Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 5th Meeting

of the 2003 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> December 1, 2003

 

The<MeetNo2> 5th meeting of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> December 1, 2003, at<MeetTime> 10:30 AM, in<Room> Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Jim Thompson, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Lindy Casebier, Co-Chair; Representative Jim Thompson, Co-Chair; Senator Brett Guthrie; Representatives Jon Draud, Tim Feeley, Derrick Graham, Reginald Meeks, and Charles Walton.

 

Guests:  Mr. Tom Peterson and Dr. Phillip Rogers, Education Professional Standards Board; Pam Hammonds and Joyce Dotson, Kentucky Education Association; Mike Carr and Wayne Young, Kentucky Association for School Administrators; Roland Haun, Kentucky Association for School Superintendents; Kathy Louisgnont, Partners for Kentucky's Future; and Cindy Heine, Prichard Committee.

 

LRC Staff: Janet Stevens, Sandy Deaton and Kelley McQuerry.

 

 

 

Representative Graham introduced to the members of the subcommittee students from Frankfort High School. He said the students have been studying the legislative process in Representative Graham's Political Science Class.

 

Representative Thompson said that the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) was established as part of the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) to oversee the education profession. He said that it is the standards and accreditation agency for Kentucky teachers and administrators and for programs of education at Kentucky colleges and universities. In early 1999 the task force on teacher quality, comprised of legislators and gubernatorial appointees focused attention on the needs of teachers, administrators and the teaching profession as a whole. He said that during the deliberation the task force heard the need for an in-depth review of the teacher intern program, which included giving consideration to a second year of formal support for new teachers.

 

Representative Thompson introduced Dr. Phillip Rogers, Director, Division of Professional Learning and Assessment and Mr. Tom Peterson, Director, Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant, Education Professional Standards Board, to give an update related to both the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) and the Kentucky Principal Internship Program (KPIP).

 

Dr. Rogers said that back in June of 2002, EPSB brought to the subcommittee some concerns and some requests regarding KTIP and the primary concern with the program related to the role of the teacher educator. He said that a teacher educator is assigned to every new intern and there is an average of 3,000 interns a year. New teachers in Kentucky who have less than two years of teaching experience are required to go thorough the internship program. He said the Internship Program Committee consists of a resource teacher that is a practicing teacher, with the first choice being in that subject area and in that building; a principal, who is also the chair of the committee; and a teacher educator from the teacher educator program. He said there are 27 teacher educator programs in the state, at both public and private institutions.

 

Dr. Rogers said that the concerns were related to who was serving in the role of the teacher educator. The purpose to the teacher educator committee is to bring forth best practices and cutting edge research, as well as to take back from the committee, teacher education program feedback. He said that some of the people that were serving as teacher educators were retired classroom teachers. He said that EPSB thought that could be a problem, but being a statutory law, could do nothing about it. The way the law is written the assignment is made by the institution. He said that the subcommittee has given EPSB the opportunity to investigate this and the results have shown that half of the teacher educator roles are teaching faculty and the other half are retired teachers and principals. He said that most disturbing is the fact that 70 percent of the interns do not have a person that is a teaching faculty member at one of the teacher preparation programs, but instead a retired teacher who is serving the role of the teacher educator. He said that in an interview process, EPSB found out that the person serving in this role has little or no contact with the teacher preparation program. He said that the feedback from the institution is not existing and it is a concern that the value is not evident with that person.

 

Dr. Rogers said that the KTIP is working and 90 percent of teachers are returning for the second year. He said that it a recent study in Tennessee, it shows that Kentucky is only slightly above them. He said based on an SREB study, 75 percent of Kentucky's teachers are still in the classroom at the five-year mark and in Tennessee only 58 percent of their teachers are still in the classroom at the five-year mark.

 

Dr. Rogers said that another concern is that the role of the teacher educator is not providing the "bang for the buck" as it should. He said that the question is what is the role of the teacher educator, and the cost of $1.1 million to have the teacher educator on the committee. He said another question is are we getting the added value of having that person on the committee, and what are the options relating making such a change that KTIP would not be negatively impacted, because it is working.

 

Representative Walton said that he has participated in the KTIP program and there are several concerns. He said the number one positive about the program is the resource teacher. He said that if there is a good resource teacher with a first year intern, that makes all the difference. He said a teacher educator comes to the school, spends an hour with the intern looking over the portfolio, then has a meeting with the resource teacher, the principal and the intern. He said he questions the worth of that process. He said that the teacher educator is only there for three one-hour observations. He said that he feels support staff from the central office could be brought in, and could do a better job because of understanding the curriculum and programs.

 

Representative Meeks asked about the SREB results that were comparing Kentucky and Tennessee. He asked if other southern states had also been compared in that study. Dr. Rogers said that only 13 states have a model similar to Kentucky's program. He said the only other two states that are referenced to Kentucky are California and Connecticut. He said that Kentucky's program is even more superior than the other states.

 

Representative Meeks asked about the concerns of ESPB and whether the legislature defined or required something different than what was originally proposed for this program or if these issues were just revealed over time. Dr. Rogers said that in looking back, this was a concern at the beginning on how this was going to be done logistically. He said at that time it was recommended that if a third party was needed, then a district person would be put in that role.

 

Dr. Rogers said that recommendations have been made in the executive summary on how to proceed. He said there needs to be adjustments made to the KTIP program. He said he would prefer this being addressed legislatively rather than in the budget process.

 

Representative Draud asked if the cost for each teacher educator is $300. Dr. Rogers said that the $1.1 million includes face to face training that the institution does for committee members and the $55 per visit and the travel.

 

Representative Draud said that the point is the position of teacher educator is not a highly desirable position for the teacher educator either. He said that he likes the idea of not requiring a teacher educator, but making that options available to people who want to serve and not force people to do this.

 

Representative Graham asked about the teacher educator having up to 24 interns per year. He wanted to know what is the teacher to intern average. Dr. Rogers said it depends upon whether you are talking about full time teaching faculty. If so, it is four. He said that if you go beyond that, it is 12 or 14. Representative Graham said that having 14 interns would be a difficult task to do effectively. He asked what a good average would be for a teacher educator. Dr. Rogers said if they are teaching faculty, then two to four is a maximum.

 

Representative Thompson said that he agreed with Representative Walton's concerns. He said that for those who represent rural school systems, this program is the best connection to universities. He said this needs to be reflected on cautiously. He said that he hates to see that tie severed, even though it is not always strong. He said that KERA has made everyone aware of current research and world class standards. He said it has also brought things to the curriculum that have not been there in the past. He said that some of this might be lost if there is a retreat. Dr. Rogers said that was EPSB's concern as well.

 

Representative Thompson said that another issue is the role of private colleges. He asked how do they enter into this process and strengthen it. Dr. Rogers said that there is a memorandum of agreement with the public institutions to provide all the teacher educators on these committees as well as to provide face-to-face training for the committee members. He said that there is not a clear answer on why there are not more private institutions. He said that there is a dilemma in contracting with the private institutions and it can not be done with a memorandum of agreement. He said that there are a few private institutions that would not contract even if they could, because of philosophical objections to receiving public monies due to being religious based schools.

                     

Representative Thompson said he would like to explore the idea of strengthening with the private institutions because they are part of this process.

 

Dr. Rogers said that the Kentucky Principal Internship Program (KPIP) was not funded this year and that is a concern. He said KPIP is remaining on the books. He said that EPSB has found that districts that have the resources have continued with the KPIP programs for the new principals. He said the cost of the program is $1500 per intern for the state to provide a mentor and an administrative educator to those committees. He said the numbers among the principals are so much smaller, on average of 200 new principals a year. He said EPSB thinks that this program is important and if funded there will be more investigation on cost savings. He said that it was funded last year for approximately for approximately $320,000.

 

Representative Feeley asked if there is a statistic to compare this program to and to justify the funding of this program. Dr. Rogers said that he is not aware of any studies that are out there. He said that Dr. Zella Wells in Johnson County did her dissertation in this area and they can go back and look at that information to provide the numbers.

 

Mr. Tom Peterson directed the committee to the document that is provided in the folders relating to the Title II, Enhancing Teacher Quality Grant Fall Status Report. He said that this is a $11 million dollar, three-year grant from the United States Department of Education that addresses some of the issues that have been given to EPSB. He said one of those issues is the expanded KTIP program. This is a pilot project and is a two-year internship that includes three strands. First, is higher education and trying to convene groups of arts and sciences with college education people to talk about the type of content that teachers in pre-service are receiving that is enabling them to be successful in the classroom. Second, is the KTIP pilot project, and third, the technology program that will enable universities and colleges to use technology to converse around transcripts and college credits.

 

Mr. Peterson said that there have been some anticipated obstacles and some unanticipated obstacles. He said that there are 110 to 115 people involved in the program that will have an association with a mentor. Support services are provided for the mentors as well as the KTIP participants in this pilot program.  He said that most of the $11 million is supporting the intern pilot and to support higher education in terms of the curriculum alignment. He said that at the end of the third year there would be a final report. He said at this time, they are at mid-point in the grant.

 

He said that all the independent colleges and universities are participating in the program with the exception of one. The college decided there is a conflict in receiving federal funds for a religious institution, but are doing the program on their own.

 

Representative Thompson said that House Bill 402 (2002) required the Interim Joint Committee on Education (IJCE) to conduct a study of the effectiveness and efficiency of the teacher and principal internship programs and to make recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission (LRC). He said that the Subcommittee on the Teaching Profession began the study in the 2002 Interim with the work being continued by this subcommittee. He said that he and Senator Casebier would share the findings and recommendations of that report.

 

Senator Casebier said that the components of the induction program that are generally accepted as ideal for a quality induction program include support from principals and experienced teachers; school structures and release-time to enable new teachers' mentors and colleagues to observe and provide feedback; meaningful training and incentives for mentors; meaningful faculty meetings tied to curriculum and instruction; and adequate resources for professional development and induction programs that address the needs of new teachers. 

 

Senator Casebier said that Kentucky has provided a statewide one-year induction program since 1984. The review of current research and policy studies found evidence that many teachers need more support and mentoring after their first year of teaching. Recent LRC studies and HB 402 (2002 RS) have recommended studies to determine if Kentucky’s program should be expanded to two years to provide more support for new teachers. He said that the expansion of a two-year program would include: Mentoring improves new teacher performance and should be the focus of the first year with portfolios, observations and evaluations conducted in the second year. The first year of the internship should continue to have evaluations leading to initial certification. with the second year designated for mentoring. Student teaching should be viewed as the first cycle of teacher field preparation and two years of an internship as cycles two and three. A second year internship program should be voluntary based on the identification of new areas for growth and improvement.

 

            Senator Casebier said that the concerns about the expansion of the KTIP included: A two-year internship could be taxing to both the intern and the resource teacher. KTIP helps struggling teachers through feedback and evaluation. The system cannot afford one year of permitting a teacher to become comfortable in the school environment without evaluation to address quality teaching issues. He said that the recommendations are as follows: delay a change in the length of the KTIP program should be delayed until after EPSB’s pilot program is concluded and the results are analyzed; encourage all local school districts to provide induction and mentoring programs for new teachers to enhance the KTIP experience; encourage local school councils to adopt policies limiting the non-teaching duties of new teachers to allow more time for the new teacher to concentrate on improving teaching; encourage school councils to limit the academic class loads of resource teachers and ensure they have the resources to carry out the responsibilities of mentoring and training new teachers; amend KRS 161.030 to allow recently retired teachers to serve as resource teachers when a person with the same certification as the intern is not available in the building; amend KRS 161.030 to allow public and private institutions to recommend teacher educators to the EPSB for appointment to beginning teacher committees; direct the EPSB to amend the administrative regulation, 16 KAR 7:010, to set timelines that will allow beginning teacher committees to be established closer to the beginning of the school year or semester to allow the committees to begin working with the intern earlier in the school year and therefore over a longer period of time; encourage universities that assign committee members who are not full-time education professors to include those committee members in the education colleges’ activities so they can learn about education issues and current research as well as share information with the faculty  about the internship process in the schools; and encourage universities to adopt the KTIP service as a component of promotion and tenure.

 

Representative Thompson said the recommendations for the Kentucky Principal Internship Program (KPIP) are as follows: the 2004 General Assembly should reinstate funding for the internship program with enough funds to cover the approximately 200 new principals that did not have the opportunity to participate in the internship during the 2003-04 school year, as well as those that will be eligible during the next biennium; encourage local school districts to employ the options to use other people on the intern committee when administrator educators are not available; direct the EPSB to create two tracks for the internship program tied to the job responsibilities of principals and assistant principals; the General Assembly should create and fund an additional mentoring program for all new full-time principals who completed the internship requirements as an assistant principal; direct the EPSB to continue to study the 50-hour requirement to be conducted outside the school day to assure that meaningful activities are required of the intern and principal mentor; and direct the Department of Education to review all educational leadership activities that are being required of new principals, new assistant principals and mentor principals, and report to the Interim Joint Committee on Education prior to September 1, 2004. The report shall include a description of the requirements, the time required, the provider, and an assessment of the quality of the training or activity.

 

Representative Thompson said that formal action could not be taken on the recommendations due to the loss of a quorum, but these recommendations are the path that will be followed as legislative activities begin.

 

With no further business the meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.