STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING

MINUTES
Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
1:30 p.m.

PRESENT:
Lance Mizumoto, Chairperson
Brian De Lima, Esq., Vice Chairperson
Patricia Bergin
Grant Chun, Esq.
Darrel Galera
Hubert Minn
Kenneth Uemura
Bruce Voss, Esq.
Colonel Peter Santa Ana (military representative)
Andrea Lyn Mateo (student representative)

EXCUSED:
Margaret Cox

ALSO PRESENT:
Kathryn Matayoshi, Esq., Superintendent
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent
Gary Suganuma, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of the Attorney General
Ryan Roylo, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of the Attorney General
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Board Private Secretary
Irina Dana


I. Call to Order

The Board of Education (“Board”) General Business Meeting was called to order by Board Vice Chairperson Brian De Lima at 1:30 p.m.

II. *Public Testimony on Board of Education (“Board”) Agenda Items

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima called for public testimony. The following people provided oral testimony.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
John Sosa Education Institute of Hawaii IV.B. Update on the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Team: insights on public education reform and relationship with Hawaii’s Blueprint for Public EducationComment
P.M. Azinga PublicN/AComment
Vanessa OttPublicIV.B. Update on the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Team: insights on public education reform and relationship with Hawaii’s Blueprint for Public EducationComment
Linda ElentoPublicIV.B. Update on the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Team: insights on public education reform and relationship with Hawaii’s Blueprint for Public EducationComment

John Sosa, Education Institute of Hawaii, testified on his recommendations for the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) and Superintendent search. Sosa detailed current evaluation processes for Department of Education (“Department”) positions and recommended additional criteria, as well as measures that would improve transparency and clarity.

P.M. Azinga, public, testified on conflict resolution measures that she believes should be incorporated in schools.

Vanessa Ott, public, testified on school financial plans and advocated for further transparency and accountability in order for principals and teachers to understand expenses at the school level.

Linda Elento, public, testified on her concerns regarding Section 504, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act, and special education. She described how other states fund special education and suggested policy improvements and further discussion.


Board Chairperson Lance Mizumoto entered at 1:42 p.m.

Written testimony was also received and provided to the Board Members. The following is a listing of the people that submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
Ann Sack Shaver League of Women Voters – Hawaii VIII.D. Update on Hawaii State Teachers Association contract, the Hawaii Government Employee Associations contracts, and related Hawaii State Labor Board MattersComment
Mireille Ellsworth PublicIV.A. Human Resources Committee Report on: (1) Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) impacts on teacher content qualifications; (2) Committee Action on declaration of annual reduction in force (“RIF”) for classified employees to initiate collectively bargained placement rights for employees displaced due to changes in staffing needsComment
Wai‘ale‘ale SarsonaKamehameha SchoolsIV.B. Finance and Infrastructure Committee Report on: (1) Update on Department of Education fiscal reports as of December 31, 2016 (comparison to budget, school food service, student transportation, utilities, impact aid receipts, Capital Improvement Program, and air conditioning fiscal update); (2) Update on the Department of Education’s budget background, process, and status for the 2017-2019 Fiscal Biennium; (3) Presentation on Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) Impacts on fiscal reporting requirements; (4) Committee Action to designate the Kalihi to Ala Moana School Impact Fee District Comment

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of February 7, 2017

ACTION: Motion to approve the General Business Meeting Minutes of February 7, 2017 (De Lima/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

IV. Reports of Board Committees, Board Members, and Superintendent

Human Resources Committee Vice Chairperson De Lima reported that the committee received a presentation regarding ESSA impacts on teacher content qualifications. He stated that the Department is being proactive in determining flexibility and mentioned that the committee took action on the annual reduction in force (“RIF”).

Committee Member Hubert Minn expressed appreciation for Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent, and stated that he agrees with the discussion during the committee meeting regarding ending the practice of sending letters describing teachers as unqualified.

Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Grant Chun reported that the committee received presentations regarding the Department’s fiscal reports as of December 31, 2016; the Department’s budget background, process, and status for the 2017-2019 Fiscal Biennium; and ESSA impacts on fiscal reporting requirements. Committee Chairperson Chun reported that the committee deferred action on the Kalihi to Ala Moana School Impact Fees subject to the call of the committee chairperson pending further clarification on specific questions in the areas of Act 155 analysis, Attorney General consultations, and stakeholder meetings.

Matayoshi reported on the status of several legislative bills, including SB 957, HB 1091, SB 958, HB 1092, SB 618, and HB 470. Matayoshi also highlighted that the Education Super Highway Group recognized Hawaii as number one in the nation in school internet connectivity. She noted that internet connectivity is a crucial infrastructure element and a critical building block for innovation.

V. Discussion Items
Annie Valentin, Project Vision Hawaii Executive Director, stated that Project Vision Hawaii is an organization whose mission is to work in partnership with Hawaii’s people to promote access to healthcare. She highlighted their use of mobile clinics to provide services statewide in every county.

Valentin noted that access to healthcare issues include affordability, accessibility, and appropriateness. She stated that Hawaii is underserved and does not have a vision screening program. She highlighted that Project Vision is working with the Department and Hawaii Keiki Nurses in order to reinstate a program. Valentin mentioned that one in four children have vision problems and one in four children who need glasses do not have them. This can affect academic performance and lead to school readiness issues.

Valentin detailed how Project Vision was launched in 2012 in partnership with the Lions Club. Initially, vision screening was provided in schools in Waianae. Several years later, drivers were hired because employees kept returning to schools to provide glasses following screenings. Valentin noted that over 25,000 children have been screened statewide and over 10,000 children will be screened annually. She highlighted the growth of Project Vision as a result of increasing partnerships and stated that their goal is to screen every child. Valentin highlighted partnerships with Hawaii Keiki Nurses and further detailed the organization’s partnership with the Lions Club. She stated that it provides grants to pay for eyeglasses for children living in low-income areas.

She described the history of vision and hearing screenings and noted several legislative measures her organization is advocating for and stated that these measures are intended to implement screenings in every school.

Valentin detailed how Project Vision uses Plusoptix to screen students and detailed the use of EyeSpy 20/20 VisionQuest. She noted that EyeSpy 20/20 has been implemented in 12 schools but stated that she would like to see them implemented in every school statewide. She also highlighted EyeSpy 20/20 testimonials from students and invited Board Members to a Project Vision event on March 14, 2017.

Valentin highlighted Vision to Learn follow-up and mentioned that Vision to Learn goes to schools following screenings to provide eyeglasses and prescriptions for Title I children. This past year, 9,076 children were screened statewide. She further noted that 7,300 children have been screened thus far with EyeSpy 20/20, and it generated reports with data that can be used. She noted additional stories and testimonies from children who were screened.

She mentioned that target areas for vision screening include Kauai, the Leeward and Windward Coasts of Oahu, and Maui. She highlighted protocols and mentioned that a Scientific Advisory Board has been assisting with the creation of protocols. Valentin also discussed sustainability and noted that partnerships increase sustainability. She further highlighted legislative measures that will implement vision screenings in every school and described senator meetings that she has attended in alliance with Hawaii Keiki Nurses and noted next steps for these amendments to pass.

Board Member Minn asked about constraints in funding the organization. Valentin stated that Project Vision has been strategically working in collaboration with Hawaii Keiki Nurses to ensure that the clinical needs of children are being met. She mentioned that Hawaii Keiki Nurses assist with facilitating volunteers and ensure follow-up. Valentin stated that regarding funding, they are approaching the State to mandate screenings because it was mandated in 1989 and screenings are important for the children. She noted that funding for follow-up and eyeglasses are approached regionally because certain donors are interested in different regions and she mentioned potential opportunities for children living in low-income areas to seek reimbursement for eyeglasses.

Board Member Minn asked how many students they hope to serve in the next three years. Valentin answered that she hopes to implement EyeSpy 20/20 in every school in the next five years and ensure that vision screenings are accessible for every school statewide.

Matayoshi stated that EyeSpy 20/20 is easy to implement and consistent and noted that these two characteristics increase the opportunity to expand to every school. She mentioned that follow-up is key and noted the importance of accessibility.

Board Member Darrel Galera introduced Ted Dintersmith, producer of the educational documentary Most Likely to Succeed. Board Member Galera described the documentary as a catalyst that engages school communities in discussions regarding education reform and noted the insights the documentary can bring as it relates to the implementation of Hawaii’s Blueprint for Public Education (“Blueprint”).

Dintersmith detailed his career in innovation and venture capitalism. He described school-aged children’s imaginations and lack of worry regarding failure and stated that these are the characteristics evident in the world of innovation. Dintersmith described how oftentimes students no longer possess these characteristics once they enter high school. He mentioned that the only question students in high school ask is whether material will be on the test and stated that this is problematic.

Dintersmith highlighted his idea to make a film regarding education in order to understand what is happening around the country. He described traveling to all 50 states and stated that Hawaii is the last state he visited. He noted that he visited various schools in Hawaii and observed exceptional examples across all schools of students performing exceptionally.

Dintersmith detailed his concerns regarding education, including students leaving school with debt, students with no direction or purpose in life, and adults being unable to afford unexpected bills. He mentioned that the key is for students to become energized through school by being confronted with real problems and learning. He stated that he believes the Blueprint will address standardization, support creative and different approaches to engagement and development, and trust teachers to lead with appropriate checks and balances. Dintersmith mentioned the importance of encouraging teachers to innovate and the importance of scaling positive models in order for schools to draw on the successes around them.

Military Representative Colonel Peter Santa Ana mentioned the problems surrounding the strategic approach to public education. He mentioned that the military can relate to education in all 50 states and stated that there is no way to tell how well states are doing using anecdotal information, which is why the Smarter Balanced Assessment is important. He noted that military dependents transitioning to schools do not always bode well in dynamic structures. Military Representative Colonel Santa Ana inquired as to the dynamic nature of education and how structured and systematic approaches are useful for transient military children. Dintersmith answered that there are groups making progress on redefining high school transcripts to focus on skills rather than subjects and detailed the overestimation of how much content students actually retain. He described examples of assessments tied to essential skills and noted that this is a good approach for students who are relocating.

Board Member Minn stated that the Board and Department Joint Strategic Plan (“Joint Strategic Plan”) and Blueprint are transparent and work diligently together. He mentioned that in regards to learning, not enough data is collected on learning behaviors. Dintersmith answered that he is skeptical of the idea that students who receive high test scores and grades are actually learning. He provided examples that highlighted this issue and noted that children learn in different ways. Dintersmith mentioned that educators should value what students are able to produce and create. Dintersmith noted the importance of schools assisting students in solving real-world problems.

Board Member Galera highlighted that Dintersmith will be visiting Oahu again in April 2017 to present at a conference.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked for Dintersmith’s perspective on the term “empowerment.” Dintersmith answered that students learn best in the context of what they believe has real purpose. He noted that he prefers “purpose” to “empowerment” and stated that the current educational system is hollowing out a sense of purpose for students. Dintersmith highlighted the importance of students solving real problems in their communities and mentioned that it is anti-empowerment when teachers are not trusted with determining the best approach to learning for their students. Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that the term “purpose” resonates with him and encouraged Board Members to view the documentary.

VI. *Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items

Board Chairperson Mizumoto called for public testimony. There was no public testimony at this time.

VII. Action Items
Board Chairperson Mizumoto expressed appreciation for Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz.

Matayoshi noted the constraints the Department faced under Race to the Top and expressed appreciation for Schatz’s collaboration with the Department and the federal government. She noted his work with Bright Spots and described his role in creating a system that fosters a sense of innovation. Schatz stated that he will continue to advocate for high expectations in education and in implementing the ESSA Blueprint and Joint Strategic Plan.

ACTION: Motion to adopt the resolution recognizing Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz for his service (De Lima/Uemura). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto recognized the Governor’s ESSA Team in collaborating with the Board and in engaging in a transparent process. He stated that, as a result, there is consensus on the direction the State will move in.

ACTION: Motion to adopt the resolution recognizing the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act Team and Hawaii’s Blueprint for Education (Minn/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima highlighted the investigative committee’s recommendations. He stated that the investigative committee initially listened to grievances from the charter school community. He noted that in conducting the special review, the Board utilized staff who had experience working for the State Public Charter School Commission (“Commission”) and established a process and procedure that is collaborative and comprehensive. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima detailed surveys and interviews that were conducted and discussed the need for everyone to work together.

ACTION: Motion to: The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Chun reiterated that the committee voted to defer action on the Kalihi to Ala Moana school impact fee district subject to call of the Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson.

Human Resources Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the Board should go into executive session to discuss the annual RIF before taking action.

VIII. Executive Session

ACTION: Motion to move into executive session to consult with the Board’s attorney on matters described in the agenda and deliberate on matters concerning the authority of persons designated by the Board to conduct labor negotiations (Uemura/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

The meeting recessed at 2:53 p.m. and reconvened at 3:24 p.m.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked if there was any further public testimony. There was no further public testimony.

ACTION: Motion to authorize the Department to commence a reduction in force for classified employees to initiate the collectively bargained reassignment and bumping rights processes for affected employees (Human Resources Committee/No second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

IX. Adjournment

Board Chairperson Mizumoto adjourned the meeting at 3:26 p.m.