... Why don’t we start over here with Representative Cotham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, and good morning superintendents. I am Tricia Cotham. I represent North Carolina House District 100, which is the town of Matthews and a small town called Charlotte. I am a teacher by trade and a former principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Systems. Welcome to the North Carolina House and thank you Mr. Speaker for bringing these members here today and for your leadership. We look forward to hearing from you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Johnson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi. I’m Representative Johnson. I represent Cabarrus County. I’ve been with the general assembly 14 years. I want you to know how very grateful I am that you came today. I want you to know that this is not a dog and pony show, we really want to hear what you have to say. We want to discuss it. We want to solve problems. Thank you again for coming today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] By the way, to touch on what Representative Johnson said about a dog and pony show, the only reason there are press and cameras here today is because we are a public institution. And if we didn’t do it, I think we would probably be criticized for it. But it’s certainly not for any purposes other than the purposes they have to report the news. We’re not capturing this for our purposes, I want to make that very clear. Representative Jeter. Incidentally, those members who have education background, state why you are here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This breaks my policy of not talking on the floor. My name is Representative Charles Jeter. I’m a first term House member for Mecklenburg County. I am a member of the education committee. For me, the compelling reason of why I wanted to be here and be a part of this is I’m one of the few members who have three children in our public school system. I have a sixth grader, a fourth grader and a kindergartener. This is something that touches home for me in a very real manner. What you all do makes the ability of what we do easier. So I appreciate you all being here and I echo Representative Johnson and the speaker’s comments. We’re here to listen and learn. We don’t know all the answers and we’re hoping to get it from you all. Thank you all for coming. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually Representative Jeter, you’ve reminded me. I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to managing flow on the floor. I think most of my members would agree with that, cruel but fair. I want to make sure we keep our introductions to about 20 seconds, because we have about 12 or 13 other members who want to speak. Representative Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. Welcome everyone to the House floor. Thank you for being here today. My name is Brian Brown. I represent the 9th District which is Pitt County. I would just keep it brief by saying thank you very much for your wiliness to attend and share your thoughts today to help us build education policy here in North Carolina. I do serve as the Vice-Chair of Education, and I’m also on Education Appropriations. Thank you for being here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lambeth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. Thank you all for being here. We’re very pleased that you all made an effort to come here. I represent District 75. I’m a former chairman of the school board there in Forsyth County for the past 18 years. I’m very fortunate to be here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ford. Representative Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. I’m Representative Martin. I’m proud to have given up my seat to my superintendent John ??. I’m in Wilson County, representing House District 8, Wilson and Pitt Counties. Last year I served as the president of the PTO for the public middle school where my teen age daughters have attended. I’m interested as a parent. I serve on the education committee. I’m fortunate to have some good contacts in my county and a great relationship with my superintendent. I’m eager to hear from all of you as well, so thank you for taking the time to be here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I can assure you that Representative Martin looks nothing like Representative Ford. Representative Arp. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker. I’m honored to have you ladies and gentlemen here. My name is Dean Arp. I represent Union County. I’m also like Representative Lambeth a former school board member for 12 years. Our challenges are difficult and collaboration is the best way to go forward. So thank you for coming here and giving us your thoughts. We certainly appreciate them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McNeill. Sorry about that Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ken Goodman, representing District 66. I’m probably the only person here who has five superintendents in my district, plus a former superintendent over there that I see. I just welcome you all here today. I’m here to learn from you and I hope to learn a lot this morning. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Murray. I’m having a crosswalk. I have lights up here that…
Members names. I'm so accustomed to jumping to them I've got to look and see who's sitting in the seats to see if I can get it right. Representative Murry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Speaker. My name's Tom Murry, I represent the Western part of Wake County: Carry, Apex and Morrisville. Wake county has no issues on our school board. But I am the chair of the house commerce committee, and what I'm interested in is your thoughts on how we can prepare the next generation of employees for economic development in our state. And that's my interest in hearing from you and the meeting that we will have with other educators across our state. Thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Steinburg. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Speaker. I'm representative Bob Steinburg, I represent Northeastern North Carolina district one, and just to show you how connected I am with two of my six superintendents, when I walked into the hall they were sitting in my seats. So we're thinking about each other in all sorts of different ways. You didn't know it was my seat, did you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh yeah they did. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh they did? Okay. Well they did. [laughter] But we're delighted to have you all here, thanks so much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hurley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Speaker. I'm proud to have Diane Fost, superintendent of the year, sitting in my seat last year [laughter]. She was glad to be on the whole committee this year for our schools. I am a product of public schools myself, and I am very proud to have you here and have all of you here. Thank you for coming and being interested in helping our students. And we want to help any way we can. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, I'm Representative Marcus Brandon representing district 60: Greensboro, High Point and home of Mo Green. But I really appreciate you guys being here, I think you do extraordinary work and if you think there's anything I can do please let me know. Thanks a lot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Langdon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm Representative James Langdon. I spent 37 years in public education, 33 as a teacher and 4 as an administrator. And this is my fifth term and ?? education and house committee. It's very pleasure to have you here, and I hope that [Ann Cook] will help us do the things that we need to do to improve public education in North Carolina. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ramsey. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, my name is Nathan Ramsey. I represent Buncombe County, district 115. In the House I'm a freshman, so like Representative Jeter, this is my first time for speaking on the House floor. Will try to be brief, but I can't say my name in 20 seconds. Glad to have superintendent Johnson with Asheville City schools - part of the district that I represent is in Asheville City school district - and superintendent Baldwin with Buncombe County schools here today. They work vey hard for 30,000 students each and every day to try to prepare them for a rapidly changing world. So thank you all for coming down today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Speaker. John Torbett representing Gaston district 108. I'm here in full support of, and to listen to my superintendent Reese McGlowen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The superintendents, the-- we've got a good mix of members here today. Many of them with educational background from rural districts, urban districts. Democrats, republicans, men and women, black, white. And I think it's a reflection of the community of superintendents that are here as well. I see Representative IIer Did you just come in Mr. IIer? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did, Mister Chairman. May I speak for not to exceed two minutes? Personal privilege? [SPEAKER CHANGES] 20 seconds. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Speaker. I'm very proud to have Doctor [Air Pruden] who's sitting in my seat right here in front of me. And his father served in the Senate in the 70s, I believe - back in the 70s - Doctor [Air Prudent Sr.], as a chaplain. Served in the Senate chaplain. So proud to have him with us. He represents Brunswick County, which I represent about 2/3s of that county, and thank you for being here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Blackwell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm Hugh Blackwell, I represent Burke County here in the House. I'm beginning my third year as one of the co-chairs of education appropriate sub-committee. I served eight years on the board of education at home before coming to the legislature, and I'm delighted that you're all here and would like to welcome you.
I'm going to have to leave in a minute for an appointment, but I will be back because I want to hear what you have to say. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holloway [SPEAKER CHANGES] Bryan Holloway I represent Stokes and Rockingham counties. This is my ninth year. I was education appropriations and education policy chair last session. This time I am full appropriations chair, but it's a pleasure to have you here today. It's good to see everyone. It's good to have both my superintendents here. I've got to step away at 11:30, but again I'll be back as well because I do want to hear the conversation, and I think it's very good that we're doing this. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Have all the house members in the chamber introduced themselves? You know you've made it when you have the- Oh, I'm sorry. Representative Tine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was going to sit quietly because I'm like the other freshmen. I have talked too much on the floor. But I'm Paul Tine. I represent District 6, which is Dare, Hyde, Washington, and the northern half of Beaufort. Happy to have several of my folks here. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Elmore [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi I'm Representative Elmore. I represent District 94, and I've got Dr. Cox here from Allegheny County, and I represent about 98% of Wilkes County. ?? ?? There he is up in the front. ?? ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hastings, find a mic and introduce yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Kelly Hastings, Cleveland and Gaston Counties. Appreciate the being here today. Thank you, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore. We're not asking for a motion, just- ?? ?? Representative Moore is our rules chair. He goes robotic on me sometimes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, I'm Ted Moore. I represent Cleveland County. I actually have two kids in the public schools- a seventh grader and a fifth grader in Kings Mountain. Good to have you all here, and I'm going to have to step out, too, here in just a few minutes, but want to hear the conversation also. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was about to say, you know you've made it when the operating clerk today is our lieutenant governor. Lieutenant Governor Forest, please introduce yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning, everybody. I'm Dan Forest, lieutenant governor. It's obviously great to have you here, Mr. Speaker. Thank you so much for doing this, and then for inviting the president of the Senate to come and listen as well. Obviously we don't have all the answers for education- you do. And so we really just want to hear you out, hear what you have to say, and move North Carolina forward into the 21st century of education. So thanks for making the time and sacrificing on this miserable day to come out and do this. Mr. Speaker, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For the purposes of hearing from superintendents, we're about to move into stopping talking and listening to you all. You'll notice that you have the white buttons just in front of the microphones. If you would like to be recognized and make any comments what we would ask you to do is simply press the light and I will recognize you in turn. When you're recognized, if you could state your name and the county that you're from, I think that would be helpful for the members. Just before we get started, maybe we'll go back, but Representative Pierce, why don't you introduce yourself in 20 seconds or less. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. State Representative Garland Pierce, I represent Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, and Richmond, so I should have four superintendents somewhere around here today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Now we're at a point to where the toughest thing is probably the first person who has to speak. So, I think we don't have a problem with that, Reeves. Please introduce yourself to the group. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, Reeves McGlohon, I'm superintendent in Gaston County. I think they asked me to go first because I've been around here 43 years, and I would say thank you to you and the members of the house. This is the first time in 43 years that superintendents have been invited to do this, and we're very appreciative of the invitation, of the opportunity to have dialogue, and of your leadership and the leadership of the house. They also asked me to talk about the one issue that I think nobody wants to talk about today, and that's budget. That's the one thing that we want to share with you. Get it off the table first. We understand that we live in a world where resources are few and needs are great. Whether we're talking our county commissioners, our members of Congress, or members of the general assembly, that's an issue that comes up. We're very appreciative of what you did last year to help begin to eliminate
The discretionary, we understand that was something that you're not a party of bringing in the world are we appreciate your assistance and in getting rid of it to Islam’s budget is concern I think you'll find that all education groups have as their number one priority lessening the discretionary, working out of that situation are congestion county, we have to cut the last four years some $27,000,000, 500 on plus jobs on we've learned how to live with less than two and productivity of discretionary company is this something that we find to be very difficult to work with a new reason for that is by the time we get some discretionary, we cut everything we can, cannot continue to question them so we would as if you continue the work you started last year alone do whatever you can to eliminate on as much if not all that discretionary competition can a (SPEAKER CHANGES) I think it's a good thing it's a great starting point of precedent of bets on your monitor on our mind all scientists from aid from organizational perspective where the end was so as being promptly and one on the west CIA members light on pricing that a member who wants to respond a question of one way on my control panel are listening to the one before eliminate so you do have pointed to one to write it would be helpful for you to put relying on Nelson, get some sense of the economic outlook and one topic vs. and other topics are you have anything you want talk about of the point of internal white LC of a novelty of recognizing any one to a request to speak and the war the lawmaker lights up about the budget now both of my staff on the spot the values can speak until about 90 seconds to go beyond we talk a little bit about the changing the concept of budgeting, for me to work in progress but the budget situation this year is far better than the budget situation about ourselves and 2001 we had to make cuts we are we try to do the best we could and we try to provide some flexibility along the way on this year is a lot of different story we have got a structural the structural deficit of about two and half $1,000,000,000 to sort through and 2011 based on the consensus revenue forecast we have now we have well over 100,000,000 surplus or body goes away thinking that are millions about the spending of education probably not the case because we're more identify some areas project cleanup and human services for the people around some nice about overage and what we're trying to do is work towards a no less than what was appropriated 2011 objective and of the two were successful within a week working well now so please send we have no more money one of things we want to do is talk about things we can do like to spend the money different perspective on priorities are bracing for you at some stations that we have to have to go are also try to sort out the extent to which the a sequestration when affects the funding flows from the Federal government and a lot of that is obviously one of the depending on what a pity on changes occur on 22 countries the president on the discussion of sequestration repeated this point we have to assume that one of our ad saying their investments fell about how that affects North Carolina think overall overall categories spending on Tuesday to patients about $300,000,000 deficit estimate somewhere in a row of of a 30 to 60,000,000 dollars in education on so we talk about baton and specifically we need to talk about the kinds of your programs far how is funding sources are being used on affects you think you'll be all within a month ago follower of light and it goes to the discretionary cuts the resumption of lake stocked with the concept or try to see if we can it support four and a base, like two of introduce my chief of staff Chris eighties but if I can talk and general concept be happy to entertain any of the reactions and written about ?? Director Leon was in a speech about a particular topic to prison if you could a upwards and Johnson believes the portraits guess (SPEAKER CHANGES) I just wanted to address on the street estimate increased question about whether ……..
We continued communication with the influence of the speaker with Intel where to continue just as we were before and as much information as we can in we consider this option as well and had on to our regular process and alternative opposition usually. On fees gossipers forgive me if will result. In your computer speakers are someone concepts overworking wanted will want your feedback on input and development is will the funding streams the funding formulas that we have the state how do we get that more streamlined and collapse so that it's not probably telling you where you have to spend your money on these streams whether it's XYZ nurses to your 80s teachers but give you the design of the flexibility to implement your system everywhere 1415 funding streams now how do we clapped that down 1 1/4" block grant scenario where you're given the money to give the flexibility to design the program that best suits your school district and were just here to measure results based on the flexibility to be think about it in the concept as we move forward is getting rid of the strings of North Carolina a of the state funding enough in those formulas just give you a bit autobody all the experts is as tall white society inside the speaker for Mono disfigures is your the experts in this area how do we get out of your way to let you design your programs and spend money are you is what we need to do also happy to entertain in a reaction workers said it's in the early stages will really talk about God as a set of adding the legislature coming out and assume that the discretionary Model all the ways that we structured funding stream or is the framework we have to work with and we think the framework and you won't regularly give us feedback on how to do that I think the other thing we have to do is find ways that we can drive out efficiencies that are either through state funding or other funding sources and reward the school systems of on those efficiencies by allowing them to retain them in their districts and use the road out are probably some school districts that are either their their their viewers there are percent of fish by others who may be able to find efficiencies in the past I don't think that the counties in the state's have done a very good job of rewarding any government institution were actually taking Russ and implementing measures that make it more efficient because technically the reward for that was sweet that money away is fed up with some other purpose the portable child who also is to radically are called finders keepers and often criticized for impress them by the concept concept this for you all to go out and find these things up for us to create structures in place it rewarded for 500 savings and reinvest them back into the into the school systems are think it's and a child were red and irritated the cash constrained mode it's the only way to we can find near-term additional money and and the reason for that is not competing across the board Health and Human Services as the governor said is broken and urban hundreds of millions of dollars that have not been spent for productive purposes that have to continue to manage the crisis so that I don't want anyone leaving the room thinking that the soon-to-be significant sums of money that there may be as the economy terms that turns additional money are clearly there will be at some point in time right now it's more about how we get more out of overspending today out of our rewarding school systems for increased efficiency measures which could be up to and including collaboration with other school systems to reduce regional cost I don't know the things that we consider before there may be examples weren't working today the best sort of thought process that we want to discuss in and figure out how the legislature would help to facilitate that xenobiotic Peter Jillson Limassol sailing committee is a proven and him superintendent Brunswick County we really appreciate this unique and special opportunity dialogue today very much Mr. Speaker the superintendents of North Carolina are extremely concerned about any legislation that would create a tax credit or voucher system unanimously North Carolina superintendents consider tax credits or vouchers to be the single greatest threat to public schools such legislation how old with other bills providing tax
The for children with disabilities corporate scholarship funds a home schooled income tax credits and others have begun the process of the flooded and unraveling the traditional public school system that has served the commandant general welfare of our state in tax credits and vouchers we see profound issues of accountability accessibility and public from its in North Carolina and across the nation as a coordinated effort to pass laws that would divide schools in the 22 years thereby recreating a dual system of public education in the United States will systems would be funded with taxpayers' money the same dollars that the voted to public schools that are two schools by the sectarian and charter would be able to select the students and would accept tax credits and vouchers for scholarships as partial or full payment discovered two a schools would be in a position to two students with greater academic potential and greater economic resources and would be able to deny admission to students with educational challenges are lower tier schools would be the remnant of the press and public school system and would serve children who were not selected a private charter schools children of poverty children with disabilities children whose first language is not English whereas still segregation was by race new segregation would be by socioeconomic clients are those who desire to return of the segregated days of all one is about as good as the other we will be turning our backs on 70 years of social progress we will be sowing the seeds for two Americans as Abraham Lincoln said a house divided against itself cannot stand there have been only two institutions in which a cross section of American Society works behind and played together the armed forces and the public schools these two institutions enable Americans of every race religion or national origin to stand trial in discovering their common humanity and learning how to interact with each other in meaningful and positive way it's if experience is prepared them for citizenship and even our society and the world of work that the armed forces are staffed entirely by volunteers but public school is now the only institution remaining in which all of god's children when play and grow together preparing them for effective citizenship and for participation in the workforce this is America’s unique source of string detail to divide and privatize public education comes at a time when public schools are enjoying the greatest. A significant improvement in North Carolina before your graduation rates has risen from 66% in 1996 when all time high of 80% in 2012 dropout rate is falling annually in this at all time low of 3.49 percent wheel academic and accountability standards for strengthening public schools run as a continuous improve America’s public schools are the bedrock of a democracy and, in some of the world's greatest economy they undergird the world's greatest system of higher education balls members of this general assembly receive their own education and public schools with the speaker public schools and we are the social fabric that binds a nation together we cannot allow our school system to be provided into an instrument every segregation or private as for the enrichment of educational entrepreneur is iris Mann regarded as the father of the American public school system once said that the public school is the greatest discovery of may engage in public schools of the wellspring of a sense of community and economic prosperity and our social fabric with the speaker public education must be preserved supported and strength but the Dr. (SPEAKER CHANGES) I am a legend of this up because of the kitchen area where we have taken on some of what we will have the …………
Some disagreement. One, I think your comments were very eloquent. I'd actually like to get a copy of them if they were documented as you spoke. The, a part of your comments are founded on an end state that I'm not sure is consistent with what's being discussed among members who support some sort of a tax credit framework. First and foremost, it's at least one member's position, my position, that any kind of a tax credit measure needs to be focused on the lowest and most at risk socioeconomic strata that we have in school systems. That I think there's a lot of compelling data saying that as we're reforming the school system, there are parents out there that may need to be afforded other choices. And I think that you will see any bill that comes out of the House having threshold testing that would focus on those, that socioeconomic strata that needs options. And I'm gonna put Representative Brandon on the spot here and I'm gonna give him a moment to think about what he's gonna say before he says it, but Representative Brandon and I are two people that have developed a relationship over the last couple of years. We come from different sides of the aisle. We come from different ethnicities. We have very little in common, Marcus, but we're friends and colleagues on this issue. And what we're trying to talk about is something in between. This is not a broad based plan to all the sudden eliminate K-12 public education. It's an absurd notion for one thing. There's no way economically that I think that it would work or structurally that it would work. So I think it has more to do with the plan design, because you obviously have a lot of passion around this. I'd like to tag you as a potential candidate for the working group that we'll create out of a subset of superintendents here to talk with us about the plan design. So that we can talk specifics. The problem that we have with a lot of these issues is people are opposed to it, take it to the logical extreme, that they see this being a camel's nose under the tent and one step in the chess game and endgame to privatize education. I think that's an absurd notion for the reasons you've mentioned. But I do believe there are some valid arguments about providing some choices for a segment of the population that right now, I think we can argue, is not getting exactly what they need out of a given school. Not necessarily a system. This isn't about targeting systems, but Representative Brandon I can't force you to speak, but if you would like to just illuminate the mic and speak from the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I have struggled with this issue and I come from a background, from a community where I have lots of children who need choices because we have struggling folks getting high school diplomas, and I've got 60% of those kids of my district that are not reading on grade level, and really when you're talking about academic, I look at a situation where it's academic genocide, where the numbers that you're talking about, you can spread it across a district and it doesn't look so bad, but when you concentrate it into communities, those numbers double and triple. So when you say 40% are not graduating, well that's like 70% in communities ??. And so that's a difficult situation and I think that the best thing that we can do in this body and working with you guys is that if we can have a conversation of not charters versus public or private versus public, but a conversation of how we can create the capacity to educate all the different needs of our kids. And if we have that, because a lot of it's rhetoric. I understand the kids in my community. Even if we did give, even if we did have a tax credit or a voucher, not all of them are gonna be able to take advantage of that. It's not going to deplete, the rhetoric is it's gonna take money from public schools and it's gonna deplete public schools, but we've had this in other states, all over the country, and that does not seem to be the case. But I think the rhetoric sometimes hurts us because it pits us one against the other, when one, when we really could be having a conversation of how do we meet all the different needs of all the different children in our community, and this is just one more tool in the toolbox that we can, that we can utilize. But certainly the rhetoric, and insightfulness of it, does present a challenge for people like me and others who have to make a tough choices. But we would love for you guys to give us input and let us know how this could be the least restrictive environment for you guys in terms of that. But I can promise you that most of the people that I've worked with on this bill and people that have been working on this bill for several
This bill that is the first thing that would be to develop and spent all of those arsenal golf 90% of our students go to public schools and if at first, to miss a beat bill when will we also have an identical to the home school virtual school at school and their representative I am not responsible represent all those parents will understand it from your point of view but also understand from within a point of view them in contact with them for all of my constituents and therefore you wouldn't think of before you have to go to the school that has been battling to four above 0.2 decades is not something that conflicts with a pennant race and tell them the one I definitely wanted a big Mac industry Republic will, by the public schools pay for college and my kids will be an awfully good and honest and other people have to pitch with (SPEAKER CHANGES) thank you Dr. Craig parquet the reason I like to be a your comments and and why did you put them out there is a moralist, creates a sort of a UC and continue on on your concerns a scary out to the logical extreme of the reseller represent a brand of mistaken numbers are right in front of you have natural for dairies to make all the speakers Walton is going to give you a perspective of the legislator who has followed bill that may be thinking about if I think that either in all seriousness if you would be one of the book be part of a working group (SPEAKER CHANGES) we can have members come over superintendent from a player maybe find other sets the would like to be a working group and we can sit down and talk about the planned as a better when the overall education choice of fun and a little probably still present between get to the idea that when parties to agree to solomonic much progress in and(SPEAKER CHANGES) I think that's really what we're trying to do as a as a result of this may not solve problems they're even when the bank that set the tone appreciate indication of the having served when you up and I've probably won't win you over but I would like to members to consider the cumulative effect of the large numbers of legislation a slide rules to spend money and public schools and I couldn't believe their cities to say a million here millionaire at the white sox of data to back up a part of the top of the movement were focused on financial matters to buy a wave of training of repression and apartments understand is why thereby weakening Graham economic impact said and done with Robbie Dubois are the subject is also might be thinking about the school rating system into rises above to pretend not to mention on a reader from human rights of apart when I don't understand about this today would say that via the two western credits his spawn average $4200 as , as the members and better relative roughly half the state average and I don't understand how this could be viewed as a potential positive economic impact for school system if another 4200 remains in the school system to be deployed for this to race and finished the sunlight should I be as part of a working group, one of the tone of a way to the subject here but on the GATT said it's a compelling as a legislator less compelling arguments and what good are providing some choice to some student base and some socioeconomic strata that student is moving into a different option the residual about wise man used educated Trollope will remain in the system to be used by the system to educate the remaining base their art either to spell out explaining why that's not a valid assumption is something that should be viewed as positive on or to say will unify think about it that way and unable to really bring sense that night had the legislature place on for a shell game were really don't get that money but let's use that as a basis for an working group and report back so you're you're bomb pointed as the event about working group, but first the first to 10 on superintendent chairman might be a part of the working group meets again would be a working group had Dr. Ravi and that we will have the park is Brandon had the Brian Holloway, legislators from a power by the one democrat one republican on awaiting the working group on our side will designate members accordingly on who we have up to speed on all of two to oh oh thank you mistaken for inviting this from a talk show that the White House to topple impose some regulations so (SPEAKER CHANGES) thank you Mr. Speaker we face is an educational system away and form into a subcommittee take your challenge to look at will. Doing ...........
so we've actually looked at the finances and consolidated some pieces and we're going to go through a process with our superintendents who are not a part of the subcommittee to bring you a report of those funds we believe with flexibility would allow us to move forward and in fact meet you charge to give us the freedom to meet the challenges of our children. The second thing, we've also taken your challenge to look at those things that the charter school has, and again we're in the process of vetting that. We'll be bringing that forward to you to show you these are some rules that in fact tie our hands and if the charter schools are going to have their hands untied we believe it's going to make it better for the state. So we'll actually be bringing that. The other thing we're doing is we've gone to DPI and they've got 30 pages of regulation. We may not get that completely done this session for you, but we are actually going to go through those 30 pages breaking it up among our 8 recesses to say which things we believe could be legislated out of existence now for lack of a better term, which things need to be studied and which things in fact we believe should stay the same and in fact support that. The next thing we're g going to do is we've actually taken your challenge and we're going to ask the people to identivy those 170 tests that you talked about at our last meeting to find out why we're even giving them. As you know I'm from California and Florida, we used to say you can't fatten the cow by weighing it, well we want to look at those 170 tests first off and make sure the 170 tests, and begin to take a look at that. I look deeper into our special education and things such as that . So we are committed Mr. Speaker to really look at those things that get in our way, that we can bring to you both financially nad legislatively to make this a better state so we in fact can beat the challneges and be competitive. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Dr. Till. And that, it's very important. I'm not realyy into feel good meetings, I'm into meetings that produce efforts that produce results, and I'm glad to ear you say that the meetings that we've had before around identifying specific regulations, not conceptual framework but specific regulations that we can go after and sunset. The whole idea would be let's find them, and let's take at face value that we don't need them. Let's put a sunset on them that says effective May of 2014, these regulations are hereby repealed, maybe even sooner. But then we'll have a governance framework over some period of time where the group that thinks they should be repealed will have a opportunity to speak and articulate why they don't think it's helpful, and then maybe somebody out there who honestly believes they are we'll hear them too and provide them with equal time. And that's where I think we can create a judicious, not precipitous but judicious process for finding out which ones we can claw back. My inclination being clawing back as many as professionals of your stature think are unnecessary and not really tied to improved education outcome. So we need that, we need that pretty quickly. And Dr. Till, you've just been appointed to the working group on regulatory reform, and if there are maybe 8 or 10 members who would like to be a part of that, in addition to the working group that Dr. Till's already a part of for me or advisory group, I would ask superintendents that have passion or feedback on that issue up to 10 to reach out to him and make sure that we create this fabric where people realize that we're meeting, we're talking about things and we're getting specifics to members to act on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd be curious if there's anyone here who has spent- and Dr. Till it may be you, it could be Dr. Bolson or others I have spoken with on this issue, I'm curious how soon we can expect some feedback on the design and some adjustments to the school grading the A through F. We've had discussions about whether or not year over year progress should be a factor, I personally think there are valid arguments to have that, but are there any other members that have been involved in really trying to come up with a framework. The Senate has proposed a framework that we tend to agree with conceptually. Going through the A through F framework is something that's easier for an average parent or person, the uninitiated to understand but I think ?? proficiencies may not be enough, because it doesn't capture year over year progress or maybe other things you would look at as superintendents who would look at a classroom and say you know, there are other things that I need to do to really grade how well I think a classroom, a school, or a district is performing. Are there any superintendents here who would like to pine on that for a moment? You'll put your light on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker
Shotwell. Superintendent of Rockingham County Schools. I was asked to address this issue. And you've already done my introduction for me, so I appreciate that. I think one of the things that we're not afraid of is the accountability. And we do understand that whenever you say A through F, just about everybody who's ever been to school understand what that means. However, for me personally when I think about an F school I think about ineffective teachers, I think about students that have a lot of high apathy. I think about a principal that really doesn't care about what they're doing. And I really don't think that there's that many schools out there that giving them a label of F would not be a fair respresentation of what that school would look like. And that brings us in to two concerns with the legislation that's coming up. We're in a year of transition right now with a new curriculum, we're also doing new assessments. And to grade a school in a community that represents community or part of a county, may be an unfair evaluation this year. Of course you've heard fokls ask if we could have another year, however I know there are also legislatures that would like to see it put in this year. Along with that accountability, and making a change to the curriculum, we also have the possibility of a one test labeling in school. Or a couple test labeling in school or a grade level. And I think just like you said, there are many other indicators that could be included that could give you a grade of what your school looks like. What's really interesting is whenver you look at Gallup polls and those things, and they talk about images what people think of the public schools it's a little bit lower rating. But then if you ask them about their public school, where there kid goes, the rating is usually higher. And I think you'll find that in a lot of the schools. I just think that it's really critical that what we've had since 1995 it has been a growth component. It gives teachers, it gives students, an opportunity to look and see that they've moved from point A to point B. I think one of the frustrations that folks had is you've had this opportunity yet you still see folks hovering at this level. I think consistancy with leadership at the school level, keeping teachers in that school helps brings the schools up to a higher level. I've had a high school that was on Judge [Manning']s list, it is no longer on that list. And we did those such things to help that school. Also waiting a year would also allow us the opportunity to be adjusted to the curriculum. So next year teachers will know. They've been through one year, they'll know what the assessments look like and they'll know what to expect. We're also looking for continuous improvement of the system, if you would. Right now it looks like any changes that might have to come would have to come before the legislative bodies to have it change. You could empower the state board of education to have the ability to be able to make changes and flexibility. As we see things coming up, they could be adjusted with that model. I think anytime you ever have a model that has a good basis it's going to need some type of adjustment. Also, the-- talking about the flexibility. The committee that I've helped to serve on also had some recommendations. That if we are going to have to implement it this upcoming year - the model that was presented to the state board - my staff and Dr. Atkinson would be the way if we did have to go for this year. If you all would please consider that, and please consider the flexibility with that. Because there are other indicators that would be included in that, also a component of growth. I do believe that as we look at this that we are looking for fair measures to evaluate our schools. So that parents when they do make a choice, they make a choice. They want to be able to look at it and I think m giving tone test that says a schools failing may not be fair. It's hard to recover from that once you've been labeled that. We've seen that in business. Whenever cars have been considered bad, it took as much as 20 years before people went back to that brand and said, "You know what, they're buildilng better cars." We don't want that to happen in our schools. And I think by adding other indicators would help out with that. I stand before you today that we have challenged our staff. I've asked my principals. I said, "If your kids had a choice to go somewhere else would they pick your school?" That's the mentality they need to have. I think with that, it goes with our mantra that we have in Rockingham County, you would make the choice that rocks. With that being said, we've seen over the last seven years double digit gains in our subgroups for graduation rates because of having that attitude. And we'd just like to ask you all to consider A through F performance model to give us another year if you possibly could, but if not we do have a backup plan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Shotwell, I thank
that the, in consultation with the Senate and actually with some superintendents, I think that the concern over implementing the grading model at the same time we’re doing the testing model may distort how schools or school systems are graded. I understand that, and in discussing with the Senate, there is some openness to first, I believe that we will move forward this year. I think that has to be a given, so with that as a given, how do we manage it. A part of that there is some openness to some curving or adjusting so that we deal with may variances in the old way that we’ve measured student performance versus the newer methods that are coming into place. I think from a timing standpoint, we have to assume that it is going to occur on the timeline that the Senate proposed and it’s something that I support. What we’re talking about here is the methodology. I’ve explained to my members and I’ve explained to my colleagues in the Senate that if we have a grading system that the superintendents did not believe in, then it’s going to be very difficult for them to use that as a management tool, to be able to go into schools or classrooms that are legitimately not performing at the level that they should and feel like this is a tool they can use to articulate why we’ve arrived at that conclusion. We have an opportunity now, I think, to influence the methodology, to influence the process and I appreciate your volunteering to lead that working group. What I’d like to do, is, again, and incidentally, when we talk about these working group, I’m very serious about them, what I’d like to do is make sure you have appropriate geographic and demographic distribution, so, urban, rural, east, west, Piedmont. But I’d like to move fairly quickly on that. That’s a matter that’s very important to many of the members in my chamber and the members in the Senate chamber, so let’s work on a methodology where you can look at it and say I can make this work and I can articulate to a principal or a teacher why you agree with the grade that they ultimately received. I would appreciate if you’re willing to do that. You can resist, I’m not your boss. You can resist if you so choose, but unless you resist, I’m going to assume silence is consent. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I will accept the challenge, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. And by the way, I told some of the Governor’s staff, when they were coming in, they’re transitioning, I told them it’s my goal, just to give you an idea of timeline expectations, I told the governor’s staff it’s my goal to give them two years to get their feet and really start moving things, but those are dog years, so that’s about fourteen weeks. When we’re talking about these kinds of things, if you want to have a meaningful impact on that legislation and maybe moving things on providing more specifics about how they’re modeled, they are things we need to be thinking in terms of weeks and not months to come back around and give us something to work with. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It needs to be a working model that we can sit down and iterate and I will make some decisions about the legislative members that will pair up with you on these working groups. Anybody want to opine….let’s see, who do we back here. Dr. Boleson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Out of respect for my colleagues who have earned their doctorate, I’ll humbly say Mr. Boleson, I’m still working on mine. I’m on the Regulatory Reform Workgroup with Dr. Till. I think there’s a lot of great work and I really believe in your mission there. It’s difficult to make a lot of progress bailing out the boat if you haven’t plugged the hole first, so I would just ask humbly that as new legislation’s coming forward, we take a look at some of those catch phrases that say things like ‘will require all teachers to be trained in’, things that say, ‘all students must do x’ because if we’re bringing forth new bills that are going to be adding new regulations for us to engage in, we can keep looking at all the ones that currently exist, but just in the spirit of the things coming forward, I would ask folks to use that filter as they’re looking at the new legislation coming out so that we’re not adding to the burden at the same time. I do think we have great interest in keeping some of these decisions more at the local level and I think we can really do that together. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, I...Mr. Boleson, I had feedback. I’m not sure from which superintendent it may have been. It could have been you, actually, that I got through a member saying, you know, we hear Tillis talking about all this flexibility in working together and then they drop a bill
That tells us exactly what we have to do, and doesn't give us any indication of where the money comes from. Let me give you a little sense about how the legislative process works. Any member in this chamber can file any bill they want to any time, up to a limit of 10. That's within our rules this year. But they could be on any topic. And in fact there's at least one, I'll put Representative Horn on the spot here momentarily, that I used as an example of are we doing this right? Are we collaborating with the superintendent. I don't even know if I talked-- I think maybe I was talking behind your back. I don't know if I've talked to you directly, but I guess now I am. By the way, you're probably also being listened to on the internet. I think these mics are live on the internet. Representative Horn put forth a bill that had to do with digital learning, and making sure that the teachers are prepared to be trained to use this new technology that we all think is a very useful tool in our systems - like tablets and other technology. As we go through with this bill, as you hear the bill is filed-- the moment you see a bill filed, that would be the time to pick up the phone or communicate with us your concerns, so that we can work through the operational implications, the funding implications. I've used a fairly simple model with state color groups to tell me whether or not it's a green, yellow, red. Green means great idea, can't wait to have the policy implemented. Yellow means seems like a good idea but there may be some kinks that we need to work out. Red means its the dumbest thing you've ever heard and you don't know why we would even do it. But use that kind of construct to give us a very quick feedback on bills that you see filed, because that's instructive to those of us who, after a bill is filed, has to decide how to dispose of it. A run-it-through committee to modify it, to not hear it based on our broader strategy. Don't take a bill being filed as necessarily a statement as the will of the body, or the will of the general assembly. And let's use that as a way to iterate, and you probably have a more direct influence on the policy movement. Representative Horn, Mr. Balson, did you want to follow-up? Your lights on I don't know if I-- after you finish talking, if you'll turn your lights off otherwise I'll assume you want to follow-up. Representative Horn you want to talk a little bit about the bill that we debated last week, the intent and just sort of a wild-card thing we can see if anybody has any feedback. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Speaker. Thank you all for being here, and I'm happy to address that particular issue as it deals with the digital environment. I don't think the digital environment in public education is something we'd kind of like to do, I personally think it's something we're going to be forced into whether we like it or not. The reason we worded this one particular bill, which you may have been referring, in such a way that it is a will, is simply in order to help you and us turn the paradigm around. And what I mean by that-- presently it seems to me that our kids, our students, know more about how to use these devices than do the teachers teaching the students. Now that has nothing to do with content, that has to do with how to manipulate, utilize as a resource. It also therefore seems to me, and to many of us, that our teachers know more about how to do this than do the people teaching the teachers to be teachers. The point is that in the use of, or the application of the digital environment, we've got the paradigm upside down at the moment. And I said I don't see that it's a matter of, "Gee, that's a good idea." Frankly I see it - and I think, in fact, based on just the heads I see shaking right now - I think it's here and we've got to deal with it. Part of the problem right now is we're not teaching our teachers how to utilize the digital environment. I think we all understand that shoving a textbook and an IPad is not using the digital environment. Using this as the reader, or say go online and take a course, is not using the digital environment. Now we can be like the general that sees which ways the troops are going and runs around front and says follow me, or we can engage, we can.
Speaker: ?? future which is now so move on I'm very hesitant and i hope so most of the legislator are very hesitant ti ask legislation that's a ?? well i like we may whether some point we got lead dealing with the ?? the kids are leading and they need leadership that's what we are doing we are doing and i need your help in you to get out in front of this to use option available to us, Speaker Changes: Representative ?? ladies and gentleman there are few members that i would pt on the spot light but i know Representative ?? and he is also s hard worker and met with the superintendent i thought that this is a meaningful example of debate going here is ?? i would intended to bring it anyway but what would example to superintends here when are are having that debate what would it sound like i think ?? you put back on, Speaker Changes:?? i actually agree with the or it that got us here ?? so just comes down to that that will work training ?? i know there is percentage of teachers that we don't need it you know gaining just using this bill as an example we need to do this ?? but at the the same time when it comes to it is just a last little part requiring the training for the teacher that may not be the way to engage in something absolutely agree with this senate gain just looking at this bills through that filter that something ??, Speaker Changes:you know i think that's a classic example of our create this engagement model, Speaker Changes: all your legislators and superintendents on how do you ?? i think representative ?? it's not red it not the famous thing that we have very heard but it's probably not quite green you know is so more about how you ?? to now and that's really the reason why i want to bring that up doctor boss if you have a comment, Speaker Changes: yes sir Mr.Speaker if you we are one to one districts and we put our teachers training 14 hours, Speaker Changes: explain what do that means, Speaker Changes: one to one is all teachers have a digital device to teach with but i think the training ?? before the host we require out teachers to undergo minimum 14 hours of training it was relive it was personal because they knew were the ?? walk back in the classroom every student have that device every teacher knew the areas that they were going to use and instructional methodology and that was going to flip the class room but they have gone through the training without the resources to the classroom but i think it is necessary to teach our youths with digital devices but i believe ?? in classroom were to be true meaning for educational reforms having with the training that of the use of the digital devices were not create the effort that we are looking , Speaker Changes: yeah Representative Johnson, Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Speaker i just wanted to make a comment here trying to make my digital device i received an email yesterday and i ?? from a teacher and had asked fro how do you see this legislation technology legislation we are talking about ?? integrated digital teaching and schooling was included ?? that administering digital company was one of the universities that were able to use the copy machine,
[0:00:00.0] I wanna to bring out the point that we are here discussing this and I know this is K, we are talking about K12 but there is another side of this issue which is training your teachers. And we are trying to solve a lot of those problems at the same time we are trying to solve yours. And just to say that, we realize the problem is there and we are looking for long term solutions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Spencer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker I have been asked to just say a few words about digital and I would like to say that we do appreciate the fact that digital is on the radar and is part of the conversation because for a while it has been a difficult battle. We have asked some of our teachers to really step out and try to take risk just as you mentioned earlier and that’s not always been very favorable. So, the fact that this legislature is wiling to say this is part of what the future is, I heard a couple of the members speak at the beginning is they did introductions and they spoke about things like economic development and taking risk. The digital learning is part of that and when we think about the CTE legislation that is gone through those are all components of the digital learning. We don’t have all of the answers in every school system right now because we don’t have all of the resources, we don’t have all of the pre-service training that our teachers need but the people in this room are committed to doing what is right for their children, they just need some support in terms of being able to take those risk and being able to access some of those resources. I hear from your discussion that you all are open to that and I think that is gonna be the way to make this digital learning move forward, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It sounds like Representative Horn has agreed to have a discussion group from up to eight to 10 superintendents would have an interest in this and I think that the implications Dr. Spencer is agree to be the superintendent contact on her side maybe Dr. Moss join that as well but to really talk about that and see how we go beyond just that baseline legislation that came through here to something else. I had another I ask if the resources available to talk about it but I do know that there is a bill that may potentially be filed that has to do with the AP Testing Program, we have any member here to talk about that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We hold off on that when it had to do with the bill that you may see filled, we track the bills to get filled on education and we have the member coming before the time expires and we will have them talk about it, Nelson ___[03:10], I do like the flight attendant, if you need to go to the restroom or step out for a moment, the ladies restroom over here on the left and you go out these doors and if the doors do not open the direct sergeant arms to open inside doors and the restrooms over the right but we will just continue talking versus taken up abroad, break. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Miller. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Speaker, I have been asked to ___[03:42] today for Dr. Heath E. Morrison, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system. My name is Patrick Miller, I’m Superintendent of Green County Schools and I was a participant in a work group that dealt with tenure changes and educator evaluation and we have our workgroup participated in three conference calls over the past two weeks and I’m pleased to bring you some recommendations that came forth out of that workgroup, the group was able to fairly easily reach consensus on about six or seven points regarding teacher tenure changes, we were not able to be a successful with evaluation instrument and I will address that in a minute but I do have some points not to go over regarding teacher tenure. Number one, we will certainly ask that you strongly consider grandfathering those teachers who already have tenure, we feel like many teachers view that tenure as a property right and we feel like the systems, individual school systems could be burden by the expense of lawsuits from teachers if they were to challenge that law and that would… [0:04:59.0] [End of file…]
Stretch our budgets even further. We also recommend that you consider grandfathering those currently in the pipeline for tenure. Those would be identified as PB 1, 2, 3, and 4. Those who have clear licenses that are working toward tenure now. We also would ask that you continue to define teacher as it is currently defined to include media specialists, guidance counselors, speech pathologists and others who work with students. We recommend that the contract system mirror the current principal contract cycle. In other words, it would be a system of multi-year contracts. The initially licensed folks would remain on one year contracts, but once they earned clear licensure. The first contract would be 2-4 years, and all subsequent contracts would be 4 years. Again, just like the current principal contract cycle. Due process rights: there would need to be some sort of change to mirror the current principal due process rights. We suggest that a working group look further at that particular issue. We would like to see any changes to teacher tenure implemented in 2014-15 to allow us a transition period for the new contracts. And, we do have some ideas to incentivize teachers to voluntarily opt out of tenure. I think some of those ideas could be brought forth as a result of a working committee on that issue. The group did agree that there needs to be further study and work to develop an appropriate comprehensive evaluation instrument, particularly if it would be linked to performance pay. The group will have the current members of the teacher tenure educator evaluations work group appoint designees to create our recommendation for evaluation. Thank you sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Tell Heath I said hello. Heath (??) I probably should have started this way. If you’ll notice we have a power point rolling through the video. I can’t tell you how proud I am to know that our next National Superintendent of the Year is from right out of North Carolina. Dr. Edwards is not able to be here today. I’m sure that you all are proud to call him as a colleague. I think that’s it’s a source of pride to the state. It’s not the first either. It’s not the first who’s either been in the final four as they say, or the first who’s come into this system who’s been recognized as the National Superintendent of the year. I think, on behalf of all the house members, I congratulate him on that. I’d actually like to offer him a round of applause. (clapping). I was joking with him, there’s so many people going to Aradale County now to see what he’s doing in the school system. He may be one of the most, one of the greatest economic development resources there for travel and tourism outside of the racing industry. He’s probably giving them a run for their money. I will also say that there are a number of other examples here that I would like to make people aware of. A lot of great practices. I’m not going to call the governor or the former governor out by name, but I was at a lunch about a year and a half ago. There were some members who were with me to visit another state to talk about education reform. You know how these fads go. There’s one state that’s doing something interesting so everybody thinks we should be just like that state or at least some member do. At lunch, I was sitting next to this governor who recognized on a broad basis that someone’s really done some great things from education reform. He leaned over to me, and there were witnesses there, and he said, “Tom, make no mistake about it. We still wish we were as good as North Carolina. We appreciate you all coming here with good ideas. Recognize what you already have hear is a starting point, as something we look at as examples and we try to bring back and implement in our state.” We cover the tenure issue. Is there anyone here who has been…incidentally, when I suggest these working groups. The superintendents have already created working groups, and I would defer to those to continue to leverage. What we’ll be doing is maybe pairing some of our members with those working groups. Keep that in mind as I from the chair appoint people to these working groups. We want to leverage what already exists not to deflect or duplicate the effort. The matter of merit pay? Have there been any superintendents that have have looked at that? Or is there any positions that any member will speak for the group? Dr. …
Mr. Speaker, we are perhaps the greastest innovation in the 40 years that I've been in the school business. Is that teaching has become a collaborative activity. We have our teachers arranged in professional learning communities. A group of third grade teachers sitting at a table together. A group of nine grade world history, eleventh grade American history. 4. 5, 6 teachers sharing what works and what is not working, picking each other brains. Planning common formative assessments, looking at the results, saying what are we doing for the kids that are learning? What are we doing for the kids that aren't learning? And trying to customize so that every student will be successful. Just the last day that we had training in Brunswick County, at 9:30 in the morning, I got a frantic message from the social studies specialist saying my teachers are sitting here and they don't want to collaborate because they're afraid that it will impact any bonus that they might receive in the future if they share their professional secrets with their colleagues. Merit pay is a concept from the business community and it might work well in some endeavers, but in the school business, we need to work in teams and we're just beginning to get there. And we're afraid that merit pay, if given to individuals, will actually make them clam up and stop working together for the benefit of their students. So if we're going to look at that concept, we'd rather reward schools rather than individuals for making progress, but we don't wanna do anything that will nip in the bud this beautiful seed of collaboration and working together that we're just beginning to get in our schools. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Till, I may you put you on a spot here in a minute, because I think you went through some transition when you were down in Florida schools. There's a couple of things that, again this goes back to building the trust, with trust comes more flexibility, more opportunities for you all. I'll speak as single legislator, I'm not being critical, but I do this at the risk at being on a camera, I guess, but one of the things that we've observed and I'd like to know whether or not it's actually true. Is that there's a distortion right now in how we're grading teachers. It would appear as though, that because of budget cuts, how you have to compensate teachers for variety of, I'm sure, legitimate reasons. There has been a sort of grading escalation, which has teachers that may have a broad spectrum of performance all grooved into the upper tiers of performance, so it makes it very difficult when you at that and you see things that we need to improve, and you look at this typical person on models. At the end of the day, I worked in a consulting business and we had the very difficult task of grading, we don't make widgets so you couldn't grade somebody on the basis of this thing that they've created and the quality outcomes, and the things that you could in a manufactoring process. But we came up what I thought was on the whole, a fair and structured process for assessing peer groups. But we also did something that I think has, I don't want to use a pun, but has merit in merit pay, and that is don't stop at grading individual, but then grade a school and grade a system, so that there are 2 or 3 tiers that you use as a way to identify the performance of, not just the individual, that's a piece of it, but then also the group that they operate within and the system that they operate within. And I think that kind of plan design is about the only way you can address some of the issues that you have a concern with, but then get to the point to where you have some way to measure and deal with the H.R. challenge that we have ahead of us. Dr. Till, I'd be very curious, if you don't mind me putting you on the spot, to talk about how that's actually worked or not worked. Down in Florida. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I actually think that what Governor Bush did actually mirrors the suggestion here. We were graded A to F, and when he first started the process, if you were ?? out of school for a couple years, a voucher came and that was all thrown out into courts. But the compliment Governor Bush is that we rewarded an entire school, and so the personnel practices the evaluation system rewarded a whole school and it changed the dynamic for the exact reason you said when you had a professional learning community. You now had an incentive to make sure your colleague was
The strong because if the were weak in fact what happened was is that your score at your school became less and your whole school got less and when you had the unfortunate situation of a teacher that needed documentation you actually have support of your colleagues at the teacher level because they realized that what you were doing wasn't just about the students but it was about your bonuses, so there was actually a piece of that. And the final thing is Daniel Bing has done some research on this, the Senate paid for schools and it hasn't worked as well so I would encourage the legislature to look at Daniel Bing's research, but I do support, I'm not worried about an aid plan and those other things but I do like the idea of incentiving an entire school so that you lead them to be collegiate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Moss. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Speaker, I agree with what my colleagues have said, but I think that piggybacking on your idea of the tiered system, it is important to recognize the work of a school but also then to recognize the work of individual teachers and I think that although it would be an extremely complicated process, with enough input something could be developed. I know we used something in Lee County that our foundation developed that seems to incentivize schools to perform at higher rates, but I think before you do that there's a larger issue at hand and that's the teacher salary schedule. Our teachers struggle every year and I think if you look at a 30 year plus schedule and could collapse it to 15 years that would actually make it their base pay and then do cost of living adjustments after the 15 year mark I think that would also incentivize them to work I think as hard as any kind of merit pay program. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And Mr. Balson, I'm just curious, were you in Montgomery County schools? You were in Montgomery County Schools. Did they have in the process of their transformation did they ever deal with the merit pay as part of the transformation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, in fact we were actively running away from the idea just to be fair. In fact, the superintendent I worked for up there was a North Carolina superintendent once upon a time, Dr. Jerry Weist, and in fact years ago we read some of the initial work by Dan Bing that Dr. To recommended and his latest book, not his latest, his second to latest book Drive speaks to this motivation concept. I think we really subscribe to that, that we just really believe that there are better ways to motivate people than the extrinsic rewards of merit pay, so that's not something we were pursuing there, so to help form my beliefs agreeing with what I've heard from the superintendents here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Speaker. First on the performance pay idea, our district actually has a teacher incentive fund grant, about $19 million from the US Department of Education, and those grants are designed to study the effect of base pay, sort of a flat bonus versus a performance bonus and we've had 16 schools involved. We just finished, we've had a year and a half and we actually have our first year results, just finished analyzing those and just finished passing out the checks, and it's a fairly complicated performance pay system in that it does provide bonuses for the whole school, it provides grade level incentives so we used, this is in elementary and middle schools, and so you get a math performance for the math department in this middle school in the eighth grade, you get one in the fifth grade for all the fifth grade teachers, so there's the incentive to work together that's very strong. There is an individual component, but just to give you an idea of the results, we had 35 indicators of success and only 2 of those did the flat rate 1% bonus schools succeed in. We had 17 in the performance paid group, it actually outperformed the others and then the rest of them there was no difference. They were the same. And I was very surprised by that. We had this group of teachers, 64 teachers get an $8,000 bonus in their check in January as a part of that. And we can all, compensation is a complicated issue. A lot of good points have been made so far. Clearly having a base that is satisfactory whether it's the 15 year base that Jeff's talking about and having performance pay on top of that. Clearly it can't be all about individuals, but needless to say our country's built on a lot of individual efforts so we certainly don't want to ignore individual efforts, but clearly there can be ways to incentivize working together, so I was actually very surprised with our first year results and we'll have two more years to look at
that with a nice sample of 16 schools. And, Mr. Speaker, while I have the floor, I want to say that North Carolina and ?? with my school board chairman for 18 years and this thing needs to be gone in about two months. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’re glad to have him. [SPEAKER CHANGES] He speaks very favorably of his experience so far and we’ve exchanged a lot of emails. I do want to speak briefly about charter schools today. I think you’re aware that we had a white paper group that worked together for, actually several months right before the holidays, and I’ve had an opportunity to go over it with you so I won’t go over the details, but I will make one comment about the why you might have local authorization of charters, particularly as it relates to individual charter school that’s not one of our schools. I think all of us that have charter schools in our district are aware that basically the state has a very difficult time in monitoring the work of 130 some odd charter schools across the state. It takes a lot of accountability sides to that, and I know that the legislature is interested in accountability. At the local level, we have an opportunity to work with a given charter school. We have several in Forsyth and we are doing several things with them that helps in both transportation, helps both in food service. We provide psychological services. We provide specialists that we needed and there needs to be a way, a mechanism, that makes that easier so that we really can use the resources of our districts and our states better to work with charter schools. We’re interested in students being successful and it should not matter where they are. We want to be able to be a part of that and if there are state dollars involved in it, there should be some accountability for that. Another thing we’re set up to do is tests. We know how to manage all that process, train our test coordinators, follow up, monitor, do that, and we can offer that same service for charter schools exactly like we do. I think there are a lot of ways that we could work together and to be advantageous for both the school district and the charter. And for that matter, our white paper proposes putting all of our test scores together. If there are public school kids in our county, it’s Forsyth County scores, then let them be a part of that and we can go to our state report card and look at individual schools and do that. There’s probably another side to bring in local authorization, also brings in our county commissioners as part of it too. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Martin, I was just waving to some school students up there. They like to get waved to. Dr. Martiin, is it true that your region has one of the higher concentrations of charter schools in the state? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We actually have six in Forsyth county out of the 130 some odd. There are several in Guilford, certainly. A number proposed in Guilford. Our area… [SPEAKER CHANGES] That region seems to have one of the highest concentrations. That’s what I was referring to, the Forsyth-Guilford area. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One of things I think we need to do, people have...I’d posted that we were going to have this meeting and speak with principals and teachers this week from K-12 schools. We’re going to do something similar with the charter schools and get that dialogue going. I think a part of what we have to do is build some...either rebuild trust, or build trust for the first time between the traditions K-12 and charter schools. As I understand it, when charter schools were originally conceived, they were supposed to be these laboratories, innovation areas and there was going to be a lot of sharing between the traditional K-12 and the charters and use that as a case for maybe retro-fitting that into K-12 schools. I don’t think to a large extent that’s happened. I’m glad to hear that there’s some collaboration going on, but I hope that a part of what we accomplish here as we have the individual dialogues and figure out how we come together so we can really build that trust and that working relationship. I don’t think that it’s healthy for people to think it’s an all or nothing scenario. People that would like the state to go full charter or public school folk that would like the charters to go away and let them absorb that base back, I think there’s something in between that would probably benefit everybody, so I’m glad to hear you say that. As we move forward and we have the discussion with the charters, we’d certainly engage a working group here to work through with that. I certainly want to put a priority in the remaining 19 minutes that we have with any other super
Lieutenant who has come here to make a point about it for a specific purpose, if time allows. Representative Blackwell has returned. He's one of the members who I had a meeting with this morning talking about a possible legislative proposal for AP testing, and I'd like, again if time allows, would like to do that. Also, I would like to acknowledge some of the other members who've come into the room. I've already picked on Representative Horn, so you all know he's here. Representative Arp, you were here earlier, right? In the back of the room we have Representative Riddell , in the back corner from Alamance County. I saw Representative Bryant here. I think he's had to leave again. He's a Teach For America alumni, and now an attorney at Womble-Carlyle, but somebody worth calling on for education, being involved in education policy. I don't know if there are any other members here I haven't acknowledged or introduce themselves. Representative Tim Moffitt from Buncombe County. And Representative Tom Murray, Representative Murray's already here. You were just looking out for Tim. [SPEAKER CHANGES]I'm Representative Leo Daughtry. I'm over here in front [SPEAKER CHANGES]Yeah, Representative Daughtry and we have Representative Jimmy Dixon down here in the aisle. Dr. Cox? [SPEAKER CHANGES]Yes sir, Mr. Speaker. Jeff Cox from Allegheny County, and I'd just like to start by saying how genuinely we appreciate the opportunity to be here. Your notion of utilizing the superintendents in several of these study groups, I think is outstanding. Your notion of utilizing the superintendents in several of these study groups, I think is outstanding. I thing you'll find us, as a group, ready, willing, and able to stand with you and help find solutions with this body on how to improve education in our state. So thank you for that. I've been tasked with the responsibility to talk a little bit about school calendar flexibility. There are a number of bills currently pending toward school calendar flexibility. This is, all of you in this room, I'm sure, have been aware, an issue that has been of concern for that last 8 or 10 years, at least. We have been looking for that return back to some local flexibility with the school calendar for a number of years. I was a little disheartened this session, instead of moving in that direction, we kind of took it a step in the other direction with less flexibility. Particularly with those mountain counties like Alleghany, with the later start dates scheduled now, next year, for August 19th. I just wanted to speak briefly on a couple of key points that are important for us. One is, if you look at the needs of the different school districts across the state, those districts in Alleghany, Watauga, Avery, Ashe, Mitchell, all the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's not uncommon for those districts to miss 20 or more days of school in a bad winter. We could look back and, we don't need a crystal ball to know there's a year coming where we're going to miss 20 or 25 days. You can just look back at a 20 year history as see, on any number of occasions, that's been the case. I just want the legislature to kind of make the point here today that, with the new August 19th start date, that the mountain counties next year, it will take 24 days. If you begin missing those days after the 1st of January, there won't be time to make up before the end of June. You think about that for a minute. Our fiscal year ends June 30th. For districts that missed 25 days or more, once again, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, many, many years have done that, we're going to be in a position, it's not if but when, they'll be in the position to say, either we're going to have to wave off some days, and forgive those, in which case those kids are going to be short-changed of so many days of their education, or will be pushed into models of having to go on Saturdays, which is not very effective instructional days, or extended school days. Again, that flexibility to start school a little bit earlier, is really important for those mountain districts. The second piece, that impacts all of us in this room. And I think, again you'd have a
Universal support among superintendents is that some employees of four from consideration aligning our calendars with the community college and university counters on all too real. The governor speak about, but the silos are we too often operate in prepaid take a welcome any college university women prefer our collaboration we certainly endorse the concept one great policemen to begin the closure will collaborate working relationship with little honor counters of this so that members understand if the complex to this the real issue comes at the Christmas break and if if we don't have our counter built in a way that we and our first semester Christmas than we come back in January were one for the middle of January before we can finish the first semester at exams will the community colleges made the transition their new semesters underway work one day plant about two week. While the community colleges in their second semester and were still trying to complete the first semester we have students to the really a just a bit more this community college university classes but it's extremely difficult to make this happen second semester with the misalignment of the counter so long we do some really common currency of the body of the bells and also worsening the governor of all disk universal support for give us back to the flexibility to maximize education thank you Mr. Chairman (SPEAKER CHANGES) trawlers to baking dish and bake it had eight of the school calendar in an era variety of reasons why the superintendents and school systems would like more flexibility there is so called summer slide into the net more flexibility with with keeping sitting date certain summer there's there's a thing rolling evidence that the so often packed on retention and progress in subsequent years you're out of whether did suggest to manage them are other issues on the coast and offer the life of me and haven't yet figured out how we bring together two on that the two sites you know you'll all my weekly come down here one school on the bill comes on the save our summers folks come on and they come from a variety of different perspectives as well there one studio in my baby of legitimately want their children alternates out there know how to use that businesses are concerned if you cut out during three weeks of their most profitable, the year that you will actually about business owners following day out there that those substantiate that argument so we're we're trying to to find a way to bridge the gap and not making a win and lose that if we can get the parties together and come up with something that people haven't thought about the warden off its local variations regional variations are some other thing that it's a it's an area that we have a lot of the month of conflict among the members of a Norman all out, flexibility is achievable I think I probably didn't so now and in the light comes down to what can we do to make progress on other some concern would be a a senate proposal of the house ultimately on supported on the counter changes last year we Got to get people around the table who can communicate their concerns of the spectrum of a gun in a group of people working on an element of all the women say states and I think you may know that on the former county Improve to 12 and CEO of a pilot provided no one more hour flight to build around and schools. The project would step in and out of up to mistaken as they go far to the program and the bill would like to watch going to have a managing founder and CEO a key component in what will be out that the successful project but all I had some money to run the community college and one and I hear that, and, again and I think it's something we have to make progress on of the present roles of the community college system onto weaker baby was last week and talk about bad to weed out bad track movie as well so hopefully we can at least make some progress will not one of the figurine 81 is unlikely that nothing to with down was down to defeat of out of a pack, many lights on a theater missile defense of Wales was just a correction of Blackwell on as comeback and he's the one the members of that with this morning talk about their idea of legislation involving AP that the programmers and representative ............
Blackwell, I'd like to invite you to maybe explain the idea. [SPEAKER CHANGES]Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Some of you, or maybe all of you, are aware that last Monday the Governor signed his first piece of legislation in his term of office, which will provide for an endorsement to be placed on high school graduation certificates. Essentially 1 of 3 choices, but one is sort of a career endorsement, one is college ready, or you can actually get the combination of the 2. Well, in talking to you about this advanced placement proposal, I want to concede 1, that that is addressed at one side of the endorsement that we're talking about, but I wouldn't want to leave anyone with the impression that we're not concerned about, and won't be coming back to deal also with some of programming on the career side. As far as the advanced placement proposal goes, it is another outgrowth of experience in Florida. A little over 10 years ago, when they started an AP program that I'm going to tell you just a little bit about, they we're substantially behind North Carolina in terms of numbers of students taking advanced placement courses, as well as the number of students who were scoring at 3 or higher on the AP test at the end of the course. They are now, I believe, 4th in the nation. We are still where we were, we are about this middle of the pack, and our actual rates of increase, I think, have sort of tapered of somewhat. What they did in Florida, and what we are going to be looking at, and what we appreciate having you feedback on, is a program similar to what they did. The concept being if it worked there with twice as many student, with demographics that are not entirely like ours, but are not entirely dissimilar either, that maybe we should try to stick as closely as possible to the model that they established. And essentially it is an outreach to students we are not currently pulling into our AP courses, to help identify students largely through the use of SAT and P-SAT scores, and to persuade faculty members and administrators in the school buildings, that a lot of students are capable of taking these AP tests and succeeding, which means they can have the enhanced potential of getting college credit, which can be helpful when you consider the course of a college education these days. If you can speed up that process somewhat. So, the AP Bill would largely revolve around us picking up the costs of the test, which we think is a deterrent for a lot of students. And I might throw in here parenthetically, that one of the real gains that Florida is proud of is the increased participation from African American and Hispanic students down there in these AP courses, but paying for the test. It also involves the use of a partnership between the school systems and something like the folks who actually produce and sell the AP tests, that involves training for school systems across the state in how to identify student who are not taking the courses that could be successful, and in helping with professional development of the teachers for these courses. It also would offer a bonus to teachers that would be based upon the number of students successfully completing the course, and scoring a 3 or higher on that grade end for that AP end course test. We would love to have the percentages of students taking the AP test in North Carolina that they have in Florida. We would love to have the percentage that are score 3 or higher that they have in Florida. [SPEAKER CHANGES]The discussion for this, unless there's another priority. I don't see any representative from the superintendents, but the first question that I ask is, how much does it cost, and where is the money coming from? And I think that the estimate was $9 million to pay for the cost, and another $3 million if there was going to be some bonus component. Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES]That's correct. $12 million for the total program, if we copied the Florida model.
Pretty much to a T. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So the reason I mentioned that was when I get with members who consult with me before they drop a bill, the first question I have is, "How much does it cost and how are you paying for it?" For the sake of discussion today, assume that there is a net incremental source of funding. So we're talking more about the merits of the program and less about your concerns about where we're taking money away from you to pay for this good idea. With that... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mister Speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Martin? Was there a? I may have the seat number wrong, the gentleman back here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Jeff McDaris, Transylvania County school. One piece, first of all I commend you for looking into trying to help pay for AP testing, because it is a deterrent for some students. And it's very important for us to have those students participate to do well. I think we also have to remember as we go into that and look at the data, that one of the reasons I think - and what we've seen in my district - why AP participation has dropped is not necessarily always just the deterrent, it's also because we're encouraging students to take additional courses on the community college level. And they do not necessarily need to complete an AP course in order to do that. I think when we look at it from a broader perspective-- we do want strong participation, we do want assistance in trying to encourage those students to take those courses, but at the same also recognize the work that we've done, thanks to the legislature, in trying to develop those great partnerships with the community college system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Ellis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to be here, sir, from Union County. I want to piggy back on the superintendent from Transylvania County. Our school system, that first semester, that college and career promise was loud. Our students earned over 500 college credits. We have about 12% of our students who take AP courses currently, but we are seeing that number drop off because they can get the college and career promise. And with the advance of the academies that we're working - like our advanced manufacturing academy which only takes the highest math and science students. And we can get them internships in the old German model in the summer, and they're making $10, $11 an hour. And they can go straight to a two year or a four year or to work. And when you go to work for a company like Turbo Mecca it's $27 an hour. We're seeing-- we have a lot of students that are chosing that as opposed to the AP route. And that is not because they're not smart enough to do it, but in this economy a lot of them needs jobs and we're trying to provide those. I hope you would take a road trip somewhere to see some of the academies that are going on that might not compete with this, but you're going to get a false positive or negative possibly. Thank you so much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's a great take-away. Dr. Cox. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just to follow-up one quick point. The kids in Alleghany, given the choice between the community college course that they can take and pass and be guaranteed the college credit, versus the perhaps more rigorous AP course that they could take - and would certainly benefit from taking - but then you have to pass the exam with a certain level. And that level, depending on which college you're going to attend, it may be a three, it may be a four, it could be a five. And some places won't even accept those credits anwyay. That's one of the struggles that we have also, trying to encourage our very best and brightest kids to challenge themselves into that higher level of rigor, when they can take the community college course and be guaranteed that credit. That's just an issue to consider. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Dr. Crum. Will recognize Dr. Crum, and Dr. Martin you'll be the clean up bidder. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mister Speaker. At the risk of being assigned to a work group, I would encourage you to ask-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's why everybody got quite [laughter]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know there are many districts, Johnston County being one, that has paid for-- Well, one time we were paying for those kids who took the AP test, and we went to reimburse a child if you scored a three or higher. So I know several districts would be able to offer a lot of information in regard to how those results-- we [did that] make a change in the results, so you may want to ask for that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think the gentleman from Johnston County.
?? has been identified as a point of contact on the AP program, and the gentleman from Burke, Representative Blackwell, will be the contact. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative. Dr. Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to say quickly that from our area, I think it would not be mutually exclusive to offer all of those. I think having you, using your red, yellow, green, I'd probably give the green to the AP encouragement. We do a lot to try to encourage more kids to take AP tests, and be challenged. I think they are rigorous courses and the exam costs for some of our kids that take four, five, and six. We used to be able to pay for two. We can't pay for them now. It also allows us, when we do that, we certainly then require they take the test when they take the course. And that gives us a good number of how well our teachers are doing, and I think rewarding those challenging teachers are good too. I don't think that's mutually exclusive for the community college. Kids make choices. We offer them. If they want to take them, we're just removing one barrier, so my compliments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It seems to me that maybe if you have the kids taking community college course credits, we have to have some way to equate that to the other option of going the AP route, and figuring out how we measure up to other states on what are both positive outcomes, different means to the same ends. I want to close, and we've got a meeting that many of our members may be going to shortly here, as do I. But I wanted to give you all an idea, I was trying to think about how I'd explain my job if you had a similar sort of operating framework to work within. Imagine as superintendents that you have two chambers that you have to work with. You have a chamber that is full of principals, and then you have another chamber that is full of teachers. And any principal and any teacher could file any policy that they wanted to for consideration, as a way to change your school districts. All they had to do was get a simple majority, and then they'd pass it over to the other house, principals to teachers, teachers to principals. That's effectively the legislature. That's effectively the process that we're going through. And sometimes, I think in many cases, they probably have shared agendas, and probably an equal number of times, they may not. And so part of what we're trying to do here is give you a little bit more insight into the policy formulation process. But really make the open invitation to have you engage in that, with Representative Blackwell who would love to hear how a good idea is made better. So that we can move forward and you feel like it's value added. And it's operating within the context of North Carolina. The AP program is a classic example. I'm not sure what Florida's integration is with their community college system and whether or not they have a similar relationship and education path. But we do. And that's why a model identical to Florida may or may not fit here. But in principle it does, and I think that if you very early in the cycle find out about some of these legislative matters, we can break down what may look like some sort of intractable position on the part of the legislator, in to a good idea that needs some operational advice on how to make it even better. And make it something that you all would ultimately embrace as something that is producing a positive outcome for the schools. Well, I don't know about you all, but one of the bad things about being speaker is one, I don't get to speak very much, because I'm really just directing the order of the House, and then two, I have never in my legislative career chaired a committee. This is the first one outside of a legislative session that I've ever chaired. I was never a committee chair when I was in the rank and file membership. I found this very educational and very helpful to get the dialogue going, though we didn't solve any problems today. We discussed some of the things that are important to legislators and important to you, and we identified some superintendents that hopefully can work with you all to have you speak with one voice on some of the matters that may come before the legislature. But again, this is a process of building relationships. This is a process of creating a feedback loop that may or may not have existed in the past. I don't know of many examples where we've tried to do it on this basis, but I hope that when you're called on in the future that you come back, but in the meantime, you contact my office and we will dispatch through my staff my
Speaker: half resources and the members to get answers to your questions so again i have no doubt there will be instances were to agree or disagree or my guess is the most cases even the level ?? we were get to point were like we are really more ?? or not just ambling to do the good job ?? Speaker Changes: tomorrow we have principles i don't know if every school districts Representative Joe how may principles do we have come in tomorrow OK we invited ?? principals from each of your district looks like we got some when you think about logistics great turn out today and ?? what about teachers of the year that would adjust that for logistical reasons ?? Speaker Changes: i know i whether have logistical reasons i don't expect to be a lower number but again really provide direct boys absent the association absent the sports people is very important the association is a state organization and great administration down here great teachers and principals we really gotta create this dialogue if we need to catch ?? posturing and positioning ?? and do not resulted any follow up and the goal here is to create follow up and firmly engage with the house and ?? the firm would work with this too but i appreciate that you all be in ere today now you have very difficult jobs back in your district for you to dedicate a day to travel in from all parts of the state and to spend time with us is greatly appreciated and ?? that you got something out of this that you leave with some optimism that this is not ?? but part of the process of speaker expect to continue ?? so thank you very much for your time