Senate Bill 08-212 Update
COMMITTEE ON JOINT EDUCATION
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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)
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Senator Romer requested that the Senate Education Committee meet again with the departments to discuss implementation further.
The committee adjourned.