Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/20/2017 08:00 AM Senate EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:00:35 AM Start
08:01:01 AM Confirmation Hearings
08:38:40 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings TELECONFERENCED
- Mary Hughes, University of Alaska Board of
- David Piazza, Professional Teaching Practices
- Kent Runion, Professional Teaching Practices
-- Public Testimony on Appointees --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 20, 2017                                                                                         
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
     University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                    
          Mary Hughes - Anchorage                                                                                             
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
     Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                               
          David Piazza - Dillingham                                                                                           
          Kent Runion - Nome                                                                                                    
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MARY HUGHES, Appointee                                                                                                          
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee.                                                                                
DAVID PIAZZA, Appointee                                                                                                         
Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC)                                                                               
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee.                                                                                
KENT RUNION, Appointee                                                                                                          
Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC)                                                                               
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as an appointee.                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:00:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:00  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Begich, Giessel, Coghill, and Chair Hughes.                                                                 
^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
8:01:01 AM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
three confirmation hearings. Mary Hughes  is seeking a third term                                                               
on the  University of  Alaska Board of  Regents; David  Piazza is                                                               
seeking  a second  term on  the  Professional Teaching  Practices                                                               
Commission;  and Kent  Runion  is  seeking a  first  term on  the                                                               
Professional Teaching Practices Commission.                                                                                     
             University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                          
8:01:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY HUGHES,  Appointee, University  of Alaska Board  of Regents,                                                               
testified  as  an  appointee.  She   provided  her  personal  and                                                               
professional background.  She said she  has been on the  Board of                                                               
Regents for 15  years. She shared that her  family's priority has                                                               
always been education. She referred  to her resume and offered to                                                               
answer questions.                                                                                                               
8:03:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES noted that she and Ms. Hughes are not related.                                                                     
SENATOR  BEGICH   mentioned  the  importance  of   technology  to                                                               
education and  the teacher  training piece.  He asked  Ms. Hughes                                                               
how the university will improve  its teacher education program to                                                               
ensure that teachers are skilled in technology.                                                                                 
8:04:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUGHES replied that the Board  of Regents has been working on                                                               
improving  teacher   education.  She  related  that   her  family                                                               
established a scholarship for future  teachers. She addressed the                                                               
two of  the Regents Big  Four, e-learning and  teacher education.                                                               
The Regents  took action  in reformulating the  way in  which the                                                               
university  teaches  education  and  the  chancellor  of  UAS  is                                                               
charged with statewide teacher education  in all forms, including                                                               
distance  education.  The Board  and  the  president feel  it  is                                                               
important to increase  the number of Alaskans  teaching in Alaska                                                               
schools, particularly in rural areas.                                                                                           
The third of  the Big Four is to offer  general education courses                                                               
via distance education to change  the way Alaska is educating and                                                               
attracting students.                                                                                                            
8:07:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH asked what the fourth of the Big Four is.                                                                        
MS. HUGHES  replied that  it is  using developmental  learning to                                                               
address the need for remediation of incoming freshmen students.                                                                 
SENATOR  GIESSEL   appreciated  Ms.  Hughes  dedication   to  the                                                               
university. She noted that now  there are three main campuses and                                                               
there is still a problem with credit transfers.                                                                                 
MS. HUGHES said they are working  on a common calendar and common                                                               
course numbers,  the foundation of  credit transfers.  There have                                                               
been improvements, but  there are still some  problems which they                                                               
will try  to fix.  The president is  also intervening  to improve                                                               
this issue.  She believes  the Strategic  Pathways will  lead the                                                               
way toward improvements.                                                                                                        
8:12:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  commented that the  process for  improvement credit                                                               
transfers began in 2002 and has been a long time coming.                                                                        
SENATOR BEGICH agreed with Senator  Giessel. He hoped it would be                                                               
a priority for  credits to be made transferable. He  wished for a                                                               
more significant commitment toward that end.                                                                                    
MS.   HUGHES  noted   there  are   three  separately   accredited                                                               
universities which  are governed by three  faculties. Credits are                                                               
more  transferrable now  than in  2002. She  said the  goal is  a                                                               
seamless system. She provided a personal experience.                                                                            
CHAIR HUGHES asked  if remedial courses cost the  same as regular                                                               
courses and if  students remain in those courses for  more than a                                                               
8:16:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUGHES assumed  that the remedial courses are  not for credit                                                               
but  incur a  cost.  Students can  be in  those  courses for  two                                                               
years.  They  are working  on  using  co-education classes  while                                                               
students are still in high  school. She opined that students must                                                               
graduate  learning how  to think.  The  Regents remain  concerned                                                               
about remediation.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  HUGHES   thanked  Ms.  Hughes  for   her  dedication.  She                                                               
suggested  the possibility  of doing  away with  remedial classes                                                               
and having in-class tutoring.                                                                                                   
She asked if the Board has looked at reducing the state subsidy.                                                                
MS. HUGHES  said the general  fund is decreasing.  The university                                                               
is  funded  by  GF,  research,   and  tuition,  and  the  student                                                               
population  is decreasing.  There is  a need  to reconfigure  the                                                               
university  while  keeping the  quality  of  education. They  are                                                               
working  on   future  budgets   through  Strategic   Pathways  to                                                               
differentiate  tuitions at  each  campus. Regents  can approve  a                                                               
tuition increase as a possible solution.                                                                                        
8:25:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony. She introduced Mr. Piazza.                                                                
           Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                       
DAVID   PIAZZA,   Appointee,  Professional   Teaching   Practices                                                               
Commission  (PTPC), testified  as  an appointee.  He  said he  is                                                               
Superintendent of the Southwest  Region School District and would                                                               
be filling  the superintendent seat  for the second year.  He has                                                               
been an educator for the past  32 years. He said he looks forward                                                               
to continuing the PTPC. He  stressed the importance of educators'                                                               
adhering to the code of  ethics. The PTPC provides educators with                                                               
training  to help  prevent violations,  as well  as serves  as an                                                               
avenue for an accused individual  to receive a fair and impartial                                                               
review by their  peers before any career  impacting sanctions are                                                               
He  related  in  1966  the legislature  established  PTPC  as  an                                                               
independent  commission to  be  governed by  members  made up  of                                                               
representatives practicing their profession.  He will continue to                                                               
listen to  and consider  the facts presented,  and work  with the                                                               
other  members  to ensure  that  the  integrity of  the  teaching                                                               
profession remains at the highest possible level.                                                                               
8:28:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  referred to  recommendations from  the Department                                                               
of  Education and  Early  Development  (DEED) Performance  Review                                                               
that recommends  improving efficiencies and  reducing duplication                                                               
between PTPC and the Teacher Certification Office.                                                                              
MR. PIAZZA noted  that PTPC is an independent peer  review and he                                                               
opined that it  is not a duplication of efforts.  The members are                                                               
educators and if  a code of ethics violation is  put forth, those                                                               
who  are accused  can  be  judged by  their  peers.  There is  no                                                               
guarantee  that  DEED  is  staffed   with  those  who  have  been                                                               
8:31:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  thanked Mr. Piazza  for his service  and thought                                                               
his rural  experience was important  to PTPC. She asked  what his                                                               
experience with  big issues  PTPC has addressed  in the  years he                                                               
has been on the commission.                                                                                                     
MR.  PIAZZA explained  that  each  case is  unique.  He spoke  of                                                               
PTPC's  efforts  to  provide  and   strengthen  outreach  to  new                                                               
educators  regarding the  code of  ethics.  He emphasized  PTPC's                                                               
message that educators are role  models and cautioned that social                                                               
media  should  reflect  professional  images  and  communication.                                                               
Student/teacher relationships should remain professional.                                                                       
CHAIR HUGHES asked if there  is any public testimony. She thanked                                                               
Mr. Piazza and introduced Mr. Runion.                                                                                           
8:34:30 AM                                                                                                                    
KENT   RUNION,   Appointee,   Professional   Teaching   Practices                                                               
Commission  (PTPC),  testified as  an  appointee.  He shared  his                                                               
professional background as  an educator for ten years  and he has                                                               
worked both  with students  and teachers in  the area  of teacher                                                               
rights. He said  he can provide the perspective  of rural Alaska.                                                               
He  believes  that  PTPC  is an  important  body  for  protecting                                                               
students, teachers,  and the teaching  profession. He said  he is                                                               
honored to be nominated to serve on the PTPC.                                                                                   
8:35:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH thanked  Mr.  Runion for  agreeing  to serve.  He                                                               
asked Mr. Runion why he wants to serve.                                                                                         
MR.  RUNION  noted  that  the   PTPC  serves  as  protection  for                                                               
teachers, as  well as for  students and the  profession. Teaching                                                               
is a calling and PTPC acts as a protection for all teachers.                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thanked him for his willingness to serve.                                                                          
She closed public testimony.                                                                                                    
8:37:11 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL moved  the appointments of David  Piazza and Kent                                                               
Runion for  the Professional  Teaching Practices  Commission, and                                                               
Mary  Hughes for  the University  of Alaska  Board of  Regents be                                                               
forwarded to the  joint session for consideration.  This does not                                                               
reflect an  intent by any of  the members to vote  for or against                                                               
the confirmation of the individuals during any further sessions.                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES stated that, seeing  no objection, the names will be                                                               
forwarded to the joint session.                                                                                                 
8:38:40 AM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Hughes  adjourned the  Senate Education  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 8:38 a.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
EDU Piazza - Professional Teaching Practices Commission.pdf SEDC 3/20/2017 8:00:00 AM
EDU Hughes University of Alaska Board of Regents.pdf SEDC 3/20/2017 8:00:00 AM
EDU Runion - Professional Teaching Practices Commission.pdf SEDC 3/20/2017 8:00:00 AM