Thefirst meeting of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at 10:30 AM, in Room 113 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Jim Thompson, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Jim Thompson, Co-Chair; Senators Brett Guthrie, and Alice Kerr; Representatives Jack Coleman, Jon Draud, Tim Feeley, Derrick Graham, Reginald Meeks, Rick Nelson, Frank Rasche, and Charles Walton.
Guests: Dr. Susan Leib, Executive Director, and Dr. Phillip Rogers, Director, Division of Testing and Research, Education Professional Standards Board; and Bonnie Brinly, Kentucky Department of Education.
LRC Staff: Sandy Deaton and Kelley McQuerry.
Representative Thompson opened the meeting by recognizing the death of Ethel Alston, a legislative analyst with the Education Committee. He said that the committee and he in particular would miss her professional assistance.
Representative Thompson said that last year the subcommittee worked on a study of the teacher and principal internship programs. He said that the main objective is to talk about the possibility of a two-year teacher internship program. The Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) will be studying issues relating to the two-year program and will conduct a pilot program, which was authorized last year by Senate Bill 95(2002).
Representative Thompson introduced Dr. Susan Leib, Executive Director, and Dr. Phillip Rogers, Director, Division of Testing and Research, to give a status report of the progress of the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and what they expect to achieve.
Dr. Leib said that last interim the Subcommittee on the Teaching Profession came up with several recommendations to the EPSB on areas that needed to be reviewed. She said at that time EPSB asked the committee for time to review specific questions such as the membership of the internship committee and the possibility of a teacher having a two-year internship. She said that last year the federal government awarded EPSB an eleven million dollar grant to study the internship over a three year time period. She said that EPSB was also asked to speak to the subcommittee about the loss of funding for the Kentucky Principal Intern Program (KPIP). She said that the funding had been lost for the next fiscal year and that they are going to use this time to look at the principal internship program and then come back to the subcommittee with ways to improve the program. She introduced Dr. Rogers to speak on both issues.
Dr. Phillip Rogers referred to the handout on the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant (TQEG). He said that there is a ninety percent return rate for first year teachers and eighty percent return rate for second year teachers. After five years of experience the rate of teacher return is fifty percent. He said that if one looks at a return of investment nationally and the cost of preparation of a teacher, that only one-third of the cost is covered by the teacher and two-thirds is covered by public money. It is a good investment to have a program like the internship that keeps teachers in a profession longer and it benefits the Kentucky tax payers. He said that the federal grant that is being used has three priorities; 1) improve the teacher performance relative to EPSB Standards and P-12 student achievement; 2) provide new teacher mentors; and 3) develop an on-line conceptual framework linking teaching and learning through teacher standards, learning goals, core content for assessment, and academic expectations.
Dr. Rogers said that a good job has been done in training resource teachers to observe and to make judgments about a new teacher based upon the new teacher standards. He said that what needs improvement is the mentoring experience with those teachers. He said that they are also using the grant to work with institutions of higher education and the teacher preparation programs. He said the term “curriculum alignment” is being called “curriculum review.” Funds are being provided for the institutions to look at their course work and compare it to the teacher standards as well as the core content for assessment for P-12 students.
Dr. Rogers said that the second grant priority is to ensure that the teacher content preparation is aligned with the P-12 content standards. He said that it is important that teachers are being trained to teach what the P-12 students are required to know.
Dr. Rogers said that the third priority is to collect and use performance and accountably data. He said that they are wanting to bring together the teacher preparation programs with the data system that is shared with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) so that they can benefit from statewide reporting. He said that it can also be used in conducting research linking the teacher performance to student achievement and learning. He said the grant will allow programmers to help develop a new program called XML technology that allows a bi-directional feed of data between KDE’s system and EPSB’s system. He said that the institutions across the state have different levels of technology, some have one computer while others have several.
Dr. Rogers said the last part of the grant is research. He said that currently a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the research portion is out and there seems to be interest. He said that they are telling the interested institutions that every one of the priorities is related to student learning. He said that the hope is to have the institutions begin to think about the priorities as they are preparing their students. He said that the institutions’ activities with new teachers is going to impact P-12 learning and they need to start talking to the teachers about that impact. He said that this grant requires them to capture that. He said that there is no one in the country that knows how to do this and that there is hope that someone will come up with a interesting approach through the grant funds.
Dr. Rogers said the TQEG grant is going very well and EPSB appreciated the fact that the subcommittee allowed this to happen. He said that EPSB hopes to have 300 interns in the first pilot program and there are now 119 applicants. He said one of the goals was to eliminate the new teacher and experienced teacher standards and just have teacher standards. He said to create one set of teacher standards a matrix must be developed that shows on each standard where a new teacher should be and where a national board teacher should be. He said it will be tried out in Jefferson County.
Senator Guthrie said that there were many questions concerning KTIP during the session. Dr. Rogers said that because of the concern they have commissioned a paper to have some people external to KTIP review the roll of the teacher educator on the team. He said the primary purpose of the teacher educator was to have an external review. He said that there is an internal resource teacher and an internal principal and the teacher educator is the only external person on the committee. However, over the years the universities have employed primarily retired teachers to fill the teacher educator positions. He said that EPSB is asking the institution how many of the teacher educators on the committees actually teach a class in the institution. He said the teacher educator has two purposes, one, to be the external person on the team, and the other to bring to that committee cutting edge research and best practices in education to assist the intern. He said that the retired teacher may not have the knowledge base. He said that this why the paper was commissioned so there will be answers by the time the General Assembly reconvenes.
Senator Guthrie said that he is glad these concerns about the principal internship program are being addressed. Dr. Rogers said that the larger districts have a system they can put these folks into. The districts that are isolated from the institutions and the professional development that is offered in the larger towns do not always get to the smaller systems. Dr. Rogers said that an online support is being developed. He said there are two groups who need assistance, principals, and those who are preparing to be principals.
Representative Thompson said that the local school districts benefit from the universities’ influence in the teacher internship program. The professors also benefit by getting into the classrooms and seeing their finished products, this gives them the ability to go back to their own classrooms with a better perception of what they are doing in their teacher prep courses. He said that it is important to get the universities involved in this process.
Representative Draud said that from the universities’ perspective it is very difficult to find people to serve in these roles. Sometimes the best people to serve are the retired teachers.
Representative Walton said he had some concerns about the university teacher educators basing their decisions on the portfolio even though the teacher was not successful in the classroom. Dr. Rogers agreed that this can be a problem.
Representative Meeks asked why the University of Louisville is not part of the core group that is meeting on the data system. Dr. Rogers said that University of Louisville is not up to par with its data system. Representative Meeks said that he is concerned because Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) is the pilot for the data collection. Dr. Rogers said that JCPS is going to be using the new matrix to score interns. Representative Meeks said he wanted to be involved with getting University of Louisville on board in this issue. Dr. Rogers said they have been meeting with them but that the lack of leadership is causing this stumbling block. They need a push for someone to make this a priority.
Representative Meeks asked what different types of information will benefit the university for being a part of this system. Dr. Rogers said the XML system will be able to give universities the ability to have a bi-directional feed that will let them receive reports from the KDE and EPSB and give data relating to student success.
Senator Kerr said that these issues have been under discussion since last interim. She said that the collaborating groups are meeting, but the subcommittee does not get first hand knowledge of their discussions. She said that it might be a good idea to have the groups at one of the meetings so the information could be heard in one room at one time.
Representative Thompson said that teachers are concerned about the internship portfolio. He asked what EPSB’s reaction is when the teacher says the portfolio takes too much time for what they get out of it.
Dr. Leib said that she agreed with the first year teachers and that is one of the issues that is being studied as part of the grant. She said that there are some valid parts to the portfolio, but it is too cumbersome and one of the things that is being looked at is the two year internship. She said that first year would have more emphasis on mentoring and teachers could start working on their portfolio and then complete it in the second year. She said that it does need to be streamlined and it should be more meaningful and more effective. She said that data will be collected from the interns and the resource teachers about what is effective and what is a waste of time.
Dr. Rogers added that EPSB is looking not so much at the portfolio, but a teacher case study. This is a study that is done by the teacher showing student learning as a result of what they are teaching. He said that out of this will come a more meaningful portfolio. He said that the portfolio is an excellent way for teachers to document their experience in the internship and to benefit from reflection on their practice as well as pre and post assessments. A teacher case study will be the essence of the future portfolio.
Representative Thompson said that the portfolio is one of his reservations about the two-year program. He asked if we were going to subject the teacher to developing the portfolio. Dr Rogers said that it will be smaller, more concise, and more meaningful.
Senator Casebier asked Dr. Leib and Dr. Rogers to come back before the subcommittee in November or December since the information needs to be reviewed before January. Dr. Leib said that as more data is received throughout this grant process, it will be available to the committee upon request. She said that this is a three-year process.
Representative Thompson went over the 2003 Interim workplan . He said that the first item is to complete the study of the internship program. He said another subcommittee issue that will be discussed in the June 18, 2003 education meeting, will be the Comprehensive School Support Services for Students. He asked the members to let him know if they had other agenda items.
With no further business the meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m.