Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/23/2016 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 156(EDC) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 3/21/16>
Moved HCS CSSB 89(EDC) Out of Committee
        HB 156-SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES; FED. LAW                                                                     
9:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  156, "An Act relating to  compliance with federal                                                               
education  laws; relating  to public  school accountability;  and                                                               
providing  for  an  effective  date."    [Before  the  committee,                                                               
adopted as  a work draft  on 3/16/16, was the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)   for  HB  156,  Version   29-LS0566\Y,  Glover,                                                               
9:11:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER passed the gavel to Vice Chair Vazquez.                                                                            
9:11:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  stated that the  first component  of the bill  is a                                                               
means to  address the implementation  of ESSA and proposes  a two                                                               
year  hiatus for  the transition  period; effectively  suspending                                                               
the  high   stakes  testing  regimen  required   by  the  federal                                                               
government.   The  second component  addresses  the state  school                                                               
board reporting  requirements, which  will be "tweaked"  based on                                                               
the  adoption of  the changes  made in  the first  aspect of  the                                                               
9:14:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS0566\Y.1, Glover, 3/16/16, which read:                                                                                        
     Page 3, line 13, following "demonstrates":                                                                             
     Insert "(1)"                                                                                                           
     Page 3, line 14, following "year":                                                                                     
     Insert "; or                                                                                                           
      (2) maintenance of a proficient or high performance                                                                   
     designation from the previous year"                                                                                  
9:14:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                               
9:15:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER   said  the  amendment   addresses  school                                                               
district  concerns to  establish a  bar for  the purpose  of high                                                               
performance designations and comparisons.                                                                                       
9:17:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER  removed  his  objection.   He  explained  that  an                                                               
annually  updated, on-line  report  card,  lists the  designated,                                                               
high performance schools.  He  opined that even top rated schools                                                               
could be served instead via  a performance indicator, with better                                                               
results.   Understanding the standard  may be necessary,  but the                                                               
intent of the bill directs  the board to establish considerations                                                               
for  determining school  performance and  consistent improvement,                                                               
rather than focusing on maintaining proficiency.                                                                                
9:19:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER removed his objection.                                                                                             
9:19:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected.                                                                                                 
9:19:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked if  the  current  five star  rating                                                               
system will be  effected or whether what is being  proposed is in                                                               
addition to  what exists.   An additional system  may effectively                                                               
double the school  rating effort, he surmised, and  asked how the                                                               
department would align the two approaches.                                                                                      
9:21:21 AM                                                                                                                    
MARGARET  MACKINNON,  Director,  Assessment  and  Accountability,                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development (EED)  responded                                                               
that the  current Alaska  School Performance  Index uses  a five-                                                               
star rating  base.   The Elementary  and Secondary  Education Act                                                               
(ESEA) flexibility  waiver [implemented  at the beginning  of the                                                               
2013-14  school   year]  directed  the  department   to  maintain                                                               
identification categories to include  schools rated as the lowest                                                               
performing,  as  well  as  the reward  status  facilities.    The                                                               
requirements also categorized high  progress and high performance                                                               
schools.  The department is  currently experiencing a "pause," in                                                               
anticipation of the  new assessment system.  The  passage of ESSA                                                               
[ESEA/NCLB reauthorization],  allows flexibility for  creating an                                                               
accountability  system, and  places  the decision  making in  the                                                               
hands of the state.  Thus,  the type of indicators for inclusion,                                                               
and whether or  not to continue the star rating  method is yet to                                                               
be decided.  ESSA doesn't  require a high performing designation,                                                               
she pointed out.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  recalled the establishment of  the current                                                               
star system,  which Alaska  may have  created to  satisfy federal                                                               
requirements.    However,  he said,  the  current  accountability                                                               
system, as  written, may satisfy the  proposed criteria, negating                                                               
a need for Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
MS.  MACKINNON   answered  that  the  current   requirements  for                                                               
designating schools  has not  been changed.   She  explained that                                                               
the existing designations  are broad and, under  the ESEA waiver,                                                               
the star  accountability system may  meet all requirements.   The                                                               
provisions  are general  enough  to allow  the  development of  a                                                               
modified, or  new, state accountability system  while recognizing                                                               
schools that are  improving.  Once the high  threshold for school                                                               
performance  is attained,  however,  it can  become difficult  to                                                               
show  continued improvement  from  year to  year.   The  proposed                                                               
amendment language will bolster both situations.                                                                                
9:25:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KELLER  commented that  when  a  school's previous  year's                                                               
performance becomes the status quo,  "it makes me uncomfortable."                                                               
The amendment offered allows for an element of improvement.                                                                     
9:26:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his  objection, and with no further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
9:26:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  moved to adopt Amendment  2, labeled 29-LS0566\Y.3,                                                               
Glover, 3/18/16, which read:                                                                                                    
     Page 6, line 18:                                                                                                           
          Delete "2017"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2016"                                                                                                         
     Page 6, line 19:                                                                                                           
          Delete "2019"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2018"                                                                                                         
     Page 7, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "2017"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2016"                                                                                                         
9:27:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                  
9:27:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  said the intent  of Amendment  2 is to  address the                                                               
department's  request for  an adjustment  of the  effective date,                                                               
which will allow the necessary time for implementation.                                                                         
9:28:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER  clarified  that  the  intent  is  to  not                                                               
require  school   districts  to  administer  a   statewide  based                                                               
assessment after  July 1, 2016;  a directive to the  state school                                                               
CHAIR KELLER concurred.                                                                                                         
9:28:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER surmised that  testing is being returned to                                                               
local  control,   per  ESSA,  with   the  expectation   that  the                                                               
department  will  develop  a  meaningful,  measurable  assessment                                                               
system, in  concert with local  districts, which can  be compared                                                               
with other  state's scores.   He  underscored the  importance for                                                               
rebuilding a new  state assessment system from the  ground-up.  A                                                               
collaboratively developed  framework, with goals  and objectives,                                                               
would be the best approach, he opined.                                                                                          
9:30:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   reminded  committee  members   that  the                                                               
federal government  has expressed to  EED that a two  year waiver                                                               
is  not available,  thus, putting  the state's  federal education                                                               
funding  at  risk.   He  asked  if that  is  the  reason for  the                                                               
proposed date change.                                                                                                           
9:31:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  said the date  change allows the department  to get                                                               
an  earlier start  for implementing  the  permissive elements  of                                                               
9:32:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SPOHNHOLZ  stated   support  for   the  concepts                                                               
presented  in  the bill,  and  expressed  concern for  unintended                                                               
consequences  effecting   currently  enrolled   senior  students.                                                               
Would lacking  participation in an  assessment them  in jeopardy,                                                               
as graduates, she asked.                                                                                                        
MS. MACKINNON responded no.                                                                                                     
9:33:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his  objection, and with no further                                                               
objection Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                              
9:34:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  moved to  report the  proposed CS  for HB
156,  Version  29-LS0566\Y,  Glover, 3/11/16,  as  amended,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being no  objection,  CSHB 156(EDC),  was                                                               
reported from the House Education Standing Committee.                                                                           
9:34:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER stated support for  the bill and said it is                                                               
important to retool the educational situation in the state.                                                                     
9:35:06 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease at 9:35 a.m.                                                                                 
9:35:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ returned the gavel to Chair Keller.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB298 Fiscal Note.pdf HEDC 3/23/2016 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 298
CS HB156 Sponsor Statment.pdf HEDC 3/23/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 156