Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 1st Meeting

of the 2002 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> August 19, 2002

 

The<MeetNo2> 1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> August 19, 2002, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald Neal, R.J. Palmer II, Dan Seum, Robert Stivers, Johnny Ray Turner, Jack Westwood, and Ed Worley; Representatives Larry Belcher, Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, Barbara White Colter, Jon Draud, Tim Feeley, Gippy Graham, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly, Russ Mobley, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, Dottie Sims, Kathy Stein, Gary Tapp, Jim Thompson, Mark Treesh, and Charles Walton.

 

Guests:†† Phillip Rogers and Chela Kaplan, Educational Professional Standards Board; Mike Leadingham and Charles Hall, Kentucky Department of Education; Nancy Black, Finance Cabinet; Emil Jezik, Greg Higgins, and Tony Nunn, Workforce Development Cabinet; Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee; Tony Sholar, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Peter Hasselbacher, University of Louisville, and Dennis Taulbee, Council on Postsecondary Education.

 

LRC Staff:† Sandra Deaton, Audrey Carr, Ethel Alston, Kelley McQuerry, and Lisa Moore.

 

Representative Rasche introduced the new members of the Interim Joint Committee on Education including Senator Ray Jones II, Senator R.J. Palmer II, and Senator Ed Worley.

 

A motion was made to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2001 meeting by Representative Collins and seconded by Representative Treesh.† The motion was approved by voice vote.

 

Senator Jack Westwood gave a brief report on the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education.† The subcommittee heard from Dr. Michael McCall, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and Ms. Cynthia Read, board chair, KCTCS, as well as Dr. Barbara Ashley, Executive Director, Kentucky Community College Faculty Alliance, and Mr. Charles Wells, Executive Director, AFT of Kentucky.† Senator Westwood reported that the subcommittee also heard from Dr. James Applegate, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Council on Postsecondary Education, on the P-16 council who described the work of the council at the state level.† Mr. Roger Brady, Superintendent, Campbell County Schools, discussed what P-16 councils are doing at the local level.

 

Representative Jim Thompson reported on the Subcommittee on the Teaching Profession† which is following the mandate of House Bill 402 to study the teacher and principal intern programs.† He said the subcommittee heard the Educational Professional Standards Boardís testimony on the successes and shortcomings of both of these programs and the subject will continue to be analyzed over the upcoming months.

 

Senator Vernie McGaha reported on the Subcommittee on Vocational Education.† He said they discussed the funding mechanisms for the state owned and locally owned vocational/technical schools.† Senator McGaha said they are looking at inequities in funding mechanisms in response to House Bill 185 which was passed in the 2001 session.† He also said a large component for the subcommitteeís study was assessment and accountability of those students who are attending these vocational/technical schools.† He said the Department of Education and the Cabinet for Workforce Development have made great strides in creating an accountability system for these schools.† Senator McGaha said the vocational/technical school enrollments have increased by 4,000 this school year.† He also said the study work schedule was revised.

 

Representative Rasche introduced Dr. Joe McCormick to review Executive Orders 2002-848 and 2002-849 relating to the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.† Dr. McCormick introduced the chair of Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), Mr. Albert A. Kirkpatrick, and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporationís (KHESLC) Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Jim A. Jackson.† Dr. McCormick gave background information on KHEAA including its establishment in 1966 to provide administration of state programs of student financial aid for Kentucky.† He said it consisted of ten board members, seven of which were appointed, and three ex officio members.†† Dr. McCormick said KHESLC consisted of eleven board members, eight of which were appointed, and three ex officio members.† He said both organizations have similar missions.† KHEAA currently has 240 employees while KHESLC has 140 employees.†

 

Dr. McCormick said that when he began in October of 2001 both boards had formed a committee to discuss the possibility of a merger of the boards.† He said they submitted a plan to Governor Patton in May of 2002 and Governor Patton issued an Executive Order in July of 2002 that simply appointed all of the members of the KHEAA board to the KHESLC board and in turn appointed all members of the KHESLC board to the KHEAA board.† The result is a total of 19 board members.† There are currently three vacancies on the board.†

 

Dr. McCormick said the objectives of the merger included 1) to ensure the current operations and legal status of both KHESLC and KHEAA would remain intact and there would be no changes to that structure; 2) to improve the management effectiveness of both entities by continuing to encourage sharing of resources; and 3) to provide a common stake in the mission for both boards in the mutual success of both organizations sharing common missions and related programs.†

 

Representative Rasche introduced Emil Jezik and Greg Higgins of the Cabinet for Workforce Development to review Executive Order 2002-903 relating to the Workforce Development Cabinet.

 

Mr. Jezik explained that the executive order for the reorganization of the Cabinet for Workforce Development abolishes the State Board for Adult and Technical Education. He said it establishes the new Kentucky Technical Education Personnel Board which will meet as necessary to conduct personnel appeals under KRS Chapter 151B.† Mr. Jezik said the new entity would be attached for administrative, budgetary, and support services to the Office of the Secretary.

 

Mr. Jezik said the State Board for Adult and Technical Educationís duties have changed in part because of two new laws.† He said as a result of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) assumed administrative control of the 26 postsecondary technical institutions formerly governed by the State Board for Adult and Technical Education.† Mr. Jezik also said Senate Bill 1, effective July 14, 2000, affected the duties of the State Board for Adult and Technical Education.† He said the boardís responsibilities relating to literacy issues no longer existed after passage of Senate Bill 1.†

 

Mr. Higgins introduced Ms. Nancy Black, Division of Occupations and Professions, Finance and Administration Cabinet, to discuss Executive Order 2002-904 relating to the State Board for Proprietary Education.

 

Ms. Black explained that this executive order relocates the State Board for Proprietary Education from within the Cabinet of Workforce Development to the Finance and Administration Cabinet under the Division of Occupations and Professions.†

 

Ms. Black said the State Board for Proprietary Education was created in 1974 by the General Assembly and from that time it has established a close relationship with the Division of Occupations and Professions.† She said all staff support was provided to the board from the Division of Occupations and Professions even though they did have their own executive director.† Ms. Black said the executive director has left and it was decided between the Cabinet for Workforce Development and Finance and Administration Cabinet that this position should fall into the Division of Occupations and Professions.

 

A motion was made to accept the executive orders by Representative Collins and seconded by Representative Belcher.† The motion was approved by voice vote.

 

Representative Rasche introduced Gene Wilhoit, Commissioner of Education, Department of Education, who discussed the Enterprise Data System (MAX) and Software Technology, Inc. (STI).†

 

Mr. Wilhoit discussed mechanisms for reducing paperwork.† He said the Kentucky Board of Education can waive any board regulation for a school district if an alternative approach can produce the same results as the board regulation.† Mr. Wilhoit said few districts have taken advantage of this, but at least it is in place if a district feels they need it.† Mr. Wilhoit said there is a waiver process for high performing schools that will begin in the fall of 2002.† He said, finally, the local superintendentís advisory council meets prior to every State Board meeting and reports to the Department of Education after reviewing each regulation at least twice. †This process has helped to facilitate conversations with the superintendents about what they determine to be excessive regulations.†

 

Mr. Wilhoit said the one area that continues to be a problem with paperwork is special education.† He said the Office of Education Accountability has administered a study on paperwork and he also said state administrative regulations have been revised to mirror the federal regulations.† Mr. Wilhoit said procedures have been reduced as a result of the decreased state regulations, but there is an ample amount of paperwork that has to be completed with the individual case management activities at the school building level that are related to the legal environment we are living in.

 

Mr. Wilhoit said duplication has been eliminated for planning and funding by the use of one process called the comprehensive plan.† He said this reduces the amount of reporting required and the districts seem to like it as they get more acquainted with the system.

Mr. Wilhoit said technology was another way the Department of Education is reducing paperwork duplication and it helps deliver information to policy makers to help them make effective decisions.† He said the Enterprise Data System (MAX) system is being implemented in order to gather valuable information that has been collected over a period of time.† Mr. Wilhoit said the MAX system will include a database that combines data from the Educational Professional Standard Board and the Department of Education.† He also said this data system will be essential in providing information to legislators and for federal reporting purposes.† He said there will be local district access and public access to the database information, but the information will be screened and filtered so that the public cannot see confidential data.† Mr. Wilhoit† said the system provides a virtual database transparent to users, eliminates redundancy, improves reliability of data, combines numerous systems, allows analysis of statewide data, improves accuracy in timelines, shares data across organizational lines for decision making, collects data as a by-product of daily procedural activities, and allows analysis of school district and statewide data.

 

Mr. Wilhoit introduced David Couch, Associate Commissioner, Office of Education. ††He said the Department of Education identified over 800 databases in the system that did not communicate with each other.†

 

Mr. Couch said the MAX system is designed to be user friendly.† He said the main purpose of the MAX system is for schools to determine their status and show comparison of their schools to other schools in the district.† He emphasized that the current MAX system is not the final product, but will be modified based on customer recommendations for functionality.† He explained the customers as being the public, parents, teachers, community members, principals, and superintendents.† Mr. Couch said the MAX system has different levels of security and has the capability of performing exports which allow users to interpret data as spreadsheets or in graphical displays instead of text.

 

Mr. Couch introduced Pashia R. Staton, Director of Pupil Personnel, Bath County Public Schools and Tom Shelton, Finance and Business Officer, Daviess County Public Schools to talk about STI.† Mr. Couch explained that STI and MUNIS (administrative data system) are the primary ways to collect data.

 

Ms. Staton said STI has made accessibility to student records miraculous.† She gave a demonstration of STI and showed members the actual system and screens.† She also said STI ties together records for the district level, school level, and classroom level.† Ms. Staton also mentioned STI Home which allows parents to access their childís records with a pin number to view data such as grades, discipline, attendance, and schedules.

 

Mr. Shelton commented the Department of Education is establishing STI as the primary vehicle of collecting data for all school districts and within other agencies of state government as well.† He explained this is an effort to stop asking the districts for the same information repeatedly.

 

Ms. Staton said STI has impacted student data management for small, rural areas that allows them to collect and analyze data the same as any other district in Kentucky.† She said STI is also very effective in accessing new student records immediately when a child transfers into the school system from another district.

 

Representative Feeley asked about teachers using a separate identification number other than the childís social security number to access student records on the STI system.† Ms. Staton explained that normally a childís social security number is used unless the parents specifically request otherwise and then a generic identification number is assigned to that student that is consistent statewide.† Representative Feeley asked if STI was capable of figuring weighted grade point averages for Advanced Placement students.† Ms. Staton said the information in the system is flexible enough to perform weighted grade point averages and it does so for Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) students.

 

Representative Walton inquired if schools use the grade book program offered by STI in the primary schools.† Ms. Staton said few districts actually have grade book up and running because of the skills-based instruction, but guidelines are currently being developed.† Representative Walton feels the STI lesson planner is geared toward the middle and high schools.† Ms. Staton said grade schools utilized the STI lesson planner for the first time this year and teachers are currently receiving training on how to use it.

 

Representative Rasche asked about a feedback loop to STI if schools were not satisfied with the level for grade schools.† Mr. Couch said the STI help desk is available to help users with STI questions and users can communicate via channels in the system to add additional functionalities.

 

Senator Neal asked how parents can access teacher lesson plans.† Ms. Staton said parents can access STI from home and receive information including teacher notes specifying a specific childís problems.† She also said that if parents did not have access to a computer they could obtain the information through a telephone link.† Ms. Staton said STI is both parent and teacher driven and the personal telephone located at the teacherís desk is wonderful for parents and teachers to communicate.

 

Senator Stivers asked how many school systems currently utilize the STI system and he asked what the cost was of implementing the system.† Mr. Couch said 175 schools systems have the basic, advanced, and a special education piece.† He said the cost of implementing STI was $11,000 per school district which totaled $1,925,000.† Sen. Stivers said schools are short of money and are constantly having fund raisers to buy basic things such as art supplies and he is curious how Kentucky can justify this huge expenditure.† Senator Stivers asked the panel to explain how STI facilitates the basic teaching of children.† Mr. Wilhoit said the implementation of STI allows the teacher to have more time and energy to deal directly with the child.† He said it provides support to move us forward, but it does not alleviate the problem of a lack of support for other school needs.† Senator Stivers asked for some data that the system works such as student grades improving or a reduction of central office staff due to minimized administrative duties thus resulting in a cost savings for a school.† Mr. Wilhoit said it is too early to analyze that type of data with this system, but administrators will be collecting that information.† He said STI will redirect resources that were being used for other purposes, and it may reduce central office staff resulting in a savings.† Senator Stivers asked to see a cost analysis for STI because of current budgetary constraints and criticisms Kentucky schools receive over reduction of staff and lack of supplies.†† Ms. Staton commented that STI allows the teacher to have immediate access to student test scores or special needs instructions without the teacher having to leave the classroom to pull student records from a file folder and thus allows the teacher more time to actually teach.

 

Representative Colter asked about the time it takes teachers to enter all of this information into the computer.† Ms. Staton said the attendance clerks enter in all student demographic information, and teachers enter in lesson plans and grades which they would have had to write on paper anyway.† Ms. Colter noted that teachers need to be very familiar with computers and Ms. Staton said the teachers love using the technology as they become more familiar with it.† Ms. Staton said the teacherís evaluation is tied to how well they use the STI system which is a powerful incentive to use the system correctly.

 

Representative Rasche asked if teachers could enter their data from home.† Ms. Staton said teachers can enter in lesson plans, grades, and any other data from home.

 

Representative Meeks asked if students could put their portfolio material in student files on this system and also asked about continued functionality of this program.† He also discussed the possibility of counselors having access to student files and students being able to obtain scholarship information from the system.† Ms. Staton said all counselors could readily obtain the information just as teachers or principals.† She said STI is currently addressing a module to allow student work to be displayed, but it is not functional at this point.† Mr. Wilhoit said job placement information and higher education opportunities for students is possible to place in this system.† He said the Department of Education is in negotiations with the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority to put on-line a counselor program so that students and parents can explore options within the state.

 

Senator Kerr inquired how the general public can be made aware of the STI Home program.† Mr. Wilhoit said there will be a full-blown media blitz this fall for the program because it was only this month that STI Home became functional.† He said information will also be distributed to the teachers so they can discuss it with the parents.

 

Representative Draud commended the panel for their role in the implementation of STI.† He asked if there are current data available on how many Kentuckians have accessibility to the program when the current statistic is that only fifty percent of Kentuckians own computers.† Mr. Couch said Kentucky is not technologically advanced compared to other states and thus the reason for the module utilizing the dial-up on the telephone.† He said Kentucky does have a high percentage of people with telephones and people can also access computers at the local public library.

 

†Senator Turner praised STI as he used it personally and found obtaining grade and attendance reports to be at his immediate access at all times.

 

Mr. Shelton explained MUNIS, the financial management system used in 175 districts.† He said MUNIS allows a lot of flexibility, but the biggest advantage is the consistency in statewide and local reporting.† He also said other primary benefits of the MUNIS system include a consistent chart of accounts, distributed purchase order processing, payroll funding allocations, and personnel information.† Mr. Shelton said that consistent reporting allows the board of education to make better decisions in allocating resources.†

 

Representative Feeley asked what other states were looking at the STI and MUNIS models.† Mr. Shelton said STI is being used in southern states including Louisiana and Mississippi.† He said MUNIS was originally developed to use in large governments.

 

Representative Moberly asked how many districts were utilizing the MUNIS system and Mr. Shelton said 175 out of 176 districts.† He said Jefferson County was the one system not utilizing MUNIS.†

 

Mr. Wilhoit reminded the members that MAX is not a new system, but a place for the STI and MUNIS information to reside.† He said MAX will give administrators the power to look across these databases which will include teacher information and student achievement data.† Mr. Wilhoit said this system has placed a premium on reporting with accuracy because the data are only as good as the information entered in the system.

 

Dr. Susan Leib, Executive Director, Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), gave a presentation on the goals and 2000-2002 initiatives for EPSB.† Dr. Leib said EPSB was made an independent agency in 2000 by executive order of the Governor.† She referred the members to the status report in their folders, which includes all of EPSBís goals and 2000-2002 initiatives.

 

Dr. Leib discussed accreditation and said institutions are now enabled to submit their data electronically on people entering a teacher preparation program, and will also be able to make reports electronically on the exit data.† Dr. Leib said the Kentucky Educator Preparation Program (KEPP) report card, emphasizing output measures (e.g., PRAXIS scores, internship results, and student/employer satisfaction surveys) is now available on the EPSB web page.

 

Dr. Leib said the second goal of EPSB is to increase the number of minority teachers and administrators in Kentucky.† She said EPSB works very closely with the Department of Education in the recruitment of teachers.† Dr. Leib said alternative routes to certification are very effective in recruiting minorities.†

 

Dr. Leib said another goal for EPSB is that a properly credentialed person shall staff every professional position in Kentuckyís public schools.† She said the new databases help significantly in the tracking of certificates and to immediately identify people teaching without a certificate.† Dr. Leib said the turn around time for certificate processing had historically been eight to twelve weeks, and currently it is two days.† She said we currently have 145 nationally certified personnel.

 

Dr. Leib said other goals for EPSB include every beginning teacher, principal, and assistant principal shall successfully complete a guided transition into the profession; every teacher and administrator shall maintain the standards of the profession; research and development activities shall be undertaken as appropriate, to assist in the accomplishment of EPSB responsibilities and goals; and the efficient and effective operation of the board and its staff shall be facilitated via the provision of adequate staffing, technological support, facilities, and financial resources.

Senator Westwood asked about a report made to the federal government about the teacher preparation program that said Kentucky is doing a great job preparing teachers, but there was criticism received from the federal government that teacher preparation is not tied in with student curriculum needs.† Dr. Lieb disagrees with the federal government and says EPSB will address the issue.† She said that particular report did not take into consideration that EPSBís standards are based on the standards in the P-12 schools.† Dr. Lieb said the federal government has been notified and they have been working with EPSB to redefine how they answered the teacher preparation and school curriculum question.

Mary Ellen Weiderwohl, Legislative & Public Relations, and Terry Hibpshman, Director of Technology, Education Professional Standards Board, demonstrated an on-line presentation of EPSBís role in the MAX system.† Ms. Weiderwohl said EPSBís motto on data is that you collect it in one place at one time.† She also said the data they collect is an offspring of STI and MUNIS so that EPSB is not asking for the same information again.† Ms. Weiderwohl also said quality of instruction is the most important factor in student achievement and EPSB is focused in that area.

Mr. Hibpshman discussed Teacher Certification Inquiry (TCI) and explained that this is a web-based screen allowing school districts and the public-at-large to look up a teacherís credentials and what they are allowed to teach.† Ms. Weiderwohl explained that this link is available from EPSBís main web site.

Ms. Weiderwohl said the electronic/web-based formats for Intern Performance Record (IPR) and resource teacher timesheet will be available on-line in the fall of 2002.† She said the new timesheet will directly tie back the number of hours spent in the mandatory 50 hours of out-of-class time back to each standard.

Ms. Weiderwohl discussed some new numbers in teacher retention.† She noted that many qualified teachers are leaving at the 27 year mark, and if EPSB could save just twenty percent of people leaving at 27 years and keep them until at least 30 years through incentives, this would drastically cut down on the number of emergency certificates issued.† Mr. Hibpshman noted the methodology for analyzing teacher attrition was actually obtained through a contractor and it was developed to look at the long-term future.† He said this system can give you information based on teacher experience, content area, district, school, etc.† He also said the trend of teachers leaving the field points towards those in art, music, and foreign languages.

Representative Moberly asked if EPSB can produce aggregate data on characteristics of teachers who are teaching under emergency certificates.† Ms. Weiderwohl said they could provide data on characteristics, but they are limited on reporting on teacher specific major and minors.† She said they could answer the question of how many middle school teachers have the K-8 certification.

Representative Rasche asked Mr. Wilhoit about the timetable for the regulations on the World War II veteran programs.† Mr. Wilhoit said the state board will meet the first week of October and he anticipates no problems with it.

†Representative Rasche read a resolution in honor of Sandra L. Deaton.† A motion was made to adopt the resolution by Senator Casebier and seconded by Representative Collins.† The motion was approved by voice vote.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.