Thethird meeting of the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at 10:00 AM, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Kent Stevens, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Mr. Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Ms. Robyn Oatley, private citizen; Ms. Robin Hill, Kentucky Department of Education; Mr. Clyde Caudill, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Mr. Robert Brown and Ms. Marilyn Troupe, Education Professional Standards Board.
Legislative Guests: Representatives Linda Belcher and Derrick Graham
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton, Audrey Carr, Janet Stevens, Ken Warlick, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Stevens asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the June 9 and August 10, 2009, meetings. Senator Westwood made the motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Senator Winters. The minutes were adopted by voice vote.
Representative Stevens introduced Dr. Terry Holliday, Commissioner, and Mr. Ken Draut, Associate Commissioner, Office of Assessment and Accountability, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to give the committee a report on the 2008-2009 assessment results.
Dr. Holliday said principals and teachers are working hard in Kentucky schools, but more work is needed to close the achievement gaps and improve student proficiency. He said KDE is looking at further processes to address those concerns.
Mr. Draut said Kentucky is utilizing the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) and the alternate assessments in reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing on-demand. He said these scores are used for reporting to the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) accountability system. The scores are also used to report the state’s percentage of novice, apprentice, proficient, and distinguished students. An interim report is generated and distributed to schools to identify areas of improvement resulting from the test scores.
Mr. Draut discussed some issues that were analyzed during the 2009 interim assessment period. He said the student performance level definitions (novice, apprentice, proficient, and distinguished) remain the same. The 2009 NCLB data calculations are unchanged. The United States Department of Education approved Kentucky to delay the NCLB results due to multiple natural disasters in 2008-2009. Finally, Title I and Non-Title I schools and districts are held accountable based on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.
Mr. Draut said Kentucky met 19 out of 25, or 76 percent, of its target goals for NCLB. He noted African-American and disabled students did not meet their goals in reading and mathematics. Limited English proficient students and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch did not meet their goals in reading.
Mr. Draut said 696 schools met 100 percent of NCLB AYP goals, which is 60.2 percent of all schools. He said 78 percent of elementary schools met 100 percent; 37.6 percent of middle schools met 100 percent; 19.9 percent of high schools met 100 percent; and 75 of 175 schools, 42.9 percent, met 100 percent of their goals. He also discussed the summary of tiers of consequences for Title I schools and districts and the summary of non-Title I schools eligible for state assistance. These detailed graphs are located in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library.
Mr. Draut said the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) is suspended as a result of Senate Bill 1 passed in the 2009 regular session. He said school performance is no longer reported on individual school growth charts. No indices (accountability or academic) are generated and reported by the KDE. He noted the Interim Performance Report replaces the Kentucky Performance Report and includes three reports: trend data; disaggregation; and core content.
Mr. Draut reported the percentages of proficient and distinguished students by content and grade span. He also reported the 2009 disaggregated data for students and the percentages that were proficient and distinguished by subject area. The detailed charts are located in the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Mr. Draut said the ACT EXPLORE and the ACT PLAN test scores increased since 2006, while still falling below the national norm study scores. The EXPLORE test is administered to students in the 8th grade and the PLAN is administered to students in the 10th grade. He said the ACT data were released in August 2009 and show two years of trend data. The average ACT scores for Kentucky juniors improved from 2008 to 2009 in English and mathematics. Students scored lower in 2009 in reading, science, and in overall composite scores. The percentages of Kentucky students meeting college readiness benchmarks remained the same in English in 2008 and 2009. The percentage went up one point in mathematics and science, and decreased three points in reading. The percentage of Kentucky junior students meeting all four benchmarks on the ACT increased from 10 to 11 percent from 2008 to 2009. He also reported on the disaggregated trend data for the ACT scores, which were similar to the trend data in the KCCT scores.
Senator Westwood said the KCCT reporting indicates no significant gains or decreases in scores. He asked why there are significant drops in proficiency in the disaggregated scores, particularly in middle and high school. He also is concerned that only 20.8 percent of African-American students are reaching proficiency and distinguished levels. Mr. Draut responded that the trend in Kentucky has been that elementary students do better on the KCCT. He said the middle school students tend to do better than the high school students. It is noted that only 19 percent of the high schools met their AYP goals. He said this may impact NCLB reporting because it is focused on subgroups that tend to have lower scores. Senator Westwood said he wants to focus on middle grades and hopefully the progress will continue to the high school level. He said these figures may actually be worse than what is being reported because it unknown if the dropouts are being calculated that may have dropped out before the testing took place.
Senator Winters said one issue that precipitated Senate Bill 1 was the realization that young people are not held personally responsible for their performance on assessment tests. He said the longitudinal data that will be kept on students in the future will have a dramatic effect on the test results.
Dr. Holliday said he believes the people have been working hard, but changes must be made in the system. He wants to focus on adolescent literacy, student accountability, strengthening math instruction, and preparing teachers to teach students with a wide range of ability levels in the classroom. He said that KDE has developed an intervention matrix. This creates focus on the schools and districts that may need the most comprehensive type of assistance from KDE. Schools that receive the most intensive intervention will be the school districts that have the lowest proficiency performance and have large gaps between the subgroups. He said KDE will provide targeted intervention to districts with good proficiency, but have large gaps. In addition, KDE will provide targeted intervention to school districts with low proficiency and low gaps. He said basic intervention will be given to school districts who are on the “bubble” or have small achievement gaps and higher overall performance, but have missed AYP for at least two years. He noted KDE is required by the new school improvement grant funds to identify the lowest performing five percent of schools in Kentucky. The schools identified will be provided with very intensive support and significant dollars.
Dr. Holliday said KDE is focusing on the “Race to the Top” application and what it might include for funding on improving instruction. He said the school districts are going to perform no better than the quality of instruction that the children receive from their teachers. He said the education system needs to provide teachers the coaching and support necessary to successfully teach children of all abilities. KDE has identified current funding sources available for teacher professional development. He also noted that KDE is aligning all the programs they currently have to coincide with the expectations of Senate Bill 1.
Dr. Holliday explained the instruction improvement system that he hopes is funded through the “Race to the Top” federal competitive grant dollars. This system would be available to teachers on-line and would provide school districts and schools with a coherent set of interconnected tools and resources to assist with: curriculum planning; measuring student progress; on-line publishing of teacher lesson plans; job-embedded professional learning for teachers; and strong instruction leadership, including tools for classroom walkthroughs and teacher observation.
Senator Kelly asked how many schools are currently receiving intervention from the KDE. Mr. Draut said there were 119 schools involved with intervention in the 2008-2009 school year. There were 35-40 schools involved in the state accountability system.
Senator Kelly said there are complaints from higher education about the remedial resources being spent to get students prepared when that preparation should have occurred in high school. He said the KDE instructional improvement system is focusing resources to do what should have been done in the teacher preparation programs in higher education. He would like to see conversations about this issue take place when coordinating with higher education to develop the new standards. He said improving the skills and resources of instructors is important, however, services to children through early intervention need to be incorporated in KDE’s plan. Senator Kelly’s final point was about the reporting that KDE provides to the General Assembly. He finds it less informative to see the data of all schools merged together and would like to see specific data on the schools that KDE is providing services to. He would like to see data on how KDE’s interventions are working in the low performing schools.
Mr. Draut said media packets were disseminated that highlight specific school data. He will see that the information is distributed to the committee members.
Dr. Holliday said he is meeting with the university presidents about teacher preparation. He said there are 48,000 teachers currently working in the system that need tools to be prepared to assist with early interventions. He also said KDE is working with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to define senior level courses at the high school for the remedial work that students may need prior to enrolling in college. He said KDE is currently working on potential regulations that may need to be brought to the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS) to grant students credit for those courses.
Senator Winters said the committee is interested in “Race to the Top” and the General Assembly is attempting to do things legislatively that will compliment that initiative. He would like Dr. Holliday to comment on the strengths and weaknesses that Kentucky has in applying and obtaining the federal grant dollars. Dr. Holliday said KDE is in the final stretch of preparing the grant application and feels that Senate Bill 1 will be a great strength. He discussed the excellent partnership that KDE has with the educators association, administrators association, school board association, and the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE). He said potential barriers or weaknesses include how to address the charter school issue and the turnaround of low performing schools. He said KDE will bring a white paper with concepts addressing those issues to the committee in December 2009 prior to the next legislative session.
Senator Westwood said improvements were made in early literacy with the passage of Senate Bill 186 several years ago. He is now concerned about the middle school literacy and if teachers are teaching reading in the content areas. He said student scores are dropping in the middle and upper grades and this may not be due to the difficulty of the courses. It may be that the students cannot read the textbooks in order to learn the course material. He would like to see the money in the instructional improvement system to address the literacy piece and also to prepare teachers in postsecondary education to understand they have to teach reading in the content areas.
Dr. Holliday said he spoke to Mr. Dale Brown, former superintendent for Warren County Schools, who said they had experienced the problems with adolescent readers and partnered with Western Kentucky University (WKU) to address the issue. WKU offered training to classroom teachers at the high schools, along with 31 professors from WKU, to address adolescent literacy issues and how to deal with reluctant readers. The program was a success and many students made significant gains after being reassessed a year later. He said that adolescent literacy issues are at the core of Kentucky’s problems, in conjunction with student and teacher accountability. He feels end-of-course assessments may help with these issues.
Representative Moberly said Kentucky’s scores show the same problems of students performing well in elementary school and then dropping in middle and high school. He said this has been the pattern and he hopes KDE will get a new plan that is supported by federal stimulus dollars to implement innovative and creative programs. He said students with disabilities are making no better progress today than they were years ago and this needs serious attention. He wants KDE to work with the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) to work on teacher preparation issues that are long overdue. He asked why schools that are low performing cannot model successful schools so that all schools perform well in the system. He is disheartened that only 19 percent of high schools are meeting AYP. It is time for improvements and for schools to quit repeating the same mistakes year after year. He said innovative ideas such as charter schools and differential pay for teachers may need to be explored in schools that consistently show no improvement. He also said teacher incentives should be implemented to help salaries increase at a higher rate throughout their 27 year profession.
Representative Stevens said there are so many major problems facing Kentucky’s educational system that it is hard to know where to start. He said dropouts are a major issue and 70 percent of people incarcerated are high school dropouts. He mentioned that children starting preschool coming from lower socioeconomic families only have 1,500 words in their vocabulary and are at an immediate disadvantage from the children starting with 2,500 word vocabularies. He said Kentucky should be focusing on the two, three, and four year olds more than it is. He wants middle and high school students to perform at the same levels of elementary school students. He also believes that vocational education needs more attention in the future. He feels change is needed in the way Kentucky operates because what it has been doing the last few years is not working.
Representative Graham said Kentucky’s high school students do not have study skills. He said students may know and understand the material as it is being taught, but they do not know how to prepare and study for a test. He said this is a skill set that should be taught to students at a very early age. He asked if KDE can encourage teachers to incorporate teaching study skill strategies to students in the transition period between elementary and middle school. Dr. Holliday said the new common course standards focus on study skills through the application of math and language arts and the real study skills that children need to be successful in college. He said our country and state need to focus on current students. Teacher preparation is essential to the future, but Kentucky cannot afford to lose another generation of children that are sitting in classrooms today. He said if he makes mistakes moving forward it was always in the best interest of the children.
Representative Graham is disturbed by the number of free and reduced lunch students and is worried about African-American students being discouraged from taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses. He is concerned about the high number of students with disabilities that are not performing at a high level. Students are also deciding to enroll into the lower classes in order to achieve a higher grade instead of taking a more rigorous course. He feels KDE should encourage students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to take the AP courses. Dr. Holliday said one of KDE’s key strategies in obtaining the “Race to the Top” dollars is how to provide funding support to recruit more minority and economically disadvantaged students into AP courses. He said more resources also need to be placed into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives.
Representative Moberly asked why females are scoring significantly higher scores on the KCCT exams, particularly in the upper grades. Dr. Holliday said females are scoring much higher than males in adolescent reading in middle and high school. Scores are more equal in math. He said studies show the reason as being attributed to females being more compliant and males not being interested in the reading material. Representative Moberly asked if KDE has any intervention or professional development strategies to address the issue. Dr. Holliday said KDE has hired Ms. Felicia Cummings-Smith, former executive director of the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, to help KDE prepare professional development to address adolescent literacy issues. He also said SREB has published some strong recommendations that can be incorporated in KDE’s training and development. He said postsecondary education faculty must be engaged in the training because they have the same issues of dropouts relating to student literacy levels.
Senator Kelly said he is pleased to hear Dr. Holliday discuss the AdvanceKentucky program. He believes there will be a legislative initiative in the 2010 session to expand the program statewide. He talked about the partnership between the National Math and Science Initiative and the Kentucky Science and Technology Center, to create a program to get more minority and lower socioeconomic students involved in AP courses. Since the implementation of the program, there has been a 76 percent increase in the number of students taking and passing math, science, and English AP courses; 200 percent increase in free and reduced lunch students; and a 200 percent increase in minority students. He urged Representative Graham to contact Dr. Joanne Lange at the Kentucky Science and Technology Center.
Representative Stevens asked for a motion to accept three reports from the Office of Education Accountability (OEA) that had been presented to subcommittee at an earlier meeting. Senator Westwood made the motion to accept the Review of School Fees and Supplies; Review of Education Technology Initiatives; and the Kentucky District Data Profiles-School Year 2007-2008 reports. Senator Winters seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Stevens introduced Ms. Marcia Ford Seiler, Director, Ms. Brenda Landy, Legislative Analyst, Dr. Ken Chilton, Director of Research, OEA, to explain two parts of the math study. Ms. Seiler concurred with the members that the data seem to consistently remain the same. She thanked the staff at CPE, KDE, and EPSB for helping to gather the data for the report.
Ms. Landy said part one of the math study focused on assessment and course-taking. She said Kentucky is significantly below the national average on most achievement and college readiness measures. She noted the PLAN assessment scores that are administered to students in grade 10 are 12 percentage points below the national norm. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) began state level testing of 4th and 8th grade students in the early 1990’s, and are now conducted every other year. She said the NAEP scores conducted for 2009 will not be released until October 14th so scores will not be reported in this meeting. She noted the assessment scores have been rising for both 4th and 8th grade students nationally, and in Kentucky. However, there is concern that Kentucky’s 4th graders are lagging behind the nation in the last three assessment periods.
Ms. Landy discussed the ACT, PLAN, and EXPLORE college readiness measures. She said there is no national norm for universal testing of 11th grade students, but ACT did provide a benchmark score that corresponds to a 50 percent chance of earning a B in college algebra, or a 75 percent chance of earning a C in college algebra. According to the CPE, two-thirds of Kentucky’s college majors do not require college algebra. She said 44 percent of Kentucky juniors scored at or above the benchmark for general college math; 22 percent met the benchmark for the PLAN assessment; and 29 percent met the benchmark for the EXPLORE assessment. She noted Kentucky scored below the national norms in the PLAN and EXPLORE assessments.
Ms. Landy discussed the AP test scores in 2008. About half of the students attempting to take the exam are passing the exam. She said there are big differences in the exam activity by income level and race of students. The AdvanceKentucky project is trying to address the achievement gaps and trying to encourage disadvantaged students to take AP courses. There are detailed graphs with specific data information located in the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Ms. Landy discussed the KCCT math proficiency trends. She noted Kentucky has been administering a similar test from 1999 through 2006. In 2007, major changes were made to the test. The similar trend of elementary school students performing better than middle and high school students remains consistent. Many Kentucky middle and high schools do not seem to be set up to help students in a short amount of time. This is troublesome because high schools have just a few years to help students catch up on skills and knowledge that they need to be successful in college or the workplace. She said research shows that student achievement in high school depends on the solid foundation in earlier grades. She also noted that achievement gap trends within specific subgroups remain consistent with other assessment testing results. The female and male gaps are pretty small, but the gaps grow larger when comparing income, race, English proficiency, and disability status. Specific trend data and flow charts are located in the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Ms. Landy said research shows that students with a wide spectrum of abilities can benefit from challenging math courses, even after considering family income and prior achievements. She said the students taking the most demanding math courses score highest on the 12th grade NAEP assessment. She said nationally, students who take Algebra II are scoring at the 12th grade level on NAEP, and only those students taking calculus are receiving proficient scores.
Ms. Landy said more needs to be done than just cleaning up course codes to ensure alignment. She said there are few safeguards in place to ensure that Algebra I, geometry, or Algebra II, teach the same content everywhere. She said courses can differ from district to district, school to school, and even classroom to classroom within a school. She noted current guidance is scant. The 1998 Program of Studies implementation manual could be helpful if updated. She said end-of-course exams will require that courses with the same name cover similar content.
Ms. Landy discussed high school graduation requirements. She said Kentucky’s high school graduation requirements are among the most rigorous of all states. By 2012, Kentucky will be just one of eleven states requiring Algebra II as a graduation requirement. In addition, Kentucky is one of very few states that will make the course requirements mandatory because other states provide flexibility for some students who opt to take less rigorous courses.
Ms. Landy summarized the formal recommendations in the report. She said most of the recommendations have to do with the need to improve data quality for KDE, CPE, and EPSB. She also noted the recommendations in the report are meant to support and align with the goals of Senate Bill 1. The formal recommendations are located in the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Representative Stevens asked Dr. Holliday if he would like to make any comments. Dr. Holliday said that KDE agrees with the recommendations with one caveat. He said Kentucky needs to refine its regulatory language to ensure high expectations for students, school districts and schools in common course standards. Algebra I course codes and content need to include high level rigor across the Commonwealth. He said this is one example of the balance of local control with state authority and how that would work together. He also said Kentucky needs high expectations and consistent, standardized data monitored for its longitudinal data system.
Dr. Chilton discussed part two of the math study dealing with teacher quality and educator preparation programs. He discussed key agency roles within Kentucky’s education system. EPSB approves and accredits educator preparation programs and certifies teachers. The CPE plays a role in data sharing, program approval, and resources. The KDE oversees school and district accountability. Most researchers agree that teacher quality is critical to student achievement. However, few researchers can define teacher quality in a way that is measurable. He said all Kentucky educator preparations programs are accredited by the EPSB and 98 percent of teachers are considered “highly qualified” by the NCLB standards. He said certified math teachers have all passed content knowledge Praxis II examinations, yet Kentucky student mathematics achievement remains low. He noted after teachers receive full teacher certification in Kentucky, they are required to receive a master’s degree within 10 years. Alternative routes are available to teachers and emergency certification is used when qualified candidates cannot be found. The issuance of emergency certificates is decreasing due to the demands of the NCLB and the definition of highly qualified teachers.
Dr. Chilton said Kentucky has thirty programs accredited by EPSB to train teachers. Fifteen programs also have dual certification by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). He said program requirements will be established for elementary, middle, and secondary math requirements. He also noted Kentucky will look at special education math requirements.
Dr. Chilton said certified elementary math majors are certified K-5, with no content area specialization. Elementary math content knowledge requirements generally do not include college algebra. Researchers believe elementary education majors need more “pedagogical content knowledge” to teach mathematics. EPSB has approved an elementary mathematics endorsement. He said middle school math teachers are certified in 5-9, and specialize in content area. He said there is variation in types of coursework required. High school math teachers are certified in 8-12, and specialize in content area. All programs include higher level mathematics coursework, including calculus. He said site visits found that administrators are comfortable with content knowledge of both middle and high school math teachers. There is a concern about pedagogical content knowledge. Finally, special education teachers are certified P-12, with no content area specialization. He said over 7,500 special education teachers received emergency certification or entered teaching through alternative options since 2000-2001. He said the programs lack rigorous mathematics content knowledge requirements.
Dr. Chilton discussed two recommendations from the report. The EPSB and the KDE shall form a joint task force to address the specific needs and challenges of teaching mathematics to special education students. This analysis should include review of current literature and best practice on the instruction of mathematics to special education students, review of the mathematics course work requirements of special education teacher training programs and master’s programs throughout Kentucky. Findings and recommendations shall be presented to EAARS by December 2010. He also said the EPSB and KDE, in collaboration with the Kentucky Committee for Mathematics Achievement, shall study the alignment of mathematics content knowledge and pedagogy courses required by educator preparation and master’s programs to determine if important mathematics content and research-based teaching skills are provided sufficiently in mathematics content and pedagogy courses, including sufficient coverage of differentiated instruction. The findings should address concerns regarding the content and pedagogical preparation of mathematics teachers at both the undergraduate and master’s level, offering recommendations to the EPSB on how programs and program evaluations can be improved. The findings and recommendations shall be reported to EAARS on or before December 2010.
Dr. Chilton said the EPSB uses Praxis II as content knowledge and pedagogy exams and determines pass scores. The tests are designed to demonstrate a “minimum” competency level. He said Senate Bill 1 will require reevaluation of tests and pass scores. Recommendations in this area include the KDE shall annually review and report the results of the Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention (MERR) program that was created to develop minority educators in the STEM disciplines. Reports should include participation by educator preparation program, the rates of program completion, employment by content area, and efforts of districts to recruit minority educators. He said EPSB shall evaluate the standards measured by mathematics exit exams required for math certification and ensure that the selected exit examinations and pass scores adequately reflect the content knowledge and pedagogy skills expected of all teachers.
Dr. Chilton said Kentucky requires teachers to obtain a master’s degree within 10 years of initial certification. Research has not supported the value of master’s degrees in producing more effective teachers. The EPSB’s new Teacher as Leader master’s program adds focus to the master’s degree. He said the program will be mandatory starting in January of 2013. The program includes: collaboration with school districts to design courses, professional development, and job-embedded professional experiences; collaboration with Arts and Sciences faculty to meet academic and course needs; establishes a process to individualize a program to meet the candidates professional growth or improvement plan; incorporates interpretation and analysis of P-12 achievement data; and facilitates direct service to school districts by educational faculty members. He said the recommendation is the EPSB shall develop a program evaluation methodology and timeline for measuring the math content and pedagogical impacts of the Teacher as Leader master’s program by December 2010. The methodology should include data that permits detailed analysis at a content and program level.
Dr. Chilton said there are many variables that are measured in the literature associated with teacher quality. He said three indicators that are linked to compensation include teacher experience, educational attainment or rank, and certification. He noted novice level teachers with less than three years of experience do not get the same levels of student achievement as more experienced teachers. After the initial learning curve of teacher experience is surmounted, the benefits of years of experience levels out. This is an important point in considering teacher compensation over time. He said research is mixed on teacher certification and student gains. He noted that high performing schools tended to have more nationally board certified teachers than lower performing schools in Kentucky. The recommendation is that the KDE or EPSB should jointly develop a formula to accurately determine teacher shortage areas, long term trends, and the hiring needs of the state with a focus on ensuring that teacher availability and quality is equalized across the state.
Dr. Chilton discussed future challenges and considerations. He said a P-20 data system is needed to show the link between students to teachers, and to link teachers to educator preparation programs if Kentucky is every going to be to do a value-added assessment. The value-added assessment would be critical to any types of compensation changes, such as differential pay for teachers. It would also allow for a more comprehensive teacher evaluation system. He said the final part of the report looks at working conditions and how those are linked to teacher quality and teacher retention. The final recommendation, is the EPSB, in collaboration with CPE and KDE in developing the P-20 database, and should require sufficient data be included in the system that would permit value-added assessment of educator preparation programs that is more content and program specific than the current National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and state accreditation requirements.
Representative Stevens said some first year teachers are phenomenal and do a great job. He said teacher experience is important, but there are exceptions to the rule.
Senator Winters asked for clarification on the median number of twelve courses being taken by high school math teachers. Dr. Chilton said 12 courses is the median number of math courses required for an education major who specializes in secondary education, or wants to become a high school math teacher. Senator Winters said he would like the number of classes for a high school math teacher and a math major verified. He also asked what two programs were accredited by EPSB that were not on the original list of 28 programs. Ms. Seiler said Boyce College and St. Catharine’s College have been recently accredited to make 30 accredited programs.
Senator Kelly asked where the University of Louisville (UofL) research project report was published that dealt with variance and the difference in priority of math concepts being taught. Dr. Chilton said he could provide a copy of the report to Senator Kelly, but did not think it was published. Senator Kelly asked why the report was not published and if the information has been made available and responded to by the EPSB or the CPE. Ms. Seiler said she would speak to Dr. Bill Bush, UofL, and find out the specifics on the report. Senator Kelly asked what is happening with the Committee for Mathematics and if their final work product is ready for dissemination. Ms. Seiler said Dr. Bush said the Committee on Mathematics was getting together to determine next agenda items for the 2010 school year. Dr. Kelly asked if their work was shaping policy anywhere in Kentucky. Ms. Seiler said she would talk to Dr. Bush and suggested that EAARS may want to have him testify before the committee on current work of the Committee on Mathematics. Dr. Marilyn Troupe, Division Director, Division of Educator Preparation, EPSB, said the EPSB is using the information for strategic planning and for future design of math assessment. Senator Kelly said he is glad the EPSB is using the information, but he thought the information was to be used for identifying proposed curricula that should be uniform throughout the state. Mr. Michael Miller, Division of Curriculum Development, KDE, said the Committee for Mathematics is working with the group determining common course standards and is having discussion on common course codes and what the content shall be in the high school mathematics courses. Currently, Dr. Bush is using some funds from teacher academies to work on curricula content for Algebra I, Algebra II, and geometry. He said this will potentially be used for end-of-course assessments. He said the issues identified in the mathematics report will be taken before the Kentucky Board of Education for policy action.
Representative Moberly said he is very interested in the UofL study. He said the mathematics committee is continuing to work because the final product is not completed. He asked about Kentucky’s teacher preparation programs and if teachers needed more pedagogical content knowledge to teach mathematics. Dr. Chilton said the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) is an internship program designed to provide assistance to new teachers. Its main goal is to help new teachers experience a successful first year in the classroom. Mr. Robert Brown, EPSB, felt the internship program would address most of Representative Moberly’s issues. Representative Moberly wants the EPSB to be diligent in preparing first year teachers to be successful in the classroom.
Representative Belcher said teachers have the content knowledge but have trouble conveying the information to the students. She asked if there was any work being done to help principals. Dr. Chilton said OEA surveyed the principals and superintendents in high performing and low performing schools and this information will be shared in the third part of the math study. Representative Belcher said she hears a lot about teacher professional development, but not many courses geared towards helping principals to evaluate teachers or be an instructional leader within the school. Dr. Troup said there is a redesign of the principal program currently taking place. She said the Teacher Leader Master’s Program will focus on assisting schools and teachers in the school districts so that principals can focus on being instructional leaders. Dr. Troup said EPSB had a taskforce to look at the math requirements for elementary math teachers. She said it is not so much about the content that teachers are learning but how they apply that content knowledge in the classroom. Representative Belcher said educator preparation programs are wonderful, but she would also like see current principals receive assistance.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.