Wednesday & Thursday, January 5, 6, 2011
The State Board of Education met on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 in committees. They began with the Leadership for Innovation Committee, Globally Competitive Students Committee, Healthy Responsible Students, 21st Century Professionals Committee, and ended with the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. On Thursday, they met to take Action on issues. Access to the SBE Executive Summaries and related documents are on the SBE website at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/2011/01
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Leadership for Innovation Committee Meeting
Action and Discussion Agenda
- LF1 Status of eTextbooks and Digital Teaching and Learning Resources in NC Public Schools The State Board received an update and discussed online resources and digital textbooks. The new assessments developed for ACRE will require online testing in 2013/2014.
- Committee Meeting: Staff reviewed current efforts to move forward with digital technology in the schools. Many school systems are purchasing laptops, Kindles, iPads, computers, and other forms of technology, which can be used to access digital textbooks. NC has developed 8th grade NC History program with the support of LEARN NC and NCVPS. One of the main concerns, in moving to digital technology, is student access to technology and whether they have internet access in their homes. Lee County has implemented the purchase of laptops for all students in Grades 3-12. They redirected resources and funding priorities to purchase the computers. The new State Technology Plan is due every two years and will be ready by July 2011. The e-Learning Commission is set to release their report and recommendations for the state, in March 2011. Many LEAs already use various digital education tools including Charlotte-Mecklenburg, who subscribes to the “Discovery Education” a program for K-8 science curriculum. CMS students are showing gains in science, which may be attributed to this digital science curriculum. There are major cost implications for obtaining the technology hardware, software access, and maintenance for all students. The cost estimates were not provided. The textbook fund may be used for technology, but the State budget for textbooks was severely cut in 2009 and eliminated in 2010. It’s hard to say whether it will be cut again in 2011 with the budget crisis. Other strategies suggested to reduce costs include: free curriculum and leased hardware. A Digital Leaning report prepared by the Foundation for Excellence in Education was provided and is available upon request.
- NCVPS/LEO Director’s Update: Dr. Setser informed the Board that NC is one of two finalists for a grant from US Dept. of Education to study virtual education. He also indicated DPI staff has developed a new funding formula for virtual school courses and they will present to the State Board in February. There was discussion about the need for a Digital Education Summit possibly hosted by the JOBS Commission. The Race to the Top technology funding will be critical in moving NC forward in the digital education age.
- Race to the Top Evaluation Questions: Dr. Henry reported to the State Board on the evaluation process required as part of the RttT grant. There are three contractors working on the evaluation process. There are six different initiatives to be reviewed. They need to determine if the efforts implemented in RttT are effective and cost sustainable. What should continue and what should end when the grant ends in four years? The longitudinal database will help with the data needed for the evaluation. Ultimately, they will be looking at teachers and student achievement. This will include classroom observations and require 18 months to complete the process. Other questions were raised including “Can we align our resources?” How are LEAs spending their funds? How are teachers performing who are rated low and high on their teacher evaluations?
Globally Competitive Students Committee
Action and Discussion Agenda
- GCS 1 North Carolina Extended Content Standards for Mathematics and Science The State Board will discuss the content standards being presented by grade level for Mathematics and Science. This effort was the result of collaboration between the Exceptional Children’s Division and the Curriculum Division. The Standards comply with NCLB and IDEA. The assessments will measure the achievement of students with the most cognitive disabilities, based on alternate achievement standards. This provides special education students (greatest cognitive disabilities) with a set of uniform content standards and clarifying objectives for Mathematics and Science.
- Committee Meeting: The Common Core Standards are in place and the Extended Content Standards are an effort to help students with disabilities be successful and allow NC to assess these students. Several examples were provided and each was a direct result of the base content standard modified to the level of understanding for students with the most cognitive disabilities. This will be back to the Board for Action and Approval in February.
Healthy Responsible Students Committee (11:35 AM)
- HRS1 Interscholastic Athletics The State Board will review a requested policy change and provide feedback. A small group of students was deemed ineligible to participate in athletics due to the change in the cut-off date for admission to kindergarten. Currently, the policy contains a note delaying implementation of the cut-off date until 2015-2016. The policy note should be deleted and this will allow all students who turn 19 before August 31 of their senior year to be eligible to participate in athletics. Deleting the note will also allow students who turn 19 before August 31, 2011 and beyond to be eligible to play interscholastic sports.
- Committee Meeting: Staff reviewed the problem and there was no further discussion. This item will be on the action agenda in February.
21st Century Professionals Committee (2:10 PM)
Action and Discussion Agenda
- TCP 1 Recommendations from the Advisory Board on Requests for Exception from Teacher Licensing Requirements The State Board approves each request for exception from licensing, as recommended by the Board panel. In 2006, the Board appointed a panel to review requests for exemption to the licensing requirement or to provide an extension of time. The panel recommendations will be heard in Closed Session.
- Board Meeting: No information was provided.
- TCP 2 State Board of Education Recognition of North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologist and Audiologists (NCBOESLPA) Licensure as the Qualifying Credential for Service in Public Schools The State Board is asked to approve the proposal to recognize NCBOESLPA licensure as the qualifying credential required for service as a speech-language pathologists’ service in public schools. Presently, DPI has been licensing speech and language pathologists and is recommending moving to the more rigorous professional license standards, of the NC Board of examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NCBOESLPA). The Board requirements include: 1) completion of 75 semester hours of study in the field at an institution of higher education (IHE), 2) minimum score of 600 on Praxis II Speech Language Pathology, 3) completion of 30 hours of continuing education in the field every three years, and 4) renewal of license on an annual basis.
- Committee Meeting: The Committee chair moved this item to closed session.
- Board Meeting: The item was brought forward for discussion by the Committee chair. The main change would be the Praxis cut score which NC DPI sets at 550 while the NCBOESLPA license requires a 600 Praxis cut score. The Board discussed the issue and questions were addressed regarding existing licensed Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists being grandfathered to maintain their NC license to work in schools. Staff reassured the Board this would apply to new requests for licensure. This issue appeared as an agenda item and did not receive 30 days for LEAs to review for impact. Dr. Hoke requested information be gathered from Superintendents to determine if this change in licensure requirements would create problems with filling slots in this area of licensure. The problem with supply and demand was raised. The Board heard reports that the average Praxis cut score for this license is 673 of the 7500 who took the test. There is an 88 percent pass rate with 63 percent actually going to work in schools. They were also told of the 19 states that provide a license NC is one of 3 states with a cut score of 550 while all the others are 600. Seventy-three percent of licensed speech and language pathologists and audiologist hold a Board of Examiners license, which allows them to work in other areas beyond schools.
Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (2:35 PM)
Action and Discussion Agenda
- TCS 1 Race to the Top (RttT) – Incentives to Support Teacher Recruitment and Retention in the Lowest achieving Schools The State Board did not approve the RttT incentives to support teacher recruitment and retention in the lowest achieving schools. In the RttT proposal, NC indicated they would provide every new teacher who choose to work in the lowest achieving schools, regardless of their entry into teaching, with a voucher that can be used for the following: 1) Forgiveness of student loans for each year of teaching, 2) Tuition for obtaining a Master’s degree in education, educational administration, or the content area in which they teach, and 3) Housing, or a combination of the three. The value of the voucher is equal to the cost of two semesters of coursework, two courses per semester at an in-state-degree granting program.
Committee Meeting: Not Discussed.
Action on First Reading
- TCS 2 Approval of Grant
- State Personnel Development Grant APPROVED North Carolina was awarded a five-year competitive grant (NC-SIP) for $7.4 million. The purpose of the grant is to establish and implement staff development support services to improve the performance (math and reading) and success of students with disabilities. There are four major goals for the grant: 1) improve math and reading skills performance for students with disabilities, 2) increase the percentage of qualified teachers if students with disabilities, 3) increase graduation rate and decrease dropout rates of students with disabilities, and 4) improve parent satisfaction with, and support of, school services for students with disabilities. Funds of $120,000 are being provided to start up the new grant sites in 2010-2011. Reading sites receiving $10,000 per year for five years include; Clinton City, Weldon City, Bladen County, Stokes County, Kannapolis City, Bertie County, and Richmond County. Math sites receiving $10,000 per year for five years include: Stanly County, Sampson County, Davie County, Henderson County, and Forsyth County.
- TCS 3 Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children The State Board APPROVED Deborah Armstrong Whitfield to fill the Council vacancy position of a parent of a child with disabilities. She resides in Charlotte and has a law practice and is founder and president of the Advocacy Institute, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.
- BUDGET REVIEW (New Item): Philip Price provided a brief update to Board members on the State Budget for 2011-2012, when the 2011 Session of the General Assembly convenes January 26th. DPI provided 10 percent recommended cuts to Governor Perdue for 2011-2012. This would require $1.1 billion in reduced public school funding. The possible reversions of $60 million may not be possible and the lottery revenue shortfall is expected to reach $44 million which is a $20 million loss to public schools operating budget. K-12 funding accounts for 37 percent of the budget with all education groups accounting for 60 percent of the state budget. There is hope the growth in State funding will be higher than anticipated for 2011-2012 which may reduce the depth of the cuts slightly. Right now the growth is slightly better than expected for 2010-2011 which should remove the possibility of additional state budget cuts prior to June 30, 2011. The other major issue causing concern is the unemployment rate, which may continue to be a problem for the next 2-3 years. The ADM projection for 2010-2011 was too high especially for the urban systems, like Wake and Charlotte. It is anticipated the 16,000 projected student increase for 2011-2012 will be adjusted, as the latest data from January enrollment is considered.
Update on Contracts
Contracts over $25,000 – 13 contracts
Contracts under $25,000 – 3 contracts
Thursday, January 6, 2011
State Board of Education Meeting, (9:00 AM) Dr. William Harrison, Chairman
- Call to Order
- Pledge of Allegiance:
- Approval of Minutes
- Mr. William (Bill) P. Tatum, Lee County Board of Education- State Board Advisor
Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion
Career, College, Ready Set, Go/Race to the Top Update-Mr. Adam Levinson gave an overview of the RttT efforts.
- ACRE– Dr. Angela Quick provided a handout and noted the work with other states on the Instructional Improvement System (IIS). A consultant contract will be finalized in January and will outline the technical specifications for the system.
- Performance Navigator- Mr. Mike Martin reviewed the Proposed Measures and Targets for the State Board. These numerical goals are as follows: 1) Percent of students graduating from high school in 4 years, 2) Percent of students graduating from high school in five years (target increased), 3) Performance on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 4) Students passing or excelling in both math and reading (target raised), 5) Scoring 3 or above on AP exams and percent of graduates taking the exam, 6) High school graduates who enroll in postsecondary programs, 7) LEAs requiring the Graduation Project, 8) SAT (ACT) composite and percent of graduates taking test, 9) Students completing concentration in a CTE, arts, language, or JROTC cluster, 10) Freshmen enrolled in at least one remedial course, and 11) Graduate passing Algebra II or equivalent. A list of the targets is available upon request and may be posted on DPI website. They have also changed the measurement standard for the number of conventional schools with a performance composite below 60 percent (previously known as low-performing schools) and they will include measurement of the validation of the educator evaluation process. This will involve a correlation between student growth and the teacher evaluation data. The SBE will use the information to set goals around teacher effectiveness in future years.
State Superintendent’s Report
- Dr. June Atkinson provided a handout of key initiatives. At the Superintendent’s Quarterly meeting they discussed legislative issues and reached consensus on repealing the calendar legislation and returning authority back to the LEAs for setting the school calendar. The second consensus issue was to consolidate and modify legislation that requires schools and districts to develop multiple plans such as DSSF, School Improvement, etc. Though they did not have consensus, another issue arose with the superintendents regarding class size in K-12, where they would like to set the numbers for class size. Next Dr. Atkinson had a brief presentation on iTunes U, which stands for iTunes University. This is a collection of audio and video education files available through NC DPI. NCDPI and other partners in the state have developed this tool to provide teachers, students, parents, and others with the ability to download education materials for free. The iTunes U information can be found within the iTunes website, www.itunes.com. The educational contents can be downloaded to a PC, Mac, iPod, or iPhone. In the new digital age with students she believes this will be a place that will attract them, to retrieve information, to help them academically. NC was one of four programs highlighted nationally for direct certification of the National School Lunch Program. The School Lunch Program has reduced the administrative errors for managing and certifying students for free meals, thus providing significant cost savings to the LEAs. The entire report can be accessed at: www.fns.usda.gov/ora/MENU/Published/CNP/FILES/DirectCert2010.pdf. Dr. Atkinson advised Board members of communication from US Dept of Education on the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (NCLB). Three key areas are being discussed: 1) Flexibility in the Accountability System, 2) increase investment in principals and teachers, 3) Focus efforts on at-risk schools. More information will be shared in the coming months.
Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports
Healthy Responsible Students
- HRS 2 Healthy Active Children Report 2010. The State Board heard information on the 2010 Healthy Children Report, required annually from the LEAs. The summary report includes information on the minutes of physical activity, including recess and trend data. The presentation slides are available in the link provided at the beginning of this preview. Eleven LEAs did not report information as required and the list is included in the report. Only 40 percent of the Healthy Advisory Committees list a representative, which is required and only 38 percent meet quarterly. Fifty-three percent provide their reports to the local boards of education. Fifty-one percent report ALL of their elementary schools provide 150 minutes of weekly PE with a certified PE teacher, while 48 percent report ALL of their middle schools provide 225 minutes of weekly Healthful Living with a certified health and physical education teacher. The remainder of the report provides further information on such items as: the use of the Health Advisory report, health assessment tools being used, staff wellness program, percent of LEAs withholding recess as punishment, Health Advisory Commission training attended by LEA representative, and Joint-Use agreements.
Board Meeting: Dr. Paula Collins reviewed this annual report. All but one LEA has provided the required information for the report. The key pieces of the report can be found at the SBE link under HRS 2 listed at the beginning of this Summary. Board members discussed the possibility of having Individual Health Plans for all students with health issues. Dr. Collins indicated LEAs are only required to provide Diabetes Health Plans but some are doing it for their most vulnerable students anyway. Dr. Harris noted that teachers should be a model for their students. Many LEAs are focusing on physical activity and child nutrition in an effort to address the Obesity problems with children in NC. There was a brief discussion on teachers eliminating PE for children as a form of punishment or using PE as a form of punishment. Both of which are not appropriate.
Globally Competitive Students
- GCS 2 Changes and Clarifications to Policy GCS-A-012: Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for NCLB Title III and Update to Title III State Plan The State Board APPROVED the amendments to Policy GCS-A-012 and the Title III Plan, which includes policy amendments. After collecting two years worth of data from ACCESS for ELLS assessment, used for specifying annual measurable objectives to determine the percentage of students making progress toward English Language proficiency. Policy changes are being recommended, including the targets for proficiency. They include the following: 1) AMAO 1. Students identified as limited English proficient shall demonstrate progress by achieving one or more of the following in terms of the overall composite proficiency score on the annual English language proficiency test: 1) increase to the next English language proficiency level; 2) increase the previous score by 0.5; or 3) reach the Comprehensive Objective Composite. The new proficiency targets are as follows: 2010-2011-55.1, 2011-2012-, 56.1, 2011-2013-57.1, and 2013-2014 58.1, with all succeeding years increasing by 1.0 point. The policy update and information on the cut scores is included in the GCS 2 executive summary link provided at the beginning of this preview.
Healthy Responsible Students
- HRS 3 State Board of Education Study on Issues Related to Sports Injuries at Middle School and High School Levels The State Board ACCEPTED the study report as presented and to submit it to the General Assembly as required. The final report is due to the 2011 General Assembly upon convening.
21st Century Professionals
- TCP 3 Proposed Qualifying Scores for Praxis II Physics (0265) and Regenerated Praxis II Exams in Elementary Education (0015) and Technology (0051) The State Board APPROVED, by consent, the qualifying scores recommended for Physics, Elementary Education, and Technology Education. NC is recommending a Physics test cut score of 133 after completing an in-state study conducted by the DPI Licensure Section. ETS conducted a standard setting process and has set a cut score of 161 for Elementary Education and a cut score of 159 for Technology Education. The new tests are for those individuals seeking a NC license in the above areas.
- TCP 4 Proposed Qualifying Scores for Praxis II Art: Content and Analysis (0135) The State Board APPROVED, by consent, the new cut score of 161 for Art: Content and Analysis (0135). The new test and score is appropriate for the assessment of individuals seeking an Art Education license in North Carolina.
Leadership for Innovation
- LFI 2 Approval of Charter School Technology Plans The State Board APPROVED, by consent, the charter school technology plans submitted by the following schools: Cape Fear Center for Inquiry, Tiler Charter, Socrates Academy, Gray Stone Day School, Bridges Charter, and ArtSpace Charter.
Business/Finance and Advocacy
- TCS 4 School Bus Inspection Updates: Policy Regarding Preventive Maintenance and Vehicle Replacement Manual Updates (TCS-H-005) PULLED FROM THE AGENDA. The State Board is recommended to approve, by consent, the recommended policy changes for school bus inspections. In 2006, TCS-H-005 was adopted and covers preventive maintenance, vehicle replacement, and school bus inspections. A new policy, TCS-H-011, was adopted and transportation staff began reviewing the “INSPECTION” section of the old policy and identified the need for technical updates to the inspection procedures to include best practices, and acknowledge the latest technology, since adoption of TCS-H-005 in 2006. Policy TCS-H-005 also includes technical changes to the “VEHICLES” section, reflecting changes in school bus specifications, adopted since 2006.
Action and Discussion Agenda
- Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman welcomed attorney Ann McColl as the new legislative liaison to the State Board of Education and indicated a memo would go out to all DPI staff to request any communications of staff with legislators be relayed to Ms. McColl. He also asked for the assistance of all education groups in supporting her and so that everyone is on the same page. He noted that The Community Colleges and Universities stay on message through the end of the legislative session and it is important all the education groups stay together for public schools as well.