STATE OF HAWAII BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMISSION OUTCOMES COMMITTEE MEETING
MINUTES Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Lynn Fallin, Chairperson
Kaimana Barcarse, Vice Chairperson
Cathy Ikeda, Chairperson, State Public Charter School Commission
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Executive Secretary
Lady Garrett, Secretary
I. Call to Order
Committee Chairperson Lynn Fallin called the Commission Outcomes Committee (“Committee”) Meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. Committee Chairperson Fallin and Committee Members Lauren Moriarty and Kili Namauʻu were present.
II. Public Testimony on Commission Outcomes Committee (“Committee”) Agenda Items
Committee Chairperson Fallin called for public testimony. No one testified at this time.
Committee members received written testimony before the meeting. (A listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting is included at the end of these minutes.)
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of October 6, 2022 Committee Meeting
Committee Chairperson Fallin asked Committee members to review the Committee’s October 6, 2022 meeting minutes.
Committee Member Moriarty moved to approve the Committee’s October 6, 2022 meeting minutes. Committee Member Namau‘u seconded.
Committee Chairperson Fallin asked if there were any objections to the motion. No Committee member raised objections, and the motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present (Committee Members Moriarty and Namauʻu).
ACTION: Motion to approve the Commission Outcomes Committee’s October 6, 2022 meeting minutes (Moriarty/Namau‘u). The motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.
IV. Public testimony on Committee agenda items
Committee Chairperson Fallin called for public testimony.
Amanda Fung, Kamalani Academy Principal, testified on V.A., entitled “Update on State Public Charter School Commission (“Commission”) work plan to address findings in 2022 Board of Education performance evaluation of the Commission.” She stated that the news recently reported that the Commission would close Kamalani Academy closed, which relates to a charter school’s autonomy, emphasized that it is important to listen to student voice, and asked the Board to take the Commission’s evaluation seriously and offer suggestions to help students learn better.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that this meeting, as described on the agenda, would focus on how the Commission would remedy findings in the evaluation. She announced that Board members were aware that the Commission voted to not renew Kamalani Academy's charter contract and that Kamalani Academy has publicly stated that it plans to appeal that decision to the Board. Committee Chairperson Fallin explained that the purpose of this meeting was to discuss how the Commission would remedy findings in the performance evaluation issued by the Board last year, not to discuss Kamalani Academy, especially if it is a matter likely to be appealed to the Board. She stated that as of today, the Board has not received a notice of appeal from Kamalani Academy and if Kamalani Academy files an appeal, the Board would need to make a decision within 60 days of the filing of the appeal in accordance with law. Committee Chairperson Fallin explained that the Board can only consider the record on appeal and the parties' briefs in making any appeal decision and would not consider any public testimony being provided today.
V. Discussion Items
A. Update on State Public Charter School Commission (“Commission”) work plan to address findings in 2022 Board of Education performance evaluation of the Commission
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the two goals for the meeting are (1) establishing a clear timeline for the path forward between the Commission and the Committee and (2) establishing that the Committee is comfortable with moving on from the Commission’s declined opportunities for improvement, even if Committee members disagree with the Commission’s decision to decline addressing them. She invited Cathy Ikeda, Chairperson, Commission, to provide highlights on the Commission’s revised work plan.
Ikeda highlighted the Commission’s revised work plan and clarified that, in October 2022, she had provided projected dates. She asked whether she could address the findings of section A of the performance evaluation and provide context, including the Commission’s strategic plan.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the Committee requested specific details on the work plan and that the Board has not received anything in writing that changed the timeline of the Commission’s originally submitted work plan. She emphasized that the Committee’s process focused on specific deliverables, and the Committee expects the Commission to present information and continuous improvement plans relating to the five specific areas of the evaluation. Committee Chairperson Fallin expressed concern about the materials the Commission provided to the Committee and noted that she would like to focus on the deliverables.
Ikeda stated that she would provide the information the Committee requested and asked the Committee to consider information relating to the good work the Commission is doing, including why the Commission is not going to respond to some of the opportunities for improvement. She asked for an opportunity to share the Commission’s strategic plan with the Board.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the Committee was charged with finding a way forward after the evaluation, including a methodology and process for the Commission to respond. She noted that the information the Commission provided does not fulfill the Committee’s request. Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that she can share Ikeda’s request to engage with the Board with the Board chairperson for future consideration. Committee Chairperson Fallin emphasized that the Commission needs to provide the Committee with the information it requested in writing.
Committee Chairperson Fallin asked Ikeda to explain the Commission’s rationale for declining each of the opportunities for improvement identified in the third column of the table on page 2 outlined in Ikeda’s letter dated January 27, 2023, starting with item A.2.1.
Ikeda explained that the reason she brought up the Commission’s strategic plan is because time, strategies, and measures are built into the plan. She explained that she previously reported that the Commission formed a permitted interaction group and the Commission would provide its report to the Board.
Committee Chairperson Fallin reiterated that the Committee needs to understand why the Commission is not proceeding with all of the opportunities for improvement.
Ikeda stated that for item A.2.1, the purpose of the Commission’s strategic plan is to provide a roadmap for the work and the Commission would publicly report on engagement on a quarterly basis and on continuous improvement annually. Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that her understanding of what Ikeda said was that the Commission agreed with the Board’s findings and that it is already working to address those findings. She stated that the Commission needs to provide a written explanation as to why it is declining to proceed with each of the opportunities for improvement.
Committee Member Bruce Voss entered the meeting at 2:12 p.m.
Ikeda stated that the Commission has been busy with other matters and would provide this information to the Committee in writing. She explained that all stakeholders need a better understanding of what charter schools are and how these schools should be overseen since there are misinterpretations at every level.
Ikeda stated that the next item, A.2.4, states, “The Commission should reflect on whether its organizational goals are ambitious enough and perhaps even ask its stakeholders to weigh in on the ambitiousness of its goals.” She stated that the Commission has revised its strategic plan to make the goals clearer and multi-layered.
Committee Chairperson Fallin asked about item A.3.2 and suggested that the changes be made. Ikeda replied that item A.3.2 is marked “yes” and “no” because the Department of Education assumes that the Commission and its staff handles compliance requirements. She stated that there is a lack of understanding as to who is responsible for the administration of the programs like Title IX and sex discrimination, training, and mandatory kindergarten testing.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the Commission appears to have rationales for each of the declined opportunities for improvement so the Committee would not go over each of them at this meeting. She reiterated that the Commission must submit the responses to the Committee in writing. Ikeda confirmed that the Commission would provide responses in writing to the Committee.
Committee Chairperson Fallin noted that the Commission is requesting additional engagement with the Board.
Ikeda stated that the timing component would come from the Commission’s strategic plan and would be embedded in the response. Committee Chairperson Fallin confirmed and noted that the Committee would review what the Commission submits.
Committee Member Moriarty expressed support of the work being done in charter schools and noted that she is looking forward to hearing more about the work being done.
Committee Member Voss expressed disappointment with the Commission’s response. He noted that it does not seem like the Commission is receptive to the opportunities for improvement that the Board identified.
Ikeda stated that there are 86 items that require a response, and 31 of those items are mandatory deficiencies that she is responsible for reviewing. She stated that for 55 opportunities for improvement, other commissioners were asked to review these items while reviewing the revised strategic plan.
Committee Member Voss stated that this feels like a missed opportunity and he looks forward to receiving the written response from the Commission. Ikeda stated that the first two columns list everything being responded to by the Commission.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the Board is looking at milestones to show the Commission’s progress with the continuous improvement plans and progress in each of the areas and that the Committee would review this information at an upcoming meeting. Ikeda asked for an indication of when the Committee would schedule its next meeting because of scheduling challenges. Committee Chairperson Fallin acknowledged the scheduling challenges and said that she would work with the Commission.
Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that, at the Committee’s next meeting, the Commission would present continuous improvement plans for (1) every opportunity for improvement the Commission has already addressed or is currently addressing, (2) every opportunity for improvement the Commission acknowledges as an area for further improvement, and (3) every mandatory deficiency. She noted that the Commission would also provide written rationales for the declined opportunities for improvement.
Ikeda asked when the Commission would present on its continuous improvement plans. Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that it would be at the Committee’s next meeting in May or June 2023.
Ikeda asked if the timeline for when each item was specifically completed needs to be included. Committee Chairperson Fallin confirmed that this information needs to be included.
Committee Chairperson Fallin expressed appreciation for and acknowledged the work of the Commission.
Committee Chairperson Fallin adjourned the meeting at 2:24 p.m.
List of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting
V.A. Update on Commission work plan to address findings in 2022 Board of Education performance evaluation of the Commission