
Objectives
Recruit high-potential leaders
Create a process that develops key leadership skills
Use research-based evaluation tools for monitoring continuous school
Improvement
Establish a certification process for leadership and continuous improvement
Scope
Statewide P-12
Curriculum to be developed from existing programs. Process to be written for a grant proposal for the design phase, then funded by legislature based on actual results.
Benefit
Improved key educational outcomes, including: academic achievement, social competency in kids, reduced drop out rate, and improved teacher retention
Improve Public Trust
Corps of leaders with high levels of skills
A continuous improvement process that elevates public school performance across the state
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
By December 2008
Develop the academy curriculum
Select state wide faculty
Schedule and communicate the academy process and benefits to local districts
Enroll candidates for the first session
By September 2009
Design prospective principals and superintendent academies using same foundation
Recommendations
Academy candidates gather data from their school on critical student and school outcomes (This becomes an eligibility requirement for participation. Only those willing to collect the data, and subject themselves to scrutiny, are welcome in the Academy).

Academy participants develop a systematic school improvement plan based upon a careful and thorough analysis of the data.

Guided by a research-based model, participants evaluate their school improvement efforts throughout the year, making appropriate adjustments when indicated by the data.

Throughout the yearlong academy experience, participants learn new research-based strategies for school improvement, and collaborate with other colleagues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of school improvement efforts.

Data will be shared, analyzed, critiqued, and school improvement efforts will be evaluated throughout the academy experience.

Certification of candidates will be based upon improvements in the critical outcomes measured in their own schools.

Estimated Cost
Costs should be low if existing staff can dedicate their time

Teaching project frameworks

Attrition (Emphasis on Minority Teachers) (Phase 2)

Project Title
Utilizing mentoring to train teachers, especially those from underrepresented demographics, to help reduce teacher attrition
Case for Change
50% of Utah's new public teachers are leaving Utah Public Education by Year 5.
The high level of teacher turnover creates shortages and negatively affects the economic viability of Utah.
Objectives
Train retired teachers in mentoring processes.
Scope
Target top three highest teacher turnover districts with significant minority student populations from K-12
Benefit
Public education teacher population will align with current/future student demographic for the state.
Broaden professional voice to communicate with minority populations.
Increased minority teachers (grades 1-3 & 8-9) to improve workforce skill level.
Decrease in drop out level and reduction in achievement gap.
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame
Recommendations
Refine research for Utah teachers to identify which causes and which districts/schools have the highest attrition
Work with those districts and schools to develop specific action plans to address the attrition data
Establish targeted action plans at state level to address strategic level issues like compensation, development, working conditions, system dysfunction, etc.
Measure attrition rates to track impacts and modify interventions
Train retired teachers in mentoring processes
Connect teacher mentors with new teachers
Recruit and Identify High Quality retired teachers
Use mentor teachers to recruit minority population to enter education profession
Estimated Cost
Cost is low (0-$200,000)

Transfer of Expertise (Phase 2)

Project Title
Transfer of Expertise
Case for Change
Because of inefficient or non-existent transfer of expertise among educators, there are islands of excellence instead of systemic excellence
Need for widespread understanding for the necessity of addressing the 21st Century Global Competitive Workforce Skills
Objectives
Develop technological systems that will facilitate expertise transfer
Develop real-time supports for educators
Repositories for best practices, including web video
Scope
Consider all methods of transferring expertise among educators in the state
Benefit
Improve teaching quality and therefore student achievement
Provide support for new teachers to increase retention
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame
Recommendations
By April 2009
Based on the assessment of student outcomes (growth model) and quality teaching assessments, identify best practices by grade level and subject focus
Develop targeted teacher development which addresses individual needs
Connect teacher development with performance management
Identify most frequent needs and refine development to address these
Hold districts and schools accountable for improvement towards best practice implementation and performance improvement of individual teachers
Use master teachers to coach
Create materials (DVD) for use in new teacher induction process, and faculty
Create support among new teachers for 21st Century Skills
Use results to orient new teachers
Estimated Cost
Cost should be low (0-$200,000) if project team members can dedicate the time and existing development resources are utilized

Professional Development (Phase 2)

Project Title
Professional Development: Create recommendations to adopt & align professional development for teachers with 21st Century skills framework.
Case for Change
With a shift in skills to be taught, teachers will not be equipped with skills needed to train students to become the citizens and workforce of the future prepared for a global economy.
Objectives
Recommend alignment of 21st Century Skills with professional development activities.
Create plan to implement recommendations
Develop tools to measure effectiveness
Use measurement data for decision making and continued adjustment
Scope
All Utah Public Education teacher professional development activates
Benefit
Better prepared, more focused teachers, Engaged students
Less remediation (school and work)
Lower workforce attrition, Lower drop out rate
Improved productivity (students and teachers)
Improve morale and classroom management
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Recommendations
By April 2009
Take the work done in the 21st Century Workforce skills and develop teacher training curriculum/development
Combine this curriculum with the best practices resulting from growth and quality teaching research
Pilot the combined development in a representative sample of large and small, urban and rural districts
Refine the process with the data from the pilots
Implement state wide
Identify most frequent needs and refine the development process to show improvement
Hold districts and schools responsible for improvement in these measures
Estimated Cost

Teacher Professional Development (Phase 2)

Project Title
Teacher professional development alignment with 21st Century skills framework.
Case for Change
Because of inefficient or non-existent transfer of expertise and adequate data to assess what is high quality instruction, teachers are not being developed with methods and techniques to prepare students with 21st century workforce and citizenship skills for the future.
Objectives
Develop Measurement tools to assess High Quality Instruction
Create materials (DVD) for use in new teacher induction process, and faculty meetings
Create support among new teachers for 21st Century Skills
Develop technological systems that will facilitate expertise transfer
Develop real-time supports for educators
Repositories for best practices, including web video
Scope
Utah Public Education teacher professional development activities
Benefit
Better prepared, more focused teachers, Engaged students
Less remediation (school and work)
Lower workforce attrition, Lower drop out rate
Improved productivity (students and teachers)
Improved teacher morale and classroom management
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
3 Months
Convene Team
Identify 21st Century Workforce skills
Analyze teacher capabilities with 21st skills
Set standards for instruction delivery
6 Months
Create methods and techniques to develop teachers related to 21st skill standards
Develop pilot for Beta Testing
Select Pilot site
Launch Pilot
Evaluate and validate pilot data looking for predictive indicators of High Quality Instruction
1 year
Create materials such as (DVD) for use in new teacher induction process, and faculty meetings
Conduct teacher focus groups to present pilot outcomes and gain support among teachers for 21st Century Skills professional development
Develop technological systems that will facilitate expertise transfer
Develop real-time supports for educators
Create repositories for best practices, including web video
Measure effectiveness of project and make final recommendations for full state-wide system launch
Recommendations
Redesign the teacher development process to generate necessary data that can be analyzed for high quality instructional expertise and further synthesized for methods and techniques to better prepare teachers to deliver to students 21st century workforce and citizenship skills for the future from:

Alignment of21st Century Skills with professional development activities.
Creating a plan to implement recommendations
Developing tools to measure effectiveness
Using measurement data for decision making and continued adjustment in teacher development
Estimated Cost
Project Budget: $450,000.00

Develop Measurement tools to assess High Quality Instruction (subproject of Differentiated Compensation) (Phase 1)

Project Title
Develop Measurement tools to assess High Quality Instruction (subproject of Differentiated Compensation
Case for Change
Current evaluation developed with original purpose of orderly termination does not efficiently produce adequate data regarding high quality instruction (HQI).
Objectives
Set standards
Develop pilot
Evaluate and validate tools that look for predictive indicators of HQ Instruction
Scope
Focus tightly on efficient measurement of High Quality Instruction

Benefit
Collecting and measuring high quality instruction focuses effort on the leverage point to improve student achievement.
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame
Agree on efficient integrated assessment model which includes pre and post assessments
Establish task force to find efficient and appropriate quality teaching assessment methodology
Pilot the combination of growth and teaching assessment to validate and refine the process
Implement across the state
Recommendations
Use an integrated growth model of assessment which combines student progress and feedback with pre-post assessment
Use existing research based indicators of quality teaching at each level in combination with the growth model
Estimated Cost
Cost is minimal if existing methodologies and techniques can be used. Cost would be significant if we have to create our own process or validate an existing process

Compensation (Phase 2)

Project Title
Compensation: Develop Differentiated Compensation Plan
Case for Change
Current compensation model is under utilized as a leverage point to improve student outcomes, recruit and retain quality career teachers, and may not adequately reward high quality instruction
Objectives
Build measurement tool to efficiently collect data on quality of teaching
Validate a model for existing/future measures of student achievement as an element of differentiated compensation
Develop a funding source
Create and deploy a state wide model
Scope
Retain (with changes) single salary scale
Total look at differentiated comp model for use by all LEAs
Benefit
Attract and retain highly motivated and skilled teacher workforce (context - our current teacher workforce is motivated and skilled, but we struggle to recruit and retain)
Recruit/retain quality career teachers through an enhanced career path
Improve student outcome through tightened focus on quality of instruction
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
By April 2009
Identify best practices and research on base compensation, professional ladders, and pay for performance
Include findings in quality teaching and student assessment processes
Design a competitive total compensation plan which includes analysis of comparative benefit, pension and compensation levels for teaching on a regional state basis and with other comparable occupations
Depending on costs, tax revenue projections and legislative priorities, consider sequencing and piloting those changes which will most impact 21st Century Workforce outcomes
Recommendations
We need to address these factors together:
Pay for Skills and Knowledge (Input)
Pay for Responsibility
Pay for Student Performance (Output)
Teachers should help design the metrics in an understandable and observable way and see how their performance directly affects the outcomes.
A competitive base salary (Establish professional standards in terms of annual work, hours and performance)
Sufficient and stable funding
Credible, agreed-upon best practices
Support for professional development
Incentives available based on agreed definitions and efficient systems of measuring performance
Estimated Cost
Cost could be substantial depending on total compensation considerations

Early childhood education project frameworks

Early Childhood Education (Phase 1)

Project Title
After years of developing action plans for early childhood education, Utah has failed to execute a comprehensive plan.
Case for Change
The value of investing in the education of young children to prepare them to fully contribute to the 21st century workforce is not well understood or supported.
There is a need to acknowledge and address the root causes for why early childhood plans have not been executed.
Root Causes:
Lack of champions with the power to create change
Current efforts are not coordinated within a unified structure that has authority
Lack of legislative support
Fear of government interference with the family
Funding is limited and not aligned with known best practices
Aversion to regulation of business
Many parents lack understanding of new research and best practices in the area of early childhood education
Lack of parental access to:
Information about early childhood development
Information about public/private support services
Quality, affordable early childhood care and education programs
Investing in the education of young children reduces social costs in the area of remedial education, juvenile delinquency, and adult corrections.
Objectives
Identify and recruit political and community change agents by December 2008
Analyze funding streams for all areas of early childhood education and conduct a gap analysis by the end of March 2009
Analyze current best practices for state early childhood systems and synthesize data to recommend a organizational structure for Utah to the governor and legislative leadership by August 2009
Integrate and utilize previous analysis and recommendations that have been completed for systems improvement
Build upon the previous planning and analysis efforts in Utah and move to action, for example:
Utah's Early Childhood Blueprint for Progress
Policy Matters
Ready for Success
21st Century Workforce Initiative
Utah Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Project
Scope
Birth through Kindergarten
Benefit
Utah's children will be better prepared for school success and have expanded career choices in the 21st Century Workforce
People of Utah will have a greater knowledge of the value of early childhood education
Utah parents will be better supported in their efforts to help their children learn, grow, and succeed
Investing in early childhood education in Utah will yield a higher return than most government funded economic development initiatives
Investing in early childhood education will result in fewer incidences with the law, decreased special education cost, decreased reliance on government assistance, and increase tax revenues from higher incomes
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Develop a strategic communication plan
Objective 1- By December 2008
Step 1: Identify core expert team.
Step 2: Contact Kristen Cox, Scott Anderson, Christine Kearl, and Rich Kendall for change agents names
Step 3: Contact and get commitment from potential change agents
Objective 2- By March 2009
Step 1: Identify which early childhood education expenditures will be analyzed
Step 2: Collect data regarding funding streams for state and federal programs (include GOPB)
Step 3: Refine communication plan
Step 4: Convene a stakeholder group to determine priorities for gap analysis
Step 5: Conduct a fiscal analysis of priorities identified in step 4
Step 6: Compare current level of spending to projected costs and develop report and present recommendation
Objective 3- By August 2009
Step 1: Identify and review other states' organizational structures and plans
Step 2: Select a minimum of 3 models to study in depth to validate successes, evaluate budgets, evaluate outcomes, and lessons learned
Step 3: Create a draft proposal
Step 4: Conduct community wide focus groups to review draft proposal and gather feedback
Step 5: Write and present recommendations to governor and legislative leadership
Recommendations
We recommend that Utah close the gap between what we know and what we do by moving forward with the identified objectives in the specified time frame.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000) for analysis, significant for implementation of targeted program

Dropouts project frameworks

Student and Parent Engagement (Phase 2)

Project Title
Student/parent engagement from linking student performance with educational and career options
Case for Change
Students lacking relevance to their learning and parents of disengaging from education processes are major contributing factors to high school drop-out rates
Objectives
Standardize format for commonly used notices across districts and charter schools to facilitate translation
Gather data through parent focus groups about their involvement in linking student performance to career options
Develop a state-wide PR campaign to positively engage parents in how to link student performance to career options
Create Utah Family Nights to implement effective parent engagement models at local schools
Create meaningful individual education plans for all students
Introduce all high school students and their parents to how individual education plans link to post-secondary, college and career pathway opportunities
Scope
USE K-12, Post-Secondary system and Higher Education
Benefit
Increased graduation rates and decreased drop-out rates
Increased engagement and communication between the parents and local schools
Increase student participation and completion of post secondary training and/or college.
Increase the number of students entering post secondary training and/or college
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
3 months
Provide information in parents' own context to increase engagement in student success and educational options
Standardize format for commonly used notices across districts and charter schools to facilitate translation
Gather data through parent focus groups about their involvement in linking student performance to career options
Analyze data from the focus groups to identify areas of deficiencies
Identify effective parent engagement models
6 Months
Use data conclusions to develop a state-wide PR campaign to positively engage parents in linking student performance to career options
Create Utah Family Nights (food/child care) to implement effective parent engagement models at local schools that encourages parents/students to select career focus areas
Create Career Pathway models and train counselors and teachers how to link them to student performance
1 Year
Create meaningful individual education plans for all students
Introduce all high school students and their parents to how individual education plans link to post-secondary, college and career pathway opportunities
Recommendations
Reduce the number of student drop-outs with effective individual student planning and parent engagement that includes:
Creating meaningful individual education plans with parents and students that links high school performance to career options by grade 7
Introducing all students and parents to post-secondary, college and work opportunities in grade 9
Providing parents access to structuring their student's school success with policies and forms that communicate expectations and designs
Training counselors and teachers how to convey to parents and students the relevance of curricula related to Career Pathways and post-secondary options
Estimated Cost
Project Budget $500,000.00

High School to College Transition (Phase 2)

Project Title
High School to College Transition: Increase Percentage of High School Graduates Entering Post-Secondary Education or Training Without Interruption
Case for Change
The percentage of Utahns holding post-secondary certificates and degrees falls below national average and is decreasing over time.
Objectives
Increase Utah's "college going" rate to national average (+12.9%)
Scope
Secondary school students, parents, and administrators; post- secondary student services administrators; other related stakeholders.
Benefit
A better educated populace:
Attracts higher paying employers;
Results in a higher tax base & elevated quality of life for citizens;
Increases Utahns desire for postsecondary education (which, in turn, reinforces the goal of increasing postsecondary participation).
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Obtain approval from the governor, USOE, USHE, and other related partners to pursue the state objective. If affirmative, execute the following events before the end of FY09:

Conduct focus groups to determine parents and high school students' perceptions of post-secondary education.
Collect data from parents and students and from institution student services administrators to determine real and perceived barriers to college attendance.
Develop and implement a statewide postsecondary recruitment campaign based on findings.
Recommendations
Confirm, from student and parent stakeholders, real and perceived barriers to college attendance. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.

Develop and deploy marketing campaign to dismiss mythical barriers, address real barriers, and promote the value of post-secondary certificates and degrees. COST: Meetings, travel, and media budget.

Propose and implement measures in post-secondary participation to validate or invalidate a positive impact over time in the "college going" rate. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Increase Graduation Rate of Post-Secondary Students (Phase 2)

Project Title
Increase the Graduation Rate of Post-Secondary Students
Case for Change
Just over half first time freshman seeking a 2-year certificate or degree or 4-year degree return the second year.
Objectives
Increase the percentage of admitted college students who achieve their post-secondary goal (course, certificate, degree) from 55% to 75%.
Scope
Current and future students of the Utah System of Higher Education; post-secondary academic and student services administrators; other related stakeholders.
Benefit
A better educated populace:
Attracts higher paying employers;
Results in a higher tax base & elevated quality of life for citizens;
Increases Utahns desire for postsecondary education (which, in turn, reinforces the goal of increasing postsecondary participation).
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Obtain approval from the governor, USOE, USHE, and other related partners to pursue the state objective. If affirmative, execute the following events before the end of FY09:
Conduct focus groups and gather existing data from USHE institutions to determine students' reasons for exiting post-secondary education or training before achieving their goals.
Work with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints education specialists to explore impact church mission participation has on college admission and persistence.
Develop and implement a system-wide postsecondary retention campaign based on findings. Deploy collateral materials through student email, and academic department and campus advisors.
Recommendations
Confirm, from student and other stakeholders, significant reasons for exiting college before complete a program of study. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.

Develop and deploy campus student services advising campaign to respond to manageable issues. Promote "returning to college" campaigns on all USHE campuses. COST: Meetings, travel, and media budget.

Propose and implement measures in post-secondary participation to validate or invalidate a positive impact over time in the college graduation rate. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Recruit and Reengage Adult Students (Phase 2)

Project Title
Increase the Number of Adult Students 25 to 49 Pursuing Post-Secondary Programs
Case for Change
Utah falls below the national average for students 25 to 49 who are attending college.
Objectives
Increase the percentage of Utahns 25 to 49 attending college from 3.9% to above the 5.1% top state average.
Scope
Returning adult students of the Utah System of Higher Education; post-secondary academic and student services administrators; other related stakeholders.
Benefit
A better educated populace:
Attracts higher paying employers;
Results in a higher tax base & elevated quality of life for citizens;
Increases Utahns desire for postsecondary education (which, in turn, reinforces the goal of increasing postsecondary participation).
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Obtain approval from the governor, USOE, USHE, and other related partners to pursue the state objective. If affirmative, execute the following events before the end of FY09:
Conduct focus groups and gather existing data from USHE institutions to determine students' reasons for exiting post-secondary education or training before achieving their goals (same goal as Project 2).
Work with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints education specialists to explore impact church mission participation has on college admission and persistence (same goal as Project 2).
Develop and implement a system-wide postsecondary "return to college" campaign based on findings. Deploy collateral materials through direct mail, student email, and campus advisors.
Recommendations
Collect, from student and other stakeholders, significant barriers to returning to college to complete a program of study. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.

Develop and deploy a statewide returning adult student campaign to respond to mythical and manageable barriers.

Promote "returning to college" campaigns on all USHE campuses. COST: Meetings, travel, and media budget.

Propose and implement measures in returning adult post-secondary participation to validate or invalidate a positive impact over time in 25 to 49-year-old student participation. COST: Meetings, travel, data analysis.
Estimated Cost

Curriculum project frameworks

UCAT Curriculum (Phase 1)

Project Title
UCAT Curriculum- Create models to articulate UCAT offerings to other higher ed programs
Case for Change
Many UCAT Students are unable to articulate their curriculum to other higher education options and programs resulting in fewer life and career opportunities
Objectives
Identify successful applied technology articulation models implemented in other U.S. regions
Analyze models for possible adaptation around GOED job clusters
Pilot model and make recommendations to Board of Regents for higher ed options
Revise UCAT mission to accommodate to designed articulated models
Scope
K-12, UCAT system, Higher Education, workforce, economic development entities
Benefit
Creating pathways for continuous learning
Increasing individual educational and employment opportunities
Increase opportunities for employers to "retool" thru education and training
Strengthen UCAT pathways from public ed thru higher ed
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
3 months
Make recommendations
9 months
Measure pilot outcomes
Analyze pilot data
1 year...
Revise UCAT mission to accommodate articulation
Define final articulation process
Define potential student who could best use articulation
Get OKAY from Board of Regents launch implementation
Create marketing plan to info population of UCAT articulation
Recommendations
Broaden the Mission of UCAT by implementing articulation models to Higher Education programs thereby realizing the full potential of continuing education.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Public Education Curriculum Alignment, Development and Implementation (Phase 1)

Project Title
Public Education Curriculum Development and Implementation. Restructure the curriculum development and review and implementation process
Case for Change
Current curriculum process is not accountable, cumbersome, redundant and delays approval averaging over two years or longer before it is taught in the classroom
Objectives
Minimize redundancy and delays by:
Creating a development and review process that assesses curricula by how it (1) links curricula to post-secondary studies and work, (2) blends academic and technical studies, and (3) connects students to a post-graduation goal.
Aligning new and existing curricula with essential postsecondary and career-readiness standards.
Demonstrating how curricula prepare all students for post-secondary, college, and career opportunities.
Assessing curricula's by how it will improve academic and technical achievement.
Assess curriculum for applications in authentic activities, projects and problems that guide teachers how to link essential academic skills with workforce skills
Scope
P-12 curriculum assigned to USOE (IE: ELL Special Education, CTE, gifted and talented)
Benefit
Results in a process that is more responsive to 21st century workforce needs supported by current research
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame

Recommendations

Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Curriculum Alignment with 21st Century Workforce Needs (Phase 1)

Project Title
Curriculum: Create statewide system to align and evaluate curriculum with regard to 21st century workforce needs.
Case for Change
Current curriculum process does not align program outcomes with workforce needs causing graduates to be unprepared and unsatisfied with employment options
Objectives
Create rubric/matrix that quantifiably measures curriculum alignment within the 8 job clusters as defined by GOED
Matrix is adaptable to changing workforce needs
Create statewide data collection & assessment process around curriculum for 21st Century workforce needs
Scope
K-12 graduates thru employment; post Secondary Education, apprenticeship, workforce training
Benefit
Reduce non value add remediation in post secondary, higher ed and the workforce
Increased curriculum relevance will improve retention within programs leading to larger applicant pool
Increase in graduates leaving the HE system
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
3 Months
Create criteria for pilot
Identify cluster for pilot from GOED categories
Identify existing programs within clusters

9 month
Board of Regents okay

1 year
Present to Board of Regents
Board of Regents rubric implementation
Professional development of employees managing rubric
Launching rubric
Recommendations
1. Create statewide system to align and evaluate post-secondary curriculum with regard to 21st century workforce needs
2. Develop matrix comparing post secondary curriculum with work force needs with stakeholder input from employers, workforce, K-12, UCAT and Higher Ed. that is administered by the Board of Regents.
3. Use a matrix to quantify how curriculum alignment adds value in meeting the needs of the 21st Century workforce needs.
Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

 

 

Workforce development project frameworks

21st Century Workforce Pathways, Skills and Curriculum (Phase 1)

Project Title
21st Century Workforce Skills and Curriculum
Case for Change
In addition to communication, collaboration and higher order thinking skills (long term project 1) many students will need specific skill sets in order to succeed in the 21 century. This project will build a strong seamless connection between education and new, needed skill sets.

As young people progress through their education in elementary and secondary schools, they are often plagued by the following: (1) a lack of understanding of how their education connects to future job and career opportunities, especially how math, reading and science is beneficial in adulthood; (2) a lack of awareness of job and career opportunities, including income potential and the education commensurate with various careers; and (3) an inability to connect education and career opportunities at an earlier age, thus limiting career exploration while in the K-12 system.
Objectives
1. One of the components of preparing the next generation for the 21 century is building a stronger education pipeline of skilled workers and requires seamless connections between the components of the system and must include the skill demands of the workplace.

2. Connect Education, economic development and workforce development through identified clusters and occupations and clear career pathways that lead to high skill levels necessary for the 21 century workforce.
Scope
Align occupations, curriculum, programs, pathways and articulation agreements at state and regional level. This project will focus on CTE programs and will merge with Project one (Long Term implementation of 21 Century Skills Framework) to create a life long learning system and culture in Utah.
Benefit
Increase the skill level of individuals entering the workplace and their skill sets match the needs of Utah's businesses. Reducing the cost of additional training and enabling higher productivity levels sooner. A skilled talented workforce will improve the competitiveness of Utah's businesses and attract businesses to the state.
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
Include time frame
See Recommendations
Recommendations
Develop methodology and process to select the industry clusters with the highest potential for growth and could benefit the most from strategic workforce investments.
Develop methodology and process to use occupational data to create a baseline of high demand high wage occupations within each of the targeted industry clusters using the best labor force data.
Develop a list of skills for each identified occupation.
Develop a process to validate the skills, for occupations, by stakeholders.
Develop a curriculum review process to align identified skills with curriculum.
Develop a process to review and modify pathways
Review and refine articulation system between high school, ATC, Community College and Universities
Develop Competency based assessment process.
Careers.utah.com updated to reflect occupations, skills, training opportunities and funding options.
An outreach effort would be developed so that the career pathways could be utilized by career counselors, academic advisors, employment specialists and others.

Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

Counseling (Phase 1)

Project Title
THE ROLE OF SCHOOL COUNSELING: TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WORKFORCE
Case for Change
The percentage of Utahns holding post-secondary certificates and degrees falls below national average and is decreasing over time.
Objectives
Increase Utah's "college going" rate to national average (+12.9%)
Scope
The recommendations for new State appropriations would affect virtually every school and school district in the State.
Benefit
At the end of four years we could anticipate several input changes such as appropriate counselor to student ratios in every school, better use of counselors due to on-line services, and the delegation of some functions to others (non-counselors), and an infusion of better information due to partnerships across multiple agencies (GOED, DWS, higher education and public education).
Plan

Indicate measures (if any) and link to KPI development project
By December 2008
Identify the non counseling work of current staff and offload to administrative personnel
Identify critical information, sources, systems, networks and best cost delivery methods including how students currently most effectively integrate key information, e.g., podcasts, texting, email, and video

By April 2009
Mobilize and train network of volunteers for counseling
Connect counselors with students
Set standards and measure effectiveness of different modes of counseling and individual awareness, planning and actual behavior
Evaluate impact and modify approach
Recommendations
PUBLIC EDUCATION
1. By the end of a four-year phase- in period all school districts and charter schools shall achieve the recommended counselor to student ratio of one to three hundred fifty (1 - 350). This will require an appropriation by the Utah State Legislature of approximately $ 6.35 million or $ 1.6 million per year through the four-year phase-in period.
2. By the end of a four-year phase- in period all school districts and charter schools shall move to a fully automated on-line registration system that will eliminate such functions from the school counselor's responsibilities. This effort will require an appropriation by the Utah State Legislature of approximately $ 2.4 million or $ 600,00 per year through the phase in period. Preferably there would be some portion of this funding that is ongoing to support and sustain this development.
3. Counselors must have better information about the skills and competencies required for the 21st Century Workforce. This information cannot be the sole responsibility of schools and school districts. Rather, the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, the Department of Workforce Services and a variety of business and industry groups must play a much more active role in providing current information to schools, school districts, and more directly to students and parents.
4. Counselors have limited opportunities for training about workforce issues. Total budgets for counselor in-service training are modest by any measure. School Districts, the Department of Workforce Services, businesses, and institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education should collaborate on specific conferences, workshops, and similar activities to better inform counselors on economic changes and the implications for workforce requirements. If all school counselors cannot be trained by such collaborative efforts it may be desirable to have one counselor identified as an expert/specialist on workforce issues.
5. There are a variety of exemplary programs being tried in various parts of the country that rely on volunteers or recent college graduates to coach and mentor students to prepare them for post-secondary training and employment. One such program is the Utah College Advising Corp supported by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. This program is a collaborative effort between the University of Utah and several local school districts. Recent college graduates are placed in high schools and mentor students who need assistance and or encouragement to go to college. Another example is the Hometown Mentor Program sponsored by the District of Columbia College Success Foundation, which is intended to improve the participation of low-income and underrepresented youth in college degree programs. A third example is the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which helps students to become prepared for college. These and similar programs should be investigated to broaden the attention given to 21st Century Workforce Skills. Ultimately the improvement of standards, expectations, and skills for all students must be broader than schools per se.
6. Counseling services vary across schools and school districts. The technology that supports registration and enrollment functions, and the staffing patterns that are used to support counselors, likewise, vary from school to school and from district to district. Given this variation it makes sense to allocate new counseling and related technology funds to the State Office of Education, at least initially. Districts could prepare applications for the funding based on their needs and their efforts to achieve the desired counselor to student ratios and to deploy support staff and technology to support counseling activities. In some instances the State Office may require that local funds to be contributed to the plan consistent with the efforts of some districts to use local funds to achieve better counselor to student ratios. Some balance of State and local funding would be appropriate.

HIGHER EDUCATION
1. Institutions of higher education will benefit directly from the investment in counseling services at the secondary education level. Given the demands of the emerging economy that is more knowledge based and requires higher skill levels, student participation should increase across a wide range of programs (UCAT certificates through graduate degree programs). Colleges and universities may need to adjust their own service levels over time to accommodate new students.

Requirements for high school graduation often differ from expectations for success in college. Preparation for college level mathematics is a specific case in point. Assessment programs are not properly aligned and the two systems do not complement each other in this regard. There are other disconnects but perhaps the point is sufficiently made. These issues have a direct bearing on students and their success or failure in navigating the transition from secondary school to college. The resolution of these issues must be addressed. Such efforts will complement other initiatives to articulate programs and better prepare students for the workforce.

WORKFORCE SERVICES
1. The Department of Workforce Service must play a larger role in the development and dissemination of important information for students, parents, and schools. Improved counselor to student ratios will be for naught if counselors do not have the information and data that better guides student choices. Workforce services must consider school counselors as a key client and provide information and service accordingly. Certainly the partnership of public education, higher education, and the Department of Workforce Services in producing and supporting Utah Mentor is indicative of the work that can be done.
2. Attention must be give to workforce reports that forecast thousands of new jobs for Utahns. This rosy news often clouds the details that most of these jobs are low skill and low wage jobs that do not produce enough income to sustain a family in today's economy. More attention must be given the three, four, and five star jobs that will provide better wages and benefits. A combination of the star rating system with GOED's key job clusters provides a better look at what a future economy and Utah workforce should look like. Clear career pathways should point students to these higher paying jobs. The message to students and parents would be clear, namely, "...good jobs are high skill jobs that will require training beyond a high school diploma."
3. Of concern to all parties to the 21st Century Workforce Initiative is the Department of Workforce Report comparing the current workforce with that of 2016. While the workforce of 2016 is larger, the proportion of workers by skill level and educational requirements are virtually the same. The data is accurate and the forecast is made using legitimate models but if the workforce of 2016 is to look any different from that of 2008, a number of important changes must occur.

Estimated Cost
Low (0-$200,000)

 

 

 

 

 

Attachment E: Data request for each SMART Session

Each invited participant in each of the SMART Sessions received a request for data prior to their respective session. The data brought to the sessions served as a foundation for the analysis and recommendations that resulted.

Governance and Finance

Organization charts
Staffing levels: Direct and indirect (e.g., administrative/staff vs. front line)
Position performance and outcome measures
5-7 Key policies and their intent and actual impact particularly on front line workers (e.g., NCLB)
Customer definitions of value and measures of how well that is being delivered
Critical programs, their process and outcome measures and trends
What is the function, purpose and mission of each governance entity
What issues are they addressing and what are the outcome measures?
To what degree do these align and achieve the Governor's education goals: (Math, science, reading, critical thinking, etc.)
Which elements of the current governance structure contribute to the achievement of targeted skill development and which do not? (Targeted skills are those identified in jobs that are growing, open without sufficient qualified candidates and which pay above the mean with competitive benefits)
How do private, home schooled, charter schools and public schools compare in terms of academic achievement?
Budgets: funding sources, amounts, formulas and expenditures and trends for last 5 years
What is the funding and resource allocation for developing the skills for these targeted occupations?
What resources are dedicated to data generation, research and analysis that contribute to improvement in process or outcomes? How is that measured?
Tax structures and formulas for funding education with benchmark comparisons with states with similar demographics
Which elements of governance or finance are we doing well and how do we know?
How do the customers of the different organizations assess their value? (e.g., parents, tax payers and the business community)
Management Systems and Teachers

What is the process for students selecting education as a career and as a major in college?
What are the ACT scores for education majors and how do they compare to other majors?
How are teachers trained and how does that training contribute or not to performance in the classroom?
What is the ratio of subject majors to classes taught in Utah schools currently and the projection for targeted skill development in the future?
How does continuing teacher development, graduate education or certification contribute to classroom effectiveness and outcomes?
What are the differences between these processes in Utah and other high performance systems globally?
How are teachers recruited, selected and oriented to their first teaching job?
How does teacher total compensation in Utah compare regionally, nationally and globally and to similar occupations in the private sector?
How do the individual elements of that compensation compare over time to the private sector?
What are the demographics of the teachers and students in Utah?
How is teacher performance assessed?
What are the outcomes of that assessment?
What is the process for evaluating the instructional process?
What is the level and trend of teacher attrition at different levels of experience in Utah?
What are the key elements of that attrition? Exit interview data?
What are the impacts of that attrition economically to the schools and on student achievement?
What are the highest performing and most satisfied teachers doing differently than other teachers?
What are the major steps in the planning, program, curriculum selection and assessment processes for each of the major entities in pre-K through adult education?
What are the cycle times, overlaps, gaps and outcomes in these processes?
Which of these processes have demonstrated a clear impact on improvement outcomes?
To what extent are these outcomes aligned with current or future economic development objectives?
What do teachers, particularly the best ones, think needs to change with systems, processes, policies, or structure, that would make the most difference in terms of their satisfaction and student outcomes?

Drop Outs

What are the different methods for calculating drop out rates here in Utah?
What are those different rates by district, by demographic groups, by pre- K experiences?
What are the trends over the last 5 years and projected 5 years?
What are the principal factors in high school drop outs for Utah? When do these occur and which have the most effect?
What is the impact of high school dropouts on competitiveness of our businesses?
What programs or interventions have been used and with what effect on dropout rates?
What are the costs e.g., social, government support, law enforcement, wages, families, etc. of dropouts?
What are the different retention rates for Utah colleges and universities? What are the trends of these rates?
What are the retention rates for different demographic groups?
What is the cost to the universities and to the students of these retention rates?
What is the impact of the retention rates on workforce competitiveness?
What programs or interventions have been used to address these retention rates and what has been their impact on retention rates?

Adult Education and Workforce Development

What evidence is there on the relative competitiveness of Utah's current workforce as it impacts economic development for Utah?
What are our competitive strengths and weaknesses?
What are the number of current openings, the time and cost to fill critical positions and the time and cost of basic training for workers in Utah?
How does that compare to other states competing for new businesses or expanding businesses?
How do the different organizations involved in workforce and economic development identify those competencies or job requirements that are in highest demand, pay the most and have the best opportunities for advancement? How well do these synchronize to impact results?
What are those occupations and industries by region in the state?
What are the different government funds available and spent on workforce and economic development? What was the impact of those expenditures in terms of jobs filled, earning levels?
Which demographic groups were least well served by those expenditures?
Which programs or processes have been used to address these gaps and what is the impact or cost effectiveness of those programs?
What are examples of redundancies, gaps, remediation, or ineffectiveness of these programs or processes?
Which segments of our adult workforce are most vulnerable to outsourcing, automation or off shoring and what career development do they need to upgrade their employability, marketability, and job competencies?
What are those educational and business best practices that promote and utilize innovation to create competitive advantage? How do we promote the use of these practices across Utah businesses?
What are the principal access barriers for workers gaining needed levels of literacy and education?

Early Childhood

What are the impacts of pre-K differential preparation in terms of test scores, social adjustment and drop out rates in Utah?
What is the cost of these differentials in terms of dropouts, government support, justice systems, wages, etc?
What are the indicators of Pre-K education in terms of quality, effectiveness by region, demographic and economic groupings?
What are the expenditures for Pre-K education in the state and what are the measures of impact, ROI, etc.?
What data do we have that indicates what is working or not in our state in terms of Pre-K education?
What have other states done in Pre-K that has worked and is most cost effective?

Assessment and Curriculum

How does Utah compare to the rest of the US in terms of academic performance in elementary and secondary education? What are the trends and differences in demographics, regions?
How does Utah's elementary and high school curriculum compare to other states and internationally?
What are the different assessments at the different grade levels and what are the results of these assessments?
What is missing or redundant in these assessments in terms of competitive workforce preparation?
What are the impacts of NCLB on educational outcomes at elementary and secondary levels in Utah?
What are the competing, duplicative, and different cost effectiveness levels of similar offerings to students in Utah?
What are the costs and cycle time of curriculum development and implementation processes?
What is the amount and cost of remediation at the post secondary level in Utah? By demographic group, region or district?
To what extent do accreditation and articulation synchronize between the different educational organizations in Utah?
What is the process of targeting curriculum development with 21st Century workforce needs in public education, higher education, UCAT and DWS?

Attachment F: Utah ACT Performance

 

Attachment G: Lean Six Sigma Attributes

It is the latest evolution of improvement processes that have been perfected through experience by the world's best corporations.

It is anchored in how value is defined by the customer of the organization; in most cases, the taxpayer.

It is a systematic and relentless pursuit to remove waste.

It focuses on time as a critical priority and how organizations can reduce the time it takes to deliver value.

It requires accountability and performance by leaders throughout the organization and highlights where there are strengths and weaknesses in the quality of leadership.

It results in both incremental and breakthrough levels of improvement and rewards those who create it.

It cuts across organizations boundaries to focus on the delivery of services from start to end with an emphasis on removing departmental boundaries and hierarchical bottlenecks.

It is based on demonstrated delivery as measured by key performance indicators, which reinforce accountability at appropriate points in the organization.

It is based on experience and technology, which has consistently produced extraordinary and sustainable results.

It changes the culture of organizations from entitlement and self-protection to performance and accountability.

Other reform initiatives have been piecemeal and ineffective

Lean is data based not opinion based

Lean focuses on what adds value to the customer, not on the political valence or position of the providers

Customers want similar outcomes: Highly educated workers who have the needed skills to do unique tasks required by growth industries and occupations and which pay in the upper quartile. These customers include students, parents, current workers, businesses and taxpayers

Survival of the globally fittest. Why? Because growth, capital allocation and profits are a function of doing your business better, faster and cheaper on a global scale. If you don't, your competitors will.

Lean requires cross functional groups working in a very data demanding process with teams of stakeholders and experts that lead to specific accountabilities for process efficiencies, time reductions and quality outcomes.

 

Attachment H: Background Research Summary

 

Utah Opportunities and Challenges in Creating a Globally Competitive Workforce

Step 1: Assume We Will Do the Job Right the 1st Time

Utah Findings:

Utah's retention rates of 62 percent for four-year public institutions and 54 percent for two-year public institutions lag the national averages of 72 percent for four-year public institutions and 64 percent for two-year public institutions. Salt Lake Tribune quoting Dave Buhler

The percentage of students in at least one remedial course in Utah's institutions of higher education have shown a small but fairly steady increase since 1995. The most current reported rate (2005) is 14%. Utah System of Higher Education, "Remedial Education in Utah," December 2006

Utah's population echo-booms signify an even more challenging future for Utah's education system.
Public Education was Issue #2 in our 2008 Utah Priorities Poll
On a 1-5 scale, with 1 being "not at all concerned" and 5 being "very concerned, 67% of those polled gave this issue a 4 or 5. The average score for public education was 3.97, indicating significant concern about the issue. When follow-up questions were asked, respondents were concerned about the following aspects of public education in order from highest concern to lowest:

Utah Foundation, 2004 Utah Priorities Survey

According to the Utah Educator Supply and Demand Study 2004-2005, 6.3 percent of all K-12 public school teachers left Utah public schools in the 2003-2004 school year, compared to 4.5 percent in 2000-2001 and about two percent in 1993-1994.14 Of the nearly 9,000 graduates who were granted teaching licenses in Utah from 2000 to 2004, less than half were teaching in Utah public schools by the 2004-2005 school year. As is the case nationally, in Utah, the largest proportion of attrition occurs after one to three years of experience. From 2000-2004, a quarter of the approximately 6,500 public school "leavers" had just one to three years of experience, while an additional six percent of the "leavers" left without even finishing their first year. In contrast to the nation, for which the youngest and oldest age brackets have the highest attrition rates, Utah teacher attrition is highest among the 30-39 age bracket (based on 2000-2004 data)."
"Teacher Attrition: Why do Teachers Stop Teaching in Utah and What Policies Will Encourage Them to Stay?" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 679, July 2007

Utah Student Performance in STEM Subjects
In terms of achievement levels (measured by NAEP scores) for 4th and 8th graders, Utah students ranked 28th and 27th in science (respectively) and 14th and 17th in math. Utah ranked 32nd and 47th in achievement gains from 2003-2007 in science and 17th and 22nd in achievement gains in science in the US. Utah ranked 23rd in the percent of math teachers who majored in math and 21st in science teachers who majored in science. Utah received a C grade on the state technology report card 2008 with a D in access to technology, an A in use of technology, and an F in capacity to use technology. The average state score was a C+. "STEM: The Push to Improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" Education Week State Technology Report 2008

U.S. student achievement has not improved significantly over the last several decades, despite dramatic increases in educational expenditures, and despite the growing advantages of increased educational attainment.[2] For example, in Utah, the percentage of students scoring at a proficient (or passing) level or higher in fourth-grade reading has increased only slightly, from 30% in 1992 to 34% in 2007 (see Figure 1), while the majority of students continue to perform below the proficient level (which is usually considered the target or "passing" level). There is no statistical difference in the average fourth-grade reading score for 1992 and 2007.

In addition to increased international competition coupled with stagnant U.S. achievement, public schools also face a significant and persistent achievement gap between whites and minorities and between wealthy and poor students. 2007 NAEP data show that African American, Hispanic and poor students are already two to three years behind other students in reading and math by the end of fourth grade. On the 2007 NAEP, Utah's achievement gap between students who are not poor and poor students was about two grade levels for eighth grade math (see Figure 2). For whites and Hispanics, the gap was about three grade levels (see Figure 3).

 

In 2006, Utah awarded 9,805 Associates degrees in STEM fields, 20,917 Bachelor's, 4,643 Masters, and 436 Doctorates. Our rankings among other states for those degree programs were 41st, 21st, 7th, and 10th, respectively. Department of Workforce Services Tabulations from IPEDS data extraction, applying Department of Homeland Security's CIP-code definition of STEM. Department of Workforce Services

Utah State Office of Education has not collected data on benchmark assessments, intentionally, as they have been viewed as tools districts use internally to target instruction. Debbie Swensen, Utah State Office of Education

In 2007, over 27,700 Utah high school students enrolled concurrently in college courses and earned over 190,000 semester hours. At the same time, however, Utah high schools experienced about a 15 percent dropout rate.

In some areas, such as Advanced Placement test scores, Utah students excel (Utah ranked 12th in the nation in the percentage of AP exam grades 3 or above (65.9%) in 2007). Overall, however, Utah students' math and reading scores on standardized tests are similar to the national average. White (non-Hispanic) scores tend to be slightly below the national average.

Since 1940, Utah has consistently surpassed the national average in the percent of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. However, particularly in the last two decades, Utah has slid down in the rankings. In 1940, Utah ranked 5th highest in the nation for the percent of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher (see Figure 1). [2] By 2000, Utah had fallen to 16th place in the national rankings. While male adults in Utah slipped from 3rd place in 1940 down to 9th place in 2000, female adults in Utah fell much further in the rankings: from 9th place down to 25th place.


The decline in Utah's rankings is not because fewer Utahns have college degrees. On the contrary, the percent of Utah adults and the percent of U.S. adults with a bachelor's degree or higher have both steadily increased over the last six decades (see Figure 2). Nationally, the percent of college graduates increased from 4.6 percent in 1940 to 24.4 percent in 2000. The percent of college graduates in Utah rose from 6.2 percent in 1940 to 26.1 percent in 2000. Utah has slipped in its national ranking because the percentage of college graduates in Utah is increasing at a slower rate than the percentage of college graduates nationally. Trends in Educational Attainment: U.S. Catching Up to Utah, Utah Foundation, June 21, 2006

Trends in College Enrollment

The data examined thus far are solely about those who have attained their degrees. To understand how the number of college graduates may change in the near future, it is instructive to examine how many young Utahns are currently enrolled in higher education. [4] College enrollment for 18- to 24-year-olds declined in both the U.S. and Utah from 1990 to 2000 (see Figure 6). In Utah, college enrollment for college age persons fell from 40.2 percent in 1990 to 36.6 percent in 2000. This decline in college participation in Utah can be partly explained by increased immigration to the state by persons with low education levels. [5] Trends in Educational Attainment: U.S. Catching Up to Utah, Utah Foundation, June 21, 2006

Step 2: More Efficient Use of Resources

Utah Findings:

 

"Just the Facts: Teacher Salaries and Education Spending," George Clowes, School Reform News, May 1, 2004, Heartland Institute

Utah ranks last or next to last in spending per pupil, and spends 28% of total education expenditures on teachers. Utah ranks first in the student teacher ratio 22.7 vs. 15.7 for the United States. "Just the Facts: Teacher Salaries and Education Spending," George Clowes, School Reform News, May 1, 2004, Heartland Institute

"Something is limiting Utah's ability to perform at a level that would be expected for a state with its demographic profile. With per-pupil funding $3,000 lower than its peer-group average, financial limitations are a likely limiting factor." "School Testing Results, 2006 and 2007: How Utah Compares to Other States" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 681, October 2007

Lawmakers boosted the education budget last year. However, even with the new funding, Utah isn't even close to catching up with the second-to-last state, Idaho, which spent $6440 per student
. . . which is $1000 a pupil more than Utah. "Utah Schools Look Flush..." Jennifer Toomer-Cook, Deseret News, January 19, 2007
Utah spent an average of $5,437 per pupil in 2005-2006, compared to $9,138 nationally. The gap between Utah and U.S. average per pupil expenditures equals $3,702. Utah's five peer states (identified in Utah Foundation's 2007 report as being demographically similar to Utah) spent between $7,700 and $10,000 per pupil.
About half the difference between Utah and the U.S. in average per-pupil spending is accounted for by Utah's large class sizes and comparatively lower teacher pay. Research suggests that under the correct conditions, higher pay and smaller classes can increase student achievement.
Lower spending on support services (pupil and staff support, transportation, administration, and maintenance) accounts for another 42% of the U.S.-Utah spending gap. This spending difference is partly explained by Utah's large schools and districts. Most research on school size and district size points to advantages in school climate and student performance with smaller sizes, particularly for poor and minority students.
Utah school officials believe that lower spending on instruction, pupil support, and staff support negatively impacts student performance. They also feel that Utah's lower spending on administration, maintenance, and transportation are not generally harmful to education outcomes. What Can $3702 Buy? How Utah Compares in Education Spending and Services, Utah Foundation, Thursday May 29, 2008
State revenue as a percentage of total revenues for public elementary and secondary education in the United States: Fiscal year 2006

Step 3: Recruit Teachers from the Top Third of College Grads

All Utah schools that offer a teaching certificate program require a 3.0 GPA to enter. All students pursuing a teaching certificate must pass the national Praxis Exam. Utah System of Higher Education
"Increasing teacher attrition in Utah public schools places our education system at risk for lower teacher quality, greater inequity in student opportunities, and increased inefficiency as more funds are diverted to recruiting and training new teachers. With the current surge in Utah's student population, a wave of baby boomer retirements coming soon, and teachers being drawn away to other states or other careers, the stakes are high for solving this problem. If teacher attrition is not reduced, Utah will experience increasingly severe teacher shortages." "Teacher Attrition: Why do Teachers Stop Teaching in Utah and What Policies Will Encourage Them to Stay?" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 679, July 2007

 

In addition, Utah has neither differentiated pay for rural schools (as 11 states do) nor differentiated pay for hard-to-staff schools (as 9 states do). However, Utah does have differentiated pay for high-needs subjects, along with 11 other states. The statutes instituting differentiated pay in Utah were passed during the 2008 legislative session: the Teacher Salary Supplement Program funds teacher salary supplements for secondary math, integrated science in grade 7 or 8, chemistry, or physics; and The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) Centers Program potentially awards increased compensation for math and science teachers. Finally, 30 states provide a wage premium or bonus for national board certified teachers. Utah Foundation, Improving Teacher Quality in Utah, August 21, 2008

Utah and 23 other states finance professional development for all districts. Thirty states (including Utah) require districts to align professional development with local priorities and goals.[26] In Utah, state law requires the local school board to review schools' professional development plans to ensure their compatibility with the district plan.[27] Utah Foundation, Improving Teacher Quality in Utah, August 21, 2008

Many teachers begin professional development as soon as they enter teaching through induction or mentoring programs. Of the 42 states with mentor programs, 25 states, including Utah, require teachers to participate in a state-funded mentoring program.[28] Utah's mentoring program for new teachers lasts 3 years, which is the most that any state requires (more than half of the states with mentor programs require only one year). Utah Foundation, Improving Teacher Quality in Utah, August 21, 2008

Hiring and retaining quality teachers is pivotal to the preparation of Utah's students to enter the workforce. Utah suffers, however, from an increasing rate of teacher attrition. 6.3 percent of all K-12 public school teachers left Utah public schools in the 2003-2004 school year, compared to 4.5 percent in 2000-2001 and about two percent in 1993-1994. The total cost to Utah of teacher turnover in 1999-2000 (not including retirements) was estimated at $33,147,941.

"As you know, Utah often bucks the national trends. It's possible that USU's national prominence in the field of education (ranked 25th nationally out of more than 1200 programs) results in getting slightly better teacher candidates, but I'm not sure that can be defended. Students interested in teaching careers rarely venture too far from home to obtain their training, but they may be willing to select a more widely recognized program over a lesser program if it doesn't require too great a sacrifice.

I can't speak for the other Utah institutions where teachers are prepared, but at USU, the composite ACT scores for teacher education students are virtually identical to the average composite ACT scores for the university as a whole. I don't know the details of the distribution, so there is a possibility that we may have a significant portion of the teacher education students who are drawn from the lower third of entering students, but there isn't strong evidence of that. In fact, at USU, the grade point average for teacher education students has been above the mean grade point average for all USU students for seven of the past eight years. And these comparisons, I'm told, are for courses in the general education curriculum. In other words, these comparisons are for courses all students are likely to complete. Thus, the teacher education students' GPA is not based upon education courses that some may believe to be less rigorous.

All is not rosy, however. Utah statistics suggest that we lose teachers from the field at about the same rate as the national statistics (e.g., 40% attrition within the first five years of career). This problem is exacerbated by the fact that superintendents typically rate the teachers who leave the profession early as the most capable and effective. Thus, from the point of recruitment to long-term retention, we are systematically removing the best, the brightest, and potentially the most capable. Furthermore, if some national studies prove to be correct, it costs substantially more (up to 2.5 times more) to recruit, train, and replace a teacher than it does to retain an effective one. We must do a better job of attracting and keeping the best teachers. I think many of the conclusions and recommendations of the study can easily be justified." Dr. Richard West, Utah State University

Step 4: Rebuild Standards, Assessment and Curriculum

Utah Findings:

"Utah students as a whole typically achieve around the national average on standardized tests. However, Utah's demographic characteristics suggest it should score much higher than the averages." "School Testing Results, 2006 and 2007: How Utah Compares to Other States" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 681, October 2007

"States with similar student poverty levels, parental education levels, and ethnic profiles score much higher than Utah in 8th grade math, reading, and science tests administered through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Utah is the lowest-achieving state in its overall demographic peer group." "School Testing Results, 2006 and 2007: How Utah Compares to Other States" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 681, October 2007

If Utah performed in the middle of its demographic peers, Utah would rank in the top 10 states nationally in science and in the top 15 in math and reading. "School Testing Results, 2006 and 2007: How Utah Compares to Other States" Utah Foundation Research Report Number 681, October 2007

In a comparison between grade 8 NAEP state mathematics and science results for Utah, Utah rated below Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia and Hungary. "Chance Favors the Prepared Mind: Mathematics and Science Indicators for Comparing States and Nations," Gary W. Phillips, Chief Scientist, American Institutes for Research, November 14, 2007

Step 5: Create High-Performance Schools, Districts Everywhere

Utah Findings:

For adults ages 35 to 44, about the same percent of Utahns and Americans attain a bachelor's degree or higher. But for the youngest bracket of adults, ages 25 to 34, Utahns fall below the national average: 25.4 percent of Utahns versus 27.5 percent of Americans. "Trends in Educational Attainment: U.S. Catching Up to Utah" Utah Foundation Research Brief, June 21, 2006

This lower level of educational attainment for Utah's younger adults is particularly concerning. Political leaders and economic development officials have often touted Utah's well-educated workforce as one of the state's economic strengths. Falling behind the national average in educational attainment could harm the state's economic competitiveness. "Trends in Educational Attainment: U.S. Catching Up to Utah" Utah Foundation Research Brief, June 21, 2006

"22,000 Utah students took the ACT. This group of students is approximately the size of 70 percent of the graduating class of 2007. The average score for this group was 21.7 out of a possible 36. This mean was slightly above the national average of 21.2. The small difference between Utah and national scores came as a bit of a surprise. Usually, because Utah has a higher percentage of white students taking tests than the national average, Utah's scores tend to be significantly higher. The gap between Utah and the US has been slowly diminishing over time." "A Summary of Utah's College-Bound Students' Test Scores," Public Policy & Administration The University of Utah

"While overall, in every degree category, Utah students score better than their national counterparts, that is not necessarily the case when ethnicity is included. Looking specifically at Caucasian scores, white students in Utah seeking a four-year, or a graduate-level or professional degree actually scored worse than their national counterparts. The question then becomes, why? One possible answer is that the best students are forgoing the ACT to take the SAT, which has a more intensive math section (based on the percent of questions that come from more challenging math such as Trigonometry)." "A Summary of Utah's College-Bound Students' Test Scores," Public Policy & Administration The University of Utah

Mapping Utah's Educational Progress 2008: Of Utah's 983 public schools, 695 (74.3%) were deemed to be "Making Adequate Yearly Progress" in 2006-07. 11 were "in Need of Improvement" and 1 was in "Restructuring," according to the Consolidated State Performance Reports, 2006-07 issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

Step 6: Invest in Early Childhood Education

Utah Findings:

In Utah, 60% of women work outside the home (that number grows 8% per decade).

Utah has more than 62,000 single parent families. (Hard at Work, Women in the Utah Labor Force, Department of Workforce Services, Jan 2008)

In Utah, 136,000 children need child care because both parents (or the only parent) work. (BBC Research & Consulting, State of Utah Supply and Demand of out-of-School Time Youth Programs, 2007)

Data shows there is a critical need for infant/toddler and after school care Utah. (Department of Workforce Services, Office of Work and Family Life, Child Care Needs Assessment, 2008)

Utah families using infant child care spend an average of 27% of their income on center care ($6,768/yr). (Source)

Utah has the highest ratio of any state for school-age children to total population (13%). (BBC Research & Consulting, State of Utah Supply and Demand of out-of-School Time Youth Programs, 2007)

The child care subsidy caseload continues to grow, increasing about 25% over the last three years. (Department of Workforce Services, Child Care Trend Report, Jan 2008)

Utah 15,000 children receive a child care subsidy per month (Department of Workforce Services, Child Care Trend Report, Jan 2008)

Utah has the highest percentage of preschoolers in the nation (9.7 percent). Of Utah mothers with preschool-age children only, 52 percent work outside the home. Utah is one of a dozen states that have no state-funded early childhood education program.

Step 7: Provide Strong Support to Disadvantaged Students

Utah Findings:

"Utah, . . . has one of the biggest gaps in the country for the number of high school graduates who don't make it through the doors of any college or post-secondary institution. . . The face of Utah is changing so dramatically, and we are seeing low levels of college completion among minority communities," Doty said. "It will definitely make a difference not only to the individual who completes college successfully but to the state's economy." By Wendy Leonard, Deseret Morning News, 6/26/07

The estimated additional lifetime income if high school dropouts in Utah graduated with their class in 2007-2008 is $2,076,173,760, The Alliance for Excellent Education determined the average additional lifetime income if one class of dropouts were to graduate by multiplying the projected number of students who failed to graduate with their class in 2008 (Editorial Projects in Education, 2008) by the $260,000 estimated lifetime earnings difference between a high school dropout and a high school graduate (Rouse, 2005).

The number of degrees handed out to minorities and disadvantaged students has increased slightly over the past five years but has not followed the population trends or the growth in the state. Of the more than 25,000 degrees conferred last year, fewer than 4,000 were given to minority students. By Wendy Leonard, Deseret Morning News, 6/26/07

Thousands of federal financial aid dollars go unused because people are unaware how to apply for help, Doty said, adding that Utah has one of the lowest numbers of students who receive grants, even though a large percentage of them are eligible. By Wendy Leonard, Deseret Morning News, 6/26/07

Utah: Demographics of Low-Income Children
Research suggests that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to meet their most basic needs. Children living in families with incomes below this level - $42,400 for a family of four in 2008 - are referred to as low income. The United States measures poverty by an outdated standard developed in the 1960s.

 

In Utah, there are 373,374 families, with 775,422 children.

Low-Income Children: 37% (289,168) of children live in low-income families (National: 39%), defined as income below 200% of the federal poverty level.

64% (185,228) of children in low-income families have at least one parent who is employed full-time, year-round.
27% (78,562) of children in low-income families have at least one parent who is employed either part-year or part-time.
9% (25,379) of children in low-income families do not have an employed parent.

Parental Education

 

84% (46,924) of children whose parents do not have a high school degree live in low-income families.
49% (74,355) of children whose parents have a high school degree, but no college education live in low-income families.
29% (167,889) of children whose parents have some college or more live in low-income families.

70% (57,540) of children of immigrant parents live in low-income families.
33% (218,804) of children of native-born parents live in low-income families.

 

Step 8: Enable Every Member of the Adult Workforce to Get the New Literacy Skills

Utah Findings:

Nationally, Utah has the most comprehensive, rigorous assessment program in career and technical education that measures skill attainment. Other countries do not have nationally reported assessment programs for career and technical education like the United States does. The U.S. Department of Education reviewed Utah's assessment program in March of 2008 and report that Utah leads the nation in technical skill assessment measures. Mary Shumway, Utah State Office of Education

Adult literacy in Utah:

• 211,000 adults in Utah do not have a high school diploma or
GED (2000 census).

• 34% of the Department of Workforce Services' caseload lacks
a high school diploma or GED.

• 3,501 Utahns receiving unemployment assistance do not
have a high school diploma or GED.

• 8% of all Utah birth mothers do not have a high school
diploma or GED.

• Workers who lack a high school diploma earn a median
weekly income of $479 compared to $660 with a high school
diploma and compared to $1,243 for those with a bachelor's
degree.
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

• Graduating from high school increases the likelihood of
avoiding welfare by 75%.

• Each adult high school diploma and GED generates nearly
$800 in state income taxes annually.
(Utah Issues, Fact Sheet, 2005)

Of adults age 25-49 in Utah, 3.9 percent were enrolled part-time in any type of postsecondary education in 2006, compared with 5.1 percent in top-performing states.

Utah's unemployment rate may be rising, but there is a flip side to the state statistics. There still are tens of thousands of job openings in Utah with employers just waiting for workers to fill them. "It is difficult for employers to fill a lot of those positions because there just aren't enough qualified people," said Nate Talley, an economist with the Department of Workforce Services who looked at job openings in the study area designated "metropolitan Utah." Among the most difficult jobs to fill in Utah during the fourth quarter were those for welders, industrial engineers, machinists, plumbers, pipe fitters and computer programmers, Talley indicated. "High-paying jobs: Unwanted?" Steven Oberbeck, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4/18/2008

http://www.cael.org/pdf/state_profiles/UTAH.pdf

Step 9: Create New GI Bill - Lifelong Learning Support

Utah Findings:

"Since 1940, Utah has consistently surpassed the national average in the percent of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. However, particularly in the last two decades, Utah has slid down in the rankings. In 1940, Utah ranked 5th highest in the nation for the percent of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher (see Figure 1). By 2000, Utah had fallen to 16th place in the national rankings. While male adults in Utah slipped from 3rd place in 1940 down to 9th place in 2000, female adults in Utah fell much further in the rankings: from 9th place down to 25th place." "Trends in Educational Attainment: U.S. Catching Up to Utah, Utah Foundation, June 21, 2006

Step 10: Create Regional Economic Development Authorities

Utah Findings:

The 2007 State New Economy Index

2007 State 1999 2002 Rank Change From
Rank Rank Rank 1999 to 2002

1 Massachusetts 1 1 0 0
2 New Jersey 8 6 6 4
3 Maryland 11 5 8 2
4 Washington 4 4 0 0
5 California 2 2 -3 -3
6 Connecticut 5 7 -1 1
7 Delaware 9 9 2 2
8 Virginia 12 8 4 0
9 Colorado 3 3 -6 -6
10 New York 16 11 6 1
11 Minnesota 14 14 3 3
12 Utah 6 16 -6 4

Based on 5 categories: Knowledge jobs, export orientation, number of fast growing companies, use of technology, number of jobs in technology-producing industries, number of scientists and patents issued. Kauffman Foundation

"Just the Facts: Teacher Salaries and Education Spending," George Clowes, School Reform News, May 1, 2004, Heartland Institute

Utah's funding effort for K-12 public education fell significantly from 1996 through 2004.

In response to large budget surpluses, the Legislature has increased Utah's education
funding effort for fiscal years 2007 and 2008.

Before the most recent two years, Utah's downward trend in funding effort was unprecedented, given the state's history of very high proportions of personal income dedicated to public education.

Part of the reason for lower education funding effort was a change in spending priorities facilitated by loosening the earmarking of income taxes for education. Growth in health, transportation, and prison spending took higher priority in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

After a period of rapid income tax growth, higher education is now receiving very little funding from the state general fund. This will cause the earmarking of income taxes to once again have a significant impact on budget policy choices. Utah's Education Funding Effort Update and Historical Perspective, Utah Foundation, August 2007

Attachment I: Informal Teacher Survey Results

Survey of Public Educators

Conducted July 3-10, 2008

Survey Method: Online questionnaire

Distribution: Non-random; targeted distribution to Nebo School District educators; convenience sample of other state educators

Total respondents: 161

Respondent Title:
Teacher 107
Principal/Asst 29
School Mgmt 6
District Mgmt 17

Years teaching in Utah:
<1 0
1-2 14
3-4 8
5-7 15
8-10 16
11-15 22
16-20 27
>20 58

Respondent District:
Nebo 81
All others 80 (Ogden 22; Box Elder 11; others 6 or less)July 2008 Survey of Utah Educators - Summary of Responses

WORKING WELL
Strategic leadership: Long-term vision from admin
Data-driven instructional planning
Communication: Collaboration among teachers; professional communities
Communication between admin and teachers
Instructional coaches
Mentoring
Community involvement
Excellent processes: Remediation
Professional development
Behavior management
Hot buttons: Pay, incentives
Respect, empowerment
Quality of life
Local control
NOT WORKING WELL
Lack of communication and understanding: Legislative mandates
Unclear, misunderstood federal or state requirements
Lack of involving teachers in planning
Misdirection: Everything that takes away from actual teaching (paperwork, grant obsession, death by meetings, over-testing)
Effectiveness: Tests that don't test what's important; test results without follow-up
No real consequence for poor performance
Lack of meaningful teacher assessment
Not taking student variation into account (disabilities, background)
Hot Buttons: Pay for performance; unfair premises for measuring teacher performance
Teacher compensation
Teacher respect, empowerment
NCLB
CRT
Praxis

 

What is working well overall:

OPERATIONS/PROCESS DESIGN
Local control and governance; core curriculum guidance; professional communities; Trust Land Program; Career Technologies Pathway and Academy Planning; teacher autonomy; community involvement; administrative leadership and long-term planning
EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
Remediation process; data-driven instructional planning; professional development; instructional coaches; behavior management training; teacher collaboration program; special initiatives
POLICIES/PROCEDURES
Community involvement; good communication from administrators; coordination between teachers and administration
TEACHER RECRUITMENT
Monetary incentives; mentoring program; pay increases; district reputation, quality of life/culture
TEACHER RETENTION
Coaching; mentoring; administrator leadership/cultivation of teachers
TEACHER ASSESSMENT
JPAS; principal walk-throughs; coaching; learning communities

What makes little or no difference, or is not working well overall:

OPERATIONS/PROCESS DESIGN
Program, grant overload; micro-managing and disrupting oversight from the legislature; lack of clear plan; insufficient focus on teaching/instruction; inadequate teacher involvement; too many meetings and paperwork; lack of understanding for changing requirements, policies, tests, etc.
EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
Lack of understanding of the value or practicality of pay for performance; NCLB; Paperwork overkill, esp. for principals; no real consequence for failure; too many programs; tests that test memorization but don't test understanding; burdensome and inadequate evaluation processes; inadequate processes to take into account student disabilities or disadvantages; poorly performing teachers; lack of utilization of test scores; NCLB, CRT; basic skills readiness; too much testing with much that's duplicative or unnecessary
POLICIES/PROCEDURES
Too much paperwork and procedures; legislature interference; one-size-fits-all syndrome; lack of understanding of how teacher/student performance could be accurately and fairly measured; NCLB and UPASS lack of follow-through; lack of teacher involvement; distraction from keeping the focus on teaching; over-assessment of students; no meaningful consequences for poor student performance
TEACHER RECRUITMENT
Poor pay; need for district flexibility in administering pay; poor reputation of being a teacher
TEACHER RETENTION
Poor pay; poor quality teachers; lack of respect and teacher empowerment; not being heard (surveyed, but no responsiveness); increasing expectations and responsibilities without reward; NCLB; lack of motivation to teach/inspiration to teach
TEACHER ASSESSMENT
Inadequate or unfair involvement of administrators in assessment process; lack of meaningful process; lack of a response to poor teacher quality; Praxis; NCLB; lack of meaningful assessments; lack of understanding of how performance could be accurately and fairly judged; EEI observational protocol

Survey Questions:

List what is working *very well* in the management or administration of public education, in the following areas:
Operational planning
Program and process design
Educational performance improvement
Information systems
Policies and procedures
Teacher recruitment
Teacher retention
Teacher assessment

List what we do that makes little or no difference, is wasteful, or simply gets in the way of teaching, in the following areas:
(Same areas as in question #1)

 

WORKING WELL--NON NEBO RESPONSES

OPERATIONS/PROCESS DESIGN
High Points: local control and governance; core curriculum guidance; professional communities; Trust Land Program; Career Technologies Pathway and Academy Planning
local governance, control (rural differences)
communication b/t school, district
district, local planning
elementary school principals district-wide collaborating to align, standardize, common focus
before start of school year planning
professional learning communities
bigger teacher budget
strategic planning based on data
goals are clear; district-wide goals
core curriculum (LA and science noted) guidelines are good; need more vocational training
Trust Land Program is valued and needed resource that benefits students
Career Technologies Pathway and Academy planning are effective, motivating to students, and addresses Utah's future workforce needs.

EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
High Points: remediation process; data-driven instructional planning; professional development; instructional coaches
Career ladder money for curriculum planning
Secondary schools making progress in remediation; Formative assessments
We're getting better at applying student data to instructional planning; one response: after review of test data, district adopted a new match curriculum that will be used district-wide
professional development; CORE Academy; USOE training
Performance-based testing emphasis
Instructional coaches

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
generally very positive comments; lots of change, but seems to be managed well

POLICIES/PROCEDURES
High Points: community involvement; behavior management training
lunch time remediation
school community council doing excellent job standardizing
UPPAC (Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission)
every teacher in certain school or district required to complete training and plan in behavior mgmt, very effective

RECRUITMENT
High Points: monetary incentives
sign-on bonuses; loan forgiveness; increased salaries
Future Educators is a great up and coming program
Assistance from USOE to bring in foreign teachers in certain areas
alternative routes to licensure
A new initiative for recruiting Latino educators is underway at Utah Valley U
The incentives for new math, science and special ed teachers are positive.

RETENTION
High Points: coaching; mentoring
Our literacy coaches and building coaches are offering new teachers a lot of ongoing support the first three years with their classroom management and with the planning and implementation of effective instruction. When our new teachers feel successful, they are more likely to want to stay.
Ogden's mentoring program helps retain teachers.

ASSESSMENT
High Points: JPAS; principal walk-throughs; coaching
assessment is being tied to improvement
JPAS is effective in our district
We have a great instrument in our district that works well for us and has been copied by other districts. It follows the Utah Professional Teacher Standards, recently adopted by the USBE.
Wasatch District is working on a merit pay program.
Our district has trained principals in conducting power walk-throughs to collect data over time to assess the implementation of effective instructional practices. We use the data to have formative, coaching conversations with individual teachers and to plan professional development around common areas of need.
While not reporting to the administration, the "coaches" work with individual teachers and those teachers assess themselves more effectively.
Jordan Performance Appraisal System (JPASS)
Principal evaluations are effective and give valuable information. Basing teacher performance on student test scores is a dire mistake.

NOT WORKING WELL--NON NEBO

OPERATIONAL PLANNING/PROGRAMS AND POLICIES
High Points: program, grant overload; lack of teacher involvement; micro-managing and disrupting oversight from the legislature; lack of clear plan; insufficient focus on teaching/instruction
"Everything has turned into a grant..."
Too many programs, not enough collaboration by administration
teachers are rarely part of operational planning
still some isolation of mgmt from classroom
too much micro-mgmt from state; legislature meddles far too much, creating additional red tape
Performance-based education will not work; education cannot be judged, ranked, and filed away like a business.
No clear plan for educational performance improvement
Too much unnecessary in-service
District and state risk management consultants can't seem to get on the same page with their criteria and recommendations. Some of the risk management recommendations are contrary to the kind of school environment that supports student learning.
Fewer pep-rallies, sports, and other extra curricular interruptions during the school day.
lots of planning little follow through
Very little seems to focus on students (actual education) in this area.
Ranking students makes it harder to motivate the slower students.
There is no strategic educational vision for the State
UPASS and recognizing schools as failing due to test scores
Get a clear plan for what is wanted and needed.
emphasis on facilities over instruction
Much too many "trainings" that take teachers out of the classroom!
Every year they add another "Research Based" program to our already overloaded schedules. We never have time for collaboration and implementation. They always want more and more and more.

EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
High Points: lack of understanding of the value or practicality of pay for performance; NCLB; paperwork overkill, esp. for principals; no real consequence for failure; too many programs; tests that don't test understanding; burdensome and inadequate evaluation processes; inadequate processes to take into account student disabilities or disadvantages
Everyone is working on this, but entrenched teachers are not accepting the challenge as well.
Too much division between state and feds
The heartburn of performance pay -- In the business world -- you have product -- humans are not product. We need to make it easier to get rid of ineffective teachers without making it a personality conflict/issue.
NCLB
Principals are inundated with state-required reports that are time-consuming to complete, don't connect to student learning, and take our time from tasks and projects that do relate to student learning.
Excessive State and Federal Testing.
The performance bonus is a mess.
Students are not required to perform. There is no consequence for failure to learn until actual failure to get a diploma. Thus, students continue to move through the process without demonstrating that they have actually learned anything.
Too many new programs thrown at the teachers. New grading system, new reading program, etc. Let's focus on mastering one new program before given another.
Too many "block tests" that test memory and not understanding.
Expect teachers to go to all workshops and clinics but complain about missing school or make the cost so high we can not go
The current evaluation systems are burdensome for administrators. Serious streamlining of evaluation materials must be done.
There is a point when school reform will not change anything until poor & uncaring teachers leave the profession.
We seem to be pitting teachers against each other because we want to out test each other, not really teach anymore
Use the research! NCLB is an albatross around our necks. Even other government findings indicate that higher level thinking skills need to be evaluated and emphasized
Measuring at risk, special ed, ELL and low income students performance improvement with standardized tests is NOT effective unless the individual students degree of improvement from year to year is measured. Currently, this is not done. School, district and state average scores are used to determine student performance improvement- this is NOT informative or an accurate indicator of student performance improvement.
Student or Teacher? Teachers have improved greatly in their teaching skills during the past 20 years I have been teaching. Students are the same. Our district has a performance based report card. There is no difference to a "3" for 70% and a "3" for 100%. Why put forth any more effort than you have to? Our students rarely work to their potential.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Too much inconsistency. The state gives and takes away
Not giving enough money to keep technology current and on going. The state gives money to start -- and NO money to continue!! You have made schools dependent on technology but you do not fund it to continue the progress that has been made. This causes frustration!!!
Those responsible for information systems seem more concerned with policing their systems than with ensuring students/teachers have access to information they need.
websites designed more for board members and faculty than for families and community
Granite district's IT systems are unreliable, redundant, inefficient and cost teachers and students important instructional time.

POLICIES/PROCEDURES
High Points: paperwork and procedures overkill; legislature interference; one-size-fits-all syndrome; lack of understanding of how teacher/student performance could be accurately and fairly measured; NCLB and UPASS lack of follow-through
Too many new rules/regs/policies, both at district and state levels; too much paperwork to get things done; leaves teaching as secondary; too many hoops to jump through
Too much interference from legislators; unpredictable requirements
The entire state does not fit under one system. There is a variety of rural and urban -- one size doesn't always fit all -- There needs to be some flexibility from the state.
Legislative micro-management. Education is NOT a business. It is a science and an art that produces well informed and intelligent citizens, not products.
NCLB rules and policies have discouraged many teachers about accountability of students who come to us lacking basic skills from homes where education isn't valued.
UPASS and NCLB lack of follow through and procedures for failing schools and districts beyond so-called "corrective action"
So many policies and procedures! Too many!
Big government handcuffs small districts with too many rules.
We are a Reading First school. It is a nightmare! The in-service is excellent, but the restrictions and rules are so binding that math an science in K-3 grades is suffering. Are we better off? I doubt it.

RECRUITMENT
High Points: poor pay; district flexibility in administering pay; lack of respect
Until pay is increased, teacher recruitment and RETENTION will always be a number one issue. The overall WPU needs to be increased so money can be place on the salary schedule, unlike the past two years of micromanagement by the legislature telling us exactly what amount is to be given to whom. As a district administrator I am totally offended by their absence of thought. Their micromanagement of education has created endless hours of paperwork that I did not have before NCLB and Utah's Republican dominated legislature became so ALL powerful. Am I resentful? You betcha!!
nothing-we are not getting the best and brightest
Tough time recruiting to some rural schools
The state office can take months to respond to questions. As a chemistry major I felt welcomed and respected when I changed to an ed major I felt distrusted and unwelcome.
How do we recruit with declining enrollment and bigger districts that we have to compete with
The current alternative licensure route is scary and cumbersome for an elementary school principal. I've not seen any quality teachers come through this program.
We have to expand as a state and recruit the midwest
Who wants to work at a job that pays poorly and has a poor public face; only to get yelled at by administrators, parents, and students?
We are losing way too many teachers to states with improved pay and benefits.
After graduating from college, it was difficult for me to get hired. I have a license in both Special and Elementary Education. Sometimes it felt very discouraging and unprofessional when some schools promised respond, but never did or they left a message with a family member instead of talking with me directly. I felt like I was a very qualified candidate, but the only thing that got looked at was a 15-20 minute interview. Since I know there is a teacher shortage, it's very discouraging when schools and districts overlook qualified applicants.
More programs like the new one from Utah Valley

RETENTION
High Points: poor pay; poor quality teachers; lack of respect; not being heard (surveyed, but no responsiveness); increasing expectations and responsibilities without reward
Some older teachers see inequity with young teachers' signing bonuses, etc. - little incentive to stay
New teachers are struggling -- college Ed not properly preparing them.
not so well--we have had several teachers go to Wyoming, where the pay is much better.
The 2006-2007 raise came just in time for me to be able to afford to stay teaching one more year. However, several of my colleagues quit teaching to pursue more lucrative careers because the raise was so minimal.
Nothing in the world will improve retention so much as actual respect. No one in politics or the district offices seems to understand how frustrating it is to go to work and be treated as a liability instead of an asset.
constant surveys come and see try it before judgment or decision making
Underfunded schools, classes of over 40 students in secondary ed, shortages on books, computers and equipment and low teacher pay discourage dedicated teachers. Many teachers work 12 hours days and spend money out of pocket to benefit their students. Yet every year, classes get bigger, monetary classroom support gets smaller, and students seem less motivated. Each year, teachers are faced with more students, more standardized testing, more mandatory extra duties yet this is all expected to be accomplished in the same amount of time and for the same pay. Many teachers have given all they can, and are getting very, very burned out on the situation in Utah.

ASSESSMENT
High Points: inadequate or unfair involvement of administrators in assessment process; lack of meaningful process; lack of a response to poor teacher quality; Praxis; NCLB
we finally have some instructional coaches at our school and they are helpful. Our yearly evaluations, however, seem like a bit waste of time since we don't see our administrators in our class during the school year.
Assessment of teachers can only be done fairly by having administrators in classrooms frequently and regularly. Administrators are spread so thin that the assessment of teachers is limited. Only the squeaky wheel gets any attention
a lot of it doesn't really mean that much. the administration just goes through the motions
Much irrelevant paperwork; would prefer a checklist of areas of focus for the school and evaluations of those.
never see follow-up on poor areas
The powers-that-be keep talking about assessing teacher via every method instead of actually watching them teach.
Involvement of standardized tests in this process will directly affect the retention of good teachers.
Due to teacher shortage, poor teachers are allowed to continue to teach our children
Protectionism by the union and other teachers and laws protecting dismissal of bad teachers
should be handle in house right now we can not evaluate our principal or superintendent without writing our name on it this causes a great under current and lies
Praxis is a waste. A money making machine for someone. Does not really test the teacher's ability to teach. I passed it the first time so I am not just bitter- it is just a waste a lot of added work for an already overworked underpaid profession
UEA's protection of poor teachers
principal evaluations are not directly tied in many districts to student learning nor direct observation of teachers in their instructional settings
NCLB scares us
There are still too many poor teachers. Corrective action takes so long and is difficult.
We seem to be changing slightly but we've tested so many ways that's it's almost more testing than teaching
Basing teacher performance on the standardized test scores of at risk, ELL, low income or substance dependant students does NOT give an accurate measure of teacher quality. This practice encourages some schools and or teachers to teach to the test only, or even use unethical practices to increase student test scores. Perhaps students could evaluate teachers, as is done in higher ed, in addition to administrator evaluations.
The 'SET' evaluation is really a waste of time and is a lame indicator of quality teaching methods.
We were told at a district meeting that there were no top rated 4 teachers in our district unless the teacher planned to walk on water, and put in many more hours of work after school. I was so angry that I applied for the Arch Coal Teacher Award and won the $2500 award for teaching excellence. Somebody appreciates what I do, but looking at my evaluation, it isn't my district. I taught for 15 years with high evaluation marks, and all of a sudden I am just not as good, and neither is anyone else in the district.

WORKING WELL - NEBO RESPONSES

OPERATIONS/PROCESS DESIGN
High Points: teacher autonomy; local control; community involvement; collaboration program; administrative leadership and long-term planning
They let me do my job and I let them do theirs
Much local control for operational items
Community Councils, Competent and hard working administrators
Professional Learning Communities are being put into place. Early out will allow for more effective collaboration.
Collaboration days have been extremely helpful. Especially to new teachers.
We are growing. Good insight from leaders. good plan for the future
Stakeholders input for programs and State Core Curriculum
Administration tries to balance needs of students, parents, and teachers
Optional Extended-Day Kindergarten (OEK) for the most needy
State Core Curriculum guidelines are generally good
collaboration between teachers of same-subject and multi-subject within each school and district
We have quite a bit of flexibility in our programs
This is another vague area; the public in general really has no idea what programs are being eliminated or created.

EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
High Points: behavior management training; performance planning based on assessment data; collaboration program; core curriculum guidance; special initiatives
Peaceable school program grant and help from BYU really improved behavior problems in our school.
Teachers are constantly working to help students master the skills that are taught. If mastery isn't achieved, students are given an opportunity for more teaching or practice - with a teacher, technician, mother helper, or even matched with another student.
The programs required by the state should be funded adequately...remedial classes for the UBSCT, for example.
Looking at year end assessments to develop yearly goals and using common assessments and re-teaching sessions improves educational performance at our school.
Core curricula give teacher a clear idea of what is to be taught
Collaboration has been very helpful. We share our best practices.
In Nebo District, the addition of dedicated time for teachers to meet should help these efforts greatly.
We continue to improve in this area. One of the key ways I have seen this work is to have an Enrichment Specialist who can take the students in a grade level and extend their learning while the classroom teachers take small groups and re-teach students who are not there yet on a concept. Also the funding of Tutors through the Title I program and the use of the Star Program have brought about growth in reading for children below grade level.
Administration that uses this to guide instruction. Assessment results show a school where they are now and where they need to go in the future.
Math education initiative in Nebo School District
Upass and NCLB have helped us look at sub groups better but too much pressure

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Mixed, but mostly positive

POLICIES/PROCEDURES
High Points: good communication from administrators; community involvement; coordination
At the beginning of the school year, and as new policies and procedures are implemented, principals work to educate teachers on these changes. Teachers also work hard to teach the policies and procedures to their students. Once the policies and procedures have been established, every effort is made to help every student follow the procedures. Much of this can be accomplished within the individual classroom, but there is always a support staff available, including the principal, technicians, and parents, to help in more difficult offenses.
Community Council, Supportive Board, strong administrators
Teachers are informed and aware at our school.
The standards committee does a great job of weeding out those with unprofessional conduct.
Time spent at the beginning of the year is what helps me to review these. Having a principal who knows these or knows how to get the answers if we do not know is helpful. As time passes these have tightened and some things that might have been ok years ago is not ok now. For example one of our teachers had a cow on the kindergarten playground that had been brought by a parent or grandparent. As the principal was informed of this he made it clear to the teacher and the individual showing the cow that we could not have a cow there. The teacher had not thought it necessary to go through the principal and has a child been stepped on or kicked this would have been a big issue concerning policies and procedures at our school. Principals have to inforce and hold others responsible for knowing the policies and going through them for clearance on activities.
I feel our district works hard to keep on top of all needs and situations in our schools. They meet with parents and encourage participation in the discipline process and policies for safe schools, and kids etc.

RECRUITMENT
High Points: mentoring program; pay increases; district reputation, quality of life/culture
the district's new teacher mentoring program
Recent pay increases and additional money for new teachers
Nebo has a ridiculous $500 signing bonus for math/science teachers...laughable.
Nebo doesn't seem to have trouble finding qualified candidates.
Our district has recruited many skilled teachers over the years. I believe a District has a reputation and individuals usually find out about a district before they apply there.
Excellent teachers as a result from great recruitment. I was impressed by the most recent trips that our directors took to BYU Idaho.

RETENTION
High Points: administrator leadership/cultivation of teachers; mentoring program/coaching
Within our schools, most principals do a lot to keep the teachers happy and to let them know they are appreciated.
Mentoring and coaching programs are working very well to help retain teachers.
teachers stay because they love the students and working environment
very little--only stop gap measures--we lose good teachers in 3-7 years.
Rising pay for tenure really makes us want to stay on.
The Nebo Mentoring Program is FIRST CLASS. We do a wonderful job of helping teachers love their jobs and stay in their jobs when family factors do not enter into the mix. In my experience many of our new teachers leave the district because they have spouses who obtain employment elsewhere, not because they are dissatisfied with the job.

ASSESSMENT
High Points: principal evaluation; coaching; learning communities
SET principal evaluations
very well--prefer clinical supervision though--discussion of helps and what I do well helps motivate me. Good teachers teach all students well, while bad teachers get rid of problems. Test scores often decrease when good teachers take weaker students. Assessments that penalize teachers for being good will only hurt education.
More emphasis on coaching versus judging helps teachers improve.
These are varied. The principal evaluation is helpful and necessary. The real assessment of one's teaching comes in the collaborative team and teachers self evaluate as to how well they are teaching different concepts and whether or not their students are getting it. The teacher talk that goes on in collaboration to find out how to do something better and the opportunity to observe other teachers and access your own abilities and better ways to do things is most affective.
Career ladders, Professional learning communities
I recently took part in the PEP grant through Nebo school district, As teachers we looked at our pre-test our post-test to see how we improved and if the kids learned. We evaluated our own units after we were finished and it was very beneficial.
No Child Left Behind has no business in Utah's public educational system. The federal government needs to read the constitution. However, the end of year high stakes testing is making some improvements. I believe that some teachers are unethical in administering the test so teachers should not be allowed to administer the end of year test to their own students, especially if we go with some kind of merit pay. Teachers shouldn't be placed in a situation where they are asked to administer the test that will determine whether or not hey receive a pay raise.

NOT WORKING WELL-- NEBO

OPERATIONAL PLANNING/PROGRAMS AND POLICIES
High Points: inadequate teacher involvement; meeting overkill; obstruction of non-teaching responsibilities; paperwork; lack of understanding for changing requirements, policies, tests, etc.
A/B days are the best in secondary ed. I hate it when $ and number of bodies in a classroom come above extra classes for kids and better focus time.
lack of teacher input
Too much Legislative involvement
too many meetings with little to show for time spent
Overload principals with too many mandates from above. We used to be neglected, now everyone wants a finger in the pie.
Too many "bosses" making decisions for teachers
Putting teachers out of their classrooms for maintenance to do repairs or physical changes during the school year instead of the summer. We spend a lot of personal time working in our own classrooms before school starts, after school and even in the summer. When they put in new carpets, painting etc it is discouraging to teachers when we have to move and be misplaced. (Time out of room is usually more than we have been told it will be. Some people don't seem to appreciate how much work it takes to put a classroom together. (Most time of which is donated by us personally. I realized repairs and maintenance are necessary but it would be greatly appreciated if done after hours or during the summer.
I think that most districts are so top heavy with administration that we as teachers have little say in how things should operate or what would work best.
Too much paper work. Things have gotten better with implementation of laptop planning in meetings.
too much core curriculum for time in school
Changing the curriculum so often and changing the tests every year. There is so much access to information that how do we know what to focus on when it keeps changing yearly?
the Utah Core Curriculum developed with little input from actual teachers

EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE
High Points: poorly performing teachers; lack of utilization of test scores; inadequate process to assist disabled or extremely disadvantaged students; NCLB, CRT; basic skills readiness; too much testing with much that's duplicative or unnecessary
I would like to see some State guildelines given to distircts go get rid of dead-beat veteran teachers. One district I worked in had an accountability program that was set up to put older teachers on probation if they were not helping students make progress. The district I am in, does not have a very strict program. The majority of the teachers are very responsible however, we have some teachers whose work ethic is harmful for children's growth. Maybe if we got rid of some of those individuals, we could use their salaries to get entice new ones into the profession.
end of year surveys by staff students and parents---does anyone read these things? Last I saw (at the end of June) the box was still on the office floor unsent
testing needs to take into account individual needs, how can the 2nd grade student do well on testing when he just found out that they are getting evicted that night and have no where to live!
CRT and IOWA tests for students with disabilities...there HAS to be a better way to ensure they are learning without putting them through those
While I believe that every effort should be made to help each student achieve, the reality still exists, that there are some students that are developmentally not ready to master all skills.
NCLB
Some elements of UPASS
To much credence to the all powerful crt testing
Finding a way to educate parents on the importance and simplicity of early literacy skills ...(e.g. "What color is your shirt today?", "How many trucks do you see?" etc. When we receive students in kindergarten that do not know their names or their colors, (I had BOTH this past scholastic year.), we are really beginning with pre-school skills. I receive students every year that are unable to even hold a pencil, much less use on. I hear that parents just don't want to deal with the mess of too many books and crayons. If we truly want to improve education, we need to give this little ones a fair start.
Politicians are too focused on testing scores that are DO NOT reflect the overall skills and knowledge of the students nor the effectiveness of the teachers.
too many meetings ie., child-find 1x/wk, reading collaboration 3x/mo, district in-service 1x/mo, faculty 2x/mo, IEPs 3x/mo,
Too much testing. Wastes class time and makes the testing companies wealthy.
Too much assessment and testing, students are test-bored and do not perform well.
Requirements are continually increasing but time and money to cover these are not. Teachers are required to do more with less and thus burn out for teachers and with this happening just to maintain educational performance is a miracle in itself considering less and less is being done in the home to educate a child and more and more is expected to achieve educational performance improvement.
Invest your funds in professional development. Compensate teachers fairly for the time they spend in professional development classes. I took a class for three weeks this summer. I had to take three weeks off of my summer job to take the professional development class. I would have made approximately $2000 dollars had I not missed the three weeks of summer work. Instead, I was in a workshop that gave me plenty of training on how to teach children mathematics but compensated me $0 for my time. My family struggled to make ends meet for the month of June because of my decision to take a class that "improved" my educational performance.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
new information always delivered verbally on the intercom---which is not always accessible to staff, e-mail should also be used for all staff members---some staff don't have e-mail, printed agenda of faculty meeting contents given to each staff members' mailbox 2 days in advance would service as a nice physical reminder/notice

POLICIES/PROCEDURES
High Points: lack of teacher involvement; distraction from keeping the focus on teaching; NCLB and UPASS; legislative mandates; over-assessment of students; no meaningful consequences for poor student performance
our principal makes all procedures etc at our school without teacher input---one person does not have all the answers and the more people are involved the more ownership they take for success
Sometimes, as a faculty, we go overboard in reviewing old policies and procedures when we could be working on lesson planning and preparing for students.
NCLB and UPASS. Although UPASS has tried to measure individual progress, it has still failed many schools that have small subgroups. Other states only count subgroups over 40. For example, one school may have one student that doesn't pass in 5 subgroups, subgroups as small as 10, and as a result their entire school does not make AYP. It is damaging teacher's morale.
Legislative agendas and political motivations
Where to begin...students are being over-assessed and teachers are expected to parent their students on top of our exucational responsibilities. I don't know that I'm able to articulate what exactly is wasteful in this process, but it does seem like some of the testing (IOWA) needs to be waived.
Too many little favorite programs or activities foisted on us from outside sources that detract from the core curriculum. We would like a little room to improvise some extras based on our own strengths.
Very few meaningful consequences for students' lack of performance
Not allowing teachers to take students on educational trips. ie. A science teacher can't take students to Costa Rica because they travel free. Yet, a basketball coach, band teacher, choir teacher go all of the time for free. It is silly to allow this to hinder incredible opportunities for student learning. There is no better way to learn a foreign language than visiting a country that speaks in the target language.
way too much paper work and reports

RECRUITMENT
High Points: poor pay
More pay, Promotion of programs at the university level especially math and science which are difficult to find.
Much of this happens as students pass through the system and find a connection with a teacher who makes a difference and they wish to do the same. Many individuals who have family already as educators become educators themselves...or so it was in the past. A neighbor of mine recently told me that both her parents are educators but threatened her with her life if she went into education. Many of the new teachers in the district I am in come from the students teacher and intern pool. The recruitment area has broadened though and it is not a local market so much as in the past but rather state to state that teachers are coming from.
Giving that one-time bonus just to get someone to teach is kind of pathetic. Point blank, as long as Utah teachers make the least amount of money of most teachers in other states you are going to have a hard time drawing people into the profession. Adding all this policy and the NCLB is turning away even more teachers.
We are stuck on only getting BYU teachers.

RETENTION
High Points: NCLB; lack of motivation to teach/inspiration to teach; lack of respect
Teachers have indicated that the pressure they feel from NCLB is taking away from the "fun" of teaching. They have indicated that it is too much pressure, and that they don't feel they can take the time to teach what the students are really interested in if it is not a "big rock" in the core. Many are leaving due to the pressure
Increasing micromanagement from above (district and state) is turning us into uninspired robots. Tenure is not respected across district borders, encouraging teachers to quit rather than transfer.
sometimes I have felt discouraged by young teachers who sign contracts, then get pregnant or just decide they don't want to teach when it gets a little tough so the walk out. Some leave contracts in the middle of the year only to be hired back the next year. I don't think we do them any favors when we allow them to break a contract then let them return. Let's teach them true commitment to their profession. I feel that is lacking in too many new teachers. They need to remember to be honest in their dealings and that teaching is #1 about our students. Not personal whimpiness.
teachers not being seen as professional experts in education.