Call to Order and Roll Call
Themeeting of the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee was held on Monday, December 12, 2011, at 10:00 AM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Jack Westwood, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jack Westwood, Co-Chair; Representative Ted Edmonds, Co-Chair; Senators Vernie McGaha, Gerald A. Neal, and Ken Winters; Representatives Linda Belcher, Bill Farmer, and Mary Lou Marzian.
Legislative Guest: Representative Derrick Graham.
Guests: Logan Eckler and Kent Johnson, Western Kentucky University and Gatton Academy; Laura McGee, Western Kentucky University; Emanuel Anama, Jackson County High School; Keith White, Office of Education Accountability; Karen Dayley, Rebecca Bright, Robert Duncan, Lauren Moore, LaTonya Bell, Karen Conway, and Bill Bohanan, Kentucky Department of Education; Jacklyn Waddle, KWLA/Middleburg Languages; Linda Beck, Fayette County Schools; Jim Thompson, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet; Phil Shepherd, KCAE; Jonathan Lowe, Jefferson County Public Schools; Roger Marcum, Kentucky Board of Education, Sue Cain, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education; John Foster; and Crystal Dempsey-Gillum; Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
Adopt Minutes of November 15, 2011, Meeting
Senator McGaha moved to adopt the minutes from the November 15, 2011, meeting, and Senator Winters seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Review of Administrative Regulations:
703 KAR 5:200 Next Generation Learners
703 KAR 5:230 Next Generation Instructional Programs and Support
Senator Westwood moved to postpone the review of the administrative regulations until January 2012. He said according to KRS 13A, the amendments initiated by an agency are required to be filed at least five days prior to the subcommittee meeting. He noted the subcommittee members received the amendments to the regulations on Saturday, December 10, 2012, and this does not meet the five day requirement.
Representative Edmonds asked if a suspension of the five day rule was in order. Senator Westwood said he was not comfortable in doing so since members had limited time to review the amendments.
Dr. Terry Holliday, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), said he felt the administrative regulations should move forward because the amendments in question were Legislative Research Commission (LRC) staff amendments and not KDE amendments. He expressed concern with the chair’s ruling as input was received on the administrative regulations from the Office of Education Accountability (OEA), the Local Superintendent Advisory Council (LSAC), the School Curriculum Assessment and Advisory Council (SCAAC), and the National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability (NTAPAA). The regulations incorporated over 125 technical amendments by LRC staff.
After consultation with LRC staff, Senator Westwood responded that the subcommittee must have agreement with the KDE to defer the administrative regulations. After conferring with Kevin Brown, general counsel of the KDE, Dr. Holliday agreed to defer the review of the administrative regulations until January 2012. Senator McGaha moved to defer the review of the regulations, and Senator Winters seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
The following people spoke in favor of the world language component in 703 KAR 5:230: Logan Eckler, Kent Johnson, Dr. Laura McGee, Emmanuel Anama, Jacklyn Waddle, Linda Beck, and John Foster.
Representative Edmonds moved to ask Dr. Holliday to reconsider his agreement to defer the review of the administrative regulations until January 2012, and Representative Marzian seconded the motion. The motion passed. Dr. Holliday reconsidered his position to defer on the basis that the amendments in question were LRC staff amendments and not KDE amendments.
Senator Westwood said Senate Bill 1 (2009 Regular Session) did not require world language as part of the accountability system. Dr. Holliday said the statute gives the board some flexibility in implementing its accountability system. If the same logic followed, the college readiness and student growth components would also have to be removed from the accountability system.
Donna Little, LRC staff, explained the amendments to the regulations. Representative Edmonds moved to accept the amendments to administrative regulations 703 KAR 5:200 and 703 KAR 5:230, and Representative Marzian seconded the motion.
Senator Winters distributed a document that included a statement on his motion to find the administrative regulations deficient. In accordance with KRS 13A.120, he moved to find administrative regulations 703 KAR 5:200 and 703 KAR 5:230 deficient, and Senator McGaha seconded the motion. Representative Edmonds asked to vote on his original motion. On a roll call vote, the motion to accept the amendments carried with 5 yeas, 0 nays, and 0 passes.
Ms. Little explained that subcommittees cannot approve administrative regulations, but can find them deficient. Senator Winters moved to find administrative regulations 703 KAR 5:200 and 703 KAR 5:230 deficient, and Senator McGaha seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, the motion failed with 3 yeas, 3 nays, and 0 passes.
Representative Edmonds moved to accept the administrative regulations, as amended, and Representative Marzian seconded the motion. The motion carried on a roll call vote of 5 yeas, 3 nays, and 0 passes.
Office of Education Accountability’s Proposed 2012 Study Agenda
Ms. Marcia Ford Seiler, Director, OEA, said pursuant to KRS 7.410, the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS) is to approve an annual study agenda for the OEA. After consideration of issues brought forward by OEA staff and other EAARS members, it was proposed that three studies be approved as the 2012 research agenda. These include: a review of the teacher shortage area, a review of virtual learning, and a review of data systems security. In addition to the three studies, OEA will prepare the annual District Data Profiles. She said because the state rankings change only slightly from one year to the next, OEA will produce the Compendium of Education Rankings only every two years. Therefore, the next Compendium will be produced in 2013.
Representative Marzian moved to accept OEA’s 2012 study agenda, and Representative Edmonds seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote.
Office of Education Accountability’s Report “On-Behalf Payments”
Ms. Sabrina Olds, Research Analyst, OEA, said comprehensive accounting of state and district education revenue is necessary to provide policy makers and the public with accurate profiles of revenue at the national, state, and local levels. District annual financial reports (AFRs) are the primary source of data for district revenue and are also used to calculate total state revenue as reported to the federal government. She said this study identifies revenue that has not been reported on AFRs in the past and revenue inconsistently reported among districts. It focuses on two broad sources of revenue: on-behalf payments and local activity funds. On-behalf payments are those made by the KDE and other entities on behalf of local school districts. The majority of state on-behalf payments are for teacher retirement and health benefits. Local activity funds are revenues collected locally for functions such as textbook rental, athletics, and student clubs.
Ms. Olds said federal guidelines outlined by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) require reporting of both on-behalf payments and local activity fund revenue on district AFRs. She said KDE requires districts to report the majority of state on-behalf payments but does not require districts to report local activity funds, technology-related on-behalf payments, or debt service on-behalf payments made by the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC). In 2010, local activity funds totaled $184 million. On-behalf payments totaled $1.6 billion, $120 million of which were technology and SFCC-related payments.
Ms. Olds said the study provides a more comprehensive accounting of total and state district revenue than has been provided in the past. In conducting the study, staff analyzed fiscal year 2006 through 2010 AFR data as well as additional data for revenue not reported or reported inconsistently on AFRs in those years. The study identifies two additional sources of revenue that are required by NCES but not reported or underreported on AFRs: federally donated commodities; and local contributions and donations from private sources such as parent teacher organizations and booster clubs. However, staff was not able to capture these revenues as comprehensive data are not available.
Ms. Olds concluded that the study also described in detail discrepancies or omissions identified by staff in the way that districts are recording revenue on AFRs. Six recommendations are made on steps that can be taken by KDE to ensure more comprehensive and consistent reporting of revenue in the future. OEA has made similar recommendations in two previous reports. In response, KDE has updated the chart of accounts to mirror NCES standards but has not yet taken the steps necessary to ensure that total revenue is accurately recorded and reported. A complete list of the recommendations and the full report is in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library.
In response to a question from Representative Farmer, Ms. Olds said in addition to booster clubs, that several schools have obtained a gaming license to run bingo programs.
Responding to Senator Westwood, Ms. Olds said the KDE is supposed to acquire the technology to track the AFRs in the MUNIS system. She will send him the data that was collected in 2008 from the School Fees and Dues study. She noted a wealthy school district could receive more money because of having fewer free and reduced lunch students. A poorer district has to waive those requirements for students who receive free and reduced lunch and are unable to collect the revenue that wealthier districts get from school fees, dues, and activity funds. Ms. Seiler said it would be interesting to compare the booster club, Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) revenues, but KDE has yet to address the issue.
In response to questions from Representative Belcher, Ms. Olds said the OEA recommended accounting changes to the KDE, but they have yet to implement due to cuts in staffing. She said there are no requirements to report earnings made by PTA/PTO’s. However, the red book requires that booster clubs report to the high school or school entity what the AFR end-of-year revenue receipts and expenditures total.
Office of Education Accountability’s Report “Funding Equity”
Ms. Pam Young, Research Analyst, OEA, said that in January 2008, the OEA presented the 2007 School Finance Report to the EAARS. That report primarily focused on school districts’ local and state revenues, but also included federal revenues, for fiscal year 1990 through 2006. This current report reflects the addition of data for fiscal years 2007 through 2010.
Ms. Young said the report begins with an explanation of the methodologies used to examine equity in school finance. Local and state combined revenues are then analyzed. The sources of school district revenue are then disaggregated, and the next three sections of the study discuss local, state, and federal revenues, respectively. The final revenue analysis section of the report discusses total district revenue.
Ms. Young said the equity of local and state revenue is examined using quintile analysis, coefficient of variation, Gini Coefficient, and Comparable Wage Index. OEA’s finance reports have historically examined the level of equity among school districts in available revenue through a method by which school districts are placed in five groupings, or quintiles, based upon the district’s per-pupil local property assessment. The coefficient of variation is a measure of how much variation exists in districts’ per-pupil funding. The Gini Coefficient measures the difference between the actual distribution of per-pupil revenue and a perfectly equitable revenue distribution. The Comparable Wage Index is a cost adjustment technique that uses the salaries of college graduates who are not educators to measure regional variations in wages. The resulting data can then be used by researchers to adjust district-level finance data to make resource comparisons across geographic areas. The equity of total revenue, including local, state, and federal is examined using the quintile analysis.
Ms. Young said while analyzing unadjusted dollars using the quintile analysis, the disparity in local and state (combined) revenue and total revenue between property-rich school districts and property-poor districts is now greater than it was pre-Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) in 1990. However, when revenues are adjusted for inflation, the equity gap is less in all years since KERA was enacted.
Ms. Young said two equity measures indicate that Kentucky has met or has been close to meeting equity standards much of the time since KERA was enacted. While the magnitude of the equity gap varies depending upon the method used, all methods consistently show that the equity gap for local and state revenue has been widening in recent years with a slight narrowing in fiscal year 2009.
Ms. Young said the quintile analysis used for total revenue, including local, state, and federal, indicates a slight decrease in the equity gap for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The quintile analysis of total revenue also shows that in fiscal year 2010, the unadjusted equity gap was 12 percent above the 1990 level, but the inflation-adjusted equity gap was 34 percent below the 1990 level. The complete report is in the meeting folder located in the LRC library. Ms. Young will be available to meet with individual legislators if there are further questions.
Office of Education Accountability’s Report “Career and College Readiness”
Dr. Ken Chilton, Research Analyst, OEA, said the P-20 database will permit researchers to gauge the success of Senate Bill (SB) 1, enacted in the 2009 regular session of the General Assembly. He noted this is the first time that career and college readiness has been included in the overall measurements of education effectiveness. SB 1 required the KDE, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), and other stakeholders to cooperate in defining career and college readiness standards. Postsecondary institutions were mandated to increase college completion rates and to decrease the percentage of students who need remedial courses.
Dr. Chilton said the arduous process of interagency data collection and data cleaning needed to produce an accurate initial P-20 cohort is leading to proposed changes in agency level data quality checks. Future P-20 cohorts will include more variables that enable policy makers to track students and their career or postsecondary outcomes. He noted the 2009 cohort could not reliably track students to out-of-state postsecondary institutions, independent and private colleges, the workforce, and the military.
Dr. Chilton said for this study, staff were able to conduct analyses of college readiness by student gender and race, enrollment type (full-time and part-time), and university type (two-year public and four-year public). For each group, an overall college readiness measure was determined. He said overall college readiness is defined as the percentage of students who were college ready at the time of college enrollment, either by ACT exams or university recognized placement tests such as Compass, Kentucky Online Testing placement, or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
Dr. Chilton said Kentucky uses the CPE’s ACT benchmarks that are slightly lower than the readiness scores recommended by ACT. The data show that the different benchmarks, especially in math, make a significant difference in the percentage of high school graduates deemed college ready. The CPE concluded that a lower math benchmark enables more college students to take credit-bearing math classes instead of enrolling students in developmental math classes that do not yield academic credit. Majors in science, technology, engineering, and math must meet higher math benchmark scores to enroll in high level math classes such as Algebra and Calculus.
Dr. Chilton said overall, the 2009 cohort analysis confirms much of what is already known about college readiness. Students enrolled in four-year public institutions had much higher rates of college readiness than two-year public enrollees. The analyses show that females enrolled in postsecondary institutions at higher rates than males, despite higher college readiness levels reported for males. Black students had significantly lower college readiness levels than white students. As additional years of college data are accumulated in the P-20 data set, additional analysis on this cohort can be conducted, providing data on how many students complete their programs and earn degrees.
Dr. Chilton said one concern raised by the report is the need to develop a cohort career and college readiness rate. If career and college readiness is measured only in the graduation year, many students who dropped out of school between their freshmen and senior years are not captured in the measure. He concluded that this report found that nearly one-quarter of the 2009 graduating cohort fell out of the pipeline since their freshmen year. In order to provide a more comprehensive view of college and career readiness in the Commonwealth, the current high school graduate college and career measure should be augmented with a cohort-level readiness rate.
Senator Westwood is hoping the WorkKeys data will provide a more reliable number of students who are college and career ready. He said business and industry has communicated the vast need across the Commonwealth to have young people prepared and trained to enter the workforce and help solve Kentucky’s economic problems.
In response to questions from Senator Neal, Dr. Chilton said CPE does compile high school feedback reports. OEA does not have the ability to produce specific school reports based on the data provided in the P-20 database.
Mr. Brown said KDE has organized a group that will travel across the Commonwealth in the upcoming year to observe best practices at specific schools. Senator Neal would like to be included in the planning of KDE’s group and assist in determining the benchmarks for the project.
Due to the lack of a quorum, Senator Westwood accepted the three OEA reports.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 12:10 PM.