Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

02/22/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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08:02:45 AM Start
08:03:37 AM Presentation: Regional Educational Laboratory (rel) at Education Northwest and the Alaska State Policy Research Alliance (aspra)
09:35:55 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Teachers TELECONFERENCED
Presentation by Northwest Regional Educational
Laboratory
Joint with House Education
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 22, 2017                                                                                        
                           8:02 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                       
 Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                    
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                   
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative David Talerico                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                  
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
 Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                          
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
 Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Lora Reinbold (Alternate)                                                                                       
 Representative Geran Tarr (Alternate)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 All members present                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY (REL) AT EDUCATION                                                                
NORTHWEST AND THE ALASKA STATE POLICY RESEARCH ALLIANCE (ASPRA)                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DAVID STEVENS, PhD                                                                                                              
Research Manager                                                                                                                
Regional Education Laboratory (REL)                                                                                             
Portland, Oregon                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-presented  the overview by  the Regional                                                             
Educational  Laboratory   (REL)  and  the  Alaska   State  Policy                                                               
Research Alliance (ASPRA).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY PIERSON, PhD                                                                                                             
Alaska State Policy Research Alliance (ASPRA)                                                                                   
Portland, Oregon                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-presented  the overview by  the Regional                                                             
Educational  Laboratory   (REL)  and  the  Alaska   State  Policy                                                               
Research Alliance (ASPRA).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAYNA JEAN DEFEO, PhD                                                                                                           
Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)                                                                                
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Responded to questions  during the overview                                                             
by  the  Regional Educational  Laboratory  (REL)  and the  Alaska                                                               
State Policy Research Alliance (ASPRA).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:02:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HARRIET DRUMMOND called the  joint meeting of the House and                                                             
Senate  Education  Standing  Committees  to order  at  8:02  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Drummond,   Kopp,  Parish,   Fansler,  Johnston,                                                               
Spohnholz, and Talerico; and  Senators Coghill, Giessel, Stevens,                                                               
Begich,  and Hughes  were present  at the  call to  order.   Also                                                               
present was Representative Ortiz.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION:   REGIONAL   EDUCATIONAL   LABORATORY   (REL)   AT                                                               
EDUCATION  NORTHWEST   and  the  ALASKA  STATE   POLICY  RESEARCH                                                               
ALLIANCE (ASPRA)                                                                                                                
 REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY (REL) AT EDUCATION NORTHWEST and                                                           
       the ALASKA STATE POLICY RESEARCH ALLIANCE (ASPRA)                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:03:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be a presentation from the  Regional Educational Laboratory (REL)                                                               
at  Education  Northwest and  the  Alaska  State Policy  Research                                                               
Alliance (ASPRA).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:04:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   STEVENS,  PhD,   Research  Manager,   Regional  Education                                                               
Laboratory (REL), said  the report was compiled,  based on origin                                                               
data, as gathered  from Alaskan schools, in order  to fulfill the                                                               
mission  of the  Alaska State  Policy Research  Alliance (ASPRA),                                                               
which  is  to produce  and  share  evidence on  Alaska  education                                                               
issues.  The  leadership team is comprised  of professionals from                                                               
the  Department of  Education and  Early  Development (EED),  Dr.                                                               
Susan  McCauley, the  Alaska  Superintendents Association  (ASA),                                                               
Dr.  Lisa  Parady,  the  University of  Alaska  (UA),  Dr.  Steve                                                               
Atwater,  and the  Regional  Educational  Laboratory (REL),  Drs.                                                               
Pierson and Stevens.  He explained  that there are 10 REL regions                                                               
and  Alaska is  included  with four  other  states:   Washington,                                                               
Idaho, Oregon,  and Montana.  The  goal of the REL  program is to                                                               
assist states  and districts in  the use of data  when addressing                                                               
important  policy  issues  and improving  educational  practices.                                                               
The services are provided locally  via research alliances such as                                                               
ASPRA.   A  collaborative group,  ASPRA engages  in four  primary                                                               
activities:     convening   Alaska's  educational   stakeholders,                                                               
supporting  stakeholders   in  the  use  of   data  and  evidence                                                               
findings,   conducting  original   research,  and   disseminating                                                               
evidence to facilitate decision  making in educational practices.                                                               
The work  is organized within  four specific work groups:   state                                                               
policy -  working with EED  to support the implementation  of the                                                               
Every  Student Succeeds  Act (ESSA)  and other  agency identified                                                               
topics;  superintendents  -  facilitating  a  learning  community                                                               
among   the   state's   superintendents;  educator   pipeline   -                                                               
networking with a  myriad of stakeholders; and  early childhood -                                                               
supporting  the  Alaska  Early Childhood  Coordinating  Committee                                                               
Council in attaining  and analyzing data on early  learning.  The                                                               
report today  is in response to  questions that arose out  of the                                                               
superintendent's  working  group  that identified  three  primary                                                               
concerns:    the  characteristics   of  Alaska's  small  schools;                                                               
educator  turnover  rates in  Alaska  and  how these  compare  to                                                               
national averages;  and how  well course  work is  preparing K-12                                                               
students for entry into the UA system.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:10:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked who funds the service.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.   STEVENS  said   the  funding   is   provided  through   the                                                               
department's Institute  of Educational  Sciences.   A competitive                                                               
bidding process  is held to  select organizations to run  each of                                                               
the 10 regional  laboratories.  Education Northwest  has held the                                                               
lab in the northwest region for  50 years.  He explained that the                                                               
awards are for five- year  increments, thus, the 2012-17 contract                                                               
has just finished, and the new lab is beginning.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:11:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSTON  asked   which  eleven   districts  are                                                               
included in the data used for the presentation                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:12:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY  PIERSON,  PhD,  Alaska  State  Policy  Research  Alliance                                                               
(ASPRA),  named a  few of  the ASA  districts represented  by the                                                               
superintendents and chaired by Ty  Mase of the Lake and Peninsula                                                               
District.    She  offered  to   provide  the  full  list  to  the                                                               
committee.   Beginning  her part  of the  presentation, she  said                                                               
Alaska's  smallest   schools  are  those  with   10-24  students,                                                               
contrasted with  schools that have  25 and more students  for the                                                               
purpose of this  analysis.  The funding floor is  for a school to                                                               
have a  minimum of  10 students.   Based  on 2015-16  figures, 58                                                               
brick  and mortar  schools, or  13 percent,  of Alaska's  schools                                                               
have been  identified as small.   The comparison here  is between                                                               
brick  and mortar  schools and  does not  include correspondence,                                                               
alternative,   or  [Division}   of   Juvenile  Justice   operated                                                               
facilities.   The  grade  by  grade analysis  findings  are:   60                                                               
percent  of  students in  small  school  are elementary  age  and                                                               
attend grades K-5;  20 percent attend grades 6-8;  and 20 percent                                                               
attend grades  9-12.  The  total attendance of the  small schools                                                               
was 955.  She provided  three state maps illustrating the locales                                                               
of small schools based on  enrollment numbers:  10-14, 15-19, and                                                               
20-14.  Nearly every district, save  the far north, have at least                                                               
one small  school.   She directed attention  to the  handout page                                                               
labeled, "22 of 54 districts  have schools enrolling less than 25                                                               
students," to  point out  the list of  districts that  host small                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:17:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  the enrollment shifts  were scrutinized, and  it was                                                               
found  that most  schools experience  changes in  enrollment each                                                               
year.  A shift of only one  student can have a dramatic effect on                                                               
a small  school.  Thirty percent  of the schools had  a change of                                                               
25 percent  or more.   She pointed  out that current  policy does                                                               
not consider  enrollment fluctuations, which she  suggested might                                                               
be policy  to consider  for revision.   Referring to  the handout                                                               
page  labeled,  "Most schools  with  less  than 25  students  are                                                               
accessible only by air," she  compared the accessibility of small                                                               
versus  larger school  as reached  via  air, ferry,  or the  road                                                               
system,  followed  by  a  state map  to  further  illustrate  the                                                               
findings.   Continuing,  she said  the Alaska  School Performance                                                               
Index  (ASPI)  is  based  on  the  facilities  attendance  rates,                                                               
student test  performances and  improvements in  writing, reading                                                               
and math, the graduation  rates, and student scores/participation                                                               
on college  entrance exams.   Directing attention  to a  chart in                                                               
the handout,  labeled, "Schools with  10-14 students  had highest                                                               
ASPI star rating," she reviewed the  age range data for the small                                                               
schools and the  overall rate for all other schools  to show that                                                               
the  highest ratings  were awarded  to small  schools with  10-14                                                               
enrollees; followed by  a state map to  illustrate the locations.                                                               
The small schools  were compared for racial  make-up and economic                                                               
health,  with the  analysis  showing that  these  schools have  a                                                               
predominately  Alaska  Native  population  and  a  high  rate  of                                                               
poverty.   In  summary,  small schools  can  be characterized  as                                                               
follows:  comprise  13 percent of schools in most  regions of the                                                               
state; 41 percent  of districts host small schools, or  22 of 54;                                                               
60 percent  of students  are enrolled  in grade  5 or  lower; the                                                               
majority are  remote and accessible  only by air;  represent both                                                               
high and low performing schools;  have a populace of historically                                                               
disadvantaged students.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:25:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL asked  about the  fluctuation percentage  in the                                                               
school  size and  whether  there was  any  further analysis  that                                                               
would prove helpful from that study.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  said the percentage was  taken from the study  of 58                                                               
schools, which showed that 17, or  30 percent, had a change of 25                                                               
percent or  more in enrollment  numbers.  She offered  to provide                                                               
additional information to further detail the statistics.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:26:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  noted that K-12  comprises thirteen  grade levels                                                               
and the analysis  shows that 60 percent of the  students are in 6                                                               
of the lower grade levels, while  40 percent are in the seven top                                                               
grade levels.   She  asked for an  accounting of  the discrepancy                                                               
and pondered if  students are leaving to  attend boarding school,                                                               
dropping rates, or for other reasons.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  said the  high school cohorts  were not  analyzed to                                                               
account  for the  difference in  the numbers,  nor were  drop-out                                                               
rates scrutinized.  She offered to provide further information.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:27:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  referred to  the impact of  the poverty  rate on                                                               
the ASPI standing  and asked if comparisons were  made with urban                                                               
schools.  Anecdotally,  he said it's been  reported that students                                                               
living  in  poverty  perform  poorly  in  both  rural  and  urban                                                               
locales, and he asked if that was found to be true.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON responded  that Native students tend to  have a lower                                                               
success rate across the state,  as indicated by graduation rates.                                                               
The ASPI  rating was  not analyzed on  that point  of comparison;                                                               
however,  she  offered to  have  the  statistics applied  to  the                                                               
question and provide the information.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:28:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DRUMMOND  noted the  report  that  current policy  doesn't                                                               
account for  enrollment fluctuations  in small schools  and asked                                                               
whether it is her recommendation that the policy be revised.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  answered that several  options could  be considered,                                                               
such  as implementation  of rolling  three-year averages  to ease                                                               
the effects.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:29:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  pointed out  that a hold  harmless provision                                                               
does exist  in statute [a  part of the school  funding foundation                                                               
formula], for this reason.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:29:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked if information  was gathered on the ratio of                                                               
teachers to students in small schools.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON answered  that  the broadband  survey  data used  on                                                               
teacher ratio data was not  considered accurate enough to prepare                                                               
as part of the report.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:30:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked about the significant  difference of                                                               
the  higher ASPI  star rating  that schools  with 10-14  students                                                               
hold over those with enrollments of 15-19.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON  speculated  the  cause  to be  the  result  of  the                                                               
sampling  size.    She  said   when  statistical  categories  are                                                               
comprised  of small  numbers, slight  fluctuations can  alter the                                                               
averages dramatically.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:32:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  turned to educator  retention and said  the analysis                                                               
was based  on nationally published research,  EED statistics, and                                                               
original  analysis produced  by ASPRA.   Prior  to beginning  the                                                               
report,  she established  that the  percentages for  turnover and                                                               
retention represent contrasting factors  and tenure is considered                                                               
as the  number of years an  employee has remained at  a school or                                                               
in a district.   She highlighted the  2016-17 turnover statistics                                                               
produced by EED,  to report that 22 percent of  the teachers were                                                               
new to  their school; 10.5  percent were inter-district  and 12.8                                                               
percent were intra-district.  Further,  of the 584 administrators                                                               
hired, 177, or 30.3 percent, were new.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:35:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON  offered a comparison  of turnover rates  from across                                                               
the nation  to put Alaskan statistics  in context.  In  2013, the                                                               
national  turnover  averaged  14  percent.    She  offered  state                                                               
percentages for  comparison:   Alaska 17,  Hawaii 21,  Idaho, 13,                                                               
Montana  19,  Oregon  12,  and   Washington  10.    The  national                                                               
principal  turnover   rates  vary   from  15-30   percent  across                                                               
districts and  one report had  Alaska ranked as the  third lowest                                                               
for  tenure.    Superintendent   turnover  is  about  15  percent                                                               
annually,  on a  national basis,  with about  45 percent  exiting                                                               
within three years.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:37:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON  turning  to ASPRA  statistics,  reported  that  800                                                               
Alaskan educators were new to the  state, out of a teaching force                                                               
of 8,000, and  that this 10 percent rate has  remained static for                                                               
the last five years.  In  the 2012-13 school year, principals new                                                               
to the state  were at 13 percent, which was  reduced to 7 percent                                                               
in 2016-17;  27 new principals  of the  397 positions.   Only one                                                               
superintendent was  new to the  state in  2017.  She  said school                                                               
level turnover  rates have proven  to be steady during  the five-                                                               
year  study period.   Percentages  for the  five years  2013-2017                                                               
show:  principals  = 22, 27, 25,  26, 23; and teachers  = 18, 20,                                                               
19, 22,  18.  Dr. Pierson  said defining rural and  urban schools                                                               
is  a challenge  in Alaska,  and the  federal government  doesn't                                                               
provide a useful  classification system.  Thus,  REL created four                                                               
modified  categories:    urban =  off-road  locales  encompassing                                                               
areas  such  as  Anchorage, Fairbanks,  and  Juneau;  urban/rural                                                               
fringe  = on  and  off-road locales  encompassing  areas such  as                                                               
Palmer, Seward,  and Sitka;  rural hub/fringe  = on  and off-road                                                               
locales encompassing  areas such as Bethel,  Healy, and Unalaska;                                                               
and rural  remote = off-road  locales encompassing areas  such as                                                               
Adak, Arctic Village, and Yakutat.   The rural remote schools had                                                               
the highest  turnover among principals and  teachers for 2016-17,                                                               
she  reported  and   compared  principal/teacher  percentages  as                                                               
follows:     urban   21/14;  urban/rural   fringe  12/16;   rural                                                               
hub/fringe 21/22;  and rural remote  32/31.  Similar  to schools,                                                               
the  district principal/teacher  turnover  percentages were  also                                                               
steady  over the  same five-year  time period,  but by  including                                                               
superintendent turnover  a dramatic  contrast is evident.   Thus,                                                               
five-year   principal/teacher/superintendent   turnover   numbers                                                               
respectively read:   16/12/4,  16/13/19, 16/12/43,  13/13/28, and                                                               
12/12/24.   She  pointed out  that  72 percent  of the  districts                                                               
experienced a superintendent turnover in the last five years.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:45:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON  provided  the  caveat  that  not  all  turnover  is                                                               
considered  negative,   and  discussed  strategies   to  increase                                                               
retention,  as found  in  national  publications:   grow-your-own                                                               
staff  and leadership;  improve onboarding  of new  staff through                                                               
assisting them to  connect within the community  and other staff;                                                               
build incentives  to stay in  contracts such as offering  a bonus                                                               
after  two  or three  years  in  a district;  encourage  networks                                                               
within and across districts, which  is key for rural settings and                                                               
can be accomplished through virtual or in-person contacts.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:48:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAYNA JEAN DEFEO, PhD, Institute  of Social and Economic Research                                                               
(ISER),  University of  Alaska  Anchorage  (UAA), explained  that                                                               
there are  many costs  incurred due  to, or  otherwise associated                                                               
with, teacher turnover.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:50 a.m. to 8:52 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:52:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  DEFEO   continued  with  the  costs   of  teacher  turnover,                                                               
beginning with  teacher preparation including course  work, field                                                               
placement,  and certification  requirements.   Secondly, when  an                                                               
experienced   teacher  leaves   there  is   a  productivity,   or                                                               
performance  productivity loss,  ultimately seen  through student                                                               
learning and educational outcomes.   The third cost is separation                                                               
and the  expenses incurred when  a teacher terminates,  which may                                                               
include:   exit interviews,  payroll closeout,  building security                                                               
changes, and website/database updates.   Recruitment is required,                                                               
and costs  associated with that  category include:   advertising,                                                               
job fair  attendance, and  outreach at colleges.   The  next cost                                                               
category  is for  hiring and  includes:   screening applications;                                                               
interviewing   candidates;  background   and  reference   checks;                                                               
licensure  assistance; payroll  and benefit  system updates;  and                                                               
computer  access  and technology  resources.    Finally, the  new                                                               
teacher  requires   orientation  and  training.     The  analysis                                                               
requested   was  for   the  costs   incurred  for   new  teachers                                                               
leaving/entering  a district,  not in-district  transfers.   Data                                                               
for  this  analysis  was  gathered  from  37  of  the  54  school                                                               
districts, including  Mt. Edgecombe.   Costs not included  in the                                                               
analysis  include teacher  preparation and  teacher productivity.                                                               
However,  the indirect  costs of  productivity  losses have  been                                                               
researched by other  entities and determined to be  40 percent of                                                               
the cost of  teacher turnover.  She said  a conservative approach                                                               
was taken in  arriving at the estimates being presented.   In the                                                               
categories calculated  the cost  of wages  were included  but not                                                               
benefits  and the  average,  typical scenario  was  used for  the                                                               
purposes of  this analysis.   Thus, using the  included variables                                                               
for separation,  hiring, orientation, training,  and recruitment,                                                               
the calculated  cost for each  teacher position  being overturned                                                               
is  $20,431.08.     The  $20,400  cost  can   be  attributed,  in                                                               
percentages, as  follows:   1.0 -  separation; 12.0  - separation                                                               
that  includes  refreshing  the  housing; 24.0  -  hiring  a  new                                                               
educator,  or about  $4,900 per  teacher; 55.0  - orientation  or                                                               
$11,100 on average; and 9.0  - recruitment that includes material                                                               
costs but  not hours  or wages  at $1,900.   She said  a detailed                                                               
report will  be provided to  the committee, in the  coming weeks,                                                               
which  will   include  consideration  of  additional   costs  not                                                               
included  in  this preview.    Some  of  the costs  represent  an                                                               
investment,  and  may  help  to reduce  the  turnover  rate,  she                                                               
pointed out;  however, reducing turnover will  allow reallocation                                                               
of costs to the service of student learning.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:00:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON   stated  her  understanding   that  the                                                               
national retention rate for superintendents  is five or six years                                                               
and asked if there might be advantages to turnover.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON responded  that  there  is a  national  trend for  a                                                               
superintendent  to change  every  three to  four  years, and  the                                                               
evidence varies  as to the  potential effects.  The  further away                                                               
from the  school, the  lower the impact  is on  student learning.                                                               
That is, principals are the  second most important figure next to                                                               
teachers; superintendents  are further  removed.  She  offered to                                                               
provide further information.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  asked if there  is a national  trend for                                                               
principal tenure.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON answered  that the  national  average for  principal                                                               
turnover is 15-30 percent, with  an average tenure of about three                                                               
years.  She  added that Alaska has the third  lowest rate in this                                                               
category.   The turnover  rates become  higher in  Alaska's rural                                                               
districts, where teachers  and principals tend to  move away from                                                               
high poverty/rural districts and into urban/suburban areas.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:02:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP commented that  terminology can be subjective                                                               
and  some  locales   being  referred  to  as   high  poverty  are                                                               
subsistence  areas, where,  although there  is no  economic base,                                                               
the  people  don't consider  themselves  poverty  stricken.   The                                                               
setting  of  these areas  is  foreign  to  many people,  if  they                                                               
haven't experienced a  similar life style, and a  rural boot camp                                                               
could  prove beneficial,  he suggested.    A teacher  considering                                                               
locating  to a  village could  have a  one- or  two-week mandated                                                               
residency for  familiarization purposes to include  speaking with                                                               
the elders  and meeting  the exiting  teachers.   The perspective                                                               
teacher  would  have  the  opportunity  to  realize  whether  the                                                               
situation is suitable  for them, prior to  making the commitment.                                                               
He said  recruitment needs  to include  preparation on  the front                                                               
end for teachers  to understand what they are going  to find when                                                               
they arrive in a subsistence village or isolated town.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:05:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked whether  including the 40 percent for                                                               
productivity  loss would  place  the burden  of teacher  turnover                                                               
closer to $30,000.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. DEFEO said  productivity loss was not factored in  as it is a                                                               
difficult figure  to extrapolate, representing a  loss of student                                                               
learning.  The reported 40  percent is a conservative figure that                                                               
was located in, and used from,  other research.  If that estimate                                                               
was  included, the  suggested $30,000  could  easily be  reached.                                                               
Additional costs  to the  state, that will  be factored  into the                                                               
final report is  teacher preparation, which is  a significant and                                                               
high cost element,  and the recruitment costs reported  here as a                                                               
rough estimate.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked for a  ballpark figure of the overall                                                               
cost to the state for the loss of a teacher.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. DEFEO  answered that  it could  be as high  as $50,000.   The                                                               
other  costs  to be  reported  will  be teachers  moving  between                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:10:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FANSLER   returned  to   the   principal/teacher                                                               
retention rate fluctuations, which  are basically aligned for the                                                               
five-year reporting  period, and asked about  the correlation and                                                               
whether it represents a national  trend or something that is seen                                                               
primarily in Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON  responded  that  national  evidence  indicates  the                                                               
principal  as the  primary factor  for a  teacher remaining  at a                                                               
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  asked  if statistics  are  available  on                                                               
retention in the rural  hubs/fringe locals contrasting home-grown                                                               
versus Outside hires.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON answered,  no; however,  anecdotal reports  indicate                                                               
that someone  with strong ties to  a community is more  likely to                                                               
remain.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:14:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH noted  that the Yupiit School District  has held a                                                               
boot  camp,   for  the   last  three   years,  similar   to  what                                                               
Representative   Kopp   described,   and   suggested   that   the                                                               
superintendent  be  asked  to  provide   the  committee  with  an                                                               
overview.  He reported that it  has served to cull candidates out                                                               
immediately.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:14:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES said the monetary  cost is certainly a concern but                                                               
of equal, or  more, concern for the state is  the loss of student                                                               
outcomes.   She reported that  one district is experiencing  a 70                                                               
percent turnover, and she asked if  there is any means to receive                                                               
some analysis specific to Alaska.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON deferred comment.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. DEFEO  offered that  the final report  will indicate  some of                                                               
the research and  outcomes.  Teacher turnover  impacts the entire                                                               
school  when the  team  effort is  interrupted.   Teachers  reach                                                               
their maximum  effectiveness in the  first five years.   It would                                                               
be important  to retain the  teachers for those  effective years,                                                               
which is  also when they're  at the lower  end of the  pay scale.                                                               
However, new teachers  also take some time to  orient and develop                                                               
strategies in order  to be effective.  She agreed  that a culture                                                               
camp is helpful for new teachers entering rural areas.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:18:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.   PIERSON   continued   with  the   presentation   and   said                                                               
developmental  education  was  also  identified  as  a  topic  of                                                               
concern, given the  intent that Alaskan graduates  be college and                                                               
career ready.  National and  Alaskan research was used to prepare                                                               
the  report.   The  developmental education  courses  occur in  a                                                               
college  setting,  are  non-credit   bearing,  and  help  prepare                                                               
students  for  college  level  math and  English  classes.    The                                                               
students who take developmental courses  tend to have low college                                                               
completion  rates,  possibly  a  result of  the  time  and  money                                                               
involved.    High  school  graduates may  be  enrolled  in  these                                                               
courses   because  of   the  graduation   and  college   entrance                                                               
requirements  not  being  in  alignment,  or due  to  a  lack  of                                                               
rigorous  coursework.    Another   possibility  is  a  misaligned                                                               
placement process determined via  a college placement test, which                                                               
may not  be the best  means for  predicting whether someone  is a                                                               
good candidate  for completing college.   Finally,  some students                                                               
take these classes as refresher courses.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:22:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON reported that strategies  to reduce the developmental                                                               
education rates include:  shorten  the required math sequence for                                                               
students not seeking  a degree in a  math-focused field; increase                                                               
high  school rigor  and  offer college  prep  courses; allow  co-                                                               
enrollment for  students to  take simultaneous  developmental and                                                               
college level  courses, to  provide the  support a  student needs                                                               
without  extending  the  timeframe   for  earning  a  degree;  or                                                               
universities   could   change   placement  policies   to   better                                                               
understand  the needs  of  individual students.    She said  that                                                               
developmental education  rates are higher at  community colleges,                                                               
than four-year  universities, perhaps  attributable to  the open-                                                               
access  enrollment where  grade point  averages of  enrollees are                                                               
not  considered.   On a  national basis,  the 2003-04  statistics                                                               
show that  68 percent  of students  entering a  community college                                                               
attended  developmental courses,  versus 39  percent at  a public                                                               
four-year  college.   A more  recent report  from Oregon,  showed                                                               
that 75  percent of high  school graduates enrolled  in community                                                               
college  developmental  courses.   Published  analysis  from  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  (UA)  reports   figures  similar  to  the                                                               
national  community  college rates:    61  percent of  first-time                                                               
students   between    2008-2012   were   recommended    to   take                                                               
developmental  courses and,  like the  rest of  the country,  the                                                               
need for math  was much higher than for English;  and in 2014, 71                                                               
percent of incoming UA students  required the courses.  She noted                                                               
that the UA is an open-access institution, and offers both two-                                                                 
year, four-year, and graduate degrees.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:27:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  DEFEO  outlined  the  Center  for  Alaska  Education  Policy                                                               
Research  (CAEPR)  work that  is  being  focused around  Alaska's                                                               
education  policy  and  identifying   means  to  improve  college                                                               
readiness.    Strategies being  explored  include:   piloting  an                                                               
early college placement test; completion  of a state of the state                                                               
teacher report;  and high school  seniors' aspirations  and plans                                                               
are  being compiled  to provide  a sense  of what  Alaska's young                                                               
people are interested in pursuing.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:29:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON cited  a  recent study  published in  an                                                               
Anchorage newspaper,  which said despite student  tests showing a                                                               
need  for remedial  work, those  who didn't  attend the  remedial                                                               
courses had  far higher graduation  and success rates  than those                                                               
who did.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. PIERSON offered to compile  research on the topic and offered                                                               
that it aligns  with what she stated  earlier regarding placement                                                               
policies and the  lack of relevance or accuracy  in the placement                                                               
tests.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether  student aspirations  are                                                               
considered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PIERSON  said  some  evidence   indicates  that  it  can  be                                                               
disheartening for  a student who  considers him or  herself ready                                                               
for college to then be told remedial work is necessary.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  asked  for further  information  on  the                                                               
misalignment of high school courses,  and how, despite being top,                                                               
local  performers, a  student is  still lacking  necessary skills                                                               
when they arrive at college.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:33:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  thanked the participants  and announced  the next                                                               
meeting of the House Education Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES   announced  the  next  meeting   of  the  Senate                                                               
Education Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:35:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business  before the committees, the joint                                                               
meeting  of the  House  Education Standing  Committee and  Senate                                                               
Education Standing Committee was adjourned at 9:36 a.m.                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AK slides 2017-02-22.pdf SEDC 2/22/2017 8:00:00 AM