EDUCATION CABINET MEETING SUMMARY

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2010

CAREER AND COLLEGE – READY, SET, GO!

Race to the Top Grant-The Governor provided opening remarks on the Race to the Top grant of $400 million for the state. She told cabinet members she wanted to see the North Carolina’s graduation rate increase 10-12 points over the next 3-4 years. The focus will be on leadership, low-performing schools, jobs, and the workforce. Governor Perdue is looking toward having information on all students with the P-20 longitudinal data system. The data system will allow parents to view growth charts for their children and provide transparency in student data through their entire education in NC.

Common Core Standards and Alignment of Assessments-Dr. Rebecca Garland and Angela Quick prepared a one-page handout with an overview of the Common Core State Standards for the Cabinet. The Common Core Standards are English and Math K-12. NC was in the process of preparing new essential standards when the national standards were completed. The Math standards align with work already done in the state, but the English standards are different. They do not focus on literature until high school (50 percent literature), but focus on literacy though science, social studies and other ways. NC retains 15 percent control of the course standards to allow them to add additional requirements. The new standards will be implemented with the 2012-2013 school year. NC is part of 2 consortia working together on assessments for the Common Core Standards. The Smarter Balanced group includes 31 other states and they are focused on developing formative, interim, and summative assessments. However, their greatest focus is on daily assessments, not the summative (only 10 percent of their efforts).  The assessments are moving away from the multiple choice design and heading toward open-ended responses, essays, and constructive responses, while at the same time incorporating technology in the process. Senator Lee, Executive Director of the Education Cabinet suggested a Standing Committee be created to meet on a regular basis to include representatives from the various Cabinet entities to track the work on the Common Core Standards and assessments and collaborate. This will enable higher education and pre-K members of the Cabinet to understand the efforts of K-12 in moving toward the Common Standards and the new assessments.  This will better prepare the members to handle the child/student’s education needs when they are in either pre-K or higher education.

Unique Student Identifier and P-20 Longitudinal Data System Adam Levinson presented information on the student identifier system. NC did not receive the federal grant funding they had applied for to get the system implemented in the pre-K-20. Right now the NCWISE system provides unique student identifiers for K-12. The members of Education Cabinet have been working together with DPI on this process, but the lack of funding is going to be a real issue to overcome. The other major hurdle is with the Independent Colleges and Universities who do not have a central data system to implement the student identifier program. Each of the private colleges and universities have their own system and the costs to complete the P-20 longitudinal data system may be huge. The early childhood groups also pose a challenge. Can you create student identifiers for children when they enter Smart Start, Head Start, Private preschools programs, or health services? Where do you begin and who will maintain the information and how is it linked to K-12?  Anne Bryan (Early Childhood Advisory Council) indicated she is working with the K-12 and meeting with the student identifier work group to determine how they might be able to integrate into the system. The Community Colleges appear to be in the best position to implement the student identifier into their system, but there will still be funding needs. The public university members were not at the meeting, so it is unclear what their status is on implementing the student identifier system.  Funding without the grant is going to be the biggest hurdle in completing this project in North Carolina. Race to the Top may provide some funding support.

Development of Target Outcomes and Benchmarks for Career and College – Ready, Set, Go! Bill Harrison provided a ten-page draft spreadsheet to elaborate on the various steps for the P-20 groups to collaborate in reaching the Career and College-Ready Set Go initiative of Governor Perdue. The steps are clarified including, who is responsible, where is the funding, when will they be completed and the present status of work targets. As an example in the category of Ready: All students will be ready to start school and the Governor has developed an Early Childhood Advocacy Council, which has submitted a grant for funding this year. In addition, smaller class sizes, and diagnostic assessments using the $10 million in state funding are important targets in this part of the plan. A copy of the document is available upon request.

UPDATES AND REPORTS

e-Learning Commission-Lt Governor Dalton reported on the work of the e-Learning Commission. He reviewed his work what it will take to get an enterprise system to connect, all of education (P-20) in NC. He has met with CIOs who have said that in order to coordinate all entities in education in the state it will take a Learning Management System at cost in excess of $20 million and then to maintain the system another $1-2 million annually. There is no timeframe for how long this would take to complete the process. They also discussed the need for a Central Administrative Management System.

Legislative Directives to the Education Cabinet Senator Lee reviewed as series of legislative requirements for Education Cabinet that were part of the 2010 General Assembly Short Session. Reports on various issues including, Career and College Ready Set Go by January 14, as well as STEM school initiatives and the JOBS Commission work, the last two reports being due in November to legislative committees. At this time there have been very few legislative committee meetings scheduled so it’s hard to say if much will happen before the November elections.

Achieving the Dream: Developmental Education Initiatives Dr. Ralls reviewed the work of the Community Colleges in Achieving the Dream. There are seven states working together in establishing and updating the curriculum and assessments. They are focusing on changing their delivery methods. They are reviewing students who leave public schools and go to CC to get their GED.  Basically they are looking at how they educate students and prepare them for careers and college work.

Proposed Federal Regulations of Program Integrity for Title IV Funding (Gainful Employment) Dr. Williams raised a concern with this issue. The Federal government is looking to set clear requirements and rules for licensure. The private schools of higher education are exempt from the State licensure rules and if the federal government succeeds with this mandate it will be a major problem for the independent colleges and universities.

Adjournment

Future Meeting Dates

October 25, 2010 – 1 pm

January 12, 2011 – 9 am

March 24, 2011 – 9 am

May 25, 2011 – 9 am

August 25, 2011 – 9 am

November 15, 2011 – 9 am

Closing Remarks – The Governor

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