Thesixth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, November 5, 2007, at 10:00 AM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Ken Winters, 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 Walter Blevins Jr., Charlie Borders, Brett Guthrie, Alice Forgy Kerr, Vernie McGaha, Gerald A. Neal, R. J. Palmer II, Tim Shaughnessy, Johnny Ray Turner, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Larry Belcher, Hubert Collins, Leslie Combs, Jim DeCesare, Milward Dedman Jr., Jon Draud, Ted Edmonds, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Tim Firkins, Jim Glenn, Jeff Greer, Jimmy Higdon, Mary Lou Marzian, Charles Miller, Harry Moberly Jr., Rick G. Nelson, Marie Rader, Tom Riner, Carl Rollins II, Charles Siler, Dottie Sims, David Watkins, Ron Weston, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Ms. Janna Vice, Kentucky Board of Education; Mr. Larry Taylor, Ms. Depeka Croft, Ms. Dena Cole, Ms. Lee Ann Hager, and Mr. Kevin Brown, Kentucky Department of Education; Ms. Teresa Wasson, Woodford County Schools; Ms. Teresa Combs, Kentucky School Boards Association; Mr. Gary Freeland, Education Professional Standards Board; Ms. Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Ms. Terry Toland United Way; Mr. Rick and Ms. Mary Hulefeld, Children, Inc.; Mr. Tom Denton, Kentucky Education Association; Ms. Heidi Schissler, Protection and Advocacy; Mr. Clyde Caudill, Jefferson County Public Schools and Kentucky Association of School Administrators, and Mr. Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators.
Legislative Guest: Representative Derrick Graham
LRC Staff: Audrey Carr, Sandy Deaton, Janet Stevens, Jacinta Manning, and Lisa Moore.
Senator Winters asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the October 8, 2007, meeting. Representative Collins made the motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Representative Rasche. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Mr. Kevin Noland, General Counsel, and Mr. Kevin Brown, Counsel, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), explained administrative regulations 707 KAR 1:290, 707 KAR 1:300, 707 KAR 1:310, 707 KAR 1:320, 707 KAR 1:331, 707 KAR 1:340, 707 KAR 1:350, 707 KAR 1:370, and 707 KAR 1:380. Mr. Brown and Mr. Larry Taylor, Director of Special Education, KDE, explained an amendment to 707 KAR 1:320. Representative Rasche made a motion to accept the amendment to the administrative regulation, and Representative Siler seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Mr. Brown explained an amendment to 707 KAR 1:340 and Mr. Taylor responded to questions from members. Representative Draud made the motion to accept the amendment to the administrative regulation, and Senator Guthrie seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Representative Siler said he did not understand specific language in administrative regulation 707 KAR 1:300. He asked for clarification regarding language to require the referral system of a local education agency (LEA) to be conducted in a manner that prevents the inappropriate over identification or disproportionate representation by race and ethnicity of children in special education.
Mr. Brown said it is a requirement in the federal language that requires the KDE to address the identification of students to make sure it is based on an individual entitlement. It also ensures that group practices are not occurring that would be discriminatory for a particular population of students.
Mr. Noland reiterated to Representative Siler that it is an individual determination on whether a student has disabilities, and federal law requires states to see if a school district systemically has proportions or data that is significantly out of line with the rest of the district.
Representative Siler said if it is an individual student evaluation then how could KDE influence the data. Mr. Noland said it should be an individual determination, and the federal law is trying to ensure that KDE provides technical assistance if a school district in their individual determinations is systemically over identifying or under identifying certain groups in comparison to the rest of the school districts.
Senator Westwood asked a question about 707 KAR 1:340. He asked for clarification on language in the LRC staff review form and Mr. Noland answered that the language should read "stipulates that the biological or adoptive parent shall be presumed to be the parent unless he or she does not have legal authority to make educational decisions", while noting that the summary is the not the official administrative regulation on file to determine accurate wording.
Senator Winters introduced Ms. Teresa Combs, Kentucky School Board Association, who wanted to be reported on the record in support of the administrative regulations as presented in the meeting. Ms. Heidi Schissler, Legal Director, Department of Protection and Advocacy, also wanted to be on the record as being in support of the administrative regulations for exceptional children.
Senator Winters introduced Mr. Ken Draut, Associate Commissioner, Office of Assessment and Accountability, KDE, who discussed the changes to Kentucky's writing assessment. Some noted changes are: reduction in the number of entries; choice of including personal expressive or literary writing in the portfolio; assessment across grades with equal weighting of portfolio and on-demand; analytical scoring of the portfolio; analytical scoring of on-demand; multiple measures in on-demand (prompt, multiple choice, two prompts); analytical and technical writing required in the high school portfolio; and passage-based writing in the high school on-demand.
Ms. Jamie Spugnardi, Associate Commissioner, Office of Teaching and Learning, KDE, said the changes in the writing portfolio were brought about because of responses from the field. She said the instructional intent of changes to be implemented in the 2006-2007 school year is a reduction of time, providing more detailed instructional feedback, and aligning more closely to postsecondary expectations.
Ms. Spugnardi reported the results of the writing survey conducted by the KDE in October of 2007. She said 1,727 teachers participated in the survey and it was a mixture of elementary, middle, and high school teachers that responded.
Ms. Cherry Boyles, Assistant Director, Division of Curriculum, KDE, discussed the reduction of time change to the writing portfolios. She said there was a reduction in the number of entries for elementary and middle school students from four entries to three entries and a reduction from five entries to four entries for high school student writing portfolios.
Ms. Boyles said another way to reduce the amount of time that students spend on writing portfolios was to allow the choice of including personal expressive or literary entries, and to change the assessment across grades with equal distribution of portfolio and on-demand weights.
Ms. Boyles said another very significant area of change to the writing portfolio is the intent to provide more detailed feedback. She said Kentucky is moving away from scoring the writing portfolio using a holistic approach and moving to analytical scoring of the writing portfolio and on-demand writing.
Ms. Boyles said another change includes aligning more closely to postsecondary expectations. She said this includes analytical and technical writing required in the high school portfolio, and passage-based writing in the high school on-demand requirements.
Ms. Boyles described the implications the changes bring for professional development for teachers and administrators across Kentucky. They are: content literacy skills across grades; analysis and critical thinking skills across content areas; research techniques across content areas; technical writing; and an analysis of writing in formative and summative assessments.
Senator Westwood discussed the passage-based portion of the writing portfolio. If a student has trouble with the passage-based writing, could it be a reading problem versus a writing problem. He said if a student cannot comprehend what he or she has read, this could pose difficulties in writing about the reading passage.
Ms. Boyles said this issue has been discussed as the passage-based items were considered for inclusion on the assessment. She said a main component in addressing this issue is that both types of writing prompts are included on the on-demand assessment. She said if a student's performance is significantly different on the two types of questions then this is an important measure that will have to be considered.
Mr. Draut said studies will also be conducted with students' reading and writing data. He said reading and writing are so closely interwoven that a connection will be made between these two skills for research analysis.
Senator Westwood said he is glad the issue is being reviewed because it would not be wise to give a student a poor writing grade when it is really a reading issue. He also was pleased to see that more analytical and technical writing are included in the high school writing portfolios. He said business and industry has stressed the importance of students entering the workforce being able to write reports and business letters. Ms. Boyles said business writing falls into the transactive writing category and the high school writing portfolios now give the students two opportunities to include transactive writing.
Representative DeCesare asked what piece was removed from the fourth grade writing portfolios. Ms. Boyles said the changes to the elementary grade writing portfolios was the choice to include personal expressive or literary writings. She said the program of studies requires that students be taught both types of writings, but students can now choose just one of the areas in elementary school.
Representative DeCesare asked how much time fourth grade students spend on one portfolio piece from start to finish. Ms. Boyles said she cannot give an exact amount of time spent on a writing piece from start to finish, but would suggest talking with teachers in order to find out. She said a survey could also be conducted in the field in order to put some parameters around the amount of time this takes, and she also noted that there is an instructional regulation about writing procedures and within the regulation are some guidelines about how much time should be spent in revision processes so that students are continually assisted in becoming better and more efficient writers.
Representative DeCesare said some students are working on one writing portfolio piece for four to five months. He thinks students are spending too much time working on these portfolios and this takes away from other quality instruction time. He also feels the survey that was conducted was not weighted properly giving respondees a choice of three positive answers and one negative answer. He asked if the KDE designed the survey or an outside entity.
Mr. Draut said the survey was designed throughout the KDE. He said the change in the weighting of the portfolio to 50/50 with the on-demand writing was done intentionally to spread out the writing with the writing portfolio being worth seven percent of the total accountability index, which is decreased from eleven or twelve percent. He said the percentage change is so students and teachers will not spend as much time working on the writing portfolios as before because it is not worth as much as it used to be in the accountability index.
Representative Draud said he believes the analytical scoring approach has great potential to improve instruction. He asked if the KDE has had time to get the data back from the previous year on the analytic scoring, or if the KDE would be involved in linking professional development with the skill needs that have been identified in the analytical scoring approach.
Ms. Boyles said the analytical scoring gives the KDE the opportunity to really utilize and analyze the data to see how an individual, or a group of students, is performing, or evaluate the instruction of a program. She said this analysis leads teachers to make some very important professional development decisions.
Representative Draud asked if the teachers received the information fairly quickly. Ms. Boyles said the teachers receive the data from the portfolios before the school year ever ends due to local scoring, and this allows them to plan their professional development for the summer.
Representative Farmer said he has concerns about the validity of the middle school numbers in the survey samples. He said the middle school numbers seem too similar to the elementary school numbers.
Ms. Boyles said the survey was sent to every school, writing cluster leader, principal, directors of special education coordinators, and any other educator who wished to respond to the survey. Ms. Spugnardi pointed out that Kentucky has 800 elementary schools, which is much higher than the number of middle and high schools. Mr. Draut said this is the KDE's first look at the data and this was not conducted in a scientific method of surveying. He said this will be further analyzed as KDE meets with certain groups throughout the year.
Representative Farmer asked about the analytical analysis of the writing samples. He asked how much additional time it will take the evaluators to complete the analysis and how much additional burden this will put on the teachers if they are doing the evaluation.
Ms. Boyles said it has taken teachers additional time this year probably because it is the first year of implementation of analytical scoring. She said there has not been an absolute measure of the issue, but there are plans to do this in the near future. She said most team leaders feel that the analytical approach will speed up the process in the future as teachers become more familiar with it and move away from the holistic approach.
Representative Farmer asked if high school seniors second half writing assessment results get back to the teacher soon enough to be used to add some value to the student. He wants to be sure that students have time to correct their writings to be prepared for college based upon teacher comments and feedback.
Mr. Draut said the results for the writing on-demand test that is administered to high schools seniors in September will be back to teachers by December. Representative Farmer asked about the results for the spring testing. Mr. Draut said the writing portfolio is due in April during the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) testing period, so teachers would have the scores available during the last five or six weeks of school to make adjustments in the student's performance.
Representative Miller said he is concerned with the low percentage of results coming back in to teachers and administrators. He said it is hard to judge where students are based upon the limited data now available. He noted that cutting back on the on-demand writing requirements may reduce time, but he does not understand how it will improve instruction. He also would like to know what the Kentucky State Board of Education (KBE) bases its decisions on, whether it is from survey results or actually talking with teachers and principals across the state.
Ms. Boyles said the KBE
members talked with teachers, administrators, and postsecondary representatives
from their areas and asked the KDE to put together a task force with parent
representatives and educators and administrators from across the state. She
also said the National Technical Panel for Assessment and Accountability
(NTAPPA), the National Writing Project, the National Association of Education
Progress (NAEP), and the American Diploma Project, also provided input.
Representative Miller asked if the changes improved instruction. Ms. Boyles said yes, as a reduction of the number of entries reduces the amount of time a student spends working on the portfolio, thus improving instruction in the classroom. She said writing instruction involves skill development over time and so less entries in elementary school will hopefully mean students will gain more skill development in the entries they do write.
Representative Miller said he feels it is important for teachers to have more time for instruction. He said most teachers are just teaching skills to help students pass a test rather than teaching basic skills so they do not lose their job or get transferred to a lower level.
Senator Winters introduced Ms. Cindy Heine, Associate Executive Director, Prichard Committee, Ms. Terry Toland, Executive Director, United Way of Kentucky, and Mr. Rick Hulefield, Executive Director, Children, Inc.
Ms. Toland gave a PowerPoint presentation on investing in quality early care and education to ensure future success. She explained Kentucky's progress in this area to date. In 1990, school reform included preschool for disadvantaged four-year olds (150 percent of poverty) and three and four year olds with disabilities. In 2000, KIDS NOW enacted to improve quality of early care and education. In 2006, public preschool funding increased $23.5 million a year for a total of $75.1 million. She gave several statistics on Kentucky's children and background information which is included in the meeting folder in the Legislative Research Commission.
Ms. Toland discussed child care in Kentucky. She said 2,100 licensed child care facilities serve 175,000 children six weeks old through school age children. She said 43,000 children receive child care assistance at 150 percent of poverty level. She also said state-funded preschool serves 24,587 three and four year old children, and 13,430 children with a disability. She said Head Start serves nearly 16,500 children in 33 programs serving all 120 counties and 37 percent, or about 41,000, three and four year old children are served in Kentucky's preschool program or Headstart.
Ms. Toland said the United Way invests in long-term solutions to improve community conditions. She said business invests in creating a high quality future workforce and investing in high quality early care and education does more to ensure a stronger economic future than any other investment.
Mr. Hulefeld said he has two key messages to convey to members. He said one is that school readiness is not a four to five year old issue, but it is a prenatal to five issue, and it is about collaboration, not competition.
Mr. Hulefeld described seven opportunities for early childhood education. They are: 1) institute universal Pre-K in such a way that it raises the quality of care provided to children 0-36 months; 2) provide that all children, regardless of who provides the service, are in high quality settings; 3) use existing community resources that meet multi-star criteria; 4) enhance families' skills at helping their young children's school success; 5) build a universal Pre-K system that keeps working families in mind; 6) measure both program processes and child outcomes; and 7) utilize the Hands Home Visitation Program, Oral Health Initiative, Early Childhood Mental Health, STARS for KIDS NOW, Scholarship for Early Childhood Professionals, Healthy Start in child care, and Kentucky Early Childhood Standards.
Ms. Heine gave several recommendations for the future of early childhood education programs. They include making quality Pre-K available to all Kentucky children and beginning to expand Pre-K to children at 200 percent of poverty or below.
Ms. Heine wants to involve public and community-based programs by providing community grants for programs developed by schools, child care, and Head Start. She said this can be accomplished by leveraging resources already available and using current classroom space.
Ms. Heine wants to support quality by adequately sustaining funding for KIDS NOW and expanding funding for: STARS Quality Rating System; scholarships for child care and early education workers; and HANDS voluntary home visitation program.
Ms. Heine wants to raise the standards for early childcare education programs. This can be done by: requiring all licensed and certified programs to participate in STARS quality rating; requiring all early care and education workers to have no less than a high school diploma or GED; and requiring all directors to hold at least a director's credential.
Ms. Heine said Kentucky needs to engage families in its effort to create a public awareness campaign to inform parents of the programs. She also said Kentucky can enhance the quality of family partnerships through the STARS rating system.
The committee recessed for lunch and members were invited to the "Compass Learning" demonstration held in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. The committee reconvened at 1:00 p.m.
Senator Winters asked Mr. Noland to give a progress report on the development and pilot testing of end-of-course testing. Mr. Noland said a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued and the bid was awarded to Pearson, an assessment company, to develop the end-of-course exams. He said the only money identified to pay for this was federal Title II funds, up to a maximum of $450,000, to pay for all three exams. He also said to stay within the budget, there will be a pilot in the spring of 2008 of 3,200 students and 800 of the 3,200 students will take the exam on-line.
Mr. Noland said a separate RFP was issued for the Algebra I and Geometry tests and the vendors that submitted bids were way above what the KDE could afford to spend. He said the KDE asked Dr. Bill Bush, Math Professor, University of Louisville, to assist and he agreed to assist in a pilot program for Algebra I and Geometry end-of-course exams, but could not be a partner for statewide testing. The tests are ready and will be administered on a pilot basis in the spring of 2008, with 800 students completing the exams on-line.
Mr. Noland said the data results from the pilot end-of-course exams will be studied by the NTAPPA to make sure the results are valid and reliable and the findings will be reported back to the Interim Joint Committee on Education by July 1, 2008. He said funding will have to be discussed at the time if it is decided to implement end-of-course exams statewide.
Representative Draud commended the KDE staff on an excellent job with the proposals for the end-of-course exams and being innovative with the funding in order to ensure the pilot in the spring of 2008. He said a number of states within the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) have already gotten involved with end-of-course exams and he hopes Kentucky can make a quick determination of whether or not to implement this within the Commonwealth.
Mr. Draut said he is meeting with 13 other states in the near future who are exploring end-of-course exams. He said there is a great interest in the entire country about these exams.
Representative Graham talked about the testing requirements within the school system and the fact that students are suffering from test fatigue. He asked if the norm-referenced tests were to compare how students are doing against other students nationally and if standard-based tests are determining whether students have mastered specific skill sets. Mr. Noland said that was correct.
Representative Graham asked if the KDE or the KBE will look at re-evaluating the CATS assessment because he does not see the need for the CATS test if Kentucky is using the ACT as a measuring block and the end-of-course exams to measure student knowledge. He said the students do not need to be overwhelmed with testing and asked how the KDE plans to address the issue.
Mr. Noland said excessive testing is being discussed within the KDE. He said it would be very rare for a student to take Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry in the same year thus necessitating the need for each end-of-course exam. He also noted that it did matter when the General Assembly decided to fund end-of-course exams statewide as to what conditions would be attached, whether it would be a mandate for all students taking the courses, or be a voluntary decision at the school or district level.
Mr. Draut said many teachers are already administering end-of-course assessments so they do not see this as an add-on, but as a supplement as to what they are already doing. He said Kentucky would utilize end-of-course assessments as a standard across all Kentucky schools and district to district would have the same standards.
Senator Kerr asked if the ACT test would be a part of the pilot program in the spring of 2008 as she said there are many students in 7th grade who are beginning to take the ACT multiple times a year in an effort to raise their test scores.
Mr. Noland said it is a personal family decision when the students begin to take the ACT and how many times a year they choose to take it. He added that the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 130 which provides that all juniors in high school to take the ACT in the spring of 2008.
Representative Moberly asked Representative Graham how many comprehensive finals, in addition to the CATS test, do students complete at the end of the course just to receive their course grade. Representative Graham said generally anywhere from six to seven depending upon the scheduling of that particular school. He said at his school the students have seven classes, therefore they will have seven final exams at the end of the year. He said on average most schools have six classes with six final exams.
Representative Moberly asked if the end-of-course exam would replace the comprehensive final exams. He said if this is the case then the end-of-course exams would not be additional testing and would replace the final exams that are already currently being given in schools at the end of the school year. Representative Graham said that would depend on the local school district.
Senator Winters said the long-term future of the Kentucky educational system depends heavily upon the end-of-course examinations and he feels the pilot is a great start in that direction. He said some people have voiced concerns about failing the students if they do not pass the end-of-course exams and he said that students would not be failed, but would have to attend rigorous summer programs to catch up.
Representative Wuchner thought the eventual goal was to reduce or eliminate parts of the CATS test that were covered in the end-of-course exams. Mr. Noland responded that this would be a benefit of implementing end-of-course exams statewide because the content areas covered in end-of-course would not have to be tested again on CATS. He said this just applies to Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, currently, but agreed with Representative Wuchner that the subject matters could be broadened and expanded in the future.
Representative Wuchner asked if money would be saved by reducing the CATS test that could be applied to implementing the end-of-course exams statewide. Mr. Noland said there could be some savings, but it would not be a dollar for dollar match because the number of questions covered on CATS, for example in Algebra I, would not be enough to cover the amount of questions on an end-of-course exam.
Mr. Draut said the end-of-course test will tend to be more comprehensive and longer than the CATS test because the exams will cover a whole year of coursework that the students has completed. He said it would be worth putting some numbers down and see what would happen after the courses are developed to see where the money would shift from.
Representative Wuchner asked if the companies that create the curriculum for Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, should supply an end-of-course exam for that subject as well to show the students were able to master the material in the curriculum. Mr. Noland referred the question to Dr. Bush.
Dr. Bush said textbooks are different for all schools and so end-of-course assessments would all be different based on the content the school decided to use in its textbook. He said the hope is for textbook companies to become more standardized in the future.
Representative Wuchner said that could be a problem if the textbook companies are presenting material one way and the end-of-course exam is testing students on different information. She said this does not make sense and there should be a demand on those creating curriculum to furnish what should be accomplished at the end of a course.
Representative Rollins asked Mr. Noland if Kentucky's goal was to eventually have nationally-normed end-of-course tests for every subject. Mr. Noland said this is a pilot program, but said there is a definite interest in individual student accountability, particularly at the high school level. He said it is more important to him to know that students have mastered skills in courses than to know how they are ranked on a nationally-normed test.
Representative Rollins said his concern is that Kentucky has spent a lot of money over the years to develop the CATS test and he is concerned that the state will have to invest additional new money into developing the end-of-course exams or buy them nationally.
Mr. Noland said the CATS test would still be given in elementary and middle schools and there are far more elementary schools in the state than high schools. At the high school level, it will take some time as the pilots have to go through a complete cycle before implementing statewide. He does not feel that any money has been wasted because any state's testing system evolves and improves over a one or two decade period. Representative Rollins said he did not mean to imply that money had been wasted, but is concerned at what the new exams will cost to develop.
Senator Winters said the General Assembly makes decisions to do things not based on saving or spending money, but by enhancing the performance of students graduating from Kentucky schools. He also said it is not appropriate to use end-of-course exams as a pilot, but it is important to start thinking along this line in higher education as well. He said the future depends greatly on Kentucky studying this issue.
Senator Winters introduced Dr. Phil Rogers, Executive Director, Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), who presented on the changes to the Master's of Education program in Kentucky, the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), and Advanced Teacher Preparation: Teacher-Leaders for Kentucky Schools. He said since 1985, all new teachers in Kentucky and out-of-state teachers with less than two years experience have been required to complete an internship in their first year of teaching.
Dr. Rogers said if an intern is unsuccessful for two years they cannot repeat a third time and they cannot be given a certificate to teach in Kentucky. He said annually Kentucky has about one percent of interns who are not successful and they may appeal an unsuccessful internship. The number of interns per year has ranged from a low of 1,901 in 1992-1993 to a high of 3,492 in 2006.
Dr. Rogers said beginning in January 1, 2008, all school districts and nonpublic schools participating in the KTIP shall use the new Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA). He said the TPA is designed to put an increased emphasis on student learning by using direct evidence of an intern's ability to: design and implement standards-based instruction; analyze student learning; reflect on the teaching and learning process; and make instructional adjustments.
Dr. Rogers said the average cost per intern to provide mentoring services to KTIP candidates is $1,815. He noted the current funding of $4,511,600 in general funds does not provide adequate funds to support the 3,423 interns enrolled in 2006-2007, and the maximum number of interns that could be served with this amount of funding is 2,485. He said in future years Kentucky would expect the number of new interns to continue to rise as a result of an aging workforce and retirement incentives.
Dr. Rogers discussed the redesign of the Master's degree program for Kentucky teachers. He said the reason for the redesign is the EPSB requirement for Rank II, research on the value of having a Master's degree, the need for additional professional pathways, and the need for advanced skills.
Dr. Rogers discussed the Master's degree program redesign including the program curriculum and the continuous monitoring and evaluation of candidate progress in demonstrating the ability to impact P-12 student learning. A copy of the handout with detailed information is located in the meeting folder in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library.
Dr. Rogers said all old master's programs used for rank change will sunset December 31, 2010. He said candidates admitted to old master's programs shall complete the program by January 31, 2013. He also said new programs may be submitted to the EPSB after May 31, 2008, and may begin operation on January 1, 2009.
Representative Rasche thanked Dr. Rogers for getting teachers and principals on the same page for expectations. He feels these programs are essential in helping Kentucky to reach its goals in 2014 and 2020.
Representative Moberly asked if EPSB is looking at redesigning the baccalaureate program. Dr. Rogers said EPSB uses the TPA as a way of indirectly feeding into the baccalaureate programs. He said EPSB felt the master's program, followed by the principals, were the weakest leak in the system and needed the change first. He said a workgroup has also be formed to begin looking at math preparation in the elementary schools. He said the TPA has a heavy emphasis on documentation of K-12 student achievement and universities are held accountable for their students to pass KTIP and they are already taking the teacher work sample methodology back into their programs. He said it is also used with student teachers and is being divided up into other practicum components in the baccalaureate program.
Representative Moberly asked what other practicum components, besides student teaching, do the baccalaureate programs have. Dr. Rogers said they all have practicum's, some as much as 150 hours and others as few as 80 hours, but all have a lot of clinical, practicum experiences for new teachers.
Representative Moberly asked if those experiences involve teaching. Dr. Rogers said yes, but most of the experience begins with observing and being engaged in the classroom as a helper.
Representative Moberly asked if the EPSB has significantly increased the clinical time for teachers within the programs in the last few years. Dr. Rogers said it would be his guess that they had. Representative Moberly asked if this has been a standard promulgated by the board. Dr. Rogers said the board does not have a number, but is certainly looking at identifying one. He said the EPSB does look at how many hours of clinical work they require when the institutions submit their yearly reports. Representative Moberly would like to see a progress or growth chart as to how the clinical work in the baccalaureate programs has progressed in the last few years. Dr. Rogers said he would get the data to him.
Representative Moberly asked about emphasized content knowledge for teachers and how EPSB plans to do this. Dr. Rogers said every teacher completing KTIP comes out with a professional growth plan and indicates what areas the teacher needs strength in with one standard being content knowledge. If the committee recommends that a teacher needs additional content knowledge within his or her subject area, then the university needs to build a master's program for the teacher based on the professional growth plan.
Representative Moberly asked what happens if the teacher needs content knowledge but wants to get his or her rank in another subject. Dr. Rogers said this will be important but EPSB will be expecting cooperation from the schools and principals, as well as the universities.
Representative Moberly discussed the delivery methods of teachers earning their master's degree with an emphasis on accessibility by teachers attending class in the evenings and on the weekends and extending the curriculum to community and technical colleges. He said he will be watching the situation closely to ensure teachers get the courses they need for their ranking.
Representative Moberly asked Dr. Bush if he was providing professional development on continuous assessment for teachers, and he responded that he was. Representative Moberly asked Dr. Bush if he has found that Kentucky teachers need additional professional development in order to understand continuous assessment, and he responded that they did.
Representative Moberly asked Dr. Rogers why the baccalaureate programs are not adequately preparing the teachers to do continuous assessment. Dr. Rogers said the baccalaureate programs are teaching continuous assessment and the teachers understand this concept for most of their students, but it gets confusing assessing the students in the achievement gaps. He noted the baccalaureate programs are extremely full and the master's program has to address some of these advanced teacher skill needs.
Representative Moberly concluded that EPSB is responsible for determining the standards in the baccalaureate and master's program. He said if deficiencies are determined, this reflects back on the EPSB.
Senator Westwood discussed the report from Dr. Arthur Levine, which included the recommendation of teachers completing a fifth year before being certified and placed in a classroom. He also thought Dr. Levine was recommending that teachers be in the classroom during that fifth year for a full year of student teaching prior to beginning their first year of teaching on their own to help decrease deficiencies.
Dr. Rogers said Senator's Westwood assumption of the fifth year recommendation was accurate. He said EPSB views the fifth year as a time to practice and receive guidance from the committee before entering the master's program. He also said the redesigned master's program is focused on particular teacher weaknesses because they vary between individuals.
Representative Miller asked why the expansion of evening classes is so territorial. Dr. Rogers said the EPSB does not restrict universities to a particular area, or have anything to do with where classes are offered. Dr. Jim Applegate, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), said the council does require universities to have priority responsibility for certain areas, but other universities can offer programs in those areas as long as it notifies other universities in the area to ensure there is not a duplication of services within a particular region. He said there are no restrictions and universities are encouraged to offer programs of need in areas where it is not offered.
Senator McGaha discussed the learning-centered report and referred to the surveys in the back of the report. He said most teachers responded that the main reason for not getting a doctorate degree was because of distance to campus, inconvenient class schedules, the lack of on-line learning opportunities, and family commitments. He said these same responses showed up numerous times on a variety of questions and asked Dr. Rogers if the survey could be reflective also of those who would be pursuing a baccalaureate degree instead of a doctorate.
Dr. Rogers said he does not know how much the survey questions would cross over to the baccalaureate program because the questions were specifically concentrated to a doctoral program and only the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville offer doctorate programs in the state. He said the problem magnifies for students who live further away from Lexington and Louisville, but he does not doubt that the same problems may hinder students from receiving baccalaureate degrees as well.
Senator McGaha said Kentucky is looking to recruit good principals and this must be accomplished by having good teachers who are certified and ready to teach. He said some students come out of high school not sure of what they want to do and have family obligations and not able to pursue a degree because they have to join the workforce. He said in his area it is a chore for students to get to universities to attend classes and he commended the higher education institutions who are offering programs to students in rural areas. He said the EPSB board needs to note that the Midway College program is working in his area and providing quality education and productive graduates. He said the business and industry community has had nothing but praise for these workers upon graduation and he would really have a problem with the board ending a program that is working so well.
Senator Winters introduced Mr. Steve Schenck, Associate Commissioner, KDE, and Dr. Applegate and asked them to join Dr. Rogers to discuss learning-centered leadership. Dr. Rogers also introduced Dr. Kathy O'Neal, an external consultant with the Education Leadership Redesign Task Force (ELR) and is a member of the SREB.
Dr. Rogers said members should have received a report in the mail entitled "Learning-Centered Leadership: The Preparation and Support for the Next Generation of Kentucky's School and District Leaders" and said the report was a result of the 2006 General Assembly House Joint Resolution 14. He said over thirty educational leaders served on the ELR and worked over a year on completing the report. He also said the work of the task force was supported in part by federal funds supplied through the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center via the SREB.
Dr. Rogers said four work groups were established for the redesign process. They were preparation programs, induction and working conditions, professional development, and doctoral programs.
Dr. Rogers said research clearly shows that, within the school, only a student's classroom teacher affects learning more than the principal and an effective principal is one who can increase student achievement by guiding and supporting teachers, while capably managing the school organization. He noted that Kentucky's current system of preparing and supporting principals, because it was designed to meet different expectations, is no longer adequate.
Dr. Rogers presented eleven recommendations developed through the ELR. These recommendations are located in the meeting folder in the LRC library. He said next steps include the EPSB, KDE, and CPE analyzing the ELR report for appropriate action, and each agency will promulgate specific regulations as required to implement the recommendations.
Representative Draud commended the group on this project and said over the long run it will have a major impact in Kentucky schools. He also said the academies and working with existing principals is critical to try to have a quick turn-around for an emphasis on instructional leadership.
Representative Graham asked if the 42 hours of professional development was a yearly or every two year requirement for administrators. Dr. Schenck said a principal has to accumulate 42 hours of professional development within two years. He asked if administrators have to submit the same paperwork to superintendents for their professional development hours that teachers submit to central office. Dr. Schenck said the same process is followed and the paperwork is submitted to the state department from the superintendent in each district to show that all administrators have accumulated the required 42 hours of professional development. He said KDE's concern is the quality of the professional development that the administrators receive and KDE does not have the resources to monitor the state's professional development programs, and must trust the superintendents and school district to assure that the quality is sufficient.
Representative Graham voiced concern about paying teachers to perform remediation classes for the students during the summer. He said some teachers would perform this service without pay, but it is not right or fair to expect that from them. He said programs need to be fully funded if the legislature is going to implement them.
Dr. Rogers said the frustration of the principals was communicated through the working condition survey. He said the EPSB is following up on the survey to learn how to help principals do their job because their job is incredibly difficult as is the job of teachers.
Senator Winters said there is no anticipation on his part that a school would have to provide remedial instruction during the summer without the resources provided for the service. He said regardless of whether the instruction occurs after school or during the summer, it is not fair to move a student forward with him or her being adequately prepared.
Senator Shaughnessy asked about exploring strategies for recruiting non-traditional students into principalships. Dr. Rogers said there are currently alternative routes for principals to enter into the program now. He said principals or superintendents that enter in the system through the alternative route still have to complete the internship, pass the assessments, and have the support of high quality professional development.
Senator Shaughnessy asked if Kentucky sees the non-traditional candidates very frequently. Dr. Rogers said the EPSB sees two or three a year. He said they have to be hired by a school district first, a site-based council, and then accepted into the option six alternative route by a university.
Senator Shaughnessy asked Dr. O'Neal to give an opinion from a national perspective on strategies or policies for attracting non-traditional people into education leadership positions at the high school level.
Dr. O'Neal responded that SREB just released a 2006 goals report and the states were highlighted who offered alternative licensure routes within those sixteen states. She said most of the states have similar alternative licensure options similar to the option six that Dr. Rogers discussed. She did note that this has not proved to be a viable option because of the working conditions of the school principal. She said there is more interest in the superintendent field than the principal field.
Senator Shaughnessy noted that the strongest leadership in Kentucky's primary research institutions, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, Dr. Lee Todd and Dr. Jim Ramsey, were hired through non-traditional methods. He asked Kentucky does not follow that avenue with hiring administrators within our high schools.
Representative Wuchner discussed the redesign strategy chart in the EPSB handout and asked why teacher leadership was not placed under student achievement and above principal leadership because the teacher spends more time in the classroom with the students. Dr. Rogers said it did not specify that one role was more important than the other and he thanked Rep. Wuchner for pointing that out and said she was right that teacher leadership should be moved up in the design model.
Senator Winters introduced Mr. Brad Cowgill, Interim President, CPE, and Mr. Applegate to discuss regional stewardship. Mr. Cowgill discussed the role of postsecondary institutions being called upon to become more engaged with their local communities and regions. He said national organizations such as the Alliance for Regional Stewardship are providing models for how postsecondary and regional interests and resources can be intergrated for mutual benefit and outlining the changes that must occur to maximize postsecondary institutions' impact on their regions.
Mr. Cowgill said the overarching goal of the Regional Stewardship Program is to promote economic development, livable communities, social inclusion, improved P-12 schools, creative governance, and civic participation through public engagement activities initiated by comprehensive university faculty and staff. The CPE administers this program and distributes funding to the comprehensive universities. He said in order to maximize the effectiveness of the program, the Council approved guidelines in July 2006.
Dr. Applegate presented a Power Point presentation and said regional stewardship is integral to Kentucky's public agenda and finding out if Kentucky's people, communities, and economy are benefiting from postsecondary education. He said there are three main components of the program, which are infrastructure funds, regional grant funds, and stewardship initiative funds.
Dr. Applegate said forming effective partnerships and creating regional advisory committees has been important to ensuring success in the program. He also said the program ensures accountability by demanding real internal change, demanding meaningful goals, metrics, and deliverables, and building in feedback loops and ultimately consequences for failure.
Dr. Applegate discussed the next steps for the Regional Stewardship Program. They are: ensure implementation of plans for internal changes and formation of regional advisory committees; approve funds for regional initiatives based on proposals approved by the regional advisory committee and supported by regional data and plan; assess success of regional initiatives; and seek additional funding to support the continuation of regional stewardship activities in 2008-2010.
Representative Draud said it is important for the General Assembly to fund the Regional Stewardship Program because it takes away from other academic programs.
Representative Moberly said he is hopeful for the success of the Regional Stewardship Program and thinks it is beginning to show its worth. He also feels the program can help CPE realize its goal of doubling the numbers of college graduates and feels it should be a priority moving forward.
Representative Rollins said Northern Kentucky has been very successful with the program, but asked if other regions have made significant progress with the program. Dr. Applegate said most regions are in the process of developing their regional advisory committees and developing their program goals. He said the CPE hopes to have their plans and begin funding the programs in the spring of 2008.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.