KDE Public Hearing: November 30, 2018

good morning we’re gonna get started today my name is Deanna Durrett I’m general counsel for the Kentucky Board of Education as well as the Kentucky Department of Education and I will be your hearing officer today I want to thank all of you for joining us and traveling here to Frankfort for this important public comment session this is a public hearing pursuant to KRS 13A 270 on Thursday November 29th 2018 the time is 10:05 we’ve reserved a total of two hours for this hearing today this hearing is scheduled to receive public comment on the following regulations 701 KAR 5150 the non-traditional instructional program 704 KAR 3292 chapter 1 ESSIA migrant education requirements 704 KAR 33 6 5 chapter 1 complaint procedures 704 kar 3 303 required academic standards 704 kar 3 305 minimum requirements for high school graduation 704 kar 8:010 computer science academic standards 704 kar 8020 required academic standards for reading and writing 704 kar 8030 required academic standards for health 704 kar 804 o required academic standards for mathematics and 704 kar 8050 required academic standards for physical education if you haven’t already done so please make sure that you have signed in on the sheets I do have a list of we’ll start with individuals that notified us in advance that they would like to speak today and then we will run through the list of people that also just signed in and let us know they’d like to speak pursuant to K RS 13 a7 o + – 8 o a statement of consideration will be drafted by kte staff in response to all of the comments heard today as well as the written comments that we received during the public comment period written comments on these regulations will be accepted through the end of the day tomorrow November 30th I’m sorry yes tomorrow the Kentucky Department of Education will respond to all comments in the statement of consideration after a review of the comments received the Kentucky Board of Education will determine whether it will amend the regulation or whether it will decline to amend these regulations a statement of consideration or an extension request will be filed with the LRC regulations compiler on or before noon December 14th if we file an extension request due to the receipt of an voluminous comments the statement of consideration will be filed with the LRC regulation compiler on or before January 15th 2019 the final statement of consideration will be posted on our website for everyone to see and that will be on the KDE public hearing information page I have the address if anybody would like to get that from me at the end of the hearing today the purpose of this hearing is for us to hear and receive your comments the agency will not be responding to comments today but instead we’ll be responding to all comments through the statement of consideration before we begin I just want to recognize a few individuals in the room and welcome them first we have chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education mr. Hal Heiner as well as mr. rich gimmel another of the Kentucky Board of Education are there any other members here today who I just have not seen so far okay I would also like to thank all of the associate commissioners and policy advisors that are here with us today from the department and I’d like to take just a moment and allow everyone at the table to introduce themselves could you start us off good
morning Todd Allen I’m deputy general counsel in the office of legal services we have approximately 15 to 18 individuals that have expressed interest in speaking today regulations actually statute excuse me guarantees that each individual who wishes to speak will have an opportunity to do so as I said we’ve reserved two hours for this hearing and so generally we ask that all speakers stick to about four to five minutes we will be keeping a timer up here and so I may be waving at you when your time is expired that way we can ensure again that everyone that wishes to speak will have an opportunity to do so after speaking you may still file any comments and we if you have come today with any printed comments on a sheet we would love to have a copy of those or you may just email them to us through again November 30th at the conclusion of all of the registered speakers if we have any time remaining if there are some final individuals that would like to speak will welcome you then to do so these proceedings are being video recorded a web link will be available in lieu of written transcript unless an attendee requests a written transcript I will call names in order please come forward state your name for the record and any affiliation or group that you are representing again we have a number of regulations that this hearing is on today I believe that all if not the vast majority of our speakers are here today for the minimum high school graduation requirements regulation if you are here to speak on another regulation please just make that clear at the beginning of your comments and with that we’ll begin with our first speaker and you all will have to bear with me as I read handwriting and pronounce names Don Moritz is done here doesn’t appear so Tamra Patterson Joshua Combe thank you come forward yeah at this table great welcome and as I said please just state your name for the record and any affiliation and which regulation you’re here to comment on today yes ma’am name is Joshua Kumm I am a teacher in Jefferson County Public Schools and also here on behalf of JCT a Jefferson County Teachers Association and Kentucky Education Association but speaking for myself good morning to the members of the committee and thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts on this incredibly important matter I’ll be talking on the graduation requirements part I’m Joshua Kumm a special education teacher 14 years working in Jefferson County Public Schools and a longtime advocate of students with mental and emotional disabilities before making this my second career I need to speak with you on my concerns about the impact of a standardized test as a gatekeeping method for students graduation requirement plan I feel that this is a regressive regression to the standards of No Child Left Behind that we’re trying to move past with every student succeeds Act additionally it puts our already vulnerable populations in a possibly even worse situation I hope you will see some of the pieces I’m speaking to here to here as evidence that we need a much more comprehensive idea of implementation before we can even begin to consider any of these changes to begin with it seems like Kentucky is taking an opportunity to initiate something that states have already tried and found unsuccessful graduation exams as gatekeeper minimum competency exams that required a student to pass a standardized test of basic skills to graduate gain traction in the 70s and we’re used in 19 states by the early 90s over time a standards-based reform became a norm across the nation and standards and states began to implement these more rigorous standard basting exit exams by 2008 twenty-three states required students to pass some time of exam to graduate from high school and you know what in 2010 they showed an increase in student achievement and post-secondary success however the dirty secret that came to be known later was that the shift was due to a significantly higher dropout rates especially amongst lower performing it’s mostly special education recipients and black males in 2011 the National Research Council compared these type of high stake tests and low stakes testing such as the National Assessment for Educational Progress and found exit exams decrease the graduation rate as a whole without improving student educational achievement as of 2017 this exit exam required was dropped to only fifteen states using this type of criteria even our neighbor Tennessee is called the hint about this when they see this effect so why is it that we are intent on moving backward on educational progress we finally get a federal mandate with ISA to move forward to a more appropriate methods to assessing student progress and readiness and instead of seizing this opportunity to use the talents and professional decision-making capacity of our educational professionals we are buying more products from Pearson and the like what is our obsession with a multiple quest quiz that denotes the ability of a student to endure long periods of focus on highly isolated facts to prove that they are ready to apply their knowledge to the real world exactly what has that provided for the Commonwealth in terms of progress so far this seems incredibly confusing we cannot even get clarity on which exams a competency tests are deemed worthy of showing us our students should graduate so now we’re not only relying on an outdated methodology of majoring stupid majoring student application of knowledge but even that is shrouded in a cloud of mystery we’ve already seen the negative effects of 15 years of teaching to the test and let’s be realistic when you focus on a single measure like that the measure becomes distorted into an outsize method of evaluating quality this is true in economic and business measures and is definitely the case in the education for the student and the teachers teaching years upon years of incentivized bonuses and states such as North Carolina designated still students and schools as failing or passing to the demoralization of neighborhoods and towns and staff restrictions of standards of learning to what’s on the test as a method for determining what our students learn and a dumbing down of the learning environment and the student capacity to get an answer right instead of seeking out problem solving methods to generalize their greater lives and how after schooling is done too much is being put on a single exam dr. Lewis has claimed that the same exam would serve both as a measure basic competency for a student graduation requirement and as a measure of the 9th and 10th content proficiency for school accountability this is the legacy of No Child Left Behind which is an ironic statement in itself and not that not something we need to find as we’re trying to find ways for every child to succeed in my analysis so far has just looked at the population as a whole we’ve not even gone to break it down to the more vulnerable populations standardized testing to be frank is utter hell on our at-risk students and students with disabilities from the dawn of testing methods for aptitude and achievement we’re Cattell used what he thought were everyday facts people should know if they’re smart to prove that immigrants and non-whites were less intelligent assessments have been problematic at best when used to describe individuals now let’s look at common knowledge from mounds of research that racial inequality still exists in the standardized tests pushed into classrooms now let’s multiply that with the struggles of being otherwise abled and therefore not able to process written text or write to oneself write to express one’s self in a way that we have noted to be normal for a student what are we doing here we are continuing a tradition of identifying other nests not determined you could wrap up your comments yeah not determining if the student has what they need to be successful additionally the lower incidence populations such as the mild mentally disabled and the fundamentally mental functionally mentally disabled have not been discussed inside of these requirements and how this testing works thank you for your time thank you we have Ryan Davis in the room good morning Brian Davis chaired the committee for mathematics achievement teacher in Jefferson County and I’m speaking on behalf of myself today I’d first like to thank you all for taking the time to hear comments and I’d like to begin by kind of zooming out to talk about how we got here we’ve heard ambitions that sound in arguable like basic competency transition readiness and a meaningful diploma but I don’t think we’ve taken the time to actually interrogate what those phrases really mean these are big and potentially worthy aims but we’ve circumvented the essential work of developing common understandings with all shareholders and instead piecemealed a policy of hyper specific definitions such in congruence threatens to undermine our capacity to achieve the more important in larger goals for instance I bet each person in this room would define basic competency in transition readiness in a different way similarly while at times declaring a crisis of readiness kte zone website cites the successful transition rate of 92% having not started with the shared definition this proposal defaults to policies that essentially distill the process of developing students socially emotionally and academically for a constantly changing world into test scores and dual credit classes just as we daily see students move beyond competency and readiness to demonstrate brilliance and resilience in ways that can’t be measured by a test I’d also bet that many if not all in the workforce apply their academic capacities in ways that do not resemble standardized examination similarly we seem to have conceded that the current diploma isn’t meaningful yet every year I see countless students and families who’ve worked hard and find it extremely meaningful that they’ve passed all their courses this is an accomplishment we’re celebrating moreover colleges and employers already look at indicators in addition to a diploma like test scores resumes work experience etc it’s neither necessary nor should a diploma have to mean everything in order to just be meaningful our momentum thus far has been driven by generalities and vague platitudes yet the policy at hand offers narrow and confining prescriptions for moving forward these concerns are more than semantics in a sense the board has identified some wide rivers to cross but instead of planning how to best find our way to the other we’ve pulled together a pail of random spare parts we’ve not surveyed the land for strengths and weaknesses in any bridge we build now must be designed around the arbitrary minutiae outlined in this policy this isn’t a recipe for success rather we should find common ground about our destination research best approaches and then get into the nuts and bolts we’ve pigeon holed ourselves and this problem of process isn’t just a philosophical one to my knowledge the department has done no analysis on how well-positioned Kentucky’s students and schools are to meet these requirements there’s been no survey of funding to determine if the resources to meet these new demands are out allocated adequately and fairly I know many of you have business backgrounds so I’d ask you to consider whether you’d approve a plan for your business without doing any sort of impact analysis I’m sure many of the speakers here today will raise specific flags about potential and serious issues with equity access and feasibility so I’d ask you to keep in mind that in 1989 the Roe’s decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court found that Jenner that found that the General Assembly is responsible for ensuring that our system of schools must among other things be equal provide equal opportunities for all students and be substantially uniform the current proposal not only poses a serious risk for our students but also risk violating the guidelines set forth in this important Supreme Court decision this is not to say we don’t have work to do in terms of improving the education for our students there is certainly work to be done so I’d like to close by talking about the politics of insulation too often the temptation to favor our own convictions in the face of challenge only offers us the illusion of courage we always have the consolation of returning to our current corner huddling with our team and waiting to prove the other side wrong but the reality is we are all one team here dedicated to the betterment of our students the board’s goal of improving outcomes is one we must face United if we are to be successful please hear these voices today not as the other side but as informed and passionate partners wanting a seat at the table nearly every major educational organization in the state has raised concerns with this proposal that have gone on addressed so I agree with personally and some I don’t but they all merit more than a statement of consideration Kentucky deserves the time for conversation that builds consensus and better ideas I know it is a far harder thing to lean against the momentum of our own ideas so I ask that we not do this quickly but we do this right and we do it together I ask you to do the hard thing and postpone implementing the proposed amendments to these graduation requirements thank you for your time thank you for your comments Eric Kennedy good morning I will take the time of the two people first that weren’t here today that was all a plan I’m Eric Kennedy with the Kentucky School Boards Association in addition to the written comments that we have already submitted we wanted to come today to sort of even step back a little bit from those detailed comments and raise some concerns we as local school board members and their representatives are concerned with the real world boots on the classroom floor implementation of all of this the buck stops with school districts local boards and the resources of the local taxpayers that elect those boards it shouldn’t stop there actually but it does in the real world that we live in here we noted several concerns already but we want to acknowledge that our members share the desire both the leadership of KDE and the state board members that all our students should achieve at the highest levels possible and that the diplomas they earn are meaningful and current society and the current global economy that is why many local elected boards have adopted their own locally supported at graduation requirements they go above and beyond the current state minimums when they have looked at their books and their staff and they believe they have the resources to know that those requirements are able to be met with proper student supports we are concerned that many districts will not be able to offer multiple new course options tailored to individual student interest due to a lack of funding and available personnel even if we had the money to attract and compete for that talent as we continue to expand dual credit offerings across the state which we are many districts find it difficult to find qualified teachers or post-secondary partners for enough dual credit courses and ap offerings some aspects of the proposal would offer students more flexibility but what but others are very limited in options and we support high standards for student achievement as I said local boards have already adopted higher local standards with local support including support for supplemental local funding we absolutely do not believe that a student should graduate that cannot read write and cipher as former Senate President David Williams used to say but we also know that all goals and standards must be appropriate reasonable evidence-based easily explained and easily understood by everyone achieve Abul and they must be strategic in context with all the other factors affecting not only our school operations but student lives and community supports on our gaps to proficiency everyone knows there are gaps too close literally no one has declared mission accomplished everything’s great but like a kid with a fever I know our pediatrician told us early fever itself is not a disease it indicates a problem to be treated taking a temperature a second time an hour later and saying oh well still high is not a strategy to treat the underlying illness is it viral bacterial is it a cold or an impacted molar or did my kid hold that thermometer to a light bulb and I wasn’t looking to get out of school that day well all of those would need different approaches so what causes these gaps please don’t just take another test to reconfirm the gaps we all know we have we all recognize that we have let’s discover what causes that gap and fix it and even in doing so let’s try not that let’s not try the same thing again unless and until we analyze if it didn’t work the last time we have tried some of these things in Kentucky before such as the ungraded primary program that didn’t want to let kids go into fourth grade until they were ready we even try to study such as this that was called what graduates must know and be able to do as they exit public schools we made some changes for many reasons they were not well implemented and ultimately we’re backed away from years ago let’s stop and study what didn’t work if we’re doing something similar now will it work different this time what should we do differently to implement it we must not require a kid to do something that in fact may be beyond their control their parents control and a districts control such as any certain number of hours of work experience that a district isn’t in charge of offering or making available don’t require the unreasonable or the impossible such as employing dual credit AP and CTE teachers that might not be able to be found or paid for we tried a lot of this before and have moved away from it saying it a second time likely won’t change that just as with requirements for employees and a job evaluation a good team manager knows that any requirement and goal must be achievable as we’ve been meeting with our local school board members to discuss this recently a few interesting things have been brought up and noted that I want to repeat here from some of these community leaders one lay Minister thought of the book of the Exodus chapter 5 which says the same day Pharaoh sent this order do not supply any more straw for making bricks make the people get it themselves but still require them to make the same number of bricks as before so they told the people go and get it yourselves find it wherever you can but you must produce just as many bricks as before someone mentioned that you know President Kennedy said we will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and we did but he didn’t just say NASA find a way to get to the moon and shame on you if you can’t Congress invested lots of money and lots of qualified people by 1973 our nation spent 25 and a half billion dollars to make that happen and a few years ago all Kentuckians said let’s move up from 49th place and we did with 770 million dollars in annual all new investment by year for that hired a lot of people in districts a lot of people at KDE to help districts we realized that kbe does not have appropriation power only the General Assembly has the power of the purse but we asked the KB to not use the authority it does have to order more bricks and to just say just make it work mr. Kennedy our first two speakers I believe are here now and I suspect they’re going to want their time so I I have to ask you to wrap up all right about three or four more sentences I will skip ahead and just say that this is important I assure you that these are not hollow stalling tactics just to frustrate reform local boards are not scared of reform in fact it’s all we know things our reform is constant like the new accountability system which is already being re reformed that will measure transition readiness as a goal for districts and keeping that in accountability will advance us towards that goal in a more reasonable and practical way than this proposal we believe so please work with us let’s not anyone state or local set out hurdles on the track that we know and already predict a student can’t jump over without first doing the practice and talking about what we can do to offer them to help ahead of time thank you so much thank you Karen Chesser and 9 is 5 minutes 5 minutes I’m a Karen Chesser superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent Schools I’m here with two of my board members we have Karen Allen and Anne Meyer and also the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning bill bill Brevard dear colleagues I am dr. Karen Chesser superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent Schools a 30 year educator Kentucky taxpayer and a parent of two teenage sons one who recently graduated from high school is in college at U of L and one who’s a junior at Highland High School I believe my teaching and administration roles including working for the Kentucky Department of Education over the last thirty years as well as my parent perspective give me a unique perspective into the issue of Kentucky State graduation requirements first I’d like to applaud you for tackling this institution as you know graduation requirements drive the entire p12 system even more than accountability because students lives their futures are at stake there are changes that need to be made to better prepare students for their future a future of AI internet-of-things massive automation and a rapid pace of change and I believe this is why your predecessors or the missionary’s predecessors had opened up a conversation about new requirements I applied the flexibility you’ve now given high schools to make changes to better meet the needs of students regarding actual credit and course requirements and I also applaud the idea as the question and answer document last night specifies that spdm councils can now just keep their current credit and our requirements they don’t have to follow the new foundational and personalized path so for example they can keep algebra to is a requirement since currently college admissions require algebra 2 as well and we would not want to shut the door for any student who wants to pursue post-secondary either for year to year a credential either right after high school or sometime in the future so if this is true that high schools can just keep their current regreted requirements but just have to add transition readiness and the 10th grade test I have two concerns with the proposed requirements one that they do not address the real workforce skills that our industry leaders are telling us our students need for the future and two the transition readiness requirement is very dangerous and could lead to very talented and brilliant students not graduating and I’ll give an example by pushing requirements quickly that have not been vetted nor developed or supported by educators my fear is that individual students will lose mightily an industry will respond by saying our one chance at changing the future of our state did not vote on the right thing we didn’t target the school skills that they say are important skills like creativity collaboration communication critical thinking empathy nothing in the proposed requirements address this when we could certainly make a name for Kentucky like other states like Virginia have and focusing on these skills as a state ensuring every student the Commonwealth has the truest true skills they need to succeed in that businesses one not just passing a test the discussion on graduation requirement started last year with a focus on creating a state portrait of a graduates entering on these skills which was exciting for a state but somehow it took a huge turn and became a document that was completely different and was passed by the kbe before any of us saw it or asked for input many districts in Kentucky are creating these portraits of graduate propelling our students forward and it would be transformational if our state led this effort to or at least aligned its efforts as well I believe that getting input from the people who are living this work every day with drafts provided to stay go look for input realize scenario testing over a several month period could address these issues and lead to a viable future focus set of requirements that we could all support and would be the catalyst for preparing our students for those jobs of the future it would not hold students future hostage futures hostage based on one test so transition readiness is now part of accountability which I support we’re working hard in our district to expand opportunities for students they’ve never had and we should be held accountable for this ensuring all our students have a variety opportunities but when it comes to students not being able to graduate unless they check one of the boxes this is a very risky situation and one that usually is not determined until right before graduation and here’s one real example of a real student why it is a junior at Highlands high school he has identified as gifted talented and visual performing arts as well as creativity he does very well in math and science but due to ADHD and visual perception issues reading has been a challenge so he hasn’t met benchmark on the a CT yet even with extended time because of his reading challenge he has not enrolled in AP English classes and because he’s not vet benchmark he also cannot enroll in dual credit and the approved English humanities area courses even though those colleges will allow him to enter college the fall of 2020 if he takes a separate college admissions test or passes that cody and english only or takes a wocket workshop class to get ready for English 101 his only options for transition readiness then are in the career readiness or exceptional work experience area wyatt volunteers every wednesday from 3:30 to 9 o’clock p.m. and every saturday and sunday his church where even at 16 years old he leads the creative team directing video and photography social media marketing and also plays drums for church and in the school jazz band with volunteering and keeping up with the studying he would have no time to get in 500 hours of work that leaves him with passing an industry certification and a pathway fortunately he has enrolled in the media arts cinematography pathway which is his passion and has been his future career goal for years he transferred to this school as a sophomore so he couldn’t start the pathway to as a sophomore because the other school didn’t have that pathway so now we’ve put all of Wyatt’s chances of graduating high school squarely on two tests the two Adobe tests needed to gain the industry certification talk about high-stakes testing these tests are very difficult are not about applying skills but are instead about following the exact steps they’re in the product tutorials so there’s a chance he won’t pass both as many many students don’t so when he takes these tests at the end of his senior year at the end of the pathway if he can’t pass them both he’s out of the options so this student who’s again easily get into college is a gifted artist videographer and already runs his own business is accelerated math and science will not graduate from high school because of a test is this really what we intended with these graduation requirements no way out have you really thought about all through all of the unintended consequences and by the way why does my son thank you for your comments dr. Chesser I like the team take a moment to recognize that our Commissioner dr. Lewis has joined us thank you for being here Jim Flynn welcome thank you I’m Jim Flynn I am a superintendent in Kentucky and in Simpson County but I’m also here representing the Kentucky association of school superintendents and and I want to thank you for taking the time to hear our our comments we have submitted in writing some of our concerns relative to the graduation requirement proposal but I want to take a moment to add to those in this hearing first superintendents and I’ll say educators in general are always in favor to move education for our students Ford in Kentucky I’ve talked to lots of my colleagues and there’s much to like in the news proposed graduation requirements among many of us because I think we all share that we want the high school diploma to be a meaningful representation of what our kids know and can do in the next level of life many of us have simply advised that we slow down the process to ensure that every aspect of the proposal can be fully and properly vetted particularly by those in the field of professional practice that are serving our students to ensure that the consequences both intended and unattended are fully considered one of the main areas that I’ve heard positive comments about the proposals around the idea of personalization that it’s personalization is a component of the proposal that I think people like B in particular the fact that there are multiple pathways to this kind of life readiness success that we’re looking for and that we also know in the field of practice that that’s empowering to students when they can discover their passions and unleash their talents and prepare them for the next level of life and at the same time we want to be very careful that we don’t pigeonhole students unintentionally and/or devalue them because they may not succeed on one component of this particular proposal so with this in mind one of the main concerns that I’ve heard my colleagues talk about is the basic skills assessment as a graduation requirement first we haven’t really been presented with any evidence that shows that this is going to improve the student learning achievement of our kids and then we’re also aware that many states have abandoned this as a strategy and we all a bore the the old mindset of teaching to the test but we know if there’s a high-stakes test like this Kentucky teachers will bust their tails to try to make sure every kid passes this and then what that looks like often times is that we’ll have systems and processes in place to prepare the kids for success on that particular test in fact in my district I talk a lot about tasks predicts performance what kids are doing when they’re with us and as a result of the instruction we provide is what they’re gonna get better at in fact will challenge our teachers that they shouldn’t be sitting sitting and watching you teach watching you work they need to be working themselves so when we think about that kind of mad mindset the task predicts performance what are kids going to get better at by taking a basic skills assessment like this is a concern of ours the other concern is around resource allocation superintendents think a lot about this in our work and when you talk about the time and the money you invest what is a policy like this going to inspire in terms of resource allocation many of us would argue that an investment in early childhood education and reading by the end of third grade would be a more powerful investment for the long-term benefit of Kentucky I would also and argue that investing in the educators who serve would be an important resource allocation investment and we know that the instructional and leadership capacity of those people who work with and around our kids is really the most important component of how we’re gonna move student learning achievement forward as opposed to investing in an additional test and depending on how we implement such a test it could have real negative consequences for some kids and one of the things that we’re committed to is advocating for all kids and and so we recommend removal of this particular piece and feel that the achievement and other components of it like being transitioned ready for example is a little redundant and on that piece I will just mention that on the transition ready piece we recommend a full cost analysis and a study to determine the equity and access to those pieces of this proposal we we in general like the transition readiness support it fully in the accountability model but have concerns when we connect it to the graduation requirements and we just want to make sure that the commitment from the General Assembly and the governor is there to fund this and that we need to take our time and slow down and and look at this more carefully so there’s opportunities here to make this a really positive thing for our students and our state we just say let’s slow down fully vet this and study every component to ensure that the outcomes that we want will be positive for Kentucky students thank you thank you dr. Flynn J brewer guys called me sooner than I thought it’s good to be with you guys here today I’m Jay brewer I’m superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools up in Northern Kentucky 27 years in education love what I do love what I do and I appreciate you guys being here taking the time to listen to us today so tell you a little bit about dating to give you a perspective here I’m here to speak for our kids a couple years back we’re pretty banged-up district we’re a priority school we’ve gone through the process we’ve been recognized now as a distinguished school we’ve been able to move up from 171 on these crazy rankings that come out to number 70 which we don’t rank anymore which I’m thankful for we’ve been able to grow our pre school readiness rates from 28% to 55% certainly not where we need to be and under dr. Lewis will agree with me on that got a lot of work to do in the early childhood area got 50% of our students at Dayton that volunteered to being a drug-free Club take a drug testing to ensure that they’re building healthy values and creating good belief systems and we’re very excited that this year our transition readiness rate was in the top 20 in the state at eighty two point nine very pleased with that so again I appreciate the opportunity to be here there are a lot of good things you guys are rolling out here in the requirements that I see I can see where the flexibility some personalized learning benefits students I see we’re requiring you know academic readiness or career readiness it’s going to create a greater sense of urgency within our school to focus on these kids a little bit more however on the other end I talk to our kids and they feel like they’re being choked out I feel like they’re being limited and forced into the pathways that they don’t necessarily want to do but have to do you know I envisioned high schools as a place to broaden experiences for our kids lifting them up not choking them out I see requiring students to pass a basic competency exam in reading and math in tenth grade I see where that kind of gives us some guarantees that there are some basic things going on there you know I just worry that we’re gonna spend too much time teach our kids out take a test and we know life there’s very few of us that have jobs in which we have to take tests and I’d like to focus on some other things besides test taking skills so you know we’ve got some challenges ahead of us you know I’m concerned with how we’re looking at schools and the the rating models that we have and how we’re trying to take on these business models for schools or these sports ranking models for schools I’d like to remind everyone in this room here today that you know teachers have students doctors have patients coaches have athletes and businesses have customers and all of those fields are very different and we try to replicate certain areas into other areas that don’t fit it’s really not healthy for those organizations so I just want to remind us you know we have students you know we don’t have customers so often when I meet with my building principals last thing I’ll tell them as I leave I say what do you need so I’m gonna flip that roll in imagine dr. Lewis says Jay what do you need and he’s not gonna be surprised by this answer and he probably telling me right now what’s number one on my list today I gave up the opportunity to read in my for preschool classrooms and my two Head Start classrooms which I do every week with Dayton Independent Schools today so you better listen up I gave up my favorite day of the week to come down here Kentucky needs to become the stop stop state in the nation in percentage of kids that are three and four-year-olds enrolled in high quality high quality early childhood programs we all know ninety-five percent of a child’s brain develops for the age of five but we continue to ignore that we want to focus what I believe here on the wrong end of policy let’s get on the front end of it and I think we’ll see long-term gains instead of some of these short things we’re looking at it still baffles me that we only fund half-day kindergarten we only fund half-day kindergarten we’ve got to get that done that has to become a policy issue it creates great inequities in which children coming from challenging environments are forced into districts such as ours that are affording our kids all-day kindergarten but it comes out expenses of other places so number one get after the preschool number two we need to fund all-day kindergarten there and simply fund it for communities at risk you know we need the funds another thing we need to do we need to improve health education for our students we need to look around our state we’re in a health crisis just not physically but emotionally look at the statistics are staggering health is wealth we need to start making policies that protect our kids number four teacher quality we need to start talking about that as well to have great schools you must have great teachers and then finally I believe one of our issues with our kids transitioning out of high school is they’re left floating around our kids need that contact after they leave High School’s a life coach of some sort to say hey where are you going next somebody to continue to pick up that phone pick up that text pick up that email move them from the next spot to the other we’re losing a lot of kids in that point so again I want to reiterate what a lot of folks are saying let’s slow down I think there’s a lot of common ground that we can come to work together I think we need to look at the long game instead of the short game here today and let’s give all students in Kentucky a chance to be great thank you thank you for your comments autumn Nagel welcome and just to reiterate we’re giving everyone five minutes and if you could state your name and any affiliations thank you my name is autumn Nagel I am first a parent have two children a four-year-old and a fourteen Yoda I’m also a business owner with 16 employees when I’m not in the state and I am 15 district PTA president of Jefferson County that’s Jefferson County and Anchorage that 15 district does so I do like the idea of the graduation requirements as a whole I just think it needs to slow down get more impact more input also thank you for letting me speak to you first of all there are several things I do have issues with on the graduation requirements so you will get an email with all those but I want to hit just a few really quickly because there’s a short time first one is the three standardized tests I love the Civic someone personally because this is where you make change but the test the other two tests that you have to take also those are high-stakes tests in my opinion yes I know there’s a portfolio option but in your 10th grade year take a test and know that if you don’t pass that test you might not graduate yes there’s a portfolio option but who’s pushing that who’s taking care of that who’s monitoring those students are we pushing that back on the counselors that have already got a full plate in their districts and that really do Maddy motivates a student and this is what is keeping them from graduation oh my gosh suddenly do I need to go back next year and suddenly you’re gonna have not only a graduation rate you’re gonna go dropout rates really plummet because kids are getting the Emotiv hours and it’s a it is a stress to take that test the portfolio option sounds wonderful and I don’t think that’s going to be an issue in Jefferson County Public Schools for the simple fact that we have that backpack of skills so they’re gonna be doing that already however not every school system has that right now and we need to make sure we’re doing this for all kids the other issue is I do think we needed more voice in these requirements more community input more town halls more where people could actually do it there’s been a lot going on this year and that got lost in the shuffle and then it was oh here it is and we’re voting on it and this is what you’re stuck with and I really wish we just stop and get some more opinion because I’m not funding a lot of people hey I love these let me roll out the welcome carpet and the third thing I’m going to talk about is being a business owner I can tell you that I do not I mean I do not look at what that test score is that is not what comes into my mind when I hire someone it is also not who I look for when I’m looking for an intern we have had interns from Central High School for the last ten years of my business and when we bring them in to interview to look at being an intern with us they are not I’m not looking at the test scores I’m not even looking at their grades I’m looking at the person the well-rounded person you put a requirement of what is 500 hours work experience that is great but I can tell you from the students that I’ve had they’re not going to make 500 an hour hours in a year maybe two years and I know they have more time but that is a lot of pressure to put on a kid especially when they’re in high school when they should be learning other things to get that you know playing out in those sports you know doing drama and theater and that type of stuff and curtailing their activities outside of school whether it’s Chess Club whether it’s soccer whether it’s you know just volunteering their local soup kitchen to make sure you get those hours and I was glad to hear that volunteers could count for that I just think it’s a lot to ask a student and I would like for us to pause and have some more community things I would welcome you in Jefferson County in fact I will even help you host a town hall meeting if you will come and listen to us before you pass these and look forward to my email I want to make sure all of our students are getting this opportunity and I know a lot of our students aren’t thank you thank you for being here Perry popke thank you for the opportunity to speak today regarding the proposed changes to Kentucky’s minimum high school graduation requirements my name is Perry popke deputy director of policy and research for the Prichard Committee for academic excellence an independent nonprofit citizens advocacy group committed to the vision of excellence in education for all Kentucky students the issue of a more meaningful high school diploma could not be more critical given the changing nature of our economy and the fact that is the gateway to post-secondary success and sustainable employability as long-standing advocates of improving the quality of education in advancing the educational attainment of Kentucky citizens we agree with the Board’s assessment that Kentucky is graduating too many young people without the adequate skills necessary for their future success in this light we believe the board’s proposal is well intended to ensure more students are adequately prepared for transition to work and post-secondary education but several components raised serious concerns exit exam requirements in reading and mathematics requiring students to meet transition readiness indicators to graduate and the removal of algebra 2 as a curriculum requirement while the goal of exit exams seems simple enough a high school diploma that is evidence of basic competence the research available and the experience of other states indicates the reality is much more complicated an analysis conducted by the University of Texas in 2010 summarized the findings of 46 previous academic studies on the effects of exit exams on student achievement graduation post-secondary outcomes and school response the research found little to suggest that either minimum competency exams or more rigorous standards based exit exams impacted any of the study combs summarizing the main takeaway the researchers noted evidence reviewed indicates that exit tests have produced few of the expected benefits and have been associated with costs for the most disadvantaged students and increasingly states are shifting away from this type of policy according to a 2016 report from the Education Commission of the states for the graduating class of 2017 only 15 states required students to pass exit exams to graduate from high school moreover since 2011 11 states have dropped the exit exam requirements including our neighbor Tennessee Kentucky already knows which students are behind entering high school as evidenced by our eighth grade K prep exams thus the problem is not diagnostic we know which students need more support schools need strategies that increase learning and minimum competency exams have not proven to do that the proposal will also require students to meet transition readiness requirements in order to graduate the goal behind this element of the proposal again seems simple enough to align graduation requirements with the transition readiness indicators established and Kentucky’s new accountability model however the accountability model places the responsibility on school districts to provide access to necessary opportunities to achieve transition readiness placing the same responsibility on students is duplicative but also raises potential equity questions all students across the state may not have the same access to transition readiness opportunities and some schools to school districts may need additional support to ensure they have the offerings necessary we’re also concerned with the removal of algebra 2 as a foundational requirement in the absence of more guidance on curricular alternatives that would meet Kentucky’s academic standards in mathematics and ensure all students have access to high level math opportunities the state’s commitment to developing a highly skilled workforce for the future necessitates students take high level math research indicates students who take advanced mathematics courses in high school are more likely to enroll in college are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree have greater labor market returns and higher job satisfaction Kentucky vest significant responsibility in the appointed body of citizens of the Kentucky Board of Education the weight of this responsibility requires thorough research and analysis for assurance that they will serve to move our state of public education and Kentucky’s students forward based on a review of the available research and because of the significant impact the proposed changes would have on Kentucky students and schools we ask that the board tabled the proposed amendments to the minimum high school graduation requirements further study of this issue is warranted including hearing from the other experiences in other states to ensure policymakers and all stakeholders fully understand the costs and benefits of the various approaches moreover this is an important enough decision with far-reaching implications for students in our state that consideration should be given as to whether such a decision necessitates action by the General Assembly in the meantime the effort and resources of our schools should be focused on implementing the new accountability model established in Senate bill 1 of 2017 closing our persistent achievement gaps and ensuring all Kentucky students have what we know works high expectations through rigorous coursework and adequate supports for our students and teachers greater access to early post-secondary opportunities including high quality relevant career technical education and most importantly a highly qualified teacher in every classroom every year thank you for your consideration of our comments today in our written submission Thank You mr. popke is Rachael Balin Oh wonderful I’m sorry welcome good morning my name is Seneca loon and I am a sophomore at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and a member of the Pritchard committee student voice team and though I’m missing class to be here I know that given the subject matter it is important for someone like me to be at the table today I’m here specifically to ask that in the discussion we’re currently having about minimal high school graduation standards that we include what it takes to have a more meaningful high school experience to and instilling so much of the high school experience to a standardized testing and the increased rigor I believe we are selling students and kentucky’s entire education enterprise short among other things the proposal in question requires a great proficiency exam and math and reading ensures that students are transition ready via a CT benchmark scores and abolish his algebra 2 as a requirement but I believe these aims are in direct conflict with each other and at odds with a more meaningful learning experience so let’s take this one at a time the proposed exit exams seemed harmless enough on the surface but do a little digging and you’ll need to ask yourself about what the intended consequences may be what will we do for example if students who fail these tests are further demoralized are we willing in the same breath to provide them with additional support so that they can remain in school and eventually graduate if the students across Kentucky and the Prichard committee student voice team interviewed for our book ready or not and our school climate audience are to be believed we have got to ensure fewer barriers and not more to engage young people in schools I’m talking here of people like Tabitha an Eastern Kentucky junior who described to us the drudgery of her learning experience she says on a normal day I walk in I get handed papers and worksheets that I need to fill out she said on tests well if you even want to count them as tests kids don’t even try to hide their phones we don’t check classwork and go over it and when we do we don’t understand it why waste all our time filling out these things I’m also talking about people like Charlie a senior who with his love of literature and ability in English language thought he was college material only until very recently when he took another standardized test that killed his confidence basically he says according to my test score I’m not ready to go to college it just validated what I already knew to be true I think as far as the brain power goes I could do well if I really wanted to I just don’t more in my school teachers and students alike often remark that the time taken from Anna did testing cuts into the time needed to actually teach the material of being tested it all leaves many of us on the front lines of our classrooms asking where is the room for inspiration for experimentation and for higher level synthesis and analysis and demonstration a mastery that cannot be captured by one more standardized test true the challenge of supporting this type of meaningful learning is compounded by recent budget cuts that are already severely impacting the student-teacher ratio and the materials necessary to make it happen but that begs to the question are we only measuring what is easiest to measure there’s more to say about critical exams the a CT is the foundation of Kentucky’s college readiness criteria while placing so much emphasis on one test to measure something as abstract as readiness is strange in and of itself what baffles me is a proposed removal of algebra 2 in conjunction with increased attention to college and career readiness if this is a test for relying on to ensure students are ready for post-secondary education what what are we doing but I’m guessing most adults in the room have not seen a college entrance exam and decades most any Kentucky high schooler can tell you that the AC t– does in fact test algebra two topics but well beyond undermining success on a standardized test removing algebra 2 would also undermine the lowest of the problem-solving based math skills in the context of a public school system that struggles with conceptual critical thinking this takes away vital exposure to higher-level reasoning that is an unspoken requirement for many of the most high-paying careers I can say with a conviction of a high schooler who has done her homework that these well intended proposals will not accomplish the goals the goal the board stated goals instead there should be more focused on bolstering the standard of teaching and giving our teachers the materials they need to do their jobs well that prospect of course includes adequate funding as well as more respect for our teachers time and expertise in the final analysis – there should be more consultation with students who will actually be impacted by any decision that this board makes I submit that it’s hard to determine how a high school education journey will go when those determining that when those doing the determining seems so removed from what’s happening in our schools thank you so much for your comments Cassie Lyles welcome good morning I’m Cassie Lyles and I teach civics and geography in Jefferson County and I’m here today speaking on behalf of the Kentucky Council for social studies all of the teachers we represent and our students so Kay CSS is taking the following positions and ask the following questions while we’re in support of the civics test we do not believe that this should serve as a barrier to graduation or transition it is the belief of K CSS that citizenship is not just about content knowledge but about civic engagement and advocacy which cannot be captured in an 100 question standardized test the proposed system potentially incentivizes a skills only an assessment driven approach to instruction appropriate changes or a plan should be developed to discourage this and instead encourage conceptual problem-solving experiences for students where they apply learning to in school and out of school context previously stated by the Kentucky Board of Education Westheimer and Kane’s pivotal study found that only supporting the concept of precipitant not participation sorry does not necessarily lead to action without an explicit connection between content and democratic education and the skills needed skills students are less likely to take on responsibilities needed in a civil society in regards to transition requirements we see the value in work apprenticeships college readiness standards and requiring industry certifications to transition but we believe such an emphasis on acquiring industry certification serves to limit a student’s ability to develop adaptable skills and dispositions that could be useful in any industry and to explore multiple career pathways in regards to the social studies coursework or credit requirements of which the proposal asks for three it is the official position of K CSS that is not enough the official National Council for social studies position is that schools require 3.5 social studies credits and while we appreciate the equity and content requirements this require requirement as it is presented to potentially exacerbate solely Eurocentric views of the world as a student need only take two foundational courses which could allow them to opt out of courses requiring globally inclusive surveys of our world in history as many schools simply do not have the capacity to offer a wide and diverse range of social studies courses we also have these questions in regards to critical digital literacy students need to be able to critically evaluate digital media this serves to promote and protect democracy where populations sorry where the populace is engaged and informed and able to think critically when it comes to analyzing new information this seems to be absent in the requirements how would we address those things we also have the same concern with financial literacy where would that fit into the requirements since we know students need that to succeed after high school regarding personalized learning coursework we would like some clarity on this and what it would mean in terms of course choices curricula and assessment before firming we are sensitive to the fact that many of these requirements are rooted in individualized learning plans which lack consistency and high-impact implementation across the state many schools lack the capacity to truly implement rich and personalized curricular choices for all learners so the Kentucky Council for social studies advises that the Kentucky Board of Education not support the proposed graduation requirements as they currently stand thank you thank you Miss Laos Shana Mills welcome I’m Shana Mills and I am I just sorry my name is Shana Mills and I teach social studies and leadership dynamics at Graves County High School today I come to you on behalf of my students and my school district we have an interesting perspective because we already require our graduates to be college or career ready upon graduation I’ll admit there are some imperfections within this system but we’ve had a success with it we’re successful though because our county has the businesses to support our students in their quest to become career ready and we’ve taken years to develop our career pathways and plans to implement the program honestly if districts across the state implemented career readiness as a requirement for graduation it would smooth out some of the problems that we face with our transient students there is however reason to be concerned about the career ready aspect of these new requirements a safety net is needed for students who for various reasons cannot become college or career ready our solution has been a service-learning project students required to get a job working a minimum of 16 hours with a non-family member outside of the school setting then students must write a paper and complete an oral presentation to a group of administrators and educational stakeholders explaining what job they performed what they learned and how they could apply that to life after high school this is similar to the appeal process proposed for the proficiency exam grants county high school and its teachers have high standards for our students and we want them to succeed we’re continually testing to students to measure for growth in math and reading reassessing our RTI groups and targeting those students not just in on grade level at Graves County High School we’re testing each quarter in math reading English and science for all four years that alone puts our students testing in front of a computer screen over 16 hours each year that’s an addition to the required a CT science assessment civics test Cody tests industry certification tests and classroom assessments the addition of competency exams is unnecessary without the additional competency exam or with the out the additional competency exams our students would have more time to learn and master the standards teachers need time to use the data that we have to teach students and I don’t mean time to teach students how to pass a test students don’t need another test if other states are moving away from proficiency exams being a graduation requirement why are we choosing to implement them now there are better ways to increase math and reading scores than requiring another test another concern with the proposed graduation Sanders is the use of the AC T is the only indicator of meeting academic benchmarks in reading an that many of our students are highly successful on the math and reading coyote tests because it isn’t timed surely being a fast reader and/or test taker doesn’t ensure success in life colleges accept the coyote as an indicator of readiness if it’s acceptable for our institutions of higher learning why would it not be acceptable to the State Board of Education college readiness placement test should be added as an additional indicator lastly any time there are major changes to a system the cost analysis is necessary there are several requirements in the new proposal that will cost additional funds our district is excited about the possibility of eliminating the algebra 2 course but developing new courses and providing professional development to teachers to teach courses specific to career pathways is going to cost money not only will funds be required to properly train teachers but our district will need additional funds to hire also currently there aren’t ample funds to give sophomores the ICT where will the funds come from to provide these new English and math competency exams what about money to train the teachers to create and utilize the individual learning plans money is already taught within our district and we’re implementing a tax increase but it won’t be enough to adequately meet the monetary needs of the new graduation requirements if money is allocated this session for charter schools I can only hope that the funds won’t be taken away from our already strapped school districts I want high standards for our students I believe in students and teachers in Kentucky’s fellow like schools but these new requirements are not ready to be rolled out additional time is needed for revisions feedback and local district planning these are small not small tweaks but an overhaul to a system incoming freshmen will begin registering for high school classes as early as January it’s unfair for our students to begin implementing this new rushed and flawed graduation requirements in the fall for an incoming freshman thank you for your comments Tyler Murphy thank you good morning my name is Tyler Murphy I’m a social studies teacher Boyle County High School I’m also member elect of the Fayette County Board of Education and I’m here speaking on behalf of myself as a concerned educator my students and constituents there are a number of concerns and problems with the proposal before us today for many to explain in five minutes but today I will focus on three main concerns number one a rush to action that creates confusion content content in congruence and academic inconsistency number two the impact on minority and underserved student populations and number three how what’s before us today fits into a greater attack on public education in this Commonwealth I join all the other organizations who have called for us to take a step back bring all stakeholders to the table and discuss how we can best serve our students and equip them for success together that should be a shared goal but this proposal does not move us in that direction there are far too many unanswered questions not to mention inconsistencies in your own impact analysis and statement the additional cost at a time of already meager sources staffing strains and bureaucratic hurdles have not yet been adequately examined as an educator and soon-to-be school board member these uncertainties give me great pause the colleagues with whom I spoke are greatly concerned not only about the vagueness of the proposed requirements and their impact but also their disjointed nature the content expectations have yet to be articulated and yet here we are rushing these through without even knowing what the standards are it also seems disingenuous to me that there exists an expectation for students who complete post-secondary work as a requirement for a secondary degree furthermore evidence from states like Florida Georgia Nevada Oklahoma South Carolina in California just to name a few indicate that exit exams like the one proposed and these requirements do not lead to improved student outcomes and in fact actually harm student achievement already we teachers spend in an ordinate amount of time on test preparation in some cases as much as two months out of the school year introducing yet another high-stakes assessment will convert the students high school years into a series of test prep classes ask any college professor or business professional and the enduring skills to which they will point as important are creativity problem-solving critical thinking and adeptness at social interaction where is there room for high school teachers like me to hone these skills think of it this way today’s kindergarteners will be graduate will be retiring in a year twenty seventy eight if we had only prepared students in 1958 for the careers of their time how well would they fare in today’s society the skills that will endure however are the skills whose values cannot be reduced to a single high-stakes assessment or even a single high school credit as someone elected to represent schools in our Commonwealth’s second largest school districts with half of our student population non-white I’m concerned about the requirements these they risk these requirements posed to our minority and underserved populations by ignoring the total of a child’s schooling career these requirements force high schools to make up for educational gaps and deficiencies that have followed many of our most disadvantaged students from the cradle to their freshman year if we want to get serious about academic success in high school and I do believe we should then we need to get serious about investing in academic success before a child even gets to kindergarten what steps is our State Board of Education taking to make early education a reality in this Commonwealth these graduation requirements are set up for a system that only creates more hurdles to success and in turns more avenues to inequity this that’s our most marginalized students up for failure in high school after decades of refusing to adequately support them in their most formative years furthermore in an article published earlier this month Commissioner Lewis wrote students in rural areas are less likely to have access to as courses like wise students and underserved our overcrowded schools are less likely to have access to diverse selection of courses or the parental involvement to guide them in selecting courses establishing graduation requirements that impose more hurdles for these students in districts before actually addressing the hurdles already in place is amoral at best which brings me to my final point in the months after the board created an arbitrary accountability model that single-handedly labeled half of our public schools is underperforming this would be setting yet another bar without giving the schools the time resources an input to ensure our students that are well served at the same time it ignores the progress we’ve made in districts like Boyle County and yes Fayette County the game is afoot my friends and that word is not mine commissioner Lewis himself referred to this as a game to force charter schools on an unwilling public this is a set up and the students of our Commonwealth deserve better so when we get serious about investing in public education as the constitution of this Commonwealth requires then we can have a serious conversation about improving outcomes and truly making education public education meaningful in our Commonwealth thank you for your time thank you for your comments
done Moritz am I saying that correctly moretz welcome just a reminder and we’re asking everyone to keep their comments to 5-minutes if you could please state your name your affiliation for the record and the regulation that you are commenting on today all right thank you thank you good morning my name is dawn Moretz I am here from Jefferson County having 25 years experience in the elementary classroom I’m no longer in the classroom I am here also to speak regarding the graduation requirements and my concerns regarding the proposal that we have before us as a person who spent 25 years in elementary level with kindergarteners through fifth graders I have a wide range of experience with the types of students that I taught their backgrounds as well as the needs to be able to approach them in the way that they were able to learn and to be ready to progress from one grade to the next I also had experience in understanding that what we did early on impacted what happened at the middle school level and then the high school level I am here today because I have concerned that regarding the proposals that have been brought before us that the plan currently contains potholes logistical issues and is not thoroughly thought through many of the previous speakers have done a beautiful job laying out these same concerns I think I will be sharing some brief points that speak in the same manner first of all the implementation and logistics have not been worked out no transition plan has been put in place dr. Lewis has claimed that a student has hundreds of options to meet the transition readiness requirement but the student really only has a few that may be available at their particular school if there is seat space available and in that case this subject might not be relevant to student himself or herself there are also claims that there is time to adapt but these are actually misleading even though students may not be graduating until 2023 because it requires that schools and districts will have to make drastic changes right now to ensure entering students are on a path to graduate Advanced Placement International but laureate and some certification scores are not available until after the school year is over yet students may need them in order to be eligible for graduation again this is logistical conundrum and logistical as well also if a person receives a D in one course it could prevent them from graduating in addition there is no plan for students who want to switch a career pathway I know on a personal level having gone to college and having done some time exploring the direction that I wanted to take in my career sometimes it takes going into a field to understand that it’s not the correct place to go and that you really would be better suited in a different direction I myself went from a Christian education degree into early childhood and served public school children had I not had that experience in the first I would not have known that it was better for me to switch into another direction I feel that it’s important that students have the opportunity that if once they begin in a particular career pathway and it doesn’t suit them they don’t have the talent or skills or interest that they have the time to be able to change into another direction that works best for them it seems ill-fitting for 15 year-olds to be locked into a career decision there’s also no plan for students working towards an academic or career ready area only to realize that they may not make it by their senior year this does not give them enough time to switch paths another concern that I have regarding the logic of the current suggests this is that the dual credit courses are considered an alternative for students who don’t meet the AC T benchmark but often students must first meet the benchmark to be eligible for the dual credit courses themselves this is more or less a chicken-and-egg situation which are we expecting first in order to allow for the second in addition the required AC T contains content that is no longer required in some coursework there are no plans to delay the test for students who have to take remedial coursework and there are no plans to move up tests for students who are taking advanced coursework if nothing else during the time that I was in the classroom I understood the need for flexibility and the opportunity to meet children where they were I appreciate your time this morning and your consideration and hope that you are able to take the information that’s been shared by the previous speakers myself and those after me into full consideration thank you thank you Tamara Patterson welcome thank you my name is Tamra Patterson I am a former elementary school teacher I come from Jefferson County and today I will be talking about a standardized exam should not be a gatekeeper for graduation I would like to share with you as I said in my opening statement a standardized exam should not be a gatekeeper for graduation standardized exams do not measure to depth and Britton of what we expect of our students standardized exams restrict student’s ability to demonstrate learning how can you demonstrate we’re moving to project-based learning and things of that nature how do you expect these students to demonstrate what they are learning when someone is giving you a standardized exam standardized exams have a history of racial inequity and are bias I can speak as an individual myself and I can go back 25 years when I was in high school and say that I got ready to take my graduation requirement exams I got to walk with my class but I did not graduate with my class because I could not pass that exam that exam to get my diploma that haunted me for a long time that I wasn’t able to walk and be with the people and have a diploma I got a certificate because I could not pass that exam personal experience right here do we want our children to have that same experience no many states have already moved away from exit exams we are behind the times and we’re not ahead 12 states have a graduation test in place for high school as of 2019 and that’s down from 27 states recently Arizona Georgia South Carolina have ended their graduation testing the examiner scores have not even been identified making a decision at this point even more unrealistic too much is being put on a single exam too much I can remember taking my ETS practice exam I put the praxis books and the Bible up under my pillow so that I could get all the knowledge that I needed because I knew that that’s what I wanted to do was to become a teacher and I needed to pass that test that is what you need in order to become a teacher you need that certificate you need that exam to pass the requirements to become a teacher another standardized test I spent so much money in ETS I felt like I needed to buy stock in ETS after seven times of passing that test after seven times of not passing that test I finally passed that test but I was about to give up on my dream of becoming a teacher and I’m glad I didn’t stop dr. lewis has claimed the same exam which serve both as a measure of basic competency for a student’s graduation requirement and as a measure of 9th and 10th content proficiencies for school accountability at ninth and 10th grade I didn’t know what I wanted to do I didn’t know what I wanted I was entering high school I was making friends I was having fun they’re entering into a new world different from elementary and middle school so how can we expect two proficient be proficient in an exam I asked you to listen to what I’ve said think about what I’ve said as well as the other people that have mentioned today the requirements for a graduation and I thank you for your time thank you for being here in your comments timbre brows key welcome thank you for listening to my concerns today dr. timbre brows key from howzit County Schools I represent ke DC superintendents of 65 and a lot of the things that I say you’re gonna be mirrored already and what you’ve already heard so – I’m not going to take a lot of time and reiterate all those things because I think you all have heard them you all are professionals and you you’ve heard the theme throughout the day and I appreciate you all taking the time so I applaud Commissioner Lewis and his staff at kbe for addressing Kentucky graduation requirements while making receiving a diploma from any high school in Kentucky and meaningful document that students and prayer should be proud to achieve I think that’s a given I think you know we need to make sure that whatever the kids come out with they have to work at it they have to work hard but they should be proud of what they receive as well as their parents because we know without the parents it’s even tougher so I come from Allison County a very small rural district in Eastern Kentucky we have 683 students not a big class of students as they come through so whenever we make changes that kte it does have a negative impact on us a lot of times just in changing and finding personnel to cover these classes that we need to be taught it is tough when you’re in a declining student population school very tough along coupled with that with a very low socioeconomic status of alza’ County as well as other districts as well as in other districts that have our populations of those students it’s tough I mean it really is so just please hear me out I do want to talk first on a kind of a plus Delta kind of mindset so first the apprenticeship and internships are great I love the idea love the concept I just wish I could do them I wish that we had these manufacturers and these jobs that kids could go in and mentor and shadow professionals in their work to kind of guide that career I love the idea the SEPA Tech academic indicators besides reading and math and I want to kind of go from graduation and hit into the assessment piece as well I think that’s great as well we’re not just hitting reading and math but I think it’s kind of looking at the more grounded approach to a well-rounded education the growth mindset of individual students the growth scores are helpful for schools and planning which we all know and that’s we set our goals and our teachers work hard and reaching these goals as well as our students and that’s all the growth mindset is a really great way to go in my opinion and then of course the emphasis on work ready programming for students the ideas are great the concept is wonderful again my challenge as well as some maybe other small rural districts in Kentucky is how do we find places for our kids to go if we do go down that road and if there’s options that’s available for us that I think it can be worked out now let’s talk a little bit on the Delta side apprenticeships how will small school districts and those districts with limited resources for apprenticeships slash internship opportunities be held accountable for what we cannot control in this new system opportunity for students in Owsley and other small districts access how we’re going to make sure those kids in our area have the same access that other districts have available for their students so it gets to be an equity piece for me how do rural districts compete that’s kind of a question we have to be thinking about will provisions be made for an alternative is access to those particular job shadowing opportunities this is going to really stretch us if we go down this road but I’m very confident that with the minds and leadership that we have that we could do it special needs students let’s talk just a second especially as students our dear near to my heart just because of I know the challenges that they have but the alternative diploma track are counting against schools and graduation rates okay who have been providing services in education for their specific needs which at times is all-consuming an alternative diplomas be counted toward graduation rates that’s a question okay for example 50 out of 53 kids in my graduating class is all I’m going to be able to count on I can’t count the other three per three students because they’re in our FMD classrooms that needs to be looked at in my opinion because those kids are working at life skills that helps them move on and articulate into the real world that they have to live in with thirst challenges so I think that’s something that we need to consider in a small district we could lose six percent on our graduation rate alone by losing those three kids that’s six percent that’s not easy to look at when we’re looking at the percentages across the state any gap of ten or grade level creates an identifiable subgroup again special needs populations of 10 or more puts put you into the CSI or TSI category how does this impact smaller districts with fewer students to compare this creates a numbers game would like to see more individualized comparisons and their growth and not just subpopulations so I could talk all day I could you you all have got a lot of things to consider but I would appreciate if you do take into consideration districts that have declining student populations lack of teacher support and resources that are available and even finding teachers maybe we need to think about letting our apprenticeships work within our schools right we’re the largest employer something to think about is we look at alternative means to meet our kids needs so again I’ll leave my documents here if you guys look at it and preview but I would and I do appreciate your time wisely nti days are great keep them up I’ll say that you know we’ve we’ve already who’s not using enti days this year but but again we will we plan on using those again and we kind of started this game eight or ten years ago and it’s been good for our kids because our kids are so used to doing it now it’s unreal if we take them away I don’t know what they’re gonna do to me but but at the same time the only challenge I got we need to feed kids on those days right why not it’s a school day and I’ve tried so hard to get that through legislative issues as well as general assembly we need to feed kids on those days and let them allow us to do that that would be a big help you all can help thank you so much thank you dr. barosky is there anyone else here today that would like an opportunity to speak on any of the regulations before us and I have not called you yet
yes sir come on up thank you for being here could you both state and spell your name just so we have it for the record okay my name is Tom roach at far Oh EDG thank you you can begin statement but I’m an employer in a poor County in south-central Kentucky if father of three in a taxpayer and in my district the graduation rates about 98 percent and it really it doesn’t really mean anything because our AC t– scores or I know they’re below seventeen I think they sure the blows sixteen so I’ve gone to my board and I’ve gone to my superintendent I’ve asked them to raise the standards and I’m applaud this group for trying to do this because it’s really necessary that we raise the standards for our students I also have four students right now from three different schools that I have on a co-op program and one from my district Monroe two from that cap one from Barren and I think we may be adding one from Glasgow when we try to teach those kids discipline just how to come in on time how to start to work those kind of thing and it’s very it’s just very important that we raised the standards and I didn’t come here to be positive or negative I just wanted to learn because I know it’s important for our state that we take some risk and try some new new things because really from from Carroll I was a terrible student I think I had a seventeen on my CT in high school but and took me years to get through college to kind of learn how to study but from Curran we’ve really not changed the household income in the state of Kentucky we’re still about the bottom eight or nine and most of my employees have to learn on the job and they’re just not well prepared so I live in a rural poor district where we’re not very well prepared we have some employees that are college graduates that do certain roles but the majority of our kids don’t want to go to college and that degree that high school diploma needs to be have more rigor and I think that children that are given more challenges tend to stay off drugs they tend to be happier and I know my children have when I press them they seem to be happier when they were pushed so algebra I didn’t even know what the requirements were today but I heard that you know they’re talking about dropping out three or two gosh if kids could just count change and I’m not trying to be critical but so many of our students can’t count change and so that’s all I wanted to say just want to comment I enjoyed it today thank you appreciate your comments is there anyone else that would like the opportunity to speak we have some time left available yes please welcome good morning thank you if you could also please state and spell your name for the record sure Marg Ana Stanley ma RG a n n a sta n le wah superintendent of Henderson County Schools we are a school district in the western part of Kentucky we have about 7500 students it’s very interesting today to listen to different counties speak because we all have our own make up and we all have our different opportunities currently for students so I would sit here today and tell you that we have a career in tech center and that is locally owned it’s not state operated and we have 24 pathways that we offer students so in some ways you would think whoa you you’ve got great opportunity for your students and we do but I will tell you that 75% of our students already are enrolled take classes through that career in Tech Center and and it is full there aren’t any empty seats in our career and Tech Center so because we do have opportunity for our students and they take it one of the challenges that we would have moving forward is more staffing to accommodate every student all student and please know as many of the educators spoke we believe in rigor and we believe in high quality education in Henderson and the intent of the high school requirements that are being proposed are idealistic and we we agree with those being the person in the county who has to implement those and find the resources communicate to parents are current seventh and eighth graders how this will impact them moving forward and being able to do that well in two to three months the logistic piece is to that’s too aggressive so the request that we would have is similar to what you’ve heard from other folks sitting behind me and that is let us be a part of finding solutions to the proposal so we can move it forward but not in the pace that is being presented at this at this time in moving forward so kind of slow that pace down let us be a part of involving and finding those solutions so we can help pace and move the requirements forward I think that would be the request and the message that I would like to to share Tay today thank you thank you
seeing no other requests for public comments I would like to go ahead and officially conclude this public hearing on these regulations on behalf of the Kentucky Board of Education the Kentucky Department of Education I would like to thank all of you very much for traveling here today and for being a part of this important process your comments are critical as we go through the regulatory process of getting the best outcome here for children across our state so we thank you for your time we do have a few minutes where we had planned to be in the public hearing Commissioner Lewis has said that he will stay here and while it is not an official part of the public hearing we welcome any of you to stay for an opportunity to have questions and answers with the Commissioner engage in some discussion we’ll only be able to remain here for about 10-15 minutes but we invite you to stay any of you that would like to leave if you could just please do so quietly so that we can begin any Q&A with the Commissioner thank you again for your time and for any members of the media after this 15-minute period is up we will gather in the commissioners conference room just down the hall and we’ll do a media briefing there thank you dr. Lewis is going to say a few words and then we’ll invite anyone with any questions to the table thank you and one final reminder if you spoke today and do have copies of your comments we would love to have them that makes it easier for us to make sure that we are reflecting and catching all of your comments and there is one more day for public comment on these regulations so if you would like to submit public comments in writing please do so by tomorrow thank you good morning ladies and gentlemen I am happy that we have a few minutes remaining in the time can you all hear me I’m happy that we have a few minutes remaining to have a little bit of discussion after the public comment period first of all we want to thank you I want to thank you on the heart on behalf of the department for taking time to come and spend with us to give us feedback give us your thoughts from the various constituencies that you represent whether you be teachers parents community members and we know that it’s many of you make great sacrifices to travel great lengths to get here and to spend time with us and so we are very grateful for your time and your efforts and your interest on behalf of our kids I think one of the things that needs to be really clear is that regardless of what you’ve come to say regardless of your perspective we recognize that everybody is here because you want the best for kids and we’re trying to find ways to ensure that our kids are better prepared for what comes next for them one of the reasons I asked Deana if it was okay if we could spend some time and having a little bit of question and discussion and I want to be really clear just for the sake of time I’m only gonna be able to respond to questions and so I’m gonna ask you to to start thinking about questions that you have and we’ll invite you to the table and ask a question one of the reasons I think it is imperative because I want to be completely honest with you at least half at least half of what I heard today and what I saw in email in terms of what folks have said in opposition to our proposal is in opposition to what we have not proposed so I think there’s an incredible amount of misunderstanding misinformation being spread I heard lots of things today that were great feedback great conversations that we’ve had with folks over the last couple months I mean some as recent as this morning and last night but and and we take all of that comment all those comments and all of those feedback into consideration they help us to come out with a better product but but just to be frank the process works a lot better if we’re actually having conversation about what we have proposed and and not what what we haven’t proposed and so I’ll ask you to think about questions please come forward with questions and we’re more than happy to to answer those in a couple minutes that we have
yes sir and please for the sake of time I’m thinking because we’re limited one question and then if as we run out of time as we run out of time if folks have additional questions please do come back morning good morning so thanks for taking questions I appreciate that I was able to get my statement before you you arrived and so my question kind of hinges on just the overwhelming desire in this room to be a part of solution making that I heard today and so one of my big concerns I don’t to me I haven’t seen any information from KDE and this if I mention my statement about analysis they’ve done about impact or what this will have in our schools so I ran some of my own numbers and I’m looking at the fact that we could have upwards of seventy eight schools hit a graduation rate of lower than sixty percent which is catastrophic and so when you have a lot of desire to help be part of the solution and you have a potential catastrophic outcome I’m wondering what my question would be what is the desire to move at such a quick pace when we have people who want to be a part of the discussion and we have such important outcomes to consider I’ll enter your question your question quickly first we appreciate the desire of people to want to be a part of what we’re doing we continue to solicit feedback we have throughout the process throughout this and if you think back to the time that the State Board of Education alone has been in conversation the State Board is required before filing a regulation which opens the public comment period and public hearing to have two readings right state board actually had conversation on high school graduation requirements and and and solicited formal feedback in for meetings State Board of Education actually doubled the number of meetings where it had this conversation we’ve been soliciting feedback from groups and have had conversations about high school graduation requirements with all of the stakeholder groups that we convene we continue to have conversations with superintendents with teachers I met with the Kentucky parent-teacher Association this morning that that will continue that there may be some disagreement with the pace at which we’re moving to be frank we are moving at a at a at an urgent pace because because the needs of our kids and the needs of our state are such that we have to act quickly that is not to say that we are acting without analysis that is not to say that we are acting without consulting folks without getting great feedback because we are and this is an incredibly important part of the feedback the last thing that I’ll say in response to your question is any analysis that you have done in terms of how many kids would not successfully complete high school graduation requirements has to be completely guesses they have to be based on assumptions because the the numbers that you’re quoting to be to be honest there’s no way you could come up with those numbers no possible way we’re talking about an assessment first of all in reading and mathematics that would be an accountability assessment administered at the tenth grade level on academic standards that are being finalized at this point but also the option for students to complete a portfolio to demonstrate basic competence in reading and math and so any guest that you have about how many kids could successfully do that would be a guess second on the transition readiness requirement even in the early implementation of the accountability system this year even in that early implementation we did not have numbers for last year in terms of the completion of dual credit course work and so you’d have to make guesses as well in terms of how many kids would successfully complete transition readiness requirements but I thank you for your time and your question so would you mind so we need to limit it to one question well you just called what I said a guess and that isn’t a guess it’s face sir we need to limit it to one question thank you for you appreciate you sharing your analysis with us as well thank you very much [Music] commissioner yes sir I want to ask one quick question and it’s really it’s a you’ll probably know who I’m who I’ve been talking with about this question cuz he’s he has been passionate about this but I think we all are and one of the things we’ve talked about is adding college readiness placement success assessments in addition to a CT based on what our colleges and universities accept for admissions without remediation for consideration in the transition readiness piece and I know that there’s some potential conflict conflict in the wording interpretation of SB 1 and you know our advice would be to speak with the authors of SB 1 on the intent there but the question is this one of my colleagues asked could could one of those placement tests that are accepted by colleges and universities fort missions without remediation be a path to graduation on the on in this proposal I understood the first part dr. Flair not the second part of the question I don’t quite understand could it be a path to graduate it’s not allowed in the accountability model is one of the options which currently is not though we’ve advocated for that could it still be though a path to the Diploma so let me ask the answer the first part of the question and I may still need your help with the second part okay [Music] Senate bill 1 from 2007 gives us the parameters for what can be included in in the language of statute is post-secondary readiness and one of those routes to post-secondary readiness and the accountability system is reaching the CPE benchmarks on on the college admissions examination on a college admissions examination the statute did not specifically spell out the examination because it directed us to have a bid process where vendors would bid at this point we have selected a CT and so are our college admissions exam is the a CT as such one of the indicators for secondary readiness or transition readiness in Kentucky is those benchmarks on the AC T the question has been asked and we know we’ve had some conversation about this whether other exams other than college admissions examinations as spelled out in the statute can be used it is our understanding of the statute that that unless it is a college admissions exam as spelled out in the statute that it cannot be used when it references college admissions exams it goes back to the place where it directed us to select one through a bid which we have and and that’s now a CT and so any change in that that would need to come from the General Assembly for us that’s that’s not a decision that that we would make right now and I understand they acknowledge that and and I I don’t want to ask my question around that though our suggestion has been to talk with the authors to make sure that that intent matches what the what your practice is but the the question is is that if a child student you know can pass the college placement exam to enter college without remediation so in other words they could be admitted into college fully ready to take college-level courses not developmental courses but there’s still a risk that they could possibly not meet the graduation requirements is proposed could that be one of the paths and and you and I’ve had some conversations so we honestly one of the paths you were talking about one of the paths to transition readiness it could be transition readiness it you know I mean in my mind it could also be an evidence of even the basic skills requirement if they didn’t meet it in another way so some of these placement exams as you know are criterion-referenced exams not norm reference like the a CT and so you know there there’s there are potential that some students would thrive better and a criterion-referenced assessment setting versus a norm-referenced assessment settings I would I would encourage I would encourage I would encourage you encourage folks to submit that as a comment and and I promise you we will consider it there’s one other thing I’ll address that that was a part of your question and I think it was a big part of a couple misconceptions that I heard today as well I think there are some folks in there comments that thought that there was a benchmark on the AC T that was intended to be used to determine basic competence and reading and math that is not in the proposal there was the assumption as well or the belief that we are proposing an additional competency exam that students would have to take that is not in the proposal as well neither to be clear the examinations that students would take are the same examinations that they would be taking if we were not having a conversation about high school graduation requirements federal and state law require that our students be tested at least once in reading English Language Arts in mathematics in science and in social studies these are the same assessments the conversation we’re having are about the same assessments that those students would take students would be scored at the novice Apprentice proficient and distinguished level like they would any other way the only addition is that we’ve proposed a scale score that would approximate basic competence that would lie in the apprentice range on the exam and that would be one avenue for kids to demonstrate basic competence in reading and mathematics it’s also been also heard in comments today there were lots of folks who testified in opposition to the idea that we are proposing a high-stakes test that if kids do not pass or meet the minimum scale score on this test that they cannot graduate from high school we have not proposed that either in fact we’ve put in the current proposal there are three routes for kids to demonstrate basic competence in reading and mathematics they could demonstrate that by reaching the Scale score which lies in the apprentice range on the examination they could demonstrate that through a portfolio option submitted to the local superintendent where they demonstrate basic competence in reading and mathematics or if they scored at the proficient level or higher on the eighth grade reading and mathematics exam they could demonstrate the the basic competence in reading and math that ways that that’s that’s been a really big misconception in terms of what what I heard today and so I want to take this opportunity to make that really clear for folks we encourage folks to send us comments feedback to disagree with us but but the process works much better if your disagreement or your comments pertain to what we’ve actually proposed but I thank you for your question dr. Flanner and I look forward to continued conversations with you thank you we are over time but there was one lady who was standing up
so I thank you all for your time thank you for being here

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