TheEducation Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee met on Tuesday, June 4, 2002, at 1:15 PM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Harry Moberly, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Mary Stratton, Department of Technical Education; Janie Lindle, University of Kentucky; Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Education Professional Standards Board; Judith Gambill, Kentucky Education Association; Scott Trimble, Cindy Owen, Michael Miller, Bonnie Brinly, Kevin Noland, and Gene Wilhoit, Kentucky Department of Education; Tony Scholar, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Wayne Young and Mike Carr, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; and Libby Marshall, Kentucky School Boards Association.
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, and Kelley McQuerry.
Representative Treesh moved for approval of the minutes from the January 11, 2002, meeting and Representative Rasche seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote.
Representative Moberly introduced Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Noland and Deputy Commissioner Lois Adams-Rogers, Kentucky Department of Education to review the federal legislation, The No Child Left Behind Act.
Commissioner Wilhoit said that many of the components in the federal law echo the key elements of the Kentucky Education Reform Act. He said that in the last few years legislative action has caused the Kentucky Board of Education to establish three broad areas for the Department of Education’s work: increased and high level student achievement, teaching and administrative support, and a strong and supportive environment for each student. He said these elements can also be found throughout the federal legislation. He said that this Act pushes the issue of accountability for results to a higher level than has been seen before. It also promises increased flexibility at the local level, and expands opportunities for parents to make decisions in terms of failing schools. It also pushes the issue of teacher quality.
Commissioner Wilhoit said that Title I, the major federal program, still focuses on disadvantaged children. He said that the legislation requires a state plan that establishes high academic goals for all students by setting standards that all students must reach. He said that it requires three specific levels of achievement for all the students. States will have to define proficiency in terms of student performance. Mr. Wilhoit said that the law asks states to have a single statewide accountability system that includes rewards and sanctions, and to align all the standards to what is being done in professional development, teacher preparation, and in instructional design. He said that in terms of using services of federal resources, that all these elements must come together.
Commissioner Wilhoit said the mew legislation requires a new concept of adequate yearly progress and requires a timeline for achieving the federal goals for the next twelve years that will lead to the year 2014, the same year that Kentucky has set as an achievement goal for Kentucky schools. He said there will be annual assessments to be in place for mathematics and reading and sets a future goal for science assessments. He said that it asks states to deal with the issue of race, disabilities, and socio-economic status and to break those categories into specific goals and achievements. He said that states will be required to participate in the National Assessment of Education Progress. The law requires local school district and state report cards. Kentucky has report cards but will have to revisit the issues of state local report cards.
Commissioner Wilhoit said that Kentucky has been asked to design a beginning plan that would serve as a basis for the flow through of money that will begin in July. He said that there are deadlines toward achieving all the goals that will be over the next few years. He said that the assessment and accountability issues have been discussed with the National Technical Panel on Assessment and Accountability, with the School Curriculum Assessment and Accountability School Council, and now with the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee. He said that the goal is to implement this federal law.
Mr. Kevin Noland discussed the Teacher Quality and Reading First sections of the bill as well as the accountability issues. Mr. Noland said that Kentucky will have a net increase of 45 million dollars. He said that there is a net ten million dollar increase in Title I and an eight million dollar net increase in the early reading initiative program. He said that there is also a 15 million dollar net increase in the special education area.
Mr. Noland said that federal legislation requires that math and reading assessment be done in grades three through eight by the school year 2005-2006. He said that Kentucky currently does not assess math in grades four and seven, and does not assess reading in grades five and eight. He said that the National Technical Panel on Assessment and Accountability is working on options such as adding some norm reference math and reading tests in those grades supplemented by open response questions so that this could be tied to Kentucky’s core content. An outgrowth of that would allow a longitudinal measure in grades three through eight.
Mr. Noland said that under the federal system are students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, low income students, and members of racial or ethnic groups also must meet the goals. He said that schools with less than ten students in any one of these groups are exempt. He said that the Kentucky Department of Education is in discussions with the United States Department of Education regarding the sub-populations and what types of flexibly will be available. Mr. Noland said that seven percent of the funding for Kentucky’s public elementary and secondary schools comes from federal funds. He said that in the past the federal program has focused on helping certain targeted students, but the new law targets accountability for schools and for all students.
Mr. Noland said that under the new federal legislation there is a pass and fail system. He said that either a student is at proficiency or he is not. He said that if this legislation was put in place in Kentucky at this time, then only 45 schools would be classified as successful out of 1287 public elementary and secondary schools. He said that the National Technical Panel on Assessment and Accountability believes that Kentucky needs to speak up to the federal government to make certain there is a more statistically sound way to approach this as the federal model is placed on the state model already in place in Kentucky. He said that the system in the federal law is set up as a disincentive to a state having high standards. He said that the panel is in favor of the way Kentucky does the composite of all the content areas, as well as the non-academic areas.
Representative Moberly asked about the consequences of failure. Mr. Noland said consequences are at the school, district, and state levels. He said that funding could be lost at the state level. The consequence at the school level, would be a school improvement plan, public school choice, and supplemental educational services. He said that after four years of not making goals, there would be a school take over, replacing staff, and putting a highly skilled educator to run the school.
Representative Moberly asked if there would be a federal baseline imposed. Mr. Noland said that there is not a federal baseline, but that each state will design their own assessment and accountability system. Commissioner Wilhoit said that Kentucky will use its reestablished baseline created after HB 53 passed in 1998. He said that the most of this federal plan is still undetermined.
Dr. Lois Adams-Rogers said that in 1998 the Teacher Quality Task Force provided a framework to think about issues relating to teacher quality as it relates to the professional growth fund, teacher mentors, teacher academies and the types of additional training that No Child Left Behind sets forth in this part of the legislation. She said that the bottom line is making sure that the right teacher is in the classroom and the right administrator is in every building by 2005-2006. She said that the focus is with programs like the Future Educator Associations in the high school that are starting to recruit young people into the teaching profession. She said that House Bill 402 (2002) gives an opportunity to craft ways to recruit individuals through a differentiated compensation plan. She said that the state money that is available can be used to implement House Bill 402 that deals with the pilot of differentiated compensation plans. She said that Kentucky has tools that other states do not have such as the professional growth fund, the mentoring fund, support for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and salary supplements. She said that a new requirements is that paraprofessionals be qualified by having completed two years of postsecondary study, obtained an associates degree or higher, or meet a standard of quality through a state assessment in instruction of reading, writing, and math. She said that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System has a program that enables individuals that are non-certified and work in preschool programs to get a Child Development Associates Certificate. She said that the University of Kentucky, the Institute for Human Development, has a program for special education aides, with a core set of knowledge for individuals who take the course. She said that paraprofessionals have four years to meet the criteria. She said that Kentucky’s early reading incentive grant provides the opportunity to use research-based and reliable practices in reading instruction in the earliest level of elementary school. She said that Reading First takes it further and targets schools that meet criteria that is set by the federal government. She said that the department has identified 81 school districts who will be eligible to apply for the funds. She said that there is eleven million dollars in grants to implement what is referenced in the federal legislation as a scientifically based reading program. She said that a portion of the application was submitted at the end of May.
Representative Moberly asked if the reading grants were one time money. She said that there are 81 school districts with 65 eligible schools that must meet the criteria over a six year period of time.
Representative Treesh questioned the value of the older instructional aides getting a two year degree. He said that the districts should be able to shift those employees into positions that are non-federally funded. He said that it will be a large impact that most of the districts will be faced with. Mr. Noland said that the issue is a challenge and the department is waiting on guidance from the federal level. Representative Treesh said that one of his concerns is the issue of the test being statistically reliable and valid. He asked how long will it take to demonstrate it. Helen Mountjoy, chair, Kentucky Board of Education said that there is a plan for validity studies that is an ongoing project.
Commissioner Wilhoit said that the issue of sub-populations is a major piece of this legislation, so the point about making judgements about the sub-population is going to be an important part of reporting to the federal government. He said that it is going to be necessary to look at individual student achievement by disability, socio-economic level, language proficiency, and by race. He said that these are critical points and this will be the one area of accountability that the federal government will hold a strong line on. Representative Treesh asked if the state test would have to be changed to conform with those goals. Commissioner Wilhoit said that those are all issues to be determined.
Senator Kelly asked about the eleven million dollars and asked if there was a match to be met by the local schools. Dr. Adams-Rogers said there is a required match for some portions of the funds. She said that one of the purposes is that a reading coach be available. Senator Kelly said that he would like to know the number of schools that have a need verses the number of schools that have been served traditionally. He asked how long it will take before there is assurance that every child who needs intensive intervention has a trained teacher available working in a suitable program to make sure they can get intervention that is needed. He asked if the department was able, with the six years of funding and what is already available, to get a idea of where it stands. He asked if any of this money will be available for the training of teachers, so that a school district can use these funds to send their teachers to be trained in the new training opportunities that have been created. Dr. Adams-Rogers said that aside from the Kentucky Reading Program, there are also teacher academies and there have also been some elementary and middle school academies added.
Representative Moberly asked if criteria had been developed for the recipients for the money. Mr. Mike Miller, Director of Curriculum, Department of Education, said that the proposals have not been developed, but criteria was included in the application to the federal government for the funds.
Representative Moberly asked about proposals and strategies for the committee to review. Mr. Noland said that was the plan and the purpose of this meeting was to inform the committee of the specifics known at this point. He said that the process is to be sure of what the perameters are and then identify some permissible options.
Commissioner Wilhoit said that the big issue is the teacher certification issue and what will have to be done to get all the teachers in the classroom certified. He said that Kentucky is moving in the opposite direction with all the emergency certified teachers. Representative Moberly asked if the federal law required there to be no emergency certified teachers by 2005. Commissioner Wilhoit said it was to be 2006.
Mr. Noland went over Administrative Regulation 703 KAR 5:070. It currently states that students with limited English proficiency can be in an English speaking school for two years before being tested on the CATS assessment. He said the thought was for the student to learn the English language and to learn English content areas before being tested. He said that the 1994 federal law said that had to be completed in one year, but there are 34 states not in compliance. Kentucky has had a waiver but under the new law, Kentucky will lose 25 percent of the funding if this is not amended to conform to the one year requirement.
With no further business the meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.