Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2000-01 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> December 18, 2000

 

The<MeetNo2> 3rd meeting of the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> December 18, 2000, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Harry Moberly, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Representative Harry Moberly, Co-Chair; Senators Lindy Casebier, Daniel Kelly, and Tim Shaughnessy; Representatives Mary Lou Marzian, and Mark Treesh.

 

Guests:† Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, Kevin Noland, Bonnie Brinly, Scott Trimble, Lois Adams Rogers, KDE; Mark Wells, KHEAA; Roland Hann, KASS; Sam Crawford, Ky Farm Bureau; Mike Rindenour, Lexington Chamber of Commerce; Judith Gambill, KEA; Sandy Goodlett, Cabinet for Families and Children; Ken Henry, Phil Austin, Marcia Seiler, Jerry Lunney, and Doug Terry, OEA.

 

LRC Staff: ††Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, Anne Armstrong, Evelyn Gibson, and Kelley McQuerry.

 

Representative Marzian moved approval of the November 17, 2000 minutes and Representative Treesch seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote.

 

Representative Moberly asked Commissioner Wilhoit to address the committee on 703 KAR 5:140, School and District Report Cards, which had been deferred at the November 17, 2000 meeting.

 

Commissioner Wilhoit said that the Kentucky Board of Education accepted and made changes in response to most of the suggestions made by LRC staff. The board did not make changes to include A2-A6 schools since they are schools such as vocational centers or juvenile justice centers and the studentsí scores are reported back to the A1 schools. The basic accountability unit for the CATS assessment is the A1 school and the Kentucky Department of Education suggests that the report card be from the A1 school only.

 

The second request was to develop parallel language in terms of pupil spending at the school, district, and state levels. The local calculation is more complex and the Kentucky Department of Education could not make the language in the three definitions consistent. Third, it was suggested that all data be reported on current years. The Department of Education does not have current year information on non-cognitive information, but does report current year data on the assessment items.

 

†Commissioner Wilhoit said that the report card and the expanded report card are the results of a pilot program that has helped the Department of Education to work out the problems in the system. There have also been focus groups with parents and school district personnel and there seems to be general consensus that the report card is working smoothly.

Representative Moberly asked how the public requests the expanded report card and what additional information is on the expanded report card.

 

Commissioner Wilhoit said that the report card delivered to all parents has a summary of information to give the parents an idea of the school. The expanded report card gives disaggregated information. The report card tells how to request the expanded report card that is available in the principalís office.

 

Representative Moberly asked why the information on the expanded report is not on the base report card.

 

Commissioner Wilhoit said that the Department of Education had asked parents what information should be on a report card. Responses were that the more information that was put on the report card the less the parents would read it. All the vital information is on the report card that the parents requested.

 

Representative Moberly referred to about a letter that was received from special education advocates about the disaggregated data that is on the expanded report card rather than on the base report card. The statute requires the disaggregated data to be reported on the report card and also to be published in the newspaper with the largest circulation.

 

Mr. Kevin Noland said that KRS 158.6453 requires the Kentucky Board of Education to promulgate a regulation that states what should be included in the report card. The law says that the report card should include, but not be limited to, the following components reported by race, gender, and disability when appropriate. Those disaggregated data are on the expanded report card. The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that disabled students be treated the same as other students; if the data are going to be disaggregated, they need to include disabled students as well. The Department of Education has complied with that law under this proposed regulation by providing the disaggragation of data in the expanded report card that is available in the principalís office.

 

Representative Moberly asked if the districts will send the disaggregated information on the expanded report card to the newspaper.

 

Mr. Kevin Noland said that the statute requires a summary of district results be published in the newspaper. There is also a requirement to report additional information which is available at the district office.

 

Representative Moberly said that in some cases people will not get a clear picture of the schools if they do not see the data on race and students with disabilities and how they are doing on the assessments. He also asked if teacher qualifications will be on the report card.

 

Commissioner Wilhoit said the report card will list the number of teachers with majors and minors in the content area in which they are teaching.

 

Senator Shaughnessy said that if the information on the expanded report card is so vital, then why are we not distributing it to the parents.

 

Commissioner Wilhoit said that if everything is included on the report card it would be too complex, but if parents thought information was pertinent, it would be made available to them.

 

Senator Shaughnessy said student participation in the Advanced Placement program and the number of students that receive the Commonwealth Diploma should be on the report card. He also said that if the information is important enough to collect, it should be important enough to distribute to the parents.

 

Senator Kelly said superintendents in his district said they handed out the report cards with the information that expanded data were available and no one requested it.

 

††††††††††† Kevin Noland said that the Department of Education had some information from a mail survey that was sent out after last spring. Of the 6,090 parents responding; 2,006 responded that they wanted additional information and 3,292 responded that they did not want the information. Part of the problem is that the report card is new and the public needs to be more informed.

 

††††††††††† Commissioner Wilhoit said that the PTA and the Prichard Committee are working on different ways to make parents knowledgeable about the report card.

 

††††††††††† In response to a question from Representative Treesh, Commissioner Wilhoit said that students scores would be reported back to the host district in which the student came from.

 

††††††††††† Representative Treesch said that there were some other concerns about accountability because the host school cannot do anything to influence the teaching of the students and that seems to violate the principles of the accountability system.

 

††††††††††† Commissioner Wilhoit said that the vast majority of students are in transit and the move from a host school to another education center is part of the goal to get the students into corrective courses and then put them back in the host school.

 

††††††††††† Representative Marzian suggested that the expanded report card be made available to the public and to parents via the internet.

 

††††††††††† Kevin Noland said that was something that the department was looking into.

 

Senator Kelly said he was impressed with the proposed format of the report card and thought it compiled a great amount of data in four pages, he also said that Representative Marzianís idea of putting the information of the expanded report card on the internet would solve some problems.

 

††††††††††† Senator Casebier said that he felt like there is sufficient information on the four pages and if the parents thought they needed more data, then they could take the initiative to get it.

 

Representative Treesch made a motion that the amendments to the regulations be approved, seconded by Representative Marzian, and the† motion carried. Representative Marzian made a motion that the regulation as amended be adopted, seconded by Senator Casebier, and the motion carried.

 

††††††††††† Representative Moberly introduced Dr. Ken Henry, Director of the Office of Education and Accountability(OEA), who gave the officeís annual report.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that his staff visited 22 districts during the year to collect data for the report.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that the major issue in assessment and accountability has to do with the accountability cycle itself. He said that every year should be an accountability year. First, the data indicated a spike in performance in the first year of the accountability cycle, so if the school does well in the first year, then there is a drop in performance in the second year. If the first year is not good then there is a great rush in the second year to get the results that are needed.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that scale scores rather than percentile ranks should be reported for a number of reasons. Scale scores show results of what is done in a program and look at performance against a standard, whereas percentile ranks are comparative.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that the Office of Education Accountability has been following the report card discussion and thought that the requirement to publish in the newspaper of the largest circulation presents a financial hardship in the smaller districts. The notion of student motivation is also an issue. It would seem to be centered at the individual schools if there is a problem in student motivation.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry spoke about how the district assessment coordinators seem to be underutilized. It is time to consider better training and better resources needed to produce results. In districts that were visited, it was found that a district that had an effective assessment coordinator had better scores.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that there are recommendations related to the Education Professional Standards Board. It would be helpful for the 26 teacher training institutions to receive data from the board giving the results from the practice exams so they can be compared with other institutions. The substitute teacher shortage is critical in every district and OEA will support any work that the standards board can develop on how to attack this shortage.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry reviewed the Extended School Services program and the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that the General Assembly should look at the language in the statute relating to highly skilled educators and clarify it as to what can be done to protect the district jobs of people participating in this program.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said the General Assembly should clarify two statutory issues. The director of pupil personnel under KRS 159.140 is required to spend 100 % of his time in the position. In the smaller districts, the director of pupil personnel often does other jobs as well. It will be asked of the General Assembly to clarify the position and make sure that it benefits the smaller districts. Second, there are questions about how the tax collectorís commission for collecting local school taxes should actually be based.

 

Dr. Henry spoke about school-based decision making and that there will be a recommendation to the General Assembly to make a change to KRS 160.345, which requires an investigation and a determination that the violation is part of a pattern of practice before someone can be reprimanded by the state board.† It is felt that if someone knew they were violating the statute and did so knowingly, then the state board could reprimand them for the first offense.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said there is evidence that local funding is increasing faster than state funding and it needs to be looked at to see if it continues next year. It is recommended that extended school services be included under the SEEK formula. Also, it is recommended that the capital outlay program be looked at to determine whether there needs to be an increase.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that there should be three two-year cycles in a six-year technology plan, so that it can match up with the funding cycle.

 

Representative Moberly asked if OEA thinks that more training and studies on the teacher shortage problem will help.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that the studies need to be done by region.

 

††††††††††† Representative Moberly asked if there was any study about information concerning emergency certificates.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that there had been none at this time, but the notion of an emergency certificate indicates that we do have some problems, particularly in the† area of special education.

 

††††††††††† Representative Moberly asked if emergency certificates are being inadequately applied for and granted.

 

††††††††††† Dr. Henry said that there was an instance where an individual was improperly certified for an administrative position, but none where someone had been hired for emergency certification when someone was certified and available.

 

Representative Moberly wanted to know if the superintendents had to validate on that there was no one available with certification and if there had been any instances where there had been any manipulation or abuse of this matter. Dr. Henry said that in the one instance the superintendent is no longer employed. Representative Treesh asked if alternative certification has made any impact at all on solving the teacher shortage. Dr. Henry said that a alternative certification has not made a huge impact on shortage areas. Representative Treesh asked if districts are promoting alternative certification. Dr. Henry said there is a lack of awareness of alternative certification. The EPSB said it will be making efforts to try to attract people that are highly qualified for these positions. One of the problems in attracting people may be low teacherís salaries.

 

††††††††††† Representative Treesh asked about the requirement that school-based decision making members have training on selecting principals. Dr. Henry said that training is now required by statute and he did not think there was a problem with principal selection.

 

††††††††††† Representative Moberly said that the committee appreciated the staff at OEA and everything they do.

 

With no further business the meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.