Summary of February State Board of Education Agenda

 

February 4 & 5, 2009

 All the State Board of Education Committees met on Wednesday, February 4, Globally Competitive Students (10:30 AM), 21st Century Professionals Committee (1:00 PM), Leadership for Innovation Committee (12:30 PM), and the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee (4:15 PM).

 Wednesday, February 4, 2009 (10:30 AM) Board Room

Globally Competitive Students

Action

·      GCS 1 Participation in American Diploma Project (ADP) Algebra I and II Exams Approved the plans for NC participation in the American Diploma project. NC is a member of the ADP Network sponsored by Achieve, Inc., which includes 33 states who are committed to ensuring every high school graduate is prepared for college or work by raising the rigor of standards, exams, and curricula. NC has partnered with the Network on developing Algebra I and Algebra II exams based on standards developed by Achieve, Inc. DPI is recommending that a representative sample of high schools participate in the ADP Algebra II assessment in Spring of 2009 to provide a state-to-state comparison.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Fabrizio presented the an overview of the recommendation with the following changes. The recommendation reads: The department recommends that a representative sample (2,400 students) of (30) high schools participate in the ADP Algebra II assessment for spring 2009 so that test results will be representative of the state and state-to-state comparisons can be made. The department further recommends that the SBE waive the state Algebra II EOC requirement for the sampled high schools and that LEAs would have the local option to allow students in the sampled schools(s) to administer the North Carolina Algebra II EOC as well. The Algebra II EOC results will not be used in the ABCs accountability model unless the local decision is that all students at the school in the ADP Algebra II sample also will take the NC Algebra II EOC assessment. Due to Budget constraints, and other factors, the department recommends that North Carolina continue to be involved in ADP Algebra I test development activities but not administer the ADP Algebra I exam during Spring 2009.

·      GCS 2 Technical Correction of State Board Policies Approved deletion of SBE policy HSP-N-000 initially submitted as a technical correction. It is being replaced by a revised HSP-N-003 and a new policy HSP-N-009 that was approved in December.

Committee Meeting: A brief explanation was presented with no further discussion.

 

New Business

K-2 Literacy Assessment Revision A brief presentation was made regarding the work of the Task Force. The four major recommendations from the Task Force were to revise the North Carolina K-2 Literacy Assessment, use technology tools to improve the efficiency of data collection and analysis, ensure 21st century educators received professional development in using the NC K-2 Literacy Assessment and require LEAs to implement the tool across the state. A list of the changes in the document, by section, was included in the presentation. In addition, a revision in the professional development training for the assessment was also provided. 

Back on Track-Adult High School Diploma is an initiative for dropout prevention and dropout recovery for students in North Carolina. It is a two-prong approach to increasing the graduation rate by targeting students who are still in school, but at serious risk for dropping out and for those students who have dropped out (ages 16 and 19) and enrolled in a community college program for dropout recovery, but are at serious risk of not completing the program. The cost to college and taxpayers for remediation is between $2.3 billion and $2.9 billion annually. By providing a comprehensive statewide framework encompassing dropout prevention and dropout recovery program components the NC DPI and the NC Community College System along with other state and community agencies can coordinate and integrate support systems to improve individual student performance and contribute to an educated, technically prepared workforce. The three overall intended outcomes are: 1) to increase the graduation rate, 2) reduce the cost of remedial courses at the community colleges, and 3) increase the college, career and work readiness of students. Several strategies for the proposed initiative include: customized learning environments, provide a graduation coach, incorporate a parent/guardian involvement component and develop tools to monitor student progress. Students completing the Back on Track Program will receive a Career Readiness Certificate, which includes: NC high school diploma, opportunity to receive Associate’s Degree (with additional credits), skills-based curriculum program resulting in a trade license. Currently the 4-H Club at NC State in very interested in providing volunteers (coaches) for this initiative.

Update on Raising Achievement and Closing the Gap Conference–The NC Graduation Project An overview was presented of the activities scheduled for the Raising Achievement and Closing the Gap Conference in March. The main focus of the conference is the NC Graduation Project. Workshops and keynote speakers will address high school graduation requirements, implementation of the project, and clarification of how the project should be carried out statewide. The Conference will showcase NC student orators. The NC Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps Commission believe a student’s public speaking aptitude develops self-esteem, effective listening and communication skills and critical thinking abilities, which prepare students for successful completion of the NC Graduation Project and life in the 21st century.

North Carolina’s Annual Performance Report for Students with Disabilities (SWD) A summary of the report (as required in IDEA) was presented to the Committee by Ms. Watson. The report includes the examination of 20 indicators and the state’s performance in each area; i.e., preschool outcomes, parental involvement, suspensions/expulsions, disproportionality and placement timelines and timely and accurate data. The State Performance Plan includes a new indicator on Preschool Outcomes. The NC Graduation rates for students with IEPs increased to 56.3 percent in 2004-2005. Math scores are increasing and hover between 40 percent at grade level to 51 percent for Grades 3-10. There has been an increase in parent involvement to improve services for children with disabilities. Suspension of SWD has decrease. The number of districts who have inappropriately identified students as SWD has gone from 21 in 2006-2007 to 0 in 2007-2008.  Placement timelines for SWD have improved. Ms. Watson noted the support of LEAs in providing the data needed in a timely manner. A copy of the power point is available upon request.

 

21st Century Professionals Committee (1:00 PM) Room 504

Action

·      TCP 1 State Evaluation Committee Teacher Education Program and Alternative Lateral Entry Program Approval Recommendations Approved recommendations made by the State Evaluation Committee on Teacher Education. Program approvals include: Greensboro College, High Point University, Queens University of Charlotte, Salem College, Shaw University, Wake Forest University and Wingate University. The Committee also reviewed the proposal for an alternative program for lateral entry teachers. The Moore County Schools/Sandhills Community College program review is included. The Committee supports the Lateral Entry Training (LET) program being used by Moore County schools. They are using the research-based Learning-Focused model for lesson design, which focuses on five areas; planning, curriculum, instruction, assessment and school organization. They plan to implement this model in 2009-2010 and have submitted their proposal to the State Board for approval.

Board Meeting: No further discussion.

 New Business

Update on Teacher Education Program Re-visioning Further updates from Dr. Ponder and Dr. Moore were the addition of a year-long internship, professional development for teachers, a before the start of school organizational component, an international component and the new teaching standards and teacher evaluation instrument.

 

Leadership for Innovation Committee (12:30 PM)

Action

·      LFI 1 Renewal Recommendations for Charter Schools with Charters Expiring June 2009 Approved the recommendations of the Office of Charter Schools on renewals for charter schools that expire June 2009. The following is a list of the schools with the renewal recommendations: American Renaissance (Iredell)-10 year, Crossnore (Avery)-5 year, Evergreen (Buncombe)-10 year, Forsyth Academies (Forsyth)-10 year, Greensboro Academy (Guilford)-10 year, Guilford Preparatory Academy (Guilford)-5 year, Mountain Community (Henderson)-10 year, PreEminent (Wake)-3 year, Provisions (Lee)-No Renewal, Quest (Wake)-10 year, Raleigh Charter High School (Wake)-10 year, Research Triangle Charter Academy (Durham)-5 year, Sandhills Theatre Arts Renaissance School (Moore)-3 year, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (Rutherford)-10 year Vance Charter (Vance)-10 year, Torchlight (Wake)- On Hold.

Committee Meeting: The Committee discussed the renewal recommendations in three groups. Ms. Bartlett was recused from the discussion of American Renaissance. The Committee approved the recommendation for their 10-year renewal. PreEminent was approved for a three-year renewal with the condition that they meet or exceed growth in 2009 and 2010.  If this condition is not met, their charter will not be renewed. The decision on Torchlight has been delayed until further audit information can be obtained.  The SBE is hoping to make a decision on Torchlight at their March meeting. All other recommendations were approved as presented by the Office of Charter Schools above.

 

Discussion

·      LFI 2 1:1 Laptop Evaluation: Report to the State Legislature The State Board discussed the 1:1 Laptop Evaluation Report. The legislation for this program requires a report be submitted to the General Assembly, no later than March 15, 2009. The Friday Institute has completed the first-year evaluation and has provided this report to fulfill the legislative requirement. Some of the next steps recommended include; establishing a public-private funding mechanism, establishing the human infrastructure and support systems needed to take the program statewide, updating the education workforce, developing cost effective, scalable technology services and supports, providing school district policy guidelines, and documentation and evaluation.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Glen Klineman presented the Executive Summary on the Progress of the NC 1:1 Learning Technology Initiative. The entire report can be found electronically at:

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/sbe_meetings/0902/lfi/02lfi02.pdf

 

The report presents the evaluation of progress at mid-year of the second year in the program as the first step in the planned three-year evaluation. The report focuses on the eight schools in the pilot and their progress toward implementing the 1:1 environment and the barriers, successes, and lessons learned in the early stages of implementation of the program 

New Business

-NC Virtual Public School/Learn and Earn on-Line (LEO) Director’s Report Dr. Setser reviewed the activities and events from the national technology conference. He provided insight into some of the new and innovative tools being developed in the field of technology to enhance education. North Carolina has moved to fifth in the nation in the virtual technology field; however Florida is still ranked number one.

-Low Performing Charter Schools There are four charter schools listed as low performing. Improvement plans have now been submitted for all four schools and they will be discussed in Committee next month.

-Charter Schools: Policies and Processes Mr. Moyer briefly reviewed the draft of the updated charts and processes used in the application and renewal process for charter schools.  Additional information will be provided to the Committee in March.

-District and School Transformation Update Dr. Ashley presented information regarding distribution of services for the 35 Turnaround High Schools Continuation Plan for 2009-2010. There are seven schools whose Performance Composite is still in the 30-40 range.  They will receive 8 days of instructional coaching and 8 days of leadership coaching.  In addition, two schools will receive an additional 4 days of services as these high schools are also in District Transformation. Four schools have improved their Performance Composite to the 60-70 range and will now received 2 days instructional and leadership coaching in each category.  One school in this range is also in District Transformation and will receive an additional 4 days of service.  The remaining schools are in the 40-50 or 50-60 range and will receive between 7 and 4 days of service in each category.

-Learn and Earn Update There are 12 schools submitting applications under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act for 2009.  They are as follows: Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College, Early College EAST High School, Franklin County Early College High School, Henderson County Early College, Mayland Early College High School, Stokes County Early College High School, Wake NC State University Early College High School, Roanoke Valley Early College, Wilkes Early College High School, Wilson Early College Academy, Granville County Schools Learn and Earn Early College High School and James Kenan Early College High School. The Wake NC State University Early College High School is an innovative collaboration between NCSU and the Wake County Public School System. The school is located on the NCSU campus. This innovative collaboration provides a highly supportive and academically challenging learning environment for students underserved in a traditional high school setting and underrepresented in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines who will graduate prepared to compete globally in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With approval of the 12 new sites the total number of Learn and Earn schools will be 72.

 

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (4:15 PM) Board Room

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

·      TCS 1 North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Funding Formula Approved the report with the formula options to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. The SBE reviewed the proposed funding formula options for NCVPS. Funding options include: 1) Request and obtain full funding from the General Assembly ($30 million), 2) Charge a fee per course (allow LEAs the flexibility to convert teacher positions to dollars to cover the cost of courses), 3) Develop a formula where NCVPS is treated like an LEA with its own ADM, or 4) a combination of the above options. The cost per course in 2007-2008 was $629.50 with 15,099 students taking courses. The 2008-2009 cost for 15,929 students is projected to be $717.20 per course per student (lower as a result of carryover funds from preceding year). The state average cost per course is actually $870.50.

Committee Meeting: There was some discussion on this item regarding a recommendation of an option prior to sending the report to JLEOC. However, in view of the fact that the budget figures are still undetermined and the possibility of some stimulus funding it was agreed to report only the information requested in the original legislation, which was to provide options. The Department has discussed Option 4 as the best option.

·      TCS 2 Membership for the Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children Approved the recommendations for membership to the Council. The Council is responsible for advising the SBE on issues related to the educational needs of children with disabilities. The majority of the members are individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. There are three SBE vacancies from Regions 4 and 7 with one being a parent of a disabled child, a central office administrator and a representative of a charter school. The term of appointments by the SBE is four years. The SBE is asked to approve the recommendation of Anne Maxwell to fill the position of a parent of a child with disability to server on the Council. Since the January meeting, Susan Humbert (EC teacher, Lake Norman Charter School) has expressed an interest in filling the Charter School representative vacancy and Felix Keyes (principal, Owen Elementary School in Cumberland County) has expressed an interest in filling the vacancy of general education administrator. The appointment term for each is July 1, 2008-June 30, 2012.

Committee Meeting: The names of the individual candidates were presented with no further discussion.

·      TCS 3 Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Approved the formation of a State Council, as required by state law, to participate in the Interstate Compact for Military Children. The following individuals: Dr. June Atkinson, Dr. Kathy Spencer, Onslow County Schools, Mr. Robert Freeman, Seymour Johnson AFB, Mr. Stephen Halkiotis Orange Board of Education, Mr. Kirk Denning Johnston County Schools Principal, Senator Vernon Malone, Representative Rick Glazier, David Phillips, Cumberland County Schools, Board Attorney.

Committee Meeting: There was some clarification needed by the Committee regarding the membership of the State Council. The issue surrounded the number of individuals to be appointed to the Committee. Legislation states the individuals named to fill these specific positions were to be appointed, but in turn they could appoint additional members to subcommittees. Governor Perdue has named David Phillips as her appointee, as well.  

Board Meeting: Membership on the State Council was again an issue and needed some clarification for members not in attendance at the Committee Meeting. Lt. Governor Walter Dalton had several suggestions for the addition of individuals to the subcommittees as did Board member McDevitt.

 

Action on First Reading

·      TCS 4 Approval of Grant Approved the increased funding for the 2008-2009 grants.

-Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant Increased funding is recommended for Physics Project Year 2 of 3 (Winston Salem Forsyth -$73,764), Partners for Mathematics Learning: Disseminating North Carolina’s 2008 Mathematics Curriculum Standards Year 2 of 3 (Roanoke Rapids $79,500), NC STEM Year 2 of 3 (Weldon City Schools $30,000), and Modeling Instruction in Physics, Physical Science and Chemistry Year 1 of 2 (Watauga County Schools $30,000). Total amount of the funding is $213,264.  Recommendations for new awards will be presented in April 2009.

Committee Meeting: Brief overview and discussion regarding the selection process. Board member Hill was recused from this discussion.

New Business

Communications Update Ms. Jeter presented a few of the activities of the Communications Department for January, which included news releases regarding kindergarten cut off age, school report card and National Teacher of the Year selection.

Budget Update Philip Price indicated he and the staff are working on possible budget reductions for 2009-2010 and the impact from a possible stimulus package. DPI was asked to consider 3, 5 and 7 percent reductions.

Contracts over $25,000 – 11 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 – 10 Proposals

 

Thursday, February 5, 2009 

8:30 AM State Board of Education Meeting, Howard Lee, Chairman

Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance,

Swearing-In Ceremony for New State Board of Education Member

The Honorable Howard E. Manning, Jr., North Carolina Superior Court Judge

·               Mr. Ray Durham, Jacksonville, NC, Representing Education District 2

Good News:

·      Project Enlightenment-Wake County Public Schools Dr. Cynthia Chamblee, Director shared a 10 minute video with the State Board on Project Enlightenment. Chairman Lee had requested the presentation and he was extremely complimentary of Wake and the efforts of Project Enlightenment with their early childhood child/parent support and development efforts. He asked for communication to be shared with Dr. Burns on the great value of the program.

Special Recognition:

·               2008-09 Milken Award Winner

Mr. Bryan Holley, Corinth Holders Elementary School Johnston County Schools

·      Donation to the AT&T NC Teacher of the Year Program by AT&T North Carolina

Mr. Herb W. Crenshaw, Executive Director of Legislative Affairs, AT&T North Carolina

Approval of Minutes

 

Information Agenda

Globally Competitive Students

·      GCS 5 Dropout Data Report, 2007-08 The report contains statewide and LEA analysis of dropout events rates and disaggregates data by age, grade, gender, race and reason. The full report will be distributed at the meeting.

Board Meeting: Charlotte Hughes presented information regarding the results. You can access the entire report at the link below:

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/research/dropout/reports/2008/0708report.pdf

General findings indicate high schools in North Carolina reported a dropout rate of 4.97 percent, a decrease from 5.24 percent rate reported from the previous year. In K-12 Wake County Public Schools reported 1,838 dropouts with males at 1,123 and females at 715. The highest number of dropouts reported for WCPSS was Millbrook High with 171 events. Grades 9-12 reported 22,434 dropouts statewide. Decreases were reported in 66 of the 115 LEAs accounting for 1,898 in dropouts. WCPSS reported a decrease of 2.95 percent from the 1809 events in 2006-07 to the 1793 in 2007-08. The largest 3-year decreases in dropout count for grades 9-12 are found in Burke, Durham, Robeson, Lee and Vance. LEAs with the largest 3-year dropout increases are Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Wake, Forsyth, Guilford, and Johnston (Districts with largest number of students).  All ethnic groups except Multiracial contributed to the decrease in the number of reported dropouts. The dropout rate for American Indian students declined for the fourth consecutive year. Students dropping out of school at ages 15, 16, and 7 decreased, while students ages 18, 19, and 20 increased. In addition, there is an increase in the “Enrollment in a Community College” dropout reason code. Attendance issues are again the reason most often noted for a reported dropout, accounting for almost half of all dropouts. Ms. Hughes introduced Michael Basham, Superintendent Hertford County Schools who spoke about the programs and initiatives that were used to decrease the number of dropouts in Hertford County. He said you need the intervention and support of the school board, and to raise test scores, which calls for good principals, social workers and dropout prevention coordinators. Students need to have hope in order to be successful and with an intensive summer school program for 9th grade students, 9th grade Academies and the introduction to Early College high schools, there was hope. He credits the SRO’s involvement for providing valuable information regarding student activity and the Turnaround High School teams for their contribution to the decrease in the dropout rate.

 

State Superintendent’s Report

Dr. June Atkinson Commented on her conference call with U.S. Secretary of Education on the Reauthorization of NCLB. She also announced the appointment of the new Spanish Advisor at DPI from the Spanish Embassy.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports-Listed Above

Miscellaneous Comments:  Ms. Taft still has concerns regarding the review of contracts after they have been processed.  Mr. Howell indicated the matter is under review.

Mr. McDevitt stated the NCLB ReAuthorization Document would be ready for review next month. He also emphasized the importance of raising the compulsory school attendance age to 18 and spoke in support of a 100% graduation rate.

 

Chairman Lee concluded the meeting with a few farewell remarks indicating however he would return next month to open the meeting and then turn the meeting over to Dr. Bill Harrison. JB Buxton will remain as Deputy until Dr. Harrison begins his position on March 2.

Adjourn

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