Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Texas Legislative Update - TxCTO09

Below, please find my notes on the legislative update provided by Anita Givens at the Texas Chief Technology Officers' (CTO) Clinic held June, 2009.

A podcast will be available soon.

Anita Givens' Keynote

  • Associate Commissioner for Standards and Programs
    • Curriculum
    • Textbooks
    • Educational Technology

81st Legislative Session Update

  • 140 days of hard work for the legislative session
  • Now what, so what? What does this mean for the state level and for districts?
  • This preso was put together last night.

Bill and relates to

  • HB 3 - Public school accountability, curriculum and promotion requirements
    • Requires for every child that does not pass the TAKS at 3,5, 7, and 8, students will receive additional services so they can catch up
    • Provides high school graduation requirements.
    • The recommended and distinguished plan moved to 4x4.
    • Now those plans still have 4x4
    • One credit in Tech Apps was required - this is no longer true. It's not a requirement for students in order to graduate.
  • HB130 - Full day prekinder programs
  • HB 136 - PreK Classes
  • HB 461 - Dyslexia practitioners and therapists
  • HB 2703 - Student retained at parent request
  • HB 3076 - Parenting and paternity awareness program
  • HB 3643 - PreK Classes
  • HB 1332 - Responsibility for public school textbooks and tech equipment and to failure by students to return textbooks or technological equipment
  • HB 2893 - The technology demonstration sites project and to a computer lending pilot program.
    • Focused on home use of technology...making technology available for students to take home.
    • No designated fund - gifts, grants, loans can be used. No new money but if you can identify existing funds, this is a place you can use them. We've been really good at using federal funds in this way. Anything you add to zero is a supplement. This is how we funded the Tech Immersion Pilot
  • HB 3646 - Public School Finance Bill
    • Includes
      • SB 197 - personal financial literacy pilot
      • SB 199 - personal financial literacy training
      • SB 955 - Virtual School Network
      • SB 1313 - Career & Technical Education allotment - opportunity for additional funding through this bill
  • HB 4294 - Textbooks, electronic textbooks, instructional material, and tech equipment in public schools
  • HB 1332 - Responsibility for public school textbooks and tech equipment and to failure by students to return textbooks or technological equipment
  • HB 2893 - The technology demonstration sites project and to a computer lending pilot program.
    • Focused on home use of technology...making technology available for students to take home.
    • No designated fund - gifts, grants, loans can be used. No new money but if you can identify existing funds, this is a place you can use them. We've been really good at using federal funds in this way. Anything you add to zero is a supplement. This is how we funded the Tech Immersion Pilot
  • HB 3646 - Public School Finance Bill
    • Includes
      • SB 197 - personal financial literacy pilot
      • SB 199 - personal financial literacy training
      • SB 955 - Virtual School Network
      • SB 1313 - Career & Technical Education allotment - opportunity for additional funding through this bill
  • HB 4294 - Textbooks, electronic textbooks, instructional material, and tech equipment in public schools
  • SB 90 - Interstate Compact on Military Children
  • SB 175 - academic teaching institutions (10%)
  • SB 482 - Holocaust and genocide commission
  • SB 891 - Public School physical education curriculum
  • SB 1219 - High school healt curriculum (an elective, not required anymore)
  • SB 2033 - School district grading policy - minimum grade of 50-70, whether they actually did the work. Instead of a zero, they got a minimum grade. Provides guidance how they have to establish a grading policy and reflects students actually performing the work.
  • SB 2248 - Students placed in substitute care (students in foster care).
  • SB 2178 - The establishment by the Commissioner of Education - Computer Lending

Computer Lending Pilot

  • The COE shall establish a computer lending pilot program to provide computers to participating public schools that make computers available for use by students and their parents.
  • Any surplus or salvage data processing equipment available for distribution under the pilot program
  • ....
  • Eligible schools:
    • 50% or more of students enrolled in the school are educationally disadvantaged
    • computer lending program:
      • allows students and parents to borrow a computer
      • option to own
      • provides computer training for students and parents
      • operates outside of regular school hours, including operation until at least 7 pm on at least 3 days each week

Open Source Textbooks

  • HB 2488 Open-source textbooks and other instructional materials for public
  • Defines - electronic textbook that is available for downloading from the internet at no charge to a student and without requiring the purchase of an unlock code, membership or other access or use charge, except for a charge for printed copy
  • May be written, compiled, or edited by faculty of top tier research institutions
  • Identify each contributing author
  • be certified for accuracy by approp dept in institution (error-free)
  • must be determined for placement on the conforming or nonconforming list
  • The institution would have to certify that a textbook for a senior-level course would prepare a student, without remediation, for that institution's freshman-level course in that subject and that a textbook for a junior-level course would prepare a student for the senior-level course in that subject

  • SB 2178 - The establishment by the Commissioner of Education - Computer Lending

Computer Lending Pilot

  • The COE shall establish a computer lending pilot program to provide computers to participating public schools that make computers available for use by students and their parents.
  • Any surplus or salvage data processing equipment available for distribution under the pilot program
  • ....
  • Eligible schools:
    • 50% or more of students enrolled in the school are educationally disadvantaged
    • computer lending program:
      • allows students and parents to borrow a computer
      • option to own
      • provides computer training for students and parents
      • operates outside of regular school hours, including operation until at least 7 pm on at least 3 days each week

Open Source Textbooks

  • HB 2488 Open-source textbooks and other instructional materials for public
  • Defines - electronic textbook that is available for downloading from the internet at no charge to a student and without requiring the purchase of an unlock code, membership or other access or use charge, except for a charge for printed copy
  • May be written, compiled, or edited by faculty of top tier research institutions
  • Identify each contributing author
  • be certified for accuracy by approp dept in institution (error-free)
  • must be determined for placement on the conforming or nonconforming list
  • The institution would have to certify that a textbook for a senior-level course would prepare a student, without remediation, for that institution's freshman-level course in that subject and that a textbook for a junior-level course would prepare a student for the senior-level course in that subject
  • Extreme ramifications in how we look at funding for textbooks overall.
  • School districts and open-enrollment charter schools would have to purchase printed copies of the open-source textbooks for students lacking the tech to access materials, unless the district provided electronic access at no cost to the student or printed copies of the portion of the book to be used in the course.
  • The SBOE could contract for printing....

HB 4294

  • Requires the COE to adopt a list of electronic textbooks and instructional materials that convey information to the student or otherwise contribute to the learning process, from which school districts and open-enrollment charter schools could select electronic textbooks or instructional materials to purchase.
  • Electronic textbooks or materials would
    • be reviewed and recommended by panel of experts in the subject areas of the textbook/materials
    • be aligned with current research in subject area
    • cover each part of teks and indicate percentatge of each EKS covered
    • include appropriate training for teachers
  • a panel of experts would have to make a recommendation before an approved electronic textbook or material could be removed from the approved list.
  • other detail in the bill about electronic--with a much shorter timeline than printed materials--but there is still a review process in place.
  • If a school district or open-enrollment charter school purchased from the approved list, the state would pay for each textbook or instructional material purchase 100% of the max amount approved by the SBOE for a printed textbook for subject area and grade level, multiplied by the number of electronic textbooks or instructional materials the district or school needed for that subject and grade level
  • A school district could use textbook funds allocated to the school district to purchase technological equipment according to rules adopted by the commissioner.

  • School districts and open-enrollment charter schools would be required to obtain a classroom set of textbooks for each subject and grade level in the foundation and enrichment curriculum
  • Effective immediately
  • Executive Order
    • The COE and the TEA shall continue to work together with the SBOE to ensure the content of the state...
      • The review panel will consist of the SBOE shall play an integral part of the digital content review process.
      • If the SBOE has previously rejected an electronic textbook based upon its content, it cannot be placed on COE's approved list.
  • Review process can be online...saving the cost of the review panel process we currently incur (people travelling to Austin, hotel, mileage, etc).
  • The COE's rule will mirror the SBOE's rules whenever possible
  • Opportunities and challenges
    • Current process
    • Open source process
    • Electronic textbook process
  • 1.5 billion dollar needed for textbook. Funded Proclamation 2010 at 85%. Proc 2011 or 2012 at any more than 85%. Have to figure out how to reduce projected cost of those proclamations.
  • You'll hear a lot about textbooks in the coming months. State Board rules will have to be written and amended. Input is being sought from school districts.

HB 3646 - Virtual School Network included

  • Public School finance includes
    • Virtual School Network
  • Set priorities for review of courses
    • high school grad requirements
    • college credit or other advanced credit
    • benefit to students under the supervision of a juvenile probation dept, the Texas Youth Commission, or the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice, and
    • teacher shortage subject areas
  • Provider paid review an option
  • Course Portability
    • Added a section to TEC Chapter 30A
    • Students enrolled in courses are entitled to continue enrollment if transferred to another education setting
    • Explore online courses as an otpion for disciplinary alternative education programs to ensure students continue with academic coursework while in DAEP and returning to classrooms
  • Eligibility
    • Clarifies eligibility for military dependents
    • Clarifies eligibility for students in foster care
    • Limits grade level to 3-12
  • Teacher & Instructor Qualification
    • COE by rule shall establish procedures for verying completion of approp PD and reqs applicable to college instructors in dual credit courses
      • Some things are will do, shall do, and others are uncharted waters.
    • Districts may provide approved professional development to teachers whether or not employed by the District
      • more guidelines will be released from the network soon.
  • State Virtual School Allotment
    • Subchapter C, Chapter 42 amended, adding sections 42.159 and 42.160
    • Definitions:
      • Electronic course = a course a semester in length
      • Normal course load = number of classes or credit hours generally required to be taken by a student generate full ADA
      • State Virtual School Network = system established by Chapter 30A
    • For each student who successfully completes an electronic course that
      • satisfies a curriculum requirement for graduation
      • is provided through tx vsn
      • is part of normal student course load
  • For each student who successfully completes an electronic course
    • school district or open enrollment charter school in which the student is enrolled is entitled to an allotment of $80 to reimburse the district or school for associated admin costs
    • neither provider/receiver districts gets money unless the student is successful
  • The COE may not provide partial funding on the basis of a student who successfully completes one or more modules of an electronic course but does not successfully complete the entire course
  • COE shall adopt rules to implement this section
  • In Texas, we've been working on online courses for 10 years. It's amazing how much progress we made...3 steps forward, and 3 steps back. It was amazing to listen to folks who had no faith in online learning whatsoever, were now sponsors and champions of this legislation. We've made a lot of headway on understanding that online learning is a viable option. We pay districts for kids to sit in classes...for online learning, there is a different expectation so that the legislators can see the value for meeting student needs.
  • the next challenge is what's the diff between an online course and online instructional materials. The difference is the effective teacher who knows how to use the materials. Neither of these situations involve sitting a student in front of a computer and saying good luck to you.
  • Quality needs to be part of online and face to face classrooms (Miguel's paraphrase)
  • Fees
    • May charge a fee for a full-time student enrollmment for...
      • a summer school course
      • a load greater than that normally taken by students in the equiv grade level

Electronic Course Pilot (eCP)

  • Repealed TEC 29.909
  • Folded into TEC CHapter 30A
  • 3 districts out of 1200 participating
  • Grades 3-8 continue funding model under eCP
  • Grades 9-12 use TxVSN allotment structure
  • Calculate Average Daily Attendance
    • Contact hours
    • Successful course completion
    • method approved by the Commissioner
  • Planning transition
  • Commissioner rules, waiver authority

Research and Evaluation

  • Language Acquisition courses over th enetwork
  • Dual credit programs and courses that may include electronic resources

The beauty of this legislation...look at all the opportunities. We

Bill Process

  • House bill 3646 passed by the 81st Texas Legislature
  • Signed by the Governor June 19, 2009
  • Effective date Sept 1, 2009
  • Extensive rulemaking authority

Appropriations, including Technology Allotment

  • Technology Allotment (Article III) - believe $30 per student of the $35 requested
    • Funded through stabilization funds
  • K-12 Databases - continuation of funding (Rider 78)
  • TxVSN
  • Rural Tech Grants (R-Tech)
  • TMSDS - continuation of funding
  • Professional development around the new TEKS and end of course tests, most of which will be delivered online.

Title 2, Part D ARRA/Stimulus

  • Tx will receive approx $58,000,000
  • Formula and Competitive
    • Target Tech in Texas (T3) 21st Century Classrooms, grant to begin October 1
    • Encouraging collaboratives...one high need LEA must be included within each application, move toward target tech
    • Due July 9
    • Negotiations in September
    • email: t3@tea.state.tx.us



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

2 comments:

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Miguel,

What was the nature of the discussion regarding teacher prep and certification for the virtual school? It seems as if they are still planning to require teachers to pay out-of-pocket for the PD -- PD that will ONLY certify them to teach for the Texas Virtual School. This does not seem to me to be an acceptable option and I find it frustrating since it is a requirement that is completely different from the method used by college-level and national online schools.

Preparing more teachers to teach online should be seen as a priority worthy of investment, but right now it seems as if the state views it only as an option that teachers should pay for themselves.

Miguel said...

Stephanie, I can't disagree with your opinion that preparing more teachers to teach online should be seen as a priority. However, in the short run, those teachers who choose to invest in themselves and learn how to teach online will have an edge over those who do not.

And, considering that it is the legislators who fund training options for teachers--rather than state education agencies--it makes perfect sense to make teachers bear the brunt of improvement...from their point of view.

Miguel

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure