Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
September 24, 2007
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Lawrie Kobza at 5:02 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Maya Cole (arrived 5:05 p.m.), Lawrie Kobza, Johnny Winston, Jr.


OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Beth Moss, Arlene Silveira


STAFF PRESENT: Steve Hartley, Jack Jorgensen, Kurt Kiefer, Pam Nash, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, Ken Syke, Lisa Wachtel, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Maya Cole to approve the Performance and Achievement Committee minutes dated July 30, 2007 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Elisabeth Phillips provided information about the "3S Smart Learning System" and shared the recommendation from the Foundation for Madison Public Schools, DPI, and staff who are implementing the system that it is brought to the attention of the Board of Education and that members receive an informational presentation about it.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Fine Arts Task Force Letter to Obtain Community Input

(Written materials provided in advance: Fine Arts Task Force Charge to the Committee, draft of a letter to community members via a MMSD Press Release - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Lawrie Kobza gave a brief update on the background and work of the Fine Arts Task Force, noting the Board of Education will receive a report from the Task Force in November or later. The committee received the draft of a letter for the community explaining the ways the committee will be gathering information about its goals for fine arts education.

5. Four Year Old Kindergarten

(Written materials provided in advance: Memorandum from Art Rainwater dated 9/20/07 re: Four Year Old Kindergarten in the Madison Metropolitan School District, a chart of Preschool Partnership Projects, different charts of kindergarteners eligible for supportive services, a memorandum from Art Rainwater dated 9/19/07 re: Deliberative Process for 4-K, and a chart showing Kindergartner Screener by Performance Category by School 2002-2007. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Art Rainwater shared data about the performance of four-year-olds based on the kindergarten screener, which is administered to about 60 percent of the population. The screener is optional and not always administered because of late enrollment or other reasons. He noted the PLAA (Primary Language Arts Assessment), administered in October, provides better data. Superintendent Rainwater reviewed the information provided about preschool partnership projects and the students targeted for various services.


Total numbers, linking information from preschool (when and where) to the PLAA.

Eligibility for K-ready summer school.

District controls much of the curriculum and programming for partner programs, many through grants. If the district does not control, works together with partners to align programming.

Take partnerships to another level; collaborate, vs. the district offering 4K.

Play and Learn may be able to expand to broad outreach, using Title I funds.

Programs like Launching into Literacy are widely shared with providers - district training is ongoing; much turnover of staff.

Concern that because K screening is optional, the results are not true reflection of the community. Scores are a reflection of who is assessed. There are reasons for conducting the screener, including statutory. PLAA scores are more comprehensive; subtests are selected on basis of alignment with standards, given at grades K, 1, 2.

United Way Born Learning Delegation supports Play and Learn and use of a common comprehensive early screening tool by pediatricians.

4-K is one option. Still many questions about effectiveness, implementation, whether it is what the community wants to support.

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Maya Cole to move Four-Year-Old Kindergarten to the full Board of Education so that there is full discussion and agreement about whether to proceed and direction for next steps including gathering community input. The issue would then come back to Performance and Achievement or another committee for further work.

Lawrie Kobza asked that committee and Board members inform staff of any additional requests for information in preparation for further discussion.

6. A Model to Measure Student Performance with Ties to District Goals

(Written materials provided in advance: Memorandum from Art Rainwater dated 9/19/07 re: Draft Goal Structure. Written materials provided at the meeting: Beating the District-Wide Average - A Value-Added Analysis of School Performance. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Art Rainwater and Kurt Kiefer presented and discussed the concepts for a value-added growth model for assessment the district is moving toward for the 2007-08 school year. The draft of a goal structure and revised district goals were presented in written materials and discussed. The final proposed document will be presented in mid-October.


Concern about built-in low expectations. (Will review data to examine expectations. When looking at schools as well as individual growth, will be looking for growth that closes gaps.)

Don't know yet how much overall growth to expect. Also looking at coefficients and trying to reduce them; looking at how they change over time.

Studying different types of models, no decisions yet. DPI has a model. Milwaukee uses a model that incorporates the variables.

District-wide goal will be that the average goes up each year - the question is by how much. Then it will be possible to compare individual schools with the district average.

Goals will be portrayed as positive change.

Concern about beginning at third grade and using WKCE. (WKCE is tied to standards. This type of measurement is not expected to inform day-to-day classroom instruction - that occurs in the classroom on a daily basis. WKCE is a fairly good measure, the SIMS model fits in. Legitimate to look at overall district performance.

Issue for the committee is reviewing district goals and whether they should be refined.

Uncomfortable with no measure of accountability until third grade. (There are not good summative measures for K-3. Use PLAA and a series of profiles to target interventions. Children develop reading skills at different rates. Look at PLAA growth internally, has SIP measures, program evaluation to inform instruction; steer away from using it as a district accountability tool.)

For high school, have 10th grade WKCE but may not be a good measure because it is not taken seriously; no stakes associated with results for students. Could fit it into the growth model.

FOLLOW UP: Lawrie Kobza requested that the administration provide for the next meeting a list of the current district goals and the proposed changes to consider. At that time, committee members will decide whether to recommend those proposed changes to the full Board. She noted that one impact of changing the goals would be updating of district documents, including the Strategic Plan booklets.

7. Other Business

There was no other business.

8. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Maya Cole to adjourn the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.