STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING

MINUTES

Aiea High School
98-1276 Ulune Street, Library
Aiea, Hawaii 96701
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
5:00 p.m.


PRESENT:
Lance Mizumoto, Chairperson
Brian De Lima, Esq., Vice Chairperson
Patricia Bergin
Grant Chun, Esq.
Hubert Minn
Kenneth Uemura
Bruce Voss, Esq.
Colonel Peter Santa Ana (military liaison)

EXCUSED:
Margaret Cox
Jim Williams
Andrea Lyn Mateo (student representative)

ALSO PRESENT:
Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent
Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance
Stacey Aldrich, State Librarian, Hawaii State Public Library System
Alison Kunishige, Board Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Summer Jenkins


I. Call to Order

The Board of Education (“Board”) General Business Meeting was called to order by Board Chairperson Lance Mizumoto at 5:00 p.m.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto recognized John Erickson, Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area Superintendent, and Kim Sanders, Aiea High School Principal.

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

Chairperson Mizumoto called for public testimony. The following people provided oral testimony.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
Corey RosenleeHawaii State Teachers Association IV. A. Human Resources Committee Report on: (2) Presentation on Educator Effectiveness System for 2016-2017 School Year and update on implementation of revisions to Board Policy 203.4, Teacher Performance Evaluation, adopted on May 17, 2016

IV. B. Finance and Infrastructure Committee Report on: (1) Update on the Department of Education’s heat abatement program: progress since June 21, 2016
Comment
Amy PerrusoHawaii State Teachers Association IV. A. Human Resources Committee Report on: (2) Presentation on Educator Effectiveness System for 2016-2017 School Year and update on implementation of revisions to Board Policy 203.4, Teacher Performance Evaluation, adopted on May 17, 2016Comment
Written testimony was received and provided to the Board. The following is a listing of people who submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
Susan Rocco Special Education Advisory Council VII. Board Action on formal comment on Federal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend Federal regulations to implement changes contained in ESSA – accountability and state plans. Comment

Corey Rosenlee, President, Hawaii State Teachers Association (“HSTA”), testified about how the changes to federal law from the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) relates to teacher evaluations. Rosenlee stated that 77% of teachers said that the teacher evaluations are not improving teaching, but Rosenlee added teachers need to be held accountable. Rosenlee also stated that teachers want to be treated like professionals and need to be empowered and that evaluations changed the relationship between teachers and principals. Rosenlee stated that teaching needs to be made more attractive to retain and attract teachers.

Rosenlee then testified on the Department of Education’s (“Department”) heat abatement progress. He stated that HSTA supports the Department’s rejection of high bids for heat abatement projects. Rosenlee stated that there are 7,000 classrooms in need of air conditioning, and if costs are further reduced, more classrooms could be cooled. Rosenlee stated that spending $60,000 per classroom does not make sense and shared examples of classrooms being cooled for far less money. Rosenlee recommended the consideration of heat days to protect the health of students and faculty.

Amy Perruso, Treasurer, HSTA, testified on the Educator Effectiveness System (“EES”) and shared preliminary results from an HSTA survey. Perruso appreciated the delinking of assessment scores to teacher evaluations but spoke against student learning objectives. Perruso shared that 60% of teachers do not feel valued and 97% believe that there should be additional changes to the EES.

III. Approval of Minutes

ACTION: Motion to approve the General Business Meeting minutes of July 5, 2016 (De Lima/Chun). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

IV. Reports of Board Committees, Board Members, and Superintendent
Human Resources Committee Chairperson Brian De Lima reported that the Committee received a quarterly update on employees put on DDL and LPI. The report indicated progress with a steady decrease and lower number of cases than in the past two years, and the Committee asked that the Department identify comparative data from other states. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the Committee watched a video giving detailed information on the EES, and the Committee provided input on how it could be improved.

Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Grant Chun reported that the Committee received several updates. There was an update on heat abatement progress made at various schools and the timeline as it pertains to funding. The Department would be meeting for a new round of bids in the near future. There was an update on the Ka Hei initiative, and great strides have been made. The Committee received an update on the Jacob’s study, which allows the Department and Board to make informed decisions with regards to maintenance improvements and capital improvement budget. There was a recommendation concerning restrictions on the Department’s budget that the Board will consider later in the agenda.

Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent, stated that the Department is preparing for the upcoming school year. There had been 900 participants at the Educational Leadership Institute, which will be followed by the Leadership Symposium in September.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto reported that he had attended the 2016 Hawaii Education Summit along with Board Members Patricia Bergin, Hubert Minn, Kenneth Uemura, and Bruce Voss. Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked each attending member to report their personal experience of the summit.

Board Member Bergin attended two sessions, the Fixing No Child Left Behind in 2015 – How Congress Got it Done and School Empowerment (run by Darrel Galera and Randal Roth) breakout sessions. Board Member Bergin stated that charter schools face challenges because of the State Educational Agency (“SEA”) and Local Education Agency (“LEA”) structure.

Board Member Minn stated that he had heard much of the information shared at the summit because of his work with the Governor’s ESSA Team. There was an agreement among attendees that education is the highest priority. Board Member Minn stated that teachers are eager to talk to Board Members and be heard. Board Member Minn suggested having an annual education summit to discuss new topics.

Board Member Voss stated he attended the session on school finance and facilities and saw that people believe in school empowerment. Member Voss stated that “the devil is in the details,” and it would be a challenge to create something tangible with the hope and desire for change.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that other members were unable to attend the summit due to the Sunshine Law requirements; their absence was not because of a lack of interest. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that the conference showed Hawaii has a quality public education system with great teachers and students. Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that there are many accomplishments of which to be proud but that there is also still room for improvement. Principals currently have a lot power to make decisions, but they need resources to utilize that power and truly be empowered. Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that over one-third of the student population continues to struggle, and he supports empowering anyone who wants to help those students.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that he was fortunate to witness such a large number of community stakeholders talk about improving education. Board Chairperson Mizumoto appreciated the use of ground rules to promote forward-thinking sessions. Board Chair Mizumoto echoed Board Member Minn’s sentiment to have more summits to continue the momentum and to take action. Board Member Mizumoto invited Darrel Galera, Governor’s ESSA Team, to speak.

Galera stated that 270 participants had completed a post-conference evaluation with positive ratings. Galera stated that the ESSA Team is compiling input and would be providing the information on the Governor’s website and at future town hall meetings.

Board Member Minn asked if the ESSA Team will hold additional conferences in the future. Galera stated that there have been a number of comments requesting a follow-up summit, and the Governor is considering the idea.

Board Member Voss asked how the purpose of the town hall meetings will differ from the summit. Galera stated that the summit’s purpose was to collect input and hear voices for eight design ideas from stakeholders. The town hall meetings will be for more specific interactions to emerge into a final blueprint for education.

Galera clarified that there were around 900 attendees at the summit. Board Chairperson Mizumoto mentioned that the majority of participants stayed for the entire conference.

Board Member Minn left the room at 5:41 p.m.

V. Discussion Items
Stephen Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, introduced John Erickson, Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area Superintendent, and Kim Sanders, Aiea High School Principal.

Erickson began by sharing the complex area’s vision and demographic data. Erickson stated that students should be well-rounded and academically sound. The Aiea-Moanalua-Radford complex has a 90% rate of military-connected students, which the complex sees as an opportunity to share Hawaii’s culture with kids from around the world. Erickson stated that supports for leadership are provided at the school level through a monthly academic review team to share best practices. With multiple new principals joining the complex, Erickson plans to have new principal professional learning communities, complex area walkthroughs to find bright spots and evaluate progress, and cross-complex principal visits to build capacity as a complex group. Erickson shared highlights of success for the complex.

Board Member Minn returned at 5:50 p.m.

Sanders shared her personal story with a military background and stated that Hawaii had been her home for the past 10 years. Sanders stated that achievement, integrity, and relationships are important to Aiea High School, and great schools, teachers, and students work together to make Hawaii a great state. Sanders stated that two students would share Aiea’s bright spots.

Perry Arrasmith, recent Aiea High School graduate, stated he was the captain of the largest speech and debate team in the state. Arrasmith stated that students act as self-directed learners, and parents, teachers, and alumni help to support the program. Students work as community contributors and consider different perspective to create their own views. Arrasmith spoke of a club created to inform the community about the low voter turnout and encourage voting. Arrasmith stated that Aiea High School is unique, and students work hard to leave their mark.

Bryanna Mattos-Farias, Aiea High School junior, shared her experience in the JROTC. Mattos-Farias is a core commander and started her journey three years prior as a freshman. Mattos-Farias stated that the program is like a family, and instructors earn respect rather than demand it. Mattos-Farias stated that the instructors and Principal Sanders want to help students succeed and often devote weekends to acquire funding for the program. Mattos-Farias stated that there are many side programs, such as Special Forces and drill teams, that help to build students as leaders.

Stacey Aldrich, State Librarian, likened the library website to a virtual door step; however, it is currently difficult to navigate. Aldrich showed the current website to the Board and stated that eBooks, magazines, language information, and other aspects are hard for users to see. The Hawaii State Public Library System (“HSPLS”) is working with the Hawaii Information Consortium to build a new user-friendly site for public access. Aldrich shared that a user-experience professional researched why libraries are important and discovered that community members feel as though they belonged there. Aldrich stated that the new website will share stories from community patrons explaining why they find the library important. The new site will also feature layers and drop-down menus for easy navigation of the 92 databases offered. The new website will list library locations and hours that are easy to identify, a “how do I” section showing users how to do various activities, and a “who am I” feature to target topics towards specific users for simplified use. The new website would be launched in mid to late August.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that there is great value in libraries.

Colonel Santa Ana stated that there appears to be many great resources, but the current website is difficult to look at. Aldrich agreed and stated that HSPLS would consider expanding resources once the information is more visible. Colonel Santa Ana shared his own personal experience using confusing websites in the military and asked Aldrich if users will have the opportunity of connecting through an application. Aldrich stated that the site has a connection with Zinio, and users will need to download Zinio as an application.

Board Member Voss stated that the new website is a good opportunity to reintroduce online opportunities for those who are unaware of them and asked if there are any ideas to publicize the new website. Aldrich stated that HSPLS will work with ‘Olelo for public service announcements and will have a website launch event for publicity.

Board Member Minn stated he remembers libraries being a difficult place to navigate for years and was pleased to see a dynamic product due to technology. He also acknowledged that the website was a tribute to those who had carried the ball for years and developed the collections that the technology allows the public to access. Aldrich agreed and said that a lot of work was done to create the collections; the website is just a different way to deliver, build on those foundations, and add new texture.

Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance, and Schatz gave an update on the Joint Strategic Plan.

Chun stated that the Department is in the process of reviewing the Joint Strategic Plan. The Department continues to take advantage of flexibilities and lessons learned to adjust strategies to focus on all students. Chun stated that preliminary themes were provided at the last update, and the current discussion would include a new representation of goals, draft objectives for Goal 1, and a strategy map. The Department is in the process of collecting feedback on drafts. Themes were presented at the Hawaii Education Summit, and the Department received positive feedback. The draft objectives were shared at the Educational Leadership Institute to give educational leaders the opportunity to give input first. The forward moving process is deliberate and transparent, involving work and perspectives from multiple stakeholder groups. Chun stated that the upcoming months will be spent developing a plan, narrowing key performance indicators, and aligning key concepts (ESSA plan, Board policies, and biennium budget requests). The Department is still targeting December 6, 2016, for the submittal of a full draft to the Board and to implement for the 2017-2018 school year and provide guidance for academic and financial plans. Chun reminded the Board that stakeholder engagement included 108 stakeholder groups, 1,429 surveys, and the ongoing social media campaign. The Department will provide a full report, including all feedback, in mid-August. Chun showed a graphic representation of the Joint Strategic Plan’s goal structure and proposed the change from a pyramid to concentric circles so that there was a more accurate representation of how Goals 2 and 3 supported Goal 1. Chun gave credit to the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network for suggesting the redisplaying of the goals.

Schatz stated that four objectives for Goal 1 were shared at the recent Educational Leadership Institute, and the Department is in the process of collecting feedback. Schatz was excited to see synergy between the ideas developing from feedback on the Joint Strategic Plan and the ESSA Team design ideas. Schatz shared the objectives for Goal 1: Student Success.

Chun pointed out the use of the words “all students” to emphasize an equity goal. Educational officers supported Goal 1 objectives at a 90% rate, and strategies are still in progress.

Board Member Minn expressed concerned that the word “empowerment” is not used in the document because students should be empowered to learn. Chun stated the Department had considered using the language, and reminded the Board that the current presentation did not address how the education system will organize to support students.

Colonel Santa Ana discussed the difference between the pyramid and circle structures displaying the goals. Colonel Santa Ana stated that student success is seen as foundational in the pyramid but liked that student success is nested within the success of educational staff and the system. The circle structure depicted the huge investment it takes from staff to create success for students and the necessity of an even bigger support system to give teachers the resources to help create student success.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that Goal 1 is an existing objective yet one-third of the student population continues to struggle. The objectives need to address the achievement gap problem. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that students should be supported to attend college; however, there are many well-paying careers that do not require a degree. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima suggested supporting vocational programs at the forefront along with college.

Board Member Voss stated that the language of the objectives is aspirational but expressed concern with when the Board would receive specifics on how the objectives will be achieved. Chun stated that the Department would present information of how it plans to reach the objectives in the following presentation.

Chun presented a strategy map to be filled in as the Department moves forward. The intention is to be very specific in actions to meet the objectives. Chun stated the Department is in the process of discussing draft strategies with principals and will present them in the near future. Chun stated that areas of emphasis will possibly be left at the school level.

Board Member Bergin asked about the opportunity for choice at the school level for those concerned with community decision-making. Schatz explained that statewide curriculum materials had been adopted, but there is a waiver process available to schools. Schatz stated that although the curriculum is statewide, there is still an expectation of innovation and creativity in implementation. Board Member Bergin supported the idea of waivers.

Board Member Bergin asked if charter schools are included in the Strategic Plan. Chun responded that charter schools will be reflected in the plan. The Department had changed language from “all Department of Education students” to “all public school students,” and can discuss expectations of charter schools with the Board.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that schools are already empowered to make many decisions, but they do not believe they have the authority to do so. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that the Strategic Plan should articulate with clarity what authority schools, principals, and complex area superintendents have. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that mandates should be recognized and asked Schatz about the joint teacher committee in reference to curriculum. Schatz explained that the decision was made to adopt the curriculum program, and then experts voiced what best met their needs and standards. Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that common curricular decisions need to be made in the field, and the Strategic Plan needs to support a commitment to do so.

Colonel Santa Ana stated the strategy map is useful to see who does what to achieve the overall goal. Colonel Santa Ana suggested having those in the field fill in their own boxes to feel nested in the plan and changing the name from a strategy map to a goal map to encourage participation.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto put the Strategic Plan in context and stated that the tactical plans help to operationalize the goal. Chairperson Mizumoto asked that if the draft is done by December, how long it would take to develop aligning school plans. Schatz stated that the timing would be compressed, but the Department has communicated that templates would be distributed by January 2017, and the deadlines for plans will be extended. Schatz hoped that by the time the Strategic Plan is approved, the concepts will not be a surprise due to thorough discussion throughout the process. Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that real-time communication will be important along the way.

Chun stated that a lot of the concepts are already being exercised, but some have new additional emphasis. Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked if the Board will have an opportunity to wordsmith the goals to feel comfortable as a group. Chun replied that the Board will have an opportunity to provide input. Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that he has given guidance to the Superintendent and administration to present tactical plans to the respective leaders in the Department for a better sense of progress made by the end of the year. Administrative leaders are to provide regular updates.

Board Member Uemura mentioned that there should be a financial plan following the tactical plan, and the timing is crucial.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima was under the impression that the goal for a draft plan in December is an effort to show the Legislature that the Board and Department are committed to schools and need money for resources. Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that the money should go directly to schools based on the needs in the community.

Board Member Minn mentioned the ESSA Team and hoped its information will be considered for final decision-making.

Board Member Uemura asked if there will be enough time. Board Member Uemura felt that the plan should be provided to the Board much earlier than December. Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that there should be further discussion prior to the approval of the plan. Chairperson Mizumoto shared that there has been a lot of concern regarding time, but a target date needs to be set.

Superintendent Matayoshi stated that the Department has already begun the biennium budget process, which will need to be completed and presented to the Board by October. Matayoshi explained that the biennium budget is in direct contrast to the items, and the timing is not in sync. Matayoshi stated that the mismatch causes conflict, but it could be helpful to map out the timelines to see them in relation.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima shared that more money should be given to the Weighted Student Formula to be spent by schools to empower them to make decisions. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated that the Legislature has been suspicious of wasted money in education. The Department and Board need a Strategic Plan committed to empowerment, struggling students, and broad-based education to go to Legislature and show them that the need for money exists.

Board Member Voss agreed with Vice Chairperson De Lima and stated that if a pitch is to be made, there will need to be a Strategic Plan that is aligned with the Governor’s ESSA Team. Board Member Voss stated that the Board needs details sooner rather than later. Chun stated that the Department is working fast, and input from the field will make a difference. Chun stated that schools and stakeholders need to be a part of the process.

Amy Kunz, Senior Assistant Superintendent, Office of Fiscal Services, linked the plan back to the budget process and stated that funding will be aligned with placeholders. Kunz stated that having the Strategic Plan serve as follow-up to the budget may be a good communication tactic.

Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked what the Governor’s ESSA Team will be able to provide given the timeframe with respect to the ESSA plan. Galera mentioned a recent discussion with the Governor and stated that the team will be as efficient and flexible as possible. Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked how far the team will get by the time the Strategic Plan is to be approved. Galera responded that the team will be adaptive to the Board’s deadlines.

Board Member De Lima expressed concern that the ESSA plan will be presented too late and urged to coordinate plans and a timetable to present the Legislature as a united force. Galera stated that the Governor’s ESSA Team is on the same page. There are a lot of moving pieces, but everything will come together.

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
Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Chun stated that the Committee recommended adoption, which entailed $5.8 million in restrictions.

ACTION: Motion to approve the Finance and Infrastructure Committee’s recommendations concerning the Department of Education’s 2016-2017 Fiscal Year budget appropriation as stated in the memorandum dated July 19, 2016 (Finance and Infrastructure Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Chun explained that ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”), the previous reauthorization of ESEA. There are regulations that clarify law and provide details that are occasionally restrictive. The accountability and state plan regulations were issued in May and comments will be due by August 1, 2016.

Chun first covered options for dates to submit the ESSA plan. Chun stated that the law allows the federal government 120 days for potential review before the plan is approved. Chun stated that if the plan is submitted in March 2017, the Department will be finished by July 2017, in time for implementation in the new school year. The second category of regulations referred to accountability. Chun explained the State received $50 million in Title I funds that helped to support education for disadvantaged students. Under NCLB, adequate yearly progress was based on test proficiency and caused the majority of schools to be considered in need for improvement. The positive effect was that special attention was brought to high-needs students; however, it narrowed curriculum. Hawaii has been under a waiver allowing the State to utilize the Strive HI Performance System, which led education in the direction of ESSA and allowed for additional flexibility. The law requires struggling schools to be identified. Chun stated that the Department believes there is overstepping in the draft federal regulations. The State is required to measure school quality and student success under school accountability, which could be done through advanced test taking. Chun stated that principals would like to consider school accreditation as a valid measure; however, the Department is unsure if it would meet federal requirements due to certain criteria. To make sure there is equality, every student needs to be tested to track performance. Chun stated that there is potential to lose funding if the percentage of students tested drops below 95%. The Department previously had the freedom to choose penalties; however, the federal regulations are only offering four inflexible options. Chun stated that the State should decide how to address the issue and should have the right to exercise creativity and innovation. Chun recommended the Board support a joint letter with the Department, the Board, and the Governor stating the Department’s belief that there should be flexibility under ESSA and some of the language in the proposed regulations oversteps federal boundaries.

Board Vice Chairperson De Lima shared support and stated that there should be further discussion in Committee meetings.

ACTION: Motion to support and approve formal comment on Federal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend Federal regulations to implement changes contained in ESSA as stated in the memorandum dated July 19, 2016 (De Lima, Uemura). The motion passed unanimously with all members voting aye.

VIII. Executive Session

The Board did not enter into executive session.

IX. Adjournment

Board Chairperson Mizumoto adjourned the meeting at 7:29 p.m.