Steering Committee Meeting Summary - May 31, 2012

Present: Rachelle Tome, Robin Fleck, Sandra MacArthur, Dale Douglass, Dick Durost, Deb Friedman, Mark Kostin, Jaci Homes, Rob Walker, Jill Adams, Dan Hupp, Steve Bowen (at end of meeting)

Review of waiver application development process

Mark Kostin reviewed the different roles of the AMO and the I&S working groups. The AMO group will answer questions such as how many categories of schools will be identified; what factors will be used to identify schools; what are the AMO targets; what role will student growth play in identifying schools. The I&S group determines the opportunities and consequences for schools that are identified in a particular category.

Members discussed the importance of involving students and parents from all demographics and types of communities, e.g., small rural and large urban schools, in development of the application. The Department named members to the working groups based on expertise and association recommendations, without specifically focusing on what part of the state the members come from. Associations attempted where possible to get representatives of diverse communities. Broader and more targeted efforts will be made to seek input once initial drafts are available from the working groups. Also, the DOE is seeking comment online from the general public.

Background on SBAC

Dan Hupp, DOE Director of Standards and Assessment, gave an overview of the work of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Handouts were provided showing the timeline for incorporation of SBAC, and the different types and uses of tests (formative, summative, etc). Members were interested to hear about the retake option, and wondered (1) how the retake option will impact the timing of the summative test (e.g., could schools give the retake in the summer?); and (2) what limits will be placed on use of the retake results in determining school accountability results?

Members asked how the cost of SBAC compares to current testing costs. Dan explained that the NECAP cost about $30 to $35 per pupil and the SAT costs about $49 per pupil. SBAC is expected to cost about $20 per pupil for the summative test and $7.50 per pupil for the optional formative tests. Interim tests can be taken without additional cost.

Mark Kostin reports that NESSC states are pushing SBAC developers to design an assessment that fits in with a standards-based educational model, which many schools in Maine are moving toward as a result of LD 1422.

Stakeholder Engagement Ideas

Members were asked for suggestions of how to engage stakeholders in the application, especially parents and students in the English learner community and those with disabilities.

  • Parents might be engaged through the (1) Maine Parent Federation, which works with parents of students with disabilities (2) special education administrators might have parent e-mails or schools could send emails to all parents; (3) maybe PTOs at the elementary level
  • English learners can be engaged through local Literacy groups, e.g., in Lewiston/Auburn; we could benefit from having a cultural liaison to work with EL groups
  • Migrant education staff at DOE may have ideas of how to reach students and parents Areas of high numbers of ELs, such as Portland, Westbrook, L/A, Sanford; 13 consortia who receive Title III funds theres a parent advocate component to these funds

Status of other states requesting waiver

Eight more state waiver applications were approved: CT, RI, LA, DE, NY, MD, NC, OH, bringing the total to 19. Seventeen more states are in negotiation with USED on their applications.

Vermont has rescinded its request and its unclear what the next step is for them.

Implementation Timeline for Major DOE Initiatives, including SBAC, Common Core, etc

A draft one-page timeline showing implementation of DOE initiatives and the interrelated nature of the initiatives was distributed and discussed. Some minor changes were proposed based on discussions, and Mark will revise and distribute an updated timeline.

Next Meeting

June 21, 2 to 4 pm (place TBD). By that time, each of the working groups, including the Educator Effectiveness Council, will have met another time.