Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Jim Williams, Chairperson
Margaret Cox, Vice Chairperson
Patricia Bergin
Grant Chun, Esq.
Brian De Lima, Esq.
Hubert Minn
Kenneth Uemura
Andrea Mateo (student representative)


Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support
Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance
Alison Kunishige, Board Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Summer Jenkins

I. Call to Order

The Student Achievement Committee (“Committee”) meeting was called to order by Committee Chairperson Jim Williams at 11:22 a.m.

II. Public Testimony on Committee Agenda Items

Committee Chairperson Williams called for public testimony. There was no oral testimony at this time.

Written testimony was received and provided to the Committee. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.

Agenda Item
Corey RosenleeHawaii State Teachers Association IV. B. Presentation on Hawaii Department of Education’s school accountability system: overview and updateComment
Ka‘iulani PahioNā Lei Na‘auaoV. A. Update on status of draft administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers and Committee Action on timeline for adoption of administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers and development of multiple charter school authorizer systemSupport
Marion Kanani KapuniaiKanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School V. A. Update on status of draft administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers and Committee Action on timeline for adoption of administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers and development of multiple charter school authorizer systemSupport

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of June 7, 2016

Committee Chairperson Williams mentioned a minor typo on page 22 referencing policy E-101. The word “bother” was revised to “both”.

ACTION: The Student Achievement Committee meeting minutes of June 7, 2016 were approved with amendments unanimously with all members present voting aye (De Lima/Chun).

IV. Discussion Items
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support (“OCISS”), presented a baseline understanding of how the CAST system works to reinforce the Department of Education and Board of Education Joint Strategic Plan (“Strategic Plan”). Mulcahy stated that the structure consists of teams at the Complex Area level devoted to strategies. The teams convene, lead at the state office level, and support the school level with six priority strategies aligned with three Strategic Plan goals.

Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, provided a short explanation of each strategy for school improvement:

Schatz stated that four years ago, the CASTs convened to verify an understanding of the strategies. The system evolved from understanding strategies to understanding the research base for the strategies and identifying bright spots where schools are doing great things. The system has become a process of finding successes in schools and scaling them up.

Mulcahy stated that it is important for schools to come together and learn from one another. There are four components to the CAST system, including implementation continuums to identify where supports are needed, meetings with the Complex Area Superintendents (“CAS”) and CASTs to dispatch support to schools, several strategy routines with tri-level alignment, and an annual extensive survey for feedback.

Schatz described strategy routines. The State Support Team Stocktakes are periodic meetings between the Assistant Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent to review the status of improvement. The CASTs meet three times a year, along with CASs, to share and collaborate. Strategy groups meet monthly. Additionally, CASs create their own routines to provide supports and monitor implementation.

Schatz stated that sharing bright spots has been productive, especially for neighbor islands. Sharing success stories creates a learning community that connects the islands and will be continued.

Committee Chairperson Williams asked for clarification on the positions and if the positions that make up the CASTs would have historically been at the state office level. Schatz explained that, historically, services were provided directly from OCISS to the schools, which is hard to do for a large number of schools. The Department of Education (“Department”) is now trying to build capacity locally through the CASTs. Mulcahy clarified that OCISS still maintains a high level of expertise that is mainly to support the CASTs, while the CASTs support the schools.

Committee Member Brian De Lima stated that the presentation demonstrates that supporting student achievement is complex and requires a coordinated effort from all levels of the Department. Committee Member De Lima stated that the system is stronger with collaboration and that the achievement gap should be a main focus. Committee Member De Lima asked how bright spots are replicated while also addressing negative stocktakes and if there is a designated team to help struggling schools. Mulcahy stated that one component of the achievement gap is the difference between general education students and special education students. Mulcahy stated that District Educational Specialists, with knowledge about special education compliance, programs, and pedagogy, are part of the CASTs and dispatch resource teachers to areas in need. Mulcahy stated that CAST meetings are focused on closing the achievement gap. Schatz stated that utilizing District Educational Specialists is an important structural change. Schatz stated that the most successful bright spot scalings are in the local area, and the CASs were successful in creating individual complex area systems for bright spots. Schatz stated that the School Transformation Branch in the state office does ground-level support, but the challenge is coordination between the complex areas to the state office.

Committee Member Hubert Minn asked what kind of feedback the Department is receiving from schools about areas that the field thinks are ineffective. Schatz explained that principals were given the opportunity to share what is not working at the school level, and the Department can present the results at a later time. Schatz stated that when asked what factors are moving schools in the right direction, the Educator Effectiveness System did not receive high scores. However, recent changes to the Educator Effectiveness System approved by the Board could potentially improve the rating.

Committee Chairperson Williams asked if feedback revealed insufficient staff and resources at the school level. Schatz replied affirmatively but noted that not every Complex Area is the same. The variance in satisfaction level was helpful for Schatz to see so that there could be appropriate intervention and negative situations could be improved. Schatz stated that limited resources create a difficult situation, and the number of positions dedicated to CASTs have declined due to funding. Committee Chairperson Williams stated that the CASTs need to be fully staffed.

Committee Member Patricia Bergin stated that the CAST system is an effective model capable of bringing support closer to the school level. Committee Member Bergin asked how many people are on the CAST. Mulcahy stated that each complex area originally had six positions, but only two positions per CAST were funded last year. The CASs used their own budgets for additional positions and supports based on their assessment of each complex area’s needs. Schatz clarified that a large portion of the original funding for CASTs came from the federal Race to the Top grant.

Committee Member Bergin asked if the CASTs are overburdened and limited in the support they can provide to the schools. Mulcahy stated that overburdening the staff has been a concern, but over time the model is designed to build capacity for additional support within the schools themselves. They also look at shifting resources so that CAST members with lighter workloads help other struggling areas.

Committee Member Minn requested to see data from the schools with suggestions to improve. Schatz stated he will provide the information to the Committee at a later time.

Committee Member De Lima stated that each principal has access to the Longitudinal Data System and is able to tell which students are in need of interventions. Member De Lima asked how students are being identified, serviced, and supported and stated that the problem is not a matter of understanding needs but a lack of resources. Committee Member De Lima stated that there should be an understanding of the resources that will help close the achievement gap and help students progress. Committee Member De Lima stated that the CAST system helps many but it is not enough.

Committee Chairperson Williams stated that the theme of addressing the achievement gap will continue to surface in discussions, so the Department will continue to present efforts being made.

Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance, presented background information on the school accountability system, the Strive HI Performance System (“Strive HI”), and what it will look like under the Strategic Plan and federal Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”).

Chun explained federal Title I funds allocated for disadvantaged students under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) and stated that Hawaii previously had no system to rate schools. ESEA was reauthorized in 2001 to the federal No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”), which focused on accountability by measuring adequate yearly progress. Standardized test proficiency was monitored and linked to interventions and consequences. The system was implemented in 2003 and in place until 2011, at which time Hawaii had the opportunity to file for a waiver, allowing more flexibility under NCLB. In 2012, the State received its first waiver permitting multiple measures of growth for schools through Strive HI. The change allowed less focus on test proficiency and more focus on student improvement, as well as college and career readiness. Chun stated that in December 2015, Congress reauthorized ESEA as ESSA, and a second waiver was approved that included chronic absenteeism as an additional measure. The second waiver also allowed streamlined testing in response to feedback and eliminated the ranking of schools, which is part of the transition to ESSA. Chun stated that there will need to be further discussion on presenting information without ranking schools.

Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, stated that he will be traveling with Chun to principals’ meetings for additional feedback moving forward. Schatz stated that ESSA provides the opportunity for more flexibility and the opportunity to create a more productive system. The Department plans to brainstorm with the community to create a Strive HI 3.0 proposal that aligns with the Strategic Plan and ESSA. The draft will be released for public comment, and a final draft will be completed by February 2017 for implementation in the 2017-2018 school year. Schatz stated that the current year data will be reported as Fall 2017 data.

Chun reviewed ESSA requirements, including proficiency in math, English/language arts, growth in various subjects, at least one indicator of school quality or student success, and other indicators. Chun stated that ESSA still requires testing to measure proficiency, monitoring of subgroup data, and reporting on the performance of homeless, military, and foster youth. Chun stated that beyond the law, regulations will affect measurable aspects. Chun reminded the Committee that as a result of previous Board action, the Department submitted a letter indicating concerns about federal overreach in the proposed rulemaking for ESSA, and that the Board supported this letter.

Schatz stated that the big picture purpose of the school accountability system is to provide the public with transparency in regards to student achievement and school performance. The system also provides an opportunity for equitable education for all students, engages the school community in discussions about improvement, and recognizes schools achieving student success. Schatz stated that it is important to combine the appropriate data points and metrics for maximum results. The desired results of the updated system are to identify schools in need of support to close the achievement gap, inform decision-making, and improve key student outcomes.

Committee Member Minn stated that according to the feedback that he has heard from the field regarding changes to Strive HI, the Department is on the right track. Committee Member Minn stated that transformation should be the initial focus, then accountability will follow. Schatz stated that accountability is important and agreed that transformation does not occur through accountability. Chun added that it is important to lead with the Strategic Plan and develop an accountability system that assess it.

Committee Member Bergin asked if the Common Core State Standards will still be in effect. Schatz replied affirmatively and stated that those are the standards the Board of Education (“Board”) adopted. Schatz explained the Smarter Balanced Assessment measures Common Core State Standards and will be used for the 2016-2017 school year. The Department plans to have only one assessment in the following year to measure proficiency. Committee Member Bergin expressed concern about the length of the test. Chun stated that it may be useful to dedicate a discussion specifically to the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the near future. The Department has been in discussion about the value of information collected from the test and the amount of time dedicated to it. Committee Chairperson Williams stated that the item will be put on a future agenda.

V. Recommendation for Action
Committee Chairperson Williams stated that the provided memo gives a history of the agenda item and asked Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst, to provide a review.

Tam stated that in January 2016, Board staff was directed to develop administrative rules to begin a multiple charter school authorizer system. The draft rules were presented to the Governor in March 2016 and recently received his approval for a public hearing. Tam shared that a public hearing notice will be published at the end of the month for a hearing on September 27, 2016. Tam noted that the timeline could possibly be shortened if activities not determined by the Board occurred earlier than projected.

Committee Chairperson Williams stated that the Board will take advantage of any opportunities to accelerate the process.

Committee Member Minn mentioned that the Board had received multiple testimonies in support.

ACTION: Motion to recommend the Board adopt the general timeline, as attached as Exhibit A of Board Member Jim Williams’ memorandum dated August 2, 2016, as guidance for the promulgation of the administrative rules for multiple charter school authorizers and the development of the multiple charter school authorizer system; provided that the Student Achievement Committee Chairperson may make adjustments to the timeline as necessary and provide notification as appropriate (De Lima/Chun). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

VI. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson Williams adjourned the meeting at 12:37 p.m.