MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
JOINT BOARDS OF EDUCATION:
OREGON STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
OREGON STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Rooms 327/8/9, Smith Memorial Center
Portland State University
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting of the Joint Boards of Education was called to order at 12:15 p.m. by Tom Imeson, president of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.
On roll call, the following answered present:
State Board of Education
Susan Massey (president)
State Board of Higher Education
Absent: Herbert Aschkenasy, Steve Bogart, Emilio Hernandez, Jr., Geri Richmond, Bill Williams
President Imeson introduced new Board members Shawn Hempel and Leslie Lehmann. He noted that Bill Williams, another new Board member, was unable to attend.
President Massey indicated that Steve Bogart, a relatively new member of the Board of Education, was also unable to attend.
REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS: CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION
Chancellor Cox reported that a redesign of the criteria for evaluation was underway and draft plans were distributed to Board members, OUS member partners, and all community college partners. Comments and suggestions made by Board members at the November 19, 1999, Joint Boards Working Group meeting were taken into consideration. Commissioner Preus-Braly said that she anticipated a response from regional partnership members by April 1, whereupon a final proposal would be written and presented to the Joint Boards for final approval at a future meeting.
Referring to prior discussions on the topic, Ms. Massey urged staff to be clear about the definition of sustainability in these partnerships. Mr. Imeson agreed, noting a general concern among all Board members about starting projects that cannot be continued over a period of time. The Chancellor assured members that staff was very mindful of the issue, but admitted that sustainability is difficult to define because each partnership has its own set of unique circumstances.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Joint Boards dispensed with the reading of the May 21, 1999, meeting minutes. Mr. Feller moved and Mr. Griffin seconded the motion to approve the minutes as submitted. Those voting in favor: Directors Feller, Griffin, Hempel, Kirk, Koch, Lehmann, Lussier, VanLuvanee, Willis, Wustenberg, Massey, and Imeson. Those voting no: none.
Mr. Imeson announced that the minutes from the November 20, 1998, meeting would need to be reapproved, as there was not a quorum present at the May 21, 1999, meeting. Mr. Feller moved and Ms. Wustenberg seconded the motion to approve the minutes as submitted. Those voting in favor: Directors Feller, Griffin, Hempel, Kirk, Koch, Lehmann, Lussier, VanLuvanee, Willis, Wustenberg, Massey, and Imeson. Those voting no: none.
OREGON QUALITY ASSURANCE IN TEACHING PROGRAM GRANT UPDATE
Associate Vice Chancellor Holly Zanville summarized the award, highlighting key initiatives underway in the first year of the three-year, $4.8 million Oregon Quality Assurance in Teaching (O-QAT) grant.
Key initiatives receiving high funding priority are:
Describing the first priority listed, creating teacher report cards, Dr. Zanville explained that as a result of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act by Congress last year, all institutions that prepare teachers must report test scores. Nationwide tests widely vary, as do state requirements. Currently, those involved are waiting for the federal government to specify criteria for the reporting process.
Briefly touching on the second priority, aligning teacher tests with K-12 standards, Dr. Zanville indicated that preparing for the new environment of assessment accountability related to teacher education is a major focus, not just statewide, but nationally. Additional funds are earmarked for developing alternative pathway projects that would allow different ways for people to enter the teaching profession, with an emphasis on new diversity pathways.
Dr. Zanville deferred to David Myton, director of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), to explain the third priority pertaining to continuing teacher licensure. Mr. Myton reviewed the history of teacher licensure as it related to the Joint Boards. Highlighting prior Joint Boards action plans, Mr. Myton said that initially they were devised to complement the 21st Century School Act, both in licensure and teacher preparation. Through the support of the Joint Boards, the 1997 Legislative Assembly passed SB 124, enabling TSPC to create a new licensing structure, which tightened mandates for Oregon's K-12 teachers, including continuing education requirements.
Both Dr. Zanville and Mr. Myton espoused the benefits of the additional monies to work collaboratively with independent and public colleges on these efforts to create common approaches for assessment. Mr. Myton expressed his gratitude to Dr. Zanville for her ongoing work on the project and success in securing funds.
Chancellor Cox, noting that while mandates are not generally looked upon favorably, the grant monies provide the leverage to accomplish something that is already required now. Mr. Myton responded that this could work to the state's advantage because of the opportunity to explain other aspects of current programs that he and the Interagency Management Team, which oversees grant activities, view as even more significant.
Recalling prior action plans that Mr. Myton referred to, Ms. Massey asked if any thought had been given to generating something along those lines for the new projects, as she felt they clearly defined each partners' responsibilities. Mr. Myton responded that there were no plans at this point, but that joint planning between education sectors remained a high priority.
Dr. Zanville pointed out a listing of possible studies and reports that the Interagency Management Team might undertake and asked for Board members' feedback. Mr. Myton added that many of the studies and reports relate to the Title II Requirements for Reporting that the Secretary of Education submitted to Congress in 1999. For example, he said that a possible study could be based on assumptions in the report that teachers who have the least amount of preparation and experience teach in the schools with the highest poverty levels. "We may want to carefully undertake that study in Oregon, because I think we would like to show that we've done a better job providing access for all students to quality teachers," he said.
Other requests for studies, said Dr. Zanville, include the impact of distance education; mentoring or reduction programs; substitute teacher shortages; and spot shortages as they relate to transitional licenses.
Responding to the conversations relating to current and possible projects, Ms. Massey suggested that a work plan be developed so that, at the very least, the Joint Boards would have something to respond to in the future. Mr. Myton said that TSPC benefitted greatly from prior action plans for the redesign of teacher preparation and licensure. He added that they provided a good opportunity to periodically report on the changes resulting from various studies. However, he expressed some concern over possible pressure of a major new effort before there's been ample time to demonstrate whether or not the last changes made any difference. Therefore, he suggested that a work plan be created to help keep those involved on course in terms of how teacher licensure preparation and continued professional development reinforces and supports the performance- based approach to schooling for K-12.
When questioned by Ms. Wustenberg about how long it might take to assess whether the new requirements are having an effect, Mr. Myton said that it would take several years, as the first cohort from the new program graduated in June 1999. He explained that a research project is underway at Western Oregon University that may provide some early data on work sample methodology.
Mr. Lussier commented that he had some concern over using strictly measurable means to determine programmatic success. Using the health care field as an example, he said that the impact of relationships, while difficult to measure, are likely to be equally important in terms of the overall learning environment.
Concluding the conversation, Mr. Feller reminded those present that the Board of Education does not set policy for teacher licensure, which is somewhat unusual compared to other states. He surmised that there is probably greater coordination in states where the governing boards for K-12 schools do create that policy, as opposed to those states where the licensing commission is independent.
EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM UPDATE
Ms. Kate Dickson, deputy superintendent of public instruction and staff liaison to the Leadership Team, explained the group's composition and work plan for the year. Created as part of the legislation set forth in HB 3633 by the 1999 Legislative Assembly, the Leadership Team's Executive Committee is comprised of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (chair), the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Commissioner of Labor and Industries, the Chancellor, and the Commissioner for Community Colleges and Workforce Development. Subsequent to an initial meeting of the Executive Committee, 14 additional members were appointed, including Ms. Massey and OUS Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Shirley Clark.
Charged with identifying key priorities for education statewide, Ms. Dickson explained these priorities would serve as leverage points for improving education from pre-K-16. At a February meeting, the Team arrived at a consensus around four key areas:
1) Reading as a gateway to learning
2) Supporting increasing teacher and administrator quality
4) Accountability for results
As the scope of priorities become articulated, Ms. Dickson said that action plans will be developed and legislative proposals may be submitted upon approval by the Board of Education, and possibly the Joint Boards.
OREGON NETWORK FOR EDUCATION (ONE) KICKOFF AND DISTANCE EDUCATION DIRECTIONS
Vice Chancellor Clark opened the discussion by placing Oregon within a broader, more regionalized context. The Northwest Academic Forum, a subgroup of seven of the 15 Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) states, routinely meets in an effort to better determine what they might accomplish as a group, in terms of developing virtual delivery of education, possibly through the creation of a virtual university consortium. However, said Dr. Clark, the process of creating interstate articulation agreements to ensure seamless transfer of credits, makes the project that much more ominous.
Oregon is considered to be at the forefront for its intrastate accomplishments, including the creation of a virtual catalog, Oregon Network for Education (ONE), which spans public higher education institutions, independent institutions, and community colleges. While not bringing forth a comprehensive formal recommendation, Dr. Clark said, "This is considered our ticket to participating in this regional virtual university access effort. We're moving toward this in the spirit of how we feel the Joint Boards would support."
Dr. Zanville presented an overview of the updated ONE website, including information on the numerous links to other pertinent sites. The anticipated live date for the website is March 27, 2000.
Ms. Lehmann asked about the demographics of people using the site. Indicating that information was somewhat sketchy, Dr. Zanville said that it seems to be gaining more attention from what is considered the traditional student (18- to 21-year-olds) as well as K-12 students who are college-ready and looking to take lower-division courses to prepare them for postsecondary-level work.
Continuing her line of questioning, Ms. Lehmann asked if the enrollees are generally degree-seekers. Dr. Zanville said the attraction appears to be primarily to those who are enrolled in a degree program or are seeking to satisfy licensure requirements. Ms. Terri Johanson, director of the community college distance learning program, indicated that virtually every segment of the community is represented in distance learning. She added that many students are time and placebound, but are not necessarily far from the campus they are enrolled.
Ms. Lehmann asked about tuition costs and what, if any, differential exists. Dr. Zanville said that was up to the campuses. Ms. Johanson reported that was the case for community colleges as well. Both agreed that class fees sometimes push the cost for distance education courses above traditional on-campus classes, however.
Dr. Zanville shared some of the challenges in creating the website, one of the most complicated being the creation of a common database. Presently, 22 institutions are participating, including all OUS schools, OHSU, ten community colleges, and four independent colleges. Her goal is to eventually have all higher education institutions in Oregon represented.
K-12 TECHNOLOGY UPDATE
Mr. Tom Cook, director of the Oregon Public Education Network, described the latest events in the K-12 sector, including a large influx of cash from US West generated as a result of SB 622, approved by the 1999 Legislative Assembly. The goal of one computer for every four students is close to being realized, due to the funds allocated as a result of the legislation, Mr. Cook reported.
Electronic education, said Mr. Cook, will continue to expand instructional resources. Videoconferencing, web-based course offerings, and staff development/teacher training are all enhancements underway at the K-12 level.
At the community college level, Ms. Johanson described the challenges of sharing coursework, deciding which college awards a degree, and determining how costs are split, all of which are emerging issues brought about by electronic education. "There are significant responsibilities, beyond just the provision of direct instruction, around students' success when they engage in these activities at a distance," she pointed out. Nonetheless, she said community colleges remain committed to supporting ongoing efforts toward the goal of a seamless educational system.
Mr. Cook explained that a requirement of SB 622 was the development of a K-12 statewide distance education strategy. He indicated that a broader, K-20 strategy would be worthwhile, as creating separate strategies would be a disservice to all concerned. Continuing, Mr. Cook said the relationship between distance education and e-commerce should be further explored, as it is becoming a top priority with state policymakers, such as the gubernatorially-appointed Internet Commission, the group charged with exploring how to support the growth of the Internet while delivering social and economic benefits to all Oregonians.
President Imeson asked about the timeline for the mandated K-12 strategy. Mr. Cook responded that Superintendent Bunn intends to appoint a special committee that will develop the strategy, adding that there is a level of urgency to complete the project. Ms. Massey asked for a more coordinated effort between the sectors, although the mandate in the legislation states a K-12 strategy be created. Mr. Griffin asked if a proposal might be created to bridge the gap between the sectors. The Chancellor agreed to discuss it further with Superintendent Bunn and Commissioner Preus-Braly.
Concluding the conversation, Mr. VanLuvanee encouraged a "leading- edge view" as a plan is developed, utilizing and reviewing what is underway both nationally and internationally. Indicating his point was well-taken, Ms. Johanson reminded Board members that much of the pioneering work in the area of distance education has been done in Oregon. "Through professional development and looking at best practice models, people are beginning to develop this coursework and the subsequent skills to deliver it in ways that truly engage the learner as participants rather than recipients. We're on a pathway for some very exciting developments," Ms. Johanson said.
HIGHER EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER FUND
Vice Chancellor Vines explained that, as part of the recommendations of the Economic Development Joint Boards Working Group (EDJBWG), a proposal will be brought forth at the April meetings of the Board of Education and Board of Higher Education (both Boards have appointed representation) pertaining to commercialization of ideas from faculty/campuses and how institutions might market those innovations in a way that will benefit state's economy. The specific proposal on a higher education technology transfer fund was developed by the Intellectual Property and Profit Sharing Models Task Force, a committee of EDJBWG.
Seeking solutions to better capitalize on the large talent pool on campuses, Dr. Vines said that the Task Force recommends that 1) a technology transfer fund be established that would be available to community college, public university, and independent institution faculties for the transfer of their technology and good ideas, and 2) a constitutional amendment be created that would allow public colleges and universities to hold stock, which could help retain some control of intellectual property.
Although the funding plan is not fully formulated, Dr. Vines reported that staff are working with the Oregon Research and Technology Board and the Oregon Growth Account Board and are developing potential sources of funding to create a development account for a technology transfer fund. More details on the proposals will be reported at the April 2000 Board meetings.
REPORTS FROM THE SECTORS
Pre-K-12: Deputy Superintendent Clark Brody
Mr. Brody reported that a recent Reading Summit held in Portland attracted more than 800 teachers, administrators, and parents. He believed that the heightened interest in the subject was directly related to the higher state standards and giving direct feedback to teachers on how well their students are performing.
In an effort to become a high-performance organization, Mr. Brody said, the Department of Education, is undergoing a reorganization that aims to eliminate working in "silos" and promote the performance of work in a more integrated fashion.
Describing a new pilot project entitled "Technology Enhanced Student Assessment," Mr. Brody said a request is scheduled to go before the Legislative Emergency Board in April 2000, of which a portion of funds are earmarked for the project. If the pilot proves successful, Mr. Brody said that it might be possible to transition to a statewide on-line student assessment system.
Community Colleges: Commissioner Cam Preus-Braly
Sharing that enrollment in the community colleges is up by nearly 3,500 students this year, Ms. Preus-Braly said that a priority for her and the Board of Education is addressing the issue of growth on campuses. She expressed optimism at the new level of interest in promoting electronic education, including distributed learning and distance learning, aimed at addressing ongoing issues of access.
Oregon University System: Chancellor Joseph Cox
The Chancellor echoed Ms. Preus-Braly's remarks about increased enrollment, noting that the numbers were particularly strong at Oregon State and Portland State Universities. He commended the current partnerships between OUS institutions and community colleges, saying that the increased access resulting from these partnerships is particularly noteworthy. Chancellor Cox mentioned other successful partnerships, including those underway in Central Oregon and Southwestern Oregon, as well as efforts with business and industry.
The meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.
Prepared by Board of Higher Education staff