Interim Joint Committee on Education

 

Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 3rd Meeting

of the 2002 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> October 7, 2002

 

The<MeetNo2> 3rd meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on<Day> Monday,<MeetMDY2> October 7, 2002, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Jack Westwood, Presiding Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Jack Westwood, Co-Chair; Representative Mary Lou Marzian, Co-Chair; Senator Ray Jones II; Representatives Hubert Collins, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, Kathy Stein, and Mark Treesh.

 

Guests:  Dr. Cheryl King, Department for Adult Education and Literacy and Council on Postsecondary Education, and Mr. Wayne Young, Kentucky Association of School Administrators.

 

LRC Staff:  Jonathan Lowe and Lisa Moore.

 

Senator Westwood welcomed back Jonathan Lowe who has returned to the Education Committee staff as a Legislative Analyst. 

 

Senator Westwood introduced Dr. Cheryl King, Commissioner, Department for Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL), and Associate Vice-President for Adult Education, Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE); Dr. Sue Moore, Interim President, Council on Postsecondary Education; Mr. Allen Rose, Secretary, Cabinet for Workforce Development, and Mr. Reecie Stagnolia, Deputy Commissioner, Department for Adult Education and Literacy, to give a status report on adult education and literacy in Kentucky.

 

Dr. Moore said she was excited to discuss the accomplishments in the area of adult education and literacy.  She said in 2000, with the passage of Senate Bill 1, the CPE was asked to work with the DAEL to create and develop a strategic plan and a funding mechanism for adult education in Kentucky.  She said that over the past two years this partnership has transcended into a real working relationship that has produced real results.  Dr. Moore said Kentucky views adult education as a shared cause, and not as the work of a single state agency.  She gave credit to the vision and financial commitment provided by the General Assembly to making a difference in the lives of thousands of Kentuckians who did not complete their high school education or acquire the knowledge they needed to make their life dreams come true.

 

Dr. Moore said Kentucky is helping to break the cycle of limited education, poor skills, and low-paying jobs that have stunted the aspirations of so many Kentuckians for much of their lives.  She said Kentucky’s reform is about giving people the tools to become better workers, better parents, and better citizens, and this is working, but more work needs to be done. 

Dr. Moore noted in 1998, the CPE set a goal of enrolling 80,000 additional students in postsecondary education in Kentucky.  She said this would get Kentucky to the national average of college education attainment and improve the condition of the economy, but CPE cannot reach these goals unless it provides opportunities for Kentuckians to earn General Education Development (GED) diplomas as a pathway into postsecondary education, thus making the partnership between CPE and DAEL vital.

 

Dr. Moore thanked Secretary Rose for the enthusiasm that he has brought to educating Kentuckians and creating a skilled workforce.  She also thanked Dr. King, Mr. Stagnolia, and former President of the CPE, Dr. Gordon Davies, for their committed and dedicated leadership efforts in adult education.  Dr. Moore noted however, that the adult education providers across the state are the ones who improve the lives of Kentuckians on a daily basis.

 

Dr. King said there is good news in Kentucky and commended the partnership between the CPE and the DAEL.  She said GED test takers and people obtaining GED credentials has hit record levels.  She also said that Kentucky was the only state in the nation in 2000 to place the governance of adult education with postsecondary education.

 

Dr. King discussed four remarkable results that adult education has achieved.  She said the appropriation for adult education and literacy in 2000 was increased in the first year of the biennium by $7 million and in the second year of the biennium increased by $12 million.  Dr. King said this gives adult education a total federal and state appropriation of $33 million.    She said this is an increase for federal and state funding over the last two years of 30 percent, and enrollment in adult education programs has increased 69 percent since 2000.  

Dr. King said Kentucky is only one of four states in the nation to receive incentive funds for performance from the United States Department of Labor through Title II federal funding two years in a row.  She said  adult education’s incentive package alone last year was over one million dollars.  Dr. King said adult education has met all of its goals this year, and hopes to receive this award again.

 

Dr. King said Senate Bill 1 was reform legislation and while some things have changed, a few things have remained the same.  She said adult education and literacy continues to offer 120 programs through learning centers in Kentucky.  Dr. King said the services in the adult education programs remain the same including:  GED instruction; adult basic education; GED test preparation; English as a Second Language; corrections programs; and family literacy programs are available in every county in Kentucky.  Dr. King said any person in Kentucky who is functioning below a 12th grade level in basic skills such as reading, math, and writing has access to adult education services at no cost.

 

Dr. King said one change as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 1 included the creation of a funding formula for Kentucky that is bringing equalized funding opportunities to its county programs.  She said Senate Bill 1 specifically said that each program would be funded based on need, and as a result, the funding formula was created based on the number of people of each county at literacy levels one and two.  Dr. King said no program received less money, but many counties have received 35-40 percent increases over the last two years.

 

Dr. King said a performance-based system has been implemented in adult education.  She said programs are held accountable and number of enrollments are monitored closely to ensure that all Kentuckians are receiving the highest quality services and programs possible.  Dr. King said performance indicators are used in the adult education system that are based on federal reporting requirements through the United States Department of Education.  She also said Kentucky took this one step further by developing and implementing a performance-based system based around five questions that guide all of postsecondary education in Kentucky.  Dr. King said in 2000 there was great concern because only 51,000 Kentuckians were enrolled in adult education programs, which was five percent of the target population that DAEL needed to reach in order to change the face of literacy in Kentucky.  She said this was the reason enrollment was added as a performance indicator and enrollment goals were created that were very aggressive including enrollment numbers of 300,000 by 2010.

 

Dr. King said support was given to adult education providers in order to meet the enrollment demands by providing them with more money as well as rewarding programs that meet and exceed their goals.  She noted that adult education providers can earn up to between five and ten percent of their base funding amount in rewards each year if goals are met.  Dr. King explained that programs have to meet a high percentage of all the performance indicators to receive reward monies, and not just meet the enrollment goal.

 

Dr. King mentioned there are now 120 family literacy programs compared to just 44 in 2000.  She said Kentucky and Pennsylvania are the only states that have family literacy programs in every county.  She said funding was doubled for family literacy programs from $2 million to $4 million, and enrollments in this area have doubled to include 4,000 families.

 

Dr. King said workplace education delivery services have changed.  She said as a result of Senate Bill 1, DAEL has created partnerships with CPE, KCTCS, BlueGrass State Skills Corporation, and the Workforce Development Cabinet (WDC).  She said these partnerships create a broader array of people selling basic skills training to employers.  Dr. King noted that last year 618 companies across the state had employees engaged in workplace education.  She also said the State of Kentucky Investment in Lifelong Learning (SKILL) mobiles have 10 computer workstations in them and these vehicles can be taken anywhere in the state of Kentucky.

 

Dr. King mentioned the unique relationship that DAEL has with the Kentucky Virtual University (KVU).  She said the internet mode of learning is appealing to adults because it takes away the embarrassment of the adult learner attending a learning center, and because the curriculum is top notch.  Dr. King said over 600 students took courses using the website last year called kyvae.org, while over 500 instructors used the website for professional development databases and resources.

 

Senator Westwood asked where the computers were located if they are not in learning centers. Dr. King said each county program by contract has a computer/technology lab with internet access, however, an adult learner can also access a computer in a library, some housing authorities, KCTCS institutions, local school districts, and armories.  Dr. King said a goal that may become a reality is for employers to make computers and internet access available to their employees during a lunch hour, after work hours, or even a few hours during work.

 

Senator Westwood commented that it is an embarrassment for some adult learners to return to a high school or a learning center.  He said travel can be a real problem for learners, as well as finding childcare.  Senator Westwood suggested installing computers with internet access into the housing where the adult learner resides to overcome barriers to learning. 

 

Senator Westwood suggested to Dr. King to work with businesses and organizations to obtain computers that companies may throw out just because they are not state-of-the-art.  Dr. King said a family literacy program that originated in Bullitt County called Next Steps allows adult learners to receive a refurbished computer when they meet their student learning goals.  She said UPS was one company who donated computers to the cause.  Dr. King said this program has been very popular and successful, and many other programs are replicating this model.  She also said DAEL is in a pilot program with The McConnell Technology and Training Center (MTTC) who refurbish computers and sell them to DAEL at a nominal fee.

 

A motion was made to approve the minutes of the September 9, 2002 meeting by Representative Collins and seconded by Representative Treesh.  The motion was approved by voice vote.

 

Dr. King said one other change in adult education is the way the professional development program for instruction has been designed and implemented.  She said there are over 900 instructors across the state and about 50 percent of those are degreed individuals.  Dr. King said DAEL has entered into a partnership with the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development located at the University of Kentucky, and have modeled a reading institute called the Kentucky Adult Education and Literacy Institute. Currently, 71 of Kentucky’s instructors are enrolled in a two-year program where they receive the very best professional development in teaching adults to read.  Dr. King said DAEL’s goal in the two-year period is to have a master reading teacher in every learning center in Kentucky.  She said this reading program was modeled after a program that Senator Westwood created in Senate Bill 186.  Dr. King hopes to model a mathematics program like the reading program in the next year or so.  She said an advantage to the literacy institute is that it is a collaboration of the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and Eastern Kentucky University, and faculty from these three universities can work regionally with the adult education instructors.  It also has a strong on-line component.  Dr. King likes the model and hopes to come back before the committee again in the future and share the results.

 

Dr. King said we have a partnership with the Kentucky Institute for Family Literacy that is part of the National Center for Family Literacy in Louisville.  She said that DAEL contract’s with them to provide our technical assistance and our professional development for family literacy programs across the state.  She said the Kentucky Institute for Family Literacy is the national expert and DAEL is pleased to work with them.

 

Dr. King said DAEL is also working with the Adult Education Academy that has been created at Morehead State University.  She said they are focusing on developing a leadership institute, as well as some model demonstration sites across Kentucky for best practices in adult education.

 

Dr. King summarized that building on the “Education Pays” theme, DAEL has created a campaign called “Go Higher” that reaches middle and high school students and encourages them to stay in school and focuses on adults who do not have their high school credential to obtain a GED and then enter into postsecondary education and employment.  She said “Go Higher” has been a two-year initiative and been extremely successful.  Dr. King said DAEL has undertaken a new initiative, giving $20,000 to ten communities across the state called “Go Higher Communities” and asking the people in the areas to come together in conjunction with the P-16 councils and develop a plan to improve the educational attainment levels in their local communities.

 

 

Mr. Reecie Stagnolia said DAEL has framed their work around five critical questions.  He said the questions are:  1) Are more Kentuckians participating in adult education programs; 2) Are these adult learners meeting their educational goals; 3) Are more adult learners advancing on to postsecondary education; 4) Are more adult learners being prepared for the continually changing workplace; and 5) Are Kentucky’s communities and economy benefiting.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said enrollment growth has increased 69 percent from FY 1998, with a total of 86,413 adult learners enrolled in FY 2002.  He said this also represents a 38 percent increase from FY 2001 when 62,734 adult learners were enrolled.  Mr. Stagnolia said English as a Second Language (ESL) students make up 4,800 of the 86,413 learners or six percent.  He said ESL students continue to expand and their enrollment has more than doubled since FY 1998.  He said the corrections programs account for about 6,000 adult learners or seven percent.  He said family literacy represents about 3,000 learners or three percent.  Mr. Stagnolia said there has been a stereotype with adult education students that they are mostly welfare recipients, but a comparison using self-reported information has shown that this group of individuals has declined from 18 percent in FY 1998 to just over 7 percent in FY 2002.  He said demographics include females making up 52 percent of the participants and males 48 percent.  He said ethnicity has remained the same for a number of years with Caucasian comprising of 77 percent, African American at 15 percent, Hispanic at 6 percent, and other being 2 percent.  Mr. Stagnolia noted there are about 44 percent of learners in the 16-24 age group, and about 85 percent in the 16-44 age range.

 

Mr. Stagnolia discussed whether adult learners were meeting their goals.  He said the number of GED’s being issued each year went from 13,211 in FY 2000 to 20,689 in FY 2001.  He said this is a record increase and one of the largest increases nationally at 57 percent.  He also said this is the sixth largest increase in the United States with the average increase being 31 percent.

 

Mr. Stagnolia said through Title II of the Adult Education Family Literacy Act there are three core performance indicators to measure demonstrated educational gains: placement and retention or completion of postsecondary education, placement in unsubsidized employment or advancement in employment, and attainment of a high school diploma.  He said DAEL has achieved all of the federal performance indicators for the last two years, allowing Kentucky to be one of four states to receive the federal incentive awards for FY 2000 and FY 2001 which included $1.4 million the first year and 3 million the second year.

 

Mr. Stagnolia discussed the third question involving adult learners advancing into postsecondary education.  He said in FY 1999, 16.6 percent of GED graduates enrolled in postsecondary education within two years. 

 

Mr. Stagnolia discussed the fourth question involving adult learners being more prepared for the continually changing workplace.  He said this is an area that DAEL attributes their enrollment growth increase.  He said workplace education programs had an enrollment increase of 154 percent from FY 2000 to FY 2002, with over 600 companies being involved in training.  Mr. Stagnolia mentioned then Workforce Alliance which includes DAEL’s partnership with WDC, KCTCS, BSSC, CPE, and the Cabinet for Economic Development.

 

Mr. Stagnolia discussed benefits of adult education to Kentucky’s communities and economy.  He mentioned the “Go Higher” communities which include 12 primary counties participating in the initiative along with 26 partner counties for a total of 38 communities.  Mr. Stagnolia said 71 counties received rewards in FY 2002 and will share $800,000.

 

Representative Stein said Janice Crane from Jessamine County is a tremendous worker in the field of adult education.  She is pleased that adult education is showing so much success as it is a huge component of continuing educational gains in the vision of House Bill 1.

 

Dr. King said adult education providers in every county have stepped to the plate and eagerly embraced change.  She said the changes occurring in adult education would not have happened without the adult education providers like Janice.

 

Representative Siler commented that the reform of higher education set the tone for the changes in adult education as well.  He thanked Governor Patton for negotiating these reform efforts.  He also mentioned that avenues for success in adult education are not the same in every county as the communities can be so very different and he is glad that DAEL recognizes this fact.

 

Representative Collins thanked Dr. King and Mr. Stagnolia for an effective presentation.  He also asked what type of rewards counties can receive for adult education efforts.  Dr. King said the counties must meet enrollment goals and 50 percent of the other performance goals in order to earn five to ten percent of their base funding in the funding formula for rewards.  She said the reward money can be used by the county in any way they determine except for using it as a bonus for the employees.  She said reward money has to be used for the good of the adult education program or the adult learners such as buying computers, extending learning center hours, purchasing materials, and marketing/public-relations promotions.  Dr. King mentioned the Go Higher Learning Center that is being implemented in the mall in Paducah, Kentucky.

 

Representative Treesh asked how DAEL determines their measuring techniques for an effective adult education program.  Dr. King said DAEL measures success based on what the adult learner indicates as their goal.  She said the adult education provider captures this information through an intake process that includes a counseling session, and the information is entered into an on-line database and is monitored to see whether or not the adult learners are meeting their goals.  Representative Treesh said that counseling should be critical to the adult learners to make sure their goals are realistic and that their learning paths will be beneficial.  Dr. King mentioned pre and post assessment tests that document the educational gains of adult learners.  She said the primary assessment tool for adult education is the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) although the use of workplace keys by ACT will start to be used in the fall. 

 

Representative Treesh asked if changing the GED test on January 1, 2002 affected the adult learners in a negative manner.  Dr. King said that some adult learners just take portions of the GED test rather than completing the entire test at once for a variety of reasons.  She said that students completing the GED test after January 1, 2002, will indeed have to start anew and re-test on all portions of the new GED test. 

 

Representative Siler said he is pleased to see 13 percent of learners in the age group of 16-18 enrolling into adult education programs.  He said in the late 1990’s there was a rift developing between the superintendents and the adult education providers about allowing students 19 years of age and younger to complete the GED test.  He asked what breakthrough occurred to allow this age group to enter into the adult testing program.

   Dr. King said 70 percent of all GED’s acquired in 2001 were from individuals age 30 and younger.  She said Kentucky is one of five states that requires individuals to wait until their nineteenth birthday to take the GED test without obtaining a waiver from their local superintendent.  Dr. King said while some superintendents sign waivers routinely, others actually refuse to sign one.  She said there are many inconsistencies in this area across the state.  Dr. King noted that some research indicates the GED test may actually encourage students to drop-out of high school, and DAEL does not want this.  She said some students are going to drop-out of school regardless, and there needs to be some avenue in place to re-engage them in the learning process.

 

Representative Collins asked why individuals have to wait until their class graduates in order to take the GED test.  Dr. King explained that Kentucky’s statute says that a student’s high school class has to graduate, or the student has to turn 19, before they take the GED test.  Dr. King said there are about 9,500 drop-outs a year and she is concerned what is happening to these individuals while they are waiting to turn 19 in order to complete the test.  Representative Collins said that children become adults at age 18 and therefore should be allowed to complete the GED test at 18 years of age.  Dr. King said the issue requires a lot of thought because Kentucky does not want to create an incentive for students to drop out of school by being able to complete the GED and graduate at the same time as their peers, however one of four Kentuckians over the age of 25 have not completed high school according to the 2000 census.

 

Senator Westwood said his concern is the number of individuals 24 and younger that are still dropping out of school.  He asked if there were noticeable trends in these young adults entering into adult education programs.  Dr. King said the number of 16-24 year olds is increasing in terms of program enrollment.  She said DAEL has just recently joined the P-16 council and she said this is one venue where issues such as these can be discussed.

 

Dr. Moore said the P-16 council is looking at the K-12 school system in relation to the adult education system with one particular project called “The American Diploma Project” that looks at the alignment from high school or GED to college. 

 

Senator Westwood was surprised at the percentage of GED graduates entering into postsecondary institutions and wanted to know if their progress is tracked.  Dr. King said a real advantage of participating on the P-16 council is the ability to share and match a student’s social security number and track where they are enrolled in postsecondary education.  Dr. Moore said there is no tracking system in place right now to monitor a GED graduate’s progress in college, but an adult education feedback report system is being put into place, and she will make that information available to the committee in December of 2002 or January 2003.

 

Representative Treesh said focus should be placed on the 45-59 age group who may not see the benefit of completing a GED.  He also said reading readiness should begin in the early grades and intervention methods should be in place to ensure all children are reading at grade level as they complete grade levels.

 

Representative Collins asked if business/industry requiring employees to have a GED has affected individuals in going back to obtain the credential.  Dr. King said this is difficult to answer because so many employees will find jobs in hospitality, hotels/motels, and restaurants that do not require GED certification.  She said DAEL is placing an emphasis on working with employers by offering a tax credit and a tuition discount program that was created after the passage of Senate Bill 1.  She said employers are offered $1,250 a year per employee to provide release study time for their employees to study for the GED for at least five hours a week.  Dr. King also said if the employee obtains the GED while working, he/she is eligible for a $1,000 tuition discount at any Kentucky public college or university.  She said less than 20 employers are taking advantage of this new program currently.

 

 The meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.