Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/15/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:03:21 AM Start
08:04:22 AM Professional Teaching Practices Commission
08:38:08 AM University of Alaska Board of Regents
08:59:10 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- Professional Teaching Practices Commission
- University of AK Board of Regents
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 15, 2017                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                                
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Geran Tarr (alternate)                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS(S):                                                                                                       
Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                    
     David Piazza - Dillingham                                                                                                  
     Maureen van Wagner - Anchorage                                                                                             
     Kent Runion - Nome                                                                                                         
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                         
     Karen Perdue - Fairbanks                                                                                                   
      CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to instruction in a language other than                                                                        
English; and relating to limited teacher certificates."                                                                         
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
DAVID PIAZZA, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Southwest Region School District                                                                                                
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified as appointee  to the Professional                                                             
Teaching Practices Commission, Department  of Education and Early                                                               
MAUREEN VAN WAGNER, Special Education Teacher                                                                                   
East High School                                                                                                                
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified as appointee  to the Professional                                                             
Teaching Practices Commission, Department  of Education and Early                                                               
KENT RUNION, Teacher                                                                                                            
Nome Public Schools                                                                                                             
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified as appointee  to the Professional                                                             
Teaching Practices Commission, Department  of Education and Early                                                               
KAREN PERDUE                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the University of                                                             
Alaska Board of Regents.                                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:03:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HARRIET  DRUMMOND  called  the  House  Education  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   8:03  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Drummond, Kopp,  Fansler, Johnston, and Talerico  were present at                                                               
the call to order.   Representatives Parish and Spohnholz arrived                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
8:04:22 AM                                                                                                                    
     ^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                  
^Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                   
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                    
           Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                       
CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that the first order of business would                                                                 
be consideration of the appointees to the Professional Teaching                                                                 
Practices Commission.                                                                                                           
8:04:54 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID PIAZZA,  Superintendent, Southwest Region  School District,                                                               
provided a statement of interest  and outlined his qualifications                                                               
paraphrasing  from a  prepared statement,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     I  am  the  Superintendent  for  the  Southwest  Region                                                                    
     School District and  have been in this  role for almost                                                                    
     6 years.   I have served the  public educational system                                                                    
     within  Alaska for  the  past 32  years  as a  teacher,                                                                    
     district-level        specialist,        district-level                                                                    
     administrator, and superintendent.                                                                                         
     Chair  Drummond  and  members of  the  House  Education                                                                    
     Committee,   it  is   my  pleasure   to  be   here  for                                                                    
     confirmation    for   the    re-appointment   to    the                                                                    
     Professional  Teaching  Practices   Commission  as  the                                                                    
     Superintendent representative.                                                                                             
     I  look forward  to  continuing on  the  PTPC. As  role                                                                    
     models, providing instruction and  guidance to the next                                                                    
     generation,   it  is   imperative  that   teachers  and                                                                    
     administrators adhere to the code  of ethics.  The PTPC                                                                    
     is important as it  provides educators with training to                                                                    
     help  prevent  violations, as  well  as,  serves as  an                                                                    
     avenue for  accused individuals to  receive a  fair and                                                                    
     impartial review before  any career-impacting sanctions                                                                    
     are imposed.   The legislature in  1966 established the                                                                    
     PTPC  as an  independent commission  to be  governed by                                                                    
     members  made up  by  representatives practicing  their                                                                    
     profession within the K-20 educational community.                                                                          
8:06:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked Mr.  Piazza for further information                                                               
concerning individual  learning programs that are  not limited to                                                               
distance education.                                                                                                             
MR. PIAZZA said  a school system that seeks to  meet the needs of                                                               
individual  students,  in  addition  to  distance  learning,  can                                                               
utilize software  or learning systems that  encourage students to                                                               
work  independently  or   with  teachers.    It   is  known  that                                                               
independent learning systems are not  best for every student, and                                                               
that quality instructors are necessary  for support; however, the                                                               
district   has  implemented   exploratory  sessions   that  allow                                                               
students  access to  additional elective  possibilities that  are                                                               
difficult  to provide  in small,  rural  schools.   Restructuring                                                               
school  days  during  a  quarter,  or  a  semester,  can  provide                                                               
weeklong  and   intensive  training  for  students   as  elective                                                               
classes,  and   thereby  promote   a  higher  level   of  student                                                               
engagement.   In further response to  Representative Johnston, he                                                               
said he  has served on the  [commission] for three years  and the                                                               
upcoming term would be his second.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  questioned whether  Alaska is  at status                                                               
quo related to  certifying and finding qualified  teachers, or if                                                               
the certification process has changed in the past three years.                                                                  
MR.  PIAZZA  responded  that the  teacher  certification  process                                                               
seeks to place the highest  quality teachers in classrooms.  Over                                                               
time, teacher  requirements have  been strengthened  and teachers                                                               
are required  to demonstrate measured basic  competency; teachers                                                               
new  to  the  state  must  take classes  in  Alaska  history  and                                                               
culture.   In  addition,  the  Code of  Ethics  of the  Education                                                               
Profession  has been  reviewed to  ensure that  its policies  and                                                               
procedures are in place to address possible violations.                                                                         
8:12:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN VAN WAGNER, Special Education  Teacher, East High School,                                                               
Anchorage School  District, informed  the committee she  has been                                                               
an educator  for twenty-one years.   She  said she has  served as                                                               
the   teacher  representative   on   the  Professional   Teaching                                                               
Practices  Commission for  the  past three  years  and wishes  to                                                               
continue her service.                                                                                                           
8:13:50 AM                                                                                                                    
KENT  RUNION,   Teacher,  Nome   Public  Schools,   informed  the                                                               
committee he  has been  a high school  social studies  teacher at                                                               
Nome-Beltz High  School for  seven years.   He  said this  is his                                                               
first   appointment  to   the  Professional   Teaching  Practices                                                               
8:14:46 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:15 a.m. to 8:38 a.m.                                                                       
^University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                          
8:38:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be consideration  of the  appointee to  the University  of Alaska                                                               
(UA) Board of Regents.                                                                                                          
8:38:20 AM                                                                                                                    
KAREN  PERDUE  provided  brief personal  background  information.                                                               
She  then listed  reasons she  is  interested in  serving on  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  Board  of  Regents.   She  spoke  of  the                                                               
importance of mentoring,  and said in her youth  she was mentored                                                               
by former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens  and began her career in state                                                               
government working  for former Lieutenant Governor  Terry Miller.                                                               
Subsequently, she  served four governors, serving  eight years as                                                               
the commissioner of the Department  of Health and Social Services                                                               
for former  Governor Tony Knowles.   As now, oil prices  were low                                                               
during her  first term as  commissioner, thus she learned  how to                                                               
manage  and motivate  employees  during times  of  hardship.   In                                                               
2001, Ms.  Perdue returned to  Fairbanks and worked for  10 years                                                               
as associate  vice president  at UA, thus  is very  familiar with                                                               
academic programs on all the  campuses, and during her time there                                                               
she and  faculty members wrote  an academic plan for  health care                                                               
that  was  adopted by  the  board  of  regents.   She  noted  the                                                               
importance of UA  to the economy of Alaska and  the importance of                                                               
reversing  the  brain drain  of  students  from the  state;  most                                                               
importantly, she stressed  UA must meet students'  needs in order                                                               
to  attract  and  retain  students.     Further,  her  experience                                                               
includes  service on  various boards  of directors  - and  as the                                                               
director of a  board - which taught her  the important difference                                                               
between  governance and  management.   The board  of regents  was                                                               
intended to be  a powerful oversight to one  state university, as                                                               
directed  by  the Alaska  Constitution,  which  also directs  the                                                               
board of  regents to  guide UA's policy  and hire  its president.                                                               
At  this  time, UA  is  facing  declining enrollment  and  severe                                                               
budget  cuts, and  needs  to  assure its  students  that it  will                                                               
continue   to  offer   high-quality  education   and  world-class                                                               
research.    Ms. Perdue  expressed  her  interest in  serving  UA                                                               
during a turning point in the university's 100-year history.                                                                    
8:45:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  said the  president of UA  has presented                                                               
Strategic   Pathways  [a   multi-part,   multi-year  process   to                                                               
reconfigure UA  administrative and  academic programs  to address                                                               
funding  cuts]  which  includes restructuring  of  the  education                                                               
department.   She  recalled the  political discourse  surrounding                                                               
previous restructuring of  the UA medical program,  and asked for                                                               
the candidate's vision in regard to the current restructuring.                                                                  
MS.  PERDUE noted  at the  time  of restructuring  the school  of                                                               
nursing  - which  was  accredited at  UAA -  in  2001, there  was                                                               
dissatisfaction  among employers  and  students about  a lack  of                                                               
access to  the nursing program.   Previous  chancellors [Marshall                                                               
Lind  and  John  Pugh]  sought  to  initiate  additional  nursing                                                               
programs  on the  Fairbanks and  Juneau  campuses; however,  they                                                               
were  asked by  [former UA  president Mark  Hamilton] to  instead                                                               
form  an integrated  group so  that the  school of  nursing could                                                               
meet educational needs statewide.   Ms. Perdue opined the faculty                                                               
"rose  to  the occasion"  and  increased  the number  of  nursing                                                               
graduates  by adding  a third  semester to  the schedule,  and by                                                               
developing a successful distance  [education] program that is now                                                               
available at  16 sites.   She  said engaging  the faculty  to set                                                               
goals for  education - such  as increasing the number  of Alaskan                                                               
teachers  as was  suggested by  the  president -  and asking  the                                                               
faculty  to design  and "retool"  appropriate academic  programs,                                                               
would result in less "territorial" discussion.                                                                                  
8:49:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND expressed optimism  for improved retention of K-12                                                               
teachers and for educating teachers in Alaska.                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE agreed recruitment in  education and teacher retention                                                               
are vital,  and UA  has focused on  young teacher  mentoring, but                                                               
perhaps more could be done.                                                                                                     
CHAIR DRUMMOND said  the mentoring program has suffered  due to a                                                               
lack of funding.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH   asked  the  appointee  to   compare  the                                                               
Strategic  Pathways  plan  with   the  alternatives  proposed  by                                                               
Professor  Abel Bult-Ito  [University of  Alaska Fairbanks  (UAF)                                                               
Department of Biology and Wildlife].                                                                                            
MS. PERDUE  advised she  has not  seen the  proposal made  by the                                                               
professor; however, her impression is  his proposal is focused on                                                               
"more decentralization  of the university  and less  in statewide                                                               
...."  She  said she would be attending  an upcoming presentation                                                               
on  this issue  and  noted Professor  Bult-Ito  has conducted  an                                                               
analysis  on the  university  for  many years.    She opined  the                                                               
Alaska State Constitution and related  Alaska Statutes envision a                                                               
one-university  system  with  centralized management.    Although                                                               
each UA is individually accredited,  the public expects Alaska to                                                               
have one state  university as directed by its  constitution.  Ms.                                                               
Perdue  acknowledged there  must be  a balance  so administrative                                                               
processes can  strengthen UA  and, at the  same time,  ensure the                                                               
faculty can function.  Consistency  in the system can be provided                                                               
by, for example:   one legal department, one  payroll system, one                                                               
information  technology  department,   and  one  human  resources                                                               
department.   She  expressed her  belief that  students seek  one                                                               
university that allows the transfer  of credits between campuses,                                                               
and where courses are sequenced  to allow students to progress to                                                               
their degrees.                                                                                                                  
8:53:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  stated  part   of  the  challenge  the                                                               
university   is  experiencing   is  a   disconnect  between   the                                                               
administration  and faculty,  particularly  related to  Strategic                                                               
Pathways,   and  the   no  confidence   votes   by  the   faculty                                                               
associations at  two campuses.  Although  it is not the  Board of                                                               
Regents responsibility  to manage  the internal processes  of UA,                                                               
she asked  how the appointee  would guide the president,  as this                                                               
issue is addressed.                                                                                                             
MS. PERDUE  said at the  one meeting  she attended [chair  of the                                                               
board Gloria O'Neill]  provided an appropriate amount  of time in                                                               
the  agenda  to discuss  governance  with  the faculty  and  with                                                               
student government.   She understood  additional board  time will                                                               
be  devoted  to  continuing  dialogue,   and  the  president  has                                                               
directed   more  time   to   campuses   with  affected   faculty;                                                               
ultimately, once  the process discussion  has been  closed, money                                                               
will still be  an issue, which may result in  reductions and very                                                               
difficult decisions.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ returned  to the  discord over  nursing                                                               
education and  expressed her  belief that  one of  the successful                                                               
strategies  to solving  the issue  was involving  the faculty  in                                                               
becoming part of the solution.                                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE  agreed the faculty  members created the  solution and                                                               
achieved  accreditation for  the distance  nursing program.   She                                                               
stressed the role of the faculty  is to ensure the quality of the                                                               
8:57:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  has  heard  criticism   regarding  the  cost  of                                                               
statewide  functions   in  relation   to  the  amount   cut  from                                                               
legislative  funding,   and  asked  whether  the   appointee  has                                                               
thoughts in advance of her appointment.                                                                                         
MS. PERDUE remarked:                                                                                                            
     We  reviewed some  numbers that  were  provided by  the                                                                    
     administration on  the reductions at statewide  ... I'm                                                                    
     thinking something  like 38  percent, I  can't remember                                                                    
     exactly  but, and  so I  wondered if  the numbers  were                                                                    
     agreed  upon, and  that would  be  a start  for us,  at                                                                    
     inside our  system is to  really fully vet those.   The                                                                    
     numbers should be known; they  should be agreed upon as                                                                    
     a start  because as  I hear, some  people, I  hear them                                                                    
     thinking   that   there's    been   consolidation,   in                                                                    
     statewide, when the information  that we're provided is                                                                    
     that there's  not, there's  not been  any consolidation                                                                    
     in statewide. ... That would be my first step.                                                                             
8:58:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  moved  to advance  the  confirmations  of                                                               
Maureen van Wagner, David Piazza,  and Kent Runion, appointees to                                                               
the  Professional Teaching  Practices  Commission,  and of  Karen                                                               
Purdue, appointee to  the University of Alaska  Board of Regents,                                                               
to a  joint session  of the House  and Senate  for consideration.                                                               
Signing  the   reports  regarding  appointments  to   boards  and                                                               
commissions in  no way reflects  individual members'  approval or                                                               
disapproval  of the  appointees, and  the nominations  are merely                                                               
forwarded to the full legislature  for confirmation or rejection.                                                               
There being no objection, the confirmations were advanced.                                                                      
8:59:10 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:59 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB102 Letter of Opposition .pdf HEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB102 Amendment Ver D.1 3.13.17.PDF HEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB102 Supporting Document-MSBSD Letter of Support 3.13.17.pdf HEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB102 Supporting Document-Response to Concerns 3.13.17.pdf HEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB102 Supporting Document-Comparison to Current Law 3.13.17.pdf HEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 102