Call to Order and Roll Call
Thefourth meeting of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Education was held on Monday, November 19, 2012, at 10:00 AM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, Co-Chair; Representative Reginald Meeks, Co-Chair; Senators Jared Carpenter, Johnny Ray Turner, Mike Wilson, and Ken Winters; Representatives Leslie Combs, C.B. Embry Jr., Jim Glenn, Donna Mayfield, Ryan Quarles, Jody Richards, Tom Riner, Carl Rollins II, Rita Smart, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Priscilla Black, Legislative Research Commission and Erin Klarer, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
Approval of June 11, 2012, minutes
Representative Meeks moved to approve the minutes and Representative Richards seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by voice vote.
Approval of August 13, 2012, minutes
Representative Glenn moved to approve the minutes and Representative Meeks seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by voice vote.
Approval of September 10, 2012, minutes
Representative Embry moved to approve the minutes and Representative Glenn seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by voice vote.
Senate Bill 1 Implementation and Professional Development Initiatives
Council on Postsecondary Education
Aaron Thompson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, said some of the goals of 2009 Senate Bill 1 were to reduce college remediation of recent high school graduates by at least three percent and to increase college completion rates of developmental students by three percent annually. Senate Bill 1 partners include the governor, legislature, K-12 community, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), Adult Education, the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), parents, businesses, and community groups.
Dr. Thompson said the reason partnerships between postsecondary education and P-12 are important is because for every 100 ninth-graders in Kentucky, 72 graduate from high school, 44 enter college, 29 are still enrolled sophomore year, and 18 graduate from college. He reported the significant difference in the graduation gaps among students entering college ready and those who are not college ready. He correlated the high levels of unemployment and incarceration rates among students who have less than a high school education. The percentages improve as student education levels increase.
John DeAtley, Director of P-20 Initiatives, said Kentuckians with less than a high school diploma are 10 times more likely to be on Medicaid. There are more Kentuckians on Medicaid than there are students enrolled in secondary schools.
Mr. DeAtley said Kentucky has received national recognition for its college and career readiness initiatives. Kentucky is the first to adopt the common core standards and assess its students on the new standards. KDE recently released the assessment scores. He said Kentucky is making progress on college and career readiness. The percentage of graduates that are college and/or career ready increased from 38 percent in 2010-2011 to 47.2 percent in 2011-2012. He attributed the progress to a systematic effort at all levels.
Mr. DeAtley said the postsecondary and adult education strategic agenda contained four areas of focus: college readiness; student success; research, economic, and community development; and efficiency and innovation. Two of the four focus areas incorporate the goals established in Senate Bill 1. The Commonwealth Commitment was signed by college and university presidents, the KDE Commissioner, the CPE President, and legislators. It is a pledge to work collaboratively to improve student transitions and implement the unified strategy. Policy objectives were to increase the number of college-ready Kentuckians and college-ready GED graduates entering postsecondary education and to increase the effectiveness of Kentucky’s K-12 teachers and school leaders.
Mr. DeAtley said common learning outcomes were developed using ACT, SAT, Compass and the Kentucky Online Testing Program (KYOTE). All universities have agreed to accept the same Compass or KYOTE score to prevent students from repeating assessments.
Mr. DeAtley said a steering committee was formed including legislative leadership, CPE, KDE, EPSB, and the Governor’s Office. Legislators have been kept apprised of progress. An appropriation of $6 million was received in 2010 to fund necessary professional development, plus $1.5 million in recurring funds. Specific information about the competitive grants, partnerships, training efforts, and other budget expenses can be found in the meeting folder located in the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) library.
Kentucky Partnership Academies
Cathy Gunn, the 21st Century Education Enterprise: A Kentucky Partnership Academy, Morehead State University, said the goal of the partnership is to ensure that 100 percent of students who graduate in east Kentucky are college and career ready. For students to succeed in the global economy, communication, critical thinking, and technology skills are necessary.
Ms. Gunn said the enterprise focuses on project-based learning techniques and promotes the use of technology in the classroom, professional development, and educational leadership to help improve teacher effectiveness and better engage today’s students in the classroom. The integration of digital media utilizing regional partnerships will play a vital role in its success.
She said university faculty are included in the partnership and assist in designing the teacher preparation programs. There is a continuous assessment system in place for P-20 in eastern Kentucky.
Susan Cook, Center for Educator Excellence: A Kentucky Partnership Academy, Northern Kentucky University (NKU), offers high quality professional development, supports college and career readiness initiatives, collaborates with partners to assess and distribute student outcome data, convenes professional learning communities, implements procedures to measure educator excellence and program evaluation, and fosters the growth of the Future Educators of America’s middle and secondary school chapters.
Ms. Cook said NKU was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to establish a Kentucky Partnership Academy for College and Career Readiness. These funds have helped the Center for Education Excellence establish several regional networks that provide targeted professional development to regional school districts.
Ms. Cook said the mission of the Center for Educator Excellence is to foster collaboration in the Northern Kentucky region to recruit, support, and retain highly qualified educators who will meet or exceed national standards as they prepare all children to be productive participants in the global, knowledge-based economy. This requires obtaining superintendent input and buy-in from the P-12 community. Superintendents recommended the center begin its work with school counselors. She noted 120 school counselors attended the first meeting to network and share effective college and career readiness initiatives. Principals are being encouraged to do the same.
Pam Petty, A.S.K. (Assistance-Strategies-Know-How): A Kentucky Partnership Academy, Western Kentucky University (WKU), was created in response to Senate Bill 1 to assist in increasing students’ college and career readiness levels. Funded by CPE, A.S.K. is housed in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Models in Innovation at WKU. The program helps schools identify areas of concern and implement strategies to improve those areas. A.S.K. benefits a variety of groups and people including teachers, students, parents, school administrators, school systems as a whole, and other educational programs with areas of need. She said the program is a wonderful opportunity for K-12 and postsecondary education to align.
Ms. Petty said A.S.K. assists schools in identifying ways to improve students’ college and career readiness, and provides a center where schools can obtain contracted services to meet their individual needs. She recently worked with Shelby County and in four weeks struggling readers moved up multiple grade levels. She is partnering with Perry County Schools to help increase the assessment scores for the lowest performing students.
Ms. Perry said A.S.K. is in the process of developing a broad range of services for schools. The cost of services provided by A.S.K. depends on which service is requested. The cost might also vary depending on the size of the group to be serviced as well as the length of time the service will be provided. A.S.K. has trained program evaluators to help determine areas of need for a school.
Representative Richards commended Ms. Perry and her work at WKU.
Mr. DeAtley noted that the Kentucky Partnership Academies are doing amazing work with a relatively small amount of funding. He said the they each received a one-time start-up amount of $275,000 each, and they leverage any dollars the school district may give. Programs must show success in order to get others involved in partnership.
External Funding-Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Ms. Jan Lantz, Chair of the Teacher Education Program, St. Catharine College (SCC), said SCC was a recipient of a small grant that has allowed a relationship to foster between SCC and Washington County Schools (WCS) to create the Commander College at Washington County High School (WCHS). This partnership aids all students by providing college hours through dual credit, articulated agreement technical certification classes, Early College, high school on campus, and Advance Kentucky Advanced Placement (AP) courses. She said prior to graduation from WCHS, all students will have the opportunity to participate in postsecondary coursework aligned to their career pathway choices.
Ms. Lantz said the dual credit gives students the opportunity to take classes at the high school or a local college to earn both high school credits as well as college. She noted students will pay a reduced rate of tuition to the college, but textbooks will be the responsibility of the student to purchase. There are 25 juniors participating in the program at WCHS.
Ms. Robin Cochran, WCS Superintendent, said a group of sophomores at WCHS were identified as students of promise and targeted to participate in the dual credit early college program. She said the school system tried to identify young people of poverty, ethnicity, or first-time college goers, to give these students momentum and success in a college setting. These are not the gifted and talented students, but ones that may have been on the bubble about attending college.
Ms. Cochran said WCHS supports students who enroll in the college program to take high school classes and college courses simultaneously. Early college provides academic counseling and advising services to high school students while they participate in these college program pathways. Students who participate in early college programs for two years have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, thus letting them graduate from college sooner and enter the workforce with marketable skills. Students may also earn multiple certifications in a technical career program prior to high school graduation. She notes the program gives WCHS students an employment advantage in times when it is hard to find a job.
CPE-Funded Mini-Grants for College and Career Readiness
Ms. Christine Sherretz, University Liaison at J.B. Atkinson Academy, University of Louisville (UofL), said J.B. Atkinson Academy partnered with UofL to address the summer dip, or reading learning loss, of all students over summer break. They created the Summer Boost program to mitigate this loss that is prevalent in students of low socioeconomic status (SES). The Summer Boost program served as a catalyst to progress elementary and middle school students forward in literacy achievement by tailoring instruction to meet the individualized needs of each student.
Ms. Sherretz said UofL faculty, graduate students, and teachers from J. B. Atkinson Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning directed the Summer Boost program. Nearly 98 percent of the children at Atkinson qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Last year approximately 400 children were enrolled, and about 35 percent of those students are reading on the novice or apprentice levels. She said 100 students participated in the Summer Boost program. All students received four hours of daily targeted reading instruction taught by trained teachers and UofL graduate students (all certified teachers). The graduate students provide their services for free in exchange for the teaching credit hours.
Ms. Sherretz said by the time a low SES student begins middle school, the average student is behind almost 1.5 years of reading compared to their peers from a middle or high SES. It is imperative that summer reading programs be developed to address this gap.
Ms. Sherretz noted that the Summer Boost program did mitigate summer reading loss for students who attended. Research shows that students from low SES lost approximately 2.5 months of reading achievement during the summer, but students attending summer boost lost less than one month, which is on par with the average loss of all students during the summer regardless of income level.
Responding to questions from Representative Wuchner, Ms. Sherretz said numerous research studies support that students learn at the same rate, regardless of SES, during the school year. She said even though students are learning at the same growth rates during the school year, a differentiation still exists between low and middle and high SES students if the low SES students do not attend the Summer Boost program. She said those students start out several reading levels behind and never catch up to their peers.
Responding to Representative Wuchner, Mr. DeAtley said CPE is tracking data on remediation rates for students. He said approximately 50 percent of students with remedial needs are not graduating at the same rate of students without remedial needs. He said students who enter postsecondary education college ready have increasing graduation rates across Kentucky at all postsecondary institutions. Representative Wuchner would like for the committee to receive the data from 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Responding to questions from Representative Meeks, Ms. Sherretz said she had shared the Summer Boost program data with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). JCPS wants to use the data as support for more summer programs across the county.
Ms. Sherretz said a list of academic and programmatic recommendations are included in the meeting materials in the LRC library. She noted that the program focused on self selected reading and students were more likely to read if it was something they were interested in. She said another success was the implementation of enrichment activities. Instead of students sitting in front of a computer all day, dancers and musicians were brought in. Just like an affluent school, they wanted the children to have good literature, targeted interventions, and numerous enrichment opportunities.
Ms. Sherretz said 100 students consistently attended the summer program, and it was completely voluntary. She said because of its success, the program should solicit more students to participate next summer.
Representative Meeks is concerned that CPE is not tracking students who are not admitted into college. Mr. DeAtley is not aware of any records kept on students not selected to enroll in college. Ms. Jennifer Stansbury Koenig, Center for Excellence, NKU, said there are career readiness assessments underway for students who do not score college ready on the ACT or KYOTE. Ms. Sherretz said students should start being prepared for college in kindergarten.
Responding to Senator Wilson regarding transportation costs not being covered in his Senate Bill 95 that created summer learning camps for Title I schools, Ms. Sherretz said transportation can provide huge barriers for students attending summer programs. She suggested partnering with JCPS to cover the cost of transporting students back and forth to school in the summer. She asked CPE to cover the $9,000 transportation cost for the Summer Boost program.
Council on Postsecondary Education
Mr. DeAtley concluded that systematic change is necessary for growth. Educator preparation programs, professional development, and developmental education are essential for success in developing P-12 and postsecondary education partnerships to ensure all students graduate career and college ready.
Responding to Representative Meeks, Mr. DeAtley said the school report cards and the individual student Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) test scores have been mailed to the students’ homes.
Responding to Representative Quarles, Mr. DeAtley said it is difficult to quantify the cost of students dropping out of college, while utilizing financial aid, in a monetary figure. He noted a federal study reported a figure of a $1.2 billion a year loss as the cost of students who use financial aid but never graduate. Representative Quarles would like to see a multi-faceted approach between K-12 and Postsecondary Education. He is hopeful that more students graduate from college as a result of the implementation of Senate Bill 1. He would like to figure the cost involved to taxpayers of students who use financial aid and drop out of college. He mentioned the lost Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) money, the cost of repeating courses, and the cost of state appropriations to the postsecondary institutions.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 AM.