HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

 

 

January 31, 2003   Hearing Room E

1:00 PM Tapes  13 - 14

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Vic Backlund, Chair

Rep. Pat Farr, Vice-Chair

Rep. Elaine Hopson, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brad Avakian

Rep. Billy Dalto

Rep. Mary Nolan

Rep. Wayne Scott

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Keller, Committee Administrator

Jeana Harrington, Committee Assistant

 

ISSUES HEARD: Informational Meeting

                                                -Final Oregon Report Card, Oregon Department of Education (ODE)

-Charter Schools – Jim Green, Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) and Joanie Gilles, ODE

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 13, A

004

Chair Backlund

Calls meeting to order at 1:05 PM. Welcomes the audience and the committee. Opens informational meeting.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

013

Nancy Schneider

Director of the Oregon Report Card (ORC). Introduces her colleagues. Overviews the ORC (EXHIBIT A). Reviews the statistics presented in the document. Illustrates the change in formula that took place between years 1998-2002 and 2003-2004. Shares student performance data of Salem Heights Elementary School and of a school with an unacceptable rating.

113

Bev Johnson

Principal, Salem Heights Elementary School (SHES). Classifies student body with regard to special education and students with disabilities. Describes how they looked to other similar schools for information about their progress.

143

Chair Backlund

Asks if they used the Database Initiative Project (DIP) to forecast data.

145

Johnson

Affirms. Details how they referenced the programs of other schools to improve their own.  

197

Rep. Dalto

Inquires what occurred when the reading recovery program in Salem-Keizer schools was fazed out.

203

Johnson

States this is the first year that cut will occur.

205

Rep. Dalto

Clarifies her statement.

209

Johnson

Explains the reading recovery program further. States they used Title I funding for it.  

253

Rep. Farr

Recognizes a group of high school students from his district.

256

Chair Backlund

Comments on the students.

264

Rep. Hopson

Recognizes student in audience.

278

Chair Backlund

Asks about parent reception of the ORC.

281

Johnson

Remarks that parents at her school are delighted when they receive the scores.

291

Rep. Dalto

Questions if parents are more receptive of the program when positive results are received.

296

Johnson

States SHES enjoy high volunteer position. Adds that all participants have a feeling of success and that she is unsure if lower scores would result in a change in participation.

310

Rep. Avakian

Congratulates her on the success of the school progress of other unrelated programs is assessed and if it results are shared with parents.

322

Johnson

Explains that the improvement program involves tests given to age groups annually and compared with past results.

329

Rep. Avakian

Asks if this is unique to SHES.

330

Johnson

Answers the district utilizes the program.

332

Rep. Hopson

Requests Ms. Schneider discuss the usefulness of the ORC.

341

Schneider

Explains overall rating. Delineates improvement points. Informs that the rating consists of 80% student test scores, 20% attendance and dropout rates. Explains how points accrued can ultimately ‘bump’ a school up a category.

359

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies that a school with higher assessment scores can receive a lower rating than one who was ‘bumped up’.

365

Schneider

Explains the rate further. 

TAPE 14, A

003

Rep. Hopson

Questions the ratings.

005

Schneider

States they have had encountered query on the issue.  Discusses requirements for the overall rating.

015

Chair Backlund

Asks what the parents and teacher attitudes are when a school scores poorly.   

022

Schneider

Responds schools find it devastating to work hard and then be told progress is low or unacceptable. States some schools were surprised by the ratings.

041

Rep. Hopson

Notices that four of the seven unacceptable-rated schools are magnet schools.

046

Schneider

Replies ODE is looking at a way to show alternative schools strengths. Adds it is incorrect to say the schools are not improving. Provides the study was put on hold due to funding, although ODE would like to perform it.

061

Rep. Hopson

Thinks this would be important data to have.

066

Chair Backlund

Requests what changes the witnesses would you make to ORC.

072

Schneider

Answers from both an educator and a parent’s standpoint. Adds that ideally there would be a way to compare districts with regard to arts.

100

Johnson

Comments that as an educator, it was difficult to see parents choose for their children to attend a school due to its rating. Counters she believes benchmarks are important and should be used and encourages their incorporation with ORC.

134

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies comments.

135

Johnson

Explains she would want benchmarks in addition to more objective, multiple choice tests, considered in ORC.

141

Schneider

Adds to Johnson’s comments with regard to strong and exceptional schools.

168

Jim Green

Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA). Refers to (EXHIBIT B). Provides history of charter schools and delineates their purpose in Oregon. Comments on the application process and its extensive nature.

245

Joanie Gilles

ODE. Reports on the statewide context of charter schools. Reiterates that the creation of charter schools can sometimes be contentious. Provides that there are 23 charter schools educating about 2,500 students.

293

Rep. Farr

Inquires if there are admission requirements for the schools.

298

Gilles

Explains there cannot be. Adds the only requirements are due to age and grade.

316

Rep. Farr

Asks that, as some schools are specifically for at risk students, if districts can recommend that students attend these schools.

320

Gilles

Explains schools can recommend students for charter schools, but cannot place students in them. Continues to elaborate on specific charter schools. Lists the reasons charter schools have not been continued. Tells of schools who have appealed school districts in their application.

407

Green

Comments on the Paisley School District. Adds requirements for charter schools.

TAPE 13, B

003

Green

Continues explanation of requirements for charter schools.

008

Rep. Avakian

Understands that failure to ensure adequate funding in Paisley has forced them to seek other options.

014

Green

Answers that funding is part of the issue and elaborates on the additional loss of children in this district.

024

Rep. Avakian

Understands that the district has a requirement to help these students.

028

Rep. Hopson

Poses question regarding the eventual end of federal funding in Paisley.

030

Green

States he has not seen a proposal, but lists the actions Paisley is taking to gain funds for the school.

045

Rep. Far

Assumes Paisley as a charter district will have the funds.

048

Green

Concurs and adds that Paisley may perhaps seek a waiver.

060

Gilles

Points out that incentive grant is important to charter schools. Adds that it forces districts to consider the opportunity. Lists that facilities and ongoing operations are not eligible for grant funds. Adds that sustainability is a quality sought in applications.  

089

Rep. Hopson

Asks about the Center for Advanced Learning with regard to the CAM.

090

Gilles

Responds concerning the achievement of a CAM.

092

Rep. Avakian

Questions the financial climate of Paisley in three years.

100

Green

Responds that it is his job to ensue funding. Points out that most applications have private funding sources, raise funds, and a business plan.

120

Avakian

Understands that a public school would depend on private funding.

125

Green

Affirms and states it is the unfortunate situation in Oregon. Continues that independent charter schools have a more difficult time with funding as they cannot use grant money for facilities and operations. Describes an example of this. Adds that bond levies have also been used to create facilities for charter schools. Elaborates on Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) issues with charter schools. Discusses teacher requirements.

184

Gilles

Explains accountability requirements of charter schools.

223

Green

Explains requirements for charter schools with regard to open enrollment policies. Points out that funding will be ending for some charter schools. States charters are legal documents and are accountable as such.

320

Gilles

Restates the rigor of the charter school process. Reiterates that it ultimately results in a quality education.

340

Green

Highlights funding of charter schools.

TAPE 14, B

002

Green

Describes funding further with regard to districts and special education.

032

Rep. Farr

Asks if contracts can be made with charter schools.

 

Gilles

Responds they can on a case-by-case basis.

042

Rep. Farr

Clarifies.

043

Gilles

Explains further.

045

Green

Comments about charter school law. Concludes presentation.

060

Gilles

Reiterates it is an active law.

065

Rep. Farr

Assumes that charter schools have requirements like ORC.

070

Green

Affirms charter schools use a separate card. Explains the schools may not be present on the ORC as they are new.

085

Rob Kramer

Charter School Service Center. Informs of his position. Speaks to one charter school in particular, Four Rivers in Ontario and explains their innovative model. Complements the ODE and OSBA for their unique work on charter schools. Points out the efforts of districts and communities in the use of charter schools. Addresses long-term sustainability of charter schools once federal funding ends.

156

Rep. Avakian

Clarifies his earlier question.

162

Kramer

Explains he does not believe charter schools will become more private in nature. States that fundraising will not be a large component of schools as one time costs will already be taken care of. Urges that audits of charter schools be addressed fiscally, and not municipally. Addresses the issue of PERS and charter schools.

207

Rep. Scott

References PERS comments and delinquency of payments

212

Kramer

Responds. Addresses school districts and delays in their assessment of charters.

248

Rep. Hopson

Clarifies issue of timelines.

253

Kramer

Responds with regard to school boards.

261

Rep. Hopson

Remarks on this.

270

Chair Backlund

Comments that Oregon has one of the more outstanding charter school laws in nation.

273

Kramer

Responds the requirements are more extensive than those of other states. Concurs with the strong rating of charter schools in Oregon.

287

Chair Backlund

Comments on the large number of amendments to this law.

294

Kramer

Believes the resulting program is impressive.

305

Ed Johnston

Lincoln County resident. Discusses charter schools and questions allocation of funds. Explains the citizen recall of the Lincoln County school board.

336

Rep. Hopson

Announces she is uncomfortable with this discussion as the opposition is not present.  

340

Johnston

Understands.

343

Rep. Avakian

Echoes concern of Rep. Hopson. States notice should be given in pertaining to such testimony.

383

Johnston

Believes they need to save public schools. Addresses issues faced with the Lincoln County superintendent.

404

Chair Backlund

Informs Mr. Johnston of the PERS committee.

407

Johnston

States he falls through the cracks of the system. Voices frustration.

424

Chair Backlund

Closes informational meeting. Adjourns meeting at 2:58 PM.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – Informational, Oregon Report Card, ODE, 11 p

B – Informational, Oregon Charter Schools, Jim Green, 30 p