Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

04/03/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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08:02:39 AM Start
08:03:12 AM HB151
09:59:41 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 190 CREDIT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL COURSES TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= HB 151 SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HB 151-SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:03:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL NO.  151, "An  Act establishing  a  public school  and                                                              
school  district   grading  system   for  purposes  of   improving                                                              
accountability  and transparency;  providing for Alaska  strategic                                                              
educators  in  public  schools; and  providing  for  an  effective                                                              
date."  [Version O was before the committee.]                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:03:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  noted that  members'  packets contain  a                                                              
proposed committee  substitute (CS)  for HB 151,  Version I.   She                                                              
explained  that Version  I would  allow an  exemption for  schools                                                              
with  fewer  than  20  full-time  students  but  would  allow  the                                                              
schools to opt in to the grading system.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:04:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  moved to adopt  the proposed  committee                                                              
substitute  (CS)   for  HB  151,   labeled 28-LS0496\l,   Mischel,                                                              
3/28/13, as the working document.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:05:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD directed  attention to  Section 5  of the                                                              
bill, which would  allow an exemption for schools  with fewer than                                                              
20  full-time students  to  opt into  the  grading  system at  the                                                              
school's  discretion.    Additionally, this  section  will  create                                                              
clear  instructions  for  the  school's   display  of  the  yearly                                                              
performance  designation.   It  requires  the school  to  promptly                                                              
post  the  designation  on  the website,  as  well  as  to  notify                                                              
parents  and  guardians  of enrolled  students  about  the  yearly                                                              
performance.   However,  the posting  of  the grade  at the  front                                                              
office of  the school is optional.   Finally, the purpose  of this                                                              
section  is  to  ensure a  link  to  the  performance  designation                                                              
assigned to  each school district  and public school  is available                                                              
on the website  and home page  of the Department of  Education and                                                              
Early Development (EED).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  referred  to subsection  (d) and  asked                                                              
whether schools  are exempt if they  have fewer than  20 full-time                                                              
unless they notify the department otherwise.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD agreed that  [Section 5, subsection  (d)]                                                              
is optional for the smaller schools.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  noted that under  subsection (g),  each                                                              
school  shall  prominently  display  on  the  [school's]  Internet                                                              
website [the  performance designation  assigned each year  for the                                                              
duration of  the year].   She asked whether  all schools  have the                                                              
ability to comply with this requirement.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS asked  whether  this means  schools  who maintain  a                                                              
website should display the performance information.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    P.   WILSON    commented   the    aforementioned                                                              
requirement  reads  "shall" so  it  means the  school  performance                                                              
information must be prominently displayed on the website.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  interpreted  this  to  mean  the  school                                                              
"shall" display  the information  if it  has an Internet  website.                                                              
She assumed most schools have Internet websites.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:08:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  HANLEY,  Commissioner,  Department of  Education  and  Early                                                              
Development  (EED), offered  his understanding  that every  school                                                              
district  has a website,  although  he was unsure  if each  school                                                              
within the  district has  its own website.   Although  each school                                                              
he  has  checked  has  its  own   website  within  the  district's                                                              
website,  he couldn't confirm  whether all  schools have  Internet                                                              
websites.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  referred  to  language on  page  4,  under                                                              
subsection   (e),  which   read,  "The   department  shall   adopt                                                              
regulations  to   implement  this   section  and  provide   annual                                                              
incentives ...."  He asked what that would entail.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  declined to  venture a response  and deferred                                                              
to the sponsor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD said  existing law  already provides  for                                                              
the  department to  assist  underperforming  school districts,  if                                                              
possible.  She  offered to provide some examples  from Florida [as                                                              
the model  for this bill], but  again, the department  already has                                                              
the flexibility to support underperforming schools.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  expressed   concern   about  the   bill's                                                              
mandatory nature  with regard to  the need to develop  regulations                                                              
and incentives;  however, he was  unsure what this entails  or the                                                              
parameters for the department.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS   asked  whether  the  department   understands  the                                                              
parameters.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  said he unsure  of the sponsor's  intentions.                                                              
For  example, the  incentives could  be recognition  on the  EED's                                                              
website,  or  in  local publications.    Perhaps  the  recognition                                                              
could be  accomplished with  plaques, but  he was  not sure  if it                                                              
fits with  the sponsor's intent.   The department did  not prepare                                                              
a fiscal note since he was unsure of the incentives.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD offered  to  provide some  clarity.   She                                                              
referred  to AS  14.03.123, which  states,  "The department  shall                                                              
establish  a program  of  special  recognition for  those  schools                                                              
that  receive   high  performance  designation."     Further,  the                                                              
department   "recommends   that    schools   that   receive   high                                                              
performance  designation under  the U.S.  Department of  Education                                                              
(U.S.DOE) Blue  Ribbon Schools Program."   She said  this language                                                              
is in current  law.  Additionally, if the high  performance school                                                              
is a  Title I school,  the department recommends  that Title  I be                                                              
distinguished  as a school  award, but  both programs are  already                                                              
federally  sponsored.   She offered  to provide  links and  e-mail                                                              
the information.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  responded he  was still uncertain  what the                                                              
department  is  required   to  do  with  respect   to  the  Alaska                                                              
Strategic  Educator.   Referring to  page 4(i),  he remarked  that                                                              
the  Bush experiences  high turnover.    In instances  in which  a                                                              
school  earns  a  designation  of  "D" or  "F,"  whether  any  new                                                              
teacher who voluntarily  takes a job in the Bush  is designated as                                                              
an Alaska Strategic Educator.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  answered that the department  already has                                                              
designated underperforming  schools.  This language  will give the                                                              
department  the   authority  to   identify  an  Alaska   Strategic                                                              
Educator  to travel  to  the Bush;  however,  he/she would  travel                                                              
from a  higher performing area  to the Bush  school.   Again, this                                                              
would give  the department  the power to  identify the "D"  or "F"                                                              
schools and place the strategic educators where needed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:14:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  the  language in  Version I  requires                                                              
the department  to take  action.   He read,  " ... the  department                                                              
shall  identify as  an  Alaska Strategic  Educator  a teacher  who                                                              
volunteers  to  be  assigned  and   is  assigned  to  teach  in  a                                                              
classroom  ...  ".   Granted,  the  school  could be  anywhere  in                                                              
Alaska,  including  the  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough (MSB)  or  the                                                              
Bush.   Apparently any  teacher would  qualify, including  a brand                                                              
new  teacher, who  would be  designated  by the  department as  an                                                              
Alaska   Strategic  Educator.      In  fact,   the  bill   doesn't                                                              
differentiate  between moving staff  from one  part of  a district                                                              
to another;  instead, anyone  who volunteers  in a  low-performing                                                              
school shall  be identified as an  Alaska Strategic Educator.   He                                                              
voiced concern whether this serves the bill's intent.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked whether this process  requires two                                                              
teachers  will be in  the classroom  or if  one is transferred  to                                                              
another   location  when   the   Alaska  Strategic   Educator   is                                                              
transferred.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD deferred to Mr. Coba to answer.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.   WILSON   surmised  many   schools   with   a                                                              
designation of  "D" or  "F" would be  rural schools requiring  air                                                              
travel, which is costly.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:17:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUAN COBA,  State Policy  Director, Foundation  for Excellence  in                                                              
Education,  offered  his  understanding that  the  language  under                                                              
discussion  is   intended  to  provide   an  incentive   to  high-                                                              
performance  teachers to move  to lower  performing schools.   For                                                              
example,  in Florida  teachers are  given  monetary incentives  to                                                              
supplement their  salaries if they move to  low-performing schools                                                              
or  schools with  challenged populations,  such as  in low  socio-                                                              
economic  areas.   While  Florida  doesn't have  the  geographical                                                              
challenges Alaska has,  it does have some isolated  areas.  He was                                                              
unsure of how to address the specific question.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained  that  Alaska has  a  number  of                                                              
single-site school  districts.  He  related a scenario in  which a                                                              
single site  school was a  low-performing school, which  under the                                                              
bill means  that a first-year  teacher could  be designated  as an                                                              
Alaska  Strategic   Educator.    He  further   understood  Florida                                                              
provides  monetary  incentives.   He  asked for  clarification  on                                                              
which Florida teacher is being offered an incentive.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COBA responded  that in  Florida  school districts  negotiate                                                              
their own  salary schedules.   The  intent is  not necessarily  to                                                              
move  new teachers,  but to  provide  teachers who  have a  proven                                                              
track  record  some  incentives  to  move  to  a  low  performance                                                              
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:21:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTA VON  BERGEN, Staff,  Representative Lora Reinbold,  Alaska                                                              
State Legislature,  noted that the  bill states [on page  4, lines                                                              
19-22,  subsection (i)],"A  school principal,  a school  district,                                                              
and  the  department   shall  identify  as  an   Alaska  Strategic                                                              
Educator  a  teacher   who  volunteers  to  be   assigned  and  is                                                              
assigned"  [to teach in  a classroom  in a  school for  the school                                                              
year  immediately  after  a  school year  for  which  that  school                                                              
earned  a  designation   of  "D"  or  "F"  under   this  section.]                                                              
Therefore, the  aforementioned teachers  would need to  volunteer.                                                              
The  only  change in  this  bill  is  to add  the  title,  "Alaska                                                              
Strategic Educator."   She  clarified that the  bill does  not add                                                              
any monetary compensation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS  surmised that  the  volunteer  teacher is  given  a                                                              
title and certain  prestige to attain the title  "Alaska Strategic                                                              
Educator."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERGEN answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  acknowledged the  point, but noted  that in                                                              
districts  in  the MSB  and  the  KPB with  numerous  schools  and                                                              
teachers  significant movement  could  happen;  however, in  rural                                                              
Alaska,  many  school  districts  already  experience  50  percent                                                              
turnover in many  schools.  Certainly, some of  these schools will                                                              
fall in the "D"  or "F" category.   Therefore,  anyone applying to                                                              
be a teacher  in the Bush  would automatically be  volunteering to                                                              
teach in  those schools.   He  emphasized the  bill states  that a                                                              
school principal,  a school district,  and the department  "shall"                                                              
identify  an Alaska  Strategic Educator.    He questioned  whether                                                              
that's the intent of the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD suggested  that approximately  78 schools                                                              
would  be  exempted  since  they   have  less  than  20  full-time                                                              
students.    She  characterized  this bill  as  being  a  consumer                                                              
information education  act that  basically informs the  community,                                                              
the teachers, and  parents of where the schools stand  in terms of                                                              
achievement  and  progress gains  that  the students  are  making,                                                              
which she viewed as important.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:24:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  noted that much of the bill's  focus is on                                                              
grading and  promoting awareness of  a school's performance.   The                                                              
section that  designates  the Alaska Strategic  Educator seems  to                                                              
be the way  the bill addresses  school performance.  He  asked for                                                              
clarification on  what it means to  be a strategic educator.   For                                                              
example, he asked whether teachers will receive extra pay.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:24:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  responded that  the  honor  of having  a                                                              
title  bestowed  on the  teachers  would  serve as  an  incentive,                                                              
similar  to  recognition   offered  to  members   serving  in  the                                                              
military.     Although  the   bill  does   not  address   monetary                                                              
incentives -  since the legislature  does not negotiate  contracts                                                              
-  she  believed   that  teachers  will  be  drawn   to  help  the                                                              
"underdog" schools due to the recognition the title grants them.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked for  clarification  on whether  the                                                              
incentive  is  basically  lauding  someone  to  take  on  a  tough                                                              
assignment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   REINBOLD  agreed  that   serving  as   an  Alaska                                                              
Strategic  Educator would  be  "a badge  of  honor" for  teachers.                                                              
She emphasized the  specific language in the bill  states a school                                                              
principal,  a   school  district,   and  the  department   "shall"                                                              
identify  an  Alaska  Strategic  Educator  who  volunteers  to  be                                                              
assigned to  be assigned and is  assigned to teach in  a classroom                                                              
in a school  for the school  year immediately after a  school year                                                              
for which that school earned a designation of "D" or "F".                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  understood teachers  willing  to take  on                                                              
the assignment would  be designated an Alaska  Strategic Educator,                                                              
but the title is not given based on their prior achievement.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  agreed, noting  these  teachers will  be                                                              
identified   by   the   principal,  school   district,   and   the                                                              
department.   In further response  to Representative  Saddler, she                                                              
agreed that  no monetary compensation  is designated in  the bill,                                                              
but  those  types   of  decisions  could  be  made   during  labor                                                              
negotiations.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:27:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  GRIFFIN,  Education  Research Fellow,  Alaska  Policy  Forum,                                                              
after  mentioning that  he served  as  a delegate  to the  Mayor's                                                              
Education  Conference in  Anchorage  in November,  explained  that                                                              
the  concept  of  strategic  educator came  from  a  former  North                                                              
Carolina  superintendent  who  spoke at  the  mayor's  conference.                                                              
The  superintendent related  that  the school  districts in  North                                                              
Carolina  used  a  strategic  educator  moniker  to  attract  high                                                              
quality teachers  to their  tough schools.   He characterized  the                                                              
program  as  being  a very  successful  program,  which  has  been                                                              
proven to  work elsewhere.  While  the North Carolina  schools did                                                              
not offer  teachers any  financial incentives  these schools  were                                                              
able  to attract  teachers who  were  driven by  challenges.   The                                                              
North Carolina  superintendent offered  his belief  it was  one of                                                              
the most  effective programs to  attract high-quality  teachers to                                                              
low-performing schools without providing monetary compensation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:29:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked whether  any additional  benefits or                                                              
authority was  provided to  the strategic  educators in  the North                                                              
Carolina program.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN answered  no;  teachers  received a  signature  block                                                              
indicating  they  were strategic  educators.   In  fact,  teachers                                                              
would  compete  to earn  the  moniker.    He  compared it  to  the                                                              
military  practice  of awarding  decorations  for  service.   This                                                              
actually  attracted  the  right  type  of  teachers  to  the  low-                                                              
performing  schools,  similar  to   the  reason  the  Peace  Corps                                                              
volunteers are attracted  to help.  In response  to Representative                                                              
Saddler, Mr.  Griffin responded  that in  order to participate  in                                                              
the program,  strategic educators  must first  volunteer and  then                                                              
be selected  to serve.   For  example, not  all of the  volunteers                                                              
were selected  to participate in  the North Carolina  program, but                                                              
just those who had a track record of proven effectiveness.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON, after  mentioning she previously  lived                                                              
in North  Carolina, questioned whether  the program would  work in                                                              
Alaska   given  the   state's  current   lack  of   transportation                                                              
infrastructure.   She further  questioned how  this could  work in                                                              
Alaska especially  given that  some of the  remote schools  lie in                                                              
areas without residential electricity in some homes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:34:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFIN  pointed out  that people  are motivated by  different                                                              
things.   Moreover,  the fact that  it won't  cost anything  makes                                                              
the program attractive.   He offered his belief  this program will                                                              
attract the  right types of people,  which are those  motivated by                                                              
the satisfaction  of good  performance rather  than by  economics.                                                              
Again,   the  track   record  of   the   North  Carolina   program                                                              
illustrates  that it  could work  in Alaska, although  it may  not                                                              
provide the ultimate solution.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD reminded members  that the Department  of                                                              
Education  and Early  Development  (EED) already  has coaches  and                                                              
mentors  in   schools  that  are   in  intervention  mode.     She                                                              
characterized this  program as one that might  be complementary to                                                              
existing  EED's  efforts.   Again,  teachers  would  be  attracted                                                              
since it  would be a "badge  of honor" and recognition.   Finally,                                                              
it is the  legislature's responsibility to do  everything possible                                                              
to help students and schools, she said.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:36:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  directed attention  to  the language  on                                                              
page  4,  subsection  (i),  which read,  "A  school  principal,  a                                                              
school district,  and the department  shall identify as  an Alaska                                                              
Strategic Educator ...  ".  Specifically, the language  in HB 151,                                                              
subsection  (i) doesn't  read  "or" so  it  appears a  substantial                                                              
number of  people would be  involved in identifying  teachers that                                                              
may not  normally be  involved in  the teacher selection  process.                                                              
Specifically, she  asked whether the department has  been involved                                                              
in identifying teachers for any other reason.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY answered no.   With respect  to the  bill, he                                                              
envisioned  the  process  would entail  the  school  district  and                                                              
principal  selecting  a  strategic  educator  and  the  department                                                              
confirming  their  selection.   However,  he  did not  expect  the                                                              
department would  step in to  identify teachers for  schools since                                                              
those types of decisions are left to local control.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND asked  whether a  school principal  would                                                              
be involved  in hiring decisions or  if hiring is usually  done at                                                              
the school district level.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY  expressed  he  is  most  familiar  with  the                                                              
Anchorage School  District (ASD).   He noted  the ASD was  able to                                                              
make staff  hiring decisions  within the  parameters given  by the                                                              
district.  However,  speaking as a former principal,  he stated he                                                              
hired staff for his school.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   suggested  the  committee   is  currently                                                              
discussing two programs.   First, one program identifies  a select                                                              
group of  educators who are selected  based on criteria  and their                                                              
performance  as  high-quality  educators,   who  are  subsequently                                                              
bestowed  honorary  titles.    Second,  the  other  program  under                                                              
discussion  is  the  one  described   in  the  bill  as  currently                                                              
written,  which  requires  that   a  school  principal,  a  school                                                              
district,  and  the  department  "shall"  identify  as  an  Alaska                                                              
Strategic Educator.   He voiced concern that the  bill would allow                                                              
new teachers to  be designated as Alaska Strategic  Educators.  He                                                              
questioned whether  the sponsor prefers the program  as written in                                                              
the bill  or whether the  program will be  more selective  and use                                                              
master  teachers.   He  pointed  out testifiers  mentioned  master                                                              
teachers  taking  on  a  difficult   task  in  an  underperforming                                                              
school.   However,  the bill  reads that  anyone who  "volunteers"                                                              
could be  selected.  Thus  a new teacher  could be accepted  as an                                                              
Alaska Strategic  Educator  once the teacher  "volunteers"  and is                                                              
confirmed by the school.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:40:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD ventured perhaps  that language  could be                                                              
changed.    She  suggest  that  discretionary  language,  such  as                                                              
changing "shall"  to "may"  on page 1, line  9.  Nonetheless,  she                                                              
pointed  out  the  selection  process  consists  of  a  series  of                                                              
decisions, such that  first the person is identified,  then he/she                                                              
volunteers,  after which he/she  is confirmed.   Further,  the EED                                                              
currently  has mentors  and coaches  in schools  and this  program                                                              
would complement that process.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:41:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLARK  JOLLEY, Senator,  Oklahoma  State  Senate,  stated that  he                                                              
chaired  the Oklahoma  Appropriations  Committee  and sponsored  a                                                              
similar bill several years ago.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  suggested  Senator Jolley  describe  the                                                              
effects of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOLLEY explained  Oklahoma  has been  issuing two  report                                                              
cards; however, parents  still really couldn't get a  sense of how                                                              
their children  were performing.   He  explained that  instituting                                                              
the "A-F" grading  system changed the dynamics,  which resulted in                                                              
parents becoming  more involved in  the process,  asking questions                                                              
of superintendents  and school board  members.  Since  the program                                                              
costs very  little to  implement, Oklahoma hopes  to use  funds to                                                              
reward  the  "A"  schools  or other  schools  that  improve.    To                                                              
implement  the reform,  Oklahoma  used data  from ongoing  testing                                                              
and  simply  calculated  school   performance  using  a  different                                                              
matrix for the "A-F"  grading system.  He hoped  another bill will                                                              
pass,  such  as  one  the  committee   is  currently  considering.                                                              
Speaking to the  original program, he said Oklahoma's  goal was to                                                              
inform parents  about the performance  of their schools,  which is                                                              
being  accomplished.     However,  the  program   is  not  without                                                              
controversy because  some people routinely object  to transparency                                                              
or  accountability, although  others  have  embraced the  process.                                                              
The  effect has  been  to "kick  start"  a discussion  on  current                                                              
education policy and seek to make it better for students.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked him to describe  some changes that                                                              
were necessary to make.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOLLEY   responded  that   Oklahoma  made  some   initial                                                              
changes,  including  issuing  four  grades for  schools.    First,                                                              
Oklahoma  offered a  grade for  academic  performance and  another                                                              
for growth  of the  school, site,  and district.   Next,  Oklahoma                                                              
identified the bottom  25 percent of students.   Finally, Oklahoma                                                              
graded the  school improvement  as a  whole, including  graduation                                                              
rate, dropout  rate, advanced  placement.   Initially, the  school                                                              
was graded based  on academics comprising 66 2/3  percent, and the                                                              
whole  school  at  33  1/3 percent.    Currently,  this  is  being                                                              
revised so  the grade will be  based solely on academics,  with 50                                                              
percent based on  required testing achievement, 25  percent on the                                                              
site's growth,  and 25  percent on the  performance of  the bottom                                                              
quartile.   The whole  school improvement grade  was moved  into a                                                              
bonus category.   Thus  schools could obtain  points based  on the                                                              
whole school  improvement  and use these  points to  move up  to a                                                              
letter grade.   He  anticipated this  program would be  considered                                                              
by both  the Senate  and the House  this year.   He suggested  the                                                              
current bill is similar to Alaska's bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON suggested  that perhaps the  bill should                                                              
sunset since  the sunset  provision would trigger  a review.   She                                                              
expressed  concern  about  the legislature's  ability  to  perform                                                              
continuity and follow up on the program.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:50:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOLLEY argued  against including  a  sunset provision  in                                                              
the  bill.   Instead,  the  legislature  needs  to make  a  policy                                                              
decision  to  implement  the  program.    He  suggested  that  the                                                              
committee could  decide how  "user friendly"  the data  should be.                                                              
In his  experience, when a bill  contains a sunset  provision, the                                                              
tendency is for  legislators to find reasons not  to reinstate the                                                              
program.    They may  simply  claim  the  program is  not  working                                                              
rather than  working to  improve the policy.   He emphasized  that                                                              
the "A-F"  metric is an  easily understood  metric.  In  his view,                                                              
Alaska's report is  far more thorough than Oklahoma's  report, but                                                              
Oklahoma's report  was difficult  to understand unless  the person                                                              
truly  understood education  policy  and statistics,  whereas  the                                                              
"A-F" metric as  proposed by HB 151 would be easily  understood by                                                              
parents.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:53:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOLLEY, in  response to  Representative Seaton's  comment                                                              
on  an article,  explained one  of  the problems  with the  bottom                                                              
quartile is  that it  didn't truly  identify the bottom  quartile,                                                              
but rather it  identified the bottom quartile of  state achievers.                                                              
He explained  that  Oklahoma system  uses advanced,  satisfactory,                                                              
limited knowledge,  and unsatisfactory categories.   The bottom 25                                                              
percent has  always been those  scoring in the limited  knowledge,                                                              
and unsatisfactory  categories.  However, since some  schools only                                                              
had five  percent in  the aforementioned  category, a huge  amount                                                              
of the  school's overall grade  was limited  to a small  number of                                                              
students;   for    example,   perhaps   20   of    700   students.                                                              
Subsequently, the  formula has been changed to  better reflect the                                                              
bottom  25 percent of  all students.   Additionally,  it was  also                                                              
problematic  since  the  bottom percentage  grading  is  the  most                                                              
difficult challenge  to meet.   For  example, a suburban  district                                                              
with  high  student  achievement  found it  brought  the  school's                                                              
grade down.   He compared the phenomenon as similar  to "Everybody                                                              
hates  the Congress  but everyone  loves  their own  Congressman."                                                              
In  the  same  way,  everyone  likes  to  think  their  school  is                                                              
performing well.   Some of  the schools  people thought of  as "A"                                                              
schools ended  up being  "B-D" schools, so  people were  upset and                                                              
opposed the grading.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:56:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  directed   attention   to  the   specific                                                              
language  in  HB  151,  which  states,  "(3)  25  percent  on  the                                                              
individual  learning gains  in reading  and  mathematics, if  any,                                                              
achieved by  students who scored  at or below the  25th percentile                                                              
on  the  statewide   standards-based  assessment  in   reading  or                                                              
mathematics."   He  asked whether  that  is the  same language  as                                                              
Oklahoma uses in its program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOLLEY  answered no.   He  offered his understanding  that                                                              
this language  means the  bottom quartile  of students  statewide.                                                              
If the  goal of HB  151 is to model  it after Oklahoma's  program,                                                              
it  would  have  to  be on  a  site-by-site  basis.    Of  course,                                                              
everyone  tests reading  and  math,  he said.    Thus each  school                                                              
district would  look at the  bottom 25 percent  of students.   For                                                              
example, a school  with 800 students would examine  the bottom 200                                                              
students, not the  bottom 25 percent of the  statewide performers.                                                              
Actually,  Alaska's language  is  a little  less restrictive  than                                                              
Oklahoma's  prior  language,  but  it  isn't  the  same  direction                                                              
Oklahoma is currently moving towards, he said.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND asked  whether Oklahoma  has any  schools                                                              
not on  the road system.   She also  asked if any  schools require                                                              
boats or planes for access.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOLLEY answered no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON voiced  concern whether  it is  wise for                                                              
Alaska to exempt some schools.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOLLEY  argued against exempting  schools except  in terms                                                              
of  protecting  students'  privacy.     He  recommended  exempting                                                              
schools from complying  only if the school is so  small that it is                                                              
possible to  assess how  individual students  perform since  it is                                                              
not  acceptable   to  disclose  how   an  individual   student  is                                                              
performing  on any  assessment.    In response  to  Representative                                                              
Saddler,  Mr. Jolly  explained  that the  previous  accountability                                                              
system was called  the Academic Performance Index, which  was on a                                                              
"0-1,500"  scale.   In Oklahoma  schools  were initially  assessed                                                              
differently, but  the performance  grading system was  replaced by                                                              
the "A-F"  system.  This was  changed to avoid  inundating parents                                                              
with statistical  analyses  and instead provide  parents with  one                                                              
report  card rather  than three.   This  was accomplished  without                                                              
extra cost  because it did not  require compilation of  more data,                                                              
simply compiling data already collected.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOLLEY,  in response Representative  Saddler, said  he was                                                              
satisfied with  the program.   The old  method of grading  schools                                                              
was  abolished  because  it  didn't   make  any  sense.    It  was                                                              
difficult  to determine  where on  the scale a  good school  fell.                                                              
Similarly,  in  his  own experience,  the  elementary  school  his                                                              
children attended  attained a  perfect 1,500  score, with  no room                                                              
for   improvement   in   student   achievement.      This   seemed                                                              
problematic,  he  said.   Additionally,  he  disliked  two  report                                                              
cards.   He stated Oklahoma also  had some political  changes that                                                              
have  affected the  political climate.    Some districts  embraced                                                              
the grade  sheets while  others disliked them  so having  just one                                                              
metric for  everyone makes an  "apples to apples"  comparisons and                                                              
removes excuses.   Also,  the new  system provides an  opportunity                                                              
for students  and teachers  to feel pride  when the school  scores                                                              
well  on assessments  and  the  "A-F" system.     In  closing,  he                                                              
recommended a unified system such as the one in his state.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  mentioned   that  this  model  has  been                                                              
implemented in  12 other  states, but she  cautioned it  does take                                                              
courage to  make this effort.  She  offered her belief  that it is                                                              
important  to   provide  information  on  school   performance  to                                                              
consumers  and  communities.     She  said  one   of  the  guiding                                                              
principles in  her district is education  reform.  She  hoped that                                                              
this committee has the courage to pass HB 151.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:07:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND removed her objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS  announced  that  Version   I  was  now  before  the                                                              
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:08:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment  1, on  page  3,  line 30,  to  only exempt  schools  to                                                              
protect  student identity.   She  acknowledged it  would be  tough                                                              
for some schools, but she supported a statewide effort.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS  related a scenario  in which one student  excels and                                                              
the  school  wants  to  opt in.    She  asked  whether  Conceptual                                                              
Amendment 1 would allow this.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  said  that scenario  is  not  part  of                                                              
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON objected  for  purpose of  discussion.   He                                                              
recalled earlier  testimony by Senator Jolley, such  that Oklahoma                                                              
has moved away  from the percentile in standard-based  assessments                                                              
since  one or  two students  performing very  poorly could  affect                                                              
the  school.    For  example,  students  scoring  below  the  25th                                                              
percentile  would  count as  25  percent  of the  school's  lowest                                                              
grades, as  well as count for  individual learning gains.   Still,                                                              
he was uncertain  how a small  population in a small  school would                                                              
affect  the grading  system of  those below  the 25th  percentile.                                                              
He asked for further clarification.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON offered  her  belief that  his  concern                                                              
could be addressed  via another amendment, but is  not affected by                                                              
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  in terms  of student privacy,  asked where                                                              
the individual identification would occur.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  offered  her understanding  that  under                                                              
the  federal program,  "No  Child  Left Behind"  includes  privacy                                                              
provisions.   Therefore,  Alaska currently  has criteria in  place                                                              
to   address   the   privacy  issue,   but   asked   for   further                                                              
clarification from the department.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  sought   clarification  that   Conceptual                                                              
Amendment  1 would  include all  schools since  criteria exist  to                                                              
prevent identifying a single student.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:14:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON restated  that the intent  of Conceptual                                                              
Amendment  1  is for  all  schools  to participate  and  the  only                                                              
exemption would be to protect a student's identity.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his objection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON, in response to a question,  referred to                                                              
page 3, lines 3-31,  and to page 4, line 1.   Conceptual Amendment                                                              
1 would require  all schools to participate except  to protect the                                                              
identity  of  a  particular  student.   She  was  unsure  how  the                                                              
privacy  issue  is currently  handled.    In further  response  to                                                              
Representative  Saddler, she  explained the  reason the  amendment                                                              
is a  conceptual is that  she was unsure  of what is  necessary to                                                              
accomplish  this,  but  the  bill   drafter  could  implement  the                                                              
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS  pointed  out that some  schools  are so small,  such                                                              
that  with five  students in  a school  people  could compare  the                                                              
grades and scores and identify individual student scores.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER maintained his objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LES  MORSE,  Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of  Education  and                                                              
Early Development (EED), introduced himself.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON referred to page 3,  line 30, subsection                                                              
(d),  which read,  "A  school that  has  fewer  than 20  full-time                                                              
equivalent  students  is  exempt  from  this  section  unless  the                                                              
principal of  the school notifies  the department that  the school                                                              
is included."   She explained the purpose of  Conceptual Amendment                                                              
1 is  to include all  schools unless it  would allow  a particular                                                              
student to  be identified.   She offered  her belief  that student                                                              
privacy is currently being addressed, but she was unsure.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:18:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE clarified  that federal  law prohibits  the state  from                                                              
indicating  the performance  of any  student  to maintain  student                                                              
privacy, including  the performance  of those students  who excel.                                                              
Currently if a  school has five or fewer students,  the department                                                              
does not  report any  results.  Similarly,  for schools  with more                                                              
students the reports  would indicate ranges, such  as reporting 70                                                              
percent or  greater are  proficient and 69  percent and  fewer are                                                              
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked whether the  EED could  implement                                                              
Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE  related his understanding  that Conceptual  Amendment 1                                                              
will address  protections  for students' privacy.   He  envisioned                                                              
that the department  would deploy a strategy to  protect students'                                                              
privacy  and comply  with the  Family  Educational Rights  Privacy                                                              
Act.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON understood the drafter would comply.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked whether this exemption  is solely at                                                              
the discretion of the principal.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  answered  no;  it would  be  up to  the                                                              
department, based on the language in subsection (c).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked what criteria would be used.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  suggested  it would  be  the  criteria                                                              
currently being used by the department.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE  clarified that  the department  doesn't report  five or                                                              
fewer students  and in  instances of  greater than five  students,                                                              
the  scores  are reported  in  ranges  until the  student  numbers                                                              
about  40  students,  although  he  was  unsure  of  the  specific                                                              
cutoff.   However,  the results  fall in  a range  to protect  the                                                              
identities of individual students, he said.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  acknowledged  the   department  would                                                              
probably need  to promulgate regulations  using the intent  of the                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:23:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  a student  could waive  the                                                              
confidentiality requirements to allow scores to be reported.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE  said the  federal FERPA  categorizes data which  cannot                                                              
be  disclosed  by   the  school;  however,  schools   can  receive                                                              
permission  to  share  some  information  with  respect  to  award                                                              
announcements.   Currently,  Alaska  has 135,000  students in  500                                                              
schools  in 53  districts so  it is  impossible for  the state  to                                                              
track this and suppress  score results.  He said  that schools can                                                              
make decisions  at the local level  based on permissions  they may                                                              
have.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:24:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   offered  her  understanding   that  small                                                              
schools would be  graded, but the information would  not be shared                                                              
unless the local school board authorized it.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE  suggested  that  would   probably  be  true  in  small                                                              
schools,  such as  those with  five  or less  students.   However,                                                              
keep  in  mind  that  due  to  funding  considerations,  very  few                                                              
schools exist  with fewer  than 10  students.   Perhaps only  5 of                                                              
the  109 students  would  fall  in the  tested  grades.   He  said                                                              
complexities exist with respect to privacy act limitations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted that  Conceptual Amendment  1 doesn't                                                              
require  any achievement  grades to  be released,  but pertain  to                                                              
the  grading   system  for   the  whole   school  and   individual                                                              
performance would  not be included  at all.   He surmised  that in                                                              
very  rare  circumstances  the  school   grade  would  affect  the                                                              
performance of  individual students since  only a single  grade is                                                              
being released for the whole school.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:27:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  suggested the  gross  cutoff  to allow  a                                                              
principal to  notify the department  he/she does not  what his/her                                                              
school to  be included would give  more flexibility.   However, if                                                              
the intent  of the bill  is to be  more transparent,  then efforts                                                              
to make  it less  transparent are  somewhat counterintuitive.   He                                                              
maintained his objection.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:28:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives Reinbold,  Seaton,                                                              
Wilson,  LeDoux, and  Gattis voted  in  favor of  the adoption  of                                                              
Conceptual  Amendment 1.    Representatives  Saddler and  Drummond                                                              
voted against it.   Therefore, Conceptual Amendment  1 was adopted                                                              
by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON expressed  concern with  subsection (c)  of                                                              
HB 151.   He  suggested that  very few  students  may fall in  the                                                              
group, since  it is 25  percent of the  students who  achieve less                                                              
than  the 25th  percentile on  statewide standards.   Again,  one-                                                              
fourth  of the  grade would  be based  on that  formula, he  said.                                                              
Thus  the achievement  grade  would  subsequently  be rolled  into                                                              
paragraph (2)  since it is part  of the individual  learning gains                                                              
of all students.   Further, the  result would also be  rolled into                                                              
the combined student  achievement data.  He reminded  members that                                                              
Oklahoma  passed its  bill by  94-4 to  reform the  system to  rid                                                              
itself of  the triple count of  students.  He said  Alaska doesn't                                                              
have the grading  system yet and it took Florida  ten years to get                                                              
its grading  system developed.   He pointed  out that  Oklahoma is                                                              
currently  revising its  plan.   He  voiced  reluctance in  making                                                              
changes  without   further  research,   particularly  given   that                                                              
Oklahoma is still  in the process of refining its  system.  He was                                                              
unsure how to address his concern.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:31:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON suggested  paragraph (3) [25  percent on                                                              
the  individual  learning gains  in  reading and  mathematics,  if                                                              
any,  achieved  by  students  who  scored at  or  below  the  25th                                                              
percentile   on  the  statewide   standards-based  assessment   in                                                              
reading  or mathematics]  should be  done by site  rather than  by                                                              
the  state  as  a whole.    She  offered  her  understanding  that                                                              
Oklahoma decided to address this provision by site.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD   concurred  that  Oklahoma   decided  to                                                              
address this provision by site.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. COBA  explained that  in Florida, and  perhaps in  Oklahoma as                                                              
well, the  figure is the bottom  25 percent at the  school, rather                                                              
than the  bottom 25  percent statewide.   Thus  each school  would                                                              
have its  own figure, which  would be used  to measure  the school                                                              
grade.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  was unsure how  that fits in  with Alaska's                                                              
statewide standards-based assessment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  offered her belief that the  bill is not                                                              
yet clear.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:34:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  surmised that language could  be added to                                                              
paragraph (c) by adding "by site".                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  suggested the committee  might  need to                                                              
research this.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  said  as  sponsor  she  is  amenable  to                                                              
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked  for  clarification  on  whether                                                              
everyone in  the school  would be  tested or if  it is  limited to                                                              
some grades.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD said that  all the standards-based  tests                                                              
will  be administered  as  currently  done.   She  explained  that                                                              
testing would not  change under the bill.  In  further response to                                                              
Representative  P.  Wilson,  she  clarified that  the  same  tests                                                              
would be administered at the current levels.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:38:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE explained  that the language  on page 2 is based  on the                                                              
current  testing program.    He has  worked  with  the sponsor  to                                                              
ensure that  the testing didn't  change.  Currently,  he explained                                                              
that  reading,  writing, and  math  are  tested for  grades  3-10,                                                              
which would  be included.   Science is not  tested at  every grade                                                              
level,  which is  why the  language  is clear  that intervals  for                                                              
grades 4,  8, and 10,  are tested.   While a grade-to-grade  score                                                              
isn't  possible,  it's  still possible  to  apply  an  achievement                                                              
score for science.   However, additional testing  isn't built into                                                              
the system.   If the state  changes its testing program  and tests                                                              
the new  standards, it is possible  to test different  levels, but                                                              
it  would nonetheless  still include  grades 3-8,  plus some  high                                                              
school  grades.    The department  feels  strongly  about  growth,                                                              
which is best  calculated through continuous grade  level testing.                                                              
Currently,  the  Alaska Board  of  Education &  Early  Development                                                              
makes  the determinations  and under  federal law  is required  to                                                              
test grades  3-8, plus one grade  in 10-12.  Thus the  state tests                                                              
grades  3-8, as  well as  grade 9,  although  grade 9  is not  yet                                                              
required  under  federal law.    In  response  to a  question,  he                                                              
agreed the state  will test grades 3-8.  In some  instances grades                                                              
9 and 10 are tested, he said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:41:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  suggested the  high  school  test will  be                                                              
based on  achievement in  grades 9-10, as  well as growth  between                                                              
grade  9 to  10, but  junior  or senior  components  would not  be                                                              
incorporated into that figure.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE clarified  that if students  are in the 9th grade  for a                                                              
full  year, then  the  department would  be  able to  do a  growth                                                              
score under the  current system.  So  as long as a test  was taken                                                              
in  8th grade  the growth  score  could be  tracked,  even if  the                                                              
testing  occurred  in another  school.    In further  response  to                                                              
Representative  Seaton, he  confirmed that  new students would  be                                                              
excluded unless they tested outside Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:43:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  questioned how  scores in the  10th grade                                                              
would be used  since this testing  would be based on two  years of                                                              
dates.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE  suggested  that  the department  would  look  at  both                                                              
grades 9  and 10.   He acknowledged that  the department  does not                                                              
capture  11th or 10th  grade, but  an elementary  school does  not                                                              
capture kids in K-2 either.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  suggested that the grade for  a 9-12 high                                                              
school would  only track half  the scores without  any opportunity                                                              
to show improvement above the 10th grade.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE agreed  that is correct; however, that's  not unlike the                                                              
current accountability system.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:44:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  noted that the language on page  3, line 27                                                              
subsection  (c),  reads,  as  follows,  "(3)  25  percent  on  the                                                              
individual  learning gains  in reading  and  mathematics, if  any,                                                              
achieved by  students who scored  at or below the  25th percentile                                                              
on  the  statewide   standards-based  assessment  in   reading  or                                                              
mathematics ...."   He asked for an explanation of  how that would                                                              
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE responded  he  was unable  to  answer  since it  wasn't                                                              
something he previously noticed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:45:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFIN said  he thinks this is in error; that  it should read                                                              
"and" in both instances.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  said she believes  he is correct  that it                                                              
should read "and".                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN,  with regard  to  how  the improvements  impact  the                                                              
overall  grade,   said  the   way  the  system   is  set   up  any                                                              
improvements  can only  improve grades,  but would  not lower  the                                                              
grade.   For example, if  a school earned  a "B" for  its academic                                                              
achievement  and  did not  experience  test  score gains  for  the                                                              
bottom quartile,  then the  grade would still  be a "B"  since the                                                              
school would  retain the  last grade given.   In further  response                                                              
to  Representative Seaton,  he pointed  out that  the language  is                                                              
under "learning  gains" and  if there  are no  gains it  would not                                                              
affect the overall  grade.  In response to a question,  he related                                                              
his understanding  that the  gains represented  a positive  affect                                                              
and could not result in a negative effect.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  disagreed   that   this  calculation   is                                                              
included  in  the  bill  since  it says  25  percent  will  be  on                                                              
individual  gains  of  all  students.     Further,  paragraph  (2)                                                              
requires  25  percent  on individuals  learning  gains  for  those                                                              
below the  25th percentile.  Thus  the 25 percent would  not count                                                              
or is only an additive in the bill.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  sought clarification  of what the  bill                                                              
would do.  She  suggested that sometimes scores  are counted three                                                              
times.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:51:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. COBA  directed attention to the  language on page 3,  line 23,                                                              
to the language  in subsection (c).  First, the score  is based on                                                              
50 percent on  combined student achievement data.   Thus in Alaska                                                              
it  would be  those students  tested on  reading and  mathematics,                                                              
with some testing  in science.  The other half of  the grade would                                                              
be  based on  individual  learning gains  of  all students,  which                                                              
consist  of  reading and  mathematics,  exclusively,  since  those                                                              
tests are  given each  year in grades  3-8.  Additionally,  Alaska                                                              
also  tests  in 9-10  grades.    Basically,  a school  would  earn                                                              
different  points for each  of the  components.   He agreed  it is                                                              
possible  for   a  student  to  be   counted  in  each   of  three                                                              
categories;  however,  it  isn't  different  than  what  currently                                                              
happens.  The scores measure both achievement and growth.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER offered  his belief  this is a  simplistic                                                              
representation of a complicated formula.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COBA  suggested  that  it  captures   two  important  scores,                                                              
including  where  a  school  stands,  which  could  reflect  high-                                                              
performance  students.  The  growth would  indicate how  well that                                                              
school performed  in moving  students from  the date of  receiving                                                              
the student until the end of the school year.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:56:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  summarized that first, 50  percent of the                                                              
school's  scoring  will  be  based  on  achievement.    Next,  the                                                              
scoring  will   be  based  on   student  gains  since   a  certain                                                              
population  may not  have met standards.   This  will help  assess                                                              
whether the  school is  moving in the  right direction.   Granted,                                                              
this  bill isn't  perfect, but  it's  important to  put a  grading                                                              
system into place  and this is a proven system.   However, it does                                                              
take  courage   to  take  these   steps,  but  [the   legislature,                                                              
administration,  and  parents] deserve  to  know  how schools  are                                                              
doing, she said.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON directed  attention to  page 3  lines 9-                                                              
10, which read, "... the department shall annually  assign to each                                                              
public  school, including  charter schools  and boarding  schools,                                                              
and to each  school district a performance designation  ..." which                                                              
would single out each school, she surmised.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:58:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed out, however, that  the language on                                                              
page  3, lines  28-29, states,  "...  the 25th  percentile on  the                                                              
statewide  standards-based  assessment  ..."  so  this  should  be                                                              
cleared up,  perhaps by  indicating the  25th percentile  within a                                                              
school on the wide standards-based assessment.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:58:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  referred to language  on page 3  lines 9-                                                              
11,  which read,  "the department  shall annually  assign to  each                                                              
public  school, including  charter schools  and boarding  schools,                                                              
and to  each school  district a performance  designation  ..." and                                                              
asked  whether   the  sponsor   intended   to  grade  all   school                                                              
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD related her understanding was yes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  asked  whether  this  was  part  of  the                                                              
Florida model.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. COBA concurred.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS  announced that  HB  151  [Version I,  as  amended,]                                                              
would be held over.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB 151 Sponsor Statement v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
02 HB 151 v. A Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
03 HB 151 Sectional v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
04 HB 151 Fiscal Note v. A - EED-TLS-3-8-13.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
05 CS HB 151 ver. O.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
06 HB 151 Information Packet.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
07 CSHB 151 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-14-13.pdf HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
08 HB 151 Letter Support - Alaska Policy Forum.pdf HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
09 HB 151 Letter Support - Von Imhof ASD.pdf HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
10 HB 151 A-F Bill Presentation.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
10.1 HB 151 A-F Bill Presentation - CORRECTED.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
11 CS HB 151 v. I.PDF HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
01 HB 190 v. A.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
02 HB 190 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
03 HB 190 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-28-13.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Letter Herb Schroeder 03-28-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
05 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Email Bob Crumley 03-28-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
06 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Letter Steve Atwater 04-01-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
07 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Anchorage SD Credit By Choice program 04-02-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
08 HB 190 Supporting Documents-MatSu SD policy 04-02-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190