These are my notes from the Governor’s Council for Workforce & Economic Development meeting at OSU-OKC on June 3, 2011. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. I arrived late to the meeting near the end of comments by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Comment from Mary Fallin: Maybe this needs to be part of your discussion today: How can we get local businesses more involved in our schools, especially in rural areas
– even
– it makes me sick to see the wasted talent and wasted lives in Oklahoma with drugs, poverty, prison, etc when I review paroles each week as Governor
– we need to focus on those young ages
– I look forward to seeing your report

Comment from Steve:
– at the end of the day, we all serve at the pleasure of the governor
– we are all equally passionate about moving OKlahoma ahead for education
– we don’t want to duplicate things others are already working on, or impede the work of others

Now we are going to hear about “The Complete College of America” from Dr. Houston Davis

This is not an education initiative
– this is a preview of an orientation that will be hosted by partners of industry
– we have been talking about ‘how do we get kids to understand this’
– some other states have deeper crises on their budgets

What are the employer demands today, both from large and small businesses
– today I want to give you glimpse into the “Complete College America: Alliance of States”
– an Oklahoma Status Report

If you graduated from high school in 1973, 7 out of 10 jobs available to you required just a high school diploma
– today, the situation is very different: 7 out of 10 jobs available in the economy require a college degree

Complete College America is funded by:
– Gates Foundation
– Carnegie Corporation of NY
– Ford Foundation
– Lumina Foundation for Education
– WK Kellogg Foundation

Hewlitt Foundation has approached us recently
– we in OKlahoma are seen as being able to follow through on these initiatives

Complete College of America Leadership TEam
– Chancellor Glen Johnson (OSRHE)
– Secretary of Education Phyllis Hudecki
– Secretary of Commercia Dave Lopez
– President Janet Cunningham (NWOSU)
– President Tom McKeon (TCC)
– Vice Chancellor Houston Davis (OSRHE)
– Vice Chancellor Tony Hutchinson (OSRHE)

We want to pull Supt Baressi into this group, also bring in business leaders for a steering committee

Project Deliverables
– CCA project requires each state to do following activities consistent with existing “Brain Gain framework” in Oklahoma and hte Public Agenda of OSRHE
– set annual completion goals at state and campus levels
– develop action plans and policies ot support these goals
– collect and report common measures of progress toward the completion goals

Additional focus areas: CCA Completion
– transforming remediation
– reducing time to degree
– (more…)

Time is the enemy of many students in our career techs, universities, etc
– we need to shorten the time

Alliance partners: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsyvlania, Rhode Siland, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia

Now showing this slide of data / statistics:

Data shared on Oklahoma Retention Rates for 2 and 4 Year Colleges

they want us to get away from just measuring aggregate statistics
– they want us to disaggregate and show how wealthy students are doing relative to poor students

We are really concerned about situations where we setup a certificate program and a student has either been misadvised, moves, or for other reasons has to complete more, unnecessary hours to complete their program

Actions for Transforming Remediation (from our meeting in Miami, in basement hotel room for 20-30 hours)
1. Statewide transformational redesign of remedial and developmental education through a common developmental framework
2. Determine the instructional and assessment parameters to guide the pilot development and informt the new policy/framework
3. Deep faculty engagement in redesign, implementation, and refinement of policy framework
4. Higher education and K12 jointly develop a strategy and pilot activities to prvent/reduce remediation that leverages the EPAS system (and CCSS) and makes full use of 11th/12th grade years

We know our current remedial education model is 35+ years old and is NOT meeting the needs of today’s learners
– these new system might be modularized and not even a ‘course system’ like we’ve had in the past

We are on board and passionate now about working toward national norms / common core
– ‘what do these tests tell us about what students really know’

Actions to Reduce Time-to-Degree
5. Continued redesign of the REach Higher Initiative as a degree completion effort that involves the entire system of postsecondary education
6. Establish more systemic role for reverse transfer options setup within degree/credential structures
7. Developmetn of transparent and user-friendly degree plan tools for students at baccalaureate, associate and certificate levels
8. Degree inventory and audit of all levels of degree programs for unnecessary numbers of hours over the 60 and 120 hour minimums

“Some students are a flat tire from dropping out”

Actions for Performance Funding
12. OSRHE will conduct a full-review and revision of the Brain Gain Performance Funding program utilizing appropriate Complete College America and NGA….
(more…)

Now hearing comments from Dr. Phyllis Hudecki, newly appointed Secretary of Education in Oklahoma (she was executive director of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition)

We are working with Secretary Lopez and Godecke (?) for a CCA/GAtes Innovation Challenge Grant

OBEC: Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition was created to try and address recruitment challenges for top flight employees in Oklahoma

We are now working with the National Diploma Project, about 32 states are now on board
– big idea: looking at jobs that pay well / are on career ladders, you are looking at the same kind of preparation needed in high school

We want to create a pipeline for employees needed in Oklahoma

I lived out of state for 28 years
– I read a book about Oklahoma Politics: it said education is not intrinsically valued by most Oklahomans because most Oklahomans have ancestors who become wealthy overnight from natural resources

My grandparents didn’t think I needed to go to college

Not only do we have to do a lot of communication around these issues, to parents, etc
– helping all constituents
– we need to take a good look at our [educational] delivery system
– are we ready to set goals and revamp the delivery system to meet the goals, or are we going to set goals based on the delivery system we have now

Our alliance between Career Techs and Community Colleges in Oklahoma is one oustanding example
– we need to inventory what is offered in our state: certificates, licenses, and all the degrees
– we as a team discussed this and aren’t sure we have a good handle o nthis
– we need to evaluate the economic impact of those offerings

We want to address the problem of people moving in the swirl of low wage, low education jobs
– what is the potential for upward mobility for people in those programs?

We need to start using data much earlier in our public schools
– including rich middle school data in EPASS system, ACT data
– determine where each student is, and the expectation if they are going to be able to be successful
– especially if the person is from a poor family or disadvantaged

We need to change the remediation system in our schools
– why would we wait till someone gives us more money to make sure all students are at the same grade level
– that violates core mission of public education: we need to change our thinking about public education
– we need to decide if we have the political will as a state

We need to rethink the delivery model
– have to stop focusing on turf protection and serving the interests of the adults in the system
– I am an advocate for monitoring results continually

I want to brag on our higher education system [in Oklahoma]:
– for many years I know our Oklahoma higher education system was unique
– about 3 years ago in California, a colleague at Stanford noted that the data system for Oklahoma is the cadillac in the nation
– he said we have the most robust data system in the nation for higher ed: we can answer questions about our higher education system that other states cannot

Now hearing from Steve

There will be five states who will receive $1 million grants from the Gates Foundation
– I will be very disappointed if we don’t get one of these grants by the end of the summer
– these funding groups want to change education in the US state by state, not campus by campus

Next meeting: Friday, Aug 5, 2011 at OSU-OKC

Dr Houston Davis comments:
4 out of 10 graduates from an Oklahoma high school are going to be put in a remediation program

Now hearing from Dave Lopez
– Jeb Bush’s work in Florida has been exemplary
– he reported to us the toughest thing to implement in Florida was required students to read by 3rd grade: Up until 3rd grade students are learning to read, after 3rd grade students are reading to learn
– prison populations in California are created based on 3rd grade reading scores
– it’s sad someone’s destiny is set by the time they are 9 or 10, but that is reality

another term new to me: academic value of degrees and certifications
– is being an English major as important as getting a certificate that lets you earn $18 per hour? Should we value them the same?

Dave Lopez worked for SBC/AT&T prior to becoming Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce

MY CLOSING COMMENT: VERY INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS. PERHAPS MOST INSIGHTFUL TO HEAR CONFIRMATION THAT MANY OF OUR KEY STATE LEADERS ARE FOCUSED ON FOLLOWING THE ADVICE/LEAD OF JEB BUSH AND THE PATH HE’S CHAMPIONED FOR EDUCATION IN FLORIDA. IS THIS THE RIGHT PATH? WHO IS MEANINGFULLY DEBATING THIS TODAY IN OKLAHOMA? I’M NOT SURE. IT’S GREAT TO BE ABLE TO HEAR DIRECTLY FROM PHYLLIS HUDECKI – IT WAS MY FIRST TIME TO HEAR HER TALK. I’M VERY INTERESTED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE AGENDAS, AND IDENTIFY POTENTIAL AVENUES TO HAVE INPUT AND INFLUENCE INTO THESE POLICY CIRCLES. NO ONE AT THE MEETING (ALTHOUGH I DID ARRIVE LATE) DISCUSSED HIGH STAKES TESTING AS A MAJOR OBSTACLE TO HELPING OUR STUDENTS BECOME WORKFORCE READY IN OUR STATE. NO DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW A FOCUS ON MINIMUM STANDARDS CONTINUES TO NARROW OUR CURRICULUM AND DUMB DOWN EDUCATION IN THE STATE. THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT LOW-SES STUDENTS, BUT NO DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT IS WORKING TO ADDRESS POVERTY AND HELP PEOPLE MOVE OUT OF POVERTY. THAT IS A CRITICAL ISSUE WHICH DOES NOT SEEM TO BE PART OF OUR CURRENT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT EDUCATION, THE ECONOMY, OR ANYTHING ELSE.

MANY THANKS TO GORDON ANDERSON OF PELCO PRODUCTS, INC. WHO IS IN MY MEN’S GROUP AT CHURCH AND GAVE ME A HEADS-UP ABOUT TODAY’S MEETING!

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2 Responses to Educational Pipeline Challenges in Oklahoma #workforceok

  1. >ADVICE/LEAD OF JEB BUSH AND THE PATH HE’S CHAMPIONED FOR EDUCATION IN FLORIDA. IS THIS THE RIGHT PATH?<
    Here's are the answers from ACT Inc./2010 ACT Average Composite Scores:
    Florida = 19.5 with 65% tested
    Oklahoma = 20.7 with 73% of graduating seniors tested.
    Not sure what measure they are using to say Florida schools are better than Oklahoma's but maybe they were talking about higher ed. … No, no one but you seems to be leading any meaningful debate of real issues in Oklahoma. – WSP
    http://www.act.org/news/data/10/states.html?utm_campaign=cccr10&utm_source=data&utm_medium=web

    Florida6519.518.619.7

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Thanks for sharing these stats. We need public debate in Oklahoma on whether the “Florida education model” touted by Jeb Bush is the right path forward. I have serious doubts that it is.

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