Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/11/2015 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:04:46 AM Start
08:05:22 AM Presentation: University of Alaska Report on Attracting, Training and Retaining Qualified Public School Teachers
09:42:20 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
"University of Alaska's Report on Attracting,
Training & Retaining Qualified Public School
Teachers" by Regent Mike Powers, Regent Jo
Heckman & Dr. Steve Atwater
+ University of Alaska Board of TELECONFERENCED
Regents/Chancellors: Program Prioritization
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 11, 2015                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Wes Keller, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Jim Colver                                                                                                       
Representative Liz Vazquez                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA REPORT ON ATTRACTING~                                                                       
TRAINING AND RETAINING QUALIFIED PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS                                                                         
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MIKE POWERS, Vice-Chair Board of Regents                                                                                        
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the University of Alaska's Report                                                              
on Attracting, Training, and Recruiting Qualified Public School                                                                 
STEVE ATWATER PhD, Associate Vice President                                                                                     
K-12 Outreach                                                                                                                   
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the University of Alaska                                                                 
report on attracting, training, and retaining qualified public                                                                  
school teachers.                                                                                                                
DIANE HIRSHBERG, Director                                                                                                       
Center for Alaska Education Policy Research                                                                                     
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Responded  to   questions  during   the                                                             
University of Alaska's presentation.                                                                                            
DEBORAH LO, Dean                                                                                                                
School of Education                                                                                                             
University of Alaska Southeast                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Responded  to   questions  during   the                                                             
University of Alaska's presentation.                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:04:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WES  KELLER called the  House Education  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:04  a.m.  Representatives Seaton, Drummond,                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins, Reinbold, and Keller were  present at the call to                                                               
8:05:22 AM                                                                                                                    
^PRESENTATION:    UNIVERSITY  OF  ALASKA  REPORT  ON  ATTRACTING,                                                               
TRAINING AND RETAINING QUALIFIED PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS                                                                         
   PRESENTATION:  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA REPORT ON ATTRACTING,                                                                
    TRAINING AND RETAINING QUALIFIED PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS                                                                 
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation from the University  of Alaska (UA) on attracting,                                                               
training, and retaining qualified public school teachers.                                                                       
CHAIR   KELLER  advised   the   committee   that  the   following                                                               
presentation is required by statute,  and the intent is to narrow                                                               
the gap between  teachers new to the state and  turnover, and the                                                               
quality  of training  teachers out  of Alaska,  thereby retaining                                                               
more teachers.   He  opined that  the intent  was to  require the                                                               
legislature  and University  of Alaska  to interact  once a  year                                                               
8:08:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REGENT MIKE  POWERS, Vice-Chair Board  of Regents,  University of                                                               
Alaska,  said  the mission  and  strategy  of the  University  of                                                               
Alaska is  quality of life, and  that economic Alaska is  able to                                                               
depend  upon  an  educated  population   so  the  link  with  the                                                               
University of  Alaska is vital.    In 2011, under  the leadership                                                               
of  President Pat  Gamble, the  Shaping  Alaska's Future  project                                                               
involved 80  listening sessions comprising of  students, faculty,                                                               
alumni,  staff, business  leaders,  elected  officials, and  K-12                                                               
partners.   A  broad  survey  of state  and  national trends  was                                                               
conducted  regarding the  likelihood of  budget constraints,  and                                                               
the choices  available to  students largely  due to  mobility and                                                               
distance delivery.   It was a  two year effort with  five themes,                                                               
which   included:   enhancing   student   achievement;   creating                                                               
productive   partnerships   with   Alaska   schools;   productive                                                               
partnerships  with  public  and private  industry;  research  and                                                               
development  to enhance  economic growth;  and accountability  to                                                               
all Alaskans.  He explained  that relative to creating productive                                                               
partnerships with  Alaska schools  the focus  was upon  three key                                                               
outcomes: high school graduation requirements aligned and post-                                                                 
secondary pathways clearly communicated  to high school students;                                                               
teacher retention in rural Alaska  to equal that of urban Alaska;                                                               
partnership  with Alaska  schools as  the college  going rate  in                                                               
Alaska would be similar to its peer group in the Western states.                                                                
8:13:07 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  ATWATER  PhD,  Associate Vice  President,  K-12  Outreach,                                                               
University of  Alaska, advised that a  portion his responsibility                                                               
is  to attract,  train and  retain public  school teachers.   The                                                               
report indicates  that the UA universities  prepare approximately                                                               
1/3 of  Alaska teacher needed  for Alaska and their  intention is                                                               
50 percent.  He drew the  committee's attention to page 2, "Table                                                               
1. University  of Alaska Education Program  Graduates, 2006-07 to                                                               
2013-14" and noted that 2014  273 teacher graduates is the second                                                               
highest  in  the   eight  years  referenced.     With  regard  to                                                               
certificates such  as, reading endorsement  on page 2,  "Chart 1.                                                               
University  of Alaska  Teacher Preparation  Program Graduates  by                                                               
Level  of Endorsement,  2007-2014"  the  majority are  elementary                                                               
prepared  teachers.    "Chart 2.  University  of  Alaska  Special                                                               
Education Graduates 2007-2014" indicates  the number of graduates                                                               
with  special education  endorsement  and is  fairly stable  and,                                                               
however  he  noted,   those  returning  to  school   to  seek  an                                                               
additional endorsement for  special education is going  down.  He                                                               
related the thought being that  special education teachers have a                                                               
larger  and  larger  caseload,  often  dealing  with  challenging                                                               
situations,  the compliance  side  is increasing,  and are  often                                                               
called in  to take  part in  the remedial  work performed  at the                                                               
lower elementary  level with intervention.   He pointed  out that                                                               
the following  pages of the  report include: Table 3,  that shows                                                               
85  percent  of  Alaska's  education graduates  were  working  in                                                               
Alaska and are in the field  of education, and Table 4, shows the                                                               
wages earned by teachers versus  other licensure type professions                                                               
who quickly earn more than teachers.                                                                                            
8:16:05 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  ATWATER turned  to  page 6,  "Alaska  Native Educators"  and                                                               
advised that  research on  student teachers  reveals that  one of                                                               
the recurring findings is that  students who like and trust their                                                               
teachers will learn at a  faster rate and teachers who understand                                                               
the  culture  of  their  students  may  have  more  success  than                                                               
teachers  that do  not.   Therefore,  he pointed  out, last  year                                                               
shows a positive  trend for schools with  Alaska Native students.                                                               
He said their work to  attract and train Native teachers include:                                                               
a federal  grant award to UAS  that will help in  the preparation                                                               
and advancement of Native teachers;  money from a foundation that                                                               
is strengthening  teacher preparation  and knowledge  in cultural                                                               
based arts instruction;  and a partnership with  UAA in exploring                                                               
Native  teachers for  rural  Alaska.   A  pressing challenge,  he                                                               
remarked, is  determining how well  the investment in  the system                                                               
is bringing  about the  desired outcome  by using  feedback about                                                               
Alaska  teacher  graduates  to guide  improvement  efforts.    He                                                               
referred  to page  7, "Table  5. Employer  ratings of  UA program                                                               
graduates  in the  classroom," and  advised it  provided feedback                                                               
from  principals overseeing  UA  prepared teachers  and that  the                                                               
vast majority are  generally doing very well.   More specifically                                                               
the  information  on page  8,  "Table  6. UA  Program  Graduates'                                                               
Assessment  of Skills,"  provides data  on how  teacher graduates                                                               
view themselves  which, he  described as  invaluable information.                                                               
He  turned to  page 9,  "Table  7. Teacher  Turnover and  Student                                                               
Achievement," and  explained that village schools  fall under the                                                               
federal  classification  of  "remote."   He  then  stressed  that                                                               
teachers trained  in Alaska  tend to stay  for longer  periods of                                                               
time in  the remote schools  when compared to  teachers recruited                                                               
from the lower-48.   He said refining longevity  helps schools to                                                               
experience  better  success  and  turned to  page  9,  "Table  7.                                                               
Teacher  Turnover and  Student Achievement,"  and pointed  out it                                                               
demonstrates that  teacher stability is an  important variable to                                                               
students  and  school  districts.     In  response,  the  teacher                                                               
preparation  program  is  sending more  pre-service  students  to                                                               
rural Alaska to  perform practicums in student  teaching which is                                                               
an expensive endeavor.                                                                                                          
8:19:54 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  ATWATER  said that  page  10  refers to  "Teacher  Candidate                                                               
Pipeline Issues,"  and noted that  schools across the  nation are                                                               
experiencing a  diminished supply  of teachers.   The diminishing                                                               
supply makes  it difficult to  bring teachers to Alaska,  but the                                                               
University of  Alaska has spent  time on the  lower-48 recruiting                                                               
trail  and  created  a plan  revitalizing  teacher  education  in                                                               
Alaska.    The Alaska  Teacher  Placement  (ATP), funded  by  the                                                               
University of  Alaska as  part of its  K-12 outreach  office, has                                                               
expanded  its  role  from  coordinating  job  fairs  and  housing                                                               
applicant information to actively  recruiting teachers to come to                                                               
Alaska.   Rural  Alaska school  districts  are on  the road  from                                                               
January  through May,  and sometimes  year  round, attempting  to                                                               
recruit teachers, he added.   The University of Alaska is writing                                                               
grants to recruit  and train teachers starting  with its outreach                                                               
to 23  high schools  with a Future  Educators for  Alaska program                                                               
that primarily serves rural Alaska Native students.                                                                             
8:22:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. ATWATER  responded to Chair  Keller that he was  referring to                                                               
the  Future  Educators  of  Alaska program  on  page  11,  second                                                               
8:23:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. ATWATER  said that UA  schools and College of  Education have                                                               
expanded their efforts by training  teachers through a variety of                                                               
ways  such  as the  Alaska  Rural  Paraprofessional Program  that                                                               
trains  classroom  aids  with   in-school  experience  to  become                                                               
teachers.    The move  from  a  paraprofessional to  a  certified                                                               
teaching position is  a heavy lift and requires  more effort than                                                               
simply recruiting  a student  to the University  of Alaska.   The                                                               
expectation   is  that   while   paraprofessionals  are   earning                                                               
certificates they  will maintain  employment should lead  to long                                                               
term  placement in  village schools.   The  University of  Alaska                                                               
schools and  College of  Education plan to  reach out  to similar                                                               
schools in the lower-48 to  target free service juniors, he said.                                                               
The proposed agreements include  course work, clinical experience                                                               
in  Alaska,  and  mentoring  and the  outreach  is  dependent  on                                                               
funding  which  is  a  challenge today,  he  related.    Critical                                                               
support is  offered to UA new  teachers in the form  of mentoring                                                               
through  the Alaska  State Mentoring  Program  as those  teachers                                                               
stay in their  jobs at a higher rate, he  remarked.  He explained                                                               
that the plan is to  prepare more teachers and revitalize teacher                                                               
education  in  Alaska  is  designed   to  tightly  align  teacher                                                               
preparation  programs with  the  demands of  K-12  with 4  goals,                                                               
which include: improving the rigor  and selectivity of UA teacher                                                               
certification;  graduate  50  percent   more  teachers  who  have                                                               
certifications; partner  with State  of Alaska and  Alaska School                                                               
Districts  to  reduce  turnover   and  collaborate  to  eliminate                                                               
barriers to student completion and  unnecessary duplication.  Dr.                                                               
Atwater  acknowledged the  criticism  that courses  taken at  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  Anchorage,  for example,  do  not  easily                                                               
transfer to the  University of Alaska Fairbanks.   Currently over                                                               
95 percent of  its courses statewide transfer  and that education                                                               
it is even better.                                                                                                              
8:25:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REGENT POWERS offered  that a challenge of any  strategic plan is                                                               
keeping  it alive  and the  UA regents  agreed to  focus on  each                                                               
previously  mentioned themes  individually at  meetings and  most                                                               
importantly  the issue  of  productive  partnerships with  Alaska                                                               
schools.  He explained that  Student Regent, Courtney Enright and                                                               
Regent  Powers  took  that issue  and  called  a  superintendent,                                                               
principal,  and  teacher  of  a  school  district  in  53  school                                                               
districts to determine what is and  is not working.  He described                                                               
the  exercise as  worthwhile, and  relative to  partnerships with                                                               
Alaska   schools  is   mentorship,  and   the  Alaska   Statewide                                                               
Mentorship Program  was mentioned time  and again.   Monitoring a                                                               
student's  progress  is  "absolutely  crushing"  as  it  requires                                                               
documenting their  progress, looping back when  the student moves                                                               
off course,  and intervening in  some manner, which  is extremely                                                               
burdensome as opposed to processes in  the past, he remarked.  He                                                               
mentioned  that  classroom  management  was an  issue  in  people                                                               
moving   forward   such   as,  understanding   cultural   issues,                                                               
differences  of learning  styles,  et cetra.    The reports  were                                                               
solid  and pointed  to the  significance of  schools knowing  its                                                               
geographic region well  and able to intervene due  to the nuances                                                               
of  remote areas  particular  to their  geographic  setting.   He                                                               
added that page  15 is a full circle graft  with the message "How                                                               
do we continue  to improve:" build a pipeline by  working with K-                                                               
12  to  ensure  readiness;  encourage   education  as  a  career;                                                               
continue with  teacher prep on  campus and the  community served;                                                               
augment  with  mentorship;  and  continue  to  champion  advanced                                                               
degrees,  professional development,  and continued  learning with                                                               
8:31:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD   asked  why  regulatory   reporting  is                                                               
DR.  ATWATER responded  that  there is  an  increasing amount  of                                                               
compliance and record  keeping required of teachers  and that the                                                               
monitoring of  learning done now as  compared to 15 years  ago is                                                               
more  sophisticated,  in-depth, and  authentic.    The parent  is                                                               
provided  with  more than  just  a  grade  effort, but  rather  a                                                               
thoroughly  informed  spectrum report  on  the  student which  is                                                               
burdensome in  terms of reporting.   In terms of  regulations and                                                               
training coming down  on teachers, they now need  to address such                                                               
things  as suicide  prevention training  and with  more of  those                                                               
types of  regulations teachers  are required to  spend time.   In                                                               
the past  teachers had 25 students  and they would do  their best                                                               
to  meet  each  student,  but   currently  there  is  a  progress                                                               
monitoring of the students on  a regular basis to determine where                                                               
they  are in  the continuum  of  learning and  when students  are                                                               
identified  as  "not really"  needing  it  they are  pulled  into                                                               
remediation rather than fall further behind.                                                                                    
8:33:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked whether it  is a state  or federal                                                               
regulation, or school district policy for this monitoring.                                                                      
DR.  ATWATER advised  the monitoring  of literacy  progress is  a                                                               
2001  regulation from  the state  requiring  school districts  to                                                               
monitor literacy at  the district level.  In  terms of reporting,                                                               
school  districts make  the  choice on  their own  as  it is  not                                                               
8:34:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER advised that this  issue is beyond the parameters of                                                               
the University  of Alaska's  report.  He  then surmised  that the                                                               
number of  students entering the  Alaska workforce is  stable and                                                               
not improving.                                                                                                                  
DR. ATWATER  responded there has not  been a big bump  in Alaskan                                                               
educated teacher.                                                                                                               
CHAIR  KELLER returned  to the  chart on  page 2,  and asked  for                                                               
DR.  ATWATER  explained that  the  dark  blue represents  trained                                                               
teachers  for elementary  school, light  blue represents  trained                                                               
teachers for secondary school, and  green are teachers trained as                                                               
generalist to teaching a K-12 endorsement.                                                                                      
8:37:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON referred  to  the chart  on secondary  and                                                               
asked whether there is an  explanation for the decrease in number                                                               
of teachers  preparing for secondary licensure  in the university                                                               
DR. ATWATER offered to provide written information.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  opined there  should be an  explanation as                                                               
to why a trend line is dipping for overall high school training.                                                                
8:38:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  questioned whether  he anticipates                                                               
a positive trend in the  total number of teachers graduating from                                                               
UA programs  in future years,  Table 1.   He referred to  Table 3                                                               
regarding retention and asked how  the data in Alaska compares to                                                               
data of university educated school graduates in other states.                                                                   
DR. ATWATER answered  that he does not have  that comparison, and                                                               
noted that the  challenge is in rural Alaska  where the retention                                                               
could be  eight to nine percent.   Alaska is unique  and does not                                                               
compare with  other states as  the variables are not  similar, he                                                               
pointed out.   With regard  to the  second question, he  does not                                                               
expect Alaska  to produce "tons  and tons" of more  teachers, but                                                               
it  can inch  up.    The Alaska  Native  Science and  Engineering                                                               
Program  (ANSEP)  and  Alaska Native  Teacher  Education  Program                                                               
(ANTEP) are  being cultivated, but  with the fiscal  climate that                                                               
may not happen, he said.  He  then advised their plan is to bring                                                               
rural students together to expose  them to the university setting                                                               
and hold their hands in a  manner they are not held currently and                                                               
put them  through the  pipeline.   External factors  include, why                                                               
choose  teaching,  and  other  factors   UA  cannot  control,  he                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS   referred  to  Tables   2-3,  and                                                               
requested  a  combination  of  data   indicating  the  number  of                                                               
students  graduating  from  the  UA  education  system,  live  in                                                               
Alaska, and teach.                                                                                                              
DR. ATWATER advised he would provide the information.                                                                           
8:43:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER  referred  to  page   5,  and  said  he  found  the                                                               
comparison  between teachers  and other  professions "hollow"  in                                                               
that teachers  work nine months  of the  year.  He  asked whether                                                               
the  teacher  salaries  include   adjusted  annual  salaries  and                                                               
DR.  ATWATER  responded  that  it   is  annual  salaries  without                                                               
benefits, and depending  upon the district a teacher  will sign a                                                               
contract  for 188-193  days.   He pointed  out that  it is  not a                                                               
9:00-5:00, 5  days a week  position as  teachers work all  of the                                                               
time and  chaperone dances, work  on Saturdays, take  students on                                                               
field trips, et cetera.                                                                                                         
8:44:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed to page  3, and asked  whether the                                                               
trend  for 2015  will  remain in  that there  is  a reduction  in                                                               
endorsements for special education graduates.                                                                                   
DR. ATWATER advised he would provide the information.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  commented that  the state  has to  move up                                                               
with  special education  and requested  a  breakdown between  the                                                               
effectiveness and retention of the three university programs.                                                                   
DR. ATWATER responded  that it would be determined  by the metric                                                               
used to determine effectiveness.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  advised that  the  metrics  used here  is                                                               
DR.  ATWATER  replied  he  would   provide  the  information  and                                                               
commented that  teacher preparation, Masters of  Arts of Teaching                                                               
(MAT) are  people with Bachelor  Degrees and perhaps  biology and                                                               
intend to  obtain a teaching  endorsement as compared to  a young                                                               
person "doing  education courses."   In general, he  related, the                                                               
teacher preparation programs are much  more intensive in terms of                                                               
requirements to be in classrooms than in the past.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON maintained his interest.                                                                                  
8:48:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  referred to page 4,  Chart 3, and read  "Not all of                                                               
the work is  as a classroom teacher in schools;  however, data on                                                               
occupations  shows that  about 85  percent of  graduates who  are                                                               
working in Alaska are in  some sort of education occupation," and                                                               
opined  that  previous  to  that  sentence,  the  number  was  70                                                               
DR. ATWATER  agreed, and  advised it  would be  administrative or                                                               
support  staff  such  as,   counselors,  speech  pathologist,  et                                                               
8:49:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  turned to  page 7,  and asked  whether there  was a                                                               
control group when  principals were contacted as  to their rating                                                               
of teachers or  whether it was a general report  response and not                                                               
DR. ATWATER  answered that the comparison  was not scientifically                                                               
8:50:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON referred to page  7, Table 5, and asked how                                                               
the University of Alaska is  responding to the 31 percent deficit                                                               
regarding  UA graduates  modifying educational  and instructional                                                               
practice  with students  to be  successful,  and also  to the  24                                                               
percent  figure   for  teachers  using   technology  effectively,                                                               
creatively and wisely.                                                                                                          
DR.  ATWATER answered  that  more time  and  adjustments will  be                                                               
devoted  to  assessments  and  training   teachers  to  use  that                                                               
information to drive instruction.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON requested  a written summary as  to how the                                                               
goal is being accomplished.                                                                                                     
8:52:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  referred to page  9, regarding teacher  turnover in                                                               
the  context of  urban  and  rural and  asked  what factors  were                                                               
considered as  the comparison is  between the  proficiency scores                                                               
in schools.                                                                                                                     
DR.  ATWATER  responded  that   the  proficiency  scores  include                                                               
teacher  turnover, homes  where English  may not  be spoken,  and                                                               
8:54:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   asked  whether  the   average  teacher                                                               
turnover includes retiring teachers  or simply teachers moving on                                                               
to another school.                                                                                                              
DR. ATWATER replied that it  represents 8.7 percent of the people                                                               
to replace.                                                                                                                     
8:54:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  referred to  page 11 regarding  the second                                                               
paragraph,  and  read "Courses  will  be  offered through  Alaska                                                               
Learning Network (AKLN) ..."  He  opined that AKLN was not funded                                                               
and  asked whether  there was  another mechanism  for how  Future                                                               
Educators for Alaska ...                                                                                                        
DR. ATWATER interjected  that the University of  Alaska will have                                                               
to adjust the distance education programs and will make it work.                                                                
8:55:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  asked whether  it is  the intent  of AKLN  to offer                                                               
general  education  classes  in math  and  English,  introductory                                                               
teacher education  classes, and test preparation  for the SAT/ACT                                                               
and PRAXIS test of basic skills.                                                                                                
DR.  ATWATER  replied he  would  not  summarize  AKLN as  a  test                                                               
preparation program.                                                                                                            
CHAIR KELLER  asked for  an explanation of  how AKLN  will assist                                                               
with teacher turnover.                                                                                                          
DR. ATWATER  responded high school students  thinking of becoming                                                               
teachers are given the introduction  to education classes through                                                               
8:56:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER referred  to page  11,  paragraph 1  and asked  the                                                               
start date of  the Alaska Rural Paraprofessional  Program and the                                                               
success of that program.                                                                                                        
DR. ATWATER advised  he would provide that  information and noted                                                               
it takes  several years to  bring paraprofessionals to  the point                                                               
they can become  teachers as it is usually a  slow process of 1-2                                                               
classes per semester.                                                                                                           
CHAIR KELLER  opined the program  started 11 years ago  and there                                                               
should be data  depicting success.  With regard  to the mentoring                                                               
program, he questioned,  whether Dr. Atwater could  offer an idea                                                               
of the  amount of  money spent  on the program,  both the  UA and                                                               
DR. ATWATER  advised the entire principal  and teacher monitoring                                                               
budget  was $2.2  million.   He explained  that the  bulk of  the                                                               
money is to secure contracts  with mentors through the Department                                                               
of  Education,  and that  the  University  of Alaska  facilitates                                                               
training and travel coordination for mentors.                                                                                   
CHAIR KELLER requested  information as to whether  there has been                                                               
a positive result at the school and district level.                                                                             
DR. ATWATER answered in the  affirmative and will provide a graph                                                               
depicting early  career teachers and  new to the  profession that                                                               
have mentoring will  stay in the job at a  10 percent higher rate                                                               
than those that do not.                                                                                                         
8:59:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REGENT  POWERS  added  that  within   the  cold  calls  to  rural                                                               
districts each person mentioned mentoring.                                                                                      
REGENT POWERS  responded to Chair  Keller that 11  regents called                                                               
33 districts.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  KELLER  surmised  that a  superintendent,  principal,  and                                                               
teacher  were  called  in  each   district  and  nothing  to  the                                                               
REGENT POWERS answered in the affirmative.                                                                                      
9:00:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD referred to the  page 5 and said that the                                                               
teacher salaries appear low and  asked whether this is across the                                                               
state or  whether it doesn't  include some of  the supplementary,                                                               
and  further asked  whether there  are  discrepancies across  the                                                               
DR. ATWATER answered  there are many variances in  that a teacher                                                               
coming in  cold with  no experience and  no extra  college pieces                                                               
the salary  will vary  from mid-$30,000  to low-$50,000  which is                                                               
the most basic level.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  said it  would  be  helpful to  receive                                                               
salaries   on    counselors,   department    heads,   principals,                                                               
administrators and all the way up to superintendents.                                                                           
DR. ATWATER agreed.                                                                                                             
9:02:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  referred to  a survey she  reviewed many                                                               
years  ago regarding  why teachers  leave  which was  not due  to                                                               
salary and benefits  and opined it would be a  good supplement to                                                               
this report because there were eye opening issues in the survey.                                                                
She expressed  concern regarding  recruitment and opined  that it                                                               
cost $12,000  per recruit  to fly down  and recruit  teachers and                                                               
obtain housing.   She asked why  the University of Alaska  is not                                                               
getting more  parents, locals,  and Native  Corporations involved                                                               
to help  solve some  of these  problems.  She  described it  as a                                                               
must  more stable  framework rather  than flying  an outsider  to                                                               
Alaska with a quick turnaround.                                                                                                 
DR.   ATWATER   explained  that   their   model   is  the   model                                                               
Representative Reinbold  described and  on August 27  the schools                                                               
must have teachers and will  recruit from out-of-state.  There is                                                               
a concerted  effort for high  school students in rural  Alaska to                                                               
enroll at  the University of Alaska  and go back as  teachers, he                                                               
9:04:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked their  plan to draw  local parents                                                               
and community into the process,  which is a sustainable model and                                                               
include local  tutors and not mentors  from the East Coast.   She                                                               
expressed  concern  regarding  new   evaluations  linked  to  new                                                               
assessments  based  on the  common  core,  which is  an  untested                                                               
DR.  ATWATER  offered that  the  new  evaluation system  is  more                                                               
comprehensive as  it is looks  at teachers and  requires rigorous                                                               
oversight of  their student's performance  in the classroom.   It                                                               
ties student performance  to teacher performance and  as a result                                                               
requires more time.   He commented that the challenge  is, how to                                                               
fully determine  a student's and  how closely can  their learning                                                               
be tied  to teacher's  instruction.   There is  clear connection,                                                               
yet  in terms  of  the  teach evaluation,  all  of the  variables                                                               
affecting student learning may not be  included.  He opined it is                                                               
helping the overall profession  and causing conversations between                                                               
a  principal  and teacher  than  didn't  previously exist.    The                                                               
examination  and  reflection  of  what is  good  instruction  has                                                               
improved and,  he said, that  he recognizes the process  is labor                                                               
intensive but  it is effective  and has improved  instruction for                                                               
students.  He  surmised it is improving  the teaching profession,                                                               
yet on the other side it is  more labor intensive and may cause a                                                               
connection of student learning that  may be overly emphasized due                                                               
to the other variables.                                                                                                         
9:07:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  opined she does not  believe this system                                                               
is needed  to encourage principals to  reach out and that  she is                                                               
troubled with  the nationalization of standards,  curriculum, and                                                               
teacher evaluations as she has heard  there will be a mass exodus                                                               
of teachers.                                                                                                                    
DR. ATWATER responded there is  a social tension wherein teachers                                                               
are  blamed  and it  is  not  an  esteemed  profession.   A  book                                                               
entitled "The  Smartest Kids  in the World"  depicts some  of the                                                               
models  in the  world regarding  teaching  and how  a teacher  is                                                               
valued in terms  of society.  In terms of  recruiting people into                                                               
a profession that  is perhaps not as well received  as it used to                                                               
be is part of  the challenge.  He agreed that  it is not strictly                                                               
a monetary  decision in  determining whether  a person  becomes a                                                               
9:10:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER  referred  to  the UA  Statewide  Office  for  K-12                                                               
Outreach  on Future  Educators for  Alaska (FEA),  and asked  how                                                               
long they've collaborated with UAA, UAF, UAS and K-12 teachers.                                                                 
DR. ATWATER replied the Statewide  Office has been in place since                                                               
2002 and,  with the exception  of Alaska Teacher Placement,  is a                                                               
grant funded office and dependent on soft money.                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER explained to Dr.  Atwater that Monday's presentation                                                               
should  include the  prioritization of  programs, costs,  and how                                                               
long they have been in existence.   He explained that the Finance                                                               
Committee asked  committees to pay  attention to the cost  of the                                                               
different programs.                                                                                                             
DR. ATWATER  remarked that the  report could be tailored  for the                                                               
current committee  as under Governor  Sarah Palin the  report was                                                               
designed to address  the gap in teacher preparation  but it could                                                               
be  moved  to a  different  way  in  terms  of teachers  and  the                                                               
University of Alaska.                                                                                                           
CHAIR   KELLER  reminded   the   committee   that  assuming   the                                                               
legislature does  not take  the requirement  away for  the report                                                               
there would not be another report until 2017.                                                                                   
DR. ATWATER  agreed and commented  that it is a  bi-annual report                                                               
and would be available March 2017.                                                                                              
9:13:12 AM                                                                                                                    
DIANE  HIRSHBERG, Director,  Center for  Alaska Education  Policy                                                               
Research,  University   of  Alaska  Anchorage,  in   response  to                                                               
previous questions,  said that creating  a teacher  and principal                                                               
salary  schedule under  HB 278  will  be provided.   She  advised                                                               
there  is  salary  data   available  regarding  certificated  and                                                               
classified positions in  the state and pointed out  that the data                                                               
on page  5, Table 4  comparing graduates is  not the same  as the                                                               
other teacher  data as this is  all UA graduates in  an education                                                               
related field as defined by the  Department of Labor.  The figure                                                               
looks  low   because  it   includes  early   childhood  education                                                               
employees earning  less than K-12 certified  educators and people                                                               
performing  education  related services  such  as,  working in  a                                                               
Native  Corporation  with  an   education  related  program,  and                                                               
private classrooms.  She related  that they will provide a report                                                               
prepared  specifically   for  UAA  graduates  that   unpacks  the                                                               
salaries.   When reviewing  AA Degrees  such as  an AA  Degree in                                                               
Process Technologies are  earning $100,000 a year  working on the                                                               
North Slope, she  pointed out, so it  skews the data.   She is in                                                               
possession  of  approximately  1,500  pages of  data  as  to  why                                                               
teachers  leave but,  unfortunately,  does not  have funding  for                                                               
that project and  will use graduate student labor.   She assessed                                                               
that the data includes teacher  perceptions of working conditions                                                               
and why  they are leaving.   She pointed out that  salary matters                                                               
but it doesn't  override many of the other issues.   She informed                                                               
the committee that strongly correlated  with a teacher's decision                                                               
to  leave is  their  relationship with  the  community and  their                                                               
perception   of  support   by  their   principals  and   district                                                               
administrators.   She  will  share a  poster  prepared after  the                                                               
first  300 surveys  depicting teachers  spoken with,  analysis of                                                               
the  educators and  relationships  between  different aspects  of                                                               
community   support  and   community  relationships,   and  their                                                               
decisions to stay or go.                                                                                                        
9:18:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HIRSBERG, in response to  a prior special education graduates                                                               
question, said that previously teacher  endorsements were paid by                                                               
their  district and  is no  longer available.   She  opined as  a                                                               
result  there  is  a  drop  off  of  currently  certificated  and                                                               
currently  teachers  choosing  to   obtain  a  special  education                                                               
endorsement, but has not directly asked the teachers.                                                                           
9:19:51 AM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH  LO,  Dean, School  of  Education,  University of  Alaska                                                               
Southeast,  interjected  that  for  the  two  years  the  initial                                                               
certifications have gone  up.  She explained  that an endorsement                                                               
is a  teacher from a  general education classroom trained  and go                                                               
into  a special  education classroom,  and when  speaking of  new                                                               
certifications it is a brand new  teacher going in.  She remarked                                                               
it  is  hopeful  that  the trend  of  initial  certifications  in                                                               
special education continues to go up.                                                                                           
9:20:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HIRSHBERG stated that recent  research has shown a 50 percent                                                               
drop in the number of  teacher candidates going into universities                                                               
in California.   She said that  Alaska has not seen  the national                                                               
trend  but does  have declining  numbers of  students in  the age                                                               
group that would go to a  university with a modest decline in the                                                               
number of students entering the  UA system.  That, she commented,                                                               
combined with convincing students teaching  is a good career, and                                                               
the  continuing issue  of more  graduates  in general  in that  a                                                               
demographic dip  will further challenge increasing  the number of                                                               
students going through teacher education programs.                                                                              
9:22:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER asked  whether there  is a  population drop  in the                                                               
State  of  Alaska in  the  broadest  sense  of  the term  as  the                                                               
projection  is  a drop  in  the  14-17  year  olds, and  yet  the                                                               
population is going up.                                                                                                         
MS. HIRSHBERG clarified it is a  drop in projection of 18-22 year                                                               
olds  and the  Department of  Labor indicates  that students  are                                                               
choosing  to leave  the state  following high  school graduation.                                                               
She  pointed  out  that   recent  demographic  state  projections                                                               
reveals a decline for probably a  decade in the number of college                                                               
age students leaving the state.                                                                                                 
9:23:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. LO  offered that teacher  bashing is prevalent in  the nation                                                               
and will have long term effects.                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER  asked Ms.  Lo to speculate  why teacher  bashing is                                                               
MS. LO replied  that the National Consortium  for Product Quality                                                               
(NCPQ)  group   has  evaluated   teacher  education   program  on                                                               
variables that are  unclear to anyone except  themselves that has                                                               
received a lot of press.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  KELLER surmised  that part  of the  teacher assessment  is                                                               
tied  to  the   student  proficiency  and  a   part  of  Alaska's                                                               
compliance with No Child Left Behind (NCLB), now waivered.                                                                      
MS.  LO agreed  to  some extent  as their  analysis  is based  on                                                               
syllabi and  catalogs from the  university and they  believe they                                                               
can project quality based upon one dimensional documents.                                                                       
CHAIR KELLER asked  whether a mechanism is in  place to determine                                                               
how  Alaska's graduates  are performing  in other  states because                                                               
there is an indication that  Alaska principals agree with what UA                                                               
is producing.   He further asked whether there is  data as to why                                                               
students are leaving to teach  out-of-state and how prepared they                                                               
are to function in another state.                                                                                               
MS. LO  responded that it  is difficult to follow  graduates out-                                                               
of-state as often they are military transferring with a spouse.                                                                 
9:26:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HIRSHBERG  noted that the  survey of principals  and teachers                                                               
is not  a scientific  survey as  it was  a questionnaire  sent to                                                               
every employing principal of a graduate,  and there was a lack in                                                               
response.   She described the  survey as expensive  but important                                                               
as it  provides a benchmark.   On an annual basis  students about                                                               
to  graduate are  surveyed,  and graduates  one,  two, and  three                                                               
years   out   to  cultivate   data   for   analysis  on   program                                                               
effectiveness, she related.                                                                                                     
9:28:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER said  that to pass casual survey  information off as                                                               
a study  is difficult in that  a telephone call response  will be                                                               
biased and the quality  of the survey will not hold  up to a peer                                                               
review type study.                                                                                                              
MS. LO  explained that it is  not a research study  but rather an                                                               
evaluation providing valuable information to program designers.                                                                 
CHAIR KELLER  agreed it is  helpful although from  a legislator's                                                               
perspective  the study  does  not offer  much  information as  to                                                               
where to put the money.                                                                                                         
MS. HIRSHBERG clarified  that study data was  included within the                                                               
report  because  with the  statewide  survey  they know  response                                                               
rates and  know who  responded.   She said  that research  can be                                                               
expensive  and  they  turn  to external  funding  in  that  their                                                               
challenge is obtaining data with reclining resources.                                                                           
9:31:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  related  that   she  has  seen  teacher                                                               
bashing  in   Alaska  and  asked  the   Superintendent  at  "our"                                                               
community council to  not threaten to lay teachers off  to make a                                                               
statement.   She remarked  that the No  Child Left  Behind (NCLB)                                                               
talk down  approach, No Child  Left Behind waivers,  and mandates                                                               
with control  over Alaska's education  is frustrating.   The NCLB                                                               
waiver  created a  top  down approach  mandate  from the  federal                                                               
government and placed  Alaska's education system into  a box, she                                                               
expressed.   She further  expressed her  ongoing concern  for the                                                               
need  to  include  all  stakeholders   within  the  education  of                                                               
Alaska's children.                                                                                                              
9:35:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER asked whether the  University of Alaska incorporates                                                               
local village councils and other  local organizations as partners                                                               
in the process.                                                                                                                 
MS. LO  answered that she  attends the school  board's conference                                                               
which is  made up of school  board members who are  the community                                                               
and speaks with them.                                                                                                           
CHAIR KELLER asked whether there have been useful results.                                                                      
MS.  LO  responded  that  the  principals  have  a  ground  level                                                               
understanding of what  their students and schools  need, and have                                                               
a slightly different perspective  than the professionally trained                                                               
9:37:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HIRSHBERG  cautioned that  reporting  program  cost data  is                                                               
difficult in extrapolate the cost  in producing a graduate or the                                                               
cost of a program as they  are struggling with how best to obtain                                                               
the  data.   She  pointed  out that  the  system  is designed  to                                                               
facilitate  certain  aspects   and  in  order  to   have  a  full                                                               
understanding of the cost data is difficult and flawed.                                                                         
CHAIR KELLER noted that in  understanding where the general funds                                                               
are being directed and the ability to quantify is necessary.                                                                    
MS. HIRSHBERG  said they  can quantify but  it takes  an enormous                                                               
amount  of  work  to  get  the  cost data  to  a  place  where  a                                                               
prioritization  report can  be written.    She expressed  concern                                                               
that  regarding  Chair  Keller's request  for  prioritization  of                                                               
programs by next Monday is a challenge.                                                                                         
CHAIR KELLER  pointed out  that cost  breakdowns for  the various                                                               
programs  will  be necessary  in  the  state budget  process  and                                                               
requested that  the breakdowns, priority  list, and  general cost                                                               
for the programs be provided.                                                                                                   
9:42:20 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:42 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Alaska's University for Alaska's Schools.pdf HEDC 3/11/2015 8:00:00 AM