Good afternoon, everyone. I would like to call this meeting to order. First, I wanna begin by thanking our Pages, which are here. With us today, we have Cameron McNeal from Senator Berger. And please just stand or raise your hand when I call your name. Connor Mendenhall, Senator Barefoot. Angelique Knight, Senator Clark. Otta Olabon(?), Senator Barefoot. Patrick Sige from Senator Goolsby. Ariel Harris, Senator Bryant. Alex Mcraya from Senator Berger. Jasmine McNeal, Senator Blue. Raven Waters, Bill Cook, Senator Cook. And Caroline Holler from Senator Rabin. Thank you for your time and service and I hope that this is a great experience for you this week. I also want to thank our Sergeants at Arms. We have Ken Kirby, Charles Marsalas, Anderson Meadows and Steve Wilson. We have, we're gonna be adjusting today's schedule just slightly. We're going to be hearing Senate Bill 793, the Charter School Bill. We're gonna, it's gonna be for discussion only. We're going to have 15 minutes designated for that and we're not going to be voting on that today. And then we're gonna go to the Student Records Bill, Senate Bill 815, so that we can finish up with Senate Bill 812. At this time, can we have Senator Tillman. Will you please explain Senate Bill 793 for us? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, with your permission I will have staff to go through this bill quickly. They know it as well, if not better than I do. And then, we will have a little discussion, hold it to 15 minutes, and we'll decide whether we're gonna vote it next week or not. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So the proposed committee substitute for Senate Bill 793 would do the following things. The first section would provide a specific application review and recommendation process for the Charter School Advisory Committee that would allow input from charter applicants that are getting initial recommendations of non-approval, allowing them to provide input and petition to appear before the Advisory Board and the State Board. Section Two of the bill provides in statue that the State Board would adopt a schedule each year for the review of all charter applications with specific information that's provided in that schedule, including deadlines and timelines for the review of applications and the submission of applications, and what the State Board would have to publish on its website, again dealing with the schedule and the review of charter applications. And then, Subsection E of that same section, would provide that the State Board's Fee for all charter applications and renewal applications would be $1000. It would eliminate the discretion that they currently have in setting the fee between 500 and 1000. Section Three of the bill would change the date by which the State Board does a final decision on charter applications from January 15th to August 15th, so that final decisions would have to be made by the State Board by August 15 of a calendar year. And they could make that final decision for approval contingent upon the completion of a planning year, prior to enrollment of students, which is the policy that they currently follow right now by having a planning year. So, this would codify what is currently being practiced by the State Board. And it would also, the bill would also clarify that final decisions of the State Board denying charter applications, can be appealed by commencing a contested case with Office of Administrative Hearings. And then Section Four would clarify that a charter school who has a mission of single gender education may limit admission on the basis of gender for the students at the school. Section Six says, excuse me, provides that the State Board, with respect to adopting the application schedule, the yearly application schedule, and the form and evaluation rubric, would be exempt from rulemaking for those provisions. And Section Seven allows the Revisor of Statutes to renumber and recodify the charter school statutes to a more suitable location. We are running[END OF RECORDING]
Statute numbers in that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Before we move forward, this is a PCS to have a motion to adopt the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Motion moved by Senator Cook, all in favor to adopt the PCS, say Aye. Oppose, No. The Ayes have it and PCS has explained this before you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, if we’re ready to proceed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me explain how we got to the point where we are today and I wanna be frank with you in another discussion that we’re gonna have. We have a newly established, I think they’ve been on board 8 or 9 months now, maybe 10 - Charter Advisory Board that review applications and recommend approvals or disapprovals. The process – the Advisory Board will be the first to tell you what’s flawed and many mistakes, I do believe have been made in that process and now we’re gonna be opening that up in this Bill when we get to it. I’m considering some fast track legislation also to move this process forward. I’d like to see Charter ?? approved rather than disapproved - some on technicalities, some on other things that may or may not be in the how the beholder buyer sees and PMOs have been sort of shut out of the process. Whether that’s because of flaws in the application process or not, I do not know. But I do know that some changes have to be made. I’m also smart enough to know that whatever we put in the process will not change significantly and as the man said of those people making these decisions and recommendation changes. Now, I’m willing to give them the opportunity to change their own house and put it in order and I hope, Mr. Chairman, we can hear from Joe Medley today because I think he is trying to work with the Charter Board to approve these processes. They’ve agreed and I’ve agreed that some of these things would be necessary. I want to see what they recommend to the State Board in cleaning up this mess. Now, if they make the changes that are necessary, I don’t have to move this bill. But I’ll also tell you that if these changes do not take place not just on paper but in the mindset then other things will be considered and I will tend to have the ??. We got some very honorable and very good and expert people, I talk to them all the time. They’ve been supportive of me and I’ve been supportive of them. But there’s no question about the process being flawed. So I wanna hold things right now and decide after what I hear today from Mr. Chairman, if it’s permissible to hear from the director, Joe Medley, I think he’s here today. I would like for him to explain what these new processes are briefly and then answer a couple of questions. With your permission. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The appeal here is that I’ve got couple of Senator’s some questions, we’re gonna hear from Mr. Medley who might address some of your issues a little bit and then we’ll lie to have those questions. So, Mr. Medley if you could and in the interest of time, let me show remarks to 2 minutes, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good Afternoon. Senator Tillman, Senator Soucek, Thank you for the opportunity to be able to speak with you. At 11:30 this morning. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please, for the record if you could say who you are and where’re you from? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m Joe Medley and I’m the director of North Carolina office of Charter Schools and work in the department of public instruction. This morning, I presented to the State Board of Education a process that was unanimously approved by the Charter School Advisory Board. It is on the State Board’s website that’s for public review. And I’d like to give you, very briefly, the process that was used in order to arrive to this. The chair of Advisory Board, Ms. Helen Nance has convened the subcommittee even though we have not finished the review process that is currently forth going and brought together 5 members of the advisory board to look at the process. Having heard from groups in order to be able to make changes in the suggestions to the State Board of Education. The changes that have been proposed are, we believe, would mitigate some of the concerns that have been raised too many views whilst what we’ve heard as well. The process would begin with the application ?? fine questions that need to be made. So there are two opportunities for them to able to hear from the applicant groups before the decision to recommendation are made for an interview. Other changes in the process are going to include the fact that there were some duplicative questions that we did notice in the application they’d removed and there’re some sections that were not as clear cut with the responses that we wanted. So those are being revised. All the application in the automated process should be ready to go by the middle of July before the application to be submitted by the end of September. Those were just the brief overviews but the key is that these groups are now being given the opportunity to be able to provide information back to the Advisory Board, so it is more open.
Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you very much. Senator Tillman do you have something to add? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Medley I have been in contact with many of these people that have been disproved or not approved for various reasons and I just want to say for the record, if you have a strong financial background, a strong organizational setup, with a strong board and access to facilities at your disposal and you are denied where you’ve been successful in other states, I think we’ve got a flaw in the thinking there and I want that corrected. I also ask you if a member of your board or you said we’ve got a great application here and I love it but I hate to see that it’s an EMO. Whether you did or not Mr. Medley, that bias is everybody’s opinion that heard that, including mine. Now I don’t know what’s right or wrong and I want to give you all the chance to get your house in order but I can smell something in Denmark that I don’t like. I think your changes are good but unless there’s a mindset change Mr. Medley, I don’t care how many processes you put on the paper. So I want to see a systematic change, you’ve been in there a little while, you’ve got some great people who can do that job I believe, if not we’ll look at those options in the long session. That’s all I have to say. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Alright thank you Senator Tillman. I did have a few questions over here. I saw Senator Bryant first if you.. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I had two questions. One is I don’t know what an EMO is and what is the big dispute about EMOs and is it an unidentified flying object or what is it? I’m sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] An EMO is a financially managed group that promotes starters in other locations outside of North Carolina and they’re viable organizations and for some reasons some folks don’t like EMOs, but I’m looking at innovative ideas folks and I’m looking at whatever we can gain from somebody else. If it comes from another state I don’t care whether they’re privately managed or whether they’re corporately managed, that makes no different to me. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] And I had a second question which is on the summary I saw the removal of open meetings requirements for charter boards but I couldn’t see in my quick perusal of the PCS where it is in the PCS? Is that in there somewhere or not in there, which I wish it were not? But can I get an answer and then I have a comment to make. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I’ll let staff answer that one if they will. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Staff. [SPEAKER CHANGE] There is a reference to one of the changes the PCS made was to take out a section that would have added requirements about the open meetings law. That actually those requirements are dealt with in the charters that are signed by the various charter schools. It’s one of the requirements the state board puts into the charter regarding open meetings. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I still am trying to understand, it says in the summary remove the provision that stated that the charter school and its board are subject to public records and open meeting laws. Where are we removing it from and where is that in this PCS? That’s what I’m confused about. [SPEAKER CHANGE] In the edition of the bill that was introduced, you have a PCS in front of you so if you look at the first edition of the bill it had codified provision that charters were subject to personnel records and open meetings laws and personal records statutes. In the PCS that codified language is removed so that’s where that provision in the summary comes from, but the way charters are currently signed and drafted they are subject to open meetings laws and the personnel records statute because that is the agreement a charter makes with the state board in its charter agreement. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGE] But it is not statutorily required by either statute or rule? [SPEAKER CHANGE] It is not addressed in the statutes. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Is there a reason why we decided to remove it? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator Tillman that would be something you might be able to address. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I don’t know, I was under the assumption that all these bodies were subject to the open meetings laws of the state so I don’t know why they’re not and I’ll be willing to look at that. We’re not going to vote this bill today, we’ve got some work to do on it and I just want to see where we’re going today to know what we need to do next week, whether we have this bill or we don’t have it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] One brief comment Mr. Chair on that. For some of my parents I think it will be important to consider that because some of the parents in my district..
… have felt not as welcome at some of the meetings, since they’re private non-profits and all. They can come but not as included, and I think any changes you make like that that might set up a less open environment would be a hindrance for the involvement of parents, and I just want to encourage you to codify that if you can. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Points well made. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Davis, do you have a question or comment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually Mr. Chair, that was my question there, so… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Alright, very good. Were there any other questions? This is all for discussion only. I’ll have one more and then we need to move on, otherwise we won’t get to anything else. Senator Robinson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just a couple of questions to catch up with Senator Tillman’s anger over what’s going on that we didn’t know anything about, but could I have some information in terms of if…? What I hear is some recommendations that were made that the state board looks like needs to consider, but has the state board had time to review the recommendations? Is there set up somewhere a time period where when the advisory board makes recommendations, the state board shall receive and consider them? Has it had time to really review and respond appropriately? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think so, Mr. Chairman. I think so, Senator Robinson. I’ve not heard any complaint on that end of it. I think the state board has had adequate time to make their final approval or disapproval. I have not heard any complaint about that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] A follow-up, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And if staff can tell me, how many charters do we currently have and how many were approved the last cycle? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’ll have staff get with you on that one. It’s for discussion only; it’s not necessary to have that right this moment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] They’ll get it to you. We’ve got time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well thank you. We just wanted to open this up so we can get people’s minds thinking of the PCS is front of us so we could discuss this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, Senator Graham? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think it’s a very good request that she made that’s kind of germane to the discussion I think, so I would love to get that information as well in terms of who’s on first and who’s on second, who’s been approved and who’s been denied. I think the public would probably want to know as well as we sit here discussing it, but also, this next week we’ll talk a little bit more about the approval process itself, and obviously I support charter schools – I support good charter schools – and sometimes we need to deny them. So I just want to kind of get a sense of the anger. I hear more anger than policy here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s a very good point. What we’ll do is we’ll get that information, we’ll distribute it to all the members of this committee. Well thank you. Thank you for presenting that and we will continue to move forward on that. Next before us we do have a PCS. Is this correct, Senator Barefoot? We’ve got a PCS to Senate Bill 815, to see a motion to adopt the PCS. This is from Senator Curtis. All in favor, aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, no. The ayes have it and the PCS is before us. Senator Barefoot, please explain. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This bill comes to us as a recommendation of the I.T. Oversight Committee. It seeks to ensure the privacy of our student data record. The product that you see before you is one where we’ve worked with key stakeholders, both with the department, with associations and with companies that have contracts with the state of North Carolina, and if I can, I’m going to defer to staff to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Section 1 of Senate Bill 815 would make several requirements for the state Board of Education to make with regards to the student data system. The first thing they would be required to do would be to create a data inventory of all the elements that are included within the student data system, including personally-identifiable student data that gets reported to the state or federal government. It also requires the state board to establish rules to comply with state and federal privacy laws, including FERPA, which is the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which is used nationally with regard to student data privacy of education records. Those rules would include restrictions on who could access the personally-identifiable student data in the student data system, and the list in the statute reflects the sort of requirements in FERPA of educational professionals who need access. It would also prohibit transferring that data unless it is otherwise allowed by law or rule or policy that’s been established. It next requires the state board to develop a data security plan for the student data system which would cover access, privacy compliance and audit process, planning for breach…
in the policy for data retention and disposition. It requires the department, the State Board, to establish a policy for compliance by the Department of Instruction in those laws, including compliance audits. It would require that contracts which govern the student data system and databases, which include student data that are outsourced to private vendors, would have express provisions safeguarding privacy and security and would include noncompliance penalties for breaches. And then finally it requires notification to the Governor and the General Assembly when new student data is being included and added to the existing data collection. Finally, part 1 does prohibit collection of four items about the student or the student's family from being stored in the student data system. Those are biometric information, political affiliation, religion, and voting history. Part 2 of the bill is requirements for the local school school administrative units. It would require local boards of education to provide annual notice to parents through some means designed to provide actual notice on parental rights under both federal and state law regarding student records in the opt-out opportunities provided for directory information under FERPA and for surveys that are covered under the Protection of People Rights amendment at the federal level. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Barefoot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. So since the 1970's FERPA has been the guiding document for how we protect student data and it was designed for a school system in the 1970's. And so what we're wanting to do, as a state, is make sure that we have the proper protections in place. FERPA has been changing on the federal level and so we want to make sure that North Carolina can continue to move forward the way we have but with proper protections in place. Most of what you see here in this bill is not out of line with current policies and procedures within the Department of Public Instruction. North Carolina has maintained a good rating when it comes to how we protect students' data because of our relationship to our research universities and other people that help us crunch numbers. We have been one of the front-runners in designing the type of contracts that it takes to do that but as we progress, mainly with the implementation of Power School, which is the student-wide data system, as we progress with putting more information online, and I when I say online I mean on the computers, when we do that we need to make sure we've got the right things in place when we share it. And that's what this bill seeks to do, is it beefs up the parental notification. It allows parents to make a decision about whether they want to opt-out of optional surveys that are delivered to the students and it makes sure that all the contracts we have with private contractors that we use within the Department of Education and LEA's, and even at the school level have good contracts in place for data that is personally identifiable and I recommend the bill to you and I'll answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Pate[??] do you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Senator Barefoot, is there any fiscal impact that has been noted for this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Barefoot? [SPEAKER CHANGES] There is not and part of the reason for that is because under FERPA the local school districts are already supposed to be providing notice. And so this puts the force of the statute behind it and it also requires them to provide an opt-out. There a survey that is done optionally that is required by the Center for Disease Control that asks questions that have, I think, become questionable for young children and it gives the parents the ability to opt-out of that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Tarte, did you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Senator Barefoot, quick question. Do you know as, well setting this up, cyber security is obviously one of the top issues of the state CIO and it's an issue they're addressing. Are we coordinating so we adopt a single set of standards and a single set of tools around protecting electronic data and would DPI be part of that solution? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So much of what DPI does is govern by FERPA. And, just so you know, the CIO has to sign off. So when these contracts are done the state CIO, the buck stops with him at the end of the day. He has to sign off on what we call MOU's, or Memorandums of Understanding, between the Department of Public Instruction and, say, Duke University for example.
Senator Brown: Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman: Thank you Senator Brown, do you have a questions? Senator Brown: No, I would just like [xxx] favorable report in proper time Mr. Chairman: Great, thank you. Are there any further questions? Senator Raven? Senator Raven: Yes, thank you Senator Barefoot. I’m just… I think that the privacy of all of us and the students are important. Are there penalties for people who breach that and commit some sort of…that divulge or use embodied in this? Or, do we just say it is a bad thing to do? Speaker: So, if this law passes, they would be in violation of both Verpa, which there are some penalties that come with that, and the state law. We have not specified penalties. We believe that we should give some flexibility in that, but, I can tell you, based on my research, based on the people I have talked to, the biggest penalty will be losing access to the data for the ones that do this. Duke University comes to mind: they have been a partner of the states for many years. They use it to do a lot of the educational research that we ask for, studies on both students and teachers. It would be detrimental to them to lose that relationship, but we do provide for that in the bill. Mr. Chairman: Thank you. Seeing no further questions, we do have a motion: this motion will be favorable to the PCS, unfavorable to the original bill. Any discussions? Seeing none. All in favor say aye. [Congregation: Aye] Mr. Chairman: Opposed, nae? The aye’s have it. PCS is passed. Thank you. And our third bill here today is Senate Bill 812. We do have Senator Tillman to go up and discuss this. Senator Tillman, you have the floor. Senator Tillman: Mr. Chairman, thank you. I have some technical amendments that we have to offer and I would like to have the sergeant in arms pass these out. Mr. Chairman: Great. As he is passing out the amendment, this is a PCS, so if we could have a motion to adopt the PCS. All those in favor say aye. [Congregation: aye] Mr. Chairman: All opposed, nay. The aye’s have it. The PCS is before you and we do have the amendment being passed out. Senator Tillman, if you could, it’s pretty self explanatory, well not self explanatory, but pretty simple. If you could explain that while we are passing this out and then see if we have any questions. Senator Tillman: Dr. Pierce has worked with me diligently as have the rest of the staff. I would like her to explain these technical amendments. One of them may not be so technical but let’s let her explain them. Dr. Pierce: Thank you Senators. If you will look at your version of the PCS, that will also help to understand the amendment. So, in your PCS, if you will look on page 2, at line 13, the amendment would change the number of members that the President pro tim of the Senate would appoint to the academic standards review commission from the overall number would go from 9 to 11. So then on page 2, line 14, we would go from 3 members that the Senate would appoint, to 4 members. And then if you would look on line 24, of page 2, the number of members that the Speaker of the House would appoint, will go from 3 to 4. And then if you look on the PCS, on line 42, we would delete the line that says that the members of the commission have to be citizens of North Carolina. Then on page 3 of the PCS, lien 15, and this is to coordinate with now that we have 11 members on the commission instead of 9, the [??corum??] would go to 7. So that’s why we are substituting the word 7 for 9. Also, on page 3, line 35, we would rewrite that lien to read just by adding the word “upon,” that was a technical error on my part because I forgot and put “up on the following report” And then finally, on page 4, line 16, there are some examples of different nationally norm assessments that the state could consider, and just to add another example…
ITBS which is the Illinois test of basic skills so those would be all of the amendments to the.. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I believe that’s Iowa test of basic skills. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Oh I’m sorry, Iowa not Illinois. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Illinois didn’t think of it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you, Senator Tillman do you have any comments on that? [SPEAKER CHANGE] No I think they’re self explanatory Mr. Chairman. I move that we adopt these amendments and include them in the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any questions or discussion on the amendment? Senator Stein. [SPEAKER CHANGE] A couple questions. Are you not concerned about the overweighting of the president pro tempore and speaker versus the governor? I mean typically the three, instead of four shouldn’t we have three three and three so that there’s balance here? [SPEAKER CHANGE] You can make this bill say anything you want to and you know the governor could have five or six. No, I think the bill’s just right the way it is that’s the reason we wrote it this way Senator Stein, but if you have an amendment you want to take or on the floor I’ll listen. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up question. I know that North Carolina doesn’t have citizens but is there a reason why that sentence was deleted? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes, if we did leave that in there how would you verify whether a person that walks in is a citizen? We don’t have the capability, and first there US citizens. We didn’t need that at all. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any further questions or comments on the amendment? Seeing none, all in favor of the amendment say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it and the PCS as amended is before you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Briefly I will tell you how we got to this point. Over the last six months I’ve been working with tea party, liberal left, with the exceptions in this room, chamber, governor, best North Carolina, state superintendent, state board, and you name it. We’ve been around my table in my office and we’ve gone back and forth and we’ve come up with some very good strong suggestions from all of those bodies and I think we’ve come as close as we can to agreement. I don’t think you’ll hear any big disagreement today. There may be an amendment that we will look at on the floor, I don’t know, I’ve got to study that. I’m sure there’s some merit in it at first glance but didn’t have time to study it enough with this session today. I did not go out looking to change common core. First heard about it, I heard what could be wrong with national standards? It’s going to help recruit businesses right? Yeah sure, national standards would be good but then I got to thinking folks, we ought to own our own standards and can we make more rigorous standards? Absolutely. And Jerry Tillman and Dan Soucek’s name would not be on this bill if it were weakening standards. I spent forty years trying to raise them in school systems and in schools. Never ever wanted to lower standards, I wanted to increase them, I still do. There are a lot of flaws in the common core, the idea was worthy but I believe North Carolina can do a better job with a bona fide standards commission that can take a look at what ought to be our standards and our assessments and make them, number one applicable to North Carolina, and number two rigorous enough that you can recruit any business or industry to this state without one single problem and I don’t want to go against any of the business community because their aims and objectives are good. But in all of that it kept coming to me, at first from the right, and then from the soccer moms, wait a minute there’s some things we don’t like about this. Well tell me about it because I was sort of gullible enough to believe they were the end all and be all of everything but when you study them enough, and some of the very groups that are supporting these did not know what these national standards were, it sounded like a good idea and so quickly adopted that as our ??? for the state of North Carolina. I think we can do better, that’s what this bill attempts to do, and I’ve worked with all the bodies concerned and we’ll continue to, but I will stop there and see if there’s any comments or questions Mr. Chairman it’s back in your lap. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Senator Tillman. Do we have any questions? I see Senator Stein. [SPEAKER CHANGE] The North Carolina common course of study which is what it’s called under current law gets reevaluated every five years and by everyone’s assessment the current standards are substantially more rigorous than the prior standards..
year two of a five year cycle. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Three. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Finishing year two or finishing year three? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Three. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We, the cycle will happen in it's due course. My question to you is, I hear on the floor when we debated the budget that teachers are the most important people to educating our children in school. The quality of the teacher there makes all the difference in the world. Teachers have invested a couple of years to learn a new way of teaching to higher standards and this is confirmed both by poll data, which shows 78-82% of the teachers endorse it, but also anecdotally. Every teacher I've talked to. My kids are, all three, in public schools. I ask the teachers, I ask the other teachers in the school and they all say that it allows them to teach deeper and so that kids have a better understanding. Teachers are under so much duress and stress right now. Why are we creating a whole layer of uncertainty in to our public schools at a time when they hadn't gotten enough pay increases, they have to few teacher assistants, all this stuff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do I have a question here somewhere? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm getting there. And that question is, is why are we introducing uncertainty that destabilizes education and the business community when it's totally unnecessary and we've got a process by which we will revisit this a year from now? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator, I think we're doing this for the same reasons that Tennessee is getting out, Indiana's out, five or six states didn't get in to start with because we outta own our own standards. We ought not farm that out to a national conglomerate of anybody. I think we need to own our standards. This will be back in our hands. Yet, in two years we'll have the five year cycle of review coming up. This stuff may dovetail just perfectly with that but the commission won't start until September/October. It'll be December or January before they make recommendations. So in the meantime, you've got to take what you've got and make the best of it. Yes, a lot of work and energy and time have been invested on something we should have never got in to to start with and we did. And I'm about three years late in waking up to the fact that there's a better way and we can own it. Constitutionally, we ought to own our standards and this will put them in our hands. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, you were just now shaking your head that the current standards are more rigorous than the old ones. Why should we have not gotten in to this in the first place? You just said we shouldn't have gotten in to the standards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Because- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. We're a little bit asleep at the wheel, Senator. Yes, the standards that we have in place of the other ones are better. They're not nearly rigorous enough in math and they're totally inappropriate for the early grades. The math part is flawed from the get-go and if you talk to math teachers you will know that. I must have been talking to the other 22% of the teachers, Senator. I'm not hearing what you're hearing. Maybe it's because they're more conservative in my area, I don't know, but I do know what I've been hearing and I know I've got 40 years of experience that attunes my ear to what's going on. So, I'm basing it on people I've talked to on both sides. By the way, your very liberal state of New York has a two year moratorium on it and they will get out of common core. It's not just the right. It's not a political issue to me at all. It's what's right for North Carolina. That's simply what I'm doing, trying to do there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator Tillman. I saw Senator Robinson, you had a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just a question but, Senator Tillman, I heard you say that North Carolina outta do it's own but we're gonna do like other states and get out. But I think you would admit that North Carolina's been a leader in terms of what we do and so just because the other states are getting out doesn't mean that that's evidence for us. So my question here is, have we heard from advocates and are there advocates in the audience, Mr. Chair, that we are going to hear from later. If not, I've got another question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, we do have some people who are going to be speaking with us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We're gonna hear from them? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, and the follow-up question, Senator Tillman, because I think that we're certainly interested and we want businesses to come here but the key issue ought to be academic achievement of children and what will do that. So can you point out a few of the flaws. I heard some early, as we started, too, but I heard that we would have time to work through those and this would give us time to really evaluate. But I've heard, since then, from teachers and all that say every couple years you all keep changing the standards and we can never get adapted to anything to help to make education better to teach kids. So can you point a couple of those key flaws? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We spent months with the only subject that we covered was Common Core with the LRC committee. They had a room committee and we had everybody to speak for and against. All that testimony is on the record.
The overwhelming evidence that we’ve got that we need to have a change. So, both committees House and Senate sent this forward to the legislative for the bill that we recommend. Now the House defers the matter somewhat as expected. There are many flaws in it and I just told you some - the mass standards are totally too weak on the upper levels and they are inappropriate and too difficult for the younger kids. That needs total revamping but any decision that's made henceforth will be dependent upon the standards commission to recommend to the state board of education. And now not be our standard for North Carolina. In the bill it says, to make a rigorous or more rigorous than any in the nation. We are wanting some rigorous North Carolina standards and it will be, I think a high level of standards that you will get from this commission, I have faith that it will work much better than the conglomerate of the 50 States. I have always been a little reluctant to take somebody's yield national effort and think it will do any good, I have seen too many fails. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would like to hear a little bit from some other people in public and then we have got a few senators. Do have some questions but someone in the public that would like to comment on this bill, this PCS. And please state your name and who are you with and 2 minutes please. Your microphone is not on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon I’m Mark Jule, vice president of North Carolina association of educators and an instructional coach from Guilford County School. I’m here to respectfully urge you not to repeal the North Carolina common course standards. Our educators are in the third year of implementing this college and career ready guidelines. Our common course state standards are providing a regress training work for class room teachers. These standards were not restrictive and never meant to be wrote common plays nor were they meant to be live with creativity of our classroom teachers. The common course state standards are just that, they are standards, they are designed to bring clarity to the work done across our state and across our country. And a recent state wide independent survey conducted by Greenberg, Quinwin and ?? research. 77% of teachers support these standards. They are helping students to develop better critical thinking and problem solving skills. Just this morning I received a message from J.N. Halt, a ?? middle school arts teacher in ??. She states "I’m very concerned about the possibility of north Carolina reverting back to state standards. After 2 years, I’m beginning to see my teachers were into analyzed text more clearly and deliberately. Please let me know what I can do to keep North Carolina common course standards. We hear these comments every day. To embrace strong standards is critical and supporting teachers who implement these standards are key to North Carolina's economic success. Please do what is right for our 1.5 million students, let's keep then globally competitive in ever-changing, fast paced workforce environment. Resilient students and resilient teachers who will keep our world class public school system competitive and continue to move north Carolina forward are provided with you the key findings independent research for your review. Please reconsider this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Yes, please state your name and who you with and 2 minutes please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am Kim Fank and I didn't know there was gonna be an opportunity to speak publicly so I am speaking of the cough. I am the chairman watchdog of the coastal Carolina tax press association. I have flooded all of you emails for the last 8 months. On reasons and data and research and pictures of homework and a difference between standards and curriculum, the thing that makes me the angriest is national standards do not belong in an individual state. What about sovereignty, what about the constitution. If you look at what's being fine without parental approval, without legislative approval; what authority has been given to the parents over the control of their own kids. We are succeeding for control of our education system to the chamber of commerce in the big business entities in the groups of these private public partnerships. Looking at the standards I have looked at the standards. What most people have a look at is appendix B. Appendix B includes the methods of teaching the math.
I forgot, it’s not curriculum. It also mentions the fact that there are suggested book readings but you guys don’t know about that. But not just the book, it’s not the whole book. It’s the page, the chapter and then an assigned task. But, oh yeah, that’s not curriculum and then you hear that the teachers aren’t using it. It’s bullcrap, people. We need to keep North Carolina, North Carolina and forget what the big businesses say, these are our children. Thank You. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Please, I know this has been an emotional issue, but please know outbursts of noise like that, it’s not proper in this committee meeting. But thank you. One thing we did when we had to start a commission with ?? we had long discussion, lots and lots of interaction and a very long public comment period as well. I did wanna give a small opportunity from the public as well. We did hear one for and one against, but you wanna go back to the senders. As we’re running out of time, I have vote. Senator Bryant, Senator Tarte, Senator Graham and Senator Davis as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank You, Mr. Chair. I had one question, I think a comment. I need to understand the timeline, the sort of process we’re creating here. So, Senator Tillman, correct me if I’m wrong and add when I’m missing. We’re creating this Standards Commission that will convene in September and maybe make a report by the end of the year to the State Board who still can’t decide what standards we have. And amongst the standards, they can consider or including the common core standards are completely out of consideration, regardless and then when will the teachers have to change what they’re doing. So, I’m sort of asking 3 questions. Do I have this preliminary process correct? When it gets to state board, what is their authority to kick his common core still on the table or does this bill say, regardless of what information we get from any sources out and thirdly, when do the teachers have to then change what they’re now doing and the status quo reign until some change is implemented. Does that make sense? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, you’ve got the process and the timeline about right. A board will be named by the naming bodies. The governor and legislature – house and senate and this bill becomes effective July 1st. Common core standards are removed and repealed as of July 1st. This committee will meet, be named and start working in September, they work in department administration and they will review standards and any standards that we have or any that we need are all subject to be the topics of discussion for this standards commission anyway can be recommended to the state board. Nothing’s out, Nothing’s in. It’s ours and not theirs, is the main thing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Follow up, Mr. Chair. So what course of study are we using when kids go back to school in August of this year? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Standard course of study is what we’ve always used and that’s what we’ll continue to use until we have changes recommended and approved by the State Board. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One more follow up. So that standard course of study now includes the common core standards. Am I missing something? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Common core standards are a part of the standards that we’re operating under now and those can be rejected and ?? in part, whatever. It’s up to the standards commission. That will be doing it and putting North Carolina’s brand on it. They may take some, all or none of the current standards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Bryant, what I’d like you to do is, read section 6 on page 4. Let me go to the other Senators, they may answer your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tarte, do you have a question? Thank You, Senator Graham? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s more of a comment than a question in reference to this. My concern is the ?? ?? any consistency in policy. We put a policy in place. We gotta ?? and then we change the policy. We got standards up to the place for 3 years now, teachers are working to watch them. We got a ?? too, now we change them. So ?? further your bill and the charter school, we put up a process in place, we got a ?? too we change them. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency in policy. That leads to confusion in reference to education for me, per se. So, I’m voting against the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You decide what kind of policy changes you want to make on ?? you make it 2 or 3. I don’t make policy that way senator, so your allegation of that in both the charter and in common core bill are.
False. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Wade. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, at the appropriate time, I’d like to move for a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Noted. I do see Senator Stein and Senator Daniel did have questions. Let’s listen to those two questions. Senator Stein? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Tillman, I think I want to follow up on Senator Bryant’s line of inquiry. You said that effective July 1, those standards are repealed and removed and we default back to the North Carolina course of study. Are you talking about the standards that we had three years ago, or are you saying the North Carolina course of study remains in effect until which time this commission has made recommendations to the state board which then makes changes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s my understanding. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Daniel. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Tillman, I guess my question… following up on Senator Graham’s question, is it accurate to say that in the past, North Carolina has always designed its own standards, and what’s different about the common core is we’ve now all of a sudden tried to adopt some national standard? And I think that’s, at least in my mind, one of the things that’s different about the policy direction that we’re going in at this time and why the change is necessary. I applaud you for your efforts to get back to North Carolina designing its own standards for our own students. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Senator. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And Senator Woodard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Tillman, I think I heard you say something I just want to verify. You said that this study committee could come back and recommend none, some or all of the common core standards, so is it possible then that we could be right back where we are? If they come back and recommend all the standards, we have common core back in place? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. Senator, that won’t happen. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You did say “all” though. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It could be, but listen: That committee, that standards commission, will put it in North Carolina’s hands. If common core was such a great idea, they’d have a test for it, would they not, so we could compare how we’re doing. We’ve been into this thing for two or three years and where are we? We have no national test and you won’t have one. There’ll be no comparison between state to state. We’ll have that with this standards commission, so I think I trust them. I trust them to do this thing right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So when you said “all”, you misspoke then. They will never recommend all the common core standards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don’t think so but they can do anything they want to. It’ll be ours and not theirs; that’s all I’m saying. Whatever they recommend and the state board approves and we approve, we’ll have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Final question will be from Senator Rabon, and then I’ll hear Senator Wade’s motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m more into the comment mode because comments are being made. When I started down personally this trail, common core were guidelines. Now I’m hearing that common core are standards, and the right solution I believe is the direction we’re going right now. If the state gives up what are the standards and what are we doing, then the next thing that comes down on us here is not only the standard here; it’s how you do it and then what you teach, and what we teach, the curriculum and the standards, should be best for North Carolina, not best for somebody else. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Cook. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a quick comment. ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You microphone’s not on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s not working? I’ve had several town halls on this, and the vast preponderance, and these were big groups of folks come to talk, were against common core, so it’s not just a little one or two phone calls; there’s a lot of folks out there who are really displeased about this, and I’m thanking ?? and Jerry for bringing this forward. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well thank you. We do have a motion from Senator Wade. If I believe, your motion is a PCS as amended rolled into a new PSCS with favorable to a new PCS and unfavorable to the original bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Exactly, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for that motion. And all in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The ayes have it and the motion passes, and that concludes out time today. Thank you very much for your attendance.