Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

01/29/2018 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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07:58:53 AM Start
07:59:36 AM Presentation: Alaska's Education Challenge Report by the Alaska Board of Education
09:16:47 AM Presentation: Professional Learning for Educators. League of Alaskan Education Innovators
09:42:09 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
-- Joint with the House Education Committee --
+ Presentation: State Board of Education and Early TELECONFERENCED
Development - Alaska Education Challenge
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 29, 2018                                                                                        
                           7:58 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
 Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                    
 Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                          
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
 Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                             
 Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                         
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                       
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                   
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
 Representative David Talerico                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
 All members present                                                                                                            
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                    
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                   
 Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: ALASKA'S EDUCATION CHALLENGE REPORT BY THE ALASKA                                                                 
BOARD OF EDUCATION                                                                                                              
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PRESENTATION:  PROFESSIONAL  LEARNING  FOR EDUCATORS.  LEAGUE  OF                                                               
ALASKAN EDUCATION INNOVATORS                                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JAMES FIELDS, Chair                                                                                                             
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Presented   information   on  the   Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
REBECCA HIMSCHOOT, Member                                                                                                       
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Presented   information   on  the   Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
SUE HULL, First Vice-Chair                                                                                                      
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Presented   information   on  the   Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Ph.D., Commissioner                                                                                            
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Presented   information   on  the   Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
DR. KEITH HAMILTON, Member                                                                                                      
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Presented   information   on  the   Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
BARBARA THOMPSON, Member                                                                                                        
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Douglas, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented   information  about  the  Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge.                                                                                                            
KENNY GALLAHORN, Member                                                                                                         
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Kotzebue, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented   information  about  the  Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
CHARLES MICHAEL, Student Advisor                                                                                                
Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development                                                                           
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented   information  about  the  Alaska                                                             
Education Challenge Report.                                                                                                     
SEAN DUSEK, Superintendent                                                                                                      
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD)                                                                                 
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented  information  on  the  League  of                                                             
Alaska Education Innovators.                                                                                                    
CHRIS BENSHOOF, Educator                                                                                                        
Lathrop High School                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented  information  on  the  League  of                                                             
Alaska Education Innovators.                                                                                                    
BILL BURR, President Elect                                                                                                      
Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE);                                                                              
Assistant Superintendent                                                                                                        
Delta/Greely School District                                                                                                    
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Presented  information  on  the  League  of                                                             
Alaska Education Innovators.                                                                                                    
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
7:58:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS called  the joint meeting  of the  Senate and                                                             
House  Education  Standing  Committees  to  order  at  7:58  a.m.                                                               
Present  at the  call to  order were  Senators Coghill,  Giessel,                                                               
Begich  and Chair  Stevens  and  Chair Drummond.  Representatives                                                               
Talerico, Parish, and Johnston arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                      
^Presentation: Alaska's Education Challenge  Report by the Alaska                                                               
Board of Education                                                                                                              
PRESENTATION: ALASKA'S EDUCATION CHALLENGE REPORT BY THE ALASKA                                                             
                       BOARD OF EDUCATION                                                                                   
7:59:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced the consideration  of the presentation of                                                               
Alaska's   Education  Challenge   Report  and   the  presentation                                                               
Professional  Learning for  Educators  by the  League of  Alaskan                                                               
Education Innovators.                                                                                                           
8:00:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO entered.                                                                                                
8:00:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH entered.                                                                                                  
8:01:16 AM                                                                                                                    
JAMES FIELDS,  Chair, Alaska State  Board of Education  and Early                                                               
Development  (DEED), Glennallen,  Alaska, introduced  the members                                                               
of the State Board of Education in the room.                                                                                    
8:02:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON entered.                                                                                                
8:02:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS said 2017 was a busy  year as the board worked on both                                                               
the Alaska Education Challenge (AEC)  and the accountability plan                                                               
for  the [federal  law] Every  Student Succeeds  Act (ESSA).  The                                                               
state board is  committed to the mission and vision  of the three                                                               
commitments,   the  five   strategic  priorities,   and  the   13                                                               
recommendations in the AEC.                                                                                                     
8:03:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS said education partners  have helped develop and rally                                                               
around the three  commitments the board hopes  every Alaskan will                                                               
share.   The   three   commitments--increase   student   success,                                                               
cultivate  safety and  well-being,  and  support responsible  and                                                               
reflective   learners--focus   the   five  priorities,   the   13                                                               
recommendations and  the ESSA accountability  plan. The  Board of                                                               
Education  has  given  the  Department  of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development  (DDED) the  information needed  to start  moving the                                                               
student achievement gaps in the right direction.                                                                                
8:04:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked how  the state will  move forward  with the                                                               
Alaska Education Challenge.                                                                                                     
8:05:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REBECCA HIMSCHOOT,  Member, Alaska  State Board of  Education and                                                               
Early  Development  (DEED),  Sitka,  Alaska,  said  the  greatest                                                               
outcome is unity,  everyone is all moving in  same direction. The                                                               
three commitments will  guide what happens next,  which should be                                                               
determined   locally,  and   in   partnership.   With  AEC,   the                                                               
partnerships are stronger than ever.                                                                                            
8:06:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS  said the  next steps are  already happening  with the                                                               
partnerships. Everyone  is on the  same team to  make achievement                                                               
better and stronger.  The board has laid out  a strategic vision,                                                               
and it is now up to DEED and the partners to move ahead.                                                                        
8:07:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ entered.                                                                                               
8:07:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SUE HULL, First  Vice-Chair, Alaska State Board  of Education and                                                               
Early Development (DEED), Fairbanks,  Alaska, said action must be                                                               
done at the  local level. The local school  boards make decisions                                                               
about things like  curriculum and staffing, not  the state board.                                                               
The partnership  notion is powerful  because the work  happens at                                                               
the  local  level,  with  superintendents  making  administrative                                                               
decisions and boards making policy  decisions. The State Board of                                                               
Education has  set the  policy direction.  The state  must change                                                               
student performance  in this  state, and  the state  board cannot                                                               
make it happen without partnerships.                                                                                            
8:09:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND asked who the partners are.                                                                                      
8:09:34 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HULL  said the  Association of  Alaska School  Boards, Alaska                                                               
Council  of School  Administrators, NEA  Alaska, the  Alaska PTA,                                                               
stakeholders  and  community   members,  Alaska  Native  regional                                                               
corporations  and  other  representatives from  key  groups.  She                                                               
hoped  to involve  the public  generally  to change  expectations                                                               
because school  boards cannot  change performance  until families                                                               
and  communities  are  engaged   in  telling  students  education                                                               
achievement is important.                                                                                                       
8:11:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked the commission  or chair to explain the AEC                                                               
process for the  benefit of anyone who was not  familiar with the                                                               
8:12:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  JOHNSON, Ph.D.,  Commissioner,  Department of  Education                                                               
and  Early Development  (DEED), Juneau,  Alaska, said  the effort                                                               
grew  out of  dissatisfaction with  the current  achievement gap.                                                               
Some  great things  are  happening  in the  state,  but too  many                                                               
students  are not  benefitting. He  added that  he is  optimistic                                                               
that together the  state can change that,  raise expectations and                                                               
close the student achievement gap.                                                                                              
8:13:35 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON said  the process  began by  requiring five                                                               
parents  on every  committee  to  represent Alaskans.  Committees                                                               
also  involved tribal  members,  school and  district staff,  and                                                               
stakeholders  specific to  each  committee, such  as health  care                                                               
representation  on  the  safety  and  well-being  committees.  He                                                               
expressed his gratitude to legislators who served on committees.                                                                
8:14:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  what legislators  could do  to help                                                               
the AEC succeed.                                                                                                                
8:15:22 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. KEITH HAMILTON,  Member, Alaska State Board  of Education and                                                               
Early Development  (DEED), Soldotna,  Alaska, said,  "Money." The                                                               
state is huge  and the needs are huge: broadband  issues in rural                                                               
schools, a  counselor in every school,  implementation of trauma-                                                               
informed  practices,  etc.  Alaska   is  number  one  in  student                                                               
absenteeism  rates. Resources  are needed  from the  governor and                                                               
8:17:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH asked the state  board members to help legislators                                                               
connect the  dots. Most legislators  and public are  not familiar                                                               
with the goals  of the Alaska Education  Challenge. He encouraged                                                               
the board to  proactively comment about legislation  to help make                                                               
consistent education policy.                                                                                                    
8:18:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND noted  that HB 287 addresses early  funding of the                                                               
foundation funding  to help  districts avoid  issuing unnecessary                                                               
layoff notices.                                                                                                                 
8:19:51 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. HAMILTON said  that type of stewardship would  help the state                                                               
move ahead quickly with the Alaska Education Challenge.                                                                         
8:21:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  FIELDS   responded  to  Senator  Begich   by  replying  that                                                               
sometimes that challenge is difficult  because the board does not                                                               
meet often, but he said they could  try to find ways to help with                                                               
that  effort.   He  thought  the   level  of   communication  and                                                               
transparency between the board and  the legislature is higher now                                                               
than ever before in his tenure on the board.                                                                                    
8:23:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HIMSCHOOT  agreed  with  Senator  Begich  that  the  board's                                                               
involvement as  legislation is being generated  is important. She                                                               
asked the legislature to think  of the Alaska Education Challenge                                                               
partners as resources.                                                                                                          
8:24:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HIMSCHOOT  said  over  a  quarter  of  kids  in  Alaska  are                                                               
chronically absent.  The three  commitments in  the AEC  say that                                                               
all   Alaskans,  not   just  teachers--communities,   businesses,                                                               
families--will change this because one group alone cannot do it.                                                                
8:25:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  asked Commissioner  Johnson to present  results of                                                               
the Alaska Education Challenge.                                                                                                 
8:25:20 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER   JOHNSON  noted   that  DEED   was  developing   an                                                               
accountability plan  for the federal law,  Every Student Succeeds                                                               
Act  (ESSA), at  the  same  time it  was  working  on the  Alaska                                                               
Education Challenge.  DEED received  over 4,000 comments  for the                                                               
ESSA plan and almost 15,000 AEC  comments. The result of all that                                                               
work  is that  Alaskans support  the three  commitments--increase                                                               
student  success, cultivate  safety and  well-being, and  support                                                               
responsible and  reflective learners--to  do something  about the                                                               
student achievement gap in the state.                                                                                           
8:27:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked  the board to provide  more information about                                                               
the three commitments.                                                                                                          
8:27:28 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA  THOMPSON, Member,  Alaska State  Board of  Education and                                                               
Early   Development,  Douglas,   Alaska,  said   the  commitment,                                                               
increase  student success,  redefines what  a successful  student                                                               
looks like. It  goes beyond the results  on statewide assessments                                                               
or proficiency in English or  math. It addresses whether they are                                                               
good  students,  good  citizens,  do they  participate  in  their                                                               
communities, can  they work well with  others. Involving students                                                               
in their  schools, communities,  and government  in new  ways can                                                               
lend itself  to increasing student  achievement. They  hoped that                                                               
more funding could be provided  for early education because early                                                               
learning can show huge benefits in the long run.                                                                                
8:30:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS said that part of  success is finding a job, having                                                               
a  career. Last  week the  Alaska Air  Carriers Association  told                                                               
them that small airplane companies cannot find pilots locally.                                                                  
8:30:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. THOMSPON  said there were  many recommendations  about career                                                               
and technical  education and growing the  state's economy through                                                               
its students and their goals.                                                                                                   
8:31:14 AM                                                                                                                    
KENNY  GALLAHORN, Member,  Alaska  State Board  of Education  and                                                               
Early  Development, Kotzebue,  Alaska,  said  forward funding  is                                                               
probably more important than the  amount because stabilization is                                                               
needed in education.  The state needs to move  forward as quickly                                                               
as possible  in education. Rural  Alaska is not doing  that well,                                                               
but the state  now has a high level of  commitment. "Let's get it                                                               
done," he said.                                                                                                                 
8:32:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS said many ways  exist to solve the premature layoff                                                               
notices. The house  has a bill regarding forward  funding and the                                                               
Senate  Education Committee  just passed  a bill  with a  date of                                                               
April 1  for funding out  of committee. He hoped  the legislature                                                               
would deal  with the  pink-slip issue  that has  been so  hard on                                                               
8:32:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HULL said  everyone needs to think of what  kids need to know                                                               
and be  able to  do in  the future. She  related that  Google had                                                               
always  prioritized  technical  knowledge,  but  a  study  showed                                                               
people with  computer or technical  skills were at the  bottom of                                                               
the list  showing who had  been successful and Google  is talking                                                               
about    hiring    liberal   arts    graduates.    Communication,                                                               
collaboration,  creativity, confidence  need  to be  part of  the                                                               
curriculum. "We are  boring high school boys to tears  . . .talk,                                                               
talk,  talk," she  said.  Other states  have  moved forward  with                                                               
innovative  apprenticeships in  all  fields.  Students should  be                                                               
getting credit outside of the school buildings.                                                                                 
8:36:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HULL  said to add to  Dr. Hamilton's comment that  more money                                                               
was needed,  strategic use of  dollars is needed. Changes  do not                                                               
require more  legislation, it requires  alignment of focus  and a                                                               
sense of purpose and utilizing it in new ways.                                                                                  
8:37:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS acknowledged the presence of Senator Hughes.                                                                      
8:37:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MICHAEL, Student Advisor,  Alaska Department of Education                                                               
and  Early   Development,  Wasilla,   Alaska,  said   career  and                                                               
technical education is the most  important thing to teach in high                                                               
school. Three  R's s  is not  what is needed  to be  taught right                                                               
now.  So many  fields  that can  be learned  in  high school  are                                                               
experiencing a shortage of people to hire.                                                                                      
8:38:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON said  the strengthening of public-private                                                               
partnerships  and  community  partnerships, which  is  completely                                                               
different from the  past, when education was  looked at something                                                               
provided, was a game changer. She  asked for a report on what she                                                               
called  the  biggest  game  changer  from  the  Alaska  Education                                                               
Challenge process, tribal partnership.                                                                                          
8:40:17 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  said the partnership  has the  potential to                                                               
be a conversation  that extends beyond the  tribal partnership to                                                               
the  educational system  as a  whole to  create positive  change.                                                               
First Alaskans  Institute has  been a partner  to discuss  how to                                                               
have those  conversations. It may  be different from  past tribal                                                               
compacting conversations because local  school boards can talk to                                                               
their  tribes under  the governance  that already  exists. Future                                                               
legislation   may  be   required   if  any   laws  hinder   those                                                               
conversations. There are tribes ready,  willing, and able to take                                                               
a greater role in the education system in their communities.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  said Cook Inlet Tribal  Council has been                                                               
partnering  with  the Anchorage  School  District  for 12  to  15                                                               
years.  It has  waxed  and waned  over the  years.  Now they  are                                                               
focusing on bringing STEM  [science, technology, engineering, and                                                               
math] into schools.                                                                                                             
8:42:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  FIELDS said  talking about  the cultivate  safety and  well-                                                               
being commitment can  be depressing, but sometimes  what is wrong                                                               
must be highlighted in order  to take action. There are districts                                                               
doing  very good  things,  and  the way  they  did  it should  be                                                               
highlighted  to show  there are  many answers  in the  state. The                                                               
superintendents' association  is surveying schools  and districts                                                               
about what  practices work. If students  are not safe and  do not                                                               
have  a   sense  of  well-being,   they  cannot   learn.  Getting                                                               
communities,   health  agencies,   and  tribal   health  agencies                                                               
involved is critical.                                                                                                           
8:43:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  FIELDS related  a story  about the  difficulties of  dealing                                                               
with the lack of counseling in his community of Glennallen.                                                                     
8:46:30 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  HAMILTON said  the  Kenai Peninsula  School  District has  a                                                               
variety    of   communities--rural    villages,   Old    Believer                                                               
communities--and  students  on the  road  system.  As in  all  of                                                               
Alaska, there are huge needs  and huge differences. Some children                                                               
don't make  it to school every  day because of breakdowns  in the                                                               
family. If  kids don't  get to  school, they  are missing  out on                                                               
many opportunities--meals, teaching,  career counseling, nursing.                                                               
There  must  be  some  equality across  the  state.  "That  every                                                               
student has got a shot at  being healthy and whole and educated,"                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
8:48:21 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. HAMILTON said  the state is weak at  providing that equality.                                                               
Caring is  going to  make a  difference. "We  stand up  for every                                                               
kid. We love  every kid that walks through the  door. We care for                                                               
their families as well," he said.  The state does have an amazing                                                               
set  of leaders  in Alaska.  The  state does  need resources  for                                                               
counselors, nurses, and trauma-informed practices.                                                                              
8:49:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  said he  has  been  thinking  of the  heroics  of                                                               
teachers who  have put themselves  in front of their  students in                                                               
active shooter situations to protect the students.                                                                              
8:50:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ said  we  know that  kids cannot  learn                                                               
when they are in a heightened  state of alert all the time, which                                                               
happens when  they have  experienced a  lot of  trauma. A  lot of                                                               
research shows  that kids who cannot  self-regulate cannot learn.                                                               
Since  it is  such  a  huge issue,  she  asked  for some  initial                                                               
thoughts about how to implement trauma-informed practices.                                                                      
8:51:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS  said there has  been success with  proper leadership,                                                               
staffing, and planning. The state  needs to replicate the success                                                               
that   has   been   shown   in  pockets   of   the   state.   The                                                               
superintendents' association was focusing on that.                                                                              
8:52:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  asked what the board's  and DEED's role                                                               
is for implementing trauma-informed practices.                                                                                  
8:52:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS  said online training  is available.  The department's                                                               
role  is to  highlight and  be an  advocate for  things that  are                                                               
working. The  ESSA plan asks  schools to  have a plan  to address                                                               
safety and well-being.                                                                                                          
8:53:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ said she  recognized that there are many                                                               
pockets of great trauma-informed  practices. In Anchorage, Marcus                                                               
Wilson is working  on training other schools in  the practices he                                                               
implemented  as the  principal of  North Star  Elementary School.                                                               
She  shared that  her daughter,  who she  adopted at  the age  of                                                               
nine,  is  on the  fetal  alcohol  spectrum.  The family  had  to                                                               
reorient itself to her reality.  Teachers face this every day and                                                               
sometimes must  struggle with whole  classrooms of  people trying                                                               
to  get out  of  fight-or-flight  mode into  a  calmer mode  that                                                               
allows for learning and insight.                                                                                                
8:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HIMSCHOOT said  as a  classroom teacher,  cultivating safety                                                               
and well-being  is very important  to her. The  three commitments                                                               
all work  together, but  if a  child cannot get  out of  fight or                                                               
flight,  they cannot  learn.  NEA Alaska  has  been training  its                                                               
members  about  this,  and   individual  districts  are  offering                                                               
training on this.  One of the first steps in  the challenge is to                                                               
find things that work and replicate them.                                                                                       
8:57:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL said as a  nurse practitioner who practices in an                                                               
Anchorage middle and high school,  she knows that, sadly, a large                                                               
number of  students deal with  mental illness and  trauma. Alaska                                                               
has a large cadre of  many qualified mental health therapists who                                                               
are restrained  by some of  Alaska's own laws. Changing  the laws                                                               
will  allow  qualified   clinicians,  mental  health  therapists,                                                               
social  workers, and  others  to provide  these  services. A  few                                                               
years  ago,  the  legislature  opened  the  door  for  telehealth                                                               
through  its work  on Medicaid  reform. Telehealth  could provide                                                               
mental health services around the  state. She said she would stay                                                               
in touch about progress in this area with Mr. Fields.                                                                           
8:58:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  asked  if   the  commissioners  of  the                                                               
Department  of Health  and Social  Services and  DEED could  work                                                               
together to effectively use the state's resources.                                                                              
8:59:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND  said Representative  Spohnholz, the chair  of the                                                               
Health and  Social Services Committee,  and herself, as  chair of                                                               
the Education Committee, are planning  this spring to look at how                                                               
the  Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  and  DEED  are                                                               
providing services  to children  from birth  through age  five to                                                               
focus  resources across  departments,  so kids  arrive at  school                                                               
ready  to take  advantage of  the  huge investment  the state  is                                                               
going to make in them.                                                                                                          
9:00:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HIMSCHOOT  said the words  "responsible" and  "reflective" in                                                               
the  commitment to  support responsible  and reflective  learners                                                               
were  very intentional.  Reflective  students know  why they  are                                                               
learning.  Responsible  students  take responsibility  for  their                                                               
learning.   Responsible  and   reflective   educators  are   also                                                               
9:02:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked about  the recommendation  to triple                                                               
the  number  of  nationally board-certified  teachers  in  Alaska                                                               
through salary incentives.                                                                                                      
9:03:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HIMSCHOOT  said   that  did  not  have  to   come  from  the                                                               
legislature.  The  recommendation was  modeled  on  the state  of                                                               
Washington, which offers a $10,000  state-funded salary bonus for                                                               
the rest of a teacher's career.  The bonus is doubled for working                                                               
in  a hard-to-staff  school. Thirty-five  percent of  teachers in                                                               
hard-to-staff  schools in  Washington  are  now nationally  board                                                               
certified.  Alaska  has   about  180  nationally  board-certified                                                               
teachers.  The  goal  is  to   continually  triple  that  number.                                                               
Nationally board  certified is the  highest standard  an educator                                                               
can  attain.  Nationally  board-certified  teachers  can  support                                                               
reflective and responsible learners.                                                                                            
9:04:52 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES said  Michigan put  it  back on  the families  to                                                               
change low  expectations. She wondered  if training  is available                                                               
to help  excellent teachers  to engage  the families  and whether                                                               
there are models to overturn low family expectations.                                                                           
9:06:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HULL  responded that  we cannot take  over for  families. The                                                               
more schools do the more the  expectation is that schools will do                                                               
everything,  which  they  cannot.  There must  be  an  effort  to                                                               
strengthen families. She  related a story about  the Detroit News                                                               
running  an  editorial that  blamed  parents  for the  struggling                                                               
economy because of low  educational achievements. Another example                                                               
is that  providing breakfast  is now  an expectation  of schools.                                                               
There must be a joint effort to strengthen families.                                                                            
9:09:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH noted that he is  sponsor of SB 99, which is about                                                               
pre-kindergarten. In his  work with youth advocacy  groups in the                                                               
past in Anchorage,  they looked at a model that  would have put a                                                               
social worker  in schools because  taking on the  additional role                                                               
of  a social  worker  is too  much for  teachers.  There must  be                                                               
collaborative ways of merging social workers and teachers.                                                                      
9:11:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  we must  be careful  about parent  blaming.                                                               
Parents who are  not doing a good job probably  need more support                                                               
than blame.                                                                                                                     
9:12:00 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. FIELDS said  the Copper River Native  Association is bringing                                                               
in  mothers  and  fathers  early on  for  training  on  parenting                                                               
skills.  The Department  of Health  and Social  Safety is  key in                                                               
efforts to train parents early.                                                                                                 
9:14:21 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
^Presentation:  Professional Learning  for  Educators. League  of                                                               
Alaskan Education Innovators                                                                                                    
 PRESENTATION: UPDATE ON PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR EDUCATORS BY                                                             
           THE LEAGUE OF ALASKAN EDUCATION INNOVATORS                                                                       
9:16:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DRUMMOND reconvened  the joint  meeting and  announced the                                                               
committee would next hear an  update on professional learning for                                                               
educators by the League of Alaskan Education Innovators.                                                                        
9:17:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SEAN  DUSEK,  Superintendent,   Kenai  Peninsula  Borough  School                                                               
District  (KPBSD),  Soldotna,  Alaska,   said  the  work  of  the                                                               
coalition is based on the  three commitments. The partners in the                                                               
League  of Alaskan  Education Innovators  are  diverse and  offer                                                               
different  professional  learning.  To   be  more  efficient  and                                                               
effective, the  group wanted  all the players  in the  same room.                                                               
The group formed spontaneously because  coherence is needed to do                                                               
things  to  improve  education  now.  [Slide  presentation  shows                                                               
partners  are Alaska  Council  of  School Administrators  (ACSA),                                                               
Alaska  Society  for  Technology   in  Education  (ASTE),  Alaska                                                               
Association of Elementary  School Principals (AAESP), NEA-Alaska,                                                               
Alaska  Staff Development  Network, DEED,  University of  Alaska,                                                               
Alaska  Superintendents Association,  and  Alaska Association  of                                                               
Secondary School Principals (AASSP).]                                                                                           
9:18:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DUSEK said that the overall  vision is to prepare students to                                                               
be ready  for life and  to be  highly productive citizens  in the                                                               
State  of  Alaska.  After  going  through  the  Alaska  Education                                                               
Challenge,  they started  the  work group.  It  began with  basic                                                               
communication--what  are the  groups  working on,  what do  their                                                               
members need.  The group will  meet a  few more times  this year.                                                               
The  legislature has  been  involved  in important  conversations                                                               
about improving and  innovating education. The group  wants to be                                                               
part of that  process and help lead the innovation  process to do                                                               
the best for every child.                                                                                                       
9:20:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DUSEK  said the  group will  be looking at  how to  scale the                                                               
successful work  being done in  the state  for any culture  or to                                                               
meet  any need.  The group  work is  about coordinating  efforts,                                                               
focusing topics, and sharing resources.                                                                                         
9:21:10 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DUSEK  said, as  part  of  increasing student  success,  the                                                               
important  4 r's  to  teach, along  with the  3  r's, are  rigor,                                                               
relevance,  relationships, and  responsiveness. Copper  River and                                                               
Sitka  are  doing  innovative   school  practices.  High  quality                                                               
educators  are  delivering  instruction   in  a  manner  that  is                                                               
engaging  and  relevant.  They  are  looking  at  the  innovative                                                               
performance indicators from the coalition Redefining Ready.                                                                     
9:24:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS  BENSHOOF,   Educator,  Lathrop  High   School,  Fairbanks,                                                               
Alaska,  the 2013  Alaska teacher  of  the year,  noted that  NEA                                                               
Alaska's Delegate Assembly voted in  January to support the three                                                               
commitments.  He noted  that Maslow's  Hierarchy  of Needs  shows                                                               
that  students cannot  learn until  their physiological,  safety,                                                               
and belonging/friends  needs have been  met, which ties  into the                                                               
commitment of safety and  well-being. Thankfully, stakeholders in                                                               
Alaska are  addressing the  needs of  safety and  well-being, not                                                               
just student achievement.                                                                                                       
9:27:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. DUSEK  said all the  organizations have been focusing  on the                                                               
commitment  to   safety  and  well-being.   The  superintendents'                                                               
organization has  been focusing on Adverse  Childhood Experiences                                                               
(ACES)   and   trauma-informed   instruction.   The   principals'                                                               
conference  had  a  big  strand  on  safety  and  well-being  and                                                               
emotional learning, as  did the RTI conference. The  focus of his                                                               
group is  on providing  expertise in  Alaska, not  sending people                                                               
out for training,  to be more efficient, and then  coming up with                                                               
ways to implement these ideas in schools.                                                                                       
9:27:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ asked him to explain RTI.                                                                              
9:28:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DUSEK said  it  means  Response to  Intervention.  RTI is  a                                                               
process to provide additional supports  to students as an interim                                                               
step before providing special education services.                                                                               
9:28:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said connecting Maslow's  Hierarchy of  Needs and                                                               
Bloom's Taxonomy  to the three  commitments is an example  of how                                                               
to lock in the knowledge produced through the challenge.                                                                        
9:29:40 AM                                                                                                                    
BILL  BURR, President  Elect, Alaska  Society  for Technology  in                                                               
Education (ASTE);  Assistant Superintendent,  Delta/Greely School                                                               
District, Delta  Junction, Alaska,  said ASTE examined  the three                                                               
commitments  to  see  how to  meet  them.  Creating  personalized                                                               
learning will take time and  effort and forward thinking. Digital                                                               
devices  do not  change  brains but  may open  the  mind or  make                                                               
students use their heads.                                                                                                       
9:32:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURR  said personalized learning  changes and  redefines what                                                               
teaching  and   learning  is,  it  utilizes   technology,  allows                                                               
flexible classroom,  and gives  students ownership  of education.                                                               
They are codesigners, can work at  their own pace, and find their                                                               
own path.  It is  educators providing  guidance and  working with                                                               
students to enable them to find their own path.                                                                                 
9:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  she is excited about this  subject and noted                                                               
that SB 96 would promote much of  what he was saying. She said an                                                               
announcement had  been made  that Trump's  capital infrastructure                                                               
package will include  funding for broadband. Alaska  is poised to                                                               
take advantage  of this federal  funding. She asked his  group to                                                               
help the legislature advocate for federal funding of broadband.                                                                 
9:36:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES said  the funding  could provide  rural broadband                                                               
and  Alaska  could  lead the  way  in  educational  technological                                                               
9:37:15 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DUSEK  CARRS noted  that  partnerships  are not  just  among                                                               
educational    professional    organizations.    He    recognized                                                               
CARRS/Safeway and BP for education grants they have awarded.                                                                    
9:38:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DUSEK  said  the  next  steps are  to  increase  work  group                                                               
representation  and  participation, develop  long-term  processes                                                               
for  consistency  of  implementation  and  access,  and  to  seek                                                               
opportunities to  support each organization's efforts  to improve                                                               
instructions. The  group will meet  with DEED regarding  ESSA and                                                               
moving forward together with the  Alaska Education Challenge. The                                                               
only  way to  improve  education across  Alaska  must be  through                                                               
communication and collaboration.                                                                                                
9:42:09 AM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Drummond adjourned  the joint  meeting of  the Senate  and                                                               
House Education Standing Committees at 9:42 a.m.                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AKEdChallengeReportFINALpdf.pdf SEDC 1/29/2018 8:00:00 AM
Joint Education Committee - Jan29,2018
AKPL Workgroup 1.29.18 Final.pdf SEDC 1/29/2018 8:00:00 AM
Joint Education Committee - Jan29,2018