Legislature(1997 - 1998)
02/25/1997 03:06 PM House HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE February 25, 1997 3:06 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Con Bunde, Chairman Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman Representative Al Vezey Representative Brian Porter Representative Fred Dyson Representative J. Allen Kemplen MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Tom Brice COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HOUSE BILL NO. 114 "An Act relating to health care data and registration of births." - MOVED HB 114 OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 18 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to changing the rate of a tax or license that supports a dedication of its proceeds. - MOVED CSHJR 18(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE *HOUSE BILL NO. 145 "An Act relating to certification of teachers." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 121 "An Act relating to A.W. Brindle memorial scholarship loans; and providing for an effective date." - BILL POSTPONED (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 114 SHORT TITLE: HEALTH CARE DATA; BIRTH REGISTRATIONS SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES BY REQUEST JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/05/97 242 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/05/97 242 (H) HES 02/25/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HJR 18 SHORT TITLE: DEDICATED FUNDS: RATE MAY BE CHANGED SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 01/29/97 164 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/29/97 164 (H) STA, HES, JUD, FINANCE 02/04/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/04/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/06/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/06/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/11/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/11/97 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/12/97 305 (H) STA RPT CS(STA) NT 4DP 1DNP 1NR 02/12/97 305 (H) DP: JAMES, HODGINS, DYSON, IVAN 02/12/97 305 (H) DNP: VEZEY 02/12/97 305 (H) NR: BERKOWITZ 02/12/97 305 (H) FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 02/12/97 305 (H) REFERRED TO HES 02/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/20/97 (H0 MINUTE(HES) 02/25/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 145 SHORT TITLE: TEACHING COMPETENCY EXAM FOR CERTIF SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/18/97 381 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/18/97 381 (H) HES 02/25/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 121 SHORT TITLE: WINN BRINDLE SCHOLARSHIP LOAN SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/10/97 292 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/10/97 292 (H) HES 02/20/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/20/97 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/25/97 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER GAYLE WOLF, Student Intern House Health, Education and Social Services Committee Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 106 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3759 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 114 JOHN MIDDAUGH, MD; Chief Epidemiology Section Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 240249 Anchorage, Alaska 99524-0249 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 114 MICHAEL H. MILLER 6737 Gray Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-2952 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 114 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 418 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 18 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 418 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSHJR 18(STA) NANCY BUELL, Ed. D.; Director Teaching and Learning Support Department of Education 801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 Telephone: (907) 465-8689 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 145 JUDITH ENTWIFE, Administrator, Teacher Education and Certification Teaching and Learning Support Department of Education 801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 Telephone: (907) 465-2857 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 145 JOHN CYR, President NEA-Alaska 114 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-3090 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 145 JUDITH SNOW-ROSANDER P.O. Box 129 McGrath, Alaska 99627 Telephone: (907) 524-3929 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 145 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-13, SIDE A Number 0000 CHAIRMAN CON BUNDE called the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:06 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Green, Porter, Kemplen. Representative Dyson arrived at 3:07 p.m. and Representative Vezey arrived at 3:14 p.m. Representative Brice was absent. This meeting was teleconferenced to Anchorage and an offnet site. HB 114 - HEALTH CARE DATA; BIRTH REGISTRATIONS Number 0023 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the first item on the agenda was HB 114, "An Act relating to health care data and registration of births." Number 0077 GAYLE WOLF, student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, an intern for the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee, was first to testify. She said HB 114 was introduced last year as HB 540 at the request of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), passed the House unanimously, was referred to the Senate for consideration but was never voted on because the legislature adjourned before the bill was addressed. MS. WOLF said HB 114 will accomplish changes in law needed to assure that the DHSS has access to information on diseases and conditions of public health significance which are essential to carry out disease surveillance, control and prevention activities. It will establish explicit civil immunity for providers who comply with requirements to report health care data and assure access by DHSS to health records needed to carry out its mandates and to conduct research for the purposes of protecting and promoting public health. These provisions are required to maintain eligibility for the $420,000 per year federal grant which supports operation of a registry of cancer occurrences within the state. The bill will also make the needed changes which will allow full implementation of the Electronic Birth Certificate system, clarifying the rules for filing and registering births occurring en route to Alaska. Number 0238 MS. WOLF said HB 114 will: Allow certification of births to occur by an electronic process rather than only allowing certification by a signature on a paper certificate and will shift the place of filing to recognize electronic filing, reducing filing time from seven to five days to comply with requirements of the National Center for Health Statistics; it will clarify rules for filing and registering births occurring on moving conveyances in international waters, air space, foreign waters or air space en route to Alaska to comply with the model Vital Statistics Act. She said HB 114 contains two zero fiscal notes. Number 0322 JOHN MIDDAUGH, MD; Chief, Epidemiology Section, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He commended Ms. Wolf's presentation of HB 114, as it covered everything that the bill is designed to do. He said this bill is important because it allows DHSS to be in compliance with the federal grant which fully funds the state's cancer registry. The registry is within a month or two of providing its first data analysis. Number 0421 MICHAEL H. MILLER was next to testify. He said he has a vested interest in HB 114 as he has metastatic prostate cancer which has spread to bone cancer. He said, like anything else, you don't understand it until you are there and he is there. He said one in five men will come down with prostate cancer, four out of ten Americans will come down with cancer in general. He referred to folders, located in the committee file, to show the committee what California has done. The statistics list the California cancer data from 1996 and 1997. MR. MILLER said, in 1996, 10 million Californians had cancer which is about one in three, whereas in 1997 there were 14 million which is about two in five. He said, in 1996, 822,000 and, in 1997, one million people had cancer and survived. He said 350,600 were diagnosed with a five or more year survival rate in 1996 and in 1997 they project 425,000. He said, in 1996, 135,950 Californians were diagnosed as having cancer which is almost 16 new cases every hour of every day and added that California has a lower number than the national average. In 1997, California projects that number will go down to 131,920. Number 0628 MR. MILLER said, in 1996, about 54,400 of the Californians who came down with cancer will remain alive five years after diagnosis. In 1997, 74,000 will be alive five years after diagnosis. He said this represents a change from 53 percent to 56 percent and said this is significant to him because this figure is very motivating for people who have cancer. He said, in 1996, 52,685 people died of cancer which equals 144 a day. One out of every five deaths in California is the result of cancer. In 1997, this number will increase to 53,610 which is about 147 people a day. Number 0693 MR. MILLER said a greater amount of people can be saved with educating the public on the different types of cancers. The more education that we can provide to men about prostate cancer, the lower the risk there will be. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, it accounted for 23 percent of deaths in 1996. Heart disease accounted for 31 percent. He said the statistics don't change that much for 1997. In 1996, for all stages, there was a 77 percent for a five or more year survival rate and, in 1997, that increased by 7 percent to 84 percent. Localized cancer, which is just in the prostate area, increased 5 percent between 1996 and 1997. Regionalized cancer, which means that it can go a little bit beyond the prostate area, increased 11 percent from 81 percent to 92 percent. For distant cancer, it increased 4 percent. MR. MILLER said he would look at the 84 percent number and see it as a motivation that life can be prolonged. He commented that where there is hope, there is life. CHAIRMAN BUNDE thanked him for sharing his personal experience with the committee. He said he appreciated it and wished him all the best. MR. MILLER said both his bone cancer and prostate cancer are in a stable position. Number 0907 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER made a motion to move HB 114 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes. Hearing no objection HB 114 was moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee. HJR 18 - DEDICATED FUNDS: RATE MAY BE CHANGED Number 0980 CHAIRMAN BUNDE introduced the next item on the agenda, HJR 18, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to changing the rate of a tax or license that supports a dedication of its proceeds. He indicated that CSHJR 18(STA) was before the committee. Number 0990 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN deferred any questions to Mr. Wright. Number 0992 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan, said he received information from Brad Pierce, Office of Management and Budget, which outlined seven different dedicated funds that are in existence right now. He referred to a memo outlining those funds, the fiscal year balance and the funding source. In response to Representative Porter's question, he had a discussion with Jim Baldwin and looked back at the record in the House State Affairs Committee. He said Mr. Baldwin stated that the attorney general's office is still using the 1959 opinion as a basis. However, in the House State Affairs Committee, Mr. Chenoweth did say, a good faith legal argument could be made, that raising the rate for a specific tax or proceed does not constitute a violation of the dedicated fund. He said, upon further discussion with Mr.Chenoweth, this statement was reiterated. Number 1059 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said there is not a current attorney general's opinion on this matter. He noted that the next committee of referral is the House Judiciary Standing Committee and indicated that this question could be addressed there and in fact encouraged it to be addressed there. Number 1086 REPRESENTATIVE J. ALLEN KEMPLEN said he was curious that there is no limit on the amount of money that could be placed in a dedicated fund. He understood that the intent of the drafters of the Alaska State Constitution was that they wanted to retain maximum flexibility to the people and their representatives for the dispersement of public monies and were hesitant about seeing a lot of money earmarked for special accounts. This bill seems to allow for any amount of money to be placed into these dedicated funds and appears to run counter to the intent of the people who set up the Alaska State Constitution. Number 1156 MR. WRIGHT said the attorney general in 1959 had this reasoning as the basis of his opinion, that the tax or proceeds could not be raised, they had to stay the same. He said, the Chenoweth opinion dated April 26, 1996 as well as some of the discussion that took place during the constitutional convention part of the record, it seemed to be a point that they didn't want to bind future legislatures to keeping the same rate in effect, that there might be some changes in the future. He said CSHJR 18(STA) does not address the maximum amount portion. Number 1204 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that CSHJR 18(STA) talks about changing the rate and asked if, in regards to the existing funds, there was no prohibition as far as a maximum amount was concerned, if there was just a rate at which money could accrue in these funds. Number 1217 MR. WRIGHT said he couldn't clearly answer those questions. He could look back at some of the conversations as well as the effort to raise the rate on the highway fund. He said it was decided that they couldn't raise the rate based on this 1959 opinion. By not funding that particular dedicated fund, it nullified the fund. Number 1250 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that the fish and game fund is one of the dedicated funds and it doesn't top out somewhere. He thought the question was if there was a maximum amount that can be put into a dedicated fund. He asked if the question regarded the rate and not the total fund. REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN said he was interested in the maximum amount and asked if there was a maximum limit. Number 1275 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said there is not a maximum limit that exists constitutionally. Number 1283 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said, regarding the constitution prohibiting dedicated funds, the drafters of the constitution recognized this fund as an exception to the general rule about dedication to funds. He said Mr. Chenoweth's opinion cited conversations during the construction of the constitution and added that it is amazing that some attorney general in past years didn't think the rate could be increased. His understanding, of attorney general's opinions, is that without subsequent statutory clarification they are the law until a statute or a revision of the constitution addresses the same issue and contradicts it. Number 1331 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY said an attorney general's opinion falls under the category of case law and the longer case law stands, without being overturned, the more precedent setting it becomes. To overturn the 1959 opinion, at this time, would be equivalent to the Supreme Court overturning a previous Supreme Court ruling. It can be done, but it shows disrespect for precedence. Number 1359 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said CSHJR 18(STA) does not impinge on an attorney general's opinion being overturned or not, this bill would allow changes to the rate that money is put into a dedicated fund. Number 1395 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN said he is co-sponsor of CSHJR 18(STA). CHAIRMAN BUNDE noted it for the record. Number 1409 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move CSHJR 18(STA) out of committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note of $3,000 in the out year. Number 1423 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected to the motion. Number 1440 A roll call vote was taken on CSHJR 18(STA). Representatives Porter, Dyson, Green and Bunde voted yea. Representatives Vezey and Kemplen voted nay. Representative Brice was absent for the vote. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said that CSHJR 18(STA) was moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee. HB 145 - TEACHING COMPETENCY EXAM FOR CERTIF Number 1494 CHAIRMAN BUNDE announced the next item on the agenda was HB 145, "An Act relating to certification of teachers." He said it was not his intention to move this bill out of committee today. He said no one would argue that we want the best teachers in Alaska and this is what HB 145 aims toward providing. Number 1531 CHAIRMAN BUNDE read from the sponsor statement. We all realize the importance of having well-qualified teachers in our school system. In an effort to provide our state with a quality teaching force, we must ensure our prospective teachers demonstrate a minimum level of competency in basic skills and he stressed minimum. Presently there are 40 states that include a test as part of their teacher licensure. The passage of HB 145 would add Alaska to that list. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said HB 145 would require people who are not now licensed to teach to teach in the state of Alaska to pass a competency exam designated by the Alaska State Board of Education before receiving their certification. It is our intention that the board will select a test for primary grades and a test of subject endorsement for secondary teachers. The board will also establish a minimum acceptable level of performance for this examination. He encouraged the committee to support this increase in standards for our teachers. Number 1586 NANCY BUELL, Ed. D.; Director, Teaching and Learning Support, Department of Education (DOE), said the DOE is pleased to be in support of HB 145. She was here to offer some information about what the department has already been doing over the past two years in order to combine that work with the bill to produce an assessment of initial competence for beginning teachers. She cited a quote form a report titled, "A Quality Professional Workforce", from a recent and prestigious report of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. She said the quote speaks to the need for a new set of standards and skills for teachers. She read from it, "Moreover, as students with a wider range of learning needs enter and stay in school--a growing number whose first language is not English, many others with learning differences, and still others with learning disabilities--teachers need access to the growing knowledge that exists about how to teach different kinds of learners effectively. Developing the kind of teaching needed will require much greater clarity about what students must learn to succeed in the world that awaits them, and that teachers must know and do to help them achieve it. Standards, not standards for students but standards for teachers, that reflect these imperatives for student learning and for teaching are largely absent in our nation today." DR. BUELL said, instead of being behind as recent reports may have indicated, the state of Alaska is the first state to adopt professional performance standards and put them into regulation, making them a part of both the evaluation system. Subsequently, there are plans to make those standards part of the licensure system in the state. She said these are the regulations required by HB 465; the performance standards for teachers. If you glance through them you will see that very few of them could be easily accessed by a pencil and paper test. Therefore, what the DOE has been working on is a system of tiered licensure. This has been proposed to the Board of Education, members of National Education Association (NEA) and other organizations such as state administrators organizations, retired teachers, Native education and training groups and universities. Three levels of licensure have been looked at and the board has now told DOE to go ahead and develop those three. Number 1727 DR. BUELL said the first area of licensure would be the initial level which HB 145 would address. She said Alaska is part of a consortium of states, nationally, who are developing three types of tests; a test of teaching knowledge, a performance examination for teachers and a portfolio that new teachers would put together to prove that they are ready to go into the classroom even though it is obvious that they will need additional learning. She believed that DOE had excellent input from teachers, parents and administrators across the states. The standards also include standards for parent and family involvement as well as a number of other things which are not included in other states' licensure systems. Number 1766 DR. BUELL said the DOE has been working on this for two years, it has been in their work plan which is a public document to be introduced next January. This bill, HB 145, pre-dates the DOE's plan. Number 1795 JUDITH ENTWIFE, Administrator, Teacher Education and Certification, Teaching and Learning Support, Department of Education, was next to testify. She referred to a chart labeled, "Assessments Used by States for Teacher Certification/Licensure", and said that Alaska is the only state that does not require a competency exam of any sort, at any level. She concurred with the chair that HB 145 is something that we need, but also drew the committee's attention to the fact that there are three different kinds of basic skills tests being offered. The first test essentially says that a teacher can do what we expect students to be able to do and can demonstrate that ability. The second is a group of tests of teaching knowledge which includes pedagogy or, in general, how to teach. It also includes specialty areas which would show that a teacher knows how to teach high school history or knows how to teach special education students. The last area is a group of performance assessments, where someone who goes in and watches this teacher in action and observes classroom behavior. The evaluator would be able to say, not only does this teacher know how to do it, the teacher can apply it and put it into action, helping our students achieve academically. She said DOE would like to do exactly what is being proposed in HB 145, maybe even go beyond that and take the time to do this in a deliberative manner as part of a comprehensive process. Number 1889 MS. ENTWIFE said if she were to change HB 145 in any way, she would take the word, "test", and make it, "tests". She said it is obvious that it takes more than one test to give us the sense that teachers really can do what we want them to be able to do. Standards are in place for teachers, one of which says that teachers will regularly access student progress. As you look at the performance indicators at the various levels, an initial teacher would be expected to align those tests pretty closely with what the learning goals are for the students. She said it sounds pretty obvious, but it is not an easy thing to do. At the second level, we expect them to align those tests with student goals and be able to use a variety of tests to allow students with different styles to identify or demonstrate what it is that they actually know and are able to do. MS. ENTWIFE said she would like to see assessments of teachers that are equally as valid, are aligned directly with our standards for teachers and have a variety of forms of assessment. Her biggest concern is that when we do this, we do it deliberatively and we make sure that what we expect Alaskan teachers to know and be able to do are in fact what they can do. In some cases, we will find out that they cannot do this. Those people do not belong as teachers in the state of Alaska. Number 1979 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON asked if they found out how these tests were working for other states. Number 1984 MS. ENTWIFE said they seem to be very successful, but clarified that she could not say it was true for all of the states because many of the states are in transition. All of the specifically named processes, named in the chart, were commercially available tests with the exception of the test used in Colorado. The Colorado test is a state developed exam which is carefully aligned with their state standards. Number 2008 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON heard that Arkansas and Virginia could not find a combination of teachers that could pass the test and were willing to work for the wages they were paying. DR. BUELL said there were many states that had that problem. Number 2025 MS. ENTWIFE said, if indeed it was true, she wouldn't want those teachers teaching her grandchildren. She said we need to find those teachers who are indeed interested in meeting high enough standards for the children of this state. Number 2045 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON referred to her testimony that she was interested in seeing testing for teachers and said HB 145 appeared to grandfather existing teachers. He asked if the DOE would have preferred this test for all teachers, rather than just incoming teachers. Number 2062 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said last year's bill, HB 465, puts in place an evaluation for teachers in the tenure review process. He said there is mechanism now for testing existing teachers. Number 2077 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if there was a different test for existing teachers as opposed to incoming teachers. Number 2081 DR. BUELL said, the professional licensure task force has recommended, and the board has agreed, in order to go from the initial level of licensure as a new teacher, who has spent a couple of years in a teaching position having met initial standards, there should be another set of assessments for people to obtain a standard license or a continuing license. This license would, in effect, be good for continuing years, with the belief that there is maturation in any profession and that people should be able to meet higher standards. It is not the intention, at this point, of the licensure task force to automatically grandfather in the work force in the state, but to use the renewal process to have teachers address, through a professional development plan, particular standards that are in regulation and show that they have been met. Over time the entire work force will have met the standards that are in regulation. Number 2116 DR. BUELL said HB 465 does not require a state licensure system, it requires a district evaluation system based on these standards. Many teachers, licensed in the state, are not currently teaching. Similarly there are many teachers that come from outside the state who have been teaching for many years, but are not currently within the districts that might be evaluating them based on those performance standards. Assessments would need to be developed over time that were appropriate for teachers already in the profession and teachers already teaching in the state of Alaska. Number 2136 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked, if this law were enacted, if teachers tenured out of the state would fall into the review we have for existing experienced teachers or would they be required to take this new test. Number 2155 DR. BUELL said the professional licensure task force addressed this issue and has been worrying over it for the last couple of years. The task force recognized that upwards of 80 percent of our teachers in Alaska come from other states and that will probably always be true. An assessment system would have to be devised to evaluate experienced teachers coming in from other states. The task force looked to Colorado as the bell weather state in the nation, Colorado requires a portfolio from people coming in to teach from outside the state. Oregon requires people, coming in from outside the state, to take tests just the same way as everyone else does or they can opt for an alternative method of submitting a portfolio of evidence. She said this is the direction that the task force is leaning, they are not looking at taking people from outside on faith while requiring a rigorous standard for people in the state. Number 2199 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said HB 145, as currently written, applies to Type A teaching certificates in Alaska where a teacher, whether they are a ten year experienced teacher or fresh out of college, would have to take a competency exam. Number 2207 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if the competency exam for teachers would look at the types of things that students need to learn, but might differentiate based on the students' ability to demonstrate knowledge. Number 2221 MS. ENTWIFE clarified that she did not intend to say that. The teachers certainly need to know, first of all, basic skills. Teachers should know and be able to do what we expect our graduating high school students to know and be able to do, these are the basic skills. Beyond that teachers should know how to teach students that which we all agree students should know and be able to do. Different students may learn in different ways, so elementary school teachers need to be able to teach elementary school students as compared to teaching secondary students if they are secondary school teachers. They need to be able to teach math if that is their area of endorsement or English if that is their area of endorsement. If they intend to teach special education students, the teachers should know the specifics of teaching students with the kinds of disabilities with which they'll be dealing. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER clarified that there wasn't a reference to a different evaluation system for different kids based on different things other than special education. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said that sometimes there is a feeling that students should be able to take tests in different fashions and added that when they are able to fill out job applications differently than we can... REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said this was precisely the point he was going to make. Number 2265 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the task force has been working on this issue for two years and asked why HB 145 had a fiscal note. He said if the DOE were to begin testing, requiring additional funds to do so, then the money would have to be included in their existing budget. DR. BUELL said they would have brought a budget increment. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER understood that DOE would be doing this testing anyway and would have brought the program before the legislature for approval. He asked if the fiscal note attached to HB 145 addressed something beyond the scope of DOE. TAPE 97-13, SIDE B Number 0000 DR. BUELL said this competency testing requirement probably would have come forth in regulation. In the event that this would have happened, a budget piece would have gone with it so as to implement the program. Number 0019 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER clarified that this budget fiscal note addresses implementing the program, not further developing it. Number 0026 DR. BUELL said the first year addresses development. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the DOE would have done this testing with the existing budget, but since the legislature is doing it now with HB 145 it is going to cost $149,000 more for development. Number 0056 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he understood that the costs are the same. If the costs are within HB 145, it is going to cost $149,000 the first year. If it was included in the budget, then the budget request would have been increased by $149,000. DR. BUELL said this was correct. Number 0092 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said the budget would have asked for more money because the task force tests are more elaborate than what HB 145 requires. CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to Representative Dyson's question and said the law of supply and demand will apply. If we raise our demands of our teaching faculty, the supply might be impacted to those who want to work for love and those who want to work for money. Number 0127 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if the present certification and peer review, on existing credentialed teachers, weeded out many teachers. Number 0146 MS. ENTWIFE said there are people who currently apply for certification in the state of Alaska that do not receive certification in the state of Alaska. This certification is determined by whether or not you can complete a national standards approved and regionally accredited educational program. As we are aware there are people who are able to put together the inputs, but when it comes down to the proof of the pudding it doesn't taste very good. She said DOE is saying this teacher is good, but we want to make absolutely sure that this person simply hasn't jumped through the hoops. This person can actually do, in a classroom with live children, what they purport to be able to do. Number 0228 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said that takes it a step beyond what HB 145 would do and that is why he said the DOE's budget request would be different. Currently, to get a Type A teaching certificate you have to be breathing and have graduated from college with an appropriate degree. This bill would add one more screening device, a teacher would have to pass this test. After passing the test, the local district would interview those people who have their Type A certificate. The district would then make the choice as to whether these teachers are appropriate for their teaching situation. Number 0277 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if the ongoing credentialling that is given to teachers had ever been denied. Number 0296 MS. ENTWIFE said in order to continue to be credentialled in this state you must complete six semester hours. If you have done this successfully and make application, your credentials will be renewed. If you make application and don't do that, you won't be renewed. Number 0325 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said there is a teaching standards commission and a number of people who have had their licenses taken away for incompetency and immorality, substantial noncompliance. The district fires people and there are also people who lose their license to teach in the state of Alaska because of immorality. Number 0364 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he would be interested to know, on an annual basis, how many teachers have not had their credentials renewed because of incompetency. Number 0380 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said other people could probably answer that question. With the notion that we are not going to do an in- classroom on the job training which would be wonderful, but it is not within the scope of HB 145 at this time. Number 0385 DR. BUELL asked that in the committee's consideration of HB 145 it be very clear which categories of teachers you are specifying. She said it is not clear upon reading the bill whether it focuses on teachers new to the profession or new to the state. She said she would also ask the committee to add those teachers who may have taught, but never have been credentialed anywhere else. There are private school systems that don't require credentialling. Number 0453 CHAIRMAN BUNDE asked if HB 145 needed something more than Section 2, "Beginning on the effective date of this Act, a person is not eligible for teacher certificate unless the person has taken and successfully completed a competency exam". Number 0480 DR. BUELL referred to the press conference when Representative Bunde spoke and said HB 145 applied to preservice teachers. If that was the case, preservice teachers mean only those people who have never taught. Number 0491 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said he meant those who have not received their Type A teaching certificates. Number 0495 DR. BUELL asked about Type Bs, Cs, Ds, and limited certificates. Number 0520 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said he wanted to limit this to Type A, he did not want to get into counselors and vocational education teachers. Number 0566 DR. BUELL clarified that anyone who is new to the profession and wishes a Type C teaching certificate does not need to take such a test. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said this test would be limited to Type A. DR. BUELL said his intent is that any other certificates would not need a test. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said he was willing to listen to arguments that would suggest that, but at this point he would rather limit this to Type A. DR. BUELL said there are people who enter schools as Type Cs right out of college, having never taught before or having taught in another state. They don't go through the Type A process first. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said those people would not be regular classroom teachers. DR. BUELL said they would be speech pathologist, counselors, librarians. She said these people are working with children. She said there are librarians, school nurses and counselors who are standing up in front of a class and teaching a specific curriculum. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said Type A is his intent, it is preservice, for teachers who have not received their Type A teaching certificate. He said there is a minority of people who have received their Type A certificate and have never taught. He said they are not going to try to catch all the fish in this net, just the majority. DR. BUELL clarified that if someone came into the state and wanted to be a superintendent or a principal that it is not his intent to have them take a test. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said he would leave this question to the local districts. Number 0629 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if a B or a C would be called a teacher certificate. Number 0639 DR. BUELL said yes they are called teaching certificates. Unfortunately the statute, that guides this area, defines anyone with a Type A, B, C, limited certificate, or anyone who works with kids without supervision, as a teacher. It is a broad term in statute. In order to implement HB 145, the intent needs to be real clear. Occasionally a statute is passed and the language is unclear so something happens that was not intended. Number 0669 CHAIRMAN BUNDE suggested in Section 1(b), "A person is not eligible for a Type A teacher certificate", to tighten up the language. DR. BUELL said this language would help clarify. She said the second thing that would be recommended is that HB 145 not be limited to a single test, almost no other state does a single test. Other states do a basic skills test and then some type of content area test. Even for initial teachers, we would hope that having tests would be a possibility. She said a language change such as, "examination or examinations test or tests", so that if the Board of Education decides that it wants to require a multiple test, it is an option under the statute. Number 0722 CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to the sponsor statement, "a basic test for primary grads and a test for subject endorsements in secondary". He said he had some confidence in the Board of Education, but if it would raise the level of comfort and understanding the language could be changed to say, "pass the examination or examinations", just put an "(s)" there. DR. BUELL said this would address all of the concerns. She said the Board of Education is looking at other states and trying to develop multiple tests. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said they might put something in the bill asking the Board of Education to report back to the legislature. DR. BUELL said they would hope that any type of test would be standards based, to tie it to our standards in some way and so show why it was that we asked people to do it. The standards language in there would fit with HB 465, since it speaks to performance standards. Number 0781 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said if teachers came in from outside of the state and if they don't have a Type A teaching certificate, then they would need to take the test. He asked if there would be reciprocity as there are in other professions. Number 0813 DR. BUELL said the state does not have any reciprocity in this area. It would create an unusual situation for the state because to get a Type B in this state, you have to qualify for a Type A. So the Type B's are de facto having to take the test to qualify for a Type A in order to qualify for a Type B. It is a quirk of the regulations. She said HB 145 will impact more people than just those people asking for an initial certificate, if we have to use literal interpretation of the regulations. Number 0859 JOHN CYR, President, National Education Association-Alaska (NEA- Alaska), said his organization represents over 10,000 education employees across the state. He said NEA-Alaska supports the use of testing to measure professional knowledge and competency for those who seek initial Type A certification to teach in Alaska. We believe that testing teachers prior to certification is consistent with last year's legislative mandate in HB 465, requiring a comprehensive system of teacher evaluation for experienced teachers. Beginning this year, an evaluation procedure is in place that has a list of standards which mandates for non-tenured teachers that they be evaluated twice yearly on those standards and evaluations for tenured teachers on a yearly basis. MR. CYR said NEA-Alaska believes that preservice testing, or testing before certification, for Type A certification will bring higher standards for teachers. Preparation programs must be relevant to experiences in the needs of the classroom and the use of testing should provide Alaska a wealth of information on how well we are doing to prepare for Alaska's classrooms. Institutions that prepare students to teach in Alaska can use these test results to identify the methodology and innovation to ensure that students who become teachers are well trained and well prepared. Certification standards for new hires by the state must be rigorous. The evaluation that teachers receive in the classrooms by administrators, along with future efforts by the state Board of Education, to improve teaching performance should move Alaska's schools towards greater levels of excellence. MR. CYR said NEA-Alaska supports the efforts by the DOE to develop preservice and practice assessments and measures for new and career teachers. We believe that HB 145 will provide Alaska's school districts a degree of assurance that applicants for teaching positions, who apply for an initial Type A certification, have successfully completed a test designed to measure competency in basic skills, professional knowledge or expertise in their area of teaching specialty. Number 0998 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked if NEA-Alaska tracked the impact of testing in other states. Number 1015 MR. CYR said they have not. The organization has provided, to the chair, the same basic information that the DOE has provided on the types of tests and the areas of testing that has been done. As far as the impact on the numbers and what it has done, it is so subjective that data has not been collected. Number 1036 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he had hoped that some states had done this long enough that a correlation of students' performance with wage packages and some of that data might be available. Number 1048 MR. CYR said there is so much that affects student performance such as community demographics. You can run a list of those kind of things that affect performance. Undoubtedly teacher preparation plays some part of that, we all hope that it does. To some extent when you compare districts or states, you compare apples and oranges. He said the proof will be what happens here in Alaska. If and when testing is in place, we will be looking at a district's hiring policy. Whether teachers will be hired because of their test scores and how well they do when an administrator evaluates them. He said HB 145 is not a silver bullet, but a comprehensive thing that brings the level, raises the bar, on those people that try to get into the profession. Number 1115 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said, in other conversations about education, there has always been quite a bit of data about the standard of living, education level of parents, socio-economic mix in a district and many other factors and how they correlate with student performance. He expressed surprise that there has been no data tracking teacher certification and testing. Number 1145 MR. CYR said there might be this data, but he has not seen it. There is data that tracks the level of educational achievement compared to salaries that are offered. Districts that offer higher salaries get teachers with masters and doctorate degrees, it is consistent across the board. Those districts have higher scores. He questioned whether it is because they have teachers with higher degrees or because of the demographics of the city. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said the higher salaries in Alaska are probably regulated by geographic considerations. MR. CYR said the demographics are much different in those areas as well. Number 1190 CHAIRMAN BUNDE referred to a question earlier about the professional teaching practices commission and asked him if he was aware of approximate number of people who lose their license to teach each year. Number 1195 MR. CYR said he could provide an exact number by Thursday when the committee met again. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said there is a weeding out that occurs. Number 1210 REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN asked if all the members of NEA-Alaska were uniform in their abilities. He referred to teachers in more technical classes, such as machine shop or computer science, as compared to someone who is teaching English or history. He said stories have been related about people who just wish to teach their skill and are very competent in transferring their skill to their students, but not necessarily good in other areas. He asked how they would fare under this type of approach. Number 1286 MR. CYR said any of us, who have taken a college physics or chemistry class, might have had a professor who had great command of field knowledge but could not teach. There is a body of knowledge around teaching, whether you teach high school chemistry or second grade reading. There is an art or a science to teaching and you need to know how to teach. He said there is a whole set of activities about how to deal in a classroom that especially comes into play when you are talking about specialized classrooms such as a special education classroom. He said as he read HB 145, it allows the DOE to pick the assessment tool. The department would not just look at whether you had mathematics knowledge, but whether or not you could teach math and will somehow be differentiated around the area of endorsement. Number 1373 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said this is the basic requirement for people who get a Type A teaching certificate and said Representative Kemplen might have been referring to people who would not be teaching in the public school. He said teachers in the schools need to be teachers as well as mechanics. Number 1413 MR. CYR said there are people with a Type D certificate who teach vocational education classes and don't have a Type A certificate. Those people have a single area of expertise such as welding teachers or shop teachers. Those are not tenured positions, they are reviewed annually by the administration and their teaching skills are measured by the administrator. He said HB 145 would not speak to those positions. Number 1446 CHAIRMAN BUNDE clarified that HB 145 is a prescreening device. The concerns about how people can function in the classroom are determined by the district that chooses to hire this person, the bill is simply a prescreening device that adds a third requirement needed to obtain a Type A teaching certificate. Number 1470 MR. CYR referred to page 1, line 15, "Beginning on the effective date of the Act, a person is not eligible for a", and said he would delete, "a", and put, "an initial Type A teaching certificate". He said this would meet the concerns that the language is too generic. Number 1503 JUDITH SNOW-ROSANDER said she had some concerns with HB 145 because people can get through testing but when they come in contact with the students, the principal and others they show whether or not they are quality teachers. She said HB 465 would hopefully continue this evaluation of teachers. Representative Dyson mentioned that we are all concerned about the quality of teachers, yet we don't tie it into the most important thing which is to show our children's success or failures. There should be some way to show that a teacher is good by showing the success of our children. Teachers can pass all these tests, they can be tenured for 20 years and our kids can still be failing. Number 1577 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said HB 145 requires a test before you hire teachers, it is still the school board's job to make sure that the teachers hired are the best you can get. If they are falling down on the job after they have been hired you can use HB 465 to get them out. Number 1594 MS. SNOW-ROSANDER asked how long the observation time will be. Number 1600 CHAIRMAN BUNDE said HB 145 does not include observation time. This bill says, during the initial licensure time, that people are licensed. The school district will decide whether or not you want to hire them. There will be no gold star on them to say these teachers are a quality product, you still have that choice to make. The test says that they meet the minimum qualifications. CHAIRMAN BUNDE said the committee will not take any public action on HB 145. The bill will be brought up on Thursday for further discussion, public testimony and to see if the committee is ready to move the bill forward. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN BUNDE adjourned the meeting of the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee at 4:22 p.m.