Summary of February State Board of Education Agenda: February 3 and 4, 2010

All of the State Board of Education Committees met on Wednesday, February 3: Healthy, Responsible Students Committee, Globally Competitive Students, the Leadership for Innovation Committee, the 21st Century Professionals Committee, and the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. On Thursday, February 4, the full State Board of Education met to complete the remainder of the Agenda.

Access to the Executive Summaries and back up documents are on the SBE website at:

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/stateboard/meetings/2010/02

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Healthy, Responsible Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Discussion

  • HRS 1 Revisions to HRS-A-000; Acts of School Violence Reported to Law Enforcement and to the State Board of Education The SBE discussed the proposed revisions to HRS-A-000. The policy was presented in October 2009 and is being presented again. It is being revised to clarify incidents/acts required by law to be reported to Law Enforcement and to the State Board of Education by the principal. The policy lists the following incidents to be reported to law enforcement: 1) Assault resulting in serious personal injury as defined in G.S. 14-32.4; 2) Sexual Assault as defined in G.S.14-27.5A and 14-33(c )(2);  3) Sexual offense as defined in G.S. 14-27.4 through 14-27.5 and 14-27.7A; 4) Rape as defined in G.S. 14-27.3 and 14-27.7A; 5) Kidnapping as defined in G.S.14-37; 6) Indecent liberties with a minor as defined in G.S.14-202.1; 7) Assault involving the use of a weapon as defined in G.S.14-34 through 14-34.9; 8 – Possession of a firearm in violation of the law as defined in G.S. 14-269.2; 9) Possession of a weapon in violation of the law as defined in G. S. 14-269.2; and 10) Possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law as defined in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act as defined in Article 5 of G. S. 90-86 through 90-113.8. Other incidents required to be reported to law enforcement by the principal in addition to those listed in G.S. 115C-288 (g) are: 1) Assault on school officials, employees, and volunteers as defined in  G.S. 14-33 ( c)(6); 2) Homicide as defined in G.S. 14-17; 3) Robbery with a dangerous weapon as defined in G.S. 14-87; 4) Unlawful, underage sales, purchase, provision, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages as defined in G. S. 18B-302; 5) Making bomb threats or engaging in bomb hoaxes as defined in G. S. 14-69.2; 6) Willfully burning a school building as defined in G. S. 14-60. In addition Section C has been added and states: The offenses listed in subpart (b) together with all offenses that are required to be reported to law enforcement pursuant to G. S. 115C-288(g), shall be reported annually to the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C-12(21). The report shall be submitted electronically via a Department of Public Instruction approved discipline report system that conforms to the State’s Uniform Education Reporting System.

Committee Meeting: Board member Willoughby chairs the Committee and she worked with Reginald King and Katie Cornetto to draft this change to the policy. Ms. Willoughby noted Leanne Winner with NCSBA has offered to provide documents to help LEAs and school administrators. The Committee agreed the definitions as stated in statute for each of the 16 offenses listed should be documented in the policy. Principals will be required to report all illegal activity to law enforcement to which they are aware or it will be a misdemeanor for not reporting to law enforcement. There is no requirement to report to the Superintendent. A suggestion was made to develop a companion document for administrators defining the statutes listed in the policy in order to provide additional support. Additional training may also be required for administrators. The target date for implementation of the policy is 2010-2011. Also included in the discussion was to suggest a process for a reporting line to law enforcement. A question was raised could principals report to SROs and it was agreed they are part of law enforcement and that would be acceptable.  The data collected for the 16 offenses will be included in the information collected by DPI for the School Violence Report. The Committee also indicated further clarification of the language “simple assault” may need to be expanded in the law.  There is concern about the lack of definitions and the simple assault could cause many more calls to law enforcement for what may be minor issues or behavior by an autistic or other special education child. Ms. Willoughby indicated it was not the responsibility of the SBE to interpret law in its policy and so the issue of simple assault would have to be handled in other ways. The Associations NCSBA, NCASA, and NCAE are not in support of the policy as it is being revised. This item will be presented for action in March.

Globally Competitive Students Committee

Discussion

  • GCS 1 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model The Board discussed the new accountability model. Components of the proposed model include student performance, value-added performance for teachers, schools and districts, long-term growth, graduation rate, Future-Ready Core, and postsecondary readiness. A worksheet enumerates several issues for consideration: Exploration and planning for other widely used assessments, like ACT, SAT, WorkKeys or Accuplacer. The Committee has discussed the desire to use a national test(s) as a measure of post-secondary readiness. Included in this worksheet is a series of questions: 1) Will we continue to have and use the gateways? 2) Do we need a model that can make a single “up or down” decision for an LEA? 3) How should we balance the components in the model? 4) Are there other components in the model that should be added? 5) What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? 6) Extra points for increasing number of Level IV students? This item will be before the State Board for discussion through April 2010 with Action to be taken in May 2010.  Emerging Point; Consensus from October meeting included the use of assessments like ACT/SAT WorkKeys and Accuplacer for measuring postsecondary readiness.  There were no other points of consensus. Some of the issues to be discussed this month include: Review existing tests and determine if they are the right tests, Longitudinal growth model, Value-added models (EVAAS) Graduation Rate (5-year cohort), Future-Ready Core Participation, Postsecondary Readiness, Consequences (classification of schools), Incentives. Other questions to be answered include: Will we continue gateways? Do we need to develop a model that can make a single “up or down” decision? How should we balance the components of the model, primarily in high schools? Are there other components in the model to be added (i.e. attendance etc.)? What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? Extra points may be given for increasing the number of Level IV students? The emerging points of consensus from the January meeting included in the topic of Academic Course Rigor (Future-Ready Core) are to include the number of students that score proficient on Algebra II EOC (eventually Math BC assessment) as a measure of the academic course rigor required by the Future-Ready Core.  Additional measures of academic rigor such as AP participation will likely be used in an updated reporting function and will not be used to reward and sanction in an effort to keep the model slim and as simple as possible. Also, with the implementation of the balanced assessment system that included formative, diagnostic and interim assessments, DPI recommends a revised Gateway Policy that requires remediation of students, not scoring proficient at current Gateway grades and exit standards courses without the retesting requirement.  DPI recommends retaining the 25 percent of the final grade policy for classes with End-of-Course tests.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Fabrizio reviewed the recommendations from the January meeting regarding academic rigor, the Gateway policy, and retaining the policy of 25 percent of the final grade policy for classes with End-of-Course tests. The discussion included National Assessments and measures, which are to be included in our accountability model. Staff is waiting for the release of requirements from USED in connection with weighting and classifications for ESEA reauthorization. At the Board work session, issues for consideration will include recommendations for national assessments, and the number of classifications to be included, with the possible elimination of the School of Excellence category, considerations of possible intended and unintended consequences on student performance and accountability on the decisions made, concentrating on moving toward a 5-year graduation rate rather than emphasis on dropout data. Members were asked to send recommendations on weighting of the various items included in the classifications. Rewards and sanctions were also discussed and that student growth and improvement should be used in determining awards and to exclude just performance for monetary reward.

Moved to Action

  • GCS 2 K-12 Science Essential Standards Approved the essential standards for K-12 Science. They will be presented by content area and grade level with clarifying objectives. The Science Essential Standards Version 4.0 may now be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards

The Board also Approved technical changes to policy GCS-F-008 in this section.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Howell asked to be recused himself from the discussion. Dr. Williamson addressed the Committee and reviewed the minor content changes in the standards in Version 4.0. She told the members after some questions that the Common Core Standards are 18-24 months away from completion. So it sounds like about the time SBE is set to implement the standards they may have to be changed so they may have to change these standards before they are implemented?  Work is continuing with professional development, Webinars, and the toolkits. Beverly Vance commented on the objectives, the scope of the physics course and the professional development being planned in each region of the state by coordinating with the regional leaders. There is still concern regarding the amount of the content at the elementary level because of the addition of physical science. Staff made assurances that professional development and the instructional tool kits will be designed to help teachers with the content knowledge.  Ms. Vance told members she was working with the teacher education programs at the Universities to ensure the standards would be understood by teacher education students. Ms. Harris argued the standards are an inch deep and a mile wide, which is exactly what DPI was trying to steer away from with the new standards. Some Board members had concerns that elementary teachers would not be prepared to teach the content, while board member Chris Greene guaranteed the teachers will adapt.  It was suggested this item be moved to the Action agenda since it has been before the Board the last few months.

Board Meeting: Ms. Harris asked a question about the new Science test and when the Science Essential Standards would be implemented. The response was 2012-2013. Staff said testing would begin with a new test in 2013-2014. A motion was made to move this item to Action on First Reading.  Dr. Garland indicated this item had been on the agenda several times and should be approved for Action. The Board agreed and voted.

  • GCS 3 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act The State Board of Education reviewed the recommendations to modify pages (6,42-44,54,59-60, 62-63,68-69 and 78-81 within the 2006 Healthful Living Standard Course of Study in order to meet the requirements of House Bill 88, 2009 Healthy Youth Act. This legislation modified G.S. 115C-81 as it relates to Abstinence Until Marriage Education, now referred to as Reproductive Health and Safety Education, within the health education curriculum. DPI staff is recommending changes to the course of study to comply with the new law. They have included many of the sections of the law in the course of study which expands the instruction for students beginning in 7th grade on reproductive health and safety. They are now titling this curriculum as Guidelines for Instruction Regarding Reproductive Health and Safety Education. It adds language to allow the local board of education to expand on the subject areas to be taught in the program and on the instructional objectives to be met. Another key piece of the curriculum includes language requiring each school board to adopt a policy and provide a way for a parent/guardian to withdraw his or her child from instruction required under this statute.  The link to the documents in the section is included: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/02/gcs/02gcs.pdf.

(GCS 3 begins on page 49)

Committee Meeting: David Gardner reviewed the changes, which included removing references to “Abstinence Until Marriage” language, age appropriate material, removal of public hearing option, approval to support LEAs and revisions to the Standard Course of Study.

Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:20 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

This item was pulled from the agenda and will be delayed one month.

  • LFI 1 Renewal Recommendations for Charter Schools with Charters Expiring June 2010 The following schools are requesting renewal of their charters; Cape Lookout Marine Science High School and The Academy of Moore County. The Office of Charter Schools provided Cape Lookout Marine Academy with a two-year renewal due to their low performance composite. Presently, the school is out-of-compliance with their mission, which was marine science. They are serving low-performing students like an alternative school. In addition, they are continuously losing students (425-over the last five years-averaging 85 a year with an enrollment total of 124). The Office of charter Schools is not recommending renewal of the charter for Cape Lookout. The Academy of Moore County was given a three-year renewal in 2007. They have made improvements in academics and their facility. Based on the changes they have implemented the Office of Charter Schools is recommending a three-year renewal for The Academy of Moore County.

January Committee Meeting: The Committee discussed the low performance and financial issues affecting the renewal of Cape Lookout Marine Academy.  There were also issues about their revolving door of students, with as many as 50 new students again this year. A member of the charter school stood up and spoke out on the fact that they are accepting all students who are struggling and that they come to the school to give it a try and either leave school or return to their public school.

February Committee Meeting: Mr. Moyer gave a brief recap of the issues involving the renewal of Cape Lookout Marine Academy and Board members were still concerned over the non-compliance of the mission as stated in the original charter. Senator Preston was given permission to speak in support of renewal of this charter school. She spoke about the hard work of the school and commended them for their efforts with at-risk students. Senator Goodall was also present at the meeting and spoke to the Board on Thursday in support of keeping the Cape Lookout Marine Science charter school. The recommendation from the Committee was not to renew their charter.

Mr. Price presented additional information in support of the Academy of Moore County and recommended that a renewal of their charter for two or three years be approved.  Several Board members spoke in opposition of renewal due to the low performing student status at the school.  Ms. Taft also stated that staff should give consideration to revising the charter school application process for submission of the application to the Office of Charter Schools and to the Superintendent of the LEAs at the same time. She is trying to find a way to shorten the process for approvals.

Board Meeting: Advocacy by legislators for Cape Lookout and concerns with student achievement at Academy of Moore prompted the Board to pull the items from the agenda for a month delay. They will be back in March for Action, when the Board is scheduled to meet in Halifax County.

Action on First Reading

  • LFI 2 Approval of Charter Schools Technology Plans Approved the technology plans for Charter Day School (Brunswick County), Columbus Charter (Columbus County), Piedmont Community Charter (Gaston County), and Summit Charter (Jackson County).

Committee Meeting: A brief review of the item was presented.

New Business

-NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report Dr. Setser’s presentation included an overview of the recent retreat highlighting Google Wave, blended instruction and learning, legislation, and setting State Board priorities. The overall topic for the retreat focused on K-8 instruction. Idaho is the third top state in the country using virtual learning and they may be phasing out their program in favor of choosing a private provider to continue to develop and manage it. Dr. Setser warned that companies are lobbying legislators across the country to provide their services instead of having the state develop the program or run it. This is not a good sign for virtual learning. Tracy Weeks continued the presentation by highlighting and explaining the service options available. Presently they are teaching 108 courses in the Classic forma,t which is defined as the traditional on-line course.  The modular model is next which is intended to provide credit recovery by using on-line and direct teacher instruction on one part of the curriculum rather than the whole course.  Mobile instruction allows those students with mobile devices to access virtual learning as you might use flash cards, applets, quizzes etc. Finally, there is the Blended model where an on-line educator teams up with classroom teacher to participate in various parts of teaching course. One may create units of study while the other works on other sections. There are many options and one area they are going to spend more time on is the K-8 virtual learning. This is the direction many are headed and so it appears is NC.

21st Century Professionals Committee (1:50 PM or Immediate following LFI)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Discussion

  • TCP 1 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act

-Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards for Health Education Teacher Candidates The SBE discussed the recommendations to modify pages 77-78 and 81-82 of the Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards, document to add reproductive health and safety education language, to meet the requirements of House Bill 88.

Committee Meeting: Upon additional review of the requirements of HB 88 it was determined the new subject matter should be made available for the 2010-2011 teacher education programs.

Old Business

  • Removal of Barriers to Lateral Entry Into Teaching The State Board discussed the recommendations of DPI staff to the legislative request in the 2009 budget, to review lateral entry policy and remove barriers to lateral entry. The DPI team is recommending that the pedagogy coursework be modified to align with the new Professional Teaching Standards, thereby reducing the current required pedagogy course work from nine courses to five courses. The five courses are listed: 1) Planning, 2) Diverse Learners, 3) Instructional Methods, 4) Classroom Management, 5) Ability to Impact Student Learning. In addition to these changes the DPI team recommends that DPI contract with an online vendor to create online courses for the Planning course, Meeting Special Learning needs; Exceptionalities; Diversity course and Instructional Methods course to offer lateral entry teachers more options. The classroom management/organizing the classroom to maximize learning requirement and the ability to Impact Student Learning would be signed off on by the respective LEAs.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Price explained after further review of the legislation, the report to the General Assembly in February was only to provide a timeline/schedule for the proposed changes. A detailed plan should be available for Action by the Board in July 2010. A Task Force of all interested parties will be brought together (Board member recommendations accepted) to collect information and review the 26 recommendations from the Lateral Entry Ad Hoc Committee (prepared several years ago).

Next Superintendent Hoke briefly presented on the statues of the Superintendent’s evaluation and details involving the Assistant Principal Evaluation pilot program. He is still looking for Superintendents to field test their new evaluation tool.

Carolyn McKinney addressed the Committee on the Teacher Working Conditions Survey to be made available for participants March 15 through April 16th. They are looking to increase their response rate from 87 percent (118,000) last year. If you go to the Teacher Working Conditions website you will be able to track the number of responses coming in by LEA and by school across the state. Ms. Willoughby wanted to commend her business partners for their support of the survey.

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (2.45 PM)

Action

This item was pulled from the Agenda for further discussion.

  • TCS 1 2010-2011 Supplemental Budget the supplemental budget requests for public schools for 2010-2011, allowable under Office of State Budget and Management’s instructions, was discussed. The supplemental budget request will be limited to continuation items that were not funded, ADM increase and average salary adjustments, and phase in of new programs started in a previous fiscal year. They also were requested to recommended cuts of 3, 5 and 7 percent to the public school budget. This information is due to the Governor by February 22, 2010.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Price responded first to the issue left on the table last month of the request for 3, 5, and 7 percent cuts for public schools, to be recommended by DPI. There were several meetings and cuts have yet to be proposed. At this point they will continue to meet to determine what will be done with respect to the Governor’s request for cuts from state agencies. Next he presented information to the Board on the supplemental budget request due to the Office of State Budget and Management February 22nd.  The supplemental request could be up to 3 percent and they can only request funds if there was a difference between the Governor’s budget and the final budget by the General Assembly. Mr. Price reviewed the reason for the $16 million request for General Support Service. Normally DPI has 1 percent reversion ($80 million) to manage some of the funding shortfalls. The reversions were not available in 2009 with all the budget cuts. The average daily membership is less than projected for 2009-2010 so it is possible there may be some funds from reversion this year, but it still may not be enough to cover the shortfall ($33 million) in funding needed in general support services (i.e. tort claims, short term disability etc.). There is also a deficit for National Board application fees of $13 million. After reviewing the items for public schools a recommendation was made to cut the request for central office funding ($4 million) and the transportation fuel request ($7 million) as well as the personnel request of DPI (reduced from $3.4 million to $800,000). Part of the reason items were being removed from the list was to try and balance the request which was $17 million more than was allowed ($220.8 million-total). The major funding requests in the supplemental budget document for public schools included the following: Discretionary Reduction (($152.4 million), Textbooks ($30 million), General Support Services ($16.8 million), School Buses ($10 million) and the remaining items totaled $11 million from various other programs (i.e. mentor teachers). The Department has made a request for the agency totaling approximately $1.7 million and for NCCAT $1 million. Mr. Price said he would prepare an updated document and a letter. The letter usually contains other information including support for salary increases.

Board Meeting: The State Board did not approve the recommendations by staff (no updated information was provided on Thursday) so it appears they will do it by Conference Call before the deadline in late February.

Discussion

  • TCS 2 Science Safety Standards The State Board of Education discussed the “Science Safety Standards” policy and commence the APA rule-making process.  Furthermore, staff recommends that DPI, School Planning Section, be authorized to review and approve middle and high school science facilities for safety. House Bill 42, An Act to Implement Science Safety Measures in the Public Schools” amends G.S. 115C-521 by the addition of the following language: (c1) No local board of education shall apply for a certificate of occupancy for any new middle or high school building until the plans for the science laboratory areas of the building have been reviewed and approved to meet accepted safety standards for school science laboratories and related preparation rooms and stockrooms. The review and approval of the plans may be done by the SBE or by any other entity that is licensed or authorized by the State Board to do so. This item is presented for discussion in February and will be presented for Action in March.

Committee Meeting: Ben Matthews discussed the law change moving away from guidelines to required standards. These will become effective when the Board approves them and they may not have to go through the APA process, which will expedite implementation. School systems are aware of the law and the move to standards should not have a major impact on anyone building or renovating schools. If so they should be able to make the necessary changes to their drawings prior to completion of their building.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 –   11 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 –   9 Proposals

Thursday, February 4, 2010

State Board of Education Meeting, (9:00 AM) Dr. William Harrison, Chairman

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance: Kathy Taft

Approval of Minutes

Special Report, Graduation Project: Ms. Brittney Del Pizzo, Junior Student Advisor to the State Board of Education, provided the Board with information on her Graduation Project from South View High School in Cumberland County. The principal stood with more than 30 students who came to support Brittney. He talked about how wonderful the Graduation Project is for the students, how excited they are doing it, and there is no cost. In March, the state auditors will present their findings on the cost for implementing the Graduation Project, which was put on two-year hold by the 2009 General Assembly waiting for cost projections to require the Project.

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

ACRE Update: Rebecca Garland discussed the formative assessments. The modules will be ready for the LEAs this Fall. Professional development will be provided on-line for teachers and school leaders. Teacher’s evaluation standards require the use of formative assessments. She requested Board members as did Dr. Fabrizio to weight the factors in the proposed NC Classification model discussed on Wednesday. Then she proceeded to advise the Board of a major backlash to the release of the Social Studies Standards Version 1.0. Apparently, most people received them to review and one individual was so unhappy that they sent them to FOX news, which has resulted in interviews and upheaval, and massive emails and threats to DPI staff for proposing the model. There were major changes being recommended for the Social Studies curriculum K-12, which Dr. Garland said were needed, since the way US History is being taught now is not working. Grade 5 is US History, Grade 7 is NC and US History, High School includes Civics and the Federal government and Constitution, Grade 11 is US History and the recommendation causing all the concern is that the course in Grade 10 will begin with Reconstruction and taught through present day.

District and School Transformation Update: Dr. Pat Ashley reviewed the technology initiatives with the Turnaround Schools. The new software being implemented allows for internal Communication at DPI, calendaring services at the district level, a record of all recommendations and actions being taken with respect to district and school transformation, and the data is being used across all sections of DPI to make decisions.

Performance Navigator: Adam Levinson talked about the technology changes relative to the performance navigator system.  It will provide transparency with the public on work being done at DPI. The plan is to post the navigator system on March 30, to allow outside entities to take a look into the agency. Every other month they will use this software to provide a focus on a specific division at DPI. Today they heard from Mary Watson in Special Education.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Consent Agenda – No items

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson: Provided a document updating her efforts since the January meeting.

-Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning, Office of the Secretary, U.S.   Department of Education (Invited) to address a grant NC will receive from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This involves a partnership with DPI and the Frank Porter Graham School. It will be an opportunity to look at a demonstration education project for PreK through 3rd grade model. Often times Kindergartners are overlooked and so we need to think about early learning. How we are serving our pre-K children on school sites, everything from facilities to curriculum?  USED applauds our success at receiving this grant and is looking forward to gaining some knowledge from NC on early learning.

Chairman’s Remarks

-Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman gave Phil Hodges a spokesperson for Bear Grass Charter School applicants a chance to speak to the Board again this month and address them on the need for the State Board to give them a charter since there is one remaining charter to be allocated. This school did not receive enough votes last year to be awarded a charter. This school is being closed by the Martin County School System in June of this year and the fear is if they don’t get permission to keep the school open as a charter they will not get another chance. The school will close and the Bear Grass Community will lose a valuable asset in their area, their school.

Legislative Update: Chris Minard provided a handout on meetings and data on the lottery.

Board member McDevitt requested staff review the ESEA letter for any possible updates prior to ESEA reauthorization, which may occur by the end of this calendar year.

Chairman Harrison reminded Board Members the March meeting is scheduled for Halifax County.

Adjourn

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