Time:02:04 PM to 04:16 PM
Place:HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by
Representative Merrifield
King K.
This Report was prepared by
Katey McGettrick
Schafer S.
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Introductions from Education Stakeholders
Senate Bill 08-212 Update

02:04 PM -- Call to Order

Representative Merrifield, the chair, called the Joint Education Committee to order.

02:05 PM -- Introductions of Stakeholders

Representative Merrifield explained that the committee would hear introductions from stakeholders first, and then move on to the Senate Bill 08-212 update from the Colorado Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education.

02:06 PM

Cathy Wanstrath, a contract lobbyist for the Department of Higher Education, and John Karakoulakis, the Legislative Director for the Department of Higher Education, introduced themselves to the committee. Mr. Karakoulakis noted that there are three or four bills that the department will be focusing on, and specifically mentioned one about the higher education research authority. Ms. Wanstrath also noted Representative Schafer's bill regarding flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr.Karakoulakis further mentioned the Senator Bacon/Representative Todd bill regarding College Opportunity Fund monies.

02:08 PM

Representative Merrifield invited the following representatives from the higher education community to witness table: Rich Schwiegert, the Chief Financial Officer for Colorado State University; Dr. David Svaldi, President, Adams State College; Bruce Benson, President, University of Colorado System; and Dr. Nancy McCallin, President, Colorado Community College System. President Benson spoke first. He introduced himself to the committee and highlighted some programs from the various campuses, including in Colorado Springs and at the Anschutz Medical Center. He stated that the university is ready to work with the legislature to fix the state's budget problems.

02:12 PM

Mr. Schweigert shared information on the Colorado State University system, and about its distance learning program. He reiterated President Benson's comments regarding the need to find a permanent solution to the state's higher education budget problems.

02:14 PM

Dr. Svaldi introduced himself to the committee. He discussed the importance of addressing access to higher education and achieving a solution for the higher education budget problems.

02:17 PM

Dr. Nancy McCallin introduced herself to the committee, shared information about community colleges in Colorado, and provided a handout with the committee (Attachment A). She also shared statistics on the student population of community colleges in Colorado. She further noted that community college enrollment is up at a time when the state's higher education budget is being cut. She shared the legislative priorities for the community college system for the 2009 legislative session.


02:22 PM

Senator King asked Dr. McCallin if community college students in remediation receive COF money. Dr. McCallin explained at the inception of the COF program, remedial students were not eligible for COF, but now they are due to a change enacted by the General Assembly a few years ago. Representative Summers asked Dr. McCallin about the increase in the graduation rate. She explained that has been a focus point during the past four years for Colorado's community college system. Senator Romer asked Dr. McCallin to comment about dual enrollment program announced by the Governor today in his State of the State Address. Dr. McCallin explained that CCCS is excited about the prospect of a dual enrollment program.

02:26 PM

Anne Barkis and Richard Wenning, representing the Colorado Department of Education, introduced themselves. Ms. Barkis explained that she is available for all members as the liaison to the department and to the State Board of Education (SBE). She noted that the SBE will take positions on some bills during the legislative session, and mentioned that the department would be providing an update on Senate Bill 08-212 later in the meeting. Mr. Wenning explained that he is responsible for educational accountability alignment at the department, and will be working with Senators King and Hudak on such a bill this session. He noted that today the federal Department of Education approved Colorado to use the growth model for measuring adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the federal law, No Child Left Behind..

02:29 PM

Gerald Keefe, representing the Colorado Rural Schools Caucus, introduced himself to the committee, and expressed the appreciation of the attention paid to the rural school districts over the past few years.

02:32 PM

Jane Usrchel, representing the Colorado Association of School Boards, shared CASB's legislative priorities with committee members (Attachment B).


02:34 PM

Bruce Caughey, representing the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), introduced himself to the committee. He shared the mission of CASE and information about school executives across the state.

02:37 PM

Dan Daly, representing the Colorado Education Association (CEA), introduced himself to the committee and shared information on CEA. He also introduced the new lobbyist for CEA, Karen Wick.

02:39 PM

Lindsey Neil, representing the Colorado Children's Campaign (CCC), introduced herself to the committee and shared the mission of CCC. Ms. Neil stated that CCC's priority this year is to increase opportunity for the most needy children. She also mentioned some of the resources CCC offers to the committee each year: the annual Kids Count report, presentations, and the CCC meeting space. Scott Groginsky, also representing CCC, introduced himself and explained that CCC focuses on student achievement, particularly for those children that are considered at-risk. Two priorities of CCC that Mr. Groginsky mentioned were: the expansion of preschool, full-day kindergarten, and postsecondary options.

02:44 PM

Lisa Morris, representing Great Education Colorado, introduced herself, and shared information about the organization.

02:46 PM

John Arigoni, representing the Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, introduced himself to the committee, and shared information about the organization. He shared a handout with committee members (Attachment C).


02:48 PM

Lulu Cruz, representing the Congress of Foreign Language Teachers, shared information about professional development for foreign language teachers and provided committee members with a hand out (Attachment D). Toni Theisen, also spoke for the organization, as a French teacher from Loveland High School. Janine Erickson shared the legislative priorities of the organization, and that Ms. Theisen is the winner of the national foreign language teacher of year award, and that Ms. Cruz is the Colorado foreign language teacher of year award.


02:56 PM

Steven Shogan, Colorado Legacy Foundation, introduced himself, and shared information about the foundation. He discussed the importance of providing a healthy school environment for children. Senator Romer asked that there be a joint education and health and human services committee meeting on childhood obesity in Colorado.

03:02 PM

Judith Stokes, representing Branson School District Online and the Colorado Cyber School Association, introduced herself to the committee. Lori Cooney, representing the Colorado Coalition of Cyber School Families, introduced herself, offered to be a resource to the committee on cyber schools, and shared information about the organization.

03:05 PM

Jake Zambrano and Gayle Berry, representing Mesa State College, introduced themselves to the committee. Mr. Zambrano noted that Mesa State is both a two-year and four-year institution. Ms. Berry introduced herself, and explained she would handle budget and capital construction issues affecting the university.

03:08 PM

Aaron Wylie, representing the Associated Students of Colorado, introduced himself to the committee.

03:09 PM

Sean Bradley, representing the Colorado League of Charter Schools, introduced himself to the committee and shared information about the organization.

03:11 PM

John Giardino, representing Colorado Mountain College, introduced himself to the committee, and shared information about Colorado Mountain College. Senator King asked if the school receives COF money for remedial coursework. Mr. Giardino explained that the school does not.

03:13 PM

Toni Larsen, representing Independent Higher Education Colorado, introduced herself to the committee and named the schools she represents: Colorado College, Regis University, and the University of Denver.

03:16 PM

Ed Bowditch, representing Jefferson County School District and Fort Lewis College, introduced himself to the committee.

03:16 PM

Michaela Jacob, representing Rocky Vista University, introduced herself to the committee.

03:17 PM

Nate Gorman, representing the Colorado Adult Education Professional Association, introduced himself to the committee.

03:18 PM

Upon the completion of the introductions, the committee recessed.

03:31 PM -- Senate Bill 08-212 Update

Another TEST After a short recess, Representative Merrifield called the committee back to order. Samantha Long, the Senate Bill 08-212 project manager at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Executive Director David Skaggs, representing the Department of Higher Education, Dr. Ken Turner, representing CDE, Dr. Julie Carnahan, representing DHE, and Dr. Jami Goetz, representing CDE, introduced themselves to the committee. CDE provided a handout to committee members (Attachment E)


03:33 PM

Executive Director Skaggs shared a handout with committee members (Attachment F), explained that the two departments are working closely together on the implementation of Senate Bill 08-212, and noted that the departments are currently working on the postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR) definition. Mr. Skaggs explained that they have been trying to solicit input from the business community, but were not receiving the response they hoped. Commissioner Jones explained that CDE t is also concerned about this, because the department sent 100 letters to business leaders asking them to participate in the implementation meetings, and only received 5 responses for participation.


03:39 PM

Mr. Skaggs explained that he has asked Joe Blake of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce to host a joint meeting with the departments, and that Mr. Blake has indicated that he is amenable to coordinating such a meeting. Mr. Skaggs directed members' attention to the chart in the DHE document detailing the timeline for the implementation (see Attachment E).

03:41 PM

Representative Peniston asked for more specific information on the business invitation list. Dr. Carnahan explained that a joint committee of the two departments meets weekly, and that this committee coordinates planned meetings, including who to invite to meetings. She stated that the committee uses chambers' lists and foundations to find business partners, as well as contacting individuals in the business community, and the leadership of higher education institutions. Ms. Long added that CDE is collaborating with the Colorado Department of Labor to find business partners.

03:45 PM

Senator Heath suggested some organizations to contact to provide input, and offered his assistance in finding business partners. Commissioner Jones added that the SBE has worked hard to get businesses at the meeting. Senator Bacon suggested that the departments contact Representative Roberts, who is chairing the Youth Advisory Council, established by the General Assembly in the 2008 session, if the departments are in need of student input.

03:47 PM

Representative Murray explained she did not see businesses represented at the Castle Rock meeting that she attended, and suggested that they contact local chambers for each meeting, and offered her assistance. Senator King shared that he would like to have the PWR definition be applicable for community colleges and four year institutions.

03:50 PM

Commissioner Jones highlighted activities at the department pertaining to the review of model content standards, which includes a stakeholders review group, an increased focus on transparency, and a contract with the company WestEd that researches the depth, breadth, and coherence of the content standards. Commissioner Jones explained that the review will occur in three phases: phase one includes music, math, reading, writing, science; phase two includes civics, geography, history, economics, and financial literacy; and phase three includes physical education (PE), dance, theater, visual arts, and world language. He also noted that the PWR assessment pilots on target for a spring implementation, and that with continued cooperation with DHE, the PWR description should be ready in June. On the whole, the commissioner noted that the implementation process is on schedule and on budget.

03:57 PM

Representative Benefield expressed her concern regarding remediation and the timeline process in terms of how the standards are established and revised. Dr. O'Brien explained that in the year 2011, the local districts need to adopt the standards for the Colorado state assessment that begins in 2012, and will replace the CSAP. Senator Hudak asked what the CDE means by the content will be bundled typically and that high school will be articulated. Dr. Turner explained content will be bundled topically within a subject, as opposed to grade by grade content.

04:03 PM

Dr. Turner explained that the difference in content bundling occurs in high school,and that grades P-8 would continue to be grade by grade content. Commissioner Jones also addressed the concerns of Senator Hudak, and asked Dr. O'Brien to address the question as well. Dr. O'Brien explained that mastery, not seat time, is the stakeholders' recommendation of how student progress should be benchmarked, with earlier grades having more specific grade by grade content, and to begin bundling content starting in grades 8 to 9.

04:08 PM

Representative Schafer asked if there are trends about the standards coming from the stakeholders and business communities. Dr. O'Brien stated that there is consensus among the stakeholders that the current standards are vague and broad, and that the revised ones should be clearer, with a focus on critical thinking.

04:10 PM

Representative Benefield asked another question about remediation. Senator King stated that he believes the bundling for geometry and algebra is inadequate. Dr. O'Brien explained that the stakeholders agree that it is inadequate.

04:14 PM

Senator Romer requested that the Senate Education Committee meet again with the departments to discuss implementation further.

04:15 PM

The committee adjourned.