Education Joint Boards Working Group
Room 238, Smith Memorial Center
Portland State University
March 16, 2001
Call to Order
Mr. Lussier called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.
On roll call, the following Working Group members answered present: Wayne Feller (alternate), Jill Kirk, Jim Lussier, Phyllis Wustenberg, Tim Young
Ms. Judy Stiegler, a member of the Board of Education, was also present.
ODE/OUS Staff Present: Jim Arnold, Pauline Bernard, Clark Brody, Mary Bunn, Shirley Clark, Joe Cox, John Greydanus, Terri Johanson, Cam Preus-Braly, Lynda Rose, Diane Vines, Holly Zanville
Others: Tom Cook, Kirk DeFord
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Wustenberg moved and Mr. Young seconded the motion to approve the January 19, 2001, Joint Boards Working Group minutes as submitted. The minutes were unanimously approved by Joint Boards Working Group (JBWG) members.
Minority Teacher Report: A Ten Year Retrospective
OUS Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Holly Zanville highlighted portions of the report, related to diversity in the educator workforce (copies of the report are on file in the Board of Higher Education office). She said that, in addition to JBWG, she hoped to get feedback from several boards and commissions to get a better sense of how to approach the next ten years, and what the goal in 2011 might look like. Based on 1991 legislation, Dr. Zanville said the study required agencies to compile data that relates to the teacher pipeline. The Governorís Office took that information and then created a report outlining progress toward the goal. OUS assisted the Governorís Office with the latest report, using monies from the O-QAT grant.
The gap between minority students and teachers has widened, particularly in the elementary schools, said Dr. Zanville, leading to the possibility that the goal of diversity may need to be recallibrated. But, she added that there was good news in the report, including numerous programs in place to help improve matters. OUS initiatives in place to expand recruitment, scholarships, and alternative pathways to teaching, explained Dr. Zanville, are fully supported by federal grants. She pointed out that once the grant monies run out, oftentimes programs discontinue, posing another challenge for how to address the situation long term. In addition, the programs do not address the employment issues, only those issues related to expanding the "pipeline," said Dr. Zanville.
Dr. Zanville asked for comments and suggestions from JBWG members about how to approach the situation. Mr. Lussier asked if there was a way to effectively measure the impact of the current initiatives and which ones were particularly successful. Explaining there was really no way to tell, Dr. Zanville noted that the universities have nearly doubled the production of newly-licensed teachers by ethnicity, but those numbers are not reflected in the teacher numbers employed in public schools.
Ms. Wustenberg asked about the level of funding provided by the state thus far for the minority teachersí program. Dr. Zanville said that no funds were ever earmarked, although no one is disputing that it is a worthy goal to increase diversity in the workforce. Some suggestions listed in the report include a close examination of the goal, improved data collection, and other ways of measuring success other than looking at numbers of employees.
Recalling a statistic from a prior meeting relating to unemployed teachers, Mr. Feller asked if there was any idea about the percentage of minority teachers within that figure. Dr. Zanville said no data existed, but that the rate is probably similar to the overall number going through the existing pipelines. Mr. Feller noted that it appeared that employment was a major issue, something over which the educational system has no control. Building on his comment, Dr. Zanville explained that, given the other complications facing schools today, achieving specific levels of diversity becomes a lower priority than addressing actual needs.
Ms. Stiegler shared that, in an earlier discussion among Board of Education members, accepting defeat should not be the message. There needs to be acknowledgment that the benchmark wasnít met, she added.
In planning for the continuation of programs, Vice Chancellor Clark described the additional "latitude" provided in federal grants compared to state programs that used to target ethnic/racial groups, which were later revised to non-race-based programs. Indicating that data suggests that minority students tend to choose majors and disciplines similar to other students, Dr. Clark said that leads her to believe that greater proportions of minority students must be enrolled, in order to bring up the numbers in teacher education. "Itís a long-term process," she observed.
Mr. Lussier suggested setting up some interim benchmarks to better chart how the numbers are moving toward the goal. Other members agreed that would be a reasonable course of action. Commissioner Preus-Braly felt that perhaps it might be worth exploring ways to target a portion of the $1.5 million proposed in the Governorís budget for teacher mentor programs. Since the original benchmark was not achieved, members agreed that tying the dollars to the initiative would legitimize state support for the effort.
Legislative Updates (Including a Discussion of the Current Student Bill of Rights [Expanded Options] Legislation)
Dr. Zanville distributed a copy of SB 783, the current proposed legislation on expanded options (formerly referred to as the Student Bill of Rights and extended options). She said that discussions are ongoing about how to best set up the program financially so that high schools do not suffer. One funding idea being discussed would cap the dollars following the student. The goal, Dr. Zanville pointed out, is not to erode high school programs.
OUS Director of Community College Articulation and Policy Associate Jim Arnold, explained that another possible facet of the legislation is the inclusion of remedial and/or developmental coursework requirements, which would primarily be done at the community college level. There is a concern about being able to serve all students, he said, including dropouts, or potential dropouts who may be slipping through the cracks.
Responding to a question by Mr. Lussier about the actual purpose of the bill, Dr. Zanville explained that it is to provide an opportunity for high school students who are college-ready to take college-level courses in order to accelerate their progress. She said that it may help to address the dropout rate where some students are not finding what they need, or may not feel that they fit in. "It could serve a wide range of interests and help to provide another option for students. Twenty-two states have this option and it is proving quite popular," pointed out Dr. Zanville.
Ms. Stiegler remarked that one of the concerns voiced by K-12, and possibly community colleges, is that it not become an elitist option. If there is some kind of expanded option, then it should be open to all, she said, adding that the program should be used especially as a method of re-engaging students who tend to fall through the cracks. Dr. Zanville noted that was the impetus of the legislative support of the bill.
Putting another perspective on the discussion, Deputy Superintendent Brody said that, as the Certificate of Advanced Mastery (CAM) unfolds, efforts to connect studentsí career interests outside of school will be a priority. "I think thereíll be a significant change in the next five years at the high school level, in particular with connectivity to outside learning opportunities," he said.
Commissioner Preus-Braly, readdressing the "purpose" of the legislation, explained that the high schools are not serving all students well, and creating new avenues and access points needs to be examined. "Without siphoning off too much from high schools, we need to provide more opportunities that make sense for the student," she said.
Moving to other pertinent legislation, Commissioner Preus-Braly talked about the community college bill, HB 5066. She shared that the recent Ways & Means hearings went positively. While virtually all portions of the funding proposal were approved, the one exception was the $45 million enrollment investment. Before the bill is passed out of Committee, however, this final portion will need to be acted upon. She said that will not occur until the May budget forecasts are released.
Another piece of legislation recently initiated by Representative Mark Simmons, HB 2015, seeks to abolish the Board of Higher Education and the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, and creates a College Opportunity Board that would oversee and adopt rules for the Department of Higher Education, Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and the Department of Student Assistance. While staff are just beginning to analyze the legislation, Chancellor Cox said that he had concerns about what could happen to the smaller institutions if the bill passed.
Distance Education: Issues and Updates
Director of the Oregon Public Education Network, Mr. Tom Cook, opened the discussion. He was joined by Ms. Mary Bunn, education specialist with the Office of Professional Technical Education, Ms. Terri Johanson, director of distributed learning and technology for the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and Dr. John Greydanus, OUS director of distance learning and Oregon WIN (wireless instructional network).
Mr. Cook reminded members that, at the January 19 JBWG meeting, there was a presentation of recent work undertaken by an ad hoc group to address issues relating to distance education within and across the sectors. Chancellor Cox said that in recent conversations with Superintendent Bunn and Commissioner Preus-Braly, there was agreement that the ad hoc group, known as the Oregon K-20 Distance Education Working Group, should have a more definitive charge, with responsibility and oversight falling under the three sector heads.
A draft document was distributed that outlined the charge of the K-20 group. Chancellor Cox said that he saw two levels of challenges: (1) the immediate issues relating to what is going to happen when ED-NET discontinues operating on June 30, 2001, and (2) how to address the longer-term infrastructure, support, and training issues in all sectors.
Mr. Cook said that he would like to see content and curriculum development included in the duties listed on the draft document.
Mr. Cook described current conversations regarding the sustainability of the system as created thus far with SB 622 funds, and what will happen after that funding ends. He said that he was having discussions with legislators about ways in which to secure funding to address the more immediate issues related to distance education. However, Mr. Cook remarked that he felt more confident than he was in January about the direction of the activities. "We have succeeded in bringing our issues to the appropriate people," he said.
Referring to conversations in a recent Governorís Cabinet meeting, Ms. Johanson said that there was a high level of interest in exploring ways for communities to contribute to the cost of the infrastructure so they might benefit from the technology. Oregon Economic and Community Development Director Bill Scott saw several opportunities from an economic development perspective, she said.
Dr. Greydanus described the immediate infrastructure needs affect OUS most dramatically. An agreement with the Department of Administrative Services, he said, allowed OUS to transition from ED-NET to IP video. Funding for 17 sites was awarded, nine for OUS sites and eight for community college sites. Of those, all nine OUS sites and five of the community colleges sites are currently operational. He said that there are still 13 sites around the state that have students waiting for ways in which to connect after ED-NET ends.
Ms. Bunn reported that 101 videoconference units have been installed in K-12 sites. Some issues staff are examining include model leadership, best practices, training, and staff development. Some very creative uses of the technology are already emerging, she said.
The K-20 Working Group efforts to date, said Mr. Cook, have been facilitated by Mr. Kirk DeFord, of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. In looking at what other states are doing, Mr. DeFord said that Oregon is in the forefront with regard to distance education issues.
Dr. Zanville distributed brochures that included details about an upcoming distance education conference.
Future Agenda Items
Ms. Wustenberg described a concern she heard from educators in Tillamook County about the recent K-12 reports cards regarding student behavior. She urged ODE to consider measuring student behavior (now based on attendance and dropout rates) when students are actually in school. Mr. Brody explained that the language for the reports is now statutorily mandated, but could possibly be altered in 2003.
The meeting adjourned at 3:23 p.m.