Minutes 12/13/2002

Tam Alumni Center Tiberti Grand Hall
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas
1:00 p.m., Friday, December 13, 2002

Members Present: 
Mr. Douglas Seastrand, Chair
Ms. Marcia Bandera
Dr. Jill Derby
Mrs. Thalia Dondero
Mr. Douglas Roman Hill
Mrs. Laura Hobbs
Mrs. Linda Howard
Dr. Tom Kirkpatrick
Mr. Howard Rosenberg
Mr. Steve Sisolak
Mr. David Scheffield, President
Ms. Jan Biggerstaff
Ms. Peggy Lear Bowen
Dr. John W. Gwaltney
Dr. John Hawk
Dr. Merv Iverson
Ms. Theresa Malone
Ms. Barbara Myers
Ms. Marcia Washington
Mr. Gary Waters
Ms. Marjan Hajibandeh

Members Absent: 
Mr. Mark Alden (excused)
Ms. Priscilla Roche

Others Present: 
Chancellor Jane Nichols
Vice Chancellor, Finance & Administration Dan Miles
Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs Richard Curry
General Counsel Tom Ray
President Ron Remington, CCSN
President Stephen Wells, DRI
President Paul Killpatrick, GBC
President Kerry Romesburg, NSC
President Philip Ringle, TMCC
President Carol Harter, UNLV
President John Lilley, UNR
President Carol Lucey, WNCC
Chief Administrative Officer Suzanne Ernst

Also present were faculty senate chairs Dr. Bill Robinson, UNLV; Ms. Bourne Morris, UNR; and Ms. Winnie Kortemeier, WNCC. Student government leaders present included Ms. Kerri Hamrick, CCSN; Mr. Steve Houk, GBC; Mr. Kiyoshi “Teddy” Noda, TMCC; Ms. Monica Moradkhan, UNLV; Ms. Jocelina Santos, UNLV-GSA; Ms. Alicia Lerud, UNR; Ms. Marilou Woolm, UNR-GSA, and Ms. Michelle Badger, WNCC.

Chairs Seastrand and Sheffield called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. on December 13, 2002 with all members present except Regent Alden and Trustee Roche. Chair Seastrand noted the importance of the two boards working together for the benefit of students and the State of Nevada.

1. Information Only-Introductions - Chairs Seastrand and Sheffield lead self-introductions of members from both boards, identifying their districts. Chair Seastrand introduced Presidents John Lilley, UNR; Carol Harter, UNLV; Kerry Romesburg, NSCH; Stephen Wells, DRI; Philip Ringle, TMCC; Paul Killpatrick, GBC; Vice Presidents Robert Anderson, Jr. and Robert Palinchak, CCSN on behalf of President Ron Remington; and Vice President Helaine Jesse, WNCC on behalf of President Carol Lucey.

2. Information Only-Update on No Child Left Behind Legislation - Mary Jane Pearson, U.S. Department of Education, presented a summary of the No Child Left Behind legislation and lead a discussion of the applicability for K-12 and higher education in Nevada.

Dr. Pearson reported that she developed a concept for accelerated learning in Houston, Texas, which was tested on the lowest performing, most disruptive middle and high school students in the area. The concept became a school, which then became a company. She retired from teaching prior to her appointment to her current position. She noted that President Bush had signed the No Child Left Behind legislation in January 2002. President Bush stated that, “These historic reforms will improve our public schools by creating an environment where every child can learn through real accountability, unprecedented flexibility for states and local school districts, greater local control, more options for parents, and more funding for what works.” She then reviewed the four guiding principles:

  • Accountability for student performance.
  • Focus on what works.
  • Reduce bureaucracy and increase flexibility.
  • Empower parents.

Dr. Pearson related that when academic standards are raised, children raise their academic sights. When children are regularly tested, teachers know where and how to improve. When scores are known to parents, parents are empowered to push for change or support their schools. When accountability for schools is real, the results for children are real. Since 1965 (when the first elementary and secondary education act was passed), the federal government has spent more than $321 billion (in 2002 dollars) to help educate disadvantaged children. Nearly 40 years later, only 32% of 4th graders can read skillfully at grade level. Most of the 68% who cannot read are poor children in urban and rural districts. A significant achievement gap exists between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers.

  1. Standards - Standards provide the guideposts for academic achievement, clearly telling teachers, students, and parents where they are going in the core subjects.
    1. Challenge - Professional development and support for implementation of resources adopted.
    2. Opportunity – Provide clear expectations of what students should know and be able to do to schools, teachers, and students. A connection is provided between what is expected, what is taught, and what is measured. State content standards are either grade or course specific, might cover grade spans, or could be a mix (15 states have grade or course specific standards; 30 states have grade spans; 5 states have a mix of spans and grade/course specific).
  2. Assessment – The No Child Left Behind Act calls for annual testing of all public school students in reading and math, grades 3-8 and high school by 2005-06, with annual report cards on school performance.
    1. Challenge - Treat assessment as a process and not just an event.
    2. Opportunity – It will be known when children are falling behind, especially if continuous progress monitoring is used. It provides an opportunity to link teaching to student needs. Dr. Pearson reviewed those states currently testing grades 3-8 and which criteria are used.
  3. Accountability – A blueprint for better results. The NCLB Act calls for ensuring that every child reads at grade level by the 3rd grade; federal funding for reading instructions tripled; a new emphasis on using scientifically based instructional methods. The act also requires a highly qualified teacher in every public school classroom and adequate yearly progress reports.
    1. Challenge - The goal is ambitious, yet achievable.
    2. Opportunity – Provide separate, measurable objectives for all children.
  4. Focus on what works – Scientifically based research.
    1. Challenge – Determining what comprises “scientifically based”. The U.S. Department of Education has reorganized; an Institute for Educational Sciences now exists, with a subset entitled “The What Works Clearing House”.
    2. Opportunity - Reading failure can be prevented. The most basic educational skill is reading. All but a very small number of children can be taught to be successful readers. Prevention of reading problems is more cost effective and efficient than remediation. Reading failure can be prevented by focusing on high quality, comprehensive K-3 reading instruction for all children, basing instructional decisions on a “what works” basis, and putting the solid research base of reading into the hands of teachers.
  5. A highly qualified teacher in every classroom – Begins with the 2002-2003 school year.
    1. Challenge - New teachers hired to teach in Title I supported programs must be highly qualified. States must have a plan for achieving annual increases in the percentage of highly qualified teachers to ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects are highly qualified by 2005-06. Universities play a major role in providing highly qualified teachers
    2. Opportunity - Good teachers make lifelong differences in children. The NCLB Act provides a 35% increase in federal funds to help states and local school districts train, recruit, and retain high quality teachers and allows local school districts to use federal funds to improve teacher training, reduce class sizes, and increase teacher pay.
  6. A highly qualified teacher:
    1. Elementary school:
      i. Bachelor’s degree.
      ii. Demonstrated mastery by passing a rigorous test in reading, writing, arithmetic, and other curriculum areas.
      iii. Licensure.
    2. Middle school/High school:
      i. Bachelor’s degree.
      ii. Competency in subject area taught by passing a rigorous state test or through completion of an academic major and graduate degree or comparable course work.
      iii. Licensure.
    3. Paraprofessionals in Title I schools:
      i. Any new paraprofessionals hired with Title I funds must meet new standards of quality or
      ii. Completed two years of study at an institution of higher education or
      iii. Attained an Associates or higher degree or
      iv. Met a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate through a formal state or local academic assessment.
  7. Flexibility – For states and local school districts.
    1. Local school districts can make spending decisions for up to 50% of their non-Title I federal funds. Applies to teacher quality, technology, after school learning, and safe & drug-free schools.
    2. Local school districts have the opportunity to participate in the local Flex Pilot Project; deadline was extended to December 6, 2002.
    3. States allowed to make spending decisions for up to 50% of state activity funds. Applies to teacher quality, technology, after school learning, safe & drug-free schools, and Innovative Programs Grant.
  8. Expanded options for parents.
    1. Challenge – Schools continuing to be low performing after receiving extra help may be reformed by the state.
    2. Opportunity – Safety valve created for students trapped in chronically low performing or dangerous schools. Schools in need of improvement will receive extra help.
    3. Options:
      i. Guidance documents on choice.
      ii. Transfer to another school not in school improvement with transportation provided (for schools in second year of improvement).
      iii. Supplemental services for eligible children (for schools in third year of improvement).
      iv. Website - www.nochildleftbehind.com.

Dr. Pearson stated that Nevada’s two boards faced a huge opportunity and responsibility, adding that she was honored and pleased to begin a working relationship with them.

3. Information Only-Statewide 18-24 Year-Old Initiative 2002 - Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa made a presentation and lead a discussion on the statewide 18-24 year-old initiative 2002.

Attorney General Del Papa reported that State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jack McLaughlin, initiated a department priority targeting 18-24 year-olds who have not completed high school. The initiative aspires to increase the high school completion rate of this group by 10% by June 30, 2003. The 1-year initiative has now expanded to a 5-year initiative. High school education completion is defined as the receipt of a diploma or GED equivalency diploma. Educational plans include referrals to current service providers providing opportunities for training programs with skill certificates awarded upon completion. The Attorney General chairs the collaborative. Governor Guinn is strongly committed to the effort. The initiative consists of a 3-prong plan that includes building on existing, local infrastructure, state level coordination with other agencies, and partnering with business and industry. The following state agencies are collaborating with the State Department of Education:

  • Governor’s office.
  • Commission on Economic Development.
  • Department of Training, Employment, and Rehabilitation.
  • Department of Human Resources.
  • University & Community College System of Nevada.

Local infrastructure includes, but is not limited to:

  • Service providers in adult, basic education.
  • English as a Second Language.
  • GED preparation.
  • Adult High School Diploma programs.
  • The Chambers of Commerce.
  • Local businesses.

Attorney General Del Papa reported that Nevada is surpassed by only Arizona as having the lowest percentage of 18-24 year-olds without high school completion (and not currently enrolled in high school). She thanked the boards for their efforts in this area in a time of strained state resources. She also urged the need for everyone to do a better job using limited resources to address this literacy challenge. She encouraged both boards to consider a means of increased collaboration.

Attorney General Del Papa mentioned that she also serves as the chair of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council. She related that Nevada faced a public health epidemic with respect to domestic violence. She encouraged the boards to procure a copy of the domestic violence binder she previewed (available through the Attorney General’s office) and to ensure that programs and policies were in place with mechanisms for training.

Chair Seastrand introduced Chancellor Jane Nichols and State Superintendent Jack McLaughlin. Mr. Sheffield introduced members-elect Cliff Berry, Dorothy Nolan, and Patrick Owen.

4. Information Only-Report on Nevada P-16 Council – Dr. Jack McLaughlin and Dr. Jane Nichols updated both boards on the formation and first two meetings of the Nevada P-16 Council. The Council’s work to date on the American Diploma Project was emphasized.

Dr. McLaughlin reported that, at the previous meeting, the Council discussed the No Child Left Behind legislation, higher education’s role in that initiative, the teacher quality initiatives in place, the need for a common research/evaluation process, and the need to be involved with higher education in the development of curriculum. The Council also discussed the American Diploma Project.

Chancellor Nichols reported that the P-16 Council’s mission statement was developed by a diverse group of people. The primary mission is to ensure cooperation and articulation between K-12, higher education (including private universities), business, parents and the community. The Council decided on which efforts it should concentrate. The Council considered whether the high school proficiency exam could also be utilized by higher education (remedial education course placement) or in some manner by employers (employment decisions). One recommendation was for results to be sent to the Board of Regents, the State Board of Education, and to the Council of Academic Standards. The goal is to find some measure of testing in high school providing early notification to students of whether they are ready for college or the workforce. Dr. Nichols related that faculty expectations for content were very similar. Staff will review the data and predictive studies to consider accommodative aids and predictors of success. Concern was expressed regarding Millennium Scholarship recipients and whether students were changing their course-taking patterns in high school in order to ensure a 3.0 GPA. Discussion related to efforts of ensuring that students take the courses required for success in the workplace and/or college.

Dr. McLaughlin stated that the next meeting was scheduled for January 7, 2003 in Reno.

Chair Seastrand noted that the Council revealed that students taking algebra II and geometry in high school had a much greater potential for success in college and the workplace.

Dr. Gwaltney noted that Dr. Pearson would be sharing information concerning federal support of data provided by the state and universities relative to the No Child Left Behind Act.

5. Information Only-Summary of Current Joint Projects – Dr. Keith Rheault and Dr. Richard Curry summarized a number of K-12/higher education joint projects currently underway in Nevada. Dr. Rheault brought the boards up to date on projects in progress under the Nevada Collaborative Agreement and Dr. Curry referred to several ongoing joint academic ventures of UCCSN institutions on behalf of Nevada high school students.

Dr. Rheault reminded the boards that a prior presentation on Nevada’s Collaborative for Academic Success included initiatives for joint collaboration between the P-12 and university systems:

  • Implement standards and develop assessments that will raise student and academic achievement in the P-12 and university systems.
  • Align pre-service and in-service teacher education in primary and secondary education.
  • Reduce impediments and provide incentives for students to complete high school and enter postsecondary programs as seamlessly as possible.
  • Include participation and input from employers in all business sectors.

He related that discussions were held relative to the sharing of data in the area of teacher licensure. A pilot program with UNR involves the tracking of students following graduation (i.e., application/receipt of a Nevada teaching license, hire within the state, school where teaching, and which grades being taught). The Department of Education can share such information with higher education.

Dr. Rheault related that another data sharing project involves a study of Millennium Scholarship students’ performance. The Department of Education has data related to test scores on the high school proficiency exam and will have data regarding course-taking patterns at the high school level. Given approval, the data can also be linked to SAT/ACT data. The UCCSN can then check to see if the students enrolled, what courses they took, and whether they required remedial education.

Dr. Curry discussed some of the UCCSN partnerships with Nevada P-12 education, including:

  • School-to-Careers.
  • Dual Credit.
  • Community College High Schools.
  • Tech Prep Program.
  • High Tech Centers.
  • Distance Education.
  • Advanced Placement Courses.
  • American Diploma Project.
  • GEAR UP.
  • Nevada Mesa Program.
  • Nevada Collaborative Teaching Improvement Program (formerly the Eisenhower Program).

Dr. Curry related that many of these programs allow students to have exposure to, participate in, or have contact with university or community college programs, faculty, and staff prior to high school graduation. Some programs allow student participation in credit earning courses or experiences prior to high school graduation.

Dr. Curry related that a number of additional initiatives are in place at System institutions involving interaction between students in the UCCSN and K-12. Several initiatives are grant- and/or research-based. Clinical outreach services are also available to students.

6. Information Only-Potential Future Joint Projects - Chairs Sheffield and Seastrand lead both boards in a discussion of priorities for joint projects, either in coordination with the P-16 Council or within the Nevada Collaborative Agreement.

Ms. Malone asked about the priority placement for the 18-24 year-old initiative and how the two boards would work jointly on the effort. Chancellor Nichols requested input from all board members. She related that it raised the question of whether Nevada education was managing GED support and testing in the most efficient and effective manner. Ms. Malone encouraged discussion in that area.

Regent Bandera observed that the state was undertaking an 18-24 initiative while the GED and Adult High School Diploma programs appeared to be lacking the necessary support and advertisement. She noted that a shared model (between higher education and K-12) currently exists in the form of the high school diploma/GED programs. She felt that it was necessary to make it clear to people that the service is available, access should be greater, and the cost is insignificant to students.

Dr. Gwaltney felt that building a bridge between the two boards could yield better and stronger data. He suggested providing the opportunity to reward those who reach across the chasm between the two groups. He felt the P-16 Council could contribute to the effort. Utilization of resources on both sides could strengthen the efforts of both primary and secondary education.

Dr. Hawk observed that it made sense there was a common thread of success for students taking algebra II in high school since it was tied closely with college algebra and math courses. He suggested that increasing the rigor of high school courses and offering college credit while in high school were points to consider.

Regent Kirkpatrick asked whether data indicated that students taking algebra II performed better on math placement tests than those students who did not. Chancellor Nichols replied that a national study was conducted by the federal government indicating that the greatest predictor of success in college was the courses taken in high school. She stated that algebra II was a pivotal success indicator. She related that one of the national results of the American Diploma Project was that the largest predictor of the top two income levels is completion of algebra II.

Chancellor Nichols related that she and Dr. McLaughlin would share the boards’ comments with the P-16 Council.

Ms. Bowen suggested that any program for 18-24 year-olds should include an economic/business component recognizable to employers. She felt that successful completion of algebra II was an effective predictor of those willing to accept challenges (i.e., college).

Regent Derby felt it was encouraging to hear about the joint initiatives in place, adding that it was a sign of hope for Nevada education.

Mr. Waters felt the P-16 Council should focus on wage-basis centers and involving business & industry in the process. He was pleased that the two boards were meeting together to discuss important shared issues.

7. Public Comment – None.

8. New Business – Trustee Lear Bowen suggested a commitment for the two boards to meet again jointly. Chair Seastrand noted that the boards agreed to meeting at least twice per year.

The joint meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Suzanne Ernst
Chief Administrative Officer to the Board