Summary of April State Board of Education Agenda

April 1 & 2, 2009

All the State Board of Education Committees met on Wednesday, April 1, Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee (8:00 AM), Globally Competitive Students (9:30 AM) including State Board of Career and Technical Education and Healthy, Responsible Students, 21st Century Professionals Committee (1:30 PM), and the Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:30 PM).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 (8:00 AM) Board Room

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action on First Reading

·               TCS 1 Approval of Grant

-Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant Approved the continued funding to the existing projects and initial funding of new projects for the amount indicated. Based on progress made during the 2008-09 grant cycle, fourteen projects are recommended for continued funding for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Four new projects are recommended for first-year funding during 2009-2010. The new projects are in Brunswick, Cumberland, Onslow and Kannapolis counties. Recommended funding for Continuing Projects amounts to $4,995,744, new project $976,149 totaling funding of $45,971,893. Wake County was not included in the grant recommendations.

Committee Meeting: A brief overview of the projects was presented. Committee members expressed concern regarding the lock of interest in applying for the grants. Staff indicated that funding from other sources may be available in some counties which would explain the reason for not applying for this grant or the inexperience in grant writing. Mr. Tate suggested that more interest might be developed if smaller counties partnered with the larger counties in the area of grant writing.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 11 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 – 11 Proposals

Globally Competitive Students (9:30 AM) Board Room

Action on First Reading

·      GCS 1 2009 Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina Approved the 2009 Invitation for the curriculum as presented.  The adoption information will be for Mathematics 6-12, Second Languages 6-12, English Language Development (ESL) K-12, and Agricultural Education 7-12.

The invitation is posted on the DPI website: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/textbook/publishers/invitation/

Committee Meeting: No further discussion was necessary.

·      GCS 2 Allowing Retest Results in the Calculation of Performance Composites of ABCs and AYP Approved the new retesting policy, the amendments to existing policies and deletion of policy HSP-N-005.  The APA process should be initiated for the new policy. The State Board of Education discussed approval of the new retesting policy and the amendments to other affected policies in March. In January, the SBE voted to require students who do not meet the Achievement Level III standard on EOGs be retested (Retest I) and for the higher of the original or Retest 1 EOG score be included in the performance composites and for AYP effective with the 2008-09 school year. The SBE also approved requiring students who do not meet the Level III standard on EOCs be retested and for the higher of the original or Retest 1 EOC score to be included in the performance composites and for AYP, effective with the 2009-2010 school year. This action requires a new policy and affects GCS-A-004, HSP-N-005 and 003. The new policy contains recommended changes from the March SBE meeting, which includes removing the prohibition of using Retest I scores on EOC assessments as 25 percent of a student’s final grade and retesting only Level II students with an “opt-in” for Level I students for EOG and EOC assessments. The retesting for EOGs is for 2008-2009, while the EOC retesting does not take effect until 2009-2010.

April Committee Meeting: A review of the changes was presented. A vote was taken in Committee and the changes were approved.  This issue will be revisited in six months to discuss the impact on high school EOC testing.

·      GCS 3 Changes to Policy Delineating and Components of the ABCs Accountability Program Including Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2008-09 School Year  Approved the changes to the HSP-C-20 policy for the 2008-2009 school year. The USED informed DPI that the Occupational assessments can no longer be used to meet the high school testing requirements under NCLB. Because the other assessments available for meeting AYP do not match the OCS Standard Course of Study or its instructional delivery, the policy will state that effective in 2008-2009, OCS students will not be eligible to take any of the available assessments and will be counted as non-participants for AYP. OCS students are still required to take OCS assessments to meet the requirements of the State ABCs Accountability Program. On March 4, Superintendent Atkinson sent a letter to Secretary Duncan asking USED to reconsider its original stipulations.  They are still waiting for a decision by USED.

Committee Meeting: A letter from Josseph C.Conaty, USED Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, was presented which stated that the request from Dr. Atkinson to reconsider the original request had been denied. Therefore, the students taking these tests will be counted as non-participants for AYP or offer the students the opportunity to take the EOC English I and writing, EOC Algebra I and EOC Biology tests, count them as participants and include their test results on those assessments in determining AYP. Members expressed concern regarding the statement in the letter “the loss of a few students from participation rate calculation is not likely to result in a school’s change in AYP.” Every student is important and should be given the opportunity to be successful. They also raised concerns about students taking assessments for courses where the material is not included in their coursework. Concerns were also expressed regarding the number of schools that would be impacted by the 95 percent rule in NCLB (now known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Board member Taft requested the staff give consideration to changing the name of the Occupational Course of Study. 

Action on First Reading:

·      GCS 4 Changes to NC’s NCLB Consolidated State Application Accountability Workbook

ON HOLD are the changes for the three amendments to the NC Accountability Workbook. For the 2008-09 School Year amendments were made for 1) Students with Disabilities Who Exit the Program, 2) Retesting results in Grades 3 through 8, and 3) Redundancy in End-of-Course (EOC) and End-of-Grade (EOG) Testing. LEP students in their first year are exempt from retesting since their scores are not used in state and federal accountability. The policy is available upon request.

Committee Meeting: USED still has not responded. They have indicated that there current efforts have been channeled to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Dr. Fabrizio indicated that a response may be forthcoming within the next two weeks.  He will then plan to schedule a conference call with board members.

·      GCS 5 State Board Policy Language Update Approved the minor language changes to State Board policies HSP-H-001 and HSP-H-007 to address outdated language. The words Executive Director are replaced by SBE Chairman, clarification of the text “undue pressure” in regard to the textbook process and the deletion of the following statement:  the Textbook Study Committee shall remain as an ad hoc committee to the State Board to reconvene as needed.

Committee Meeting: Brief discussion clarifying the language changes to indicate that the Textbook Study Committee will convene when necessary.

Discussion

·      GCS 6 Changes to Policy Providing Annual Performance Standards Under the ABCs Model Policy HSP-C-021 is revised to reflect two modifications to the ABCs growth formulas.  First, the growth component for college university pre/college tech prep (CUP/CTP) is being modified to give additional credit to schools that already have a high number of students graduating from high school in the program (CUP/CTP). Previously, once you attained near 100 percent in this category there was no way to give schools any credit (in calculating the ABC’s growth) for their efforts to graduate all the students. The policy change will benefit those high schools that are at the top of this category, in graduating their students in this program. Second, the U.S. History prediction is being revised to use Civics & Economics or Biology as the primary predictor for how students will do in US History. Presently, English I is being used as the primary predictor for US History and it will be a better predictor using a history course. English I may be used as the secondary predictor for US History. These changes were discussed last year and are minor. The department recommends that the amendments to policies HSP-C-021 be approved and that the APA process be initiated. This item is presented for discussion in April and for Action at the May SBE meeting.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Fabrizio explained the changes and Dr. Prince spoke in support of these changes.

·      GCS 7 2009-2010 Writing Assessment Plan In 2008-2009 students in grades 4 and 7 were asked to complete two content-specific writing assignments and two on-demand writing tasks. Students in grade 7 used word processing tools in order to complete their assignments. Most students in grades 4 and 7 maintained their work in paper portfolios. Students in the 18 pilot sites stored their work in an electronic portfolio.  The State Board of Education will hear findings from the first year of the writing project as well receive a proposal for the 2009-2010 writing assessments. Feedback was received from teacher surveys, on-site visits and stakeholder meetings. The discussion will include trends or findings, proposed solutions, student participation for 2009-2010, data collection and staff development. Some of the proposed changes for 2009-2010 will include: two content specific assignments and two on-demand tasks. The first on-demand tasks will be a diagnostic or benchmarking assessments depending on school preference, General education, NCCLAS and NCEXTEND2 student in grades 4 and 7 will participate, the on-demand assignment will be done in September/October, Content-specific in November/December, Content-specific January/February and the final On-demand in March/April, scoring will consist of one score for on-demand (scoring the features and conventions) and 2 scores for content-specific (1 of content and 1 of features and conventions), lead implementation will be LEA Instruction Leaders and LEA Test Coordinator as the focus of the writing system is instruction and therefore will lie with the instructional leadership in the LEA, and more resources will be added with revised online PD courses and complete, consolidated resource guides to assist in successful implementation. A copy of the 2009-2010 proposal is available upon request from this office.  This item will be presented for Action in May.

Committee Meeting: Angela Quick reported to the Committee on the work surrounding the writing assessment and the proposed changes to be made in 2009-2010. Feedback regarding the writing assessment had been received from 5,200 survey responses, site visits, emails, conference calls and regional meetings. Representatives on the Committee from the Community Colleges spoke in support of the writing assessment and the importance of writing instruction, which will be reflected in the new name of the document “NC Writing Instruction and Assessment System Plan.

State Board of Career and Technical Education

·      GCS 8 Construction Education Programs Certification and Credentials The new policy is proposed to ensure that construction education programs (carpentry, electrical trades and masonry) offered in NC public schools provide students with skills and knowledge that meet or exceed industry standards. When a program is National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) certified, participating students will graduate with industry-developed skills and knowledge that will prepare them for further education and employment. The NCCER program leads to various craft certifications and credentials. Students can earn community college credits while in high schools. Requirements for certification include: 1) Construction Programs must be certified by the NCCER/NCDPI as Accredited Training and Education Facilities, 2) Instructors must successfully complete the Instructor Certification Training Program and be certified as a Craft Instructor in their field, and 3) students must be entered into the NCCER national registry. They will receive certification and credentials upon successful completion of curriculum as follows: 1) Must achieve a score of 70 percent on written assessment administered by a certified instructor and 2) must demonstrate competence on required performance task. The Board is asked to review the proposed policy and advise staff of any changes. This item is for Action in May.

Committee Meeting: A brief overview of the new policy was presented and several members from the carpentry, electrical and masonry industries were presented in a show support for the new policy. The community college enthusiastically supported this policy, which will become effective in 2010-2011. The policy will also provide for additional accountability under the Perkins Act.

New Business

-Honors Review Follow Up Not Heard

– ECU Virtual Early College High School Pilot – Education in Second Life A slide presentation was made showing the use of the Second Life application in the ECU Virtual Early College High school pilot. There are 18 students enrolled in the early college courses that will have completed 18 college credits by the time they graduate.  The presentation included supportive remarks from the students. Committee members asked how they could assist with the virtual pilot and staff requested funding for an additional 18 students and additional Learn and Earn seats. 

Healthy, Responsible Students

New Business

– Parent and Family Involvement Document The guide is a step toward detailing a framework that specified procedure and activities aimed at building parent capacity and increasing parent involvement at all levels. Dr. Atkinson’s Parent Advisory Committee has directed the development of this guide to help educators better leverage parent involvement as a tool for improving student performance. The guide addresses why parent and family involvement is important to educators and provides information, and resources on how schools can enhance current parent and family involvement efforts. In addition, the guide highlights the eight essential elements necessary to promote parent involvement. This guide will be made available on line after some minor changes have been made.

21st Century Professionals Committee (1:30 PM) Room 504

Action and Discussion

·      TCP 1 Proposed Revisions to the Eligibility Requirements for Provisional Licenses in School Counseling and School Social Work Approved the revisions to the eligibility for provisional licensing in school counseling and school of social work by the SBE with an effective date of July 1, 2009. The requirement for counseling is the completion of a master’s degree in Agency Counseling, Clinical Mental Health, Community Counseling or Rehabilitation Counseling from a regional accredited college or university or completion of a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in a school counselor program. School Social Work requires completion of a bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in social work.

Committee Meeting: No further discussion was necessary.

New Business

-Principal and Teacher Evaluation Instrument State Level Ratings In response to questions at the March meeting, Dr. Dingle provided a fact sheet indicating the cost for developing and implementing the Principal/Teacher Evaluation system. The internal cost is estimated at $10,450 and an annual $1,000 for ITS charges (funding from Licensure receipts and/orTitle II). The plan was to collect data for all principals and only evaluation data from a random sampling of teachers. The reasons for collecting evaluation data included: instrument validation, research to help inform and improve teaching and leadership, and the possible correlations between low performing school districts and teacher/principal evaluation ratings. McREL has submitted a proposal for up to $6 million over 5 years develop the processes and procedures in the collection of data. Several organizations (NCAE, PENC and NCPAPA) issued written documentation of their concerns with security, confidentiality, and the use of the collected data. Committee Chair Harris recommended this item be moved to Action on First Reading.  Several members indicated strong opposition to this recommendation and after a poll of the committee members, it was agreed that this item would be an Action item on the May agenda. 

-Elementary Mathematics Program of Study and Licensure Endorsement The proposed Elementary Mathematics Add-0n License is a coordinated effort between the NCDPI and the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNCGA). The challenge is to create a model that can be scaled up to impact the teaching and learning of mathematics in North Carolina’s nearly 1,500 elementary schools. Based on the recommendation of the advisory committee, the UNCGA is prepared to support the design, development, and implementation of an online graduate-level program of study (six courses) focused on the mathematical knowledge needed for successfully teaching mathematics at the elementary level. The proposed program-of-study for the Elementary Mathematics Add-On License included 18-hours of graduate coursework that will be offered by approved UNC universities. Based on specific masters degree requirements at the universities, some or all of the courses may be applied towards existing degree programs. All courses will include: graduate level expectations & accountability that balance direct instruction with project-oriented teaching methods, stress mathematical content, provide connection to practice and the NC Standard Course of Study, balance the needs of K-2 and 3-5 teachers with links to the mathematics content and skills students need to successfully learn middle grades mathematics, cultivates teachers’ ability to identify students’ learning styles, intelligences, strengths and weaknesses, and support the use of technology to improve teacher and learning mathematics. Committee members did not support this as a mandatory requirement but the goal was to have at least one elementary teacher from each school enroll in the program. Dr. Dingle spoke in support of the program and its correlation to the STEM curriculum. Funding for the program could be provided from the use of stimulus monies.

-Assistant Principal Evaluation Instrument Discussion included the use of the Principal’s Evaluation for the Assistant Principals, cost of developing a new instrument, standards, course of study and accountability. Most were in agreement that there was little difference in the evaluation requirements and the same instrument could be used for an assistant principal, if indeed they were training to be principals.  Dr. Prince indicated she would need to review the rubric, but was supportive of using the same instrument. Ms. Quick and Dr. Dingle also spoke in support of using the Principal’s Evaluation. This item is scheduled for Action on the May Agenda. 

-Title II Mr. Holliman provided the requested information regarding the use of Title II funds at the State Level to support such initiatives as contracting MCREL for the Teacher Evaluation Instrument ($746, 411), Regional Alternative Licensing Centers ($650,000), Teacher-Teachers online recruitment $215,000), EC Division Programs ($150,00), Title II, BTSP Monitoring ($100,000), and NBPTS Mentoring Program ($75,000). Ms. Harris asked if there was a budget process for Title II funds, and Mr. Holliman indicated he would discuss the process with Ms. Harris after the meeting.

Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:30 PM) Board Room

Action on First Reading

·      LFI 1 Approval of LEAs and Charter Schools Technology Plans Approved the Technology plans for the listed LEAs (including Wake) and Charter Schools (5 of 13 schools in Wake Co. were included) have been approved by both ITS and DPI technology consultants. Final approval by the State Board of Education qualifies these LEAs for the School Technology Trust Funds, NCLB and federal eRate monies, as well as a variety of private technology grants. A copy of the list is available upon request from this office.

Committee Meeting: No discussion

·      LFI 2 School-Based Calendar Waivers for Educational Purposes Approved the calendar waivers for educational purposes for the following:  Hertford County Early College requests waivers the opening and closing dates for 2009-2010 through school year 2013-2014 and for CS brown Student Development Center for the 2009-2010 school year to also change the opening and closing dates, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools requesting waiver to the starting date to permit 9th grade students to attend two days of Freshman Orientation Programs and Wilson County Schools is requesting waiver to the starting and closing dates for the years 2009-2010 through 2013-2014.

Board Meeting: Members had questions regarding the salary issue for the teachers who were teaching the two days of Freshman Orientation. It was indicated these days were part of their scheduled calendar days and salary would not be affected.

·      LFI 3 Program Approval Exemption Requests Under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act Approved the recommendations for exemptions under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act. Sixteen Counties have requested and were granted exemptions. Some of the exemptions were requests to allow students enrolled in high school to enroll in more than one college course, exempt principal from requirements of NC principal’s certificate or to amend the calendar to facilitate dual enrollment of high school students in courses at the community colleges or taught by community college faculty.  The exemptions that staff recommended not be granted were requests for calendar or test exemptions or the reallocation of vocational funding. As always many of the requests submitted were not required.

Board Meeting: There was brief discussion regarding the terminology in the requests.  It was suggested that samples be provided as a guide for the language used in requesting the exemption, however it was cautioned that the requests were for innovative initiatives and should be unique in nature and not all the same. There was a concern that the same or similar requests were being presented in very different ways and the Board was trying to determine if they could provide some standard guidelines for making the requests.

New Business

District and School Transformation Update Postponed

New Charter School Applications Sixteen new charter school applications will be reviewed by the Committee for the three available slots.  A summary and copies of the applications had been forwarded to the individual members by courier. Copies of the applications may be reviewed at the Office of Charter Schools. Interviews have been scheduled for May 5.

NC Virtual Public School/Learn and Earn on-Line (LEO) Director’s Report Low Performing Dr. Setser was unavailable and staff made the presentation and stressed the importance of the Credit Recovery Courses.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 

8:30 AM State Board of Education Meeting, Dr. Bill Harrison

Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance, Approval of Minutes

Information Agenda

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee

·      TCS 2 Contract Process/Procedure At the March meeting of the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee, Board members requested a review of the process and procedures used by DPI’s Purchasing and Contracts Section of Financial Services Division. Charts, sample contracts and task orders are provided for information and discussion at the April meeting.

Committee Meeting: Philip Price and staff reviewed the purchasing and contract process and procedures with the Committee and Board. The discussion focused on the vendor information and the need for transparency and disclosure in vendor relationships. It was suggested that information be included in the contracts requesting detailed information regarding any conflict of interest. 

Chairman’s Remarks

Update on the Framework for Change –Dr. Garland presented updates regarding the work on the writing assessments, accountability model and updates on the changes to the course of study. Dr. Harrison then made a recommendation regarding the NC Graduation Project. He requested that the Board delay the implementation of the Graduation Project by one year (2010-2011) due to fiscal issues and to provide additional time to develop some flexibility in the project. Mr. Tate made the motion, seconded by Mr. Speed. Motion carried unanimously. Board members indicated some of the issues needing to be clarified and fine-tuned such as can a parent be the mentor/advisor for their own child on the project. It was agreed if systems were now doing the Graduation Project and wanted to continue, it would be a local option and they should be recognized for their efforts in moving forward with the 21st Century Plan. Dr. Harrison announced policy TCP A-006 providing Master’s Degree clarification, which would have resulted in the need for additional State funding, implementation is being delayed until July 1, 2010.

Chris Minard presented a legislative update included a brief summary of the 3,000 plus bills introduced to date covering the State Health Plan, Charter Schools, Dropout Rate, Sports Injuries and Arts Education Credit.

Dr. Harrison read Proclamation from Governor Perdue declaring April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month and April 15 as Personal Financial Literacy Day in North Carolina. State Treasurer, Janet Cowell spoke briefly in support of the Financial Literacy Program. DPI will conduct activities at the General Assembly on April 15 supporting Financial Literacy.

State Superintendent’s Report

Dr. June Atkinson report included comments of congratulations to Mr. Asmar and staff upon completions of the conversion from SIMS to NCWISE. The last two LEAs were completed on February 28, 2009. She also recognized Mary Watson on her appearance before the Health and Human Services Committee in Washington. She also noted Wayne Co. and Beaufort counties had received grants in the amount of $100,000 each, the Military Compact Commission held its first meeting and acknowledged the work of the Parent Advisory Committee on the Parent and Family Involvement Guide.  She concluded her presentation with a brief slide presentation regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and listed some of the requirements associated with the funding. Information had been received regarding the Title I, IDEA, and stabilization funds, and staff was in the process of reviewing the guidelines regarding assurance, waivers, etc.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports-Listed Above

MISCELLANOUS:

The July SBE meeting will be held by conference call on July 9.

Mr. McDevitt again reminded the Board of the importance of the changes suggested for the reauthorization of NCLB now to be known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

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