STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COMMITTEE
Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Patricia Bergin, Vice Chairperson
Grant Chun, Esq.
Brian De Lima, Esq.
Andrea Lyn Mateo (student representative)
Kenneth Uemura, ex officio
Margaret Cox, Chairperson
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent
Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support
Alison Kunishige, Esq., Board Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Board Private Secretary
I. Call to Order
The Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) meeting was called to order by Committee Vice Chairperson Patricia Bergin at 11:03 a.m.
II. *Public testimony on Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) agenda items
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin called for public testimony. The following people provided oral testimony.
|De Austin||Hawaii State Teachers Association (“HSTA”) ||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Momi Vincent ||HSTA||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Jodi Kunimitsu||HSTA||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Chris Santomauro||HSTA||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Amanda Seymore||HSTA||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Debbie Anderson||HSTA||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Martha Guinan||Special Education Advisory Council||IV.A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education|
IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability
|Corey Rosenlee||HSTA||IV.A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education|
IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability
De Austin, Hawaii State Teachers Association (“HSTA”), testified on the negative impacts of standardized testing, such as loss of instructional time.
Momi Vincent, HSTA, testified on student experiences in special education (“SPED”) classes regarding standardized testing and described the positive impacts of authentic assessment. Vincent detailed why standardized testing is unsuitable for students that receive special education services and shared how her students suffer from performance anxiety.
Jodi Kunimitsu, HSTA, testified on the emphasis of standardized testing in public schools and described the shift she observed happen from educating the whole child to standardized testing and standard-based grading. She shared different ways that student achievement can be measured.
Chris Santomauro, HSTA, testified on the benefits of applying for the federal authentic assessment grant pilot. He detailed his personal experience with using Springboard and described the negative impact that Springboard has on his students.
Amanda Seymore, HSTA, testified on standardized testing in the classroom. She described the constraints of mandatory testing and shared how she teaches basic skills in her classroom.
Debbie Anderson, HSTA, testified on her support of the federal authentic assessment pilot and described the significance of senior projects. Anderson described the critical thinking skills and problem solving skills that students gain from senior projects and mentioned research she has done.
Martha Guinan, Special Education Advisory Council (“SEAC”), testified on the SEAC’s recommendations regarding inclusion and authentic assessment. Guinan stated that least restrictive environments are preferred to inclusion and described how schools can meet the needs of students. She also shared indicators for measuring the achievement gap and suggested setting targets for each sub-group.
Corey Rosenlee, HSTA, testified on next steps for improving inclusion and accountability. He discussed the importance of special education coordinators and detailed different ways to measure why the achievement gap exists.
Committee Member Hubert Minn expressed appreciation for the teachers who provided testimony and their commitment to their students. He described how he relates and noted that testing is a measurement of the system, not an indicator of the students.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin expressed appreciation for teachers who provided testimony and noted that standardized testing and authentic assessment are serious issues. She stated that these issues need to be a priority for Committee Members.
Written testimony was also received and provided to the Committee Members. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.
|Mireille Ellsworth||Waiakea High School||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Support/Comment|
|Debbie Anderson ||Hawaii Association of School Librarians ||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|David Negaard||H.P. Baldwin High School||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Martha Guinan/Ivalee Sinclair||SEAC||IV.A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education ||Comment|
|Martha Guinan/Ivalee Sinclair||SEAC||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer||University of Hawaii West Oahu||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Momi Vincent||Kaʻûmana Elementary School ||IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability||Comment|
|Justin Hughey||King Kamehameha III Elementary||IV.A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education||Comment |
|Corey Rosenlee ||HSTA ||IV.A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education|
IV.B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of November 1, 2016
ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee Meeting minutes of November 1, 2016 (De Lima/Minn). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
IV. Discussion Items
A. Presentation on special education inclusion in the Department of Education
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support, stated that she believes in inclusion and has seen the results and noted that students that receive special education services, English Learners (“EL”), and Title I students learn better in inclusive settings. Mulcahy said that it is not enough to say schools will have inclusive practices. She highlighted that teachers need time to work with their colleagues and time for professional development, and that principals need to have time to develop master schedules that allow for the implementation of inclusion.
Mulcahy noted that inclusive practices include academic support and strategies provided to students with disabilities in an educational setting. Inclusion refers to students that receive special education services in general education settings with peers that do not have an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”). She noted, as an example, that EL students most likely will not learn English in a smaller setting with other students who do not know English. Inclusion is an approach to teaching that allows everyone to access course content and participate in learning to demonstrate their knowledge.
Mulcahy stated that inclusion does not sacrifice the needs of general education students and that it is important for students that receive special education services to interact with their general education peers because after graduation, these general education peers will become the village helping these students in life. Inclusion is not just taking students that receive special education services and placing them in a general education classroom; inclusion requires coordinated effort and training. Mulcahy also mentioned that inclusive practices are included in the Board of Education (“Board”) and Department of Education (“Department”) Joint Strategic Plan (“Joint Strategic Plan”) and noted that inclusion practices only requires the removal of students that receive special education from general education classrooms if their needs are so severe that supplemental services are unable to provide them with instruction. She also stated that student needs and IEP teams determine the least restrictive environment.
Mulcahy reviewed the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapter 60 (Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education for a Student with a Disability), and Board Policy 105-13 (Inclusion). She stated that the Department has the same expectations for all students, and there are no alternate standards for students that receive special education services. Inclusive practices help to support Hawaii Common Core standards because they provide vigorous instruction, learning opportunities, and opportunities to build peer relationships. She also highlighted instructional shifts that have happened with Hawaii Common Core standards to increase rigorous education.
Mulcahy stated that the rate of inclusion in Hawaii is low compared to the national average. Nationally, 61.2% of students with IEPs are in general education classes for at least 80% of the school day; in Hawaii it is only 36.8%, but it has been increasing. Mulcahy stated that the goal of inclusive practices is to improve student outcomes and to show that there are high expectations for all students, including students who have an IEP and EL students. Students who have access to grade-level curriculum and individualized instruction have higher self-esteem, positive attitudes, and ultimately better post-school outcomes. Mulcahy noted that research shows that students in general education classrooms have better post-secondary outcomes, higher scores, fewer absences, and fewer referrals for disruptive behavior regardless of disability, severity of disability, gender, or economic status.
Mulcahy mentioned working collaboratively with SEAC to develop a definition of inclusion. She detailed different delivery models and noted that it is up to the principal and his or her school to determine which model to implement. She described how Kailua Intermediate School has implemented a co-teaching model. This model includes two or more teachers jointly delivering instruction to a group of students. Approaches to this model include one teacher teaching while the other observes, parallel teaching, and station teaching. Mulcahy also detailed a consultative model, which includes special education teachers consulting with regular education teachers to adapt lessons, modify materials, identify accommodations and strategies, and provide specially designed instruction and assessments.
Mulcahy stated that most schools understand what inclusion is and have experienced it, but teachers and principals need more professional development. They need to understand the different models, and they need to understand how to create master schedules that allow for the implementation of inclusion. Mulcahy described a request for proposal her office developed to find a provider that can deliver robust professional development over the next two years to complex areas based on needs determined by the Complex Area Superintendents. She mentioned that this will create an opportunity for principals to receive training and for principals to collaborate with teachers. This will also help to identify additional resources that are needed. Mulcahy noted that she will share the methodology of tailoring professional development to the unique needs of Complex Area Superintendents in the future.
Mulcahy noted that rigorous instruction is just as important as inclusive practice and detailed the importance of innovative instruction to determine which strategies work best with which students. She noted that students may need to be placed in other settings based on their needs and detailed the importance of making sure other opportunities are available for students.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin inquired whether professional development and rigorous instruction will help to improve the rate of inclusion. Mulcahy stated that these strategies will help but that other strategies need to be considered as well.
Committee Member Minn stated that the goal should be to raise the percentage of students with IEPs in general education classes to about 40%. He stated that it is important to understand the root causes in each community and mentioned that inclusion may look different in different areas. Mulcahy agreed and noted that it is problematic if schools are not implementing inclusive practices.
Committee Member Minn noted that the definition of inclusion should be flexible and Mulcahy agreed.
Committee Member Grant Chun noted that inclusion is not watering down the curriculum and asked whether it is common practice for educators to adjust how students are evaluated in the inclusion setting and inquired how testing occurs in that environment. Mulcahy answered that it starts with the instructional process and focusing on students’ weaknesses. Differentiation is based on the needs of all students. Mulcahy noted the approach helps educators understand what students know. She noted that watering down the curriculum happens when educators tease out items that they think students can handle, but the students do not learn alongside their general education peers.
Committee Member Darrel Galera asked for clarification on the request for proposals. He inquired whether the central office will determine professional development and whether resources exist and asked why the Department would not give the funding to the schools to decide. Mulcahy stated that the state office developed the request for proposals, and other stakeholders, such as communities and principals, will determine who is awarded the contract. She noted that the central office is providing an array of choices and services to schools at no cost, based on the direction given by the Board and the Joint Strategic Plan. Committee Member Galera noted that it is important to have effective professional development and mentioned that the quality and success of professional development is dependent on whether the schools, principals, and teachers have a role in determining what that professional development is. He stated that he is in favor of empowering schools and having resources at schools. Committee Member Galera also detailed situations where initiatives were not implemented well because schools were not consulted.
Mulcahy explained that her concern as a former Complex Area Superintendent and Principal who led similar efforts is that money is being spent on inclusion efforts but the same conversations are recurring. She noted that the Department has let schools and principals purchase their own professional development in the past, but there has not been significant progress in the implementation of inclusion.
Committee Member Galera stated that it is important to seek competencies at the leadership level and to create a culture at schools where inclusion can occur. He mentioned that professional development is effective when it is created by leadership and noted that all principals need to have a strong understanding of this. Mulcahy noted that she has been collaborating with Complex Area Superintendents and mentioned that she is currently working with Barbara Krieg, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Human Resources, and Teri Ushijima, Leadership Institute Complex Area Superintendent on assignment, on identifying competencies in staff so that these competencies can be mastered during their training program.
Committee Member Galera stated that he previously met with vice principals about their diverse experiences with special education. He mentioned that some of them had strong experience and others had little experience and noted that it will pay off to provide them with professional development.
Committee Member De Lima agreed that educational leaders in schools are critical to building a culture of addressing the performance of students that receive special education services. He stated that Mulcahy is a good leader and has provided leadership in this area. Committee Member De Lima stated that the problem is not solely inclusive practices; rather, it is a multi-faceted issue. School culture is especially important, particularly in elementary school settings because sometimes teachers do not embrace the idea of inclusive practices. He described his personal experience working with his child’s teachers and mentioned that success is partly due to an inclusive setting where regular education students are able to become aware of and become friends with students that receive special education services. Committee Member De Lima noted that the successes due to students in classrooms cannot be minimized.
Committee Member De Lima described presentations by David Moyer, who previously worked at the Department, that showcased where there were successes and where the needle was moved in particular classrooms. He mentioned that Bright Spots and data were presented regarding the test results of students receiving special education services. He questioned whether these results were due to particular practices or due to a star teacher. Committee Member De Lima noted that Kailua Intermediate School’s inclusion co-teaching methodology needs to be scaled. He highlighted that the small percentage of schools that practice inclusive practices are due to professional development and embracing culture. It is important to identify what has been successful and include this in inclusion practices in the Joint Strategic Plan. Vulnerable students should have highly effective teachers. Committee Member De Lima stated that how this will be rolled out to principals is a priority for the Board.
Mulcahy mentioned that the Deputy Superintendent is working with the Complex Area Superintendents and stated that operationalization was discussed during leadership meetings during the development of the Joint Strategic Plan. She also mentioned that discussions are ongoing with District Education Specialists and stated that it is sometimes difficult to ensure that every student has a highly effective teacher because there are unlicensed teachers and individuals teaching outside of their field. She also stated that it leads to burn out when highly effective teachers are consistently working with the most difficult cases.
Committee Member Minn highlighted that teachers need to be part of this discussion as well. He stated that he would like to hear that teachers, principals, and Complex Area Superintendents are all working together. He highlighted that principals who are educated, understand, and accept special education are the biggest influences for success in schools and for students that receive special education services.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin noted that her concern regarding co-teaching methodology is the teacher shortage and the need for additional funding to put two teachers in a classroom.
B. Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on School Accountability
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, highlighted that the Joint Strategic Plan needs to drive the accountability system. He noted that the plan is to engage in dialogue with the Committee and the public through April and then present accountability measures to the Board for approval. The reason for this timeline is that the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) will continue to move to the federal level. He noted that the federal government will want to know what the measurements will be and what will matter in terms of the Joint Strategic Plan in advance of the upcoming school year. Schatz mentioned that the measures that are being proposed are based on the Joint Strategic Plan and will look at school accountability over time. He stated that the most revolutionary aspect of the proposal is to have statewide measures measured across all schools along with school specific or locally developed measures. He stated that this will be the biggest difference. Previously, federal compliance was the driving force, but in this version of the Strive HI performance system (“Strive HI”), the Joint Strategic Plan will be the driving document.
Schatz noted that measurements used to be one-size-fits-all, but the Department is looking at the opportunity to have locally selected student success measures. For example, individual schools or complex areas that are interested in measuring particular items. Schatz proposed a system in which there is no summative rating. He mentioned that under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, test scores and graduation rates were measured under previous versions of Strive HI and were aggregated into numbers and school classifications. The new Strive HI proposal will not aggregate this information into summative ratings. He stated this this proposal is similar to the proposal that was approved by the Board the previous year. It will be a report card that includes different indicators being measured, but without judgment. He stated that this will only include what is required by federal law and will not include classifications or summative ratings. Schatz proposed looking at metrics organized by the objectives in the Joint Strategic Plan and optional, locally selected measures of student success. He stated that some of the ideas in his presentation are already occurring locally.
Schatz noted that there will also be standards for statewide measures. Under ESSA, the option to apply for a federal assessment pilot exists, although no timeline has been provided yet. Schatz stated that he is open to dialogue, but his concern is that innovative data assessment will mean additional workloads for teachers and principals and can be arduous to put in place, especially if it is in addition to, and not instead of, standardized assessments. He mentioned that the Department still needs to identify the lowest performing schools under federal criteria in order to provide support for schools with the most struggling students and improve performance. He summarized that the big picture is that there will be no summative ratings, there will be alignment with Joint Strategic Plan metrics, and the opportunity will exist for locally developed measures of student achievement to be determined at the school or complex area level.
Committee Member Minn noted that indicators in the working draft are organized by student success and highlighted that the achievement gap is not the only indicator of success. He asked whether indicators such as communication and the ability to work well with others will be measured. Schatz stated that the challenge with nuanced measures is scaling them and noted that just because certain subject areas are not tested does not mean that they are not valued. Schatz cautioned against creating more tests.
Committee Member Minn provided an example of school projects and stated that when he graded students, he looked at things like how well students worked together and how well they planned. He noted the importance of these things. Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance, noted that measures are organized around the Joint Strategic Plan and detailed examples of objectives under Goal 1 (student success) and described taking ten Goal 1 indicators and organizing them by objectives. She mentioned ten different indicators organized by one objective and noted that measures were added as required by federal law. Chun mentioned that indicators can be measured statewide and described the alignment with the Joint Strategic Plan. Chun also stated that this is a data collection question as well as a priority question. She added that effective communication is a general learner outcome, not a statewide measure, but it can be an option for locally selected measures.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin asked whether data could be broken down into smaller subgroups as was suggested in testimony. Chun answered that the Department has already committed to providing data by student subgroups and that ESSA requires reporting for subgroups.
Committee Member De Lima stated that he is supportive of not ranking schools. However, if the Board and Department do not rank them, others, such as Honolulu Magazine, will because the data is there for ranking to occur. He expressed concern and questioned whether it was better to have a logical system based on data that is fairer to the schools or better to have an artificial ranking by a magazine that the public will read and rely on.
Committee Member De Lima inquired whether chronic absenteeism will be on a points-based system. Chun answered that a points-based system will not be used and stated that chronic absenteeism will be reported for every school.
Committee Member De Lima asked how growth will be measured for math and English language arts (“ELA”). Chun stated that one of the Joint Strategic Plan indicators is to report performance over time so that change can be measured from the previous year to the current year. She noted that a specific way to measure growth is to use the student growth percentile methodology, which looks at year-to-year performance for tested students to see how much everyone has improved.
Committee Member De Lima noted that growth is currently measured, and schools get points based on growth. He stated that in his mind, growth compares how students performed the previous year to how they are performing currently. However, this is not how growth is measured under Strive HI. The student growth percentile methodology is used, so growth is measured based on how students perform against a statistically fictional pool. Chun stated that are ways of looking at student score levels from the previous year to the current year. Committee Member De Lima noted that this is what most people think of when thinking about growth. Chun stated that the Smarter Balanced Assessment has vertical scales, so improvements students have made can be measured from year to year. She again highlighted the student growth percentile methodology and noted that this methodology looks at actual students and compares students of similar performance to show how much everyone improves compared to others in the group. She mentioned that other options are being explored, but this is the best one methodology that currently exists.
Committee Member De Lima asked why growth is not being measured for ELA, math, and science proficiency. Chun answered that growth can be measured for ELA and math; however, there is too much of a gap between 4th grade tests and 8th grade tests to measure for science.
Committee Member De Lima noted that growth will be reported but expressed concern over slides in the presentation regarding academic achievement. Chun commented that student growth percentiles will be measured for the achievement gap, inclusion rate, ELA, and math.
Committee Member De Lima inquired about student subgroups. He mentioned that the subgroup n-size being used for Strive HI is 20 and stated that ESSA does not specify an n-size. The only specification is that if an n-size is greater than 30, justification must be provided regarding why a number greater than 30 is being used. He highlighted data that suggested an n-size of ten and noted that this is what advocate organizations have recommended. He asked how many schools would be included if an n-size of 20 is being used for students that receive special education services. Chun answered that just under 200 schools would be included. Committee Member De Lima asked how many schools would be included if an n-size of ten is used. Chun answered that up to 250 schools would be included in this case, including charter schools. She stated that for subgroup performance reporting for Strive HI, currently an n-size of 40 is being used and that a lower n-size would significantly increase the number of schools reporting this data.
Schatz highlighted that principals in schools with small subgroups note that there is a lot of fluctuation. He mentioned that fluctuations can be volatile and should be one of the considerations when determining appropriate n-sizes. Committee Member De Lima repeated that advocacy organizations recommend an n-size of ten and stated that maybe a compromise can be made on an n-size of 15. Chun stated that the industry standard is between ten and 30. She described stakeholder work groups with administrators, teachers, and advocates and noted that n-sizes are used for the purpose of public reporting. Chun stated that just because a student is not reported does not mean that schools are not looking at the data. She noted that it is important to consider the role public reporting plays but added that not reporting does not mean that a school is not paying attention to the needs of a child.
Committee Member Galera stated that information about children needs to be transparent and inquired as to whether this is how the lowest 5% of schools is determined. Schatz noted that this draft of Strive HI is a system for the state and what the Department would use to determine interventions would follow more narrowly defined federal definitions.
Committee Member Galera noted that there will have to be a way to determine the lowest 5% of schools under federal requirements. Chun stated that the proposal is to use minimum ESSA requirements to determine the lowest 5% to identify schools with the most struggling students and subgroups. Schatz stated that the federal requirement is to identify the schools with the most struggling students (the 5%); all schools do not have to be ranked and identified.
Committee Member Galera noted that identifying schools as requiring comprehensive intervention or as targeted will be public knowledge. Chun described what will happen when schools are identified. Chun stated that there will be around 10 school statewide that are identified as Title I schools with the most struggling students. She noted that a comprehensive needs-assessment will be conducted, data will be reviewed, and support will be provided in terms of resources and additional monitoring for these schools. She noted that targeted support and intervention will be based on schools that have more than one struggling subgroup based on data. In this case, schools will be given information, and the schools will look at their academic plan to see if they are already addressing student subgroups and whether correct strategies are in place or need to be added to their academic plans. She highlighted that the intention is not to publish this information widely, but that the purpose is to provide additional support for struggling schools.
Committee Member Galera stated that his understanding is that federal compliance requires identifying struggling schools, that there will be a finite number, and that there should be procedures for how to no longer be considered a struggling school. Chun stated that there will be a different system under ESSA. Five percent of Title I schools and high schools with low graduation rates will have to be identified, and the number will not be finite. The current estimate is 10-12. Chun also noted that this is designed to identify schools that need assistance rather than to rank schools from top to bottom. Committee Member Galera asked whether schools will be prepared. Chun stated that simulations of different models are being tested and that schools within the range based on the previous year’s data will be notified in advance.
Committee Member Galera noted that there will not be a summative rating and asked how the Department and Board will make sense of all the measures and metrics. Schatz referenced Committee Member De Lima’s earlier point and noted that if the Department does not rate schools, someone else will. Schatz added that the Board should not be concerned about an individual school moving up and down a ranking list from year to year; rather, the Board should be more focused on the overall performance of students in the public education system.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin mentioned a previous discussion on how the Department presents information to the public. Chun stated that it is important to provide a lot of data because schools are complex, but the Department is wary of presenting too much data to the degree where it becomes overwhelming. She explained that the summative rating made it simple to understand but removed the complexity and added that schools became increasingly concerned about how they were ranked instead of how to use the data to improve.
Committee Member Galera highlighted the federal assessment pilot and asked whether it is possible to design a separate assessment pilot for the State that is not tied to federal requirements. Chun answered that an assessment pilot exists under ESSA that allows for assessments using portfolios instead of Smarter Balanced Assessments to measure progress. She noted that the federal government has not released an application or timeline, so there is nothing to apply for at this time. She mentioned that the question is whether there should be a statewide effort to design something that looks like innovative assessment without federal approval. Chun stated that it is possible but that if it was done without federal approval, it would have to be in addition to existing federally required testing. She said that resources, interest, and priority would need to be assessed.
Committee Member Galera noted that if an independent assessment pilot is created, schools could be supported at the state level and general learner outcomes could be measured meaningfully so that an accountability system will guide what happens in classrooms rather than being guided solely by federal requirements. Schatz stated that this will require further conversation and highlighted workload concerns since an independent assessment pilot would be in addition to, rather than in place of, current testing.
Committee Member Minn mentioned moving away from ranking in the future and noted that while ranking is important, there are different ways to do it including developing a new culture and involving all staff. Schatz noted that there is a structure that includes Complex Area Superintendents, principals, and teachers, and agreed that the job will be done better if the structure is used appropriately.
Committee Member Minn asked whether students will receive exams results back in time to know how they performed. Chun noted that exams are taken from the end of the 2nd quarter until the last day of school dependent on what schools decide to do. Results are returned to schools within two weeks of test completion and scores are received and distributed the following school year if testing happens closer to the last day of school. She mentioned that it can be a workload issue for the schools to print and noted that exams are not entirely multiple choice, and critical thinking portions require hand scoring, which take additional time. Committee Member Minn asked whether students can receive their results from the schools prior to September and stated that this should be looked into. Chun stated that she will look into this.
Committee Vice Chairperson Bergin adjourned the meeting at 1:06 p.m.