Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

02/13/2015 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:01:03 AM Start
08:01:16 AM Overview: Eed on the Elementary & Secondary Education Act and the School Rating System Alaska School Performance Index (aspi)
09:11:17 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
"Impact Aid" by Dept. of Education & Early
<Above Presentation Postponed to 2/18/15>
+ Presentations: TELECONFERENCED
"School Rating System-Alaska School Performance
Index (ASPI)" & "Elementary & Secondary Education
Act" by Commissioner Hanley & Susan McCauley,
Dept. of Education & Early Development
<Above Presentations Rescheduled from 2/11/15>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 13, 2015                                                                                        
                           8:01 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Wes Keller, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Jim Colver                                                                                                       
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Liz Vazquez                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
OVERVIEW:  EED ON THE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT                                                                      
(ESEA) AND THE SCHOOL RATING SYSTEM ALASKA SCHOOL PERFORMANCE                                                                   
INDEX (ASPI)                                                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 30                                                                                                               
"An Act requiring school districts to develop and require                                                                       
completion of a history of American constitutionalism curriculum                                                                
segment; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MIKE HANLEY, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview on the Elementary                                                              
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Alaska School                                                                        
Performance Index (ASPI).                                                                                                       
SUSAN MCCAULEY PhD, Director                                                                                                    
Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                                   
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented  the overview on the Elementary                                                             
and  Secondary  Education  Act   (ESEA)  and  the  Alaska  School                                                               
Performance Index (ASPI).                                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:01:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WES  KELLER called the  House Education  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at 8:01  a.m.  Representatives  Keller, Seaton,                                                               
Colver, Drummond,  Kreiss-Tomkins, and  Reinbold were  present at                                                               
the call to order.                                                                                                              
^OVERVIEW:  EED  ON THE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY  EDUCATION ACT AND                                                               
THE SCHOOL RATING SYSTEM ALASKA SCHOOL PERFORMANCE INDEX (ASPI)                                                                 
 OVERVIEW:  EED ON THE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT AND                                                             
THE SCHOOL RATING SYSTEM ALASKA SCHOOL PERFORMANCE INDEX (ASPI)                                                             
8:01:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
an  overview   from  the  Department   of  Education   and  Early                                                               
Development (EED), on the Elementary  and Secondary Education Act                                                               
(ESEA) and the Alaska School Performance Index (ASPI).                                                                          
8:04:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  HANLEY, Commissioner,  Department  of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development (EED),  directed attention to the  committee handout,                                                               
titled  "House  Education  Committee,  Elementary  and  Secondary                                                               
Education  ACT  (ESEA),  School Rating  System  -  Alaska  School                                                               
Performance  Index (ASPI),"  page 2,  labeled "Drivers  of Public                                                               
Education   in  Alaska,"   to  state   that,  under   the  Alaska                                                               
Constitution,  the  directive  is  to establish  and  maintain  a                                                               
system  of  public  schools, while  Alaska  Statute  directs  the                                                               
agency  actions for  ensuring students  are  successful in  their                                                               
school and  work.  Thus, it  is incumbent on the  state that four                                                               
key functions  occur:  fund;  provide oversight and  support; set                                                               
standards;  and  assess  students towards  proficiency  on  those                                                               
standards.   To  accomplish these  tasks, $1.5  in billion  state                                                               
funds are allocated to EED,  and another $232 million is received                                                               
from  the federal  government.   The  federal funds  specifically                                                               
support children of populations that  may be at risk, for reasons                                                               
such   as  poverty,   transiency,   homelessness,  and   language                                                               
barriers.   He  emphasized that  EED  is not  the beneficiary  of                                                               
these  funds.    The  department  receives  and  facilitates  the                                                               
distribution,  to  ensure  that   the  most  vulnerable  students                                                               
receive an equal  opportunity for a quality education.   The $232                                                               
million in  federal fund  receipts require  the state  to provide                                                               
1.4 percent in  matching funds, thus, for every  $100.00 from the                                                               
federal government,  Alaska matches it  with $1.40.  In  order to                                                               
receive, distribute,  and account for  the federal funds,  EED is                                                               
allowed to retain 2-3 percent  of the funding for staffing needs.                                                               
The  department   is  driven  by   the  state   constitution  and                                                               
legislative requirements, he underscored, and said:                                                                             
     With  federal funding  we expand  our opportunities  to                                                                    
     meet the needs of [children]  but it doesn't change how                                                                    
     we do  our work.   It doesn't  change the  structure of                                                                    
     our department it doesn't change  our vision of what we                                                                    
8:09:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  MCCAULEY PhD,  Director,  Teaching  and Learning  Support,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (EED), continued                                                               
with the presentation and described  the ESEA as a measure passed                                                               
in  1965  as  part  of  President Lyndon  B.  Johnson's  "War  on                                                               
Poverty."  It  was designed to provide  supplementary funding for                                                               
elementary and  secondary education, providing each  child a fair                                                               
and equal  opportunity for attaining academic  achievement.  Most                                                               
recently the  measure was  reauthorized in 2001  as the  No Child                                                               
Left Behind  Act (NCLB).   As mentioned by the  commissioner, she                                                               
said these funds are directed  to specific groups of students who                                                               
otherwise would be  at a disadvantage to  receive the opportunity                                                               
for  an equal  education, due  to the  variables in  their lives.                                                               
Directing  attention to  page 5,  of the  committee handout,  she                                                               
compared the  nine major  points of  the NCLB  requirements, with                                                               
the NCLB Waiver allowances.   The first requirement, for adequate                                                               
yearly progress (AYP),  was replaced by the  more flexible Alaska                                                               
school performance  index (ASPI).   The AYP  metric was  the NCLB                                                               
driver  for school  accountability.   Under the  waiver, EED  was                                                               
able  to  design and  implement  ASPI,  designed specifically  to                                                               
address Alaska's students.   The second change was  to adjust the                                                               
annual measurable objective (AMO)  targets from what was required                                                               
under NCLB:   a standardized  trajectory for all schools  to meet                                                               
the  goal of  100  percent  proficiency by  2014.   The  national                                                               
baseline  for   proficiency  skills   in  reading,   science  and                                                               
mathematics, were  established in  2001-2002.  Under  the waiver,                                                               
the  department retained  AMO objectives,  but established  goals                                                               
set  on a  school-by-school basis,  utilizing baseline  data from                                                               
each  school.   The  expectation  is  that  under the  state  AMO                                                               
objectives,  schools will  reduce  by half  the  percent of  non-                                                               
performing students over  a six year period.   The trajectory for                                                               
each school is  based on unique data from that  school.  The NCLB                                                               
mandate was questioned and found  untenable, as the 2014 deadline                                                               
approached.   With  no differentiation  in school  accountability                                                               
systems, it became apparent that,  at some point, no school would                                                               
make AYP  under the  national blanket approach.   The  public was                                                               
confused  by this  flawed requirement.   The  original intent  of                                                               
increasing  school accountability  and  providing directions  for                                                               
improvement  were lost.   The  waiver  has allowed  the state  to                                                               
adopt  a  meaningful, star  rating  system  that does  allow  for                                                               
differentiation of  achievement levels  by subject,  student, and                                                               
school.   She reported  that the past  year's school  rankings by                                                               
achievement were:  75 five star,  190 four star, 149  three star,                                                               
52  two  star,  and 27  one  star.    The  star ranking  is  very                                                               
different from saying 98-99 percent  of Alaska's schools have not                                                               
met AYP,  she stressed,  and parents have  found the  star system                                                               
understandable and meaningful.                                                                                                  
8:16:37 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  MCCAULEY  continued with  the  fourth  NCLB requirement  for                                                               
comparison, and said that school  performance was based solely on                                                               
proficiency;  a pass/fail  model.   She explained  how a  student                                                               
would  need to  have earned  a score  of 300,  on the  state wide                                                               
assessment  to  be  scored  proficient.    Thus,  a  student  who                                                               
improved their assessment score from  298 to 301, would be scored                                                               
as having met proficiency in the  AYP system.  However, a student                                                               
improving from 167  to 299 would not  receive proficiency credit;                                                               
even  though  it  represents  a   much  larger  gain  in  student                                                               
achievement the 300  mark requirement remains unmet.   The waiver                                                               
allows   consideration   for   both   proficiency   and   growth.                                                               
Proficiency is  still necessary but  40 percent of the  metric is                                                               
based  on a  student's academic  growth over  seven levels.   The                                                               
fifth point for  comparison, she said, is that there  has been no                                                               
means  to  recognize schools  that  show  excellent growth;  only                                                               
achievement or non-achievement  of AYP.  The  waiver provides two                                                               
categories  for "rewards  schools":   one  based on  the top  ten                                                               
percent of schools showing proficiency;  and one based on the top                                                               
ten percent  of a  school's student growth;  a system  that works                                                               
better, provides  motivation, and  makes sense.   The  sixth NCLB                                                               
requirement  was  for  the department  to  identify  schools  for                                                               
improvement,  plan corrective  action, and  school restructuring,                                                               
actions that do not exist under  the waiver.  The seventh measure                                                               
required improvement  plans for  all schools, because  under NCLB                                                               
no  school could  meet AYP  in every  category.   The new  system                                                               
provides a  differentiated improvement plan with  the emphasis on                                                               
one  and two  star schools.    These low  achieving schools  must                                                               
still  submit a  comprehensive plan  to the  department.   Three,                                                               
four,  and  five star  schools  who  have  not  met and  AMO  are                                                               
required to  submit a streamlined,  focused improvement  plan for                                                               
the target areas not being met.   The improvement plans for these                                                               
schools is submitted to the district and handled locally.                                                                       
8:21:17 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. MCCAULEY  moved to  the eighth  comparison point,  and stated                                                               
that under NCLB  there was increased directing of  Title 1 funds.                                                               
When  schools  were  seen  as  not meeting  AYP,  not  only  were                                                               
increased  requirements for  school  improvement plans  required,                                                               
but the  federal government directed that  additional Title funds                                                               
be   allotted  to   provide  supplementary   services  in   those                                                               
districts.  The waiver has alleviated  this issue.  The ninth and                                                               
final  comparison  is the  funding  structure.   Under  NCLB  the                                                               
funding structure was not based  on school performance.  With the                                                               
waiver a  subset of  Title 1 provides  appropriate funding  to be                                                               
directed  towards focus  and priority  schools, the  one and  two                                                               
star schools, with students showing the most need; 1003A funds.                                                                 
8:23:12 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  MCCAULEY directed  attention  to page  6,  of the  committee                                                               
handout, to  explain the ASPI elementary/middle  school indicator                                                               
weightings for students  in grades K-8.  The pie  chart shows the                                                               
three  elements   that  contribute   to  the  star   rating  with                                                               
percentages  attached  to  each   element:    40  percent  school                                                               
progress;  35  percent  academic   achievement;  and  25  percent                                                               
attendance  rate.    The   academic  achievement  represents  the                                                               
percentage of  students who are  proficient or above  in reading,                                                               
writing, and math.  The school  progress relates to the gain that                                                               
a school  has achieved from  the previous  year's standards-based                                                               
assessments.   The attendance rate  is the average  attendance of                                                               
all students.  She explained that  the overall total from each of                                                               
these elements is  what determines the final  ASPI points awarded                                                               
and the number of stars that a school will receive.                                                                             
8:24:59 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  MCCAULEY pointed  out that  the ASPI  high school  indicator                                                               
weightings, for  students in grades 9-12,  has three differences:                                                               
the inclusion of  the graduation rate, 20 percent,  and a college                                                               
and  career  ready indicator,  10  percent,  in addition  to  the                                                               
school  progress, 40  percent, and  adjustments  to the  emphasis                                                               
given academic achievement, 20 percent,  and attendance rates, 10                                                               
percent.   These elements are calculated  in the same way  as for                                                               
the lower  grades and  a correlating star  rating is  assigned to                                                               
the school.   She elaborated that the 20  percent graduation rate                                                               
points are  assigned on  a four or  five year  achievement basis;                                                               
whichever  one provides  the school  with the  most points.   The                                                               
college and career ready indicator  qualifying scores are gleaned                                                               
from the  ACT Inc.,  Scholastic Achievement  Test (SAT),  and the                                                               
WorkKeys assessments.                                                                                                           
8:27:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD returned to  slide 5 and questioned point                                                               
8, regarding the increased directing of Title 1 funds.                                                                          
DR. MCCAULEY responded  that when Title 1 schools  failed to meet                                                               
AYP, districts  were required to  set aside a  certain percentage                                                               
of  funds for  supplementary educational  services.   These funds                                                               
were  to  be  made  available to  parents  to  purchase  tutoring                                                               
services,  or   for  the  school  to   use  towards  implementing                                                               
supplementary education services.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD clarified  her understanding  that these                                                               
were  funds   for  assisting  parent's  in   supplementing  their                                                               
children's education, and asked, "That's no longer available?"                                                                  
DR. MCCAULEY stated, "That's correct."                                                                                          
8:28:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  returned  to  page 3,  of  the  committee                                                               
handout,  and  the  percentage   of  federal  funds  allowed  for                                                               
administration,  to  ask  what  percentage  of  the  department's                                                               
budget   two-three  percent   represents,  and   whether  it   is                                                               
sufficient to cover the necessary agency costs.                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER HANLEY offered to provide further information.                                                                     
8:29:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER  asked about  how  the  waiver relates  to                                                               
student busing.                                                                                                                 
DR. MCCAULEY responded that NCLB  included a busing provision, if                                                               
a student  was attending a school  that did not meet  AYP and had                                                               
the opportunity  to attend one which  did.  The option  fell away                                                               
with the waiver and the elimination of AYP.                                                                                     
COMMISSIONER HANLEY added  that, when in effect,  this option was                                                               
available  in larger  districts  with multiple  schools, as  many                                                               
areas are single school districts.                                                                                              
8:30:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked what  occurs if  the state  fails to                                                               
meet the terms of the waiver.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HANLEY said the result  of non-compliance would be a                                                               
return to the NCLB model,  AYP would be required, and flexibility                                                               
would be  lost.  To  a follow-up  question he explained  that EDC                                                               
submitted  a  plan  for  approval   by  the  U.S.  Department  of                                                               
Education  (USDOE),  which  is  subject  to  ongoing  monitoring.                                                               
Washington State recently  lost their waiver and  has returned to                                                               
implementing  NCLB.   Other states  are  at risk  for not  making                                                               
progress towards the goals in  their waivers, but Alaska received                                                               
kudos for  not only a great  job of implementing the  waiver, but                                                               
for making the USEDC monitoring process easy.                                                                                   
8:34:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  questioned the  NCLB requirement  that 100                                                               
percent  of  students meet  AYP  by  2014,  and  asked if  it  is                                                               
rational to  expect all students  to reach full proficiency  by a                                                               
date certain.                                                                                                                   
DR. MCCAULEY explained that proficiency  on some level relates to                                                               
basic  skills,  which  a  worthwhile  goal  that  every  educator                                                               
directs students towards.  The  flawed aspect, under NCLB, is the                                                               
timeline and the one size fits  all expectation that did not take                                                               
into account where  schools were at the onset of  the mandate; to                                                               
have the  same expectation of  every school does not  make sense,                                                               
she  opined.   The  one-size-fits  all approach  of  AYP is  what                                                               
educators lost faith in over time.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  observed that  the waiver does  not appear                                                               
to emphasize proficiency, and he  suggested perhaps it has become                                                               
lost in the process.   Turning to page 6, he  noted that no slice                                                               
of  the  pie  is  dedicated to  school  progress,  perhaps  being                                                               
combined with  academic achievement.   He opined that  the system                                                               
may  downplay, and  unintentionally  allow a  school  to have  an                                                               
ongoing failure in proficiency.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY clarified  that  the "academic  achievement"                                                               
category could easily have been  named "proficiency" instead, and                                                               
represents  35 percent  of the  schools star  ranking.   The goal                                                               
remains for  every school to  be proficient, he said,  but rather                                                               
than having  a school  ranked entirely  on proficiency  the other                                                               
components were included.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER said  determining  academic success  still                                                               
appears  difficult, as  well as  understanding whether  the money                                                               
being put into education results in proficient students.                                                                        
DR.  MCCAULEY   offered  that,  in   addition  to   the  academic                                                               
achievement  portion being  exclusively the  percent of  students                                                               
who are/are not  proficient, the school progress  aspect is about                                                               
whether or not students are  progressing.  There are seven levels                                                               
of  performance,  from  far below  proficient  through  advanced.                                                               
When a school  moves a student from one level  to another, credit                                                               
is earned  in the ASPI  system.   The scores are  established via                                                               
the statewide  mandated assessment.   Should a  student backslide                                                               
rather  than progress,  it will  be reflected  in the  metric and                                                               
affect the  schools rating as well.   The seven levels  are about                                                               
moving   towards,   maintaining,   or   advancing   a   student's                                                               
8:41:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  recalled  how educators  across  Alaska                                                               
determined  early  on that  the  NCLB  AYP requirement  would  be                                                               
unattainable.   The  act neglected  to  recognize variables  that                                                               
could   bring  down   a  schools   rating,  such   as  attendance                                                               
considerations.  A  school could be performing well  on all other                                                               
fronts, but not  meet AYP because a flu  epidemic occurred during                                                               
a crucial count period.                                                                                                         
8:42:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER commented that NCLB  is a large target, and                                                               
not  a  policy that  he  is  comfortable defending;  however  the                                                               
question  for measurable  academic growth  remains.   He pondered                                                               
whether  schools  are  being expected  to  maintain  a  continued                                                               
trajectory, of unlimited  improvement, indefinitely.  Educational                                                               
goals once were, and should be  again, clear and not obscured, he                                                               
opined.  Additionally, it is  important to understand how to best                                                               
allocate limited state funds.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER HANLEY offered that the  department has tried to not                                                               
allow  progress  to  obscure  proficiency.   A  student  that  is                                                               
proficient or  above must  be recognized,  and the  waiver system                                                               
allows  for that  recognition where  NCLB did  not.   Also, funds                                                               
were not required for the system shift from NCLB to the waiver.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked,  "How do we know  the proficiency of                                                               
our  kids -  where are  we at?"   Further,  he asked  whether the                                                               
National  Assessment of  Educational Progress  (NAEP) is  used to                                                               
determine proficiency.                                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  answered that the statewide  assessments are                                                               
looked to for  measuring student growth.  The  NAEP assessment is                                                               
only  administered in  the 4th  and 8th  grade every  other year,                                                               
allowing comparisons  on a national  level.  Also, NAEP  does not                                                               
provide aggregated data on sub-groups.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked whether EDC  anticipates improvement                                                               
on the NAPE scores.                                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER   HANLEY  answered,   "Yes."     He  stressed   that                                                               
improvement  would  occur  due  to the  changes  in  the  system:                                                               
raising  the  trajectory  for learning  and  implementing  higher                                                               
8:48:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD returned  to  page 5,  of the  committee                                                               
handout,  to ask  how  much money  has been  spent  on NCLB,  and                                                               
offered her own  calculations.  She then asked  whether, if every                                                               
school would end up failing  [under AYP requirements], NCLB could                                                               
be considered a success.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY  pointed out  that  NCLB  did have  positive                                                               
aspects.   Certain  requirements  that  proved helpful  included:                                                               
disaggregating  school  data,   identifying  needs  in  sub-group                                                               
populations,   and  providing   a  better   picture  of   overall                                                               
performance.    However,  the  accountability  portion  that  was                                                               
imposed under the reauthorization failed to make sense.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  queried what  changes might occur  if it                                                               
were reauthorized again.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY   responded  that  Congress   has  discussed                                                               
reauthorization and EDC is monitoring  the progress.  Despite the                                                               
attention that  NCLB is  receiving on  a national  level, nothing                                                               
has yet  come to fruition.   However, he opined  that flexibility                                                               
regarding  the  accountability  measures, as  offered  under  the                                                               
waiver,  would  be  a  good   direction  for  USDOE  to  consider                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked:                                                                                                  
     Did  the NCLB  waiver  cause college  and career  ready                                                                    
     standards,   a  P20   data  system,   assessments,  and                                                                    
     accountability, which  caused the  teachers evaluations                                                                    
     to be linked [to proficiency].                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER HANLEY established  that the P20 data  system is not                                                               
connected to the waiver.   The college and career ready standards                                                               
were  in  place  prior  to,  and  helpful  in,  receiving  waiver                                                               
approval.    Criteria  for  the   waiver  requires  that  teacher                                                               
evaluations  be  connected  to   student  learning.    Department                                                               
regulations have  eight standards  for evaluating a  teacher, and                                                               
one was replaced  to include student learning as  a component; an                                                               
area that was under revision prior to the waiver application.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD reported  having reviewed  a forty  page                                                               
document posted on-line  by EDC [unidentified] and  asked why the                                                               
AMO  indicates different  targets for  students; Native  American                                                               
and Asian for example.                                                                                                          
DR. MCCAULEY responded that AMO  targets vary for each school, as                                                               
well as targets within subgroups  of students.  The baseline data                                                               
for the  targets are established  independently for  each school,                                                               
as well as for each subgroup.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY  offered an  example  that  if a  particular                                                               
group of  students were  found to be  50 percent  proficient, the                                                               
goal would be to reduce  the number of non-proficient students by                                                               
one  half.   In  the  course  of six  years,  75  percent of  the                                                               
students would  need to be assessed  as proficient.  The  goal is                                                               
to  move  all  students  towards   proficiency  by  reducing  the                                                               
baseline non-proficient percentage by 50 percent at a time.                                                                     
8:55:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   queried  whether  the   rewards  schools                                                               
recognition program  is based on two  different systems measuring                                                               
growth and proficiency.                                                                                                         
DR.  MCCAULEY  said the  program  is  based  on two  systems  and                                                               
explained  that  the  reward  categories   are  for  the  highest                                                               
performance  and the  highest progress  and include  the top  ten                                                               
percent   of  schools   in  each   category:     overall  student                                                               
proficiency and  overall progress  of students.   Additionally, a                                                               
minimum  graduation  rate  must   be  attained,  irrespective  of                                                               
progress or proficiency, along  with other baseline achievements.                                                               
Remarkably, she said,  a handful of schools  are recognized, each                                                               
year, in both categories.                                                                                                       
8:57:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked for  an opinion  on the  "top down                                                               
approach," and whether it is considered supportable.                                                                            
COMMISSIONER HANLEY responded  that EDC is not a fan  of the NCLB                                                               
approach,  which is  why the  waiver  contains an  accountability                                                               
system created by the department.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD asked  if  the mandates  for the  waiver                                                               
requirements are fully funded.                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY   allowed  that  the  department   does  not                                                               
consider the waiver system perfect,  however it is an improvement                                                               
over  NCLB.   The  AYP  scores  were  difficult to  address,  and                                                               
schools were  at a loss  on how  to approach improvement.   Under                                                               
the waiver  the schools  remain engaged  and understand  the star                                                               
rating  system.   Reiterating  that the  waiver  did not  require                                                               
funding to  implement, he  said that to  answer the  full funding                                                               
question would require  an audit of the  various components; some                                                               
are certainly fully funded and some are not.                                                                                    
9:00:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   stated   his   understanding   of   the                                                               
improvement measurement  system having  seven levels  within each                                                               
grade  level, and  asked  if it  is an  accurate  summation.   He                                                               
further asked  how attendance is  considered and  whether medical                                                               
situations are taken into account.                                                                                              
DR.  MCCAULEY  agreed  with the  member's  comprehension  of  the                                                               
system.  She discussed the  seven levels, stressed the difference                                                               
between proficiency and progress, and  added that, although it is                                                               
a  complex system,  the  teachers  are able  to  work within  the                                                               
matrix to  create a  rigorous classroom  dynamic.   Regarding the                                                               
attendance  percentage,  she  said  there is  an  adjustment  for                                                               
excused  versus  unexcused  absences,   and  offered  to  provide                                                               
further information.                                                                                                            
9:04:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  mentioned a number of  programs that she                                                               
would   like  further   information   on,   then  described   her                                                               
understanding of the costs involved  for implementing the waiver,                                                               
which she maintained  has been considered by school  boards to be                                                               
an  unfunded  mandate.   Kodiak  [school  district] has  reported                                                               
costs for implementation to have  reached $1.8 million, which has                                                               
included:      alterations   to  the   curriculum,   assessments,                                                               
broadband, and  teacher training.   During these  economic times,                                                               
she said  it is important  to understand  the costs involved.   A                                                               
ten year snap shot for the  federal, state, and local costs would                                                               
be helpful, she opined.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  requested  that the  member  clarify  her                                                               
specific requests and  submit them in writing to EDC  to ensure a                                                               
clear and  accurate response.   He commented  that in  a business                                                               
situation,  where  results  are   lacking  and  new  systems  are                                                               
implemented,   an    automatic   skepticism    occurs   regarding                                                               
effectiveness.   He said this is  not far from what  is happening                                                               
with the change in the educational  system.  The pass fail system                                                               
of NCLB  being reconfigured into  a star rating system  will take                                                               
some time to correlate and  comprehend.  However, he acknowledged                                                               
that the  committee and EDC  are certainly  on the same  page for                                                               
providing students the best education possible.                                                                                 
9:10:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER announced the next meeting.                                                                               
9:11:17 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:12 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
House Education Committee ASPI ESEA v2.pdf HEDC 2/13/2015 8:00:00 AM