Board of Directors of the
Prior to the call to order, Judge Mary McGowan administered the oath of office to Mr. Tom Brock, newly appointed representative from Zone 7.
Robert M. Daugherty
Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent of Schools
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
called the meeting to order at All members of the Board were present at
roll call. In addition, Lisa Poteet, ex
officio teacher representative from
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
Dr. Daugherty welcomed the audience and asked Dr. Brooks to proceed with the citations.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Brooks recognized Krista Underwood, Director, and Judy Milam, Coordinator,
Mary Kay McKinney, Director of UAMS Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, was introduced to the Board. Later in the meeting the Board was asked to approve a collaborative project between the LRSD and UAMS which would provide physical, dental, and mental health services for students enrolled in the LRSD early childhood program
The ex officio teacher representative
to the Board for the month of February, Lisa Poteet from
Debbie Milam presented several new school and business partnerships for the Board’s review and approval. Mr. Rose moved to accept the new partnerships, Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. The new school / business partnerships are noted:
Booker Arts Magnet, represented by Cheryl Carson and Joyce Willingham, in partnership with CiCi’s Pizza
Perritt, LRSD Elementary
Science Specialist, spoke in favor of the pay for performance pilot
project. Ms. Perritt reported that she
was a former Milken Award recipient, Arkansas Teacher of the Year, and that she
currently serves on the Governors Teacher Advisory Committee. She noted that the current pay for
performance proposal would provide research that would be compiled by the
Morey reported that she had
coached and taught at
Ann Inman, kindergarten teacher at Romine Elementary, spoke in opposition to the merit pay proposal, stating that it was not a fair and equitable way to reward teachers. She stated that classroom teachers don’t have control over the students they are assigned to teach and that students come to school with varying abilities and social circumstances that would make it impossible to validate results. She closed by saying that “merit pay would lead to an atmosphere of competition.”
Chonetta Case, media specialist at Romine, introduced herself as a National Board Certified teacher who receives a form of merit pay for certification based on National Board Standards. She encouraged the board to vote against the proposed merit pay plan, stating that it has no benefits that would draw successful teachers to the district and that it would have no significant impact on student achievement because it would only effect a handful of students.
Phillip Wilson, teacher at Parkview, urged the board to abandon the proposed merit pay plan. He suggested that research based strategies to improve academic achievement are important, but that public schools are made up of human “products.” When public school experiments fail, there is no way to discard the product and start over. He suggested that incentives be offered to students and parents to ensure success.
Kara Patton, a special education teacher at Parkview, spoke in favor of developing some form of merit pay that would reward highly qualified teachers. She noted that teachers with only five or ten years of experience are leaving the teaching profession and returning to the public sector for financial reasons.
Keisha Fells, a third year teacher at Gibbs Elementary, expressed the possibility that the proposed teacher reward system might be an effective way to impact teaching and learning. She stated that a “paradigm shift” is worth the time and effort to see if the research proves effectiveness.
Erin Wage, a kindergarten teacher at Meadowcliff, spoke in favor of the proposed merit pay plan. She referenced the Meadowcliff merit pay project where pre- and post-testing was a tool that teachers utilized to measure students needs. She also noted that the attendance bonus is a good reward, and that merit pay plans are a good way to hold teachers accountable for student learning.
Monley, literacy coach at
Dunn introduced himself as
a third grade teacher at
John Binyon, teacher at Parkview, expressed frustration with all aspects of the proposed pay for performance plan. He stated that he was not opposed to merit pay, and that he would support a school-based plan that would reward every employee in a school. He then challenged the CTA to develop a plan that would be better than the one proposed by the administration.
Stacy Pitman spoke in favor of the proposed pay for student performance initiative. She has two children in the LRSD and has supported the LRSD on many projects over the years. She reported spending a lot of her time reading research studies on ways to improve student achievement. She was complimentary of Project SOAR, which provides relevant information to parents and students on a consistent basis. She stated that pay for student performance is a way to change the current compensation system in order to improve academic achievement. It is and should be all about student achievement.
Stein addressed the board as
a member of the faculty at
Grainger Ledbetter, Executive Director of the CTA, asked two
1) Will the plan really show a correlation between student performance and teacher incentives? 2) How can a school that is considered to be a success end up on the school improvement list? He stated that no performance plan could be effective without teacher input from the onset and that no plan should be designed somewhere else and be expected to fit within the LRSD.
Mr. Ledbetter stated that other merit pay programs should be considered apart from the current proposal, stating that TAP includes teacher training, lesson plans, staff development, teacher input, and proven research. Student test scores alone are not enough to measure classroom success and support for the current pay for performance proposal should not be a show of loyalty to the administration or the CTA. He closed by saying that the vote should be about what is best for children and instruction.
Attorney John Walker requested placement on the agenda for the Joshua representatives; however, they were not present.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Kurrus thanked the speakers, but stated that merit pay is not as big an issue as it is being made by the comments. He noted that some version of merit or incentive pay is going to be enacted in the future and state legislative mandates will take precedence no matter how the board votes on this particular proposal. He asked community and patrons to look at our schools and get the word out that our middle schools are exceptional. We shouldn’t be losing so many students at the middle school level.
Mr. Brock thanked the board members for selecting him to serve on the
board. He reported visiting Meadowcliff,
Otter Creek, Dodd, Mabelvale Elementary, Mabelvale Middle, and
Mr. Rose reflected on remarks he made in March 2003 which resulted in a
lot of mail from teachers and patrons. That
Dr. Mitchell reported that she had enjoyed reading to children at
Dr. Mitchell also congratulated Judy Milam and Krista Underwood for the
outstanding work done at
Mr. Berkley thanked the speakers who presented earlier in the meeting and stated that “what is lacking in our country is a willingness to speak out on the topics in which we believe.”
Ms. Poteet, the teacher ex officio representative, read from several pages of research notes regarding performance and merit pay and high-stakes testing. She quoted from reports published by the Center for Public Education, the American Psychological Association, and the National Research Council. She offered to follow up by providing copies to board members, if requested.
Dr. Daugherty closed the comments portion of the meeting by stating that merit and incentive pay are important issues, but that the board members will make their vote based on their own beliefs. He stated regret that some of the most dedicated and honest people on the Board have come under attack for voting their conscious and making decisions based on what they felt was the best course of action. He reminded the audience that the board members give their time and energy freely and should not be attacked in a vindictive way. Everyone has the students’ best interest at heart. “When you make disparaging comments about board members, make sure you have your facts straight.”
Mr. Milhollen was present, but made no formal report.
The monthly Construction Report was printed in the Board’s agenda.
Mr. Goodman responded to questions from the board regarding construction
Dr. Daugherty commended district staff for the improvements made to the
building and grounds at
Mr. Becker’s report was printed in the agenda. He responded to questions from the board regarding problems with individual school activity funds.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on January 26, and from a special meeting held on February 16, 2006, were presented for review and approval. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Pay for Performance Pilot Project
The administration presented a proposal for implementation of a pay for
performance pilot project to be funded for one year by the Walton Family
Foundation. In addition, an evaluation
study would be commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation to be completed by
The superintendent recommended approval, Mr. Berkley moved for approval and Mr. Brock seconded the motion.
There was a great deal of discussion regarding the proposal with questions regarding implementation. Dr. Mitchell expressed concerns regarding the amount of testing already required of students and suggested that under this particular proposal emphasis would be placed on teaching to the test. She suggested that having a certified teacher, an instructional aide in every pre-K classroom, and fewer than 15 students per class in primary grades would have a greater impact on student achievement.
Mr. Rose also spoke in opposition to the motion, stating that although he would vote against the proposal, he agreed that some form of merit pay would be implemented within a few years. He stated that this particular plan leaves too many questions to be answered and that a more comprehensive vision for a merit pay plan was needed, one that was written specifically for the LRSD, designed by the board, parents, teachers, and students.
Mr. Berkley spoke in favor of the motion, stating that accepting private
dollars to implement programs focused on improving student achievement and
providing incentives to teachers are the only way our district will move from
the status quo. Mr. Day also spoke in
favor of the motion, noting that 30 of the 50 states in the
Mr. Kurrus and Mr. Brock spoke to the benefits of the proposal stating that increasing compensation is a positive way to recognize teachers for a job well done. The proposed two-year pilot project would provide research to drive future decisions about teaching and learning and would be an opportunity to secure private funds to help us make those decisions.
Dr. Daugherty called for the vote, stating that it should be left up to the affected teachers to make the decision whether to accept this particular plan. The motion carried 5-2, with Dr. Mitchell and Mr. Rose casting the no votes.
A. Collaborative Project: LRSD / UAMS Early Childhood & Head Start Project
The board took a brief recess and returned at 8:10 p.m.
B. Pre-K Student Progress Report
Krista Underwood submitted a
recommendation for adoption of a pre-K student progress report which would be
piloted during the 2006-07 school year. The
project would be funded by Arkansas Better Chance for School Success
C. Elementary Mathematics Textbook Adoption
The Elementary Mathematics Textbook
Committee submitted their recommendations for adoption of textbooks for
kindergarten through fifth grade classroom use.
Suzi Davis, Director of K-12 Curriculum and members of the textbook
committee were present. Mr.
The administration requested board approval for submission of a grant to the Arkansas Department of Education for federal Reading First funds. The grant would provide up to $5 million over a three-year period for improvements in the delivery of literacy instruction. Nine schools would continue Reading First projects; three additional schools would be included in the 2006-09 application and beginning in 2007-08, an additional six LRSD schools would become eligible for funding. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the submission as submitted. Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried 5-2 with Mr. Rose and Mr. Kurrus voting “no.”
E. Policy Revision: First Reading Policy BBBE – Unexpired Term Fulfillment / Vacancies
The recent vacancy of the zone 7
position on the board called attention to a discrepancy in LRSD policy
regarding filling vacant positions. The
recommended revision eliminated reference to the Pulaski County Board of
Education and replaced it with the
F. Quarterly Update
The required quarterly report to the Courts was submitted to the Board for review and approval. The report was compiled by the Planning, Research and Evaluation Department staff, in conjunction with the district’s attorneys and evaluation consultants. Upon board approval, the reports will be submitted to the Courts in compliance with the deadline date of March 1, 2006. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the reports as submitted. Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried 5-0-2, with Mr. Rose and Mr. Brock abstaining.
G. External Evaluations
The administration presented
completed external evaluations from the 2004-05 school year for the board’s
review and approval. Included were: Compass Learning, Reading Recovery,
SMART/THRIVE, and Extended Year Education.
Once approved by the board, district staff will begin meeting to develop
recommended modifications to the programs and a timeline for implementing the
Bryan Day left the meeting at 8:25 p.m.
A. Personnel Changes
Routine personnel items were printed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Berkley moved to approve the personnel actions as presented, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.
A. Donations of Property
The Board was asked to approve the acceptance of recent donations to schools and departments within the District. Mr. Rose moved to accept the donations; Mr. Brock seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Mr. Rose read the donations as follows:
$250 cash to the guidance office to purchase frames, posters and pennants
$750 cash for repair of a musical instrument for the LRCH Orchestra & Jazz Band
$1,000 cash to offset expenses for students attending Harvard Debate Tournament
$1,500 cash to offset expenses for students attending Harvard Debate Tournament
$300 cash to the LRCH Debate Club
$1,000 cash to the LRCH Debate Club
Sharon Moore, Paula Aultz and Peggy Jones
Mr. & Mrs. Sam Baxter
Mr. & Mrs. James Shuffield, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Block, Jr.
Mr. Randal F. Hundley
Uniforms, clothing and school supplies for students, valued at $2,000; books for students at Christmas, valued at $800; telescopes valued at $800.
Transamerica Worksite Marketing
$1,000 to be deposited into the school’s activity fund for student clothing and incentives
Dr. Cheryl Felder Stuart and Mr. R. Littrelle Felder
$100 cash to the FHMS Explorer Team incentive party
$100 cash for improvements to the school courtyard
Ms. Margaret Clark
Dr. T. Tyler Thompson
Geyer Springs Elementary
$300 cash to provide incentives for students achieving Accelerated Reader goals
Wal-Mart / Baseline
$8,000 cash to the Great Expectations / A+ Program at Woodruff
Great Expectations of
B. Financial Report
Mr. Milhollen presented the monthly review of the financial reports which were printed in the board’s agenda. He responded to questions from the board regarding the payout of perfect attendance bonuses. No action to approve the reports was taken.
X. STUDENT HEARING
Dr. Daugherty passed the gavel to Mr. Kurrus. He moved to uphold the administration’s recommendation for placement at Felder. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose and seconded by Mr. Brock.
APPROVED: 03-23-06 Originals Signed by:
R. Micheal Daugherty, President
Bryan Day, Secretary