Thefourth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, November 8, 2004, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Lindy Casebier, 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 Brett Guthrie, David K. Karem, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald Neal, R.J. Palmer II, Dan Seum, Gary Tapp, Jack Westwood, and David L. Williams; Representatives Buddy Buckingham, Mike Cherry, Jon Draud, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C.B. Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Tim Feeley, Derrick Graham, Mary Harper, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Arnold Simpson, Dottie Sims, Kathy Stein, Jim Thompson, and Charles Walton.
Guests: Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Beverly Haverstock, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS); Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools; Rhonda Caldwell, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; and Diana Barber and Tim Phelps, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Janet Stevens, Jonathan Lowe, Sandy Deaton, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Buckingham made a motion to approve the August 9, 2004, minutes, and Representative Cherry seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote. Representative Thompson made a motion to approve the minutes from the August 25, 2004, and September 13, 2004, meetings, and Representative Buckingham seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote. Senator Casebier welcomed the Honorable Ernie Fletcher, Governor of Kentucky, who presented his for the state of Kentucky. The Governor paid a tribute to Senator Karem for his immense passion for education and his leadership on the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA).
The Governor presented a PowerPoint presentation and members followed along with a handout in their folders. The Governor said with the passage of KERA in 1990, Kentucky led the nation in education reform. After a decade of reform, and under the leadership of a new administration, Kentucky must move to a second generation of systematic refinement. He said Kentucky must act quickly in order to sustain its progress and meet its goals for 2014 and 2020. He said Kentucky's vision builds on the successes and lessons of 14 years of KERA, seven years of postsecondary reform, and the research and technology improvements during that time.
The Governor said eighth grade reading proficiency in Kentucky has increased faster than any state in the Southern Region. In 1993, only 27 percent of Kentucky high school students who took the ACT took the courses they needed to be ready for college. In 2003, 59 percent of Kentucky students took the courses required. Kentucky's dropout rate fell in 2003 to the lowest level in a decade. Kentucky's African-American and Hispanic students drop out at higher rates, but those rates are improving the fastest. Kentucky's postsecondary school attendance in the Fall of 2003 was 229,601, an all-time high. Enrollment in Kentucky Tech schools increased 30 percent to 23,400 students in FY 2003, the greatest increase of any Tech system in the nation. The Governor said GED graduates going to college within two years has tripled from 1999 to 2003, and KCTCS enrollment has increased 58 percent from 1998 to 2003.
The Governor said Kentucky needs to build on the successes of KERA and postsecondary reform. Kentucky can accelerate progress by: 1) providing greater stewardship to meet economic challenges; 2) focusing on performance to improve outcomes; 3) applying research to ensure the best methods; and 4) strengthening accountability.
The Governor said demographic and economic forces are at work. He said there were 73.7 percent of Kentucky residents born in Kentucky. There were 14.4 percent of Kentuckians at or below the poverty level in 2003, and 11.8 percent at or below poverty level in 2001. He said Kentucky's labor force is 6.5 percent smaller than the national average. In 2003, nearly 64 of every 100 Americans worked - but only slightly over 56 per 100 worked in Kentucky. He said if Kentucky's labor force equaled the national average, there would be approximately 170,000 more adults employed, generating $350 million in additional General Fund and Road Fund revenues.
The Governor said between 1900 and 2000, Kentucky's population nearly doubled, however the number of children aged 0-14 only rose by 2 percent. Kentucky has more than 650,000 people enrolled in Medicaid, and approximately 620,000 students in K-12.
The Governor said competing states will show companies that Kentucky is behind other states in the percentage of adults obtaining a bachelor's degree or higher. He said Kentucky is behind many other surrounding states in student persistence, which is the percentage of students returning at two-year colleges. Kentucky ranks even lower (42nd out of 49 states reporting) on the percentage of students returning at four-year colleges.
The Governor said in 2020, 80 percent of all prime-age jobs will require some postsecondary education. He said this is a quiet crisis for Kentucky, but also an opportunity. Kentucky's workers are some of the most skilled and productive workers in the nation, with productivity over five percent above the national productivity level.
The Governor said Kentucky has many strengths. Kentucky's state workforce training programs, were rated the fifth best in the nation in the August 2004 edition of "Expansion Management" magazine. Kentucky ranked 2nd among the states in "Site Selection 2003 Competitiveness Award", which is based on ten quantifiable criteria for measuring business expansion activity.
The Governor said he has an educational vision for students to take Kentucky to the next level. It includes early childhood education, health screening, universal pre-school, and full-day kindergarten in every school district. This vision maximizes student achievement and college readiness by identifying and correcting reading and math deficiencies early in a child's education, and by closing the achievement gap.
The Governor said all students must be physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared for school. He said research tells us that the quality of the teachers is the most important element in lifelong learning. He said we need to implement new strategies for high-quality teaching. They are: 1) teacher preparation and certification; 2) compensation; 3) compensation for principals and superintendents based on achievement; 4) and systematic and embedded professional development tied to career pathways.
The Governor said we need to align the education system to ensure lifelong success. The era of getting a degree and education being over has ended. He said all Kentuckians must continue education in order to keep up with technology and increase productivity in order to be globally competitive. He wants to increase citizen awareness of educational opportunities, and has asked Ms. Virginia Fox, Secretary, Education Cabinet, and the Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment, to ensure that Kentucky's 53 technical schools are accredited, and used as applied laboratories to ensure that the students have courses of relevance and rigor. Finally, Kentucky's workforce training programs must be responsive to local business needs.
The Governor said Kentucky must improve decision-making through computer technology. He said there is computer technology that now exists that can document an individual student's progress over time. Expanded technology with on-line assessment provides teachers with faster access to testing scores and gives them the opportunity to respond.
The Governor wants to focus on Kentucky's impressive research capacity in the two statewide research universities on K-12 improvement, diagnosis, remediation, and assessment. He said the universities are currently providing this support to corporations.
The Governor said he values obtaining a federal research lab. He said Congressman Hal Rogers, and Mr. Tom Ridge, Secretary, Homeland Security, met with Kentucky's university presidents to announce a federal homeland security initiative that would bring $4 million to Kentucky's universities to establish a virtual federal research lab. This will allow monies that come back from homeland security to be dispersed throughout the universities in a virtual lab for them to conduct research that would involve techniques of homeland and hometown security. He said it would also allow Kentucky to use the commercialization of that research and economic development.
The Governor said there is an inextricable link between economic opportunity and education. He said Mr. Gene Strong, Secretary, Cabinet for Economic Development, said the competition for economic opportunity is fierce in today's global environment. As time moves forward, it is clear that those communities and states that provide the best in education infrastructure will in turn provide the greatest economic opportunity for their citizens.
The Governor said Kentucky must maximize the impact of what it spends on education. He said fiscal stewardship should include: 1) building performance standards to maximize funds spent; 2) managing education; 3) building careers/jobs; and 4) thinking of long-term investment.
The Governor said he is pleased to report that Secretary Fox; Mr. Gene Wilhoit, Commissioner, Department of Education; Mr. Tom Layzell, President, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE); and Dr. Susan Leib, Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board, are presenting Education Vision to educational groups across the state. He wants the legislators to understand that the vision is a work of collaboration from over 200 interested entities. A list of the interested organizations was provided to members in the PowerPoint handout.
The Governor asked Secretary Fox to prepare a draft report based on the comments of these meetings across the state, and he is looking forward to seeing the report and presenting it to the committee.
Mr. Layzell said Education Vision is very consistent with (1997 RS) House Bill 1, and is consistent with CPE's vision as it updates the public agenda for the state. He said the CPE helped to develop the vision.
Senator Guthrie said he believes education policy is key to economic development, and complimented the Governor on his work on Education Vision. He asked which priority the Governor was considering funding first. The Governor said the reading initiatives in the plan were not expensive to implement. He wants Kentucky to look at where it is spending its revenues accrued from economic development. He said he wants to leverage economic development to benefit education in such areas as raising teacher pay. He believes tax modernization is extremely important to help the economy grow.
Representative Draud commended the Governor and Secretary Fox for placing such a high priority on education in Kentucky. He said education is the most important issue for Kentucky, and in order to create the economic environment in the state for all the citizens of Kentucky, something has to be done to improve the quality of education. He stressed that a bipartisan atmosphere was needed for the issue of education, and asked the Governor to comment. The Governor said it is very important for the everyone to work together for education in a bipartisan manner. He said education and the future of Kentucky is far too important for partisan politics. He said there will be differences in how to get to the final outcomes, but believes that everyone wants every child in Kentucky to get every opportunity to reach his/her full potential. Education undoubtedly is the key. He wants to see an understanding of this inextricable link between opportunity and education. Not only does opportunity result from education, but opportunity promotes education. The Governor said Kentucky's university presidents are working very well together, and they share this passion of understanding opportunity, commercialization, economic development, and fiscal stewardship; things that have to do with integrating community responsibility. This is an example of another group of institutions that have great bipartisan support.
Senator Kerr asked the Governor for specifics on how to reach the vision of achieving high quality teaching in the state of Kentucky. She said compensation for Kentucky's teachers is of the utmost importance. The Governor said Kentucky needs to increase the compensation and professionalism of teachers as well as the leadership of school districts, and leadership at the state level. He said Kentucky can work through the universities for increasing professional development. The Governor said it is important to continue to encourage teachers to achieve national certifications in order to increase their salaries. He said he would like to see teachers be able to increase their pay without having to leave the classroom.
Senator Neal said he appreciated the call for bipartisanship. He said increasing compensation for teachers requires utilizing new money. How is Kentucky going to get the additional revenue? He said the funding for Kentucky's education system is woefully inadequate. The Governor said Kentucky's workforce is well below national average. He said Kentucky is working hard to attract new businesses to the state, and is having success. Kentucky is a very attractive state because of the low energy costs and highly productive workers. He said there is no question that Kentucky's tax system needs to be modernized. He feels that by increasing the workforce and increasing opportunities, the revenues will grow. Senator Neal said he is a proponent of intelligent tax reform, but other states are forging ahead, and this seems to be a long-term plan for Kentucky. He said there are other mechanisms of getting new revenues besides taxing people, and wants the Governor and other members to be open to new dialogue about these other options for creating new revenues for the state.
Senator Casebier thanked the Governor for his presentation to the committee, and said he was very pleased to see the universal preschool proposal in the . He wished the Governor and the upcoming new education committee the best of luck as they move onward in moving education forward in Kentucky.
Senator Casebier introduced Mr. Wilhoit who gave an overview of the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) 2002-2004 statewide results. Mr. Wilhoit said there are reports on 1,176 schools that completed the assessment in the Spring of 2004. This is also the end of the two year cycle, so in addition to the index scores for those schools, the accountability judgements are available for the 2003 and 2004 school years. Mr. Wilhoit said trendlines are available for the schools beginning with the 1999-2000 school year.
Mr. Wilhoit said the overall CATS results are positive, but there is still much work to do. He reminded members that the results are based on the core content tests, accountability determinations, and adequate yearly progress judgements. Mr. Wilhoit said each school has a report given to them that gives detailed information on each school in every content area broken down into subpopulations and subdomains in the content area.
Mr. Wilhoit said that 23 schools have gone above the 100 range mark that Kentucky set for 2014, ten years ahead of schedule. He said 124 schools are in the 88-99.9 range. There are 14 schools below the 55 point, and these schools need to make some dramatic improvements. There would have been 163 schools in that category back when the chart was established in 1999-2000. Mr. Wilhoit said schools are moving into the higher categories.
Mr. Wilhoit said 208 Kentucky schools gained 10 points or more during the past biennium. The average growth in the early years was about 2 to 2.5 points per year. He said the scholastic audit reviews around the standards and indicators seem to be bringing schools to a point where they can examine themselves in detail, and make dramatic changes, if necessary. Dramatic gains are occurring across the board.
Mr. Wilhoit said the good news is that more schools are moving upward from the assistance level to the progressing and meeting goals levels. He said movement at the elementary schools is right on target, but the high schools are not having an equal gain. He discussed the correlation between meeting goals and novice learners. This is the same issue as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and performances of certain students. Some schools have begun to figure out how to move all children to higher levels, and other school districts have not made that successful transition.
Mr. Wilhoit said this is the first year that Kentucky has figured adequate yearly progress as required by NCLB. He said 888 schools (76 percent) made 100 percent of the NCLB goals for adequate yearly progress. Of the 288 schools that did not make adequate yearly progress, 241 made 80 percent of their goals or more.
Mr. Wilhoit said the highest subpopulation group that did not make adequate yearly progress was students with disabilities with the highest percentage being in the content area of reading.
Representative Moberly asked if the leadership strategy was to provide more guidance for struggling schools. Mr. Wilhoit said absolutely, and this is currently being done by using successful schools as models for the state.
Senator Neal asked if Kentucky was on track to meet its goals created in KERA in 2014. Mr. Wilhoit said the high schools are not on target and need accelerated work. Mr. Wilhoit said the upcoming 2005 session was going to be very important, but a sustained effort over the next couple of sessions will be required in order to get schools the funding they need to stay on track to meet the goals of 2014.
Senator McGaha asked how many schools in Kentucky are Title I schools. Mr. Wilhoit said around 1,000. Senator McGaha raised questions about the proposed secondary General Educational Development (GED) optional program and if this would encourage students to drop out.
Senator Casebier recognized Dr. Cheryl King, Council on Postsecondary Education, Department for Adult Education, to respond to Senator McGaha's concerns. Dr. King said currently, a 16 year old may take the GED early if they pass the GED practice test, and receive a waiver from the superintendent. She said 416 16 year olds took the GED test in 2003, but she did not have the number on how many passed the test.
Senator McGaha said Kentucky is raising the bar for education. Are we doing the right thing to let students take the test and drop out to enter the workforce? Mr. Kevin Noland, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, Department of Education, said this is a needed option for children who are going to drop out of school no matter what. This option ensures that this select group of students do not fall completely through the cracks.
Dr. King said the regular high school program would implement the GED testing if the secondary GED program is passed into regulation. She said the 16 and 17 year old students following this path would have to meet certain criteria. Senator McGaha encouraged committee members to study this issue in depth.
Representative Graham said the adult education providers should know what is best for these students. Dr. King said 12 to 22 percent more of GED recipients are entering into postsecondary education. She does not want to see this group of students hurt any more due to variables in their life that cannot be controlled. Senator McGaha asked if there was a waiting period for these students who pass the GED to enter into college, and Dr. King said there was not.
Senator Casebier called for action on administrative regulations for the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. They were: 11 KAR 4:040. Educational institution participation requirement; 11 KAR 4:071. Repeal of 11 KAR 4:070; 11 KAR 5:145. CAP grant award determination procedure. 11 KAR 6:010. KHEAA Work-Study Program; 11 KAR 8:040. Deferment of teacher scholarship repayment; and 11 KAR 16:001. Definitions for 11 KAR Chapter 16. Representative Siler made the motion to approve the administrative regulations, seconded by Representative Rasche. The motion was approved by voice vote. Senator Casebier called for action on administrative regulation 704 KAR 7:140. World War II and Korean Veterans Diplomas. Representative Siler made the motion to approve, seconded by Representative Rasche. Senator Casebier called for action on administrative regulation 785 KAR 1:010. GED Testing Program. On a motion by Representative Siler, seconded by Representative Rasche, the motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Meeks announced that the Kentucky Jumpstart Coalition has elected a board of directors. The Jumpstart Coalition for personal financial literacy seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of young adults.
Members were given a memorandum from the Co-Chairs of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education and a copy of the recommendations from the study of the teacher and principal internship programs required by HB 402 2002 RS. No action was taken.
Representative Rasche explained the summary sheet of the education budget that was in members' folders as an information item. The forms showed a comparison of the 2004 budget proposals to the current spending plan.
Representative Rasche distributed resolutions to the members leaving the education committee. They included Senators Casebier and Karem; and Representatives Buckingham, Coleman, Sims, Thompson, and Walton.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.