Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/12/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HB 180 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
           HB 190-CREDIT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL COURSES                                                                       
8:12:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS called the committee  back to order and stated that                                                               
the next  order of business  would be  HB 190. [CSHB  90(EDC) was                                                               
before the committee.]                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  PAUL  SEATON,  sponsor,  introduced  HB  190.  He                                                               
related that  the need  for the  legislation became  obvious when                                                               
the  Alaska  Native  Science   and  Engineering  Program  (ANSEP)                                                               
testified  before the  House  Education  Committee. Students  who                                                               
took calculus in  college, which is equivalent to a  full year of                                                               
high school math, were given only  one semester credit due to the                                                               
lack of  seat time according  to school district policy.  He said                                                               
that HB 190 allows students  who demonstrate mastery of a subject                                                               
to  challenge and  test out  of high  school courses  and receive                                                               
academic credit. Each school district  can determine criteria for                                                               
demonstrating mastery. It requires  that school districts have an                                                               
assessment tool for challenging the courses.                                                                                    
He said the  credits in the bill would apply  to the requirements                                                               
of the Alaska Performance Scholarship,  but would not necessarily                                                               
factor into  the GPA. The bill  does not attempt to  offer credit                                                               
for pre-requisite courses.                                                                                                      
He  noted it  varies by  district  as to  whether they  currently                                                               
offer  such  an  opportunity  to   challenge  credits.  The  bill                                                               
provides a  unified, statewide  approach toward  keeping students                                                               
engaged  in  learning  challenging materials  and  receiving  due                                                               
He referred to an example of  the "Credit by Choice" program from                                                               
the Anchorage School District. He  noted that some classes cannot                                                               
be exempted.                                                                                                                    
8:16:57 AM                                                                                                                    
He clarified on page 1, line 10,  of the bill that "it's within a                                                               
reasonable  time"  and  on  line 11,  "courses  provided  by  the                                                               
district that  are likely  to be,  or have  been, the  subject of                                                               
challenge requested under this section."  He summarized that when                                                               
students  are ready  to have  mastery  of the  subject, they  can                                                               
8:17:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS clarified  that the standards would  not be reduced                                                               
or be made easier.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  agreed. He  explained that  success should                                                               
not be  measured by  seat time. An  alternative must  be provided                                                               
for students who have demonstrated mastery of a subject.                                                                        
CHAIR STEVENS asked how small districts would handle this.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON explained that  the bill applies to courses                                                               
that a district offers.                                                                                                         
8:19:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY stated  that the two bills  before the committee                                                               
will  help  students.  He  discussed  College  Level  Examination                                                               
Placement (CLEP), as  it applied to foreign  exchange students in                                                               
the   Mat-Su  School   District.   He   spoke  positively   about                                                               
performance-based outcome programs.                                                                                             
SENATOR HUGGINS voiced  support for the idea behind  the bill. He                                                               
addressed  various levels  of educational  control and  asked why                                                               
legislation is required.                                                                                                        
8:22:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER   noted  the  concept  of   adverse  incentives,                                                               
comparing  the  student's  and  the  district's  incentives.  She                                                               
pointed  out  that some  students  could  pass a  course  without                                                               
having  taken it,  such as  composition;  however, she  suggested                                                               
there would be  benefits to taking the course. She  noted she has                                                               
mixed  feelings  about students  testing  out  of many  of  their                                                               
classes  because she  prefers that  students  excel, rather  than                                                               
meet standards.                                                                                                                 
8:24:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON replied  that he  understood what  Senator                                                               
Gardner was addressing.  He explained that the intent  was to see                                                               
students  excel and  to test  out  of classes  they have  already                                                               
mastered.  He suggested  that the  bill  would encourage  mastery                                                               
rather  than a  pass/fail grade.  It is  up to  the districts  to                                                               
decide the level of mastery.                                                                                                    
8:27:02 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  summarized that a  district could set  the level                                                               
of mastery.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said that is correct.                                                                                     
8:27:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS clarified  that districts  would be  encouraged to                                                               
solve the issue, not mandate it.  He suggested that CLEP might be                                                               
the solution for some districts.                                                                                                
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  commended Representative  Seaton for  the bill.                                                               
He   encouraged  districts   to  move   toward  performance-based                                                               
learning as a means of saving money.                                                                                            
8:29:33 AM                                                                                                                    
LES MORSE,  Deputy Commissioner, Department of  Education & Early                                                               
Development,  offered to  answer  questions. He  stated that  the                                                               
issue is a district responsibility.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS  asked if  the smaller  districts should  work with                                                               
the larger districts to find solutions.                                                                                         
MR.  MORSE said  yes. He  noted  that the  department could  help                                                               
facilitate that communication.                                                                                                  
SENATOR HUGGINS asked  how widespread CLEP is used  in Alaska. He                                                               
recalled how the Army used CLEP.                                                                                                
8:32:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MORSE  replied that he was  unable to comment on  CLEP usage.                                                               
He said he has heard that  students use it primarily for language                                                               
DR.  HERB SCHROEDER,  Executive Director,  Alaska Native  Science                                                               
and Engineering  Program (ANSEP),  thanked the committee  for its                                                               
work and for  the citation honoring ANSEP. He  related that ANSEP                                                               
allows students  from anywhere in  the state to  complete courses                                                               
necessary to earn the Alaska  Performance Scholarship by bringing                                                               
students into  Anchorage where they complete  university classes.                                                               
The  problem for  many  students  was that  they  were not  given                                                               
equivalent  high school  credit for  the university  credits they                                                               
DR.  SCHROEDER  gave  an  example  of  a  student  who  completed                                                               
numerous college  math courses  that were  not recognized  by the                                                               
student's high school.  He said that HB 190  provides a mechanism                                                               
for students  to earn the  correct number of high  school credits                                                               
for completing  a university  course. He  noted that,  over time,                                                               
many students will be able to graduate from high school early.                                                                  
8:35:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS summarized  that there  is antipathy  between high                                                               
school educators and college courses.                                                                                           
DR. SCHROEDER  agreed. He  said it  appears to  be a  "seat time"                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  noted he has  difficulty with the  logic behind                                                               
seat time.                                                                                                                      
BRUCE JOHNSON,  Executive Director, Alaska Association  of School                                                               
Administrators, testified  in support  of continuous  progress in                                                               
moving kids forward  on a level that is appropriate  for them. He                                                               
said  that  since the  mid-nineties  the  Lower Kuskokwim  School                                                               
District has had a continuous  improvement model where kids could                                                               
take an assessment  delivered at the district  level to determine                                                               
their  placement  in coursework.  From  that  point forward,  the                                                               
students could  challenge courses.  Standards have  pushed school                                                               
districts in  this direction. He  noted that standards  are going                                                               
to become more rigorous with the implementation of Common Core.                                                                 
He suggested that  school districts would not be  resistant to HB                                                               
190. Many schools are already teaching multiple level courses.                                                                  
8:39:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  asked  if  Common  Core  standards  are  being                                                               
adopted in Alaska.                                                                                                              
DR. JOHNSON  said yes.  He added  that the  state plans  to adopt                                                               
assessments that test the Common Core.                                                                                          
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about binding state policies.                                                                             
DR. JOHNSON  replied that he  suspected that this  proposal could                                                               
be  done  through regulation  at  the  department level  or  each                                                               
district could assume the responsibility at the local level.                                                                    
8:41:14 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  concluded that  HB 190  would not  be a  burden to                                                               
school districts.                                                                                                               
DR. JOHNSON agreed. He noted that schools could share                                                                           
information and adopt an assessment as the need arises.                                                                         
SENATOR DUNLEAVY suggested the CLEPS program could also be used.                                                                
He asked where NEA stands on the bill.                                                                                          
CHAIR STEVENS acknowledged a "thumbs up" from NEA.                                                                              
8:42:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS held HB 190 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
04120213_HB190_BillText_VersionA.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_Explanation of Changes - CS House EDC.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_BillText_VersionU.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_FiscalNote_DEED1.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_PolicyExample_Anchorage SD Credit By Choice.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_SupportLetter_Gene Stone MSBSD.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_SupportLetter_Herb Schroeder ANSEP.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04122013_HB190_SupportLetter_Steve Atwater KPBSD.pdf SEDC 4/12/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190