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House | August 18, 2015 | Committee Room | Education Committee - Community Colleges

Full MP3 Audio File

If everybody would kind of make way to your seats, we'll start. Thank you. Yes take care of itself. I'd like to call to order the meeting of the post community on Community Colleges, we have one bill on the calendar for yesterday, and I'd probably to start off with introducing the pages, there they are on the wall, and The Sergeant At Arms today, Warren Hawkins, Dean Marshbourne, Charles Gadwin, David Lighting[sp?], and Ray Cook. And so also before I begin, I want to recognize Dr. Ross who is joining us today, he's just got a couple of weeks left and we certainly thank him for his service to North Carolina and if you'd like a minute if you have it otherwise you can just watch the proceedings here. We have on our calendar, is Senate Bill 561 alright and we have one of our most distinguished Senators to give it, Senator Barefoot. And just to let you know, this is a PCS to have a motion to accept from Representative Brown, all in favor say aye, any opposed? The ayes have it, the PCS is before us. Senator Barefoot. Thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you members of The House Education Committee and thank you Dr. Ross for your service to the state. You took over during a very tough time in our history and it helped leave the Community College system in a way that we're very proud of. So, we're going to miss you. The bill that's before today is a combination of an effort to try to figure out how we better prepare our students who are coming to the public school system for the opportunities that they're going to seek after they leave the public school system. Just to read some statistics to you, in 2013 52% of students who graduated from High School and immediately enrolled in community were required to take one more remedial courses. Of those students 41% were required to take a remedial Math course and 36% were required to take remedial reading in English. In 2013/14 school year the State unfortunately did not meet A. C. T benchmarks in English, Math, Reading, Science or Writing. Moreover research shows that students who enter college under prepared and requiring remediation, are much less likely to graduate and frequently do not enroll in classes of any kind and then most of you know this, in today's world the skills gap is growing not shrinking and it's more important than ever, that when our students graduate from high school, they're proficient in math and reading. If they are not the world can be a very scary place. This bill seeks to provide a path for high school graduates, recently graduated high school graduates to be prepared for the community college or their career and what it essentially does is it sets up parameters by which the community college system, in consultation with the Department of Public Construction and the State Board of Education will come up with a program to offer both a developmental math and a developmental reading course in the fourth year of high school, for students that do not meet a certain ACT benchmark in those subjects. And if those students complete that program in a manner that is sufficient by the community college standards when they enroll a few months later into the community college system they will be given for the nine credit bearing class and be allowed to start earning credit to the community college immediately and I can help staff walk through the bill or I can do it myself whichever pleases the committee. So basically I will describe you changes in the P. C. S from the senate version essentially give the community college system, the State School Board and the Department of instruction more flexibility in coming up with the parameters of the program. It's based on in

some part a program that was done in Tennessee called Tennessee sales, where they started offering developmental math classes to recently graduated senior high school students and they've had a 70% approval rating and those students passing that course and then directly enrolling in credit bearing courses and their community college system. So the first thing that the bill does is it requires the State Board of Education and Community College System Developments Program, it asked them to develop measures by which they would determine student readiness and preparation for college coursework by using ACT scores, every student in the state North Carolina has to take The ACT during their Junior year regardless of what their path is. In the second phase it allows the state board in the Community College to come up with changes in curriculum policies and rules that are necessary to provide these readiness classes in the fourth year. Every student in the State of North Carolina is required a fourth Math and a fourth English in reading in High School regardless of what track they own. It allows them to use curriculum that is approved by the State Board of Community Colleges and this determinations who is ready will be made by the State Board of Community Colleges in last piece. This classes will be taught by High School Faculty, and there will be, in the training will be established by the Community College system and they will be oversight by the Community College System. They will come up with the program that will report back to us next year and then at that time we would evaluate those responses and determine how to move forward with the [xx]. Thank you Senator, I think before we get questions, is there any [xx] from the public that want to speak so you may also get questions asked, if there is anybody from the public that want to speak on this? Alright, seeing none, I have Representative Shepard, oh, I'm sorry Sander go ahead. If I can make one more comment, this bill was developed and in consultation with the State Board of The Community College System, the Department of Public Instruction and they have been very favorable in this process Representative Shepherd. Thank you Mr. Chair I have a couple of questions and I may have a follow up. Senator Barefoot, thank you for being I support this but did you mention in your presentation that will be required in their junior to take the ACT? That is a current requirement. Is a current requirement, okay. And that still a part of this? Yeah, what we are doing is we're asking the State Board Community College is they develop their question of who will be eligible to take this course? Thus we are asking them to take the ACT as a component of that readiness factor which is already done in North Carolina. Follow up. Follow up. With all that being said I'll talk to the principle of my local area and he has had some concerns recently with that and he has asked us about adjusting the fact that the students have the ACT looks great. Some students don't plan to go to college at all, they are doing something else and he called me in his office last year this principle and said, I heard this one student came in and he said, "I don't want to take the A. C. T. " And he said, " What are the requirements you have to take it? " He would just obvious go in there and put anything on the test then. And so that concerns me if we require people that are going to some sort of technical school that where they don't need the A. C. T that we continue to require them to take it in their junior year, and they just flippantly go in and put anything on the test just to say they've That was a little concern. So I was going to ask you, did you all consult with any of the educators in adopting this? I know you deal with the community colleges, but they need our high schools weigh in on this, and anybody from DPI weigh in on this with you Owen. Just give me a route to that if you would. The Department of Public Construction this year they can speak to their involvement. I will tell you that this bill doesn't really have anything to do with whether students take the ACT or not this bill just directs the community college system to use that data point as part of their formula for who would need some type of remediation, I would say that. That's a whole different issue in my opinion. Representative Shepard are you looking for somebody from DPI? Is there anybody who could answer that? Please.

Good morning, Rebecca Garland, deputy state superintend Department of Public Construction. Yes, our students in North Carolina in their junior year are required to take the ACT. It was part of the State Board of Education's plan to ensure that children are on a career in college ready pathway. We do encourage our principals to have conversation with students, so that they understand the importance of our students taking the ACT seriously. If you look at Community College data, I think one of the things we found is that, students may go not directly into the community college upon graduation but a lot of our students who do not go on to the higher education who go into the work force, found out later that they need to go back to the community college to take courses if they are going to progress in whatever their career pathway is. And so we are tying to have conversation with students to let them understand that having the core knowledge at the end of their high school career, whether they go directly into the workforce, is very important because at some point they may have to come back and go to the community college and they need those college preparation skills particularly in reading and math if they're going to be successful. A lot of the jobs now require more rating in math and many of our students understand that they do. So that was the reasoning behind the ACT, and working with community college in this project is just one more area where we partner with community college to try to ensure that our students are career and college ready. So that's why we support the bill. Senator? And if I can make a comment too sir, representative Shepard what's in it for the students is this, if they're on a career track, or say they want to go to a community college, but they don't want to take the ACT or they don't want to do well at it, and they're going to do remedial math. Number one, they're going to be paying for classes at the community college level for which they get no credit for. Their parents are going to be paying for those, so it's an additional expense to them whereas under this bill they can get credit in advance for those non-college credit bearing classes and that's a big deal. So, there's an advantage here to the student to make sure they're prepared to go to community college so they don't waste their time and their money when they get there and it costs the state $24 million a year. Go a head Representative Shepard. Thank you Mr. Chair, I just want a follow up. I support what you are doing here. My problem is, it's really an issue for me when a student gets to that point in their education career and they're not able to go to community college without taking these courses. Something's wrong when you get to the 11th and 12th grade and you can't read enough or have the skills enough to read and do the math and so on and so forth, that you got to do all these and that's my concern something going on before you get to that point, thank you. I think this is helpful for the community to understand as a whole that I didn't mention in the beginning I agree with Representative Shepard it's a problem. And that's kind of why this bill came about. This General Assembly has made a lot of efforts to ensure that in the early grades in one, two, three, our students are being able to read, write and do math in an appropriate way but there's a whole couple of generations of kids who are socially promoted under former policies that are now reaching the end of their high school career and we can't just we can't just continue to let them drift out there and say this is an effort to provide an opportunity for them as they Representative Goodman. Thank you Mr. Chair, I got a couple of questions and a comment. I'll have one for Rebecca Gallon[sp?] with DPI of Shikha[sp?] Go ahead.  I'm just curious, did The Department of Public Construction not recently implement a program similar to this, maybe this is the first year? Is there something already out there like it to address us? We have worked with the southern states SREB in an effort to come up with a college level Math course and a college level English course, that students who do not do well on the SAT have the opportunity to take, the math course we've actually implemented. Now it is aligned across all of the Southern state.community college, university folks helped with the design of that course but it is not directly related to the North Carolina Community College program of study and so this

obviously if we work with them to develop a remediation course then it will be exactly and what our Community College would want our students to know and be able to do. They have a common course code Follow up course directory then we would know what those entry level courses are and we can directly align our senior level curriculum with their beginning and English and Math courses. Will this eliminate that course of study or is there some and see if they're both skilled there.? We'd have to review both the courses. That fourth course that has been implemented can be used as the fourth course that is required for entry into the UNC system. It does meet that level of mathematics and so we could be that this is a partner course so that the students have two options at the senior year, but we would look at the in both to see if they are redundant. Representative Senete. Next question would be possibly for the bill's staff how exactly is this oversight by the community colleges going to work. So, part of what this bill does as it directs the State Board of Community Colleges in consultation with the State Board of Education and if we are to come up with that and so they are going to come back to us and they are going to look at a model that they can agree upon in terms of a way to do oversight in a way that they can agree upon and bring that back to the General Assembly. One brief comment, I spoke with with a Community College President and a high level staff member at another Community College and two K12 educators and they were all unanimous in their dislike for this bill. They couldn't figure out how the oversight thing was going to work community Colleges people that I talk to didn't like the idea of going into a high school and telling high school Math teachers and English teachers how to teach course. They saw it as a problem for them staff-wise. One comment I got from a Community College Present is this would just duplicate things that are already going on, and interesting thing it was a very good idea. Representative Holley. Thank you Mr. Chair, I have a couple of questions. One, I'd like to say of Representative Goodman's concern that this is some redundancy. What it looks like is you're trying to make the high school do as opposed to do which is educate these kids anyway by the time they get out of high school. Who's going to pay for this program? Is this program paid for by the high school? Or is it paid for by the community college? That's one. Also I've got a question about the mandatory remedial courses requirement for the occupational course of study that they can, they don't have to take these classes and I don't understand why they would be excluded especially if they plan on going through a community college to get a job skill where that requirement is going to be, I just I'm very uncomfortable with it because I don't fully understand it, it looks like a duplication, high school is supposed to teach high school, and I know we're doing a lot of remediation community colleges, but is this the answer has to be on the study to show what is actually needed to be done to make sure our kids are prepared when they get out of high school to go to the community colleges, I'd like to hear from the school board person about what did they feel about this OC the Occupational courses of study and who's going to pay for this if possible. Senator, first if you don't mind go ahead. well, I will like Rebecca Chamian where she needs to the OCS and if you look at the exception, their parents can still opt them into the program. The reason why they were accepted is because those were special needs students. Those are special needs students and so some of them may have learning disability that require a special situation, but if they are on a career track and their parents want them to stay on that track, their parents can ask for them to opt into it. On the cost, that's something that the community college system and the State Board of Education will report back to us. I think the idea is very simply that in the forth year of these subjects the teachers who are already teaching, I mean think about, whats the point in teaching a math four to a student who is already behind in basic subjects? This isn't just for the

benefit of the flow of the system, this is also to the benefit of the student to make sure they're not getting a high school diploma and being completely under-prepared in the basic skills they need to be successful citizens in the state and [xx] Madam? Yes I was going to speak to the occupation course of study. There's a very limited population who gets the OCS diploma, all of those students have an individual education plan, they're all special education students I think the number is somewhere around 2, 000 students out of a graduating class of 90000 each year so it is a very, very small population. Typically those students do not go successfully to the community college system, I think it's also important to note and many of our students have a misconception about the Open in Roma policy of the community college system.community college systems mission is to serve students wherever they are and help take them to the next step. And so some of our high school students have the misconception that we have worked really hard every last few years to try to correct. That if you are going into credit bearing courses at the community college system, that you have to have college level reading and maths skills. Open in Roma does not mean open admission into credit bearing courses. and so that is, we are trying to educate our students at the high school to understand that you have to be ready to do college level work if you are going at the community college system, and that has been an education for many of our students who felt that they could just go to the community college system and go immediately into a course and that is simply not true. And so, it is a re-education of the students to understand that many of the jobs today, require much higher math and reading skills that should do many of the certifications at the community college you have to have high level reading and math skills and so it is a message that has to start early in a child's career at kindergarten through fifth grade that we're talking about a need for high level mathematics and so that is, it is what we're trying to do in page 12 to send a different message to our students that upon graduation they have to be ready to do high level reading [xx]. Representative Earle. Are you comfortable with this program the way it is? How do you feel about this? I do think it sends a message to students that there is an expectation that you must be able to do math at a level to go to the next place and that without those skills, then your job options and your success at the community college is probably not guaranteed and so it is, that's why the board adopt a career in college ready standards, that's why the board has new assessments in place to try to drive that information home beginning in kindergarten actually, when students are learning much higher level math and reading than they've ever had before. So all of that has been put in place but I think what Senator Barefoot said it's true. A generation has to come through with that new higher expectation starting at kindergarten and so we got to have some measure with our students who are more better than the high school level for them to understand that it is a different day when it comes to what you have to know and be able to do if you truly are career ready when you graduate from high school. It's OK. Representative Tine. Thank you madam. Thank you Mr. Chairman. First of all I am encouraged by this bill because the more we involve our community colleges with our struggling at LEAs the better off we are especially in some of our rural communities that don't have a lot of outside participation. My one question though is we have remediation classes going on in our universities system as well how would this translate, I know they don't have to take when they get to community college as it have, have we look to the relationship with the university system based on this program too? So, a few of the members mentioned duplication. This program doesn't really duplicate anything that's going on. My understanding of of what the Department of Public Instruction has been working with their college partners on is developing a remedial course in the high schools for students that may be scored below the ACT level, but are looking at going into the university system. So, this program is specifically geared towards students

who are going to the community college system where our remedial rights were just a lot higher for recently graduated high school students, and so, you are going to have both of those avenues available to them. You are okay? Representative Watford Thank you Mr. Chairman. Do you get high school credit for the remedial courses taken in your senior year I assume you do from the discussion that has taken place. Yes that's what the advantage is to the student, you can take, if you score below a certain number on the ACT and there are some other factors that they'll decide, and you opt to take, you have to take this class in your fourth year you are going to get credit both at the high school level and if you perform well or not at the community  college level too which saves you money and time Representative daughtry.yes.my question has been answered, thank you. Any other questions Representative Brown? Thank you Mr. Chairman, for a motion. I think your motion is in order. I move for a favorable report to the Proposed Committee Substitute of Senate Bill 561, unfavorable to the original. Everyone heard the motion, all those in favor say aye, all opposed no, It looks like the ayes have it. Senator you bill passes and I guess one last before we adjourn Dr. Ross, if you want to say something this looks like it going to be your last Community College meeting here. Well thank you, first I wanted to say thank you to all my the representatives and the senators who we've become very much friends and I appreciate the way you've worked with us and supported community colleges, that's why I say a big thank you to Department of Public Instruction, we began work in 2008/2009 on addressing the issues around remediation and developmental and we have not found this weak spot yet and I appreciate your continuation to move that forward but we've made a great deal of progress. A great deal of progress and progress happens when sectors work together, I think a lesson if I may, that has not worked for us is when we talk about college and career readiness and isolation, that we miss like this and that where students fall through the cracks. So when we're talking about it together, when we're approaching it together the next in the best interest of our students, that's in the best interest of their success, that's the best interest of our state, so we'll continue to need to move forward, they'll be continued struggles continued tweaks, but the efforts to pull us together to have this conversations together, so I want to thank Rebecca Gadwin, all the public school representatives as well as the UNC representatives because that is something that makes North Carolina unique and something that I hope to take as I leave North Carolina as a model as I work in the future, so thank you for your support and thank you for your support of community colleges. Well after those words of wisdom this committee is adjourned. Thank you.