Thefourth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Wednesday, September 5, 2001, at 1:15 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Presiding Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins, Brett Guthrie, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald Neal, Dan Seum, Tim Shaughnessy, Johnny Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Larry Belcher, Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Jack Coleman, Hubert Collins, Barbara White Colter, Jon Draud, Tim Feeley, Gippy Graham, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly, Russ Mobley, Rick Nelson, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, Dottie Sims, Kathy Stein, Gary Tapp, Jim Thompson, and Mark Treesh.
Guests: Bonnie Brinly, Kevin Noland, and Gene Wilhoit, Kentucky Department of Education; Bettie Weyler, Ken Hines, Judith Gambill, Kentucky Education Association; Diana Barber and Linda Renschler, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority; W. Robert Beard, and John Sumansky, Kentucky Council on Economic Education; Sharon Whitworth, Susan Benna, and Sharon Barker, Kentucky Parent Teachers Association; Jackie Dant, Junior Achievement; Marilyn Troupe, Phillip Rogers, Susan Leib, and Mary Ellen Weiderwohl, Education Professional Standards Board; Sissy Cawood, Cabinet for Families and Children; Libby Marshall, Kentucky School Boards Association; Dennis Taulbee, Council on Postsecondary Education; Sandra Short Bush, Kentucky Teacher’s Retirement Systems; Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools; Wayne Young and Mark Carr, Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton, Ethel Alston, Audrey Carr, Evelyn Gibson, Ann Armstrong, and Kelley McQuerry.
A motion was made to approve the minutes from the May 15, 2001 meeting by Representative Collins and seconded by Senator Casebier. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche gave a report on the Subcommittee on Advanced Placement Programs. The subcommittee met on May 15, 2001, to continue its study of advanced placement programs currently available in Kentucky in response to 01 RS SCR 2. He said that Dr. Gordon Davies, President, Council on Postsecondary Education, and Dr. Michael McCall, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System testified before the subcommittee on the Kentucky postsecondary institutions and policies for granting students credit when they have completed advanced placement programs or examinations. He said they also described dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to enroll in college courses while they are still in high school. He said that Dr. McCall provided information about three other collaborative projects between high schools and community colleges and an early outreach program designed to expose elementary and middle school students to careers requiring postsecondary education. Representative Rasche said that Dr. Ed Ford, Deputy Secretary, Governor’s Executive Cabinet, presented the draft report from the National Commission on the High School Senior Year, that is recommending solutions to better utilize student time. He said that Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Education Professional Standards Board, discussed certification and professional development for advanced placement teachers. He also said that Starr Lewis, Michael Miller, and Linda Pittenger, Kentucky Department of Education, discussed the consistency of advanced placement courses at high schools throughout the state.
Representative Collins reported on the Classified Employees Compensation Subcommittee meeting which continued the discussion on issues impacting the status of wages and salaries for classified employees in the local school districts. He said that Dr. Bill Insko, Director of the Division of Assessment Implementation in the Kentucky Department of Education, discussed the distribution of rewards to successful schools under the state assessment and accountability system. Dr. Insko reported that many classified employees were given bonuses from the reward monies, and some schools dedicated a percentage of the reward while others gave a specified amount to each classified employee. Representative Collins said that Dr. Sandy Goodlett, Executive Director of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, provided a report on the salaries of coordinators for centers across the state, and stressed that the key factor to the success of the centers is to allow each to operate in a manner that best serves the community. Representative Collins said that the Education Committee staff presented two reports, one on the average pay differences for classified employees by gender, which showed that female employees outnumber male employees four to one. He said the second report featured preliminary survey findings regarding compensation, benefits, and personnel policies for classified personnel in 129 school districts that responded to the survey. He said that longevity and experience are dominant factors in wages and salary increases and that the cost of living increases were granted to classified employees in 124 of the 129 responding districts. He said that Ms. Betty Watson of the Kentucky Education Support Personnel Association presented responses to a survey on the primary concerns of classified employees.
Representative Moberly reported on the Teacher Compensation Subcommittee. He said that LRC staff presented the preliminary findings of a LRC survey of compensation and benefits from one hundred-twenty nine (129) school districts reporting. He said that very few districts had gone beyond the state mandated cost of living raise for certified employees. He said that some of the districts do provide dental insurance and grant paid personal leave to both classified and certified employees. He said that the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) did a presentation on the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System as compared with other states. He said that Kentucky’s retirement system compares favorably to other states and it was thought to be the best of the surrounding states. He said that information was being gathered as to what percentages of teachers are being lost each year and what can be done to maintain them.
Representative Buckingham reported on the Subcommittee on Vocational Education that was held May 15, 2001. The Commissioner of the Department for Technical Education gave a presentation on budgeting and funding for the area vocational centers that comes from state general funds and the Support Educational Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) program dollars that are appropriated for secondary schools. He said that the Superintendent of Union County Schools addressed the subcommittee about the inequities that have occurred over the years between locally operated and state operated schools. He said that prior to 1990, all programs were funded though the Foundation Program but are now funded through SEEK. He said that the Workforce Development Cabinet operated and funded state schools with a combination of general fund appropriations and an allocation in the SEEK program, and local districts were funded by the SEEK formula.
Representative Siler made a motion to approve a resolution directing the Interim Joint Committee on Education to adjourn in loving memory and honor of Cawood Ledford. The motion was seconded by Representative Collins, and the motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Dennis Taulbee, General Counsel, Council on Postsecondary Education, to give a brief explanation of 13 KAR 2:090. The regulation was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Diana Barber, General Counsel, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, to give a brief description of 11 KAR 16:010. The regulation was approved be voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Director of Legislative & Public Relations, Education Professional Standards Board, to give a brief description of 704 KAR 20:060, 704 KAR 20:750, and 704 KAR 20:760. The regulations were approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Jeff Jagnow, Department for Adult Education & Literacy, to give a brief description of 785 KAR 1:120. The regulation was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche said that HCR 82 adopted during the 2000 Regular Session directed the committee to study the need for promoting economic education in public schools. He introduced Starr Lewis, Associate Commissioner for Academic & Professional Development, and Marcia Lile, Social Studies Consultant, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Ms. Lile said that economics is one of the five strands that has been identified in Kentucky as part of the social studies program and is included in the Program of Studies. She said that consumer economics is also addressed in the practical living vocational studies area. She said that in social studies the economic content is divided into the four major concept areas of scarcity, economic systems and institutions, markets and production distribution, and consumption. She said that these are the areas that are assessed on the state core content test. She said that practical living is more targeted to consumer economics where the students are taught to access consumer information, compare products and services, and learn how people rely on services and resources through private, public, and volunteering agencies. She said that KDE, in collaboration with the Council on Economic Education, produced a document called “Steps” that helps teachers correlate what they are to teach with different programs and activities.
Ms. Lile said that curriculum decisions are made at the local level. She said that at the primary and elementary level the curriculum is addressed in a variety of ways. She said that at the middle school level, economics is sometimes taught as a separate area of study and it is sometimes difficult to integrate into the required courses. She said that at the high school level economics is sometimes taught as a part of a ninth grade course like geography, government, or civics. She said that economics is also an integrated part of modern world and US history. She said that the Kentucky Virtual High School also offers economics courses.
Representative Rasche introduced Dr. Susan Leib, Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board. Ms. Leib introduced Dr. Phillip Rogers, Director of the Division of Testing and Research, and Dr. Marilyn Troupe, Director of the Division of Educator Preparation and Internship, both for the Education Professional Standards Board. Dr. Leib said that all the work of EPSB, both in the certification of teachers and the preparation programs, is based on what the Kentucky Board of Education does relative to the core content. She said that an integrated social studies certificate is given for economics, US history, world history, and geography. She said that in Kentucky, all the university teacher preparation programs must be accredited by ESPB and they may also choose to be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). She said that ESPB has also adopted the NCATE standards. Dr. Phillip Rogers reported on the Praxis test and the different types of tests and the types of questions that are asked. Dr. Marilyn Troupe said that there are centers for economic education on seven of our public institution campuses and three of the independent institution campuses. She said that Western Kentucky University includes professional development for teachers during the summer. She said a partnership with 15 schools in the area where they do the stock market game annually to help students learn about economics education. She said that materials are provided to teachers to help with lesson planning.
Representative Rasche asked if economics is taught in agriculture courses. Dr. Leib said they did not have that information, but that consumer education is often found in the health classes. Representative Rasche asked what plant biology had to do with economics. Dr. Troupe said that in plant biology, they learn about the plant industry.
Representative Miller asked if the PRAXIS test results for special education and math teachers results are available. Dr. Rogers said that the Kentucky Educator Report Card would be available on the website on September 15, 2001. In response to a question from Representative Miller, Dr. Lieb said that there is integrated science certificate that combines all the physical science together and all the biological sciences under another certificate. In response to a question about the PRAXIS test, Dr. Rogers said that the people who are not successful in passing the test have not been prepared to take the test. Representative Graham asked how long the integrated social studies format had been in place. Dr. Leib said that it had been integrated for about four or five years.
Representative Rasche introduced Todd Leatherman, Attorney General’s office. Mr. Leatherman said that the Consumer Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Patton, has discussed consumer education as an issue. The council has been meeting with professionals from the University of Kentucky and with the Department of Education to learn about issues concerning consumer education in order to develop recommendations that the council may want to forward on to the legislature in the upcoming session. Senator Westwood asked if consumer fraud is a component of consumer education. Mr. Leatherman said the consumer advisory committee is still gathering information on consumer education. Senator Westwood said that a consumer fraud issue had came up in the past sessions, and it would be good to teach the students about it.
Representative Rasche introduced Dr. John Sumansky, President, and Mr. Robert Beard, Board Member, Kentucky Council on Economic Education. Mr. Beard said that the council is the Kentucky affiliate for the National Council on Economic Education which is fifty years old. He said that teachers in elementary and middle school need to integrate economic education into the core content for Kentucky schools. He said that the recent inclusion of economic questions in the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System for social studies and practical living has started to address Kentucky’s deficiency in providing economic education. He said that a recent national test has shown that both adults and students have failed when asked questions about basic economic knowledge. He said that the Kentucky council wants to continue to provide teachers with the tools and the knowledge to teach practical economics. He said in order to continue this effort the assistance of the committee is needed.
Dr. Sumansky said that recent education research has given Kentucky high marks for staying the course for standards and tests. He said that economics is scheduled to be tested by the National Assessment of Education Progress in 2004 and we will then find out how Kentucky compares to other states. He said that teachers will be asked to do more and need to be provided with the training, tools, and support they need to help all students reach high standards. He said that teacher quality is the number one factor in student achievement. He said that all Kentucky teachers need help in integrating economics into their curriculum through professional development programs and materials development aligned with state standards, research, and evaluation.
Dr. Sumansky recommended that the legislature give special status to the Council on Economics Education by creating a public/private partnership and making the council the official clearinghouse and trainer for economic education. He said that Kentucky needs more training centers for equal access all over the state, to raise test scores in poor performing schools, to invest in technologies, to strengthen the entire economics curriculum, and to require not only integration but coordination in the instruction of economics.
Representative Treesch asked to what degree the curriculum for economic education has actually been taught in Kentucky. Mr. Sumansky said that within the social studies curriculum there is much going on. He said that is it one of five strands in social studies. He said that the standards and the testing has driven the economics to where it needs to go in social studies. Mr. Beard said that the Kentucky council has records of the number of teachers that have gone through the degree programs at the nine economic centers and the continuing education programs and that have attended workshops. Representative Treesch asked if the testing was being given at the higher grades. Mr. Sumansky said that in grades five, eight, and eleven there is economic content on the tests. Representative Treesch asked what level it should be taught. Mr. Sumansky said that the focus should be at higher grades.
Representative Rasche asked Ms. Starr Lewis what the overall rank in Advanced Placement courses in economics is. Ms. Lewis said that it was significantly lower than the national average.
Representative Feeley asked if there are any programs in the state that allow business leaders or community leaders to go into the high schools one day a week for an hour to teach a class on economics. Mr. Sumansky said that there are many programs that offer that option.
Representative Rasche reminded the committee members that the next meeting would be October 1, 2001.
With no further business the meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.