Thethird meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, August 29, 2005, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Representative Frank Rasche, Co-Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, Dan Kelly, Alice Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald A Neal, R J Palmer II, Tim Shaughnessy, Gary Tapp, Johnny Ray Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Mike Cherry, Jim DeCesare, Jon Draud, Ted "Teddy" Edmonds, C B Embry Jr, Bill Farmer, Derrick Graham, Mary Harper, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald K Meeks, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly Jr, Russ Mobley, Darryl T Owens, Tom Riner, Charles L Siler, Arnold Simpson, Kathy W Stein, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Dave Adkisson, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Mahendran Haidu, Techdomain; Carolyn Witt Jones, Partnership for Successful Schools; Dianne Bazell, Charlie Owens, Cheryl King, and Reecie Stagnolia, Council on Postsecondary Education; Deb Williamson, Administrative Office of the Courts; Brenda Allen, Education Professional Standards Board; Mike Ridenour, Columbia Gas of Kentucky; Cindy Heine and Bob Sexton, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Donna Shouse, Tom Welch, Mark Kopp, Robin Chandler, and Kevin Noland, Kentucky Department of Education; Steve Newman, Northern Kentucky University; Billy Harper, Harper Industries; Mike Fontaine, University of Phoenix; Dianna Taylor and Cindy Baumert, Kentucky Business Forum; Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Patty Kannapel, AEL, Inc.; Blake Haselton, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; Nancy Laprade, The Pawleys Group; Roger L. Marcum, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Marion County Public Schools; and Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools and Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Jonathan Lowe, Janet Stevens, Sandy Deaton, and Lisa Moore.
Representative Stein made a motion to approve the minutes, and Senator Winters seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche asked the co-chairs for a report from the subcommittee meetings. Senator McGaha said in the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, Commissioner Gene Wilhoit, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), described the "Eleven Standards for Professional Development" that school districts are asked to consider when planning and selecting professional development opportunities for staff. He explained that professional development funds are usually used in three different ways. They are: 1) discretionary funds (65 percent of funds distributed to school councils and 35 percent to school districts); 2) targeted programs such as Superintendent Training and Testing program, Teacher's Professional Growth Fund, teacher academies, Commonwealth Institute for Teachers, leadership and mentor funds, writing program, Read to Achieve, elementary arts and humanities pilot program, Commonwealth School Improvement Fund, Highly Skilled Educator Program, and Kentucky Principals' Network; and 3) local districts use general fund dollars to support the priority needs of the district, individual schools, and individual teachers.
Senator McGaha said Ms. Liz Story, Director of the Green River Region Education Cooperative (GREEC) explained that there are eight education cooperatives across the state and that school districts choose to become a member of a cooperative. GREEC, made up of 32 school districts representing 220 schools, has a 30 year history in professional development focused on increasing teacher content knowledge and instructional skills. GREEC supports and sponsors statewide conferences, a special education consortium, individual training sessions, and a grant writing consortium that received an additional $11 million in state and federal funding this past year.
Senator McGaha said Ms. Fran Salyers, Director of the Center for Middle School Academic Achievement, explained some programs offered at the center, including content academies focused on teacher needs, week-long training and follow-up sessions, and activities offered both on- and off-site. He said the center is housed at Eastern Kentucky and Murray Universities. Its mission is to improve the content knowledge and instructional practice of middle school teachers.
Senator McGaha said Ms. Marlene Haney, Pulaski County Professional Development Coordinator, and her leadership team gave an overview of the district program that is based on a district needs assessment, focused on strengthening professionalism, improving teacher retention, increasing the success of new teachers, and strengthening the leadership skills of administrators. The Professional Development Leadership Team of Pulaski County was the 2005 winner of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators' Tom Vest Professional Development Award, given annually to recognize leaders who have implemented a professional development program that has had a significant impact on teaching and learning.
Representative Marzian said the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education heard a presentation regarding the role of the postsecondary education system in promoting economic development in Kentucky. She said Mr. Gene Fuqua, Chief of Staff for the Cabinet of Economic Development, provided the subcommittee with an overview of Kentucky's strategic plan for economic development. Ms. Deborah Clayton, Commissioner of the Department of Commercialization and Innovation outlined the role of her department and its relationship with postsecondary institutions toward improving economic opportunities for Kentuckians.
Representative Marzian said three representatives from the postsecondary system appeared before the committee. Mr. Tom Layzell, President of the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE); Dr. James Ramsey, President of the University of Louisville (U of L); and Dr. Michael McCall, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) shared their perspectives on the vital role that postsecondary education institutions play in economic development.
Representative Marzian said there were several issues discussed. They were: 1) workforce development; 2) research and commercialization; 3) partnerships and collaboration; 4) stewardship of place; 5) adequate preparation of students at the high school level; 6) the need for additional funding; and 7) improving coordination of economic development efforts between institutions, state agencies, and the business community.
Representative Rasche introduced Mr. Billy Harper, Harper Industries, Paducah and Chair, Business Forum on Kentucky Education. Mr. Harper introduced Mr. Dave Adkisson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Adkisson said the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has voted to endorse the Business Forum and their recommendations. He also said the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has adopted a strategic plan that addressed education as a priority, but not just because education is a significant public expenditure, but more pointedly, as an economic development strategy.
Mr. Harper said there are many guiding principles for the Business Forum on Kentucky Education. They are: 1) Education is an investment, not a cost; 2) Students are valued above all else; 3) Kentuckians have high expectations for all students and believe that all can achieve at a high level; 4) Education achievement must be the state's top priority - with full support from political and business leaders, communities, and citizens; 5) Superintendents, principals, teachers, students, and postsecondary institutions must be held accountable; and 6) All citizens should understand the urgency of setting high standards and expectations for students because of the impact on Kentucky's economy.
Mr. Harper said the study was separated into four task forces. They were: 1) Accountability, chaired by John Hall and Penney Sanders; 2) Achievement, chaired by Kevin Hable; 3) Alignment, chaired by Fred Mudge and Carolyn Witt Jones; and 4) New Concepts, chaired by Judy Clabes.
Mr. Harper discussed the recommendations from the task forces. In the area of ensuring a successful beginning, there were five recommendations. They were: 1) fully fund preschool and full-day kindergarten; 2) early screening for reading disabilities; 3) increase minimum qualifications for child-care workers; 4) require child-care providers to participate in state rating system; and 5) increase scholarship funds for early childhood workers.
Mr. Harper said the second area of focus is to improve academic achievement. The five recommendations were: 1) require a rigorous course of study; 2) administer diagnostic tests at all grade levels; 3) tie grades to state tests; 4) extend school year by ten days; and 5) reimburse schools for teaching non-English speaking students.
Mr. Harper said the third area of focus is to develop and reward effective teachers and leaders. The nine recommendations were: 1) review teacher prep and certification programs; 2) redesign professional development and realign use of funds; 3) advocate for higher certification requirements; 4) restructure the personnel system; 5) create incentives to attract the best teachers and principals to low-performing schools; 6) reward teacher leaders; 7) expand school councils to include two community members, including an employer; and 8) require councils to collaborate with superintendents on principal hiring.
Mr. Harper said the fourth area of focus is to improve high schools. The six recommendations were: 1) tie financial rewards to rigorous course-taking and achievement; 2) develop innovative ways to engage students in learning; 3) emphasize competency over "seat time"; 4) give students more access to postsecondary courses; 5) create programs that provide postsecondary credential after 12-13 years of school; and 6) require every high school to show that its graduates have necessary skills and knowledge.
Mr. Harper said the fifth area of focus is to hold individuals and institutions accountable. The five recommendations were: 1) make sure the Commonwealth Assessment Testing System (CATS) measures standards needed for workplace and postsecondary success; 2) implement end-of-course tests; 3) hold teachers, principals, school councils, students, and superintendents personally accountable for student achievement; 4) develop performance funding accountability system for postsecondary schools; and 5) hold colleges and universities accountable for teacher preparation.
Mr. Harper said the sixth area of focus is to enhance workforce preparation. The four recommendations were: 1) use diagnostic tests early to provide career guidance and college readiness feedback; 2) redesign financial aid to serve working adults; 3) institutionalize the use of industry-based credentials such as the Kentucky Employability Certificate; and 4) make postsecondary more responsive to employers and working adults.
Mr. Harper said the seventh area of focus is to expand employer and community involvement. Recommendations include: 1) have marketing campaign to create sense of urgency; 2) provide tools for employers to encourage employee involvement in schools; 3) involve parents; 4) provide a business review of state standards; and 5) re-energize early childhood business council.
Mr. Harper said the eighth and final area of focus is to improve management and alignment. The three recommendations were: 1) develop statewide data system to track student progress and align systems across all levels; 2) create high-quality transition between school levels; and 3) strengthen role of P-16 councils.
Representative Miller said superintendents should have some input on who is hired. Some school districts have a pool where potential principals are trained and then the superintendent sends three people from the pool to the school-based decision making council to be interviewed. He said the community needs more involvement and should take a more serious look at parents encouraging and enforcing their children to stay in school.
Representative Draud commended Mr. Harper on the Kentucky Business Forum's report, and thanked them for their involvement in education in Kentucky. He referred to an article in the "Governing" magazine that released a study that ranks Kentucky last in the nation in per capita funding for students in Kentucky. He said this information is shocking and shameful. He said the recommendations in the business report require additional funding to implement the ideas properly.
Mr. Harper said more funding is needed, but 80 percent of the recommendations do not require more money. He does not recommend putting more money into the education system until it has been streamlined and optimized.
Representative Draud said Kentucky educators have done a great job with no additional funding in the past 15 years. He said Kentucky has seen great improvement in student achievement even though the legislature has not kept up with its agreement to provide more funding. Mr. Harper agreed.
Senator Winters applauded the committee's work. He said a unique characteristic of the report is the commonalties between what the educators in the state want, and what business leaders need in Kentucky.
Senator Neal asked for clarification about not needing any more funding put into the education system until the system is streamlined for efficiency. Mr. Harper said he said that with the political reality of not seeing a tax increase in the near future. He said there are many things Kentucky can do to improve its current system substantially without additional funding. He said this makes a tax increase or additional funding more palatable to everyone.
Senator Neal clarified that the reasoning for this approach is because of political realities, as opposed to whether or not money is needed now, notwithstanding the efficiencies being sought. Mr. Harper said yes.
Senator Neal said there is a shortage, but if Kentucky had the money, it would be a good thing to put it in the system. Mr. Harper said if a business is going bankrupt, the last thing it needs is more money put into it. He said the education system is not bankrupt, there are some good things happening. He believes the recommendations produced are things that can move the system forward without requiring additional monies.
Senator Neal said any system could continually improve by streamlining efficiency, but it would be a disaster to not seek additional funding since Kentucky has cut the system back and not kept pace nationally, or kept its commitment in terms of supporting and funding the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). He said Kentucky has dropped from 8th to 14th in ranking, and has let the children down in Kentucky being educated in this system. He said it is very dangerous to not aggressively pursue additional funding, while continually making efficiencies in the area.
Representative Marzian said Kentucky has streamlined, and provided efficiencies. She said House Bill 1 made universities delete programs that were duplications, and they have done that, while their funding has been cut four years in a row. She said six years ago, she sponsored a bill that provided full funding for Kentucky children to attend preschool and kindergarten services, which was going to cost $100 million to fully fund. She said a large percent of Kentucky's teachers are at retirement age, and there are not many people who are encouraged to enter into this field making $32,000 a year with a master's degree.
Representative Owens said it would be most important to adequately fund the system that Kentucky currently has. He is curious why the business community will not give specific recommendations on how Kentucky should properly fund its education system.
Mr. Harper explained that one ground rule for the taskforce was that money was not going to be considered. He agrees that the education system in Kentucky is not adequately funded. He said the business community is trying to provide a road map, and implement recommendations as funding becomes available.
Representative DeCesare asked if exempting school projects from prevailing wages would be a way to save money and give more money back to the schools. Mr. Harper said 20 percent of labor costs are being overspent on schools.
Senator Winters said a basic principle emerges from the taskforce that as the economy improves and tax modernization affords the state more resources, new ideas and recommendations can be implemented. However, just because the state is handicapped financially at the moment is no reason to sit back and not pursue recommendations that involve streamlining activities.
Senator Shaughnessy said Kentucky needs to give Governor Fletcher's tax modernization plan time to work. He said Kentucky does not need to implement radical strategies such as raising taxes at this time.
Representative Draud said in 1990, the business leaders came forward and demanded more funding for Kentucky schools in order to make progress. He said without the business community strongly supporting funding for schools in the state, it is not going to happen. He asked why any business would want to relocate to a state that is 50th in per capita funding in the nation.
Representative Graham said the business community needs to put pressure on the legislature to provide funding to education if Kentucky is going to be successful. Teachers, principals, and superintendents are leaving the field, and Kentucky needs to keep the best and brightest people here in the state in order to provide bright futures for its children.
Representative Rasche introduced Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. who discussed preparing school leaders in Kentucky. Governor Brown said there is not a college in the United States that recruits or trains principals. Principals do not have a suitable training program.
Governor Brown said Kentucky should be a national leader and provide an Academy for Principal Training. He said strong leadership in schools is essential for teachers to have an environment to be successful, and gets better results with students.
Governor Brown said Ms. Virgina Fox, Secretary, Education Cabinet, Dr. Lee Todd, President, University of Kentucky (UK), and Dr. James Ramsey, President, U of L, are receptive to this idea. He has talked to many leaders across the state who feel this is the direction Kentucky should move toward.
Governor Brown said principals stay on the job in Kentucky about an average of five years. He said Kentucky needs to recruit and train new principals over a two to three year period. He said principals need to be paid a good salary maybe through the General Assembly establishing a scholarship matching program that gives $15,000 or $20,000 contribution toward a local school district who has someone to graduate from the institution. Finally, he said that principals need the authority to run the schools and hire and fire personnel.
Senator Neal asked if Governor Brown was referring to placing the principal institute in Kentucky. Governor Brown said yes, Kentucky has the opportunity to take the lead and implement something new.
Senator Neal asked Governor Brown if he had talked with significant players in Kentucky. He said he had spoken with Mr. Layzell as well as with Ms. Fox. Senator Neal asked if there was support for this initiative. Governor Brown said there is support for this idea statewide.
Representative Moberly commended Governor Brown on his creative thinking. He asked if a principal who was not a prior teacher could still be an instructional leader in the school. Governor Brown said he does not think a principal needs to be a teacher for four or five years, and the principal institute could teach the people what they need to know to be effective. He visualized a two-year program, with a year of on-the-job training. These people need to be well educated, but not necessarily need to have been an educator.
Representative Moberly said the committees of the General Assembly have seen that educational leadership makes all the difference. He said some schools in the state are doing well with the money that they currently have. It is a matter of leadership, strategy, and everybody working together to meet the individual school needs.
Representative Draud said Kentucky needs principals who are strong people and have the authority to do what is necessary to get the job done. He asked what the cost would be to establish the principal institute.
Governor Brown said the legislature needs to push it through the system. He said the business community could provide scholarships, and receive special recognition. He said the legislature should get it started, and then the program will build on its own momentum.
Representative Wuchner said the most successful private academies and private schools have brought in and employed leaders who had strong leadership skills.
Senator Shaughnessy asked if the institute would be on the campus of one university. Governor Brown said yes. He felt one site would serve the purpose best.
Senator Shaughnessy asked if the legislature would choose the site for the institute, or would it be determined by the CPE. Governor Brown said the CPE and the General Assembly should work together to determine the place where the institute would be the most effective.
Senator Shaughnessy asked if there was something the legislature should look for from the universities applying for the site in terms of their commitment towards the vision for this institute. Governor Brown said it needs to be placed where it will be most successful.
Senator Shaughnessy commented on Governor Brown's implementation of the Governor's Scholar Program, and how quickly he put together the strategy, infrastructure, and funding. He said public universities have been less than responsive, and the innovative schools have been the private institutions. Governor Brown said very few institutions of higher learning have the opportunity to do something new and spectacular.
Senator Kerr said it upsets her that the really good teachers leave to go into administration. She asked the initial appropriation of starting this endeavor. Governor Brown said it needs to be researched, but probably $10 to $20 million to complete Phase I. He said a private enterprise like GE could pick up a quarter of that cost.
Senator Neal said this initiative does cause a change in KERA. He said legislators have to consider policy changes, and this change would affect site-based councils.
Representative Miller said principals need more training, but superintendents need assistance as well. He believes this initiative could be implemented without changing KERA.
Senator McGaha said under the current law, this concept is not possible. Under current law, the principal cannot hire and fire personnel. If the principal has no authority, how can he or she be a leader? Governor Brown said they cannot be effective leaders without authority.
Representative Rasche introduced Mr. Trey Grayson, Secretary of State, Commonwealth of Kentucky. Mr. Grayson discussed partnerships that are engaged in reaching the goal of developing a strategy to increase Kentucky civic literacy and civic engagement.
Mr. Grayson said a statewide summit was held in the fall of 2004 as well as numerous regional summits. He said high school students, teachers, administrators, and business leaders attend these summits.
Mr. Grayson introduced Ms. Natalie Stiglitz, U of L, who discussed projects and partnerships and suggested next steps. She said future goals include professional development for educators, curriculum, and how civics are assessed in the state of Kentucky. She said awareness is a key issue for students, business, and teachers, as well as funding opportunities to support the effort.
Ms. Stiglitz introduced Ms. Robin Chandler, KDE, who discussed efforts that resulted from the statewide summit. She said the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning submitted a proposal for a teacher academy to be funded through legislative funds. She said the first teacher academy was presented this last summer and was based upon civics education, and feedback was very positive from teachers.
Mr. Grayson introduced Ms. Deb Williamson, Grants Coordinator, Administrative Office of the Courts, who is recognized nationally as a leader in this area. She also discussed the next state summit which will be held in early October at Northern Kentucky University.
Ms. Williamson said a project will be replicated entitled "From The Horses Mouth", which is dialogue between politicians and college students. The project initially took off in Racine, Wisconsin last year as an attempt to understand why college age young people are disillusioned with the political process and disconnected.
Ms. Williamson said a panel has been formed comprised of 6 politicians, some judges, council members, mayors, and 30 disengaged students to participate in the project. College representatives have been asked to seek out college students who are frustrated and disillusioned with politics. She said ideally, they are looking for students who are involved in community service, or who have been active in local, national, or international issues, but have rejected politics as a way of addressing their concern. This informal candid discussion will help politicians and the students see and better stand one another's worlds. She said Kentucky is a national leader in this initiative.
Mr. Grayson thanked the legislators for their support, and also for sponsoring joint and single resolutions for various aspects of the civics initiative. He said October is civics month because it a month before the November elections.
Representative DeCesare asked if there will be a program for the immigrant population. Mr. Grayson said nothing specifically has been planned, but the area needs to be addressed.
Representative DeCesare said many members in the General Assembly will be participating in September in the "Legislators to the Schools Program". He asked Mr. Grayson if this was a program that resulted from a partnership. Mr. Grayson said it was not one of his programs, but it should probably be integrated. Mr. Grayson asked Representative DeCesare if it was a Legislative Research Commission program, and he said yes. Mr. Grayson said the federal government is now requiring a Constitution Day where schools are required to discuss the constitution.
Senator Westwood discussed Constitution Day, and said it is a wonderful opportunity to focus attention on the constitution statewide. Mr. Grayson said the Secretary of State's web page will be used to promote Constitution Day.
Representative Rasche introduced Ms. Brenda Allen, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, Education Professional Standards Board, explained administrative regulation 16 KAR 7:010. This regulation involves the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program and it amends an incorporation by reference, and updates information.
Representative Simpson made a motion to approve the amendment to administrative regulation 16 KAR 7:010, and Representative Miller seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Rasche introduced Mr. Kevin Noland, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, KDE, who explained administrative regulation 703 KAR 5:001. The change involves a definition change to help Kentucky take advantage of one provision in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). He said it is an attempt to match up the CATS with the NCLB to give a consistent message at the school and district levels when results are distributed.
Mr. Noland said there was a technical amendment to the administrative regulation that added punctuation. Representative Simpson made a motion to adopt the technical amendment to administrative regulation 703 KAR 5:001, and Representative Miller seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Senator Westwood voiced concerns about the administrative regulation. He explained that he voted no on the regulation in the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS) meeting. He said 28 schools would not have made adequate yearly progress using the old scoring system.
Mr. Noland said that was correct, but only seven schools would have been moved into the second year of not making adequate yearly progress under NCLB, which triggers the consequences under federal law. Senator Westwood said that is still seven schools where parents would have the right to pull their students out for not making adequate yearly progress.
Representative Rasche said the committee does not have to vote on the regulation itself. He asked Mr. Noland if the regulation pertained to Kentucky statutory laws, or just to NCLB? Mr. Noland said it was purely NCLB. Representative Rasche said it actually was not required to be put into regulation, but applauded KDE's decision to do so.
Representative Rasche said the EAARS committee had asked Ms. Seiler to do some research and follow up on the issue in the administrative regulation. She confirmed that KDE had the oral authority from the federal department to go ahead with the change, and they admitted they were tardy in sending out the letter. Representative Rasche said the KDE should use the emergency regulation route in future instances.
Representative Rasche said it should also be noted that Kentucky is one of the few states that has adopted an academic third standard for meeting adequate yearly progress. Most states use attendance or some non-cognitive measure, but Kentucky has chosen to use the CATS scores, which are primarily academic with a non-cognitive factor in them, as the third element for the schools.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.