Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

01/29/2019 09:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:59:55 AM Start
09:00:21 AM SB30
10:36:47 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
*+ SB 30 COLLEGE CREDIT FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
-- Teleconference <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 29, 2019                                                                                        
                           8:59 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Chris Birch                                                                                                             
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 30                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the middle college program for public                                                                      
school students; and relating to the powers of the University of                                                                
Alaska."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  30                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COLLEGE CREDIT FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/23/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/19       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
01/29/19       (S)       EDC AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Tim Lamkin, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 30 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PAUL PRUSSING, Project Coordinator                                                                                              
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 30.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE BUTLER, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information on middle  college and                                                             
bridging programs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DEENA BISHOP, Ph.D., Superintendent                                                                                             
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on Alaska Middle College School.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MONICA GOYETTE, Ph.D., Superintendent                                                                                           
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on Mat-Su Middle College School                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:59:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY   STEVENS  called   the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:59  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Begich, Hughes,  Costello, Birch,  and Chair                                                               
Stevens.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         SB  30-COLLEGE CREDIT FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:00:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  announced the  consideration of  SB 30.  He stated                                                               
his intention  to hear testimony  on the  bill and hold  the bill                                                               
for further review.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:00:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Tim   Lamkin,  Staff,   Senator   Gary   Stevens,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, said the bill  establishes a state-                                                               
sanctioned collaborative between  the secondary and postsecondary                                                               
education systems.  He chose not  to inundate the  committee with                                                               
research on the  effectiveness of dual credit  and middle college                                                               
programs at  this point, but the  merits of the programs  are not                                                               
in dispute. Of course, the  devil is in the details, particularly                                                               
the   financial   structure   of   transferring   funds   between                                                               
institutions  and  other  parties.   Details  also  included  the                                                               
language of whether districts "shall"  or "may" participate. That                                                               
will be  a key  policy consideration  for the  committee. Another                                                               
topic  will be  whether mandates  are funded  or not.  The fiscal                                                               
note  is  forthcoming.  He  noted the  letter  in  the  committee                                                               
packets from  Norm Wooten, Executive Director  of the Association                                                               
of Alaska School Boards.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:03:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH  asked  what   distinguished  this  from  students                                                               
earning college credit with Advanced Placement (AP) classes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN  answered that AP  does not result in  outright credit                                                               
for  college  courses, but  others  can  address that  with  more                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS said  middle college  is more  structured than  an                                                               
occasional dual credit class. Students  can get the first or even                                                               
second year  of college done  while in  high school. It  has been                                                               
successful  around  the  country.   It  is  more  structured  and                                                               
requires more  counseling with  a goal  of degree  completion. It                                                               
also addresses the  issue of students entering  the University of                                                               
Alaska  system  who  are  not prepared  and  must  take  remedial                                                               
courses. This makes students prepared to enter college.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:05:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  he supports  the  concept of  the bill  but                                                               
noted that  Alaska Gateway  School District  Superintendent Scott                                                               
MacManus  asked if  this becomes  a mandate  they cannot  afford.                                                               
Another issue is  that even if it becomes a  "may" clause, it may                                                               
lead  to  disparities in  the  long  run. School  districts  with                                                               
higher energy  costs may not be  able to avail themselves  of the                                                               
option  while  wealthier  school  districts  can.  But  it  seems                                                               
solvable to him.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS said  he is hesitant to say "may."  It is important                                                               
to say  it "shall" be done.  They have heard from  the Anchorage,                                                               
Mat-Su, and the Kodiak districts that  they can do this under the                                                               
present foundation formula. Mat-Su has  found that it saves money                                                               
for  them. They  pay the  university  for the  classes, but  they                                                               
don't need as full a faculty.  A district that can't do it simply                                                               
has to make a report to  explain why it cannot offer the program.                                                               
He agreed  with Senator Begich  about equity. Kids  in Shishmaref                                                               
deserve  to  have  a  college   education  as  much  as  kids  in                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES echoed Senator Begich's  concern about how it will                                                               
work  with rural  students. She  noted that  they have  discussed                                                               
virtual  education   as  a  way   to  give  rural   students  the                                                               
opportunity to  be in  a live,  two-way classroom  with cream-of-                                                               
the-crop  teachers in  other parts  of the  state. That  could be                                                               
part of this.  The bill requires students to pick  up the tab for                                                               
books  and materials,  but housing  could be  an issue  for rural                                                               
students who  might want  to come  to an  urban area.  However, a                                                               
robust virtual education system could help solve that.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS responded  that the bill does  require districts to                                                               
pay for  university tuition,  but students  would pay  for books,                                                               
fees, and  transportation. Anchorage and Mat-Su  (and Kodiak will                                                               
also) pay for the cost of transportation                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  said the fairness issue  needs to be part  of the                                                               
conversation if some districts would  pick up the extra costs and                                                               
some wouldn't.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS   said  they  would  need   information  from  the                                                               
university  about  fees.  For  example,   would  a  student  from                                                               
Shishmaref need to  pay for the athletic program  in Anchorage or                                                               
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:10:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  said  she  is  an  advocate  for  options  for                                                               
students and  families. She asked  what does this look  like. She                                                               
understands  that students  can  take  one or  two  classes on  a                                                               
college campus. In  this bill it almost appears  that the student                                                               
becomes a college student.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  answered not  exactly. Students  can take  as many                                                               
college classes as they'd like, but  they are still a high school                                                               
student. They can participate in  high school activities but have                                                               
the opportunity to get college credit.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO  gave the  example  of  someone  who is  on  an                                                               
advanced math  track. She asked  if the student could  leave just                                                               
for  the math  portion and  spend the  majority of  the student's                                                               
time at high school.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS   answered  yes.  The  bill   would  also  address                                                               
senioritis, when  often the last  year of high school  is wasted.                                                               
It is a good opportunity to spend the last year seriously.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:13:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAMKIN presented the sectional analysis of SB 30, version U.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 1: Amends current statute regarding an annual report                                                                  
              submitted to the legislature by  the state board of                                                               
              education and early development, to include in that                                                               
              report a current summary of middle college activity                                                               
              in the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 2: Adds a new Article 15 to AS 14.30 (Educational                                                                     
              Programs For Pupils) regarding Dual Credit.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
               (A) Establishes a Middle College program for                                                                     
                     eligible students in  high school  to enroll                                                               
                     in courses at the University  of Alaska, and                                                               
                     to earn  credit toward  a college  degree as                                                               
                     well   as   credit   toward    high   school                                                               
                     graduation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                (B) Establishes    some    baseline   eligibility                                                               
                     requirements for students to  be enrolled in                                                               
                     a public  school,  be in  the  11th or  12th                                                               
                     grade, to not  have already received  a high                                                               
                     school diploma,  and otherwise  meet minimum                                                               
                     requirements set in regulation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                (C) Requires every school district in the state                                                                 
                     to  participate   in   the  middle   college                                                               
                     program,  making dual  credit  available  to                                                               
                     eligible   students.    Respective    school                                                               
                     districts  shall  pay  course  tuition.  The                                                               
                     student  is   responsible   for  all   other                                                               
                     expenses   associated   with   the   course,                                                               
                     including fees, books, and transportation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN pointed out that subsection C is the "shall" vs.                                                                     
"may" section.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                 (D) Holds harmless a school district's Average                                                                 
                     Daily    Membership    (ADM)    calculation;                                                               
                     students   participating   in   the   middle                                                               
                     college  program  are  to still  be  counted                                                               
                     toward  the   respective  school  district's                                                               
                     ADM.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                  (E) Allows the University of Alaska and                                                                       
                     individual   school   districts   to   share                                                               
                     student transcript  information for purposes                                                               
                     of   determining  program   eligibility  and                                                               
                     satisfactory course completion.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                  (F) Aligns the existing definition of "school                                                                 
                     district" as set  in AS 14.30.350, meaning a                                                               
                     borough  school   district,  a  city  school                                                               
                     district, a  regional educational attendance                                                               
                     area  (REAA), a  state boarding  school, and                                                               
                     the  state centralized  correspondence study                                                               
                     program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 3: Amends AS 14.40.040(a), relating to the general                                                                    
              powers  and duties of the University  of Alaska, to                                                               
              allow  for the UA  system to enter  into agreements                                                               
              with school  districts in the state for purposes of                                                               
              carrying out the Middle College program.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:16:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked  if  Anchorage,  Mat-Su,  and  Kodiak  are                                                               
concerned about  reporting. She also  asked why not  allow highly                                                               
motivated 9th and 10th graders to participate.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  answered that  they can  ask districts  to respond                                                               
about the grade question.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAMKIN said that is a policy consideration.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:18:42 AM                                                                                                                    
PAUL PRUSSING,  Project Coordinator, Department of  Education and                                                               
Early Development  (DEED), Juneau, Alaska, said  section one adds                                                               
three  data elements  to gather  from the  university. It  has no                                                               
fiscal  impact   on  the  Department   of  Education   and  Early                                                               
Development (DEED).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if this  was one of the  recommendations of                                                               
the Alaska Educational Challenge.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRUSSING  replied that the  Alaska Educational  Challenge has                                                               
13 recommendations,  three commitments, and five  goals. One goal                                                               
is  career and  technical education  dual credit,  but increasing                                                               
educational  opportunities  is  part of  the  Alaska  Educational                                                               
Challenge.  As  Senator Begich  pointed  out,  ensuring that  all                                                               
districts have access to these classes is important.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:20:30 AM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE  BUTLER,  Executive   Director,  Alaska  Commission  on                                                               
Postsecondary Education (ACPE), Juneau,  Alaska, said she planned                                                               
to present a  high-level summary of programs  that create bridges                                                               
from high school  to college in Alaska. ACPE's  nexus with middle                                                               
college  and dual  enrollment programs  is  around financial  aid                                                               
questions  and coaching  and other  services that  their outreach                                                               
team offers to students and  families. They do not have expertise                                                               
in middle  school per  se, but  they have  lots of  experience in                                                               
connecting  students and  families and  their questions  with the                                                               
experts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER reviewed the agenda for her presentation:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ACPE Mission                                                                                                               
     Middle College Connections                                                                                                 
     Benefits                                                                                                                   
     Barriers                                                                                                                   
     How ACPE Can Help                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER  described the difference  between middle  college and                                                               
dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is  any program that allows high                                                               
school students  to earn  college credit  in high  school. Middle                                                               
college is  a subset  of dual enrollment.  It is  a collaboration                                                               
between a student's  high school and local  college that provides                                                               
for  student cohorts  to enroll  in  the local  college and  earn                                                               
college  credit.  Students  generally attend  the  local  college                                                               
campus with traditional college  students, but with very specific                                                               
supports  from their  high school.  Many  states described  their                                                               
middle  college programs  as a  high school  embedded in  a local                                                               
college campus. Students must apply  to get into a middle college                                                               
program. They generally graduate with  both a high school diploma                                                               
and associate degree at the  same time. The overarching terms for                                                               
programs that  help students bridge  the gap between  high school                                                               
and college are bridging programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER  said that slide 5  showed the ACPE nexus  with middle                                                               
college  and   bridging  programs   is  mainly   about  providing                                                               
informational resources  to students. She reviewed  the number of                                                               
existing dual  enrollment programs  in Alaska  shown on  slide 6.                                                               
She  pointed out  that  middle colleges  are  operated by  school                                                               
districts  and  that Anchorage  and  Mat-Su  already have  middle                                                               
colleges.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER  reviewed the diversity  of other  programs available,                                                               
including a  program at AVTEC [Alaska's  Institute of Technology]                                                               
that allows  high school students  to graduate with  a credential                                                               
as a merchant mariner.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BUTLER   said  other  early  college   options  include  the                                                               
International Baccalaureate  (available at  West High  and Palmer                                                               
High);  CLEP, the  College Level  Examination Program  offered by                                                               
the College Board; summer college  programs, offered by many for-                                                               
profit organizations; AP testing,  another College Board program;                                                               
and internships.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  asked if she agreed  SB 30 does not  impact any of                                                               
these programs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:28:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER  reviewed the potential benefits  of bridging programs                                                               
on slide 8:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   • Increased high school graduation rates                                                                                     
   • Increase college enrollment rates                                                                                          
   • Higher college GPAs                                                                                                        
   • Greater college persistence and faster progress to                                                                         
     graduation                                                                                                                 
   • Larger  benefit    to    traditionally    underrepresented                                                                 
     populations (males and low-income students)                                                                                
   • Include collegiate and CTE tracks                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked  if these programs would reduce  the need for                                                               
remedial education.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER answered that one finding  in her research is that the                                                               
structure of middle college programs,  where all the supports are                                                               
available  to  high  school  students while  they  are  taking  a                                                               
college course,  is very effective.  Students are more  likely to                                                               
be successful.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER  said potential barriers to  participation in bridging                                                               
programs are  financial, academic,  and informational.  A student                                                               
not  enrolled  full-time in  a  degree  program generally  cannot                                                               
access  state   or  financial  aid.   For  example,   the  Alaska                                                               
Performance  Scholarship   is  only  available  to   high  school                                                               
graduates.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:31:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if  it could  be possible  to have  a grant                                                               
program draw from existing scholarship programs to assist low-                                                                  
income students in middle colleges.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER responded that she would research available options.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said it poses  the possibility of  offsetting the                                                               
issues he brought up earlier about potential disparity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS added that college books can be $100 or more.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES wondered  if  private scholarships,  particularly                                                               
for children of  active duty military, would be  eligible for aid                                                               
related to college.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said he  runs a  private scholarship  program and                                                               
this would fall under that grant program.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER said she will research scholarship options.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER  addressed academic  considerations. Students  must be                                                               
prepared for  academic rigor. Their  grade point  averages (GPAs)                                                               
in collegiate  courses become part of  their student transcripts,                                                               
and grades can affect future financial aid eligibility.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BUTLER  said  students  need  to  understand  processes  and                                                               
bureaucracies  to enroll  in  these programs,  and  they need  to                                                               
understand the benefits. Middle  colleges tend to remove barriers                                                               
because students have high school supports.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:36:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER reviewed how ACPE can help on slide 13.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
   • Success Centers in-person (Dimond Mall and UAA Enrollment                                                                  
    Services) and telephone/distance coaching and assistance                                                                    
   • Alaska College and Career Advising Consortium (ACAC)                                                                       
     initiatives, including mentoring provided through partners                                                                 
   • AKCIS online planning tools (www.akcis.org)                                                                                
   • Financial aid and higher education outreach events                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BIRCH  asked if  there is a  presumption that  every high                                                               
school will have an associated  college campus in the vicinity or                                                               
if  there is  a distance  learning option.  He wondered  how much                                                               
flexibility there  would be  for high  school students  without a                                                               
nearby college campus.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER referred the question to Mr. Lamkin.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  said the university  has many  extension programs.                                                               
Maybe the university can provide the details.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BIRCH said  he was  intrigued  by students  at AVTEC  in                                                               
Seward graduating with Coast Guard  credentials. He asked whether                                                               
the International Baccalaureate (IB) was a degree program.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUTLER answered that the  IB is an internationally-recognized                                                               
credential  that  documents high  academic  rigor.  It is  not  a                                                               
college  credential,  but  some  colleges will  award  up  to  30                                                               
credits to students with an IB.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  encouraged everyone to  visit AVTEC to  learn more                                                               
about the program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  reinforced the points  made by Senator  Birch and                                                               
Senator  Hughes about  distance learning  and how  that could  be                                                               
integrated into  this. He  mentioned the concepts  in SB  96 from                                                               
the previous session that had broad support.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:42:07 AM                                                                                                                    
DEENA BISHOP,  Ph.D., Superintendent, Anchorage  School District;                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  began by noting  that this is her  third year                                                               
with  the Anchorage  School District  (ASD) and  the second  year                                                               
that  ASD  has  had  a  middle college.  She  was  the  assistant                                                               
superintendent  in  Mat-Su when  they  began  the middle  college                                                               
there.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BISHOP  said  this  offers   all  53  school  districts  the                                                               
opportunity to  see who their  students are  and to ask  how they                                                               
can  make middle  college happen  for their  students. It  starts                                                               
with  asking   who  are   the  students.   One  of   the  biggest                                                               
opportunities and challenges in  Anchorage is language diversity.                                                               
Twenty percent  of their students  have more than  100 languages.                                                               
Challenges to Alaska's school districts  are unique. With support                                                               
of the bill, they can figure it out.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BISHOP said  one of  the biggest  variables for  the ASD  is                                                               
economically disadvantaged  students. The middle  college excites                                                               
her with this group. They  have strong students whose families do                                                               
not have the  financial or cultural capital  to navigate college.                                                               
The middle  college allows them  to assist with  navigating those                                                               
waters.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP said many times they  talk about college or career and                                                               
technical education (CTE). She hopes  people understand the power                                                               
of  "and" and  "both." The  University of  Alaska is  one of  the                                                               
largest  suppliers of  CTE. CTE  is not  done outside  of college                                                               
readiness   or  middle   college.   It  is   combined  with   it.                                                               
Concentrators, which are two or  more semesters within a pathway,                                                               
a structured approach  to CTE, provide success  for students. The                                                               
graduation rate for students who  have taken concentrators in CTE                                                               
is 93  percent compared to  the overall  rate of 81  percent. The                                                               
impact is especially high for students with disabilities.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP showed  a picture of the Alaska  Middle College School                                                               
Chugiak-Eagle River Campus of UAA.  Anchorage juniors and seniors                                                               
were  able  to take  courses  at  the campus  and  simultaneously                                                               
complete  high school  graduation requirements  and earn  college                                                               
credit.  The  campus  is  closed   because  of  damage  from  the                                                               
earthquake, and those students now attend the Anchorage campus.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
IB  and AP  students  must take  an exam  and  then colleges  can                                                               
accept those  credits. She  pointed out  that middle  colleges do                                                               
not always  have more  rigorous courses. Some  AP courses  can be                                                               
more rigorous. It is not "either  or"; it is "and" and "both." It                                                               
is about offering choices to students.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP said  their middle school students continue  to want a                                                               
connection to high  school, such as going to the  prom or playing                                                               
sports. ASD middle  college is a place-based model  with 11th and                                                               
12th graders students  on campus. It is dual credit.  This is not                                                               
college  is taking  over  the high  school, and  it  is not  high                                                               
school  taking over  college. It  is a  true partnership.  School                                                               
districts would  work with  institutions in  their areas  to find                                                               
the best answers for students.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP said she would not  call this an unfunded mandate, but                                                               
an uncomfortable opportunity because it  pushes them. In ASD they                                                               
pay for  fees, books,  and transportation  from the  base student                                                               
allocation  (BSA).  It  is  affordable.  They  also  can  provide                                                               
teachers,  counselors, and  support  so that  the scaffolding  on                                                               
both  sides works  for  their  students. Even  when  they use  an                                                               
online learning vendor,  someone in the local  community is still                                                               
the advisor or coach.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:55:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. BISHOP  said one of their  goals to have the  demographics of                                                               
the middle college match the  demographics of Anchorage. They are                                                               
on  a good  path to  have  that diversity  represented in  middle                                                               
college.  They  spend  time sharing  and  advertising  with  many                                                               
groups. They  have learned  that they must  go to  where families                                                               
are to share the opportunities in the Anchorage School District.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP shared student feedback:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
   • Students reported best features as:                                                                                        
        o Sense of independence and responsibility                                                                              
        o Flexibility in schedule                                                                                               
        o Ability to get ahead in college                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
   • Students reported best resource as:                                                                                        
        o Anchorage School district teachers                                                                                    
        o Resources available on campus to support emotionally                                                                  
          and academically                                                                                                      
   • Students reported math as most challenging subject                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP shared parent feedback:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
   • Parents reported best features:                                                                                            
        o College environment                                                                                                   
        o Challenging coursework                                                                                                
        o Opportunity to get a head start on college while                                                                      
         fulfilling high school graduation requirements                                                                         
   • Parents appreciate support their students are given by ASD                                                                 
     staff as they transition to college-level work                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP  said they  have successes  with students  who thought                                                               
they could never have success  in college. This bill provides the                                                               
opportunity to get the work of  equity done for students. It is a                                                               
huge  asset for  them  to be  able to  provide  college to  their                                                               
students. They  believe in  choice and success  for life  for all                                                               
Alaskan students.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH said that while he  is glad that ASD can fund this                                                               
through the  BSA, they have lower  energy costs and a  higher tax                                                               
base than rural  Alaska. The higher energy costs  in rural Alaska                                                               
eat into the  BSA and allows less flexibility.  He referenced the                                                               
higher graduation  rate for students  who take  concentrators and                                                               
asked if these students are self-selected.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BISHOP replied  that they  have  data on  students who  have                                                               
tried many different avenues, such  as culinary arts and welding.                                                               
Once  they  find a  desire  in  ninth  or  tenth grade  and  take                                                               
consecutive  courses  and  build competencies,  they  are  highly                                                               
successful. ASD is working on  placing students in internships in                                                               
the community. Even in middle  college it is total self-interest.                                                               
Their biggest  challenge is sharing  the many  opportunities with                                                               
students. With the  superintendents she is working  with now, the                                                               
issue isn't  necessarily the finances  for CTE or college.  It is                                                               
the ability  to find  people who can  teach courses  students are                                                               
interested in.  Partnerships help provide more  opportunities for                                                               
students. Middle college  is not the answer  to everyone. Whether                                                               
it is  CTE partnerships or  middle college or  partnerships among                                                               
districts, it all starts with students and their interests.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH said  he would  like to  see the  data about  the                                                               
percentage of  economically disadvantaged students in  the middle                                                               
college.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP said she would  provide the data on the representation                                                               
of low socio-economic students.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  said  she  wanted  to  recognize  Kathy  Moffitt                                                               
[Director,  Administrative   Projects,  ASD]  for  her   work  in                                                               
starting middle colleges in Anchorage  and Mat-Su. She asked what                                                               
the benchmark  is for economically disadvantaged.  She noticed 53                                                               
percentage   of   students   in    the   ASD   are   economically                                                               
disadvantaged. She  asked whether the  ASD has data on  the first                                                               
generation of students attending college.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS echoed that he would also like that data.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  asked whether the  reporting requirements  in the                                                               
bill  would be  burdensome and  whether students  are paying  any                                                               
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:05:13 AM                                                                                                                   
DR.  BISHOP  said  reporting  the  self-reported  data  on  first                                                               
generation  college students  would  not be  difficult. The  fees                                                               
depend on individual courses. One  of the biggest issues for them                                                               
has been paying  for textbooks. The university  kept changing the                                                               
required  books,  which  was  expensive.  They  worked  with  the                                                               
university to narrow the textbook selection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES   asked  about  the   economically  disadvantaged                                                               
criteria.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BISHOP  answered  that  it is  mainly  federal  criteria  as                                                               
determined by the free reduced  lunch program. She suggested that                                                               
a DEED representative could answer the question.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS noted that many  states and universities are moving                                                               
to online textbooks, which are cheaper.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BIRCH  said the  impact on their  48,000 students  is one                                                               
half of one percent, a modest  number of students. He asked for a                                                               
description how  it works,  such as  do kids  go to  classes with                                                               
other students at a campus.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP responded that if  students want an experience of high                                                               
school on  a college campus,  they would enroll in  Alaska Middle                                                               
College with  one foot in  high school for wrap  around services.                                                               
Middle  college  is  their  school,  located  at  the  university                                                               
campus. Student  can get a  ride from their high  schools because                                                               
the campus  is next to  King Tech.  Most juniors or  seniors ride                                                               
the city  bus or have  their own car. They  can spend the  day at                                                               
the  university. They  have a  flexible schedule.  They can  only                                                               
enter  courses if  they  are  college ready  as  shown through  a                                                               
variety of assessments.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP said many of students  earn between 35 and 45 credits;                                                               
some have  earned 60 or  more. The  middle college is  on campus,                                                               
but students can still take courses at their high schools.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COSTELLO  mentioned  that  DEED  is  looking  at  coding                                                               
opportunities.  She  asked if  computer  science  counts as  math                                                               
credit in the ASD.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP responded  that she will investigate  that. She agreed                                                               
that  it should  if it  doesn't.  The Anchorage  School Board  is                                                               
looking into coding opportunities for all ASD students.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS said each district  will approach this differently.                                                               
[Superintendent]  Larry LeDoux  in Kodiak  said that  he believes                                                               
many classes will be at his high  school, but some will be on the                                                               
college  campus as  well.  He asked  Dr. Bishop  if  some of  her                                                               
qualified teachers teach college classes.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP  said there  are several  models. Their  middle school                                                               
model is  placed based,  where students  experience the  power of                                                               
the place. About  75 percent of the students in  the program stay                                                               
with the University  of Alaska. Lots of high  school teachers are                                                               
adjunct  teachers for  college  courses at  night.  In some  high                                                               
schools they offer college credit  for a single course. This bill                                                               
will  provide  opportunities for  districts  to  think about  the                                                               
students they  are servicing and  how to  best meet the  needs of                                                               
those students. It will depend  on resources, such as constraints                                                               
regarding bandwidth.  Kodiak is doing an  innovative program. Not                                                               
everything has to look the same.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:19:23 AM                                                                                                                   
MONICA GOYETTE, Ph.D.,  Superintendent, Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                               
School District,  Palmer, Alaska, went  over the overview  of her                                                               
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   • Historical Review of the Mat-Su Middle College School                                                                      
     (MSMCS)                                                                                                                    
   • Program Design                                                                                                             
   • Student Outcomes                                                                                                           
   • SB30 Support and Language Revision Recommendations                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE  said  MSMCS  began  with  a  partnership  with  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska. The  original  vision  was to  prioritize                                                               
first generation  college students.  The program has  not reached                                                               
capacity so  haven't had to  prioritize those students,  but they                                                               
would if  they did reach  capacity. Their original campus  was in                                                               
Eagle  River.  Legislative  funds  allowed  them  to  expand  and                                                               
improve that campus.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE  said they  did  transition  to the  Mat-Su  College                                                               
Campus in 2018. At that time  the ASD took over the Alaska Middle                                                               
College and they became the Mat-Su Middle College.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. GOYETTE  said they started with  47 students in 2011  and now                                                               
enroll 177  students. The  ethnicity of  students at  MSMSC match                                                               
the  district   enrollment  except  Alaska  Natives   are  under-                                                               
enrolled.  She believes  that  is mainly  because  they have  the                                                               
ANSEP [Alaska  Native Science & Engineering  Program] Accelerated                                                               
High  School, which  is a  form of  middle college.  Forty Alaska                                                               
Native  students are  in that  program. MSMSC  has two  girls for                                                               
every male.  Forty-four percent of  Mat-Su students  are eligible                                                               
for free and  reduced lunch compared to 17 percent  at the middle                                                               
college, so they need to do targeted outreach in those areas.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE said  the  MSMSC  is very  structured.  They have  a                                                               
dedicated high  school counselor  on site  full time  and partner                                                               
with college  advisors. Since  the college  semester is  16 weeks                                                               
and the K-12  semester is 18 weeks, they use  the first two weeks                                                               
to do  orientation and  to run students  through a  basic writing                                                               
course  about expectations  for  scholarly writing  at a  college                                                               
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE said  they  do pay  for all  books.  They track  all                                                               
add/drop  withdrawal dates.  They  have  scaffolded support.  The                                                               
first semester  students have  an assigned  study hall,  and they                                                               
track  the   students'  grades.   The  MSMCS  campus   has  three                                                               
portables. They pay  energy and custodial costs  of the portables                                                               
and pay for 3.5 Mat-Su district staff.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE said  it is  difficult  for people  to change  their                                                               
mindsets that  high school  students are  not ready  for college.                                                               
They have a vetting process  so students can demonstrate they are                                                               
ready for  college. Universities can  report up to 60  percent of                                                               
their  freshman class  dropping out,  which means  those students                                                               
probably have  bad grades  on their  transcripts and  debt. MSMCS                                                               
has a five  percent drop out rate  from one year to  the next, so                                                               
95 percent  of their students  are essentially making  it through                                                               
their freshman and sophomore years of  college. To her, that is a                                                               
huge indicator of success.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. GOYETTE  reviewed ACT data  on slides  9 and 10.  The English                                                               
and composite  ACT scores for  MSMCS juniors are higher  than the                                                               
national, Alaska, and Mat-Su borough averages.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GOYETTE displayed  slide  11, which  compared  the 2017  per                                                               
student  cost at  Wasilla High,  Colony High,  and Mat-Su  Middle                                                               
College. Wasilla High  School and Mat-Su Middle  College are very                                                               
similar in costs.  Even in their community there  is concern that                                                               
they are diverting  funds from needier students.  They think that                                                               
it is  an excellent use of  taxpayer dollars. It is  a win-win to                                                               
help  families with  future college  costs,  which is  incredibly                                                               
expensive.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. GOYETTE said they pay a  flat fee for tuition. The bill would                                                               
support standardization  of tuition.  Tuition is $212  per credit                                                               
for lower  level courses.  Fees can  be 12 to  15 percent  of the                                                               
total  cost of  tuition.  They provide  transportation from  high                                                               
schools to  all the schools  of choice. They pay  for Chromebooks                                                               
because many texts  are e-books. They pay the full  cost of going                                                               
to college for their students.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:34:20 AM                                                                                                                   
DR. GOYETTE stated that she supports  the spirit of the bill. She                                                               
is excited  that these opportunities  could be available  to more                                                               
students.  Their  district  recommendation is  to  change  "every                                                               
school district shall participate  in the middle college program"                                                               
change to  "may" participate because  of district  variables such                                                               
as  access.  Many   distance  courses  are  in   the  evening  to                                                               
accommodate  working adults,  which  means  even less  scaffolded                                                               
support  for  students.  They  have   staff  with  college  level                                                               
expertise.  She  concluded  by   noting  that  students  must  be                                                               
prepared for college to have  success in middle college. It would                                                               
be a travesty  to mass enroll students who were  not prepared and                                                               
who  would then  internalize  that  as a  failure  and feel  that                                                               
college was something not available to them.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS apologized  to witnesses who did not  have a chance                                                               
to testify and  expressed his desire to give  them an opportunity                                                               
at a future hearing.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[SB 30 was held in committee.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:36:47 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Stevens adjourned the Senate Education Standing Committee                                                                 
at 10:36 a.m.                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB030_MiddleColleges_BillText_VersionU.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_SponsorStatement_29Jan2019.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Sectional_VersionU.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Presentation_ACPE_29Jan2019.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Presentation_AnchSD_13Nov2018.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Presentation_MatSuSD_29Jan2019.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Research_DualEnroll NCSL March 2008.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Research_OregonRunningStart_Feb2016.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Research_SeattleTimes_March2018.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Letters_AASB_NormWooten_13Nov2018.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB030_MiddleColleges_Letters_ AKGateway_MacManus_28Jan2019.pdf SEDC 1/29/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 30