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I_COESSAComm_2016A 01/03/2017 01:03:54 PM Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



INTERIM COMMITTEE TO STUDY THE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT

Date: 01/03/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 01:03 PM to 03:47 PM
Buckner
E
Merrifield
*
Place: LSB B
Neville T.
X
Wilson
X
This Meeting was called to order by
Sonnenberg
*
Representative Pettersen
Pettersen
X
This Report was prepared by
Rachel Kurtz-Phelan
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Flexibility for States in the Every Student Succeeds Act

Equity Opportunities and Challenges

Opportunities and Challenges from a Teacher's Perspective

Public Comment

Teacher presentation
Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only

Witness Testimony and/or Committee Discussion Only



01:04 PM -- Flexibility for States in the Every Student Succeeds Act



Representative Pettersen, chair, called the meeting to order. Roll call was taken and a quorum was present. Michelle Exstrom, Education Program Director, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), introduced herself to the committee and talked about the mission and purpose of NCSL. Ms. Exstrom provided background information about each of the upcoming speakers and summarized what each speaker would be speaking about.



01:10 PM



Michael Petrilli, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (Fordham), came to the table and introduced himself to the committee. He explained that Fordham was supportive of the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the beginning of the process, especially because of the flexibility it offers for states. He stated that there are several key things for states to know about ESSA in terms of flexibility, especially around the accountability system. He spoke about the innovation of the Colorado Growth Model, school report cards, and the importance of focusing on individual-level growth as the fairest way to measure growth. He discussed the need to measure academic achievement at more than one level, and said that ESSA requires states to look at multiple indicators instead of just test scores to measure accountability and growth.



01:17 PM



Mr. Petrilli explained that another area of flexibility for states is figuring out what to do about schools that are low-performing. He said there is more flexibility in this area compared to what was mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, especially in terms of states being allowed to use money to focus on helping failing schools. Mr. Petrilli answered questions from the committee. He talked about state-led turnaround efforts in other









states and about what the next federal administration may do to repeal or not enforce certain regulations that were

passed under the current administration. He answered questions about private school choice, vouchers, tax credits, and about the Colorado Growth Model.



01:31 PM



Mr. Petrilli spoke about what other states are doing in terms of their draft state plans and concluded his presentation.



01:32 PM -- Equity Opportunities and Challenges



Laura Jimenez, Director of Standards and Accountability, Center for American Progress, came to the table and introduced herself. She distributed a copy of her prepared remarks (Attachment A), and talked about how minority, low-income, and students with disabilities still perform far behind their white and higher-income peers. She told the committee ways in which to improve standards and assessments in terms of equity, the success of Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and stated that students in states that adopted Common Core standards are doing a bit better than students in states that did not adopt the standards. She said that states must directly address issues related to over-testing of students, and must measure growth throughout the year so that teachers can adjust their teaching accordingly. She stated that states must take advantage of the flexibility offered by ESSA and talked about the importance of apples-to-apples comparisons to improve equity.



Attachment A.pdfAttachment A.pdf



01:44 PM



Next she spoke about measuring and reporting on school performance and the five indicators of student performance required under ESSA. She discussed the need to determine how to ensure that the performance of each student subgroup is included in an annual school rating, for example by assigning certain weights to each subgroup within each performance measure. She said that states also need to decide whether to use any additional measures related to student to success, such as chronic absenteeism or college or career readiness measures. She explained that schools need to take action when they aren't performing well, since ESSA requires schools to take comprehensive action when schools aren't succeeding. She said the state needs to ensure that meaningful improvement is sustained, and it is up to states to decide how to allocate federal improvement grants to turnaround schools, which is another area of flexibility offered to states under ESSA.



01:52 PM



Ms. Jimenez discussed funding as it relates to equity, and said that money matters particularly for low-income students. She said that Colorado ranks 14th in the country on the wealth index but 42nd in school spending. Ms. Jimenez answered questions from the committee. She concluded her remarks with three recommendations: to stay the course with what the state is currently doing with standards and assessments, establish an evidence-based system to identify which schools need more support, and spend more money funding on high-poverty schools.





02:08 PM



Ms. Jimenez answered questions from the committee.



02:08 PM -- Opportunities and Challenges from a Teacher's Perspective



Mark Sass, a local teacher and State Policy Director for Teach Plus, introduced himself to the committee and spoke about his background. He distributed a copy of his Power Point presentation (Attachment B). He told the committee that most teachers' understanding of ESSA is limited, and he sees the opportunities for innovation at the classroom level. He said that teachers in general find that the current Colorado Academic Standards meet or exceed what is required in ESSA, and feel like they are finally figuring out and feeling comfortable with what is required under law and how to build their curriculums to align with the standards and assessments. He said that many teachers are concerned with the possibility of having to reconfigure the system which will be throwing out four years of work of teachers, but that they do feel it's important to audit the current assessment system to make sure it continues to align with the state standards. He spoke about the work being done in New Hampshire, and stated that he is dismayed by the impact that the opt-out movement had on schools, although he understands that it is the role of teachers to tell and demonstrate to the community why assessments are important. He spoke about indicators of school quality and success and said that teachers are excited that under ESSA, they can use multiple indicators to measure this.



Attachment B.pdfAttachment B.pdf



02:24 PM



Mr. Sass answered questions from the committee. He talked about using Title II funds to focus on teacher leadership and explained that ESSA redefines the standards for professional development. He concluded his presentation by discussing the possibility of a state teacher advisory council.



02:45 PM -- Public Comment



Senator Evie Hudak came to the table during the public comment portion of the meeting. She distributed two handouts to the committee (Attachment C and D). She discussed her suggestions for legislation relating to ESSA and accountability, in terms of both big and small changes. She answered questions from the committee.



Attachment C.pdfAttachment C.pdf Attachment D.pdfAttachment D.pdf



03:00 PM



The committee took a brief recess.



03:23 PM -- Teacher presentation



Anne Eden, a teacher in Adams 12 School District, came to the table to begin her presentation. She introduced herself and provided educational and professional background information. She spoke about the opportunities offered to her students under ESSA that were not offered under NCLB, including more time for teaching, opportunities for Colorado to incentivize local supports and innovation, and opportunities to provide more support for instructors in the classroom. She spoke about the benefits to her students of the reduction of testing that was implemented last year, and stated that because of the amount of testing that is required of students, they can become desensitized to the most important tests in their high school career such as the SAT or ACT. She talked about the need to distribute Title I funds to schools that need it the most, and the need for and importance of using Title II funds to promote teacher leadership. Ms. Eden answered questions from the committee.



03:45 PM



The committee adjourned.


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