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1 whatever for lack of a better title, I know you live in
2 El Paso, I got to tell you there is a job opening and
3 it's in New Mecca and you'll have to move. How do you
4 create the awareness that these opportunities exist
5 other than put it on some kind of a system, you know, a
7 MS. FLACK: I think it's obviously a
8 significant problem that reflects the historical nature
9 of Texas. I do think though the new commissioner of
10 education in Texas may provide sort of a conduit that
11 might not have been there in the past and obviously
12 creating a pipeline of leadership in the public school
13 system is critical to providing the kind of role models
14 that we need so that students see there is a reason why
15 they should aspire to be more.
16 And so I don't know exactly what the Texas
17 education association may be doing in fostering the
18 superintendents out there. I know under Felipe's
19 leadership they probably will do more than they have in
21 MR. GARCIA: Charles Garcia. I'm one of the
22 seven members of the Florida Board of Education, the
23 only Hispanic.
24 One of the things that's missing from your
25 presentation that we discovered in Florida which is
1 quite alarming is that we could double the rate of
2 Hispanics graduating from higher ed. It has nothing to
3 do with K 12. What we found after the first and second
4 year of higher ed that almost half of our students are
5 dropping out.
6 We have not isolated why they're dropping
7 out. We're working on that now. We're working on a
8 strategic plan. But if it's happening in Florida, I'm
9 sure it's also happening in other states, and part of it
10 has to be isolating what's going on there and getting
11 higher ed involved and changing it.
12 MS. FLACK: You're absolutely correct. We
13 have the exact same problem in Texas. We might be able
14 to get to those 300,000 if we could just bump our
15 attendance rates up, which is around 37 percent across
16 the board. So one of the strategies in the plan is to
17 work on recruitment and retention strategies that are
18 targeting the different needs of different students.
19 We all know the first generation students
20 coming on to a college campus, whatever their
21 backgrounds are, have more of a struggle than students
22 whose parents went to college, brothers and sisters went
23 to college.
24 And so we're working with the -- we're
25 mandated to help colleges develop a uniform recruit and
1 retention plan and one of the things we're looking at
2 doing is identifying strategies that will work, and if
3 it's financial in nature, which it could very well be,
4 then what we need to make sure is students have
5 financial resources to continue in college.
6 What we have not been able to figure out is
7 when boom times occur, retention goes down because
8 students could get jobs that they couldn't when times
9 were higher, and we think when times got a little more
10 depressed led to the big increase last fall simply
11 because the students figured we might as well go back to
12 school because we can't find a job. It's a very
13 critical issue.
14 It doesn't make sense to bring students onto
15 your campus and not do everything you can to keep them
16 and help them succeed all the way through.
17 If you find any really good strategies or
18 identify what is occurring in Florida that is leading to
19 that, we would love to share it.
20 MR. CANCHOLA: Terri, do you have an e-mail
22 MS. FLACK: The card that is in the blue
23 folder has my e-mail.
24 MR. CANCHOLA: Thank you.
25 MR. GONZALEZ: Thanks for the presentation.
1 The numbers are heavy if nothing else from
2 both of your respects. It's an ambitious plan in Texas,
3 and I guess the question that I have is let's assume
4 we're going to be successful and we're going to increase
5 the numbers of students who are prepared, No. 1, and who
6 actually continue on to higher education.
7 Have you thought or have you a plan to
8 actually meet the physical needs of the student
9 population you're talking about? You can talk about
10 enrollments going up by 500,000, but is Texas seriously
11 considering having spaces for those students?
12 We're facing that in California and I've been
13 saying for ten years the real issue is access. The
14 first part of it is students being prepared to
15 participate in curriculum; but, secondly, the real issue
16 is where are you going to put them?
17 Have you given any thought to them,
18 especially when 2030 comes around and I'll be long
20 MR. HANNA: Dr. Gonzalez, I was just going to
21 say spoken like the president of the institution.
22 MS. FLACK: You've been talking to the
23 president in Texas, haven't you?
24 MR. GONZALEZ: No, not at all.
25 MS. FLACK: We have thought about it, and
1 here was the process that we went through is the
2 legislature is very suspicious of higher ed right now.
3 It believes that every scheme higher ed comes up with is
4 only a notion that they want more money, that that's the
5 only reason they ever do anything, is they want more
7 Our board said: What if we did it the other
8 way around? What if we said let's identify the
9 strategies that we need to do and then say how much is
10 it going to cost and what is it going to take? Because
11 what we wanted to say was get everyone to embrace the
12 compelling nature of the problem for one, to say, wow,
13 this is horrible, we can't let this happen, and then,
14 and then embrace, yes, these are the goals that will
15 help us avoid that bad result.
16 Having done that, now we're in the process of
17 saying what it's going to take. 500,000 students aren't
18 going to show up tomorrow, so we have some time, we have
19 some capacity, so we think we have put them on campuses
20 that aren't utilized.
21 We know it will take stuff, it will take
22 money. I keep hearing different numbers because we're
23 trying to quantify it at the moment, so it's anywhere
24 from five billion to ten billion dollars over the long
25 period of time to actually get this accomplished.
1 It will take faculty. It will take builders.
2 It may take new campuses, although we're not really at
3 that point, and it will take new ways to educate
4 students, be it distance ed and the like.
5 But we figured if everyone embraced the
6 goals, if everyone said, wow, we have to avoid this
7 result, then planning for the change that has to occur
8 in terms of capacity, that there was something that we
9 figured would work.
10 MR. MURDOCK: I can say that as a tenured
11 faculty member who doesn't have to respond that way I
12 think there's no doubt that it is important to recognize
13 that Texas has some very difficult financial decisions
14 to make.
15 The reality is we cannot do it if there isn't
16 more money in the system. I mean people like to tell
17 me, you know, it's not only money, and they're right.
18 But it is money to a great extent.
19 And so when you talk about adding 300,000
20 students, you sound like every one of our presidents who
21 says how do you add 300,000 students and you don't
22 change our budget? You can't. And Texas has yet to
23 deal with that issue, although many of our policymakers
24 are looking at it and looking at it very, I think,
1 But there is a financial part of this which
2 we have not fully I think, I'll say as an individual, as
3 a state embraced yet. And I think that's also true when
4 you talk about some of the other issues, like the
5 gentleman just mentioned about retention rates.
6 One of the problems we have is we do not have
7 a really good fluid system by which kids go from junior
8 colleges to senior colleges. All you have to do is talk
9 to kids in junior colleges to find out what some of the
10 problems are. Those are major policy changes we have to
11 make, and none are going to be made very easily.
12 Many of us are looking at it from where we
13 came, kind of not recognizing the problem but have no
14 plan to address, and we have made tremendous progress.
15 I'm the first one to commend the coordinator board in
16 this area, but I think we would be naive not to
17 recognize that we have a long way to go.
18 We have a lot of difficult decisions to make.
19 We have to make a decision as a state to spend a lot
20 more money on education than we're spending now if we
21 want to reach these goals, and in fact the one thing
22 I'll say that needs to temper this is all the
23 projections of the 500,000 are based on our old
24 projections, and the new data show that those are
25 probably too conservative. So it may not be 500,000.
1 It may be 6 or 700,000 that are needed.
2 So I think it's important that we recognize
3 where we have come, but I think it's also important we
4 recognize where we have to go to, and those are big
5 challenges left for the state of Texas.
6 MR. HANNA: Francisco and then I'll come
8 MS. FLACK: The only thing I was going to say
9 tomorrow the board adopts the new formulas, and one of
10 the things that we are including is sort of a closing of
11 the funding notion so that we will be saying that there
12 are costs associated with closing the gaps that we need
13 to start paying for and we need to be sure we fully fund
14 enrollment growths. We need to make sure that we're
15 paying for it as we go.
16 Back to your I think fundamental point, which
17 is are we really looking down the road and saying how
18 are we going to get there, and we are. But you're
19 absolutely right. It's going to take more money to do
20 it. We just thought if we could get people to embrace
21 the notion at the outcome.
22 MR. PARET: I just want to thank you. I have
23 a couple of questions for Terri specifically.
24 No. 1, you're talking about teams. What
25 mechanisms has the board put in place between now and
1 then to give you early warning signals, so to speak, and
2 hold your plan accountable? There must be high
3 correlater factors that you can be tracking now and then
4 to guide you in terms of are you on the right track to
5 get success, to get participation increases, et cetera?
6 What have you put in place?
7 MS. FLACK: Absolutely. In fact the plan,
8 sort of the fifth goal of the plan is that we have a
9 process by which we measure how well we are getting down
10 towards those ultimate goals.
11 Each of the goals includes a whole language
12 of targets that are 2005, 2010, 2015 targets. So we're
13 not just looking at the big number 15 years from now.
14 We're looking at interim numbers. And annually we have
15 parameters on the board room wall at the agency that
16 measure how well we're doing on each of the goals so the
17 board can see, oh, I see, enrollments are up. Is it the
18 right kind of enrollments?
19 And tomorrow -- I guess on Friday we're going
20 to have the preliminary report on measuring progress
21 towards meeting those goals, and what the board will
22 find is we're way ahead in African-American enrollments
23 in terms of what we targeted for 2005 and we are way
24 behind -- we're now operating in a deficit situation we
25 have to overcome to meet just the 2005 goal.
1 So other states have said you can't really
2 intend to measuring this soon. The plan has only been
3 on the books for the year. Our point was we can't wait
4 down the road to see that we're falling behind. So
5 annually we are going to look at where we are on each of
6 these targets and how close we are to meeting them.
7 And we think ultimately what we want is to
8 change the performance measures that institutions are
9 looked at by the legislature, not to punish them so
10 much, but to kind of reward those that look at these
11 targets as something they should actually aspire to and
12 achieve. It's absolutely critical.
13 That was another thing that was different
14 about this plan than any other plan we've ever done,
15 that is, we want to know if we're going to make it and
16 we want to know early enough so we can do something to
17 change it if we're falling off the track.
18 MR. PARET: Are you tracking measurements say
19 at the high school level, middle school level that
20 correlate to how students are doing at those levels
21 whether they're likely to enroll in higher education,
22 for example, rates at which exposure to a challenging
23 college prep curriculum correlates and is the predictor
24 success in maintaining your goals, for example?
25 MS. FLACK: We are in the very beginning
1 stages of the comprehensive data system that will allow
2 us to look backwards and forward, higher ed to public
3 ed, public ed to higher ed. That's one of the things
4 we're going to be looking at. Cohorts of students, are
5 they actually moving along at the rate they would need
6 to move along to achieve that success.
7 We're not there yet just because of all the
8 efforts that have to happen, but we feel pretty
9 comfortable that we're going to be able to start looking
10 at those things in the next year or so as we get it.
11 But obviously we cannot wait.
12 When I started the coordinating board in
13 1994, there was an enormous amount of finger pointing.
14 Higher ed was saying you don't send us decent students.
15 There was just this big old circle argument that was so
17 What we're seeing now is an entirely
18 different discussion that is going on; and I think when
19 our commissioner goes to the association superintendent
20 -- the commissioner of higher education had never ever
21 appeared before the association of superintendents and
22 the association of school boards and say this is what
23 we're doing, and the reason I'm telling you is because
24 you know what? We're going to have to meddle in your
25 business for us to succeed. And they embraced it and
1 they said we're so glad that higher education cares
2 finally about what's going on and not in a critical way,
3 but just says you all are doing your job.
4 I think sometimes higher ed used to just wait
5 for students to appear on their doorstep and, you know,
6 it was a natural selection approach to higher education,
7 and we can't afford to let that happen in the future.
8 MR. PARET: Just one more brief question.
9 Your awareness campaign, establishing new partnerships
10 at the state and local level, to what extent -- how are
11 you going with that? How -- has it started? Have you
12 identified some successful models? How is that
14 MS. FLACK: When we were developing our
15 strategic approach, like I say, we started with the
16 premise it was going to be like Don't Mess With Texas,
17 which was you were going to put all this money in the
18 marketing effort.
19 What we did is put four million dollars in
20 initiating the marketing effort. What we decided, the
21 staff for the coordinator board needed to be not
22 directors. We have three outreach coordinators who
23 divied up the state and their goal is to find every
24 single group, individual, person, whoever they can find
25 by whatever means they can find them to see who we can
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