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Senate | April 17, 2013 | Committee Room | Senate Education

Full MP3 Audio File

Good morning everyone. I’d like to get things started, and I’m going to begin by thanking our pages for being here. Senator Berger has sponsored three. Miranda Judd, Treston Farington, and Candice Brown. Thank you for being here. And our sergeants at arms, we have Ashley Mickens, Robert Young, Billy Fricture and Steve Wilson. This morning we have two issues we’re going to be discussing. The first one we’re going to start with Senate Bill 374, Public Schools Budget Flexibility Act. We’ll have Senator Tillman, we’ll have questions and comments from the committee. We’ll have some people from the public like to comment on. And then after that we’ve got two, a House and a Senate Bill, back to basics, we’re going to spend some time for discussion purposes only. So we’ll begin with Senator Tillman but we’re going to need to have someone move for adoption of the PCS. We’ve got Senator Robinson moves. All in favor. Opposed. The ayes have it. The PCS is before you and Senator Tillman, would you please explain the bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’ll be fairly brief on this common sense bill that I’ve been asked to do for years. Now my twelfth year of hearing people want more flexibility in the public schools. And the only leg left on this flexibility thing, the only real one left is to take the position allotments. And to then after they are made to the schools, to then give you the flexibility of converting those to money and using that wherever you need it. I don’t know if 10 kids in a classroom is better than 15 or not, and I’ve read all kind of research that it doesn’t make any difference until you get down to 15 or below. But what I do know is folks, if I’m responsible as a school superintendent, for the grades of the schools in my district, and I’ve got a finite or a shrinking pot of money, that if I’ve got more flexibility with that money I can do what I need to do. I don’t know what you need in school A in Duplin County, or school B in Wake County, and I don’t know whether you ought to have 10 in this class of handicapped. You can do that now. Or whether you need 110 in a class of sixth graders with a team of 3 teachers. I’ve seen that work beautifully with the right kids and the right schools. I don’t know what that ideal number is and neither do you. What I do know is, if I’ve got the flexibility to put that into computers, in materials and staff development, staff training, I can do more with a finite or a shrinking pot of money. I don’t need my hands tied because folks, I’m not going to be graded on whether my school succeeds or not. I was for 40-some years. You, Madam Principle and you Mr. Superintendent, are going to be graded on your school performance and you’re going to get an A through an F. Now we know what you’ve been doing. With this total flexibility, I’m going to be taking a close look and sharing this with the Ed Oversight Committee, on what you do now that you’ve got the flexibility you’ve told me you needed for years. For example, you connect two a zero teachers, if you wanted to do that, and convert that to say with benefits, let’s say it’s $100,000. It won’t be quite that much. But let’s say it converts to $100,000. You take that $100,000 in each school or what schools choose to do that, use it the best way you see fit. Then we can hold you responsible even more than we are now. This takes the cap off the class sizes and the Raleigh paper had a good time saying that we’ll have classes with all kind of crazy numbers in it. If you do, fine. Go ahead. Get me results and I don’t care. If you have 30 or 13, I care less. I do care whether you made progress or not and we’re going to grade you on that. That puts the responsibility in the hands where it belongs. We’ve never done that. We’ve never gone that other step. Then that gives you the whole carte blanche in your hands. That’s why I did the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator Tillman. Senator Bryant, you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question and then a comment. And the question is for Senator Tillman or for staff. I don’t know what this reporting scheme is, schema is in the bill, the codes and I read it but I don’t know what it really means. Can you give me some every-day plain-people’s language on what would they be reporting when they publish this information on the website on October 15, what would that tell us? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have staff, yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In plain language.

Chair Chris Nordstrom, fiscal research. Program report codes, that's essentially can think of that as like the allotments so, within the classroom teacher allotment, how do they spend that money within the text booked allotment, how did they spend their money, object codes, specifically what the money was spent on. For example was the money spent on a regular classroom teacher, was the money spent on a textbook, was it spent on contracted service, those are examples of object codes. [Speaker Change] I'll follow up. [Speaker Change] Follow up. [Speaker Change] And how will that have meaning to me? Or to Mrs. Smith, a parent trying to understand what's happening with the school system. How will that have meaning? Is it, will that tell us something? [Speaker Change] Let me take that. [Speaker Change] ?? [Speaker Change] We know what you did, we're gonna know what you did this year. We know what you did last year, on your test score, on your performance. We're gonna know what you do next year under this schema, that's a good word you used there. Under this schema we're gonna know what you did next year. And those test scores are gonna be plain for everybody to see, and I'm gonna say hey, you had all this flexibility and you went from a C to a D, your test scores dropped. Now we may need to pull this flexibility away from you, 'cuz you don't know how to use it. We gonna have the report card data, we're gonna be clearly able to see whether we getting results or not. Everybody told me they wanted to do this. Democrats and Republicans said I wish I'd would have done this a long time ago. [Speaker Change] Follow up. [Speaker Change] Follow up. [Speaker Change] Follow up. [Speaker Change] I just have, when he, his answer raised another question. I didn't see in here either one or two things which would have given me a little more confidence. I didn't see any connection on this reporting two scores. Like somehow tying it or it would be reported in conjunction with or something maybe you're assuming that will happen, but I didn't see anything in the bill that connected the two. So that accountability, results were connected with these reports. And secondly I didn't see anything in the bill that said this flexibility is tied to results and consequently if no results or if less then satisfactory results some step will be taken and who is supposed to take that step. Now I could have missed it 'cuz I been reading a whole lot of things, I will admit. [Speaker Change] Mr. Chairman. [Speaker Change] Yes Senator Tillman. [Speaker Change] There's no need to tie your test scores to anything else, they will stand for themselves and we will know whether you made progress or not. And if the flexibility helps you make progress, and you can say I think this helped and we will take a look at it. It does not say that you will be punished if you don't, but let me tell you clearly they get that impression since they're gonna have to do a report annually now. On how they did on their test scores. So I think the hammer is there it may not be spelled out exactly but it is there. [Speaker Change] One last question and a comment. Are you open Senator Tillman to some provision that would make it clear to folks who might be renegades or feel like they were on your good side or something and might get away with this for multiple school calendar years, that there will be some consequence and the state board is to monitor this. I say that because, and I'm joining in my comment 'cuz I know I'm taking up time. But I'm concerned about LEA's who while you are saying do it if you want to you got carte blanche, we'll see what your results are, that's that childs school year down the drain, they can't ever, that child except to repeat cannot recoup that lost year of bad experimentation. So I'm just, it would make me feel more confident if there was somebody who was gonna take action within a certain amount of time if it appeared that this was not working as you were anticipating. [Speaker Change] In that wonderful statement I did hear a question. Yes my minds always open and I don't think I've got a good side since I've been down here, it's been beaten up so bad, I don't think there's a good side. I'm always open to something that will help a bill. [Speaker Change] And one comment on that as well. Accountability doesn't just come from state government or the state board. You have parents, and you have teachers in that community and that creates a lot of accountability as well. And if you think that a school system would be failing for three consecutive years without parents rising up I think that that would be an assumption that would be incorrect. [Speaker Change] I just have one more comment that I forget. And that is in the low wealth counties where we are, we have parents, we have accountability, we change school boards, we have state intervention you name it, we have it. But nothing replaces doubt, if you've got a certain amount of dollars and you gotta run the train, there's certain things you gonna have to do in declining resource, with declining resources and low tax base regardless. So you don't, people feel like they don't have a lot of choices, so we don't have unlimited possibilities, even though we have that accountability. And I'm concerned with that kind of less than experience over generations that this will not work well for many of us who have continually and persistently less in terms of dollars and resources to

They just 79 I like the concept of the bill so the changes clarifying questions please for your own schools that mania may not have the 60 weeks all of you in the summer, suggests that is one question second question and mike to be a provision for can still talk that if a section six shoes for children and, hey you getting a teacher comments to the school board association either by a bomb the school board association did contact with the villainess on four parents to be mandated we go forward without an incumbent president of the current bill . It does to give parents the option to opt out because some parents might choose to a white one, someone is senator john Stenn is they might want to use alternative ways to build the system the way and will then I think we should be mandated parents of how they should be home page of the 200 pair of efficiency problems so when (SPEAKER CHANGES) through the back end with the farther than the 6 to 8 weeks on the liquid is still our current (SPEAKER CHANGES) with the current lobbies that all schools have to give some indication or the number of different things to be able to adjust the proportion to the school and summer middle of summer reading And then sell them to do was still are required to make the third place mall (SPEAKER CHANGES) but they do have to adapt to which is not for a little work on a deal with changing exist and that the case with most of the public schools act which is what ago which was currently logged as one can make it available for those students since the first and second edition weekend edition's and so the falcons are represented here I am a big as chairman of the spinach question known as a way of what is the budget and the distance you know in the program like this in the fifth week and are too often of the budget is the budget that we don't know what the current budgets to be all this stuff is that this is really a public private partnership whenever budget of good will never have enough money to serve all the summer rejects all of this will happen soon as the wisdom as you guessed it , compact with that this fiscal research on that one was less sure of chrysalis and fiscal research of the summer camps would not start full summer 2014 so was the budget for summer camps last year of a figure was in the mail maybe not sure that the initial goal of , for the overall hike from public schools act as 27,000,000 appropriate last year that covered all the requirements, did not include summer camps those are cycles are 2014 suppose our budget yet to hire other Graham think they consider this the quick questions written by nothing this is a good idea not allow the concept my question is a shipment of their funds to build on the late on a Cisco into a hole those kids running space available and up to a state where race away from the slide over the saint paul's question was, if you listen to a subsidiary of subjective way the week, we do this or that the competitive future that recommends with salt and whether the development of a DOS of the problem is that there's no real test of that ilk are great that we have to be difficult and are not reading proficiently so we're going to have to rely on feces on the weather didn't come with a special education teacher depression because that's the bet to sell them on this motley professor into a recommended to do so as endangered thinking to charities for the full picture instead of response to represent with lawyers question of a letter of intent that there was some concern for the school boards association was chairman religious little into school boards association representatives detail that so we know what the concern was how it's come in response to making a good morning nine S lee in line at the tractor tavern all relations for the North Carolina school boards association we do not have to see with the substance of what the bill's sponsors are trying to do we actually think that the city on good thing to try to address children before we get spam the third grade and had essentially a catcher for those children under two things that we ??......

Lower level in nearly level value can look to say the numbers of them each lesson we will have the payout make them available to you via 55 college level we already had that if my we will have let the choir loft and API is already in many reports that will say the number of like to say what they do with myself and the elk ridge of a clarification from staff , get that to some of the guards to class size they have a class size data is reported on the yacht school report cards on the DS school report card would say there's nothing in this bill that would change, anything related to the reporting of class sizes within the school report cards thank you-up two this moment, this a class in the back from will set the measure is a correct seasonings 99 without senator Newton has come from this area would like to recognize a fifth graders from Wilson elementary and rocking notes that some of this , (SPEAKER CHANGES) so I consider buying clothes that, if NMS today is educational inspiration two issue about education and affliction of our state government thank you for Boeing's classic in a 10-75 feet from all accounts, but that 2 minutes and then led by this far by only a winner taking this chairman senator excel 99 and Brian Lewis (SPEAKER CHANGES) I represent a North Carolina sissies and educators spoke too soon to tell me about this bill last week in an earlier today we've always enjoy their conversations with acid the senate from look at this bill we do appreciate the spirit of the bell a what we're asking for the senate to consider is to implement this bill over the pirates we feel pain C8 that we have learned a lot about school systems in what they value and the cuts if they've made over the last five years they've been had significant cuts we have the data from the department of public instruction that shows us that nine out of 10 cups happened in the classroom and we've known that since 2009 and I've spoken to Senator Tillman republicans democrats were all perplexed by bids were frustrated by this ASEA we feel like we're about to give our 115 Ali eighties even more discretion to make more cuts we have a proposal that is on the com the governor submitted his budget eliminates 3400 teacher assistants and all indications is that the city will follow suit in its budget proposal to your dad class I think a 33 with five lead teacher assistants no delegates class size will win CE class I still up in K through three and there will not be a teacher assisted in the classroom to help lead the size of the class I spoke to a GroupWise 99 S teachers how many students they had in their classrooms that spoke English as a second language and every single and went out and Alice Adams elementary schools in the band much else classroom five students speak English as a second language their parents don't even speak English and if we had we are putting more resources and allowing school districts to cut more resources from the classroom as much fun center thank you for allowing me to address the Knesset focus on those and fall by the winner as identify herself from combining nine S lee inland detractors governmental relations for the North Carolina school boards association MSAS to speak on behalf of the North Carolina Association of school administrators this morning that organization strongly support the spell them a companion senate bill that the wine obviously this came a mistake and CC nine flexibility in K3 class ice and we believe that this flexibility has always been needed for our school districts and said that we can give our children the best opportunities there are FTC every and clearly up two flights of stairs, and that we slightly to CS I's M E's lee and then astray should we ask that flexibility in the plank said that we would have that ability ETSI programs for children that would be the most effective the research is saying that we need class sizes of 1 to 15 ??.......

C2 BMS effective MMM nine to be able to do is have the flexibility said that we can do it for the core subjects reading FM and have higher classes for word from the rest of the children, many say could not support that this general assembly that time could not support that ms we've always had demanded a class size numbers say we hope you will give us a slacks ability we think it will AR districts and helping children and their education going forward thank you for taking slimmer than any further comments and questions from the seventh as soon as chairman (SPEAKER CHANGES) essentially I think you Brian lee and both of you I will make a comment that if you read the bill way out if it's not the race and class sizes in KKR anywhere else in fact I would put my teachers, use of my office and nine or it may be even more into a three and then I would raise another question were untested all math science and operating in project like I would put more teachers then I would hope that that would relieve class also this bill does not do anything to lower tax to raise a glass of back and do the flexibility of the chairperson mail if you choose to do so weary most 80 and falls I can tell you that you can tell them were the best) and they're gonna be great if all what they do was put in there and thus that's only a moment from a affected their lives than asking for this democrats and republicans on the wholesale heartburn call from start to get more flexibility is like you why did he allow fender go back to save a lot and also a way that you can spend it all falls and you can spend all of the search of a man held the top of the same legal and the two are moving from Federal Court yesterday. (SPEAKER CHANGES) The motion for eight of the approach of the PCs unfavorable to Mitchell bill: for a duly research appropriations of orange juice and I oppose say no to the ice habits and triple creations to 277 this when we have no to Hess’s said bill which evidently felt S back to basics and medicine are already open its claim to spendable we also have some represents hear from any questions and comments as well this is 7 to 2 43 20 and take you a Mr. Chairman and members of the committee from candidate Representative Shirley a serious, future now work on this and her bill has already passed the house I think unanimously on 37, I did this bill was sent last year alone lady from my district of a mother apparent from my district call me at the CDC noted they don't teach cursive writing schools anymore syndicates can write to an acid no I did know that on that some women I mention that the licensee said UNLV City more accidents can believe that solace conduct call the lady back in a suit will it's too late now we can do anything about it this year but make sure maybe we can try back to bill drawn up in a legal mind as Canada’s left it there NFL well, funding introduces are not on and then what made me introduce the bill was upstairs in the preparation for in which is basically dislike this room had a bunch of students from my district on the Disney on the best and brightest thing leadership that they were saying all Ramey dislike the S and start talking industry on a conversation I setup, bill , to require cursive writing schools and motivation tables would you think of it in a CE Annie Proulx introduce at that level, right away like that of the missing are you serious and said that they'll take a summer rally we all like that seeks to walk a right to set up some of what excel as it be a wealth of montauk year waiver to see two, became the message no please introduce a bill, we would like to know how to write to the city that doesn't so much reduced the bail , until that's kind sad story didn't respond caucuses were wonderful seven FM introduce the bill calls a file. But I really introduced the bill just go for the kids ??....

[Speaker changes.]...uh...they asked me to. To me it's common sense. I mean I don't...I can't imagine ya'know...reading, writing, 'rithmetic. Another little anecdote...true story...is a lady that does a show called "Fox and Friends", which I'd never heard of...anybody ever heard of that? It's somethin' on TV. ???????, have you heard of that. You have? Yeah, I don't know what that is but she called me from New York City and she said ...could you come up here and be on this show and if you can't, we'll pick you up in Hickory and take you to Charlotte and do the show...and I said, I can't I've already got plans. But she said, "we wanna do a story on this". And she said, are you serious that down there, you hafta tell them to teach writing? And I said, "I'm afraid this is true." And she said, "It sounds like a joke." She said, what would they say if you said, "You have to teach reading."? Do you have to mandate that too? She said, "Are these the schools?". And, I said, "This is a true story.". (Laughter.) Anyway...other than that, I don't [INAUDIBLE.] If it's not common sense, I don't really know why we have a school system. [Speaker changes.] Thank you, Senator ??????? Do we have any questions or comments from the Senate? [Speaker changes.] Senator Stein. [Speaker changes.] Your bill specifies "cursive writing" as opposed to "writing", I mean I do believe our children learn to write. It's just that they're not learning cursive anymore. And I was just talking with Senator Tarte. He actually writes letters in "cursive". The only time I have used cursive in the last thirty years was my very poor signature...and maybe to have improved my signature be worthy to teach cursive but I just heard twenty minutes of Senator Tillman reminding me how we don't know anything...and we don't know what kids should learn. We...it's not for us to dictate who should learn what. And here we are dictating that we should teach something that no one uses anymore. [Speaker changes.] Excuse me. I beg to differ that people don't use cursive writing. I beg to differ and I wanna...this is something I got from the Supervisor of Pages. The Supervisor of Pages here wrote me and said "The Senate Pages are wonderful and our office truly appreciates their service. Little side note: Notice how the letter is written in print, not cursive. Daniel, a junior in high school, was not taught how to read or write in cursive. Another buy product of not being to write in cursive is you can't read it." So, you know, with your fine education and your Ivy League background and your law degree, you may not need this but, for most people, it's helpful to be able to write. [Speaker changes.] Thank you. I would like to let Representative Hurley, we have a companion bill...House Bill 146. I'd like to have her come up and share her point of view on this bill as well. [Speaker changes.] Thank ya'll for havin' me this morning. I came in a little bit different. I got a...I had a class of fourth graders here a coupla' years ago and they all...their teacher had me to write, had them write me a letter..thank you letters. This is a letter from the teacher in cursive...and this is a letter from the children and they all printed...printed their names and everything and I really appreciate it. But I started askin' fourth graders...they don't know how to write because to me, when I get printing, I think their haven't learned how to write. And so, I started askin'...and, at our Rotary meeting, we had the superintendent of our city schools...we have city and county schools...and we had the superintendent there as well as the chairman of the city school board and they gave us time for questions and I said "Is it true that we are not teaching our children to write cursive anymore?". And the superintendent of the..the School Board Chair said "I am gonna defer to the superintendent." And she said, well yes and no. They give the teachers the decision to teach or not teach so many of our students in North Carolina are not learning...of the 115 systems that we have, we heard back from 65, we heard from three more...two do not teach it at all, two counties do not teach it at all. Some teach...let teachers decide whether they will or not. Some teach it off and on. So the reason I decided to do this bill is because I feel that every student, every child in North Carolina needs this opportunity...because they cannot read it. Most of the time if you cannot write it, you cannot read it and I think all of you know that....

We get cursive writing letters from our constituents. We couldn't do our job if we couldn't read cursive. We've had this opportunity and I think it's very important that we give other students the opportunity. And the special needs children and the children that need the extra help, there's help there for that. To be honest there's no problem with doing this. It can fit right into our curriculum. There's no cost to this. It's just important and it helps the self-esteem. It helps the child period. The children I asked this morning, the one was not taught it, the other two were. They said they weren't really good at it. Our pages that I asked this morning. And I talked to the charter school, they are still teaching it. So are Christian schools, so are private schools. They are still teaching it. I've had all kinds of people. I've had BBC come and talk to me the other day and they did an interview. And I've had different ones to call-- to come in and take different comments. I've had NNO wrote, believe this or not, but the NNO wrote that this should pass. That our students need to learn cursive writing. Supposedly it helps brain activity, it helps hand eye contact, and I've got no really negative except it's not really used because of the digital age. And I've got no real problem with that, but I feel that it's very important they they use this skill to be able to succeed at life. In our news paper office, a lady brought in a note, she wanted to put information in the newspaper, an announcement. The girl who took it in at the counter could not read it. Even though she was home school she could not read it. Had to take it to someone else to translate. We don't need cursive to become a foreign language also. I'll be glad to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Ross.. Chairman Tillman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman I've got to clear up Senator Stein's erroneous statement. I didn't say we don't care what you teach. I just say we don't care how you spend the money. Representative Hurley the NNO endorsed it, and I'm afraid this bills in trouble now. I'm still going to vote for it. And thank you, you and senator Allran have both done a lot of work and I appreciate that and I do care what we teach. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. It's for discussion only today, but I do have a couple of questions here. I'm going to let Senator Peet please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. And either Rep Hurley or Senator Allran can answer this. I see in the bill summary it also talks about multiplication tables, and I wonder if either of them has any comment on the school system apparently not requiring the memorization of the multiplication tables. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Alrand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Pate, the only thing I can say is if they schools don't teach reading, writing and arithmetic, what are they for other than some type of socialization. If we're socializing the students but not teaching them really anything, they're not going to be smart enough, intelligent enough to read anything, write anything, to think, to know if they're being socialized well or not socialized well. That's very dangerous. I mean reading, writing and arithmetic. You can't do arithmetic if you don't know the multiplication tables. It's not possible. That's why they can't divide, they can't make change when they work at the stores without using a machine. That's not teaching people to think for themselves. That's letting machines think for people and other people think for people. That's dangerous. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rayburn, did you have a question as well? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well more like a comment because I can't resist. Even with regard to Senator Pate sitting next to me I've probably seen more history than anyone in this room and I have absolutely abhorred that this discussion, or debate, is even necessary. When we start putting down discipline, when we start putting down the responsibility to learn, when we don't demand that students do what they're supposed to do, we are on a downward path toward oblivion. We will be like the Roman Empire, gone. This debate should be absolutely not even considered. This discipline of cursive writing, how will our children ever learn from the Constitution if they can't read it. This is silly. The bill shouldn't even be needed if the education system were working properly. Sorry I got emotional, but. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'll let Representative

Representative Shepard to make a comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I appreciate Representative Hurley to be a part of this. I think we all agree that digital learning and technology is very important for our school system, but I don’t think we need to leave behind some of the very important elementary and basics of education that we also talked about today, arithmetic, multiplication tables and writing. I’m going to share just one brief story, as Chair of a Committee, Joint Committee with the Senate and the House and Appropriations. A couple of weeks ago I was given a sheet with all the pages name listed on there, they were not written in cursive they were printed. I could not read 2 of the 3, I had to go through the pages and say, “What is your name?” because I couldn’t read those. So, I do think that should even say to us we should emphasis even more that cursive is very important and the basics. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES]We do have a few questions, let me run through them. We’re going to go to Senator Robinson, Barringer and Cook. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. I have question then a comment because part of the summers where I have kept my grand-daughter has been about, has to read so many books, has to do reports, written reports and then has to do multiplication tables, so, that has grown up and I’m an old grandma too. The question I have for staff is, on the SAT and the PSAT, the writing section is that cursive or print or is it flexible? How is that being done now? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Robinson, on that ACT North Carolina has chosen to include the writing sub-test, students do not have to write in cursive on the sub-test, but many choose to because they feel that it is a faster way to respond because it is a time test. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The only comment I have, I think while I’m more concerned about the reading and being able to put that back into words, whether it’s cursive, print or whatever, I’m more concerned about the funding and the support. The question I do have, is this going to be a requirement for teachers in terms of some kind of testing or something? It’s not going to be a part of the requirement that we’re implementing, is it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hurley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is left up to DPI, they will between kindergarten and 5th grade. They will be deciding when it will be taught and how it will be done, they’ll have know how to teach it and know whether the child is learning it or not. DPI supports this. May I speak to the [numeralization] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me go through the Senator’s question. Senator Binder do you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually it’s a comment. Should I hold it, or may I? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You may. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This relates really to Senator Pate had raised the question about the math and the multiplication tables. I think it’s critical because I think it’s important the brain development. Its good gymnastic but it’s also, I’m a big consumer advocate and I’ve taken my children into stores and there 40% off sales, the 30% off sales and I was appalled because there was a calculator lying there and I thought who left that behind and I looked in the stores had laid calculators at the tables so that people could pick them up and figure out what 30% was and 20% off was or whatever. I’m not sure that the people didn’t know the multiplication table or whether they could have actually done that on the calculator anyway, to do a decimal. The point is that it’s important for consumer protection, for the daily skill in life to know how to buy things and all of that, like counting change and all. I think the multiplication tables, be able to use those and the decimals and all the basics are very important, because we’re not always going to have a cell phone in our pocket. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Cook do you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You just said what I was thinking pretty much. I’ll relate another comment though. My wife tutors students after school and she is always just amazed at that these elementary school students haven’t got a clue, 2 times 2, I mean it’s sad. In fact I can relate this, I used to teach adult literacy and some of these people, adults, in fact I remember one woman who had a child, who would stay away from

sales because she did not understand, what 30 percent off meant we have to do better were taking a step in the right direction. We have a comment from senator barefoot now ill have representative Hurley from a final announcement. ugh just a question to any of the bill sponsors. for the teachers or la's shows not to teach cursive writing in the classroom. Did you run across what you were replacing it with that time. We do not know who was and who wasn't teaching it. we don't know who were getting left out or ones who did learn. but i couldn't get i did call the county schools and do a little survey for me and they had them right in cursive with 5th graders and some not could not capitalize, and out of these 15 wrote in cursive. The other printed so this was my little test i didn't know who they were. They had to sign in student so i could not know who they were the teachers who were or were not. Thank you and lets conclude this in one more final comment and lets conclude with that. I was just going to thank you Mr. chair man i was just going to do the cursive writing i didn't think about the multiplication, and was asked to do that because somehow. are they being taught with fingers, by nines. I don't know how to do it and i was just wondering if any of you will be able to do it. Because i want to think what there doing. I don't know maybe someone out there does, but the children do someone said they were doing tests out there and the classroom was full. One girl was so fluent in doing that that everyone stopped and watched her do it. i can imagine something about nines if you do this or do one down. whatever it mean something else. memorizing you got that with you always. it can go down but you ave your memory with you most of the time. and i would ask your support when we vote on this. thank you for the discussion on that that is all we have for today. The meeting is adjourned