A National Advisory Committee, composed of Americans distinguished in the fields of education, private philanthropy, and public policy, assists the Teachers Institute with the dissemination, evaluation, and development of the program in New Haven, the National Demonstration Project, and the Yale National Initiative. New members are invited to serve, from time to time, by the President of Yale University. In advance of National Advisory Committee meetings, members of the University Advisory Council and the Steering Committee meet separately and together to discuss program development and evaluation, national dissemination, and finance. On each of these and any other timely topics they prepare papers that are circulated to brief the Committee before the meetings.
As the Teachers Institute plays a leading role in the national movement for university-school partnerships the National Advisory Committee assists in determining how to make the most effective contribution to institutions and schools in other communities. The Committee provides a variety of perspectives that aid in examining what each constituency for such partnerships would regard as the best evidence of their effectiveness.
The Committee last met on November 28, 2000, in conjunction with a meeting with President Levin of the presidents and superintendents (or their delegates) from the sites participating in the National Demonstration Project. Because this meeting was of major assistance in setting the direction of the Yale National Initiative, we offer a summary here of its deliberations. A somewhat fuller account may be found in the Annual Report, 2001.
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National Advisory Committee meeting with university and school officials from the demonstration sites, November 2000.(Clockwise from left: Ilene Mack, Ted Estess, Michael Clark, Richard C. Levin, Sabatino Sofia, Robert Schwartz, Linda Kaminski, Charles Warner, Reginald Mayo, Verdell M. Roberts, Barbara Lazarus, Olivia Dixon, Gordon M. Ambach, Rogers M. Smith, Director James R. Vivian, Richard Ekman, and Sam Lasseter.)
Meeting separately at first, the Committee and the presidents and superintendents (and their delegates) considered the accomplishments thus far of the National Demonstration Project and reflected upon a draft Proposal for a second phase of replications of the Teachers Institute over the next ten years. The two groups then met jointly to share their comments on these topics. The National Advisory Committee continued its deliberation concerning the draft Proposal.
Those in attendance were convinced of the value of working together on a national scale and looked forward to an expansion of the group of Teachers Institutes. Several members spoke of the timeliness of the Proposal and the boldness of its vision. Superintendents and their delegates, including Superintendent John Thompson from Pittsburgh and Superintendent Rod Paige from Houston (now U. S. Secretary of Education) looked forward to expansion of the work in those cities and collaboration with other Institutes on a national scale.
Members of the National Advisory Committee suggested that, before launching upon this ambitious plan, we undertake more research on the actual accomplishments of the new Institutes now in existence. They also suggested that we consider more fully what has been learned about the best strategies for implementing the process of establishing new Institutes. They also anticipated that it would be necessary to demonstrate the direct or indirect results of the Institutes with regard to increases in student learning. And such a Proposal, they thought, must indicate how it will have systemic influence on education in this country. The issue, as Superintendent Rod Paige said, is not just a numerical scaling up in a larger city; it is rather finding ways to have a systemic effect that goes beyond the small numbers of seminars that can be fielded at this time.
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National Advisory Committee meeting with university and school officials from the demonstration sites, November 2000.(Left to right: Rogers M. Smith, Richard Ekman, Sam Lasseter, and Rod Paige.)
The National Advisory Committee urged, therefore, that the Proposal be modified to include a two-year preparation phase, during which participating Teachers Institutes would engage in a process of consolidation, intensification, and preparation. The new Institutes would do research on their effectiveness and investigate how to have significant systemic effects. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute would engage in similar research, would reflect on what it has learned during the National Demonstration Project, and would gear up for work on the next major effort.
The draft Proposal was therefore modified to include the Preparation Phase that the National Advisory Committee had recommended. The later section in this Annual Report on “The Yale National Initiative” will set forth the activities that have been undertaken, and that will be undertaken, during this Preparation Phase.
The next meeting of the National Advisory Committee, is being planned to be held in conjunction with a meeting of the presidents and superintendents (or their delegates) from the sites participating in the Yale National Initiative.
The National Advisory Committee assists in determining how to make the most effective contribution to institutions and schools in other communities.
They were convinced of the value of working together on a national scale and looked forward to an expansion of the group of Teachers Institutes.
The new Institutes would do research on their effectiveness and investigate how to have significant systemic effects.