Call to Order and Roll Call
The7th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, December 12, 2011, at 1:00 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Carl Rollins II, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Carl Rollins II, Co-Chair; Senator Ken Winters, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., Jared Carpenter, David Givens, Denise Harper Angel, Jimmy Higdon, Vernie McGaha, Gerald A. Neal, Johnny Ray Turner, Jack Westwood, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Linda Belcher, Hubert Collins, Leslie Combs, C. B. Embry Jr., Bill Farmer, Derrick Graham, Donna Mayfield, Reginald Meeks, Charles Miller, Rick G. Nelson, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Ryan Quarles, Marie Rader, Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Rita Smart, Wilson Stone, Ben Waide, Alecia Webb-Edgington, Addia Wuchner, and Jill York.
Guests: Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Dale Winkler, Office of Career and Technical Education and Kentucky Department of Education; Chris Smith, Office of the Blind; Shirley LaFavers, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Clyde Caudill, Kentucky Association of School Administrators and Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; Sue Cain, Council on Postsecondary Education; Allison Jessee, Office of the Blind; Patrick Shirley, Office of the Blind; Crystal Dempsey-Gillum, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation; Jim Thompson, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet; Robin Chandler, Kentucky Department of Education.
Approval of the November 14, 2011, minutes
Representative Collins moved to approve the minutes of the November 14, 2011, meeting and Representative Mayfield seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by voice vote.
Kentucky Facilities Inventory and Classification System (KFICS) Report
Hiren Desai, Office of Administration and Support, Kentucky Department of Education, said the General Assembly in SB 132 directed the Department of Education to contract with a third party vendor to conduct a study of school facilities. He asked that all members consider whether or not the KFICS system is the classification system that they would want implemented long-term. Mr. Desai explained that historically the Commonwealth has used a system of categorizing school district buildings as categories one through five, with one being the best and five being the worst. This local categorization process has worked very well. The Department of Education welcomes direction from the General Assembly and school districts on which system would be better.
Kay Kennedy, Division of District Support, discussed the process used in conducting the KFICS system survey. Ms. Kennedy said the KDE and their partners, Parsons and MGT, developed checklists based on Kentucky regulations and standards that can be used as on-site assessments. She said Parsons and MGT trained the assessment teams which consisted of engineers, architects, superintendents, and principals. The assessors examined the facility condition, education suitability, technology readiness, and enrollment projections, capacity, and utilization. These components contribute to the score assigned to each of the buildings in the assessment. The assessors started with the buildings that were classified either as a three or a four as of September, 2010, since the General Assembly had addressed the category five schools in the 11 RS session with some funding incentives for the local districts. The presentation materials and charts are located in the meeting folder in the Legislative Research Commission library.
After the Condition assessor and Educational suitability assessor evaluated the school, the Assessment Team recorded their results in the KFICS database and school level reports were produced. Parsons and MGT then analyzed the schools’ data and developed draft school reports and scores. Three components (condition, suitability, and technology) were considered in assigning the Kentucky school score. Ms. Kennedy said the KFICS deliverables included a state report, which has a ranked list of schools in Kentucky by school score, an annual report which includes the executive summary, and an individual school report for each facility assessed. These materials are located in the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Ms. Kennedy explained that the department’s 2012-2014 biennial budget request of $2.7 million would allow for an additional assessment of approximately 400 category two school buildings. The department will add additional software to allow it to include a construction planning component.
In response to Chairmen Rollins’ question about why Woodford County High School was not on the Facilities Inventory and Classification System Report, Ms. Kennedy said that Woodford County did not have any schools in category three or four.
In response to Representative Webb-Edgington questions regarding children who attend schools in trailers, Ms. Kennedy stated that temporary buildings were not assessed in this survey.
In response to Representative Waide’s question about the meaning of the 50.11 percent dealing with the Kentucky facility index, Ms. Kennedy said there is a national standard called the facility condition index (FCI). She said there is a Kentucky FCI that includes the Commonwealth’s standards in addition to the national standards, and both were factored into the condition score. The condition score is only one component of the final score.
In response to Representative Farmer’s question about how the five category system compares to the KFICS system, Mr. Desai said the old system was good but only looked at one component of what it takes to have a good facility. He said the new system is better because it takes into account the instructional programs and the needs of the classroom.
Responding to Representative Stone’s questions, Mr. Desai said 1,400 buildings had been assessed, and about nine hundred remain. Five hundred of the buildings in the state are category one. Ms. Kennedy stated that the KFICS system has triggers to identify when a system ages out.
Responding to Representative Nelson’s question about how the suitability and technology score can affect a schools facility, Ms. Kennedy said the vendor recommended replacing the system in which condition represented 100 percent of the score with the following weights: 75 percent condition, 20 percent suitability, 5 percent technology.
Chairman Rollins mentioned that the top five or eight schools on the report have the lowest condition scores. He said it appears that condition will still be the driver more so than suitability and technology.
In response to questions, Ms. Kennedy said schools may deteriorate due to lack of funding for maintenance, and Mr. Desai indicated that the total cost of the consultants’ contract was two million dollars.
Senator Winters commented that many school facilities built in the 1970s were patterned after the Nova open space classroom concept. Some schools built in the 1970s would have had bad scores a few years after they were built, and that is why some older schools have better scores now compared to those schools built in the 1970s.
Bob Tarvin, Executive Director of School Facilities Construction Commission, explained that some systems begin to fail after 15-30 years of use, including plumbing, HVAC, and roofs. With renovations, the systems acquire additional longevity.
Representative Miller commented on his experience on a committee of people who assessed schools facilities five to ten years ago. He stated that they did not use the same system that is used now, but the assessment committee membership was similar.
In response to Representative Palumbo’s questions about a newer school not meeting the suitability criteria and the definition of Area Technical Center (ATC) 999, Ms. Kennedy said suitability refers to how the district is currently utilizing that space. She said that without going back to that specific schools report she could not address specifics, but she would get Representative Palumbo an answer as soon as possible. Ms. Kennedy also said that ATC 999 schools are district owned facilities but are run by the state.
Representative Graham stated that having the KFICS system provides a better format for districts to follow. He said the old system had a lot of politics involved in how the schools were ranked, and the new system will help establish a consistent pattern.
Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) survey
Ann Maddock, New Teacher Center, said teacher attitudes about teaching conditions are not about salary and not about morale. She said attitudes about teaching conditions are about the supports that research has shown are necessary for teachers and administrators to do their jobs well.
Michael Dailey, Kentucky Department of Education, said the intent for the TELL survey is for school improvement and to insure the teachers and leaders have the necessary supports in place to improve student learning. Mr. Dailey said the Coalition of Partners and its Memorandum of Understanding clearly indicates that the coalition of partners believe that the teaching conditions in the state of Kentucky are important to support student learning.
Ms. Maddock said Kentucky set a brand new national record for statewide administration of the TELL survey. She said over 42,000 Kentucky educators were surveyed. About 89 percent of Kentucky schools met the minimum threshold to have their data viewed publically. This says a lot about the coalition of partners and how they all work well together. Anyone can view the schools individual data at www.tellkentucky.org. One can also view district results, state results, and information on how to use the data.
Ms. Maddock said the key preliminary findings from the survey are that the educators in Kentucky are very positive. They are more positive than other states in a few key areas. One of the challenges teachers in Kentucky and other states face is the issue of time. Time requires a big financial investment from the state. During bad economic times, investment in time usually suffers. About 59 percent of Kentucky educators agree that teachers have reasonable class sizes.
Ms. Maddock noted that administrative surveys were given in addition to teacher surveys. As in every other state, teachers and the principals see things differently.
Mr. Dailey said the Coalition has focused on recognition of schools that are showing high student achievement and high working conditions. An advisory team representing the coalition has worked through a rubric and a process to identify schools across the state. There were 49 schools that met the criteria and received honorable mention. The ten highest ranking schools were identified in a press release and recognized at the 17th annual Safe Schools Conference in Louisville.
Ms. Maddock said that, after the passage of 2010 RS HB 176, persistently low achieving schools were immediately able to start utilizing survey data for improvement. The commissioner had just received the district 180 priority school report and noted that all 22 of the first 22 schools identified have data to work from now.
Mr. Dailey said Kentucky would include in its biennial budget request $175,000 to continue the TELL survey.
In response to Chairman Rollins’ questions, Mr. Dailey explained that there have been a couple of webinars with superintendents to make sure they understood how the data is going to be reported and how to use the data. He said schools and districts have been provided training and guides for data use.
Responding to Representative Palumbo’s question regarding student conduct on page 13 of the handout, Ms. Maddock said the issues are not only whether staff perceive students as following the rules of conduct but whether the faculty clearly communicated the expectations to students.
Report from Career and Technical Education Task Force
Dale Winkler, Executive Director, The Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE), said CTE provides students a work ethic and problem solving ability. He said CTE programs also provide students with numerous choices regarding postsecondary education and future employment. The Commonwealth needs to provide a strong CTE curriculum that integrates core academics, aligns the needs of business and industry, and assists teachers and administrators in preparing students for productive futures. In the 2010-2011 academic year, there were 153,727 secondary students enrolled in at least one CTE course. CTE programs can be found in 163 out of the 174 school districts in the state of Kentucky. About 75 percent of all Kentucky high school students are enrolled in CTE programs. Those students can choose from 14 career clusters to prepare them to pursue various career pathways. The largest program in CTE is business administration with over 61,000 participants. There are five performance measures that are reported annually to the U.S. Department of Education, and these performance measures are required by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act Amendments of 2006. The measures report the percent of CTE students that are proficient or distinguished in reading and math, and they also indicate the percentage of CTE concentrators that complete CTE programs of study and graduate from high school. The final performance measure focuses on the percentage of CTE concentrators that successfully transition to postsecondary education, the workforce, or military services.
Mr. Winkler said there are three reasons why CTE plays such an important role in a student’s educational experience at the middle and high school levels. There are numerous studies that demonstrate the holding power of CTE as part of the high school experience. There is a strong body of evidence that shows that participation in high school CTE increases the likelihood of students completing high school. There is extensive experimental research conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education and also applied research that has been conducted by the Southern Region Education Board that shows that, if one carefully implements curriculum integration strategies in the areas of Career and Technical Education, one can significantly improve math and literacy skills. He said that there is an emerging body of evidence that shows that students who concentrate in career and technical education are more likely than other students to attend college.
Mr. Winkler stated that in 2009 Governor Beshear created a task force on Transforming Education in Kentucky (TEK). The task force met ten times and hosted a statewide community forum in which more than 1,500 Kentuckians shared their views on improving education in Kentucky. In February of this year, the TEK task force released its final report, "Breaking New Ground." The report contained 35 recommendations for transforming education in Kentucky. One of the recommendations called for the Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Commissioner of Education to establish a Steering Committee to develop a comprehensive statewide plan to implement a new model of secondary career and technical education. This plan would emphasize innovation, integrating core academics, twenty first century skills, project based learning, and full time CTE programs. The plan was offered for consideration by the 2012 General Assembly.
Mr. Winkler said on November 29, 2011, the CTE Steering Committee approved the amended recommendations of the various workgroups. Six guiding principles were adopted to guide the work of the redesign of CTE in Kentucky. Information on the six guiding principles is located in the committee meeting folder in the LRC library.
Mr. Winkler explained the benefits of merging CTE entities. Some of the immediate benefits include administrative cost savings, improved alignment of resources, establishment of a common philosophical approach, a more understandable secondary CTE system, and a better integration of core content and academic requirements in the CTE curriculum.
In response to a question from Chairman Rollins, Mr. Winkler said that once final edits are made to the report, the final copies will be given to all the legislators.
Representative Richards stated that the names of two superintendents in the Steering Committee are reversed. Jim Flynn is Superintendent in Simpson County and James Neihof is Superintendent in Shelby County.
Responding to Senator Given’s questions about administrative cost savings and the state budget office listening, Mr. Winkler said the administration has begun work on projecting cost savings and has looked at comparisons with previous biennium budgets.
Responding to Representative Stone’s questions regarding human services and independent ACT scores, Mr. Winkler said that Family and Consumer Science is included in Human Services along with Health Science Programs. He stated that the information on ACT scores is not available, but it is information that the Office would like to examine.
Responding to Senator McGaha’s questions about a common philosophical approach and curriculum, Mr. Winkler said Kentucky has two different curriculums for Career and Technical Education. The Department of Education requires a program of study and an implementation manual that includes course descriptions and competencies listed for certain courses. The Office of Career and Technical Education’s curriculum follows the Kentucky Community and Technical College System course curriculum.
Review of Administrative Regulations
Chris Smith, Executive Director, Office of the Blind, Patrick Shurley Council for Office of the Blind, and Allison Jessee, Director of Consumer Services, Office of the Blind were available to speak on Administrative Regulations 782 KAR 1:020, 782 KAR 1:030, 782 KAR 1:040, and 782 KAR 1:070. Most of the regulations addressed minor grammatical and technical changes.
The definition section of 782 KAR 1:020 has been changed to align with federal regulations, specifically the definition of significant disability and non significant disability.
782 KAR 1:030 reduced the number of agency funded round trips for clients between home and postsecondary education institutions from six to two because of budgetary restraints.
Representative Stone made a motion to accept the amendments to the Administrative Regulations, and Representative Richards seconded that motion. A voice vote approved the motion.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 3:08 p.m.