Call to Order and Roll Call
Thefifth meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, October 11, 2010, at 12:30 PM, in the Media Center at Green County High School. Senator Ken Winters, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., David Givens, Jimmy Higdon, Alice Forgy Kerr, Vernie McGaha, R.J. Palmer II, Tim Shaughnessy, Elizabeth Tori, and Jack Westwood; Representatives John "Bam" Carney, Jim DeCesare, Ted Edmonds, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Jim Glenn, Derrick Graham, Reginald Meeks, Harry Moberly Jr., Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Wilson Stone, Addia Wuchner, and Jill York.
Guests: Beth Brinly, Commissioner, Department for Workforce Investment; Lynn Givens, Green County teacher and wife of Senator David Givens; Mary Ann Blaydes Baron, Green County Judge Executive; Lisle Cheatham, Greensburg Mayor; Clyde Caudill, Legislative Liaison, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Lori Davis, Legislative Liaison, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS); Jay Box, Chancellor, KCTCS; Bob Tarvin, Executive Director, School Facilities Construction Commission; Tracy Herman, Legislative Liaison, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE); Kevin Brown, KDE General Counsel; Marcie Lowe, Education Professional Standards Board; and Roger Dan, retired educator.
Welcome and Recognitions
Senator David Givens welcomed the members and guests to Green County and introduced his wife Lynn, who is a teacher at Green County High School, and local officials Mary Ann Blaydes Baron, Green County Judge Executive; and Lisle Cheatham, Greensburg Mayor. Representative Richards congratulated the members of the Green County High School Girls Golf Team on recently winning state high school golf championship.
Approval of Minutes
Upon motion by Senator McGaha, seconded by Senator Kerr, the minutes of the September 13, 2010, meeting was approved by voice vote.
Overview of Green County Schools
Superintendent Marshall Lowe, Assistant Superintendent Jim Frank, and Board Chair Marcy Goff gave an overview of the Green County School District.
Mr. Lowe commented on the importance of teamwork between board members, faculty and community leaders to ensure that the education needs of Green County’s students are being met. Ms. Goff introduced the members and coach of the 2010 Girls State Championship Golf Team. She expressed her commitment to ensuring a quality education for Green County students.
Mr. Frank said that Green County has approximately 1700 students. The high school was built in the 1970s and a new intermediate school recently opened that was funded by an urgent needs appropriation provided by the legislature. He said there is little industry in the area and the district operates on a limited tax basis so any funding beyond regularly appropriated monies is extremely helpful. The latest upgrade was a new weight lifting and physical training facility in the high school.
Career and Technical Education in Green County High School
James Bonta, the high school agriculture teacher, gave a presentation on the importance of career and technical education, especially as it relates to agricultural activities. Committee members were provided a copy of his PowerPoint presentation. He said that although 1.7 percent of the United States workforce actually works in the farming industry, overall 18 percent of the workforce is employed in agricultural related fields. Kentucky farms export over $1 million each year in agriculture products, with the top five products being chickens, horses, cattle, tobacco, and corn. The three components of the school’s agriculture program are various aspects of agriculture, such as animal technology, agriscience, forestry, and others, which includes hands-on training; segments related to science, math, reading, writing, and career preparation; and skills training in leadership, money management, teamwork, conservation, and civics. Students also participate in the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP) in which each student selects a project, such as raising cattle or other animals; raising crops or gardens; or working in restaurants, banks, or greenhouses. Written documentation is required to show progress. Green County has 120 members in its Future Farmers of America (FFA) club. The statewide FFA membership is 14,500 and nationwide is over 520,000 students. Green County students may also elect to participate in dual credit courses offered through the University of Kentucky in animal science, plant science, agribusiness, and environmental resource management; and in Introduction to Agriculture Education through Murray State University. Students may also participate in skill standard testing for career and technical education with six state universities to earn up to six credit hours in animal production, crop production, horticulture, or agribusiness. Mr. Bonta said that classes offered in the agriculture program incorporate various math, reading, and science skills, and data has shown that overall students who have taken two or more vocational classes score higher on ACT examinations.
Stacy Skaggs, who teaches Family and Consumer Science, also commented on the importance of career and technical education. She said her own participation in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) organization, formerly Future Homemakers of America, was instrumental in improving her leadership skills and led her to become a career and technical education teacher. She provides instruction on proper diet, clothing, budgeting, parenting, marriage, and building self-esteem. Students in her class participate in a child care services program where they may earn a certification in the child care services that enables them to become immediately employable in the child care industry. The students may also earn up to nine hours toward a child development associate degree or other related fields. An articulation agreement with Western Kentucky University for dual credit has been established and agreements with other universities are being explored.
Leadership Development through Career and Technical Education Student Organizations
Courtney Turner and Samuel Janes, Green County High School students, provided comments on how student organizations have benefitted them. Regis Pearson, who had assisted with the morning tours of the Green County Area Technology Center, was also recognized.
Ms. Turner said that she is vice-president of Green County’s FCCLA Club and that her involvement in the club helped her overcome shyness and build confidence so that she is now a leader in her school and community. The club participates in many community improvement activities and members may individually compete in STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events, where they are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation activities.
Mr. Janes said he is currently FFA chapter president and regional reporter. He said that FFA focuses on premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. His involvement allowed him to step out of his comfort zone to become a leader and communicator. Members participate in state and national conventions and are active in community improvement projects. Representative Carney said that many legislators had participated in FFA and could attest to its impact on leadership skills.
Transforming Career and Technical Education in Kentucky
Senator Winters said that he is serving on the Governor’s Task Force for Transforming Education in Kentucky and its report will include several recommendations on career and technical education.
Deborah Anderson, Supervisor, College and Career Readiness Branch, Kentucky Department of Education; and John Marks, Executive Director, Office of Career and Technical Education, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, gave a joint presentation to the committee. Committee members were provided a copy of the PowerPoint presentation and other related information.
Career and technical education (CTE) is provided in Kentucky by local school districts with oversight from KDE, the KY Tech system administered through the Office of Career and Technical Education, and KCTCS. Approximately 66 percent of high school students are enrolled in CTE programs and a few courses are also offered at the middle school level. CTE programs include agriculture, business, communications, construction, family consumer sciences/human services, health science, information technology, manufacturing, marketing, transportation, and engineering technology.
Prior to 1988, all CTE programs were located in local and state operated secondary and postsecondary schools. KDE was responsible for policy and program standards development, management operations, and reporting of the Carl D. Perkins federal grant monies. Through various legislative action and executive orders, primary responsibility for career and technical education changed several times from 1988 to the present. Currently, the Office of Career and Technical Education oversees the 54 KY Tech area technology centers (ATCs). A proposed KDE reorganization, which is pending approval by Governor Beshear, will relocate KDE’s Division for Career and Technical Education to the Branch for College and Career Readiness, Office of Next Generation Learners, Division of Program Standards.
Ms. Anderson said that statistics show that career and technical education helps connect student academic learning to real world concepts with hands-on activities and keeps them focused on a career path that tends to lead to higher college completion rates. It enables students to develop relationships with experts in various fields and students may spend as much as 25 percent of their high school experience in a career and technical education program. They also have accelerated learning opportunities through dual credit and articulation agreements. Students need academic skills, technical skills and knowledge, and employability skills to be ready for college or the workforce. CTE students take academic tests, such as ACT; performance-based assessments, such as WorkKeys; unique industry certification examinations; and the Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards Assessment (KOSSA). They complete a sequence of courses in a concentrated area of study; earn academic and technical credentials; experience leadership activities, such as FFA or SkillsUSA, among others; and successfully transition into postsecondary education, the workforce, or the military. Ms. Anderson said that KDE tracked the CATS academic index of students between 2000-2008 who actively participated in a CTE program of studies and found that every year CTE students out performed and moved ahead faster than students not participating.
Mr. Marks discussed the industry certifications that CTE students can achieve in a specific program area, including nursing, welding, automotive and others. The certification assures industries that the students are prepared for the workforce in the area of study. CTE organizations are co-curricular and embedded so students develop leadership and technical skills in addition to employability skills. Ms. Anderson said that the career and technical student organization is a requirement in the basic program standards for CTE by policy through the Kentucky Board of Education. Approximately 45,000 Kentucky high school students are involved in one of the CTE organizations.
Mr. Marks said that his office has worked with KCTCS on articulation and dual credit agreements for the KY Tech ATCs. He said the “Close the Deal” project funded by the Kentucky College Access Network has been extremely beneficial in helping students and parents understand the dual credit process and how to transfer the credits to higher education institutions. KY Tech teachers are postsecondary accredited faculty or adjunct faculty accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. An aligned secondary-postsecondary curriculum is used in KY Tech. Also, the AmeriCorp Project is funding 13 counselors who travel to KY Tech schools to assist students with career and postsecondary education planning.
Ms. Anderson said that the curriculum for CTE programs is constantly being changed and revised to meet current business and industry standards. KDE is currently working with a 12-state consortium of the Southern Regional Education Board’s High Schools That Work program to create new curriculum in career areas that are emerging. Economic development personnel in the different states are involved in the process. With assistance from Northern Kentucky University, KDE will develop a four-course sequence in the informatics academic field. The courses will be project-based so students stay continuously engaged; teacher professional development will be necessary; and end-of-course assessments will be developed to validate student learning. Funding has been provided for developing a transitional program of study in career and technical education that begins in middle school and carries through to postsecondary institutions. KDE currently has nine courses mapped to meet academic required course work and continues to explore ways to integrate CTE courses that are rich in math, science, and other academic content areas to count as academic credit.
Some of the challenges in career and technical education include ensuring the availability of career counselors and promoting CTE as an interdisciplinary approach to high school instruction. Budget reductions have made it difficult to maintain CTE teaching positions; provide adequate professional development; and supply and equip CTE classrooms. Teacher certification and highly qualified educator requirements also creates challenges since some of the CTE teachers are in-service teachers from an occupational area. KDE is hoping to find a way to certify in-service teachers or ways to allow their students to earn academic credit. Mr. Marks said providing instruction for CTE students in shared centers is often difficult because of varying school calendars, daily schedules, and transportation issues.
Mr. Marks said that the KY Tech System of Schools is the only Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accredited technical education school program in the United States. The Office of Career and Technical Education provides program oversight of KY Tech. There are currently 54 Ky Tech Area Technology Centers with 21,000 students enrolled from 127 school districts with an overall $40 million budget. The Office of Career and Technical Education also staffs the CTE programs in Kentucky’s juvenile justice facilities. The instructional personnel system is governed by KRS Chapter 151B and classified staff is governed by KRS Chapter 18A. The division also distributes and provides reporting on the $20 million Perkins federal grant. The office of CTE has specialized consultants in various occupational disciplines, such as health, transportation, information technology, and others, and provides statewide leadership for various student organizations. The office also manages the Technology Education Data System (TEDS) and the New Teacher Institute (NTI), and provides other services to ensure program and student success in the Ky Tech system.
Ms. Anderson said in addition to KY Tech, CTE programs have a total student enrollment of 122,727 in 234 high schools, 18 middle schools, and 44 locally operated centers or departments. The KDE Branch for College and Career Readiness has central office staff in Frankfort and also staffs a FFA Leadership Training Center in Hardinsburg. The Branch for College and Career Readiness provides policy development and oversight of all secondary CTE providers, reviews and approves yearly plans submitted by local school districts for Perkins grant funding, and monitors the $7 million program budget. The office provides technical support and statewide leadership including professional development training and support for CTE teachers. The CTE high school program is funded by SEEK and federal Perkins allocations; middle schools use SEEK dollars; and locally operated centers use SEEK, other General Fund allocated monies, and Perkins funding. CTE programs are expanding across the state with districts building their own facilities, including new facilities in Jessamine, Scott, Hopkins, and Grant counties.
In response to questions from Representative Rollins, Mr. Marks said that a program assessment using 17 standards is completed every 24 months in the KY Tech ATCs. Enrollments in the programs are constantly monitored and sometimes programs with low enrollments are retired and new programs are developed to meet industry needs. Ms. Anderson said that 2,000 students who graduated last year earned industry certifications. Industry certifications are proprietary and all of the industries do not report their data to KDE. Mr. Marks said that Perkins funding can be used to pay for students to take certification tests. Also, all students are tested using either the Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards test or industry certification tests. Some programs areas do not have an industry certification for students.
In response to a question from Senator Winters about distribution of Perkins funding, Mr. Marks said distribution of funds is based on enrollment and poverty level of the counties where the programs are located. KY Tech receives about $1.7 million of the $20 million of Perkins funding, with the remainder funding school districts and KCTCS programs.
In response to questions from Representative Carney regarding graduation requirements, Ms. Anderson said that efforts are being made to integrate academics and career and technical education as interdisciplinary course work is developed. She said a construction geometry class has been developed and others are being considered to enhance technical education programs. Senator Winters said that credits for a construction geometry class would not be recognized as valid credits for higher education institutions and he encouraged the use of consistent titles and class work to ensure the validity of the credits. Ms. Anderson said that the terminology related to construction is only being used in technical education classes and the credit for the course in the Infinite Campus system would be identified only as geometry.
In response to a question from Representative Riner, Mr. Marks said that career counselors are not available for at risk students and others who have graduated from high school.
Representative Wuchner requested that information be made available to committee members on the number of CTE students who took dual credit courses that went on to a postsecondary education institution and on the number of students who entered the career field with appropriate skills and their earnings related to the career. Ms. Anderson said the department is exploring ways to track students following graduation. A few local districts with best practices have provided data showing that 30 percent of the students with dual credit have enrolled in KCTCS institutions. Mr. Marks said information is maintained in the Technology Education Database System on college transfer, career transfer, military enlistment, and graduation rates for KY Tech students.
In response to a question from Senator Shaughnessy, Ms. Anderson said that Kentucky is developing courses on informatics and the other states involved in the SREB/HSTW project will develop four course sequences in other program areas. The courses include creating the digital world, building the digital world, managing the digital world, and all things digital, which will be the types of skills students will need in the area of information technology to be marketable in many career areas or industries. The first two courses will be piloted in the fall of 2011 with at least 10 to 20 schools participating and the final two courses will be piloted the following year.
In response to a question for Representative Stone, Ms. Anderson said that locally owned and operated technology centers are the trend because there is no funding available at the state level. She said local districts, such as Hopkins and Grant Counties, have set up programs that correspond with existing or planned industry in their respective communities. Mr. Marks said that in the past the legislature provided funding for various programs in different areas of the state based on industry need assessments, including those in Pulaski County, Butler County, and Bowling Green.
In response to a question from Representative Carney about why some students with dual credits enroll more frequently in one community college versus another, Mr. Marks said that CTE program staff may work more with certain community colleges based on location and the programs of study offered at the colleges. Dr. Jay Box, Chancellor for KCTCS, said that when a high school student transcript includes a dual credit offered by a KCTCS college, it will be accepted at any KCTCS college offering the course of study. He said matriculation is the appropriate terminology for when the student graduates from high school and attends a higher education facility.
In response to a question from Senator Givens about program reviews and career readiness, Ms. Anderson said that program reviews will help to focus district attention on the importance of CTE programs and schools will be required to show evidence of deeply embedding a fully functional career studies program into the culture of the school. Mr. Marks said an effective measure would be to track a student over a three to five year period to find out if the student actually attended college, became employed in their field of study, or enlisted in the military. Senator Givens agreed that the effective measure would be if five years post graduation the student was earning a living and that the salaries of teachers and administrators could be tied to student success.
Senator Winters said that previously teachers in public schools received a $3,000 raise but because of budgetary language teachers of career and technical education did not receive the raise, which required correction by legislative action. He said there was also a stipend available to National Board certified teachers that did not include CTE teaching positions and legislative action was again necessary to correct the situation. The furlough issues have also been controversial. Senator Winters said he plans to ensure that all Kentucky students are served in the best way possible. He recognized Mike Stone, Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Career and Technical Education, and said that the association will be working with the Kentucky Board of Education to move career and technical education forward.
Review of Administrative Regulation
Kevin Brown, General Counsel for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that Regulation 702 KAR 7:130 relates to approval of innovative school calendars. He said the regulation was amended in response to budget language in the 2010 Special Session that required the establishment of an approval process by the commissioner for innovative alternative school calendars. An innovative alternative school calendar was defined in the amended regulation as a school calendar that contains less than 176 six-hour instructional days, although it must contain a minimum of 1,062 hours. Thirty-nine districts currently use an innovative alternative school calendar, which have been approved by the commissioner. There were no questions regarding the regulation.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting will be held in Frankfort on Monday, November 8, 2010.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM, CDT.