SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 43
March 10, 2000
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council|
The Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council meets regularly. It is composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study groups, plus the VASS officers. We will distribute the minutes of each meeting by means of a Superintendent's Memorandum. The minutes of the meeting of February 25, 2000 are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard Layman at (804) 225-2024. Thank you. JLD/pg Attachment Meeting of the Superintendent's Leadership Advisory Council Friday, February 25, 2000 Present - Superintendents' Group: Mark A. Edwards, Harry Ward, Glenn Burdick (for Edgar B. Hatrick), John H. Kidd, Woodrow W. Mullins, Philip C. Worrell, Andy Stamp, VASS, and Walter A. McFarlane, superintendent, Department of Correctional Education. Department of Education: Jo Lynne DeMary, Richard W. Layman, Thomas A. Elliott, Cam Harris, Anne Wescott, Charles W. Finley, Margaret N. Roberts, Lan Neugent, Jo Bunce, Yvonne Thayer, and Harry L. Smith. Dr. DeMary welcomed the members of the council, and asked if there were any issues that the superintendents wanted to discuss. Since there were none, the meeting proceeded with the following agenda: Report on the Meeting of the State Board of Education on February 24. Dr. Margaret Roberts distributed copies of the agenda for the board meeting that included adoption of resolutions recognizing the achievements of recipients of the 1999 Milken Educator Award, members of the Virginia team that competed in the International Space Olympics in Korolev, Russia, on October 12-24, 1999, and the Virginia Association of Future Farmers of America. Considerable discussion was devoted to an item dealing with a report from the State Special Education Advisory Committee on proposed regulations governing special education programs in Virginia. The superintendents agreed that the state's special education regulations should not exceed federal requirements. Dr. DeMary called attention to a bill introduced in the current session of the Virginia General Assembly that would direct the board not to adopt any special education regulation that exceeded federal requirements. The bill was carried over to the 2001 session of the legislature. During the discussion, Dr. Edwards made a motion that the superintendents present a resolution to the Board of Education that proposed new state special education regulations, on which public hearings were held recently, not exceed federal requirements. Richard Layman was asked to draft the resolution. The superintendents also discussed the school based index concept proposed by president Kirk Schroder. Mr. Layman reported that the Board of Education had approved the concept and had appointed Susan Noble to form a committee to study the proposal and make recommendations to the board. He noted that the index information would appear on the school report card for informational purposes and would not affect school accreditation. Andy Stamp distributed a statement made to the board by Dr. Steven R. Staples on behalf of eight educational organizations in Virginia that had developed recommendations about the accreditation standards. The coalition's statement included five recommendations for consideration by the board. The coalition expressed its support for standards and public school accountability, and stated that, "we have an opportunity here and now to refine Virginia's Standards and Accountability program so that our students, our schools, and the public are beneficiaries of meaningful reform. The SOL and the SOA set high standards; we must ensure that they are also fair and equitable and we must provide the support necessary to achieve these goals." The Board of Education at its February 24 meeting also received an update on the status of proposals to revise the standards for accrediting public schools. The council was told that the board may call a special meeting to redraft the SOA proposals and submit them again for public comment. Final action on the standards is not anticipated before next August. Dr. Roberts also called attention to the final review by the board on character education programs requested by the General Assembly. SOL Assessment Update Cam Harris reported a "good turnout" at the recent SOL pre-assessment workshops. She noted that the time for the spring SOL tests is approaching and test materials have been distributed to school divisions. She pointed out that weather conditions could present a problem for the testing schedule. Dr. DeMary stated that 20 bills dealing with the SOL assessment had been presented during the current session of the General Assembly and five of them were still active at the time of the superintendents' meeting. Governor's Technology Initiative Lan Neugent distributed a folder containing information about the 2000-2002 budget proposals by Governor Gilmore for K-12 education, including a technology initiative to implement a statewide Web-based computerized system which could be used to provide instruction, data transmission, and on-line computerized testing. Legislative Update Anne Wescott and Yvonne Thayer presented an update on the status of legislation in the General Assembly and responded to questions from superintendents. Teacher Supply and Demand in Virginia Dr. Elliott presented as the last item on the council's agenda a report on the supply and demand for teachers in the commonwealth during 1999-2000, that had been presented to the House Education Committee. Dr. Elliott told the council that a complete report on teacher supply and demand, including an in-depth analysis of data, would be made in May. The report pointed out that the "most acute teacher shortages in Virginia continue to be in science and special education." Also, the need for mathematics teachers has increased, and is now the fourth most severe shortage in Virginia. The report included recommendations, based on preliminary data, for dealing with the future need for teachers.