Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2009 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> September 14, 2009

 

The<MeetNo2> third meeting of the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held at 10:00 AM on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> September 14, 2009, at<MeetTime> Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky.<Room> †Representative Ted Edmonds, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Representative Ted Edmonds, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., David Givens, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Hubert Collins, Derrick Graham, Carl Rollins II, Wilson Stone, and Alecia Webb-Edgington.

 

Guest Legislator:† Senator John Schickel.

 

Guests:† Polly Lush Page, P-16 Council; Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators; Betty Sue Johnson, Kentucky Council of Economic Educators; April Roberts-Traywick, Prichard Committee; J. Robert Yost, Superintendent, Pendleton County Schools; Joy Brashear, Bluegrass Advocates; Kyna Koch, Legislative Research Commission; Linda Jewell, Regional Coordinator, Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM), Northern Kentucky University (NKU); Cindy Aossey, Regional Coordinator, KCM, University of Kentucky; Becky Fuqua, KCM Math Coach, Danville Schools; Vanessa Maggard, Elliott County Board of Education; Jacky Skaggs, KCM Math Intervention Teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary; Kitty Marston, KCM Math Coach, Danville Schools; Dennis Chaney, NKU Student Government Association; Tammy May KCM Math Coach, Lebanon Elementary School; Mona Ball, Susan Herron, John Warren and Terry Poindexter, Kentucky Education Association; and Judith Gibbons and Chair Joe Brothers, Kentucky Board of Education.

 

LRC Staff:† Janet Stevens, Sandy Deaton, and Janet Oliver.

 

Representative Edmonds expressed his appreciation to President James Votruba, Northern Kentucky University, for hosting the meeting. †President Votruba welcomed the committee members to the university and said the focus of this meeting would be about the universityís involvement in P-12 education.† He said presentations would be given on the Kentucky Center for Mathematics and NKUís program of distinction, the Center for Integrated Natural Science and Mathematics.

 

Senator Westwood also welcomed the committee to the northern Kentucky area and Northern Kentucky University.

 

Representative Edmonds said the Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM) supports mathematics teaching and learning across the state.† He asked Dr. Kirsten Fleming, Executive Director of the center, to give her presentation.

 

Dr. Fleming introduced Linda Jewel, KCM regional coordinator at Kentucky State University; Earlene Tutor, mathematics coach at Brooks Elementary; and Tammy May, mathematics intervention teacher at Lebanon Elementary in Marion County.† She said several of the mathematics intervention teachers and mathematics coaches were also in the audience.

 

Dr. Fleming said that the center was established by House Bill 93 enacted in the 2005 legislative session.† The legislation also established the Committee for Mathematics Achievement comprised of representatives of statewide P-12 and postsecondary institutions, adult education programs, and education governing boards.† The committee was charged with developing a strategic plan to improve mathematics education throughout Kentucky.† The bill established a Mathematics Achievement Fund, with current funding of $6.9 million, and the Teachersí Professional Growth Fund to support mathematics and literacy coaching.† She said the legislation directed that the center be housed at a public postsecondary institution and Northern Kentucky University was chosen to host the center and began its work in March 2006.

 

Dr. Fleming said the centerís major goal is to improve student achievement in mathematics at all levels, including adult education, throughout the Commonwealth, and data shows that the overall goal is being met.† The center offers a variety of services including mathematics education research and funds have been provided to university faculty at Morehead, Murray, Eastern Kentucky University, and the University of Louisville to assist in that research.† She said the center is currently working with the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education to form a statewide research group to study pre-service teacher preparation in mathematics.† The center will be co-sponsoring a conference with the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics and also coordinates activities with the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development at the University of Kentucky. All of the partnerships have been formed to increase the number of undergraduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.† Federal funds and grants are constantly being sought to support the effort and grants have been received to increase the number of secondary mathematics teachers in high need schools and to provide scholarships for students who have done well academically and have high financial need.† Dr. Fleming said the centerís staff are also participating in Senate Bill 1 implementation workgroups and also participate in other state, national and international meetings to obtain information and publicize Kentucky initiatives.† The center has also conducted one conference and another conference will be held in Frankfort on February 4-5, 2010.† The center has a Website with resources for parents, students, and teachers to improve mathematics achievement.

 

Dr. Fleming said the centerís major activity is professional development.† She said most P-12 teachers do not have an opportunity to participate in an adequate amount of professional development, which should be at least 50 or more hours per year, and that professional development should be centered on how to change teaching practices in order to improve student achievement.† When teachers enroll in the centerís program, professional development occurs throughout the year and online support or personal visits are available between training sessions.† Dr. Fleming said the Primary Intervention Program funded through the Mathematics Achievement Fund has now reached capacity with 130 mathematics intervention teachers (MITs) and new schools could not be accepted for lack of funding.† She said schools in the Primary Intervention Program receive a $70,000 grant the first year and $60,000 in each of the following years to pay the MITís salary and benefits and to pay for materials and the MITís professional development fees in the first two years.† The MITs work with students identified as being below grade level and learn to diagnose the studentís ability and adjust instruction according to an individual childís needs.† MITs who have participated with the center for three or four years also provide leadership and coaching for other teachers in their school.

 

The Mathematics Coaching Program is also funded by the Teachersí Professional Growth Fund.† The salaries of the math coaches are paid by the school, but training related costs are paid from the fund.† Dr. Fleming said the center currently has 30 coaches working with approximately 350 teachers in P-12 schools providing job-embedded professional development to help the teachers become more effective in the classroom.† She said the current number of 30 is about half the number provided in previous years because of lack of funding in the Teachersí Professional Growth Fund. †She said the MIT program and the coaching program have become intertwined and have shown measurable results in schools having MITs and a coach, such as Toliver Elementary in which the academic index improved by 26 points in one year rather than the average gain of 5-6 points per year.† In the first year, the center had programs in 38 counties but now have MITs and/or coaches in 101 counties in Kentucky.† The center also has added an adult education program to help participants prepare for the new GED test in 2012 and to help more adult students become college ready.† Dr. Fleming said that 325 schools were unable to join the intervention program because of lack of funds.

 

Dr. Fleming said the center has been able to measure teacher growth using the Learning Mathematics for Teaching (LMT) Score from the University of Michigan, which has shown significant teacher growth in content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and through the average yearly progress indexes in No Child Left Behind goals.

 

Representative Stone asked if any local districts provide their own funding for intervention programs.† Dr. Fleming responded that 10 schools provided local funds this year to participate in the centerís programs and some other local school districts use other models of intervention, although they may not be comparable to the centerís model.

 

Senator Blevins said it was his understanding that the math academy in Bowling Green works with gifted students and asked what population of students is served by the center.† Dr. Fleming said that KCM works mostly with teachers of primary through high school and adult education programs and, although many of the programs focus on students below grade level, all students may receive services, including those in the STEM pipeline.† Senator Blevins asked if the centerís Website is only accessible to teachers or if it is available for parents and students as well.† Dr. Fleming replied that the Website has sections for parents, students and teachers; and provided the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), www.kymathematics.org.

 

Representative Collins said it his belief that technology, such as calculators, have impaired a studentís ability to think on their own.† Dr. Fleming said although technology can be used correctly as a teaching tool, the same technology may also become a crutch if used incorrectly.† She said a goal of the intervention program is to get students to use critical thinking skills, although as learning progresses, manipulatives may be used as part of that process.† She said Senate Bill 1 certainly addresses the importance of reducing the breadth while increasing the depth of the math curriculum and the associated critical thinking processes.† Dr. Fleming said it is extremely important that the implementation of Senate Bill 1 be accompanied by very good professional development programs.† Ms. Jewell said the professional development provided by KCM far exceeded any training she received in her more than 35 years teaching experience.†† She said one of the focuses of the professional development relates to using mental math strategies, which some teachers have had to learn themselves before putting the practices in the classroom.

 

Senator Givens asked if there are other things being done on the national level that need to be implemented in Kentucky and if Kentucky is implementing programs that are receiving positive recognition at the national level.† Dr. Fleming said House Bill 93 creating the center and its related funds and programs was visionary and Kentuckyís work in mathematics education is nationally recognized and the professional development resembles effective models being used nationally and internationally.† She said that the implementation of Senate Bill 1 also ties into the national curriculum movement of increasing depth and decreasing breadth and if Kentuckyís professional development is implemented correctly a profound difference will be realized in mathematics achievement.† Senator Givens asked Dr. Fleming if she could foresee any obstacles to effective implementation of Senate Bill 1 to which Dr. Fleming replied that sufficient funding of professional development is crucial and professional development needs to be based on proven, effective techniques.

 

Representative Webb-Edgington asked if students who are considered average or at grade level also benefit from the centerís programs by encouraging that population to pursue the STEM pipeline.† Dr. Fleming said that the only direct impact with that population group is the math coaches at the high school level, although it is not a major focus of KCM programs.† She said the center is seeking more federal funds to reach more students and that the Center for Integrated Natural Science and Mathematics also provides services affecting that student population.

 

Representative Edmonds said the next presenters would discuss how Northern Kentucky University is working to promote and strengthen educational partnerships with local schools in the surrounding communities.† He asked Dr. Daniel Curtin, Interim Director, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM), and Dr. Suzanne Soled, Chair, Teacher Education, Northern Kentucky University, to give their presentations.

 

Dr. Curtin said that he has been a mathematics professor at NKU for 31 years and is serving as interim director of CINSAM.† He introduced Betty Stevens, the outreach coordinator for CINSAM, and Rita Hart, the founder and director of CINSAMís southern outreach program.†† Dr. Curtin said that although CINSAM is involved in the STEM disciplines in many ways, he would only be discussing the outreach program used to enhance the teaching, learning, and application of science and mathematics throughout the P-12 system.† He said the outreach program had over 1,000 P-12 teacher contacts and almost 10,000 student contacts during the last school year and NKU faculty, students, and pre-service teachers and community partners all participate in outreach activities.† He said CINSAM provides P-12 teacher-university alliances in the various STEM disciplines and early childhood education and each of the alliances is chaired by a university faculty member and an area school teacher who work collaboratively to provide professional development workshops in areas such as forensic science and writing in science and mathematics classrooms.† CINSAM staff has also given presentations at various state and national conferences outside the regional area, such as Louisville, Boston, and other locations.† Dr. Curtin said all work done by CINSAM is geared toward ensuring student success in P-12 grades and includes activities, such as a middle school mathematics day, engineer career day, half and full days camps involved in STEM disciplines, and related activities.† CINSAM also plans to partner with several local schools in November to develop a mathematics pilot program to assist schools in interpreting the schoolís needs that will lead to improvement in student learning and achievement in mathematics.† He said a similar program already exists in the southern school districts of the region, which include Augusta Independent, Bracken County, Pendleton County, Grant County, Williamstown Independent, and Gallatin County, in which CINSAM staff work with the districtsí fourth through eighth grade teachers on best practices to engage students in active learning of science.† He said data from five participating schools that have participated in the project for five years have shown a steady increase in their Commonwealth Accountability and Testing System test scores in the STEM areas.

 

Dr. Soled discussed NKUís educational outreach programs.† She said the Early Childhood Education programs enhance vocabulary and other skills in young children and is an important part of the universityís Vision 2015 10-year strategic plan to enable the northern Kentucky area to be competitive in a global, knowledge-based economy. She said that in addition to university faculty, university students are also involved in the early children education initiative.† Dr. Soled said NKU has received a community university partnership grant and a literacy academy grant to provide tuition and books for community child care workers to enable them to further their education.† She said that CINSAM and Early Childhood Education have also formed an alliance to educate teachers in integrated math and science and currently 10,000 students and several hundred teachers participate.† Dr. Soled said that NKU was approved for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership program, with 35 candidates currently enrolled, designed to address the need for educational leaders in the Northern Kentucky area. †The program features training and experience in civic engagement using a cohort model of educational leaders from P-12, higher education, and community education settings. †She said NKUís Center for Environmental Education also provides professional development through graduate courses, in-service and pre-service teacher training in environmental education curricula, and related activities; P-12 outreach activities, such as environmental day camps and green and healthy schools information; community involvement through Earth Day, Reforest Northern Kentucky, and other initiatives; and various other services for children, educators, and parents to meet childrenís needs at home and school.

 

Senator Westwood asked if the same services and courses are being provided at area technology centers or vocational schools.† Ms. Stevens, CINSAMís outreach coordinator, said that seminars are held in various locations but are not directly provided in the area technical schools.† Senator Westwood said that providing program services to the technical schools is important since technical schools are often training avenues for local businesses and Ms. Stevens offered to research the matter.

 

Senator Givens asked if agricultural sciences initiatives and classes are also being offered in the P-12 initiative to which Dr. Soled replied that currently agricultural is not included.† Senator Givens suggested that agricultural science initiatives need to be included, given the rural nature of many Kentucky communities.

 

Representative Edmonds said that the next meeting of the committee would be held in Frankfort on Monday, October 12.† There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM.