Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, June 1, 2023

Lynn Fallin, Chairperson
Kaimana Barcarse, Vice Chairperson
Lauren Moriarty
Kili Namauʻu
Bruce Voss


Cathy Ikeda, Chairperson, State Public Charter School Commission
Shannon Cleary, Member, 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 9:32 a.m. Committee Chairperson Fallin, Committee Vice Chairperson Kaimana Barcarse, and Committee Members Lauren Moriarty, Kili Namauʻu, and Bruce Voss 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 March 2, 2023

Committee Chairperson Fallin asked Committee members to review the Committee’s March 2, 2023, meeting minutes.

Committee Member Voss moved to approve the Committee’s March 2, 2023, meeting minutes. Committee Member Moriarty 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 Vice Chairperson Barcarse and Committee Members Moriarty, Namauʻu, and Voss).

ACTION: Motion to approve the Commission Outcomes Committee’s March 2, 2023, meeting minutes (Voss/Moriarty). The motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present.

IV. Public testimony on Committee agenda items

Committee Chairperson Fallin called for public testimony. No one testified at this time.

V. Discussion Items

Committee Chairperson Fallin called on Cathy Ikeda, Chairperson, Commission, to provide the presentation on the rationales for each declined opportunity for improvement finding from the 2022 Board performance evaluation of the Commission.

Ikeda outlined the Commission’s submission, which is the result of previous discussions at the October meeting, including numbered opportunities and items labeled with a yes or no response.

Committee Member Moriarty asked what happened since the previous meeting because the current memorandum has more information than prior versions. Ikeda replied that she worked with former Commission Interim Executive Director Yvonne Lau on the memorandum for the previous meeting, but that she did not have time to incorporate all of the information before the previous meeting. She explained that for this meeting she compiled the information that she already had and filled in the gaps.

Committee Member Moriarty stated that the original memorandum referred to the Commission’s strategic plan which addressed some of the issues and questions raised as part of the evaluation process. Ikeda expressed appreciation for the acknowledgement of the strategic plan and noted that she referred frequently to the strategic plan. She explained that alignment with the strategic plan is evidence that the Commission is moving in a positive direction.

Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse expressed appreciation for the revised memorandum, particularly an explanation of how the Commission disagreed with the Board’s evaluation. He highlighted the Commission’s statement that it wants to communicate its role and practices to the Board and noted that this is a two-way opportunity because the Board can also communicate its expectations and understanding of the Commission’s role and practices. Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse emphasized the importance of understanding what the Board is requesting and referenced item E.2.2. Opportunity, where the Board stated that it is unclear whether the Commission provides a public report summarizing the evidence and basis for each renewal decision. He noted that the Commission’s response notes that it already reports renewal decisions publicly. Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse suggested that it would have been helpful to reference the report and expectations.

Committee Member Voss asked if there is a better way for the Board to gain a sense of how the Commission perceives facts and Commission practices so that there can be a common foundation of understanding. Commissioner Shannon Cleary opined that having that it is important to have a common understanding of Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 302D. She also shared that one example relates to the Commission’s understanding of its authority in a revocation situation versus a non-renewal and the associated procedures for each.

Ikeda stated that the Commission does not have opportunities to come before the Board except in these instances. She shared that she persists in this work because she is an educator and finds life in students. Ikeda shared about attending Kamalani Academy’s May Day program and about a series of presentations called “Bright Spots” where schools share their mission, vision, and goals with the Commission. Cleary shared that showing up at the schools is part of the Commission’s kuleana (responsibility) and invited Board members to participate in Commission meetings and visit charter schools.

Committee Member Voss expressed appreciation for the Commission’s response and noted that the statutes are confusing for charter schools. He also shared that another aspect involves what the Commission is trying to accomplish for charter schools versus the overall philosophy that drives the mission. Committee Member Voss asked whether there are other ways for Board members to gain a better sense of what the Commission sees as its core mission.

Clearly clarified that her understanding is that the Commission’s role is to serve as an authorizer and monitor the use of taxpayer dollars to make sure academic and financial plans are providing a service to the community. She shared about the role of Hawaii Public Charter School Network, which has been the advocacy arm that supports charter schools and charter school leaders.

Ikeda stated that during a conference with several charter school leaders, one school suggested holding a conference, which is a good idea but does not relate to the work of the Commission.

Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the role of this committee focused on the evaluation but the foundation and principles of the work is broader. She acknowledged the work that has been done, the common goals through National Association of Charter School Authorizers (“NACSA”), and emphasized that the focus is on the students. Committee Chairperson Fallin expressed optimism that the Board and Commission can come together to support one another. She stated that if there appears to be a difference in perspective and understanding of the role of the Commission, so the Board must be included in the ongoing dialogue.

Committee Member Moriarty asked if there is a common basis that the Commission and Board start from. Ikeda shared that there is disagreement on autonomy, but clarified that the Commission as the only authorizer in Hawaii that serves as a state entity, so the idea of autonomy is different from national standards.

Clearly stated that for-profit charters are not accountable for spending taxpayer dollars, but this is different in Hawaii.

Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse left the meeting at 10:04 a.m.

Committee Chairperson Fallin referenced Exhibit 1 of the memorandum, identifying items marked in blue as review, white as opportunities, and orange as required or mandated by the Board. She stated that opportunities are optional and the highest priority focuses on mandated areas, including specific dates for when the work is projected or planned. Committee Chairperson Fallin shared that as a part of the Board’s evaluation process, the Board invited the Commission to provide comments, but comments were not provided by the deadline so the Board adopted the mandated deficiencies in its evaluation. She stated that the Board adopted the deficiencies, so the Commission’s explanations are informative, but the Committee does not have the authority to remove or ignore these deficiencies.

Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse returned to the meeting at 10:08 a.m.

VI. Action Items
Committee Chairperson Fallin called on Ikeda to present the Commission’s continuous improvement plans to address all deficiency findings and selected opportunities for improvement findings in the 2022 Board performance evaluation of the Commission.

Ikeda shared background on the timeline of the development of the Commission’s strategic plan, the Board’s evaluation, her participation in both, and her assumption of the position of Commission chairperson. She detailed that the permitted interaction group formed by the Commission decided that it would not respond to the Board’s evaluation report. Ikeda also shared about her personal shift in perspective, expressed understanding of what happened in the past, and would look at things differently going forward.

Committee Member Voss moved to approve to determine that the Commission has developed all of the continuous improvement plans required by the Board’s 2022 performance evaluation report of the Commission, as outlined in Committee Chairperson Fallin’s memorandum dated June 1, 2023. Committee Vice Chairperson Barcarse seconded.

Committee Member Voss asked Ikeda to detail what the Commission has done or is planning to do to improve academic performance monitoring. He shared that some charter schools view the Commission’s monitoring of academic performance as being done in punitive and damaging ways.

Ikeda stated that by law, the Commission has to collect and report student assessment data, but with Contract 4.0, the Commission wanted to look at charter school academic improvement aligned to the schools’ mission and vision. She emphasized that the mission needs to align to statute mandates.

Cleary stated that schools are constantly sharing that their schools are vision and mission driven but now with contract 4.0 schools need to look at peer schools’ data over time. She stated that the comparative data would be better.

Committee Member Voss asked for clarification on how the Commission’s oversight would work if it is looking at mission and vision based academic improvement and whether the requirements would vary from school to school. Cleary replied that the Commission would look at the school’s community, mission, and vision and that the idea is to align test scores and incorporate alignment of mission and vision. Ikeda stated that schools would develop assessments in alignment with their vision and mission. She also shared about charter schools that are already testing their school assessments, like Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau, Laboratory Public Charter School and Malama Honua Charter School.

Committee Member Moriarty commented that charter schools commonly fail because of financial issues, but that there is an academic requirement to ensure that students are prepared. She expressed interest in the role of the Commission and individual schools or support roles for the Department.

Ikeda noted significant differences between the Commission’s relationship with charter schools and the Department’s relationship with its schools and stated that the Commission does not serve the same role as a complex area superintendent and that its options to provide support to charter schools are limited.

Committee Chairperson Fallin shared her observation about the contract with the local school board and acknowledged that the expectation is innovation with specific metrics and scoring. She referenced Exhibit 1, which lists declined opportunities, and shared that Ikeda acknowledges that more work would happen, but stated that the Board needs to know the impact and next steps. Committee Chairperson Fallin stated that the timeline and steps are the actions that help to develop the Board’s understanding but that additional details are necessary to achieve results. She shared that column 1b relating to timeline needs to include more specific dates (planned, projected) and that column 1C, which lists the responsible party needs to list a specific position; the term “staff” is too general.

Committee Chairperson Fallin noted that Interim Commission Executive Director PJ Foehr participated in the meeting and shared that there were discussions relating to avoiding two parallel efforts. She clarified that to minimize redundancy there are areas, which would be included in the annual report. She recommended that the Board defer action today and take action at a future meeting.

Committee Member Voss expressed agreement with Committee Chairperson Fallin and noted that the work reflects a lot of time but there are pieces that need more work. He also recognized that there are limited resources but that communication, monitoring and processes are improving.

Committee Member Voss withdrew his motion. Committee Chairperson Fallin asked if there was any objection to withdrawing the motion. There were no objections, and the motion was withdrawn.

Committee Member Moriarty expressed appreciation and noted that this is a good way to move forward.

VII. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson Fallin adjourned the meeting at 10:38 a.m.

List of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting

Agenda Item
Susan Pcola-DavisV.A. Presentation on rationales for each declined opportunity for improvement finding from 2022 Board performance evaluation of Commission, & VI.A. Committee Action on Commission continuous improvement plans to address all deficiency findings and selected opportunities for improvement findings in 2022 Board performance evaluation of the Commission