The Head of the Moscow City Department of Education Isaac Kalina spoke with the editor-in-chief of "Mir Novostey" Nikolay Kruzhilin about the results that the metropolis education system has accomplished within the seven years; why schoolchildren should decide on future profession long before the final examinations; whether it is possible to force the headmaster to consider wellbeing of all the teachers; and the impact of school rating on the quality of education.
Isaak Iosifovich, the last time we spoke during the meeting "On a visit with the editor-in-chief" four years ago. What new has happened in Moscow education during this time?
Just at the end of 2014, there was a transition of all schools of Moscow to the equally accessible financing that follows a particular student. Now no headmaster or his management team have any more no reasons to claim: "The city provides us less money than other schools; therefore, do not expect much from us."
Moreover, as a result of equal funding, schools stopped bloating the team of quasiofficials. The matter is that the former model of financing was tied to the staff list. When it became clear that funding depends on the number of students, but not on the number of deputy directors, it became unprofitable for schools to bloat administrative team; so they began to strive for more students coming to their classes.
Thus, the amount of financing of school does not depend on the Moscow City Department anymore. It depends entirely on students who chose to study at this school. All this inevitably led to the consolidation of schools: per one headmaster there are approximately 3000 schoolchildren and not 300 as it used to be. Most importantly, it allowed beginning the most important mechanism of Moscow education - the rating of schools.
As I understand, it refers to the contribution of each school to quality education.
Correct. If we continued to finance schools differently, it would be inaccurate to compare their results. However, when we leveled the financing, educational institutions began to compete for being the best in several factors.
First, they were simple, for example, the results of the Russian State Exams in the 11th grade and Basic State Exams in the 9th, diagnostic results of students throughout a year. However, over time, the list of indicators of the rating has been extended. We added an essential pointer: the effectiveness of repression of offenses. Most points receive schools where students who are on the registry in law-enforcement lists do not commit violation within a year.
Earlier, we did not advertise these results since the statistics of offenses depends on various factors. However, when for seven years in Moscow, there is a severe decrease in violations among schoolchildren, it manifests a lot. It seems to me, it is even more significant for the city, than results of the RSE, BSE and the Olympiads.
Has the aspiration to get more points in rating led to increased results of education in general?
Indeed. The results of examinations in the 9-11th grades rose sharply, the number of winners of the All-Russian School Olympiad increased; children started to participate better at the International Olympiads, and all this increased the competitiveness of the Moscow schoolchildren during the entry in the leading higher education institutions to the budgetary places. For instance, in the well-known MIPT before there were about 8% of our graduates among first-year students, now it is 25%; in the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University 7% of Muscovites enrolled to the first year, now it is about 30%.
CHOICE OF PROFESSION FROM THE SCHOOL BENCH
What are the other new projects necessary to highlight?
It would be good to discuss the program of integration of all education levels - from primary to the highest. I speak about early career guidance of school students.
In Moscow, the project "Preprofessional classes" actively advances. It is engineering, medical, cadet, and academic classes. Formally, they begin from the 10th grade, but preparation for them is conducted at middle school during the supplementary education courses. Having finished the 9th grade, children grasp the direction they want to move further and choose the corresponding path — there are under a hundred medical classes designed and more than a hundred engineering classes.
Preprofessional classes are established only with the presence of the contract on the synergy of school with profile higher education institution and with the profile enterprise. For example, medical classes are formed under the condition that the school signed the contract with one of the Moscow clinics and the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University also plans to join this project).
If the child aspires to study in a pre-professional class, he has to display the good results of Basic State Exam in the corresponding objects.
What does the academic class look like?
The academic classes are created collectively with the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, and there are 10 of these classes in Moscow. We decided to pause on this quantity as it is about children who not only sincerely want to become scientists, but also who have all the required tendencies.
The famous scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences and various academic institutes work and communicate with young scientists during a substantial number of supplementary classes of the chosen scientific profile.
What classes are the most popular among Moscow schoolchildren?
The most popular turned out to be cadet classes. Presently, more than 15000 children attend these. Cadet classes are not segregated from school but exist within it. We consciously rejected the separation of children because it is not guaranteed that, having crossed a threshold of cadet class once, the child will aspire to study in it until the end of school.
The difficulty of specialized schools is that once a student enrolled in it, he is doomed to go through life within this corridor. However, I believe that school is the time of experiments. If the child enrolled in cadet class of a comprehensive school, but not particular cadet school; then realized that a military path is not for him, he will not run around the city and look for a new place to study. It is possible to pick any other direction from that variety which is offered by his school, the schools that have become large and solid.
A selection of a profile plays a significant role in the fate of the school student. But does it help him to pass the Russian State Exam and enter the university?
Firstly, only the strengthened preparation in those subjects which are necessary to the engineer, future scientist, or the doctor can affect the result of the RSE. Having chosen physics or chemistry among additional subjects for RSE, the student, naturally, will pass better than if he studied in the class which does not have pre-professional focus.
Secondly, higher education institutions own the right to add 10 points to the graduate's score for a portfolio where all accomplishments of the student are accumulated throughout 11 years of study.
Thirdly, upon the end of pre-professional classes, we hold a pre-professional examination collectively with higher education institution and also the pre-professional Olympiad. Higher education institutions can also give aditional10 points to results of the RSE to those students who win prize places.
The competition in the leading higher education institutions of the country is high, and an additional 10 points is a critical boost to passing score.
Nevertheless, it is essential not just to enter the university, but also to study in it.
You are absolutely right. For us, for some reason, it became the target to enter the university, but I am convinced that admission is only means, while the main goal is to study in a higher education institution. I assure you that the children, who completed pre-professional classes, study in higher education institutions much more efficiently, than other children.
The most important that after "preprof" people get to higher education institution not accidentally, and having decided on priorities. For example, he goes to study as the doctor not because at school the chemistry and biology came easily but because at school he plunged into a profession.
ONLY THE BEST TEACHERS ARE EMPLOYED IN METROPOLIS SCHOOLS
Isaak Iosifovich, global tasks are always set for the Moscow education, but is it possible to state that process of its transformation and development came to an end?
Prospects are formed from today's results. A few years ago, we were confronted by a task that in Moscow there would be no "deadlock" schools for students, and we came to this vital line, having tightened almost all schools of the city to a high level. I say "almost" because, unfortunately, for now, there is a lot what to work on.
What do you mean?
In 2010 60-70 schools of Moscow had outstanding results. Wishing to sign up their children in such schools, on the night of April 1st, parents burned down fires near the buildings, did not sleep at the nights, so by the beginning of sign up process to the 1st grade, they would be the first.
Such nightmares occurred because other 1.5 thousand schools had no significant results, and parents wanted to receive results from education - knowledge for children and, as a result, an opportunity to enter to the university. If in 2010 winners and prize-winners of the All-Russian School Olympiad represented 74 schools (5% of the total number of schools), then even a school level of the Olympiads was not carried out in many of the others.
For the last seven years, we accomplished that now out of 600 operating schools in Moscow 321 schools have at least one winner or the prize-winner of the All-Russian School Olympiad. Moreover, nearly all schools of Moscow have winners and prize-winners of the city level of the All-Russian School Olympiad. Our duty is for this number to increase every year at each school.
So, in Moscow there are no more schools about which it would be possible to tell: forget hope all ye who enter here?
Fortunately, not anymore. Using military terminology, there was an alignment of the front line not due to retreat, but the substantial advancement of those who sharply lagged behind earlier.
I know that there are teachers from other regions who quite often work at the Moscow schools. What is it related to?
It is important to realize that the wage of the teacher, figuratively speaking, in Ryazan is 20000 rubles; and salary in Moscow is 80000 rubles. At the same time, many teachers from regions do not yield metropolis colleagues; however, nobody will hire anyone from the street to the Moscow schools. During the employing process, schools request candidates to undergo independent monitoring. Last year about 70% of applicants did not pass it and were refused in employment.
By the way, I will add: no one forces none of the working teachers to undergo independent monitoring as the Department has sufficient data about results of students of each teacher. Many of the teacher still undergo it on their own and upload their high results on the school website.
CONNECTION BETWEEN GENERATIONS AND NEW HORIZONS
Whether it is possible to calculate the average age of the Moscow teachers?
It is 42 years. Although my experience says: the team of any valid school must have teachers of three ages: 25-year-old, 40-year-old and 60-year-old, so that the youth adopt experience of the senior and middle-aged generations and does not re-invent the bicycle which has already been invented by senior and more skilled colleagues. Let them invent new one.
Nowadays, it is often likely to hear that teachers use interactive boards during schooling. Sounds beautiful, but how does it work in practice?
Interactive boards are a part of the infrastructure of the Moscow Electronic School. However, the content is vital. Throughout the last 20 years, many developers of electronic resources offered electronic miracle, which would make our teachers happy. Even though we were acquainted with quite remarkable products, however, during lessons usually it could not be used because it was created not for a particular lesson. Teachers decided to forge happiness themselves and create the electronic scenario of a lesson as it is convenient for them.
The Mayor encourages such initiative: 193 teachers have already received 100000 rubles for development of the most popular scenarios of lessons. Advancement of the Moscow Electronic School gradually exempts the teacher from routine work and brings the new horizons in teaching.
Recently the Mayor of Moscow launched the program of active longevity for pensioners. There is infrastructure with gyms and classes, suitable for various activities at schools. Will educational institutions participate in the new program?
In our city, there are 15000 veterans of the pedagogical industry with whom we always work and not just for a year. They attend sections and clubs of interests; so for us, nothing will change robustly. Except scale will be different: our veterans will have new friends among other pensioners of the city. Many schools have already signed contracts with the regional centers of social service and providing (TSO), which will direct elderly to schools where there will be various activities.
Hence, the educational system will assist the city also in this question.
Not only the city but also themselves. First, this program will be financed by the city. Secondly, active pensioners, grandmothers and grandfathers of our students, will be able to influence positively the grandchildren. It is an excellent way to create contact between different generations.