NC Academic Standards Review Commission Meeting-July 20, 2015

Following are my minutes and my comments highlighted in parentheses, taken during the ASRC meeting on Monday. In full disclosure, I don’t think DPI made progress promoting the retention of Common Core, there seems to be more questions and adversarial comments than in the past. This commission is working toward interim reports, that should have been done by now. We will have a better “read” on the commissions leaning at that point.

Handouts for today’s meeting available at:

Opening welcome by Andre Peek, Co Chair.

Roll call: Present: Jeff Isenhour, Katie Lemmons, Laurie McCollum, Jocelyn Herrera, Tammy Covil, Jeannie Metcalf (via phone), Andre Peak, John Scheik, Ann Clark

Olivia Oxendine, Denise Watts, Bill Cobey absent

Review of agenda for the day.

Approval of last months minutes: Will be posted to website, Motion to approve made by John Scheik, 2nd by Laurie McCullum, passed.

Old business: Executive Assistant, Jocelyn Herrera, shares that the commissioners should have a hard copy of updated timeline. The ELA and Math surveys continue to be live, re-launched online. She is assisting the commissioners as requested, and researching their questions. The commissioners have their wish list as far as future guest presenters between today and until September. Will be scheduling regional meetings across the state. Dr Stewart, with educator effectiveness, will be getting organized and look at schedule preferences to touch base with teachers before they go back to school.

Andre: Wants feedback from all interested stakeholders, to give them an opportunity to share their thoughts since they cannot attend the meetings in Raleigh. Commissioners are sensitive to the timeline, and will concentrate the first meetings to be in outlying areas of the state, and share their feedback on preliminary recommendations. The commissioners have been getting digital input from across the state, all along.

Tammy: Reiterated that everyone has the opportunity to contribute and share information without having to travel long distances.

Andre: Jo is getting forums established.

Jeff: Asks, is it possible to get a report from task force that Olivia is on, on testing, something that would fit into this forum? (NC is reviewing their assessment methods)

Tammy: there is going to be a test pilot on some testing

Andre: Will ask for this information from testing and accountability task force, which Olivia serves on. Want to get feedback recommendations by the 17th of August.

Input on survey responses, has been summarized by Jo, the commission wanted to see some of the specific responses from ELA and Math surveys, they have hard copies of the 3 surveys. (Jeff requested that) (The surveys, summaries and data from DPI surveys that were sent out have not been shared on the ASRC website, nor the summary that Jo put together)

Comments from commissioners on what early concerns were included the sequencing order in math, and teaching integrated math versus the traditional sequencing prior to common core.

Andre: Data from High School math indicated 69% of those surveyed, expressed their preference for the traditional math sequence, data indicates the reason is because of lack of preparation and professional training for the integrated Math. Nothing talked about the merits of the integrated versus traditional sequencing, but everything to do with execution. (Andre seemed to be trying to say that the problem was the implementation, like he did last month, and stated that lack of teacher prep, rather than the math standards themselves is the issue)

Jeannie: Said there were concerns about the sequencing and when and how things were taught, how much time was allowed, quite a bit, about right, or not enough time on each part of the math. She had been told that there was not time to cover topics well. Too much to cover in too little time.

Andre: Curious to see what Ted’s group did. Ted said they are just getting started with High School, but they are not in favor of the integrated math because topics are omitted, topics are not complete, there is no geometry proofs, logic, indirect proofs are all omitted. Teachers were sensitive to idea that you jump from topic to topic and most of the teachers didn’t like that. James Milgram said that teaching method can only work if you have highly experienced teachers that know how to teach integrated math that way. Ted shared that some of the teachers in his group try to mix things up as they teach now, to integrate concepts in traditional algebra 1 and 2, but do it in a logical sequential order.

Jeff: Stated that training and preparation of teachers, implementation are important, you can’t just get dropped in. Components are discombobulated, it is not integrated in the way it should flow. Not sure that they did a good job in the integration of the math. In his first meetings with teachers they indicated that the “High School math portion has been the horse that had a saddle on it in the beginning”. (That’s a quote, and I am not sure what he was talking about, very scrambled comments)

Tammy: How has the component of scheduling impacted the math, the block schedule vs traditional schedule, in one case, the student may have a year between math classes. Pacing needs to be user friendly, it is better if paced through the year. Need to consider scheduling and delivery.

Jeff: No materials and textbooks, no curriculum available to them, they wrote their own. We have lots of great teachers who shouldn’t have to do this.

Jeff; wasted some money through this process, (no example given, what money?) this is rub, (on who and why?) 8th grade kids taking High School courses, teachers making sure kids are prepared and trying to fill in gaps, lack of resources is an issue. If we are going to take this out for feedback to qualify data. (again, I wrote what he said, just don’t know for sure what he meant!)

Andre: We have to separate standards from curriculum (again, bringing the implementation to blame versus the standards,) and the sequencing. How does a child get to understand if you can’t build them a path to know what is required.

Laurie, spoke to parent that liked Common Core, she is from Wake County, there was lots of professional development, (and custom “unpacking” documents from DPI) she wishes she could have drilled down into the different school districts implementation plans and results to understand that different schools had different levels of training,

Tammy: referred to the process as building the plane while were flying it. Much of this happened without any preparation or roll out . Responsibility is not just teachers, they used the resources they had.

Jeff: Suggests that NC needs to “Hurry up to slow down”, we try to throw things together, at state, local, Federal levels, and we need to hurry up and slow down so it is done right. From his 15 years as an administrator he recommends: “they need some initiatives to get rid of initiatives.” We trip over our own feet when dealing with these initiatives, we need to implement them in the right way, maybe a moratorium on some testing to allow adequate data and results to see what the children are really learning in the schools.

Andre: Asks, where had the integrated plan has been implemented well, and has done well? His son is at Raleigh Charter, in math 1. (We don’t think Raleigh Charter uses Common Core His Point: notion on flexibility of local control on using either traditional or Integrated Math.

Andre: Asks, What is being done at the state level, are they doing more training?

Jeff: the survey that was put out was not about the standards, but the sequencing and organization of those standards, and only at the High school level. Not the what, the standards, but the organization and implementation of the standards.

Tammy: Had a meeting with Dr. Amanda Lee, a Community College president, for the purpose of getting data in terms of the remedial courses required for the Community college kids. She said 80% of first year students need remedial courses, so obviously, we not addressing skills in High School. How can we identify and deal with those issues? In the 80% figure , there are some students that are there for retraining, and been out of school for a long period of time, not just straight from HS. May be career change, or after military service. Leads to the question on High School; Where are the standards gaps, teaching gaps, resources, everything is part of the puzzle for consideration.

Laurie: The schools have choice between Block vs traditional calendar scheduling. She had a meeting and was told she should be able to get from DPI comparative data on end of grade data from year long courses versus the block schedule.

Jeff: On math, if you look at traditional vs block schedule on how much time there is, Common Core, exposure, kids need more time to grasp concepts and retain them, so his opinion is that traditional year

long course is better. (I still had a hard time understanding his fragmented, incomplete sentences and thoughts, hard to believe he is in administration! His communication skills are poor)

Ted: Development of foundational Skills is better than concepts, skills needed where you can measure how fast and accurately something can be done, foundational skills that need to be retained for future learning.

Tammy: superficial knowledge versus a deeper grasp of the skills. She asks Jeff, “as an administrator, how would that impact his day in terms of moving back to traditional schedule?”

Jeff: Answers that with a 3 or 4 block schedule, looked at skinnys where you run 8 45 min periods, you reduce the amount of time in class a day, but over the year time in class is the same, with a 7 period day, middle block is lunch, a 90 min block, a year long class. (I don’t see how this answers the question.)

Tammy: Asks if requiring a year long math 1 math course, could be done,

Jeannie: Mentions A and B day, it is a year long course that you take on an A day or B day. Continuity is better in her opinion.

Andre; The importance of instruction time, how it is organized….. is impacted by the school calendar, need to be sure they consider this as they make their recommendations.

Ted: Wants to look at DPI survey that Robin told them about, go and look at general comment sections and get feeling from teachers likes and dislikes. (this was supposed to be on the ASRC website months ago)

Committee Reports:

Laurie: ELA: The team used a matrix on comparing different state standards. Said they are done comparing states standards. They have collected 1088 open ended responses from the online survey that can be put on the website for the public. A rough draft of the committee findings is done, it is in editing stage, they are working with Jo to extrapolate data from DPI. They relaunched the ELA survey, said she is excited because the new responses are in line with the old responses. They have 500 new responses even though it is summer.

Ted: Math team report: Read the requirements of commission from Senate bill 812, and reviewed the topics of concern and DPI statements from teachers. They made a questionnaire, used by 6 people from his team, to see which grades, k – 8 that had the most problems, then used the same questionnaire to pick out standards with the most problems, they also used the DPI survey results. They will do the High School analysis separately, using the same process.

Andre: Questioned, were the picked standards prioritized around a subset of problems, or what experts said the problem is… based on my expertise, or results from the DPI survey, for the negative commentary. Was the standard the problem, or the implementation? (AGAIN, the implementation question!)

Ted: Answers, from the DPI survey, the standards that were identified were not all the same ones that were identified by their team. They had a list of 7 items of what could be wrong with a particular standard. On each one of the identified standards, the work group gave a score, they had one standard that hit all 7 categories. Working on High School now, the number of DPI survey complaints was enormous. They are now writing up a report . Elementary didn’t have as much fire from teachers as the High School did. Ted stated that one of the problems his team encountered was that the teachers didn’t know how to identify a specific standard they wanted to comment on, so they gave him information that made it impossible for him to identify what standard they were referring to. They didn’t know how to verbalize a standard. Hopes to be done with his team’s first draft within next few weeks.

Ted asks: Are these reports going to be public, says they will draw a lot of flack, from those that don’t like the report.

Ann: Wants to clarify who is on Math committee. (odd question so far into the process of teams, and she isn’t on either one of them)

Ted: Answers: himself, ( I am not positive I have the names right, they were not in writing and given very quickly, but are listed as I heard them) Jo Seems, retired professor from UNC, Robin ? Kathy Young, Jan Stewart, Judy Quick. Jeff and Jeannie, didn’t work with him on the math . He mentioned that his team has a lot of experience, the 4 teachers on the team have between 20 and 30 years experience, each.

Andre: Shares that drafts and recommendations will be made for the commission to come to consensus, and the entire commission will present to the state board and general assembly. Drafts should be done by end of the month, each committee will do a read out of preliminary reports in August.

Jeff, wants reports available at least a week before the meeting.

Presentations from outside speakers:

Andre: Wants to hear from other stakeholders within the community. Looking for input on what does it take to move forward, not re litigate the past. We want to understand what you see in the marketplace, inform us on some of the things we should be sure the students have the bright futures in the state and careers.

Mr. Kip Blackley from the Chamber of Commerce:

Thanks the commission for opportunity to speak. He is Vice President of Industry and Government Relations for HAECO America’s, it used to be Timco, based in Greensboro . They went through acquisition a year ago. (Interesting side note, Haeco, is a Hong Kong company) His company does maintenance, repair and overhaul on aircraft. In NC they employ 1800 people, over 3200 throughout the US. Coming out of the recession, the aviation industry was hot and came out early, the bad part was as they tried to get more contracts, they had a problem finding qualified employees, area workers were lost to out -of -state moves or to other industry or jobs. New hires typically come from 3 sources, the airlines, that no longer do maintenance, the military, currently over 50% of their employees are ex

military, and the community college, GTCC. Kip stated that when the graduates from the community college were hired, with a certificate that said they were ready to work on a plane, they were not prepared to work. Said it was their fault, because they had stepped away from the education process, when they began to dig into it, they as an aviation community, went to community college an express problems with skills and abilities of graduates. What they learned was that trying to fix the GTCC system was the problem wasn’t there, the problem was the kids out of high school didn’t have the skills. So they went to the High School and quickly found out that problem was more in the middle school. They needed to make sure the right fundamental skills were taught in middle school to be ready for high school, community college and jobs. His company worked through a process, a great process now, leading to a good employee pipeline. If the aviation council could get to know students sooner, create career pathways, beginning in 10th grade they go into the school looking to recruit students who expressed interest in their industry. In 11th grade, they can participate in job shadowing and in 12th grade they offer paid internships. (paid for through workforce Development Board, and grants) In 12th grade, students are co-enrolled in GTCC, working on A and P license, they can finish High School and have diploma and certificate that they are work ready and halfway done with A and P license. When they finish at GTCC, they get hired by HAECO, within months the new hires are ready to be productive. Advantage to the students is they have zero educational dept, and by time they are 25, will make over $50,000. Says we need more of that. (looks to me like a slick way to get the taxpayer to fund Haeco workforce training!)

He said they look at 7 career clusters to recruit from the High School including STEM, advanced manufacturing, logistics, aviation. This gives work life experience for the students and getting business involved in the education of the students. Mentioned that STEM and early college also contribute to their workforce training programs.


Schiek: Asks Kip to characterize interaction with students as an apprentice.

Kip: Structured and run, following rules by FAA, job shadowing etc for 12th grade, there is a dangerous work environment, there were legal council concerns due to the danger, so the students are paid and insured through workforce development, paid $10 per hour from grants that promote aviation.

Ann: How can schools know if kids are college and career ready? From a chamber prospective:

Kip: Says he is a member of the chamber, but is speaking today for Haeko, not for the chamber, on behalf of his business, their key interest is assurance that the students are ready for college or career. In his opinion, to be career ready without any work experience, the students don’t have the talent to step into a working role, which is why they create the job clusters with business engaged in 11 and 12 grade, to allow the skill, talent and ability to enter the workforce be learned.

Laurie: Asks Kip; What were specific problems with prior employees, was it life skills, or cognitive skills?

Kip: Answers: both, getting them to show up on time, every day, with your badge on, doing your job. On the floor, cognitive skills lacking. With machinists, a GEA (?) is required, geometry is mandatory for machinists. Community College didn’t teach geometry, found out that the kids didn’t have basic geometry to understand the college level geometry.

Tammy: Asks who Haeko’s competitors are:

Kip: Answers; AAR out of Chicago, ST arrow out of Singapore. Heicho group is based in Hong Kong,

Tammy: States that in career tech high school, business interests get too involved in basic education, and her issue is not just that they are trying to help produce their employees, but they have a monopoly and the competitors don’t have that. Typically, training is offered by college system or employer, in this case, the kids are getting job training for Haeco. They are the only game in town, they don’t have any direct competitors for the students to funnel into other jobs or industry.

Tammy: Continues to comment: students being workforce ready, career ready, is a misnomer in K-12 education, schools job is to give students the basic skill set to go into workforce. When Business and the Chamber are allowed access and influence at school, it squeezes out competition and pushes kids toward certain goals that are in the business industry best interests, and not the kids. They don’t know what all is available for them. She read an interview where Timco coordinated with a school to the level of a debrief to be sure that the skills taught are aligned with Timco needs, not a broad based skill set that can be transferred between industries.

Jeff: Comments that he likes the model, and stated that the Federal government is looking to reduce the mandatory age in the trucking industry for truck drivers. There is a large trucking company in his area that employees 700 people. There is a need for drivers, so the community technical education leader e mailed the Vice President of this trucking company to partner with schools to get kids interested in truck driving. When referring to College and career, it is not necessarily happening right after High School, can be after internship or work. If kids don’t have “skills” you need, what are the top 3 skills that the kids are missing, math? Communications, writing?

KiP: depends on a particular job, some are not good at math, do not have good communication skills, they lack the ability to write down what has been done, in aviation, everything has to be recorded and stays with the plane for the life of the aircraft.

Katie: States: being an English teacher, when looking at reading and writing, we look at skills. Did you find missing literacy skills from High School, looking for data.

Kip: answers; more anecdotal on previous statements, no specifics. Employees are required to have a general familiarization of aircraft, and 40 hours of continued education on each aircraft.

Ted: Questions , how can Common Core standards, be improved so that the kids coming out of HS are closer to work ready,

Kip: Answers ; Consistency in all the schools, someone coming from Randolph County Schools would have the same skill set as the person coming from the Rocky Mount. (In other words, one size fits all)

Jeff: Questions; do they all need all the higher level math, geometry and algebra, even if they want to go a different direction to tailor what they need to benefit himself? (themselves)

Kip: Answers; Personalization is important to the career they would choose.

Andre: States that he relates to the overall program benefit to community, the local employer active in the education arena, he works with NC business community too, and tries to get students engaged in business to know what workforce looks like, expanding training opportunities to teachers so they can help students better, but we don’t want to make the schools into a particular workforce training center for a specific company or industry.

Kip: States; The kids are not locked into a contract with Heico during school, they can move freely. If they are in their program during college, they will get some tuition assistance for college, with the understanding that the reimbursement to the company is equal time of work to the years of college tuition given.

Dr.Hope Williams, Independent colleges and universities President (Bio printed out,)

NCICU consists of 36 private and nonprofit colleges and universities across the state, from the late 1700s to the 1960 to provide teachers for the state.

25% of teachers across the state come from this group of colleges and universities.

She will respond to questions that were sent to her, one is: Has the number of applicants to programs changed? The enrollments are declining, reasons include, questions on salary, working conditions, requirements of teacher licensure, teacher education program, other ways of becoming a teacher. The overview from undergraduate teacher education programs suggests that small size and diverse student bodies enable student and faculty to work well together. Still, students coming to college need more critical writing and thinking skills, content skills, which are elements embedded in lessons in the field and throughout the teacher portfolio.

Content alignment, using universal best practices, is a concern because no matter what standards are used, students are prepared to teach. They are encouraged to read deeply, think critically, understand that there can be several correct answers to one question, for instance, looking at scores for Asian students, what we find in NC is that they are surprised when they are asked what they think, they are used to having the answer given to them, not asked “How would you do that?” In American higher education, they are expected to think, ask, evaluate. Now more Asian countries are doing this as well.

Regardless of standards, teacher educators ask for statewide consistency, data shows that small rural communities have students that are not as well prepared for college when standards are not the same across the state, we want rigorous standards.

The Education of teachers focus is on the NC Standard Course of Study , (currently Common Core.) The teachers face upheaval every time the standards are changed.


Ann: In terms of student success in attending an independent college, the public system provides a school district report on remediation, for entering freshmen, do the independents have that data report?

Hope: Answer; No they have feedback from admissions counselors, not a statistical report. One challenge is we all know that the GPA is a better indicator of how well the student will do in college, (but if your classes were not as challenging in your school, your GPA is higher, but your skills may not be.)

Andre: Looking at the graduates across the system, where will they be placed? Their college curriculum is based on Common Core, and NC standard course of study, it would be interesting if graduates get placed in NC or other states. (Do they get hired in NC or other states?)

Hope: Answer; It vary’s by institution, they do have some out of state students, they do have high success placing their graduates in our state if that is where they want to be. Some of the Urban areas pay better so incentive is different.

Laurie: follow up on a comment, we need to remind ourselves that standards are words on paper until implemented, are there patterns to the disparities in low economic districts, that don’t have all the resources as larger districts.

Hope: Can’t speak on that now, but in the past, what data has been available, the international and AP honors classes students seem to do better when they have a wider variety of courses available. The virtual High School can fill some of those course voids. Can’t take a class that is not offered everywhere. (Didn’t address the question at all!)

Jeanie: Common Core was thrust upon state, not unpacked in a way that succeeded as well as they hoped, how have schools of education dealt with math teachers when they were implemented?

Hope: I didn’t hear any complaints: all of her faculty have been trained so they feel comfortable with teaching it.

Andre: explain the link between testing and accreditation in the K-12, teacher education program, what is taught and how it is accessed, and what you and the student learn, how you feed that back into what is taught. Are students assessed on what they were taught? Can they teach , student teacher.

Hope: Assessment is critical for them and the program. Accreditation more than a test score.

Jeannie: Asks what is the definition of rigor?

Hope: for them, private colleges, in High School would enable students to be successful, and not surprised on the demands and the level of work that is expected at the college level. How prepared the student is based on High School offerings. The ability to have the background needed to be successful,

to be sure they are not behind, to be able to move ahead academically. Realize that some colleges doesn’t have remedial classes. (I don’t see a definition of rigor here! I could make her statement make sense, but that’s not what she said)

Jeff: Question; based on work she has done on standards for the teacher educators, what would her recommendation to this committee be regarding changes to the standards?

Hope: She is hesitant to make changes, because current standards haven’t been in use long enough, she likes things to be the same for more than 5 years , don’t want to make changes so often. Every change causes upheaval in the course work and professional training of the teachers. (Interesting comment because NC has ALWAYS reviewed their standards every 5 years)

Andre: Comments: with multiple bits of feedback, the teachers are struggling with lack of materials, it is hard to formulate lesson plans, lack of professional training.

Jeff: Comments; After several years of teaching Common Core already, why is there so much concern about teachers not being prepared? My question is why is it so hard for the teacher to be able to deliver this approach, since they have gone through the college system with alignment to Common Core. (Only understandable thing he asked all day!)

Hope: Agrees, new teachers, been taught with the Common Core alignment, but this was not one of the questions that was sent to her so she didn’t get her group to give her feedback on it, but she will ask them. She stated that teacher educators have opinions about everything.

Dr, Rebecca Garland, DPI

2 particular pieces of information to share, a question of calendar, and to talk about recent information on NAEP on educational progress.

Calendar: last fall, the accountability division did a study of the school year 13-14 on the impact of the school calendar on student achievement. The school calendars include block, traditional, and year round. High Schools operate on either a semester calendar, often referred to as a block schedule, or a traditional calendar that runs from August to June. Most elementary schools follow a traditional calendar, but there are some year round schools with intermittent breaks. Raw data shows that without exception, in reading and math, in grades 3-8, the year round schools out perform traditional calendars.

In High School, the data shows the traditional calendar outperformed the block calendar.

In the 90’s, they did a similar study and didn’t find as much of a difference. DPI determined last fall that they would disaggregate the data, to look at lower performing schools, look at more than just the data, try to identify differences. This is just a report.

Laurie: How many students in High School, what is failure rate in block schedule?

Rebecca: We have not looked at failure rate. Reasons for schools moving to block schedule may not be as compelling as it used to be, teachers prefer traditional calendars, fewer subjects to master at one time,

Jeff: Question; End of course data, how did students perform on our own assessments? Based on preliminary data, what is the difference in the scores on the calendar?

Rebecca: Raw data shows traditional track did better than block scheduling.

Tammy: looking at page 7 eoc math data for 13-14, you can’t discount that there is a 30 to 40% increase in traditional schedule scores versus. Block and mixed. The difference is significant.

Rebecca: In Math 1, there is more at play, In 8th grade on traditional calendar, the advanced students take math 1 in 8th grade, that is included in the data and effects the results. They want to randomize some study, similar population to see if difference in student population factors into the calendar results. Test scores deviation, is the variation based on calendar, reason is to be pursued. (She was adamant that the commission didn’t just see this report as affirmation that the state should return to a traditional school calendar over a block or mixed schedule.)

Jeanie: Question; In Biology, the end of grade test, is there same significant difference?

Rebecca: The traditional schedule score was higher than the block

Andre: Comments, not debating scores, good news is kids are testing to same standards, information is based on kind of calendar and has a potentially big difference on the outcome.

Rebecca: data seems to suggest that. The traditional calendar has longer to percolate, a longer period of time to grasp concepts. The block calendar has 135 hrs, there are 180 hours in traditional calendar. When there are longer periods of time between classes, the kids can lose some skills in summer etc.

Laurie: In year long classes, block electives, Kids don’t always like a 90 minute class. They lose interest.

NAEP: In 1997, The state board was directed by the general assembly to develop a plan to create a rigorous student academic performance standards, and for these to align whenever possible with the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as “the gold standard”. The report is to inform the public of what the students know and can do in various subjects.

This is a ranking of expectations by the state to see if state is meeting standards. In a recent report put out by John Hood, says that NC now ranks 4th highest in the country, among expectations, almost proficient with NAEP, Mass, Vermont, NY, were scored higher. In 8th grade reading we ranked 3rd with Wis and NY scoring higher, and right below NAEP proficient scale, In 8th grade math NC is slightly above proficient, with NY and TX scoring higher.

DPI’s take from this report was, we have gotten to the point the General Assembly told them to go, with significant change in expectations from then to now. Kids achievement level is basic grade level, with

college and career ready goals, aligned to NAEP gold standard expectations directed by the General Assembly.

She continued her statement that it will take a generation of students to work through new standards. You will not see immediate student mastery with any change in expectations. If you significantly change the standards, You are basically starting over, and it will take a long time for expectations and NAEP to come back together. (Basically, she doesn’t want the commission to change anything I the current standards, feels that they are on track with the General Assembly expectations. What she didn’t say, is the John Hood report on the rankings, refers to NAEP ranking on the STANDARDS and ASSESSMENTS, and NOT the student scores. In other words, how well the assessments align with the standards they are testing. You need to take into consideration that NC is 3 years into Common Core, and many of the other states are behind the curve both in implementation and assessments) (The site to look at this information is: “mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales” This report is from the 2012 13 school year )

This can be up to a 20 year process. As long as standards are as rigorous as we have now, we will continue to improve, and commissions recommendations don’t disrupt the cycle.

Ann: To clarify that this report is on the standards and rigor of the assessments, not the student results. Every state says their assessments are sound, and NAEP goes in to see if the standards are rigorous, go in and rank them according to what they expect. The assessment of the assessment. The new math and reading (COMMON CORE) was implemented in NC was before most states, the assessments that we created to measure our standards were at a level that would be aligned with NAEP. This really has nothing to do with what standards we are using, whatever standard we used, would be submitted for your assessments score and ranking on the NAEP scale. 4th graders take NAEP test, and will show how the students performed. The alignment would lead you to believe that what they know and we say will be able to do will be close to what NAEP expects.

Ann: Follow up question; What is the correlation between NAEP and Common Core?

Rebecca: Answer; NAEP set out expectations that were higher than NC standards at the time was, by going with Common Core, we got closer to what NAEP expects. We are close to top of the nation now, whatever we do, we hope that the end result will be that the rigor will not drop.

Jeannie: Question; Understanding Common Core is standards that are common across the country, it seems that all the NAEP scores should be the same, how is it that NC scores higher if we are all doing the same thing?

Rebecca: Answers; We have already changed our assessments, other states are just getting there, we are 3yrs in, other states are one or two years in. (Begs the question, what will our results look like when all the states have been in 3 years?)

Jeannie: Comment: If everyone changes to equal rigor, they will be closer aligned, not just the standards, it is the assessments of those standards. Her schools’ scores have gone down, she says 50 to 60 % of the scores are down, they didn’t meet the kindergarten standards. She is anxious to see what rigorous standards are, and what the test scores are, and feels the rest of this is a mute point until we have test scores to compare to. We are one of a few states that have done the assessment part. This is not indicative of how wonderful we are, take this report with a grain of salt. It will have merit when we have some student result numbers to put with NAEP expectations on assessments.

Rebecca: Asks Jeannie; Why do you look at that, look at how we have raised student performance since 1995, based on the A-B-C’s of third graders, when we raise standards our performance goes up, that is how you move performance, develop assessments, give students time to learn what is on them. If you look at 3rd grade, every year, we have gone up. we will not do well on these for several years, but over time we will. (A bit defensive are we Dr. Garland?) We have 2 “A” scores in publications saying NC is on the right track. Unless we want to start all over with Rigor, we will fall behind again. (Statement is also contradictory, we do good,except when we make changes?)

Laurie: Comments; During this transition time where things look low, and gradually come up, is there a ceiling? She has never seen teachers so discouraged, and wonders, are they going to stick around for 10 years to bring up the students? Moral is low.

Andre: Analogy to describe different levels of assessment, he has a son with math homework of 10 questions, now, if he is in a lower state, the question is: did you do your homework? Ok, good. This is an example of a less rigorous assessment, a bit higher assessment would be, did you do the work, let me see. A better assessment would be to question if the work was done, to check that it was done, to see that the procedure used was correct and the answers are correct. States doing more rigorous inspections on the standards are being evaluated in comparison to other states.

Rebecca: Gives her own analogy, to raise standards, monitor achievement, think of gymnastics, gradually raise the bar, getting better all the time. (So, why did we change our CUT scores, and go from 4 levels of achievement to 5?)

Now we have achieved this level, we don’t want to drop the bar back down, assessments are based on the current standards (she didn’t ever use the word Common Core, but that is our current state standards.)

Laurie: what do we do with standards that are not accessed? Like writing. The fact that to get students ready for reading assessments, they are not getting the writing that they need, she is concerned about that.

Rebecca: Stated: They don’t access writing, but in peer review, she thinks they should be assessing writing. English 2 has some writing, we know that is a weakness. writing is a conundrum. Speaking listening, classroom, gives your teacher a form of student assessment. (is she saying that the teachers accesses the students ability to write based on their speaking?)

Ann: States that NC is in a recognized starting point for assessments, we are in a leadership position that we want to preserve and not lose by making changes that would lessen our rigor.

Jeff: Comments; All our tests are not good tests, NC final exams are awful.

Rebecca: Answer: Remember we have been doing end of course, end of grade tests since 1995, they have improved over time, statistics show, doing same improvement on the final exams, and if we continue, we will get better. Have to do field testing and item analysis over time. (Funny, Common Core was NOT Field tested anywhere in the NATION!)

Jeannie: Question; Is there a parallel in achievement? If we plotted the increase in the quality of the assessment and also plotted the increase in NAEP achievement, would we see a parallel?

Rebecca: Answer; The poorest performance is typically in middle school, some kids have never had some of the skills with increased rigor. If kids starting in Kindergarten, over time, gaps disappear since it is the same expectation all through school with the expectations of the NAEP.

Jeff: Comment; He doesn’t see how it is fair to hold teachers to level of accountability expected.

Rebecca: States that only growth is used for the teacher accountability. It is possible for all the teachers to grow and the proficiency not grow.

Jeff: States, from a pragmatic standpoint, parents don’t understand growth, what point in time does % of kids passing come in.

Rebecca: States; They could set a score, do a test where all the kids would pass, what would that do? doesn’t help parents to tell them their students are proficient when they aren’t. Expectations are higher now than before.

Tammy: Asks; What if a kid graduates with honors and had taken AP classes and did well, but their assessments had a low bar, the kids get short changed, because they score well on an easy assessment.

Rebecca: Answers: With a sound basic education, a proficient student, will successfully go to the next grade. Level 3 should be able to go to the next grade level and do well.

Rebecca: Reporting student achievement level of proficiency is different now. Since 1999, they always gave students within 1 point standard point of error, a passing score. When they went to A- F grading systems on the schools, the students were held to an accountability standard, a new level 3 was carved out of the old standards of measurement, that previously would have shown up in the standard of error, and still pass. (defends that how student proficiency it is reported is different, not how they process the pass or fail to the next grade.) NC does have exit exams that kids have to pass.

Andre: new business:

August 17th meeting, Denise, Laurie, and Olivia, all have a conflict with August meeting.

No new business

motion to adjourn.



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