Kyla Musso, Student Representative
Robert Hull, Senior Advisor, National Association of State Boards of Education
Keith Hayashi, Superintendent, Department of Education
Heidi Armstrong, Interim Deputy Superintendent, Department of Education
Stacey Aldrich, State Librarian, Hawaii State Public Library System
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Executive Secretary
Lady Garrett, Secretary
Board Chairperson Voss called on Robert Hull, Senior Advisor, NASBE, to facilitate this portion of the meeting.
Hull asked the Board members to share three words that describe their motivation to serve as a member.
Board Member Namau‘u shared that the three words are Hawaiian immersion education.
Board Member McClellan shared that the three words are access, quality, and education.
Board Member Moriarty shared that the three words are quality, education, and all.
Board Member Arakaki shared that the three words are equity, excellence, and inspiration.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse shared that the three words are keiki (child), kupuna (elder), and product.
Board Member Fallin shared that the three words are giving back, future, and quality.
Board Student Representative Musso shared that the three words are students, opportunity, and honor.
Board Chairperson Voss shared that the three words are time to serve.
Board Member Kuraya shared that the three words are accountability for students.
Hull expressed appreciation to the Board members for their service and explained that at the start of this process the Board discussed building capacity for effective leadership and governance. He stated that the Board has discussed what it means to lead, to govern, and what a state board of education should do during this time. Hull stated that a lot is discussed about what the Board should do, including how to do it effectively.
Hull stated that for today’s meeting the Board will develop a long-term agenda for Hawaii’s education system. He emphasized that the Board is not developing a plan for itself but for the entire state and every person in the state.
Hull outlined the meeting parameters or norms of engagement for today’s session, which included: (1) stay engaged by remaining involved in the dialogue and sharing the air time; (2) safe space for sharing and asking questions while assuming the best intentions; (3) remain student focused; (4) disagree with the idea not the person; and (5) expect and accept non-closure. He noted that the Board is simply beginning the strategic planning process
Board Member Shanty Asher entered at 8:10 a.m.
Hull explained the session objectives, which include establishing broad priority focus areas for the strategic planning process, beginning review of various strategic plan formats and frameworks, and discussing an enhanced stakeholder engagement process and parameters to inform the strategic planning process.
Hull shared that state board responsibilities generally fall into three categories: (1) college, career, and civically ready or “The What”; (2) safe and healthy schools or “The Where”; and (3) developing and sustaining teachers and leaders or “The Who.” He stated that these responsibilities do not live in silos and that they include core values around the concept of equity and excellence. Hull stated that the Board’s role is related to building the system that drives the content, which it primarily does through policy. He stated that the Board will discuss what policies need to be in place to build systems and accountability.
Hull explained that state boards have authority in the power of policy, power of the question to ask other entities to provide information and raising questions, and the power to convene to influence others to implement policies. He stated that when all three are combined, it is called the power of collective action, which the Board needs keep in mind as it develops the strategic plan.
Hull asked Board members to share their definition of policy.
Board Member Moriarty shared that policy is establishing the direction you want to go in and setting the parameters to move in that direction.
Board Member Fallin shared that policy is setting direction and expectations.
Hull asked if policy is always contained in written documents. Board Chairperson Voss replied that policy is sustained in both written documents and by precedent, practice, or common understanding. He noted that he distinguishes policy versus operations because operations are what you do on the ground to accomplish what is set in policy.
Hull shared that the textbook definition of policy is, “A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by government, party, business, or individual.” He shared that he prefers the following definition of policy from the Johnson School of Leadership from the University of Texas in Austin which states, “A sustained course of action toward desired results,” because that is the role of the Board.
Board Member Arakaki emphasized that sharing individual values and backgrounds is critical because although the ideas may differ, it is important to find common ground as a group. He asked if the Board discussed everyone’s thoughts about collaborating with various stakeholders. Board Member Arakaki expressed support for the Board review of the strategic work done previously.
Hull stated that Board Member Arakaki just explained what Board members would discuss, which includes listening to the community, parents, teachers and other stakeholders. He stated it does not make sense to just identify what the Board wants and then write a strategic plan because the process needs to include getting information and buy-in from the public to move the strategic plan forward.
Hull asked Board members to share thoughts about why the Board has a strategic plan.
Board Student Representative Musso stated that the Board has a strategic plan for accountability to make sure it has something to look back at and that it is valuable to schools’ success. Hull emphasized that accountability is a great answer.
Board Member Fallin stated that the plan leads to the process and is an action-oriented document that charts the course to the future with a pathway identifying where the Department is and where it will be going. She also stated that a strategic plan memorializes specific deliverables and timelines.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that the strategic plan will allow for an understanding of where the Board wants to get to, the best path, and determining the right way to accomplish goals.
Board Member Asher stated that the strategic plan is so that the Board knows where we are and where we are moving together to achieve something.
Board Member Arakaki shared that, as a high school football coach, the playbook includes values. He stated that when scouting, the coach reviews the data and talent.
Board Member Fallin stated that there is a hypothesis about what the Board thinks would lead to future success, for example, in the Hawaii Blueprint the underlying logic is student focused. She stated that empowering schools to make decisions would lead to improved student learning.
Board Member Moriarty stated that the strategic plan helps to maximize the individual talents on the team and there will be times that things will be at odds with one another. She stated that it is important to take a step back to review so that the Department can maximize individual talents and to be able to set priorities for a common goal, perhaps by sharing knowledge.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that he likes the sports analogy. He stated that the Board has a strategic plan because without a plan you do not know where you are going and not sure if you have arrived. He stated that the strategic plan will help develop where the Board wants to end up at the end of the journey.
Board Member Namauʻu stated that the previous strategic plan was put together before she joined the Board, but that it should be a living document that the Board constantly checks in on. She stated that the Board needs to be conscious of it and revisit it to see if it is on the right path. Board Member Namauʻu acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Board in developing a new plan but course corrections need to be included along the way.
Hull stated that the reason for the strategic plan is to deliver on the promise of our vision and mission for the students and families of the state of Hawaii. He noted that the Board is making a promise. Hull explained that words mean things and it is important to get this right.
Hull outlined the strategic plan framework or “The Why,” and stated that he does not want specific information, rather he wants the big picture or impacts for the strategic plan. He asked what impact does the Board want for the state.
Board Member Moriarty stated that starting with the vision “educated healthy, joyful, lifelong learners” adding in health and why it is important, but asked to what extent is it the priority for the Department to achieve this vision.
Board Member Fallin stated that she would like the document to be meaningful and useful for schools. She suggested that what might be missing from the current document is if the plan is useful, meaningful, and relevant at the school level.
Hull asked what does the plan need to be so it is useful and meaningful for schools.
Board Member Moriarty replied clear and simple.
Board Member McClellan replied explicit.
Board Member Asher replied culturally and linguistically applicable and appropriate.
Board Member Arakaki stated that he would like the plan to include that all students reach their dreams and aspirations.
Hull replied that the Board wants students to have access to opportunities to help them achieve their dreams. He stated that the strategic plan should provide direction, be aspirational, achievable, and challenging so that the schools clearly know what they will be accountable for to engender people who want to be a part of something. Hull stated that the plan is more far reaching than what happens in schools and is an investment to improve the entire state.
Board Member Moriarty stated that there is a connection to Hawaiian history when the aliʻi (chiefs) set the broader vision, it is a part of who we are in Hawaii.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that the reality and perception is to provide resources for schools to help them succeed, which also includes positive momentum for the entire community and an “all in this together” mindset.
Board Member McClellan stated that in a global, digital ever-changing world, keiki (children) should have the opportunity to live and raise families in Hawaii and achieve their goals. She emphasized that public education should be the first choice for families.
Hull stated that education is about getting students to a finish line in terms of equal access.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that he would love to see students empowered to shape their own futures and fulfill their kuleana (responsibility) to our society. He stated that he would love for everyone to see themselves in this plan, not just hope that the plan will be beneficial and successful.
Hull noted Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse raised an excellent point for everyone not just to be benefactors but also contributors. He explained that words matter such as: vision, mission, priority, goal rationale, action, outcome, and metrics.
Hull asked Board members for the definition of vision.
Board Member Moriarty shared that vision is the most important part of leadership, which defines the end point and what that will look like including other elements where everyone has to see themselves in the vision.
Board Member McClellan shared that vision is the dream and mission is purpose.
Board Member Kuraya shared that vision is what and mission is how to get it.
Board Student Representative Musso shared that vision is the action side of the plan.
Hull explained that vision statements focus on tomorrow whereas mission focuses on today and what the Board wants to achieve. He stated that the vision is the ultimate outcome that everyone wants for the education system of Hawaii. He asked the Board to share about what is missing or what is right with the current vision.
Board Member Arakaki asked when the vision was developed. McClellan replied that this vision statement was developed in 2016.
Hull announced that Board members would break up into small groups and discuss whether the current vision statement is the best it can be.
Board Member Moriarty stated that their group included the words confidence and joy.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that their group included the words educated, healthy, empowered lifelong learners who are a meaningful part of our overall being. He stated that the group removed the word global with the idea to malama (take care of) your home first then the rest of society.
Hull stated that the term global is a throwback to the early 2000s, which was a buzzword and added to many visions at the time.
Board Member Namauʻu stated that students are educated and recognize their kuleana (responsibility). She also stated that she wants students to understand that they should be contributing positively to their community and understand the role they will play in society.
Hull stated that education is not a self-serving endeavor.
Board Member Arakaki asked what terms like “educated” mean to school principals, businesses, and non-profits asked whether this is the right word to describe the ultimate goal.
Hull asked what does educated mean and if it means that students are adequately educated.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that being able to take on kuleana (responsibility) so students are not just learning about things but doing things to contribute to their communities in a practical manner and provide the solutions needed now.
Board Member McClellan stated that regarding the discussion about the word global, when talking about students and excellence she would like to recommend being cautious about limiting the scope to Hawaii. She noted that there has been a mass exodus from Hawaii and sometimes students will take their education to spread it beyond Hawaii and she would like to leave space for students to do this. Board Member McClellan emphasized that representation matters in society and sometimes students need to take their knowledge elsewhere to develop pathways for bigger and better things.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse explained that when suggesting removal of the word global, the community hears all the time that there is nothing for you here, but there is something out there. He stated that he would like students to concentrate on here and expand outwards.
Hull stated that the ultimate goal is to empower students to leave with skills and knowledge.
Board Student Representative Musso suggested adding a unique cultural aspect in our vision and trying to honor what is unique to elevate this uniqueness and make it more prominent in the vision.
Board Member Moriarty stated that initial comments include excellence and that the system should be the first choice for a quality education for families in Hawaii.
Hull stated that the Board has provided a vision for students but not a system and asked what is your vision for the system, or how will the system impact an individual student.
Hull announced that Board members would break into small groups to discuss whether the mission statement is the best it can be.
Board Member Arakaki stated that the mission statement leads to him to more questions.
Board Member Fallin stated that the mission goes back to the hypothesis of what the Board envisions for the system of moving decision-making to schools and looking at how to reorganize and rethink the different roles.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that the first two words in the mission resonated with him and brought to mind an ‘ōlelo no‘eau (Hawaiian proverb) which states “the flower blossoms by the sweetness of the soil.” He asked what changes to the environment are needed for student success because the system is the rain and soil and the flowers are the students.
Board Member Moriarty shared that families came second, but need to be more prominent as a partner. She shared that the vision was related to students because it is all about the students but the mission was about the Board’s role to develop a system for the Department, charter schools, and public libraries that is integrated, effective, and accountable.
Board Member Namauʻu stated that the Board needs to take on a leadership role for everyone in the community to support public education to make this happen through collaborative efforts for the system.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that he viewed this statement as a metaphor for when you have something that is not good you cannot be afraid to tear it down and rebuild it.
Board Member Kuraya stated that after implementation and communication, the Board needs to do an evaluation, which was never done. He stated the Board rarely goes back and evaluates the effectiveness of what was done and then determine what will be kept or removed to move forward.
Board Member Asher asked where community feedback is in this process since the Board aspires for the public to have ownership of this plan. She asked whether a portion of the plan would be taken to the community for feedback. Hull replied that the Board would be releasing a survey for everyone and that it would hold community meetings to get feedback.
Board Member Fallin stated that as a Board member, there has been a lot of input from the community, but working with partners is worth the investment beyond the strategic plan.
Hull explained that when the Board gets into the construction of the plan this will be discussed.
Hull announced that the Board will take a brain break for 10 minutes.
The meeting recessed at 9:43 a.m. and reconvened at 9:56 a.m.
Hull stated that he would like Board members to brainstorm some of the priority areas they want to focus on in the strategic plan. He stated that the Board would consider various issues and place the issues into larger buckets. He asked the Board members to think about their top 5 to 6 priorities for this plan, based on evidence and data. Hull explained that he wants the Board to compile the broad priorities that should be in this plan.
Board Member Fallin stated that as the system continues to struggle with student learning and equity she has many questions about impact and resources invested. She stated that as the Department moves towards school empowerment, the Board continues to struggle to figure out what is standardized for schools system wide or at the complex area level. Board Member Fallin stated that priorities are teacher recruitment, retention of the entire workforce, and early learning.
Hull asked Board Member Fallin what she meant by student learning and how it is measured. Board Member Fallin replied that student learning is measured by meaningful and useful metrics based on a measurement of outcomes.
Hull asked if student achievement includes summative assessments. Board Member Fallin replied that student achievement includes equity.
Hull asked Board Member Fallin what equity means. Board Member Fallin replied that the Strive HI performance system established targets, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she does not know what happened in between. She stated that there are groups of students not doing as well as others, especially English learners, special education, and economically disadvantaged students. Board Member Fallin stated that the Board sees the disparity and ongoing struggle. She stated that public schools are for all students, so there are students not in these categories that could also be doing better.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that his priorities include highly qualified educators and staff and rigorous curriculum and academics, which include pathways to use knowledge and apply that knowledge in meaningful ways. He stated that another priority is to make sure buildings and facilities are equipped for success.
Board Member Kuraya stated that he would like to focus on fiscal equity to determine whether there is a better way to distribute funds to schools. He suggested looking at the budget and reviewing various programs to determine whether funding is sufficient or if programs are overfunded. Board Member Kuraya emphasized that lots of students need alternative learning centers (“ALC”) support. He stated that ALCs are not just putting students together at a venue, but an actual program with activities to help students transition smoothly from elementary, to middle, and then high school within a complex.
Hull asked if Board Member Kuraya is referring to reviewing program funding to determine program effectiveness. Kuraya confirmed that the Board needs to look at ways to ensure the Department supports more students with these programs and that without a review the Board will never know whether these programs are successful.
Hull stated that an inequity of outcomes usually ties into inequity of access and asked whether every high school offers every student access to higher opportunities.
Board Member Asher noted that it is important to set the expectation for what the Board wants ALCs to deliver and the goals. She stated that many students in ALCs are not placed after program completion and shared that there are no plans outside of the program. Board Member Asher stated that she has not seen fiscal equity in the building of community engagement and partnerships.
Board Student Representative Musso stated that chronic absenteeism needed to be tackled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because students will get an education if they are in school. She stated that other priority areas are educator retention, improvement in communication to families, and addressing student physical and mental health.
State Librarian Stacey Aldrich stated that there needs to be partnerships with the business community and government to figure out whether students are prepared for the types of jobs available with the necessary skills and making sure students have access to resources.
Board Member Moriarty stated that while trying to build an openness to engagement and enthusiasm for education, lifting up the level of literacy is critical to all fields and a gateway to all student learning. She stated that basic digital literacy would provide the skills students need because during the COVID-19 pandemic the Department discovered issues with simple tasks like logging in. Board Member Moriarty noted that public schools are funded with public money, so the system needs to raise citizens connected to their kuleana (responsibility).
Board Member McClellan stated that testimony from David Miyashiro of HawaiiKidsCAN points out that there are financial stability components regarding the mission, vision, and student success. She stated that having access to education at an early age is important no matter what and that exposure to a career pathway that allows exposure to other pathways to college or the world. Board Member McClellan emphasized that the metrics need to measure success while considering the nuances that will affect learning.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that early literacy and taking advantage of libraries for all students to read at grade level, especially for English learners and economically disadvantaged students. He expressed support for refocusing on basic math skills, attracting new principals, and engaging students in curriculum to get them back into the classroom consistently.
Board Member Arakaki shared that some of his priorities relate to preparation, retention, and support for administrative and certificated employees. He asked what are effective research-based strategies to ensure all students get the same instruction or designs or frameworks that can use data to help schools. Board Member Arakaki stated that he would like to understand if there is a process that can be used for the kindergarten to Grade 12 continuum for students to be successful in life. He emphasized that he would like to highlight stakeholder input from parents who want to be included in the decision-making process. Board Member Arakaki also noted that he would like every student to be connected to an adult on campus to let the students know they are cared for.
Board Member Namauʻu stated that the workforce is important, particularly leadership and that without properly trained leaders at the school level, schools will struggle. She stated that it is important to see family and community engagement to support public schools and that early learning is critical. Board Member Namauʻu also shared that the Department should consider whether it is reasonable to shift alternative learning and adult education programs to community colleges. She also expressed the importance of collecting data and having the capacity to analyze data properly, and expressed support for Hawaiian immersion education.
Keith Hayashi, Superintendent stated that his priorities are that the Department provide purposeful learning to help students connect and understand why learning is important. He expressed support for students having a purpose and plan for when school is done. Hayashi also stated that interdependence between elementary, middle, and high schools is critical, in addition to recruiting and retaining educators. He emphasized that he would like the public to view public schools as their first choice for education and the Department as the first choice of employment. Hayashi shared that other priorities include family and community engagement, interdependence in our system with external partners such as higher education, and ensuring equity of access to learning and success across our state for all families and communities.
Board Member Kuraya stated that accountability for each individual is important and how it relates to activities, programs, or how instruction will be provided.
Heidi Armstrong, Interim Deputy Superintendent shared priorities of providing high quality effective learning environments, effective operations and fiscal responsibility, a system that reflects the socio-cultural richness of the unique community, and removal of non-academic barriers to learning.
Hull asked what are some of the obvious omissions because once the priorities are done then the Board will need to review certain types of data. Hull stated that under its broad priorities, the Board would establish a number of goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time specific, or SMART goals. He explained that after the Board develops goals, it would form a rationale, followed by action, and then outcomes.
Hull asked Board members to consider what they consider to be the definition of success. He explained that metrics determine how the Board will know the direction it is going in and what data will need to be developed.
Hull stated that with the priorities Board members provided, he created five broad categories, education pipeline and effectiveness, enhanced student achievement and outcomes, effective and efficient operations, climate and culture, and coordination/collaboration/partnerships. He asked Board members whether five categories were too much.
Board Member Moriarty stated that the number of categories depends on the timeline and how long the Board would like to take to achieve the goals. She asked whether the priorities are listed in order because priorities are interactive.
Hull stated that in terms of priorities the large areas are equal because one priority is not more important than another. He stated that a 3-year strategic plan is not really a plan and at minimum he suggested that the Board consider a 5-year strategic plan to move the priorities.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that that Board cannot legitimately say all priorities are equal and would like to focus on enhanced student achievement and educator effectiveness.
Hull stated that the Board might have two categories that feed into other priorities.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that climate and culture underlies the other priorities and should be foundational to all aspects.
Board Member Fallin stated that she likes the categories and does not have a problem consolidating priorities. She also advocated that effective and efficient operations be a priority.
Hull suggested that the Board consider three priority areas and outcomes.
Board Vice Chairperson Barcarse stated that core beliefs are important to the system and Nā Hopena Aʻo (“HĀ”) should find a place in the strategic plan.
Board Member McClellan expressed support that the Board take accountability for ongoing issues.
Board Chairperson Voss asked what regarding efficient and effective operations for the system that in this category may not be included or emphasized enough. Hull replied that what was shared was related to effective communication and operation bureaucracy for being too top heavy which is not about Hayashi rather about what the Board wants from the superintendent.
Board Member Asher advocated keeping climate and culture in the plan to show the Board is serious about incorporating culture in the schools and that seriousness is reflected in how culture and climate is incorporated into its strategic plan. She emphasized that community is important and if the Board does not consider it a priority importance when the Board prioritizes funding or access.
Hull explained that priorities are large categories that include actions.
Board Member Asher emphasized not losing the importance of community in the planning process.
Hull stated that the next step is developing the data to identify the goals and purpose and look at what improvements need to be made.
Board Member McClellan asked if climate and culture will be absorbed in other priorities. Hull replied that climate and culture will be absorbed and the data will be brought forth.
Hayashi asked if the Board is referring to teachers in the school system since there are many hands that support student learning and he would like clarification on what educator pipeline is referring to. Hull replied that the educator pipeline relates to anyone who works with students that have licenses. Board Member Moriarty asked the educator pipeline should be captured in efficient and effective operations.
Board Member Kuraya suggested that if looking at the weighted student formula it is important to remember that a large portion is personnel at approximately 90%.
Board Chairperson Voss stated that the strategic plan work done today is off to a great start.
Hull stated that the Board will look at the comparative data from the state and national levels.
Board Member Kuraya stated that the Department is funded by the legislature and is a local education agency as well as a statewide education agency. He shared that other state districts are 100% federally funded schools are closed if there is no money, whereas in Hawaii the money is provided by the legislature to enhance education.
Hull explained that Board members would get into small groups and review three strategic plan examples from Connecticut, Mississippi, and Nevada, which vary widely in format. He stated that the Board needs to review each plan for their objectives and ask the following questions:
Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified on agenda item II.A, entitled “Presentation on National Association of State Boards of Education (“NASBE”) building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning.” She stated that the meeting agreement was to remain student focused and some of this was missed and that she would give more consideration to safe and healthy schools.
Ryan Luther, member of the public, testified on agenda item II.A, entitled “Presentation on National Association of State Boards of Education (“NASBE”) building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning.” He stated that he has witnessed a lot being written but not followed, stated that he hears a lot about equity and inequity but that this has been ignored, and he requested that the Board follow existing rules.
David Miyashiro, HawaiiKidsCAN, testified on agenda item II.A, entitled “Presentation on National Association of State Boards of Education (“NASBE”) building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning.” He urged the Board to move forward simple, focused strategies to enable support to help close the divide by 2030. He stated he is unsure how the goals and priorities will be student centered to set a clear path forward.
Cynthia Bartlett, Moms for Liberty Honolulu County, testified on agenda item II.A, entitled “Presentation on National Association of State Boards of Education (“NASBE”) building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning.” She expressed surprise with less focus on academic excellence and emphasized that parents are worried about learning since there is a big shift in education.
Board members received written testimony before the meeting. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting.
|David Miyashiro||HawaiiKidsCAN||II.A. Presentation on NASBE building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning|
|Vanessa Ott||Citizen of the United States of America & Resident of the State of Hawaii||II.A. Presentation on NASBE building capacity for effective leadership and governance through strategic planning|