Summary of April State Board of Education Agenda

March 31 and April 1, 2010

The State Board of Education April Meeting met Wednesday and Thursday the Globally Competitive Student Committee, 21st Century Professionals Committee, Leadership and Innovation Committee, and Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. Access to the SBE Agenda and Executive Summaries as well as back up documents are on the SBE website at the following links: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/2010/04

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Globally Competitive Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Action

  • GCS 1 Changes to Policy Providing Annual Performance Standards Under the ABC’s Model Approved the policy to reflect modifications to the ABC’s formulas for academic change. The Civics and Economics formula is revised to use eighth grade EOG reading and mathematics scores as alternate predictors whenever English I and Biology are not available. This change is intended to assist LEAs who scheduled Civics and Economics in the ninth grade in 2009-2010 and for those who do this in the future. Changes affected by the state’s use of a new English language proficiency test are also included in the requested policy change.

Committee Meeting: No Discussion.

Discussion

  • GCS 2 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model Discussed the components of the proposed model including: student performance, value-added performance for teachers, schools, and districts, long-term longitudinal growth, graduation rate, Future-Ready Core, and postsecondary readiness. There are decision-points related to each component that require discussion and input from the Board before adopting the new model. In addition, to the classification model, the Board intends to discussed the performance index numbers and growth index numbers.

Committee Meeting: Staff presented for four hours on the new accountability model. The intent is to come to consensus on four items: 1) Indicators used in the model, 2) Assessments, 3) Growth and Performance for indexing, 4) Weighting of the indicators. Other topics to be discussed included: revised reporting requirements, Gateways and 25percnet of grading policy, ESEA reauthorization, timeline, formal feedback and next steps. What’s New and Better in the New Model: inclusion of post-secondary readiness measures, robust growth measures, increased academic course rigor (future-ready core), graduation rate replaces dropout rate, incorporation of index system, inclusion of LEA Accountability, revised reporting, revised student accountability system and alignment with ESEA reauthorization. The Growth Index and Performance Index will each have a separate formula. The Elementary and Middle School Indicators may include End-of-Grade and End-of-Course Assessments, where appropriate. Currently, they include Grades 3-8 Reading and Math as well as Science in Grades 5 & 8. Superintendents suggested Science growth be included in the model. The growth index only includes Reading and Math in Grades 4 through 8. High school indicators in Performance may include Student Achievement (End-of-Course assessments, Post-Secondary Readiness, may include National Assessments such as ACT, SAT, WorkKeys, Compass, and Accuplacer, Academic Course Rigor, may include participation in the Future Ready Core that includes Algebra II (Math BC) and finally the 5-year Cohort Graduation Rate (the Board appears to have reached consensus on including this item). High School Indicators for the Growth Index include; Student growth measured by a value added system, post-secondary readiness by changing the National Assessment to ACT, SAT, WorkKeys, Compass or Accuplacer, Academic Course Rigor by changing participation in the future-ready core by taking and scoring proficient in Algebra II (Math BC) and the Graduation Rate by reporting the change in the 5-year cohort graduation rate. There are critical decisions that need to be finalized. The Superintendent’s feedback on the Elementary and Secondary Indicators was presented next.  Forty-seven superintendents at the recent Superintendent’s Quarterly meeting completed a survey. Most of the Superintendents (that were there) agreed with the indicators included in the draft accountability model presented this month. There were several who wanted to expand the accountability into K-3 and to include science and social studies. Staff told the Board that they would be seeking feedback from teachers, administrators, education groups and others prior to finalizing the new accountability model recommendations. They also indicated the Superintendents who did not participate in the initial survey had until late April (? 25-27th) to respond. Board members asked about ESEA reauthorization and were advised it may be as early as August 2010, but probably not much before 2011. One issue discussed was to possibly require high school students to take the ACT, but for students who are not planning to attend college this may not be helpful. WorkKeys may be a more valuable assessment for these students. There are eight other states who use a nationally recognized post-secondary readiness test, five states administer the ACT to all public high school students and six states measure college and career readiness using a high school assessment developed in their state or by the ADP. NC could require ACT for all students, but the State would need to fund the test and the estimated cost would be $3 million. In some states corporations require job applicants to take the WorkKeys assessment to apply for a position. The post secondary assessments to be considered are the following: ACT, SAT, WorkKeys, Accuplacer, and Compass. ACT was discussed at length as an achievement assessment rather than some of the other tests listed. There are other diagnostic assessments available as a precursor to the ACT. These are Explore in 8th grade and Plan in 9th grade and taking the Compass assessment will also be a predictor for college and career ready. Accuplacer is a prescriptive indicator and can but used for placement. Governor Perdue’s initiative, Ready, Set, Go is a continuum of diagnostic assessments. The Governor’s plan is to provide formal intervention at the end of 11th grade through a Summer Boot Camp for students including NCVPS. Questions were raised about waiting until 11th grade to intervene. If all students were to take the Compass test it would require $600,000, and WorkKeys $1.5 Million. The discussion then turned to giving students an option on what test to take based on their future plans. This raised some issues with members as to whether students might be steered away from taking high stakes tests, the same thing that is happening with students taking high stakes courses. Members were asked whether the Board should maintain the Performance composite EOC and EOG assessments as the measure of school achievement. Student Growth: the current growth model will be replaced with the value-added system using EOC’s and EOG’s data. The LEA longitudinal growth will be done using a systematic reporting on Reading and Math scales.  A graph was provided of the reading measures. The University reading requirement was the highest, while the undergraduate admission to the military was the lowest. The State is moving to use value added data for student and LEA growth since it will allow more than two data points in calculating growth and there is talk that the Federal ESEA reauthorization may use a similar model to determine student growth. The future-ready core feedback from the Superintendents survey showed 47 percent agreed with the future-ready core as measured by Algebra II. There were some who felt that other subjects should be included. The Superintendents in the Northeast said only 70 percent of their students will pass Algebra II and questioned using this measure for future-ready. One recommendation for consideration by the Board is to calculate the percent of Algebra II (Math BC) completion and proficiency. The 5-year cohort graduation rate has been agreed to earlier by the State Board. Seventy-five percent of superintendents recommended equal weighting of the performance and growth models. Staff discussed providing bonus points for additional indicators such as the graduation project. They will work on simulations to ensure the contribution of bonus points is done to maintain the focus on achievement and growth. Weighting of the indicators for performance and growth was presented as 50 percent for student achievement, 15 percent for post-secondary readiness, 10 percent for future ready core participation and 25 percent for 5-year cohort graduation rate. These numbers were presented from the superintendent’s survey at the last quarterly meeting where only 47 Superintendents less than half) were in attendance. Ultimately, the State Board will have to decide on the percentages, but they are using feedback to set the stage. Suggestions for bonus points include the following: graduation project, AP courses, IB participation, credentialing programs, online courses, higher-level foreign language, concentrations, and attendance of teachers and students. This new model will improve reporting and the State Report Card. Next they reviewed the use of the Gateways in not promoting students. It appears that the implementation of the Gateways has not made a significant difference in the number of students who are being held back due to their EOG scores. The Superintendent’s voice on the Gateways was mixed with advocates to keep and to eliminate them. Eighty percent of Superintendents indicated the EOC policy using 25 percent for the final grade should remain, but there was no consensus on using 20 percent of EOGs for the final grade in K-8. DPI is recommending reducing the classification categories to four. The new model is expected to be fully operational with the 2013-2014 school year. They are also planning to delay implementation of the K-12 Math and Englis II standards for one year. Next steps will be legislative engagement, formal field feedback and cost estimates for implementation.

21st Century Professionals Committee Meeting (3:00PM)

  • TCP 1 Recommendations from the Advisory Board on Requests for Exception from Teacher Licensing Requirements Requests for exemptions for teachers to the licensure requirements and for prospective teachers who are not able to satisfy Praxis I cut scores will be evaluated by a panel chaired by a member of the Board. This was a closed session item.

Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:30 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

  • LFI 1 Program Exemption Requests Under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act Approved the following program waivers under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act: Charlotte-Mecklenburg– e-Learning Academy has requested waivers from the calendar law, definition of a school, average daily membership, assignment and enrollment, course for credit and program operation. Hawthorne High School in CMS (High school students at-risk of dropping out of school before attaining a high school diploma) is requesting a waiver from the calendar law and exemption from a new school code; Gaston County-Bessemer City High School (Early College Program for high school at risk students) is requesting waivers for course credits for high school students taking college courses, age requirements for community college entrance, use college level courses to meet graduation requirements, allow calendar law waiver, allow students to attend school on Veteran’s Day, allow the early college to administer state EOC/VoCATS tests, allow college healthful living course to meet high school requirements.

Guilford County– T. Wingate Andrews High School, (Aviation Academy- High school students at-risk) is requesting waivers for the calendar law, substitute college level courses for high school courses for graduation, allow students to test out of high school course by taking and passing EOC, allow students to test out for required non-EOC course by final exams scores, allow NC principal certification to be waived.

Board staff recommends approval of five of the CMS requested waivers for e-learning Academy and both waivers for Hawthorne.  Of the Gaston and Guilford waiver requests none are being recommended except for the calendar law waiver.

Committee Meeting: Brief discussion with intent to approve the recommended waivers. Dr. Harrison noted that until there is sufficient State funding it will be hard to implement these new programs. These schools will not be getting a new number until funding by the State is provided. ESEA reauthorization may provide some funding, but it’s hard to know when those resources will be available.

Discussion

  • LFI 2 Grandfather Academy Charter Enrollment Issues The Board briefly reviewed the enrollment issues with Grandfather Academy. State law for charter schools clearly designates in statute the minimum number of students to be served (shall be at least 65), as well as the minimum number of teachers to be employed at the school. Grandfather Academy was given an exemption for minimum enrollment of 50 students in their charter. However, the enrollment at Grandfather has been consistently below their charter minimum. On January 26, 2010 they were requested by the Office of Charter Schools to present a plan for reaching or exceeding the 50 student minimum. In their response and request for a student served exemption, they indicated that the children who attend a school of the nature and purpose of Grandfather Academy must have individualized instruction and attention that cannot be fully realized in a larger setting. The Charter as it is presently written is effective until 2017. The Grandfather Academy has not submitted a plan, as requested by DPI, to reach their minimum enrollment requirement. DPI has not included a recommendation on this item.

March Committee Meeting: The school is currently facing financial issues and their enrollment has dropped to 19 students. The program is important to the students in the area served and Board members discussed why the numbers had gotten so low. The school already had the flexibility for student enrollment to be below the state minimum of 65, but through the past few years it has dropped so low they cannot possibly be financially viable with only $135,000 for next year. Grandfather Academy was originally a private residential school.

April Committee Meeting: Members were told the Academy continues to enroll only 17 students though they were funded for 42. If they do not increase their enrollment their continued ability to operate will be impossible. This was only a discussion item and they will watch the enrollment to see if it improves before making any recommendation to close them.

New Business

NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report reviewed the presentation that was made to the Joint Education Oversight Committee and noted the expanding enrollment and improved completion and pass rates for NCVPS. Additional resources will be needed if the numbers keep increasing.

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (3:30 PM)

Action-

  • TCS 1 Proposed SBE Policy Regarding LEA Rules and Regulations Related to Charter Transportation for School Related Events and Activities The Board Approved by Consent a new policy to ensure the safety of students who travel on school activity trips by requiring a written plan on file in the Superintendent’s office rules, regulations, and policies to assure the safety of students when contracting for services to provide transportation for students and school groups attending school-related events. The state policy requires each LEA to maintain a pre-approved list of contract motorcoach transportation providers. The Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU has recommended this action in lieu of a statewide permit for motorcoach carriers. In view of the economic issues facing the LEAs it was determined and now agreed upon by the Motorcoach Association that the SBE policy is preferable to a statewide permit program. Notification was sent to all LEAs in May of 2009. The policy is effective on September 1, 2010 and LEAs must comply by that time.

Committee Meeting: No Discussion.

  • TCS 2 Proposed SBE Policy to Require School Bus Driver Certification for Activity Bus Drivers The Board Approved by Consent a new policy designed to improve student safety by requiring that new drivers of large school activity buses have received required training prior to transporting any students on school activity trips. Fifty–five of the 110 LEAs responded they already require large activity bus drivers to hold a school bus certificate. A school bus certificate requires six days of training, three days behind the wheel and three days of classroom instruction. DMV provides this instruction. They will also be required to obtain their CDL license by taking an examination once they have completed training. This will be presented for Action in April. The policy impacts NEW drivers effective July 1, 2010. Beginning July 1, 2015, newly certified CDL activity bus drivers would be required to receive school bus certification, as well. LEA’s will also be required to keep records on those individuals who were initially licensed before and after July 1, 2010.

Committee Meeting: No Discussion.

  • TCS 3 Proposed SBE Policy to Require Training for School Bus Inspectors The State Board Approved by Consent a new policy intended to improve student safety by ensuring that the individuals inspecting school buses and activity buses have completed training to educate them on proper school bus and activity bus inspection criteria and procedures. The policy will require school bus and activity bus inspectors to be trained prior to inspecting these vehicles. The effective date of the requirement is August 1, 2011. Initial training sessions for LEA staff are slated to begin July 2010.

Committee Meeting: No Discussion All three of these items, TCS 1, 2, 3 will be added to Consent Agenda for approval Thursday.

  • TCS 4 Tuition Fee for Non-public School Students in North Carolina Virtual Public School Approved the staff recommendation of Option 4. The State Board initially reviewed five options for tuition fees for non-public students to attend the North Carolina Virtual School. These include: Option1) $470 for year-long course, $420 for block and semester course, $270 for summer, $245 or $170 for SAT, Option 2) $750 for year-long course and $375 for semester, Option 3) $468 for year-long course, other courses equal to the teacher amount per student plus $50 (semester $400, summer $250, SAT $225 and $150), Option 4) The student cost paid to the teacher plus $100 ($500 for year-long, $450 for block and semester, $300 for summer, $275 or $200 for SAT) Option 5) The student cost paid to the teacher plus 17.1 percent, $468 for year-long, $410 for block and semester, $234 for summer, $205 or $118 for SAT. The average cost per student per course that DPI has paid to other states over the past few years is $544. The local board of education is required to charge tuition to non-public school students if they are requesting to take courses from NCVPS. The State Board of Education is required to establish the tuition for courses offered in the summer and the following school year by March annually. The State Board shall also identify the portion of the tuition to be retained by the local board of education for managing the collection of the tuition.

Staff recommends the following: The student cost paid to the teacher plus $100 ($500 for year long, $450 for block and semester, $300 for summer, $275 or $200 for SAT). The charge is based on the teacher amount per student. The additional $100 is based on the $73 average administration cost per student enrollment plus the additional cost to the LEA for enrolling the non-public student. NCVPS would keep $50 and the enrolling public school would get $50. These fees would partially off-set the cost of registering each student.

Committee Meeting: No further discussion.

Action on First Reading

  • TCS 5 Approval of Grants:
    • Education for Homeless Children and Youth Grant Awards
      Held Over until May The McKinney-Vento Act seeks to ensure homeless children and youth are provided with a free and appropriate education and will have an equal opportunity to enroll and succeed in school. The total unallocated grant funds from 2008 are $668,190.95. The recommended allotments are as follows: 14 LEAs will receive funds for their initial proposals ($365,000 total); 96 charter schools will receive $750 each ($72,000 total) and the remaining 76 LEAs (who did not apply for a regular McKinney-Vento sub-grant or McKinney-Vento ARRA grant in 2009) will receive $3,041.98 each ($231,190 total). Wake is not listed as one of the 14 LEAs recommended for the immigrant funds nor is it one of the 76 remaining LEAs.
    • 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs Approved awards totaling $6,721,579.  The 2009-2010 allotment policy for the 21st Century Learning Centers limits awards to grantees that are currently receiving awards so they can make summer programs available to all eligible applicants. The following grantees will receive awards of $50,000 or close to $50,000 in Wake: Aim Salient Learning Grove Church, ACE 21st CCLC Summer Sizzler, NC State University Junots Program, Time On for Learning0Kreepers and Krawlers Learning Center, J.T. Lock Summer Camp, SSSC Soaring Camp, ASP_CEC A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center, Compassionate Summer Institute (Raleigh), Real G.I.R.L.S. Inc., ASIS Foundation, and Wise Youth Summer Program.  Statewide there are approximately 142 programs slated to receive a portion of the funds.

Committee Meeting: No Discussion.

  • TCS 6 Revision to the Allotment Policy for 21st Century Community Learning Centers Summer Mini Grants Late Item Approved the policy change, which will allow the federal grants to be awarded to all eligible applicants. The 2009-2010 allotment policy for 21st Century Community Learning Centers limits summer program awards to grantees already receiving funds. In order to make summer program funds available to all eligible applicants the allotment policy is being revised.

Committee Meeting: No discussion.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 24 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 – 11 Proposals

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance:

Approval of Minutes

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

Performance Navigator – Mr. Adam Levinson

  • Mr. TeDarryl Powell, Senior Student Advisor to the State Board of Education

Resolution Honoring State Board of Education Member- in Memoriam

  • Ms. Kathy Arnold Taft

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Consent Agenda

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson:

  • Career Ready Commission Report- Mr. John P. Metcalf, Senior Partner Strategic Community Planning, and Mr. Tom Haffner, President, P.T. International Corporation. The report is “A Crisis of Relevance.”  The report can be accessed at  the following web site:

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/statesuperintendent/office/commissions

Chairman’s Remarks

-Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman

  • Legislative Update:
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