Thetenth meeting of the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2001, at 1:15 PM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Harry Moberly, Presiding Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Sandra Shrout Bush, Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System; Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Education Professional Standards Board; Joyce Dotson, Kentucky Education Association; Michael Miller, Kentucky Department of Education; Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; and Tony Sholar, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, Evelyn Gibson, and Kelley McQuerry.
Senator Karem moved for approval of the minutes of the November 6, 2001, meeting and Representative Treesh seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote.
Representative Moberly introduced Dr. Gordon Davies, President of the Council on Postsecondary Education. Dr. Davies said there are a number of initiatives underway to better aligned K-12 and postsecondary education so there will be a smooth transition and reduce the amount of necessary remediation. He said that the percentage of students requiring remediation last fall was lower than in 1998. He said that two major issues are to increase the participation in postsecondary education and to develop knowledge for the new economy. He said that since 1998, enrollment has been increased by over 19,000 students, and that is on a base of 160,000 students. He said to achieve the goal in 2020, there must be 80,000 new undergraduates. The increase is a fourth of the way to meeting the goal. He said that in the fall of 1997-1998, 39.7 percent of students that entered the universities needed remediation and 66.5 percent of the students who entered community colleges needed remediation. He said that in 2000-2001 the number dropped for universities to 37.4 percent and for the community colleges to 61.5 percent. He said that the students coming out of high school are better prepared than in the past.
Representative Treesh asked how students going out of state impacted the remediation rates. Dr. Davies said that in 1998 there were 39,000 students graduating from Kentucky high schools and from that number 30,000 were eligible for the Kentucky Education Excellance Scholarship (KEES) awards. He said that 18,000 took the KEES award, which means 12,000 did not even take it. He said that the highest achievers are the most mobile of the high school population. Representative Treesh asked how that had changed since 1998. Dr. Davies said that information should be available in January. He said that for the first time in the history of Kentucky there are more than 200,000 students enrolled in public and private higher education. He said that the retention rate went up from 66 to 69 percent. He said that the P-16 Council started by looking at alignment of the curriculum between high school and postsecondary education. One of the issues is that the requirements in the high school and the requirements in the colleges are not linked, so often students who thought they were doing well, later found out that they were not prepared to do university work.
Senator Karem asked what the standard is for remediation. Dr. Davies said that in the fall of 2001, the Council on Postsecondary Education required anyone with lower than an 18 on the ACT to take a remediation level course in math, language arts, or both.
Senator Kelly said that some other schools let the students test out of the area and asked if Kentucky did anything like that. Dr. Davies said not at this time, but he thought it was a great idea. Senator Kelly said that some other schools have a high emphasizes on the College Level Equivalence Program (CLEP) so that the students take as many tests as they can and test out of courses to move along. Dr. Davies said there are many areas that need improvement such as dual enrollment, and test scores in advanced placement. Dr. Davies said that there is a mathematics test online and any student can take it. He said that 3,000 students took the test this spring.
Representative Treesh asked if a student got an ACT score below 18 would that automatically trigger a placement test or a remediation course. Dr. Davies said that it is determined by the university, but it does trigger remedial placement. He said that another type of remediation is that a student goes to the regular class and then receives supplemental instruction.
Representative Moberly introduced Dr. Shirley Menendez from the Council on Postsecondary Education and the P-16 Council. Dr. Menendez said that the recommendations for the P-12 educators of the P-16 alignment team on literacy related to increasing opportunities for writing before graduation for high school students and using resource materials to develop skills in writing when they go to the universities. She said that the writing portfolio performances could be included on their transcripts. She said that oral communication, active listening, and media technology literacy are important for the P-12 students. She said recommendations related to the postsecondary institutions included using the Kentucky Department of Education’s Holistic Scoring Guide to assess college writing level competency. She said that a review of the effectiveness of placement mechanisms could be done and there should be training of the P-12 teachers in all content areas to teach reading, writing, oral communications, active listening, media literacy, and the use of technology.
Representative Moberly said that the report reinforces what the subcommittee has heard during its study. Dr. Menendez said that research shows that if a child does not learn to read effectively by the third grade then he or she may not be able to compensate for it later. She said it really puts the accent on the primary school and the teacher training for those teachers. Dr. Davies said that the council is doing faculty development, and is providing funds and stimulus to the institutions to work on issues that have been identified by the alignment teams. Dr. William Bush added that at the University of Kentucky was working on a program to involve faculty in writing exercises in their discipline.
Representative Marzian asked if there was anyone from the early childhood area on the P-16 Council. Dr. Davies said that the council invited Dr. Kim Townley to join the P-16 Council recognizing the importance of early childhood and invited Secretary Alan Rose, because family literacy is part of the Workforce Development Cabinet.
Dr. William Bush spoke about the P-16 Mathematics Alignment Team. He said that the team met for nine months and the battle in mathematics is just like the issues with the literacy program. He discussed the math alignment team’s recommendations that were on the handout to the subcommittee and are on file as part of the record.
Dr. Davies said that the Council on Postsecondary Education proposed P-16 councils that would include elementary and secondary education, universities, community colleges, technical colleges, and private colleges across the state. He said that there will be ten around that state and they will all have a common set of objectives such as lower dropout rates, more students taking the ACT, better scores, more students going to college, and more students staying in college.
Representative Moberly asked if the Council on Postsecondary Education was funding the local councils. Dr. Davies said that they were and that a pilot had been recommended in the enrollment and retention trust fund.
Representative Treesh asked if there would be a benefit in adopting a strategy in math in the early years. Dr. Bush said that the earlier the intervention the better, including mathematics.
Representative Moberly discussed the recommendations on the study of HCR 83, these are some of the recommendations as follows:
§ The Department of Education shall disseminate information that includes model schools and districts on the value of schools and districts providing additional time and funding for professional development, planning and faculty collaboration.
The Department of Education shall
identify and disseminate information on early
diagnostics, individual improvement plans for students who are not succeeding in reading and mathematics, and professional development for teachers. By January 15, 2002, the Department of Education shall make a recommendation to the subcommittee on the pros and cons of mandating an individual improvement plan for students who are not succeeding in reading and mathematics.
§ Direct the Kentucky Board of Education to review the exit criteria for primary students to determine whether more precise definitions are needed to determine that students are prepared to meet the academic expectations for fourth grade students.
§ Direct the Kentucky Board of Education to review the Commonwealth Diploma Program to identify ways to provide additional options like dual enrollment classes that would encourage students to take a more rigorous curriculum.
§ The Education Professional Standards Board, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Collaborative Center for Literacy, should revise the internship training and evaluation materials to enhance the interns’ skills to teach reading. Interns should be given additional time within the day for planning and professional development, including training in teaching reading and mathematics.
§ Each district shall designate a reading specialist to support the improvement of reading and literacy across the district.
§ Each school council, or if there is not a council, the principal shall select at least one teacher to be designated the building reading specialist who shall be trained if necessary and shall be responsible for collaborating with teachers to assure that they receive the technical assistance needed to assure that each child is a successful reader.
§ Each school council, or if there is not a council, the principal shall increase the focus on parent and teacher conferences to assure that each student receives the attention needed to plan for his or her success.
§ The General Assembly should continue the funding of the Collaborative Center for Literacy and the related grant program and increase the funding when possible to expand the training opportunities for teachers in public schools.
§ The General Assembly should fund the 2002-2004 budget request of the Council on Postsecondary Education to support the P-16 council grant program provided under KRS 164.033.
§ Direct the Commissioner of Education to report to the subcommittee by January 15, 2002 regarding the need for additional funding to implement the above recommendations.
Representative Moberly introduced Dr. Ken Henry to speak about the Office of Education Accountability’s work plan. Dr. Henry said that the staff had met twice and developed eight study proposals for the format of the workplan. He informed the members that he had mailed the materials to them for their review and had asked if there were other issues they would like considered. He said he had also asked whether the Interim Joint Committee on Education should be asked if they have issues. (Reference materials were not available at the meeting). Representative Moberly said that was not necessary until the plan was worked out.
Dr. Henry said that two sections of the annual report had been redesigned with the Kentucky Department of Education’s response to the issues included. Each section is a little different and he asked for direction from the subcommittee. He also asked if recommendations that were not policy discussions of the General Assembly should be included in the report. He also asked about sharing the draft reports with interested parties other than the agencies. Representative Moberly asked that Dr. Henry’s questions be sent to the subcommittee members in a memorandum.
Representative Treesh asked about the idea of a policy considerations report that would be forwarded on to the Interim Joint Committee on Education. Senator Kelly said that other committees and agencies will also be looking at these recommendations and the proper format is important.
There was discussion about dates when the annual report should be submitted. Dr. Henry suggested the annual report be submitted in August so the Interim Joint Committee in Education would have an opportunity to review it before the Session, and the finance report should continue to be done by October as currently required by statute. Dr. Henry reported that he would be meeting with Dr. Catterall and Dr. Poggio to begin discussing a workplan on the external validation of the CATS. He is also talking with Dr. Dan Koretz.
Senator Kelly said it was important to look at a wide range of possibilities for meeting the requirement of external validation and that Dr. Henry should bring back information on the resources that are available.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.