SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE

 

 

January 17, 2005†† Hearing Room D

3:00 P.M.†††† Tapes 1 Ė 3

(Corrected 4-21-05)

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:††††††††††† Sen. Vicki Walker, Chair

Sen. C. Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Bill Morrisette

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:††††††††††† Sen. Jeff Kruse

 

STAFF PRESENT:††††† ††††††††††† Marjorie Taylor, Committee Administrator

Dawn Tuso, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:††††††††

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Adoption of Committee Rules Ė Organizational Meeting

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Department of Education Overview - Informational Meeting

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† State Board of Education ĖInformational Meeting

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Quality Education Commission Ė Informational Meeting

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.† Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speakerís exact words.† For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 1, A

005

Chair Walker

Calls meeting to order at 3:10 p.m. Opens an organizational meeting.

ADOPTION OF COMMITTEE RULES - ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

017

Sen. C. Starr

MOTION:† Moves to ADOPT the proposed Committee Rules dated 1/17/05 (EXHIBIT A).

020

Chair Walker

Announces a change in the rules, requiring 48 hours public notice before holding a committee meeting.

025

 

VOTE:† 3-0- 2

EXCUSED:† 2 - Sen. Deckert, Sen. Kruse

 

Chair Walker

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

030

Chair Walker

Introduces members of the committee.

035

Sen. Morrisette

Introduces himself.

040

Sen. Morrisette

Discusses his interest in education issues.

045

Sen. C. Starr

Introduces himself.

050

Sen. C. Starr

Discusses his long term involvement and interest in education.

060

Chair Walker

Introduces the Committee Assistant, Dawn Tuso and the Committee Administrator, Marjorie Taylor.

065

Chair Walker

Discusses the committee work plan.

  • K-12
  • Education Service Districts
  • Higher Education
  • Community Colleges
  • Workforce Development

090

Chair Walker

Closes Organizational meeting. Opens Informational meeting on the Department of Education Overview. Introduces guests from the Oregon Department of Education, Susan Castillo, Pat Burk, and Vickie Fleming.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OVERVIEW - INFORMATIONAL MEETING

095

Susan Castillo

Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Oregon. Introduces herself and submits written testimony (EXHIBIT B).

100

Castillo

Discusses submitted materials (EXHIBIT C).

  • Annual State School Report Card
  • Statewide test scores
  • Oregon dropout rate continues to decline
  • More Oregon students graduated and attended college last year than ever before
  • An educational challenge is eliminating the gap in achievement between high performing students and those challenged by learning disabilities
  • Department re-organization
  • Accountability is the central function of the department

Six Priorities for the Oregon Department of Education:

  • Help children be ready for 1st grade
  • Close the achievement gap
  • Work on assessing student growth
  • Literacy
  • Improve middle and high school students. Requiring high schools to develop an education plan for each student and expanding opportunities to earn college credit.
  • The Budget

165

Castillo

Welcomes the committeeís suggestion in improving the accountability of schools. Introduces two members of her team at the Oregon Department of Education, Vickie Fleming and Pat Burk.

170

Vickie Fleming

Deputy Superintendent for the Oregon Department of Education. Presents overview of department structure and programs.

185

Fleming

States that the Department exists to answer three questions:

  • What is happening with the investment that tax payers make in the enterprise of public education?
  • What is happening with and for students as a result of that investment?
  • When things are not working, what is to be done about that?

195

Fleming

Discusses the focus on re-organizing the Oregon Department of Education. Shares that the statutory responsibility of the department is to oversee a system of standard public schools K-12 for Oregonís 198 school districts and 20 education service districts. States that the departmentís operational general fund budget is approximately $36 million. Reports that the departmentís number of FTE has reduced by about 30 people and the operational budget has been reduced by about 18%. Says that it is the departmentís mission to provide leadership for an effective, accountable, and comprehensive education enterprise in Oregon. Mentions Susan Castilloís set of goals. Discusses the No Child Left Behind Act. States that the expectations behind student achievement continue to grow.

235

Fleming

Continues to discuss the re-organization of the department.

  • Plan has been designed to break down silos and to work across disciplines
  • To become a full partner with higher education and community colleges and the workforce development system to ensure every Oregonian the opportunity for a quality education
  • The development of a streamlined organizational structure

Introduces and explains the five offices that operate the department:

  • Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation
  • Office of Student Learning and Partnerships
  • Office of System Accountability and Policy Development
  • Office of Assessment and Information Services
  • Office of Finance and Administration

330

Fleming

Introduces three other actions:

  • Hired an internal auditor
  • Posts summaries of internal audits on† public website
  • Worked hard to eliminate redundant data collections and to develop a collaborative partnership with Education Service Districts

350

Fleming

Mentions Education Service Districts. Remarks that it is difficult to provide all of the direct technical assistance that schools and districts express a need for and to accommodate all of the accountability functions resulting from the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act.

375

Fleming

Summarizes the presentation.

385

Sen. C. Starr

Comments about the integrated data system mentioned by Vickie Fleming.

405

Fleming

Responds to Sen. C. Starrís comment.

420

Pat Burk

Chief Policy Officer for the Department of Education. Introduces himself and discusses increased focus on accountability.

440

Burk

Gives background information regarding the history of accountability in Oregon:

  • Direction of legislature in 1859 to establish a system of uniform common schools
  • 1922 Legislature added compulsory attendance
  • 1939 State of Oregon had 2100 school districts
  • 1939 legislature began to focus on efficiency and re-organization, to empower local districts to provide schools

TAPE 2, A

055

Burk

States that in May of 1990, Oregon passed Ballot Measure 5, resulting in significant changes:

  • Funding changes
  • Equalization formula

075

Burk

Discusses the creation of the State Assessment System and the State Report Card. Explains the rating system. Speaks about House Bill 3565, or the Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century, which was passed in July of 1991. Noted that the focus on providing schools shifted:

  • Must have clear outcomes
  • 2 sets of outcomes established
  • Core applications for living
  • foundation skills
  • system to collect this information
  • Certificate of Initial Mastery and Certificate of Advanced Mastery

Explains that, in 1995, there was dissatisfaction with the specificity of those outcomes and that the concern was that more precise information was needed. Instructs that House Bill 2991 was introduced, redirecting the department to redo those standards.

Introduces and recites the content standards in six areas:

  • English & Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Fine Arts
  • Second Languages

Shares that the established performance measures for standards led to the creation of the State Assessment System 1996. Mentions the State Report Card which was introduced in 1997 and adds that this change directed the department to establish measures for school performance, to report them publicly, and to rank all of the schools in the state on a 5 point scale.

090

Burk

Addresses the No Child Left Behind Act which was introduced in 2002. Explains how the No Child Left Behind Act compares and contrasts with Oregonís system, the State Report Card.

125

Burk

Continues to discuss the differences in the two systems.

140

Burk

Summarizes the relationship between the two systems.

150

Burk

Refers to the Oregon Accountability System for Education-Redesign & Process Timeline (EXHIBIT D).

  • Develop and implement financial analysis procedures
  • Implement a redesigned Oregon School Report Card
  • Implementation of revised system of rewards, consequences and intervention

190

Burk

Continues to discuss the system and timeline.

200

Sen. Morrisette

Refers to the 10th grade Math Report Card and asks whether or not any adjustments have been made in regards to the appropriate grade to test students.

210

Burk

Explains that there have not been any specific adjustments but that they have studied the question extensively. Expresses concern over a possible structural problem in that two years of mathematics may not be an adequate amount of instruction for students to be able to perform to the stateís standard.

230

Sen. C. Starr

Comments on requirements for Math, Science, and English. Asks about increased requirements.

250

Burk

Explains that it is a complicated procedure, including staffing levels and current graduation requirements. States that Oregon is in the bottom 3rd of the U.S. in terms of the number of units of Math and Science required for graduation. Compares the number of credits required to the number of courses taken.

285

Castillo

Adds that there are a number of districts that have increased their requirements.

295

Chair Walker

Notes that she appreciates that the department has streamlined their administration. Asks about the definition of the term classroom and how we can achieve the goal of bringing more dollars to the classroom.

315

Burk

Discusses the Quality Education Model. Mentions the DBI- Database Initiative introduced approximately six years ago. Compares district expenditures. Explains what the expenditures should include.

355

Chair Walker

Talks about the Secretary of Stateís audit. Suggests a lack of consistency between districts and flaws in the ways each district is reporting this information.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

390

Castillo

Asserts that the department welcomes the audit. Recognizes that there is still work that needs to be done to improve the database system in Oregon. Offers to return information to the committee on the departmentís work plan.

430

Chair Walker

Discusses data collection and the important role it plays in measuring educational success.

TAPE 1, B

001

Sen. Morrisette

Asks about the internal audit.

005

Fleming

Explains the work of the internal auditor at the Oregon Department of Education. Informs that the audit is available online at the Oregon Department of Educationís website.

010

Sen. Morrisette

Asks if the auditor is an outside auditor.

013

Fleming

Explains that the auditor is employed by the Oregon Department of Education but that he is not part of the management team.

014

Chair Walker

Closes segment. Opens segment on the State Board of Education Overview.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION OVERVIEW - INFORMATIONAL MEETING

015

Chair Walker

Introduces Steve Bogart, Emilio Hernandez, and Randy Harnisch.

030

Chair Walker

Welcomes Steve Bogart, Chair of the State Board of Education, on conference call by phone, to the meeting. Asks Steve Bogart to give an introduction and overview of board activities.

040

Steve Bogart

Gives a brief introduction. States that the board oversees the public education system in the state. Reports that they are working on the implementation of education reform. Stresses that they are trying to be responsive to changing needs. Recognizes that the organizational and financial limitations on the system are a huge challenge. Introduces and discusses the Principles and Goals handout (EXHIBIT E). Explains, as stated on the handout, the goal of the board is that each student demonstrates the knowledge and skills necessary to transition successfully to their next steps: Advanced learning, work, and citizenship. Introduces six outcomes:

  • A common core of rigorous standards for all
  • A personalized learning experience for each student
  • A core of quality education prepared and ready to take on new challenges
  • An aligned P-16 system
  • A connected educational community
  • A system to provide adequate and appropriately allocated resources

Discusses specific actions or strategies that the board wishes to take:

  • Clarify and enhance learning standards for teenage years to guide middle and high school improvement
  • Align proficiencies and degrees between secondary and post secondary education
  • Adopt and implement strategic leadership and communication plan with stakeholders
  • Define and implement a performance and accountability system for Oregon K-12 education.

090

Bogart

Shares that the board is comprised of people from various careers and stations in life across the state. Refers to the handout on the Members of the Oregon State Board of Education (EXHIBIT F). Asks for Emilio Hernandez to introduce the board.

100

Emilio Hernandez

Vice Chair of the Oregon State Board of Education. Introduces himself.

Announces two vacancies on board and introduces current members.

105

Chair Walker

Asks about vacancies on the board.

110

Randy Harnisch

Staff to the Department of Education. Responds to Chair Walkerís question regarding the vacancies on the board.

115

Chair Walker

Asks for clarification regarding how long there have been vacancies on the board.

120

Hernandez

Clarifies and continues his introduction of members and advisors.

125

Chair Walker

Asks Steve Bogart if he would like to add anything to Emilio Hernandezís introduction.

130

Bogart

States that he does not have anything to add.

135

Chair Walker

Asks Emilio Hernandez if he has anything to add.

140

Hernandez

Discusses that the State Board of Education is also working on the re-organization of the department. Mentions a meeting that Susan Castillo organized earlier this year that focused on the achievement gap.

Introduces a few topics:

  • The achievement gap is a major issue
  • Language barriers
  • Drop out rate

165

Hernandez

Discusses the English as a Second Language barrier.

175

Chair Walker

Asks if the DOE has diversified their department staff.

185

Hernandez

Explains the Superintendentís efforts.

195

Sen. Morrisette

Asks about the division of power between the Board of Education and the Department of Education.

210

Bogart

Commends Susan Castillo for her efforts in changing the approach. Discusses the natural friction between the two but recognizes the positive working relationship between the board and the department.

230

Hernandez

Adds that there has been a cooperative attitude between the board and the department and that the division of power is minimal at this point.

245

Randy Harnisch

Executive Officer for the State Board of Education. Introduces himself. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT G). Explains how the Department of Education fits into the framework and notes that it is demonstrated on the flow chartsubmitted (EXHIBIT H).

275

Harnisch

Discusses checks and balances.

290

Harnisch

States that the goal is to see that every child in Oregon be able to achieve to the highest level.

295

Sen. C. Starr

Asks whether or not there is still continued discussion regarding the minimum standard for graduation.

305

Harnisch

Directs Sen. C. Starrís attention to a bulleted statement on the document (EXHIBIT E) stating: Clarify the standards required for a high school diploma. Replies to Sen. C. Starrís question that yes, it is an ongoing discussion with the board.

315

Chair Walker

Asks if the board is meeting their statutory guidelines.

330

Bogart

Explains that they have struggled to meet the minimum requirements but that they have taken steps to eliminate the problem in the future.

345

Chair Walker

Expresses disappointment that the guidelines have not been met but that she is glad to hear that the board is taking the issue seriously. States that she would like to receive a report on the ways in which the board plans to ensure that they meet the statutory guidelines in the future.

365

Bogart

Agrees to submit a report of the meeting to the committee.

370

Chair Walker

Asks if there are any additional questions.

375

Harnisch

Replies that there is nothing further to add to the presentation.

380

Chair Walker

Welcomes the opportunity for further discussion with the board of education during the process.

385

Hernandez

Adds that the members of the Board of Education are available to help and are happy to meet with the committee in the future.

415

Sen. Morrisette

Asks for an update on rural schools that are at risk.

TAPE 2, B

005

Chair Walker

Thanks members of the Board of Education for presenting.

010

Bogart

Offers gratitude for the opportunity to present.

015

Chair Walker

Closes segment. Opens segment on the Quality Education Commission. Introduces Ken Thrasher, Pat Burk, and Brian Reeder from the Quality Education Commission.

THE QUALITY EDUCATION COMMISSION - INFORMATIONAL MEETING

020

Ken Thrasher

Chair of the Quality Education Commission. Introduces himself, Pat Burk, and Brian Reeder, of the Quality Education Commission.

022

Pat Burk

Chief Policy Officer for the Department of Education. Introduces himself.

024

Brian Reeder

Director of the Policy, Research, and Analysis Section at the Department of Education. Introduces himself.

025

Thrasher

Introduces a brief summary of the Quality of Education Commission report (EXHIBIT I). Adds that the full report is available online at their website. Discusses the report in detail.

050

Thrasher

Gives an overview of the Quality Education Commission. Discusses the challenge of the achievement gap. Talks about the role of the commission. Advocates for a seamless education system pre k-20. Discusses what we have to do to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

105

Thrasher

Reports the commissionís focus:

  • Accountability and governance
  • Efficiency
  • Adequacy

130

Thrasher

Continues to discuss the commissionís focus on accountability and governance. Suggests that we need to develop a state economic model.

170

Thrasher

Discusses earnings and social service spending by educational attainment submitted for the record (EXHIBIT J).

175

Thrasher

Discusses efficiency. Explains adequacy. Continues to discuss adequacy. Notes the challenge of adequate funding. Describes the Quality Education Model. Reviews the funding and demographic trends. Stresses the implications of more funding cuts. Mentions examples of how additional dollars can be effectively spent.

295

Thrasher

States that the commissionís recommendations are to:

  • Establish a pre K-20 integrated education data system
  • Create a governance and accountability task force to provide recommendations for the effective accountability structure
  • Provide additional funding targeted at the elementary grades, with emphasis on early reading programs
  • Focus on pre-K issues to better understand resource needs
  • Continue the expansion of high school restructuring programs
  • Provide targeted staff development

305

Sen. C. Starr

Comments that teachers should be prepared to teach reading effectively. Asks why there isnít more emphasis on preparing teachers and also asks what we should be doing.

320

Thrasher

Agrees that it is a very important issue and that many young people entering college now have to take some form of remedial training to deal with the lack of training in their earlier years.

325

Burk

Agrees that it is an issue and informs the committee of the expansion of the focus of the reading first grant taskforce to include all grade levels. Mentions that there have been conversations regarding the issue with the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission on the specific issue as well. Discusses teachers who are licensed at the secondary level without training at the appropriate literacy level. Remarks that there is funding for demonstration sites where high schools are taking on the question of high school literacy.

390

Sen. C. Starr

Comments that the Quality Education Model highlights issues across the whole spectrum but that it seems to fail to address urban schools that with current funding are actually getting the job done. Asks how that might relate as far as reform within the system to get more bang for the dollars that we are spending.

410

Burk

Offers to provide information regarding the State Action for Education Leadership Program, which focuses on high school literacy as one of its targets. Reports that, last year they held the first ever Closing the Achievement Gap Summit in the state where some Oregon schools were identified as closing the achievement gap.

TAPE 3, A

003

Chair Walker

Offers Brian Reeder an opportunity to present.

005

Brian Reeder

Department of Education. Introduces himself. States that he is present primarily to answer questions.

010

Burk

Suggests that the Quality Education Model is more useful as a diagnostic tool rather than a justification for a certain number.

Informs the committee of software applications that are available to assist in better understanding the information provided in the model.

020

Chair Walker

Comments that she would like to see the software.

025

Chair Walker

Offers gratitude to all of the presenters.

030

Thrasher

Mentions that Brian Reeder is a great resource and for the committee to please use him.

040

Chair Walker

Closes the informational meeting. Adjourns the meeting at 5:10 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Rules, Senate Model 2005 Session Committee Rules, Staff, 3 pp
  2. Education, Department of, written testimony, Susan Castillo, 2 pp
  3. Education, Department of, informational packet, Susan Castillo, 227 pp
  4. Education Accountability, Redesign & Process Timeline, Pat Burk, 1 p
  5. Education, State Board of, Principles and Goals, Steve Bogart, 1 p
  6. Education, State Board of, 2004-2005 Board Members, Emilio Hernandez, 1 p
  7. Education, State Board of, written testimony, Randy Harnisch, 8 pp
  8. Education, State Board of, Framework flowchart, Randy Harnisch, 1 p
  9. Quality Education Commission, written testimony, Ken Thrasher, 10 pp
  10. Quality Education Commission, summary, Ken Thrasher, 1 p