|Martha Guinan||Special Education Advisory Council||V. B Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) transition on revisions to Strive HI Performance System||Comment|
|Jim Shon||Hawaii Educational Policy Center||V. B Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) transition on revisions to Strive HI Performance System||Support|
Kathy Ratliffe, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Hawaii, presented the modules to the Board. The Activating Educators Focus on Family Engagement (“AFFECT”) project, funded by The Learning Coalition, began in 2012. Three modules were created to support pre-service teachers. The modules are available to the public and are now integrated into teacher curriculum at the University of Hawaii. The modules offer support in getting to know students, communicating with families, and engaging with families. The university has formed partnerships with The Learning Coalition and the Hawaii State Teachers Association to create a professional development course, the first of which was offered in Fall 2015. Two additional courses are planned to be released sometime this year. The organization is now considering a module that will focus on students in specific populations.
Kevin Traynor, Ph.D. candidate in Student Curriculum Studies, walked the Board through an example of an online module with clickable topics and categories connected to theories, activities, and additional data. Embedded videos can be found throughout the modules as well. The modules are made for teacher educators and teacher candidates. The organization began with parent, professor, and classroom teacher interviews and followed up with conferences with fictional scenarios to invoke discussion and ideas.
Ex Officio Committee Member Brian De Lima left the room at 10:47 a.m.
Ratliffe stated that 13 teachers took the professional development course in Fall 2015. Teachers in the program made newsletters, created mechanisms for interacting with parents, held culture days and job fairs, and participated in online communication, as well as student led conferences, with parents. Next steps for the organization include developing a fourth module focusing on students in specific categories, offering an additional professional development course on Oahu and neighbor islands, and documenting the effectiveness of services offered and developing additional material for professional development.
Committee Vice Chairperson Jim Williams asked how they will determine whether the modules and professional development courses are effective. Ratliffe stated that they are just embarking on this portion of the program, so they have ideas, like case studies in classrooms and documenting how the program changes teachers’ strategies.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams further asked how the module addressing students in specific populations would address the different theoretical perspectives of diverse groups. Ratliffe stated that they would start from a common social-cultural perspective, but they are still wrestling with how to develop this module. Traynor replied that within each module, each topic has a different theory and facts, and the new module may be broken up that way.
Committee Member Amy Asselbaye asked for clarification on the goal of the modules and how they affect student achievement. Ratliffe explained that the goal is to see how the modules change teacher practice and affect student achievement far beyond the classroom. When teachers engage families and support their awareness of what students are learning, families can better support student achievement. Traynor added that the modules help teachers create a more welcoming atmosphere and engage students in language and culture, helping students to better express themselves.
Committee Chairperson Halagao thanked the presenters for their work and effort to design these modules for Hawaii’s cultures.
Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima returned at 10:56 a.m.
B. Presentation on Comprehensive Student Support System (“CSSS”)
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instructure, and Student Support, and Debra Farmer, Education Specialist, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support presented on the agenda item. The Comprehensive Student Support System (“CSSS”) has been used in the Department for almost 20 years. It is a holistic system that provides proactive, appropriate support and the delivery of timely interventions for all students to ensure success. CSSS is one of the six priority strategies and includes Response to Intervention (“RTI”). Implementation of CSSS is crucial in supporting students’ growth and achievement. Over the years, the system has been refined and adjusted to keep focus on academic, physical, behavioral, and familial aspects.
The Department of Education (“Department”) has been working with the Special Education Advisory Council on the parent portion of a state systemic improvement plan. Mulcahy stated that it is important to build a cocoon around students by engaging with and connecting with parents so that they can come alongside the Department to better support their children.
The CSSS provides a continuum of evidence-based supports and interventions for students’ needs. Mulcahy clarified that there are school-wide academic and behavioral supports in place for all students, including universal screening for academics and behavior and continuous progress monitoring to track effectiveness of interventions. These supports are provided before there is any kind of Individual Education Program or special education. CSSS is not something separate, but is rather the basis of everything that school administration and leadership do. The Department monitors progress to make sure implementation is improving the growth and achievement of students. Students that do not respond to interventions are considered for other options, such as special education testing. The system has been a powerful tool among school administrations committed to implementation.
The Electronic Comprehensive Student Support System (“eCSSS”) monitors students and action plans to share information between schools when there is a student transfer.
CSSS uses team-based, data-driven decision making when building this cocoon around the student. The team needs to collect, chart, and analyze data, set smart goals, determine the interventions and strategies to use, and determine how the student will be monitored. An important part of this process is to ensure that teachers have articulation time to get together during the workday to get into their teams and monitor interventions.
The system focuses on individual students but has a school-wide effect.
There is a renewed focus on CSSS. During 2015 there were statewide complex area workshops. They are now beginning a second round where the workshops are customized based on complex area needs based on complex area staff requests. These workshops come with additional technical assistance and follow-ups as requested.
Next steps include continuing to provide technical support in identified areas of growth and bringing cohesion to the six priority strategies.
Student Representative Brennan Lee stated that Mulcahy’s cocoon reference really stood out to him and he envisioned that cocoon when thinking about the cocoon around him created by of parents, alumni, and staff in his high school marching band. Lee stated that incorporation of this principle would be very successful in the classroom.
Mulcahy agreed with Lee and, in reference to Lee’s marching band analogy, stated that all instruments must work together to create the right sound. The Department works with the Special Education Advisory Council and other organizations to help engage with students. Mulcahy added that everyone wants to engage with families but are not sure how to do so. It is time to join together, and the CSSS helps with that.
Committee Member Asselbaye asked Mulcahy about future changes, wraparound services, and transferring students out of the CSSS. Mulcahy explained wraparound services are an extended version of the support system if the community is built up. It has been an issue for health because historically education and health are separated due to liability, but the Department is learning that a larger cocoon and more services are needed for students. For students transferring in and out of the system, the parents should be involved in the conversations. There are meetings for discussion and decisions, and everything is documented.
Committee Member Asselbaye asked for clarity on building more comprehensive services versus experimenting to provide more support. Mulcahy stated that pieces become bigger based on the context of the community. The CSSS provides a framework based on the needs of the students. Mulcahy stated if the Department is going to move forward with providing these services, the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support would need to get a little bigger because right now there is one person in the health section.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams asked about the universal screening for academics and behavior. Mulcahy responded that it is up to the school to decide what assessment it will use to screen students. The STAR Reading Assessment is a standard screening for all students, and subsequent screenings are only for students who appear to need support.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams asked how implementation varied across the state from a student’s point of view. Mulcahy stated that there is variation, but she could not quantify it. There will be complex area workshops to train for consistency to help students.
Ex Officio Committee Member Brian De Lima stated that he would like to understand the extent of resources and implementation of CSSS in each school. He also stated that the success stories come from elementary schools and hoped that students will have the skills to perform at middle and high school. High schools have more resources, but in many ways it is counterintuitive because time is of the essence. Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima stated success stories should be shared, and unless there is a foundation of competency-based understanding, students will not be able to perform in middle and high school. Mulcahy stated that she would present to the Student Achievement Committee in April and May, and she will revisit the topic of CSSS briefly, provide information on “bright spot” schools used as models for the system, and explain how students go from CSSS to special education.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams clarified that there will be an update to the Committee next month on competency-based education. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that there needs to be a support system for competency-based education.
Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima stated that more interventions should be put on the lowest performing students early on to prevent future problems for these students.
Committee Chairperson Halagao stated that the Committee will go deeper into specific examples at the April Student Achievement Committee Meeting.
Action on the action was deferred to a future Student Achievement Committee Meeting. The new school health policy will revise policies 103.2, Student Health Services, and 103.4, School Based Health Centers, into one policy.
B. Committee Action on impact of Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) transition on revisions to Strive HI Performance System for 2015-2016 School Year
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, stated that the Department is looking at the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) and standard practices for implementation in the 2017-2018 school year. Schatz explained that the change in federal law requires changes to Strive HI, which can cause some awkwardness when looking at results from year to year, but the Department is making an effort to provide consistency throughout the field. The recommendation attempts to mitigate having different accountability systems for each school year. Schatz stated that having multiple measures is important, and the Department is receiving feedback from the field about what matters.
Committee Member Don Horner arrived at 11:50 a.m.
Schatz recommended that the Department continue reporting on all Strive HI metrics, but stop aggregating data points into a Strive HI index score. The Department would also stop ranking schools using these index scores. Complex Area Superintendents were amenable to the idea but want to make sure they would have appropriate supports and resources for schools. The Department is working more closely than even with the Complex Area Superintendents to make sure resources get to the schools.
Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance, stated that the Department spoke extensively to the Complex Area Superintendents to lay out issues. She stated that this is probably the first of what will likely be several different things that will be necessary to transition to ESSA, but the Department wanted to get this information to the schools as soon as possible because it is important to the schools and principals. Chun stated that the Department had reviewed the Special Education Advisory Council testimony and shared that all Strive HI information being requested is already provided publicly. Chun distributed samples of school level report information to the Committee accompanied by the site URL to connect the public with the information (http://ww.hawaiipublicschools.org/report/strivehi).
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams thanked the Department for its initiative and had been interested to see how the enactment of the ESSA would affect Strive HI. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams asked for clarification on the specific years that would be reflected in results. Chun replied that the memo distributed reflected this school year’s performance, and school year 2016-17 will be reported in Fall 2017 based on the new ESSA accountability system. The Department intends to have a decent structure by late summer for the following school year.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated he fully supports the Department’s recommendation and clarified that federal funds are made available to all qualified schools identified, including charter schools. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams also asked about the n-size (sample size) for subsets of students. Chun replied that under No Child Left Behind a specific minimum n-size was set by federal law. The guidance for an n-size under ESSA has not been definitively established yet, but they expect that the federal government will develop regulation around this. It will likely be a year before this guidance is issued, so the Department plans to use the n-size established under No Child Left Behind for this school year and consider whether it can be reduced for future reports.
Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima stated that the super subgroups mask the underperformance of special education students for the purposes of providing index scores to schools. Schatz replied super subgroups were actually meant to solve the masking problem by making sure the n-size is large enough to report. Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima requested the federal regulations and guidelines surrounding the n-size requirement and stated he would like to get to the lowest n-size possible.
Committee Member Asselbaye asked for clarification on the suspension of index and ranking under Strive HI and whether a suspension meant that they could be reinstituted in the future. Schatz replied that this is a conversation that will need to take place. How do you create a useful and not arbitrary system that supports schools that are not doing well, but does not rank them. Chun clarified that all of the systems before ESSA required public reporting and ranking. ESSA still requires significant and additional public reporting requirements. For accountability, the system needs to annually meaningfully differentiate schools and need to identify the lowest performing 5% of schools every 3 years. No ranking or categorization is required for the other 95% of schools.
Committee Member Horner asked whether the students in the high needs group are equally weighted. Chun replied that all students that have the characteristic are included in the group. In Hawaii the Free and Reduced Lunch (“FRL”) category has a lot more students than special education and English language learners, so the performance of the FRL category tends to drive the achievement gap score.
Committee Member Horner also asked whether the reports were prepared on a complex area basis. Chun replied that the reports are prepared on a school and state level. Committee Member Horner stated that he would think that you want to look at things on a complex area basis; the data is there, so it is just a matter of how you roll it up.
Committee Chairperson Halagao confirmed that ESSA allows the state accountability system to look at non-academic metrics. Chun confirmed that this was correct, but clarified that academic measurements still needed to be a significant portion of the system. Committee Chairperson Halagao stated that teachers have expressed interest in senior projects and not just test scores and expressed her hope that this would be considered. Chun stated that she would come back to the Board with some parameters for guidance since accountability should measure and represent the body of policies we have.
Committee Chairperson Halagao asked whether the schools have access to more detailed data on the high needs group. Chun replied that teachers have access to more information and that the Department is looking at changing significantly how information is presented. Committee Chairperson Halagao also asked about the Special Education Advisory Council’s suggestion to present information by race and ethnicity, not just by subgroups. Chun replied that schools can access this information through the Longitudinal Data System, but that it is not publicly reported. A discussion would have to occur about which groups they would want to disaggregate. Committee Chairperson Halagao suggested that Asian and Pacific ethnic categories need to be further disaggregated in Strive HI in order for the data to be useful. Schatz and Chun agreed.
ACTION: Motion to approve Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) transition on revisions to Strive HI Performance System for 2015-2016 School Year, as provided for in the Department’s memorandum dated March 1, 2016 (Williams/Horner). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
C. Committee Action on draft of administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams presented a memorandum to the Committee and thanked the Board staff for assistance. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that there is an urgency to move forward with the administrative rules due to the long process. There were many preliminary comments received that required additional consideration, prolonging the process. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams proposed that the Committee hold a special Student Achievement Committee meeting on March 15 for the proposed rules that would go to the General Business Meeting on the same day for action. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams shared the revisions proposed to move forward. Attached to the memorandum were preliminary comments and the draft rules, including revisions from the Legislative Reference Bureau. The Department of the Attorney General proposed including criteria for applications for chartering authority within the rules. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams directed attention to the area highlighted in yellow in section 8-515-5, subchapter 2, for a framework to insert criteria. The preliminary comments and draft rules would be reviewed for the March 15, 2016 meeting.
ACTION: Motion to approve the draft of the proposed Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapters 8-515 and 8-517, as presented in Board Member Jim Williams’ memorandum circulated at the Committee meeting on March 1, 2016 (Williams/Asselbaye).
Committee Vice Chairperson Jim Williams asked to amend the main motion in considering one of the comments requesting a specific change to the draft rules. A comment from Aha Punana Leo requested a change in section 8-515-10(a)(2) to include “locally and nationally recognized principals.” Committee Vice Chairperson Williams stated that there are no locally recognized principals. Instead, Committee Vice Chairperson Williams suggested inserting “as applicable to local conditions” after “apply nationally recognized principles and standards for quality charter authorizing.”
Committee Member Asselbaye clarified that there are no local policies for evaluating applications for chartering authority because they are based on nationally recognized standards. Committee Member Asselbaye asked what the proposed amendment would change. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams provided an example. When looking at authorizer applicants, one proposal may want to limit its charter schools to Hawaiian culture based schools.
Committee Member Asselbaye verified that the language would allow applicants to delineate a local context in terms of the application process. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams confirmed it would put the standards in a local context and consider what is unique about charter schools in Hawaii; we are not changing the national standards.
Committee Member Horner asked how much granularity the rules would have in regards to criteria. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams replied that the Department of the Attorney General and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (“NACSA”) requested an additional level of detail. He stated that they will need to look at what NACSA proposed, what is in statute, what anyone else suggests, and develop a list. Financial capacity is a good one because people are assuming that additional authorizers will be funded by the state, but that is incorrect.
ACTION: Motion to amend the main motion to include an amendment to section 8-515-10(a)(2) of the proposed administrative rules to add “as applicable to local conditions” before “in assessing performance.” (Williams/Asselbaye). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
ACTION: The main motion, as amended, carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Committee Vice Chairperson Williams mentioned that the purpose of the Committee vote is to show the public where the Committee stands on the administrative rules.
ACTION: Motion to withdraw the February 2, 2016 Committee recommendation to the Board that it approve the draft of the proposed Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapters 8-515 and 8-517 and set a deadline of March 9, 2016 for preliminary comments from the public on the draft administrative rules (Williams/Horner). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Ex Officio Committee Member De Lima clarified that people can still provide comments on the rules. Committee Vice Chairperson Williams confirmed this and stated that the deadline is to allow Board staff enough time to assemble and organize the comments for the Committee’s consideration.