Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
November 26, 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 p.m. She noted that member Maya Cole was ill and could not attend the meeting.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Lawrie Kobza, Johnny Winston, Jr.

MEMBERS ABSENT: Maya Cole

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

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Attorney Frank Crisafi, Steve Hartley, Jack Jorgensen, Kurt Kiefer, Ron Lott, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Lawrie Kobza to approve the Performance and Achievement Committee minutes dated October 22, 2007 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

2. Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. School Climate Survey

(Written materials provided in advance: 2003-04 School Climate Report, Shabazz High School; 2006-07 School Climate Report, Hamilton Middle School - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Kurt Kiefer provided information about the history, development and content of the School Climate Reports. Ron Lott noted the instrument was developed in 1993-94 to measure participation. It began and still continues in three versions - students, parents, and staff. It was adjusted in 2001-02 to correspond with the Educational Framework as it existed at that time and to reflect more of an assets structure, rather than the earlier deficits-based structure. The Climate Survey is an important component for data gathering around the Educational Framework, especially for the categories of engagement and relationships. Every school receives three separate reports (student, parent, and staff) and there are on-line tools for additional comparisons. Mr. Lott provided examples of the way in which schools use the reports for School Improvement Planning, including sparking further inquiries and comparisons and with the Friendly Observer process. He summarized that it is a starting point for understanding what is being reported. The surveys are administered annually, including alternative programs, and are translated into Spanish and Hmong.

The Survey was presented as an informational item. Ms. Kobza anticipated discussion will continue as other topics are addressed, such as the high school redesign and strategic plan measures and targets.

DISCUSSION:

Examples of ways in which the survey was used for school improvement. (Improve relationship with disconnected group - make school more open, welcoming.)

Evaluation, monitoring of SIP over time. (Once data analysis and planning are completed, Principal and Assistant Superintendents monitor and track progress. Sometimes need to refine strategies, make changes. Is a five-year, living plan.)

District-wide average, comparisons, monitoring. (Address school-by-school because that is where change occurs, rather than overall district. Could produce report - have been using consistent instrument since 2002-03.)

Survey is administered in the spring. Timing. (Can't administer too early in the year because need information, history, experience in order to weigh in. Surveys are provided late in the school year, but usually not reviewed until September. Is an annual measure for stakeholders. SIP is continuous improvement, use data sources as they come in. Schools generally update SIPS in late summer, early fall.)

Considering integrating school-level data in growth models. Strong analysis/predictor tool.

Climate as a learning factor - hopefully, District has some control.

Demographics - some groups not represented. (Survey is a census, not sample. There is under-representation which is discussed by the school - how to raise, how to interpret.)

FOLLOW-UP:

Report with district comparisons beginning 2002-03.

High School reports.

5. Youth Options Policy

(Written materials provided in advance: Memorandum from Legal Services dated 11/21/07 re: basic outline of a new policy chapter entitled, "Educational Options" with attached Draft Youth Options Program dated 11/20/07, current Charter Schools Policy 10000, Charter Schools draft revised policy dated 11/20/07 - all attached to the original of these minutes.)

Attorney Frank Crisafi noted the proposed policy for the Youth Options Program was written based on information from other district policies and to be consistent with the statutes and administrative rules governing the program. It is a legally correct policy and reflects district practice. The district does not have a predecessor policy. It is intended to be included in a new policy chapter that incorporates all educational options available for students in a single section.

Lawrie Kobza noted this is a first discussion of the Youth Options policy. There will be additional meeting time to discuss it and opportunities for public input. She noted that the last item on the list of policies to be included in the new chapter deals with credit for courses taken outside the MMSD policies. She felt it would be important to finalize and place other policies in the chapter before beginning development of this new policy.

DISCUSSION:

Need to guarantee that students at all high schools are notified equally about availability and timelines and receive equal counseling.

Difficult for students to access courses that are available at another high school in the district. Course availability at another school does not address accessibility question; transportation is a problem.

High school credit granted for courses taken at an accredited institution of higher learning (re: policy for credits taken outside of MMSD).

Participation for students with a disability - statement in policy reflects statute.

Scheduling difficulty - students may have to make choices.

6. Charter School Policy

(Written materials provided in advance: Memorandum from Legal Services dated 11/21/07 re: basic outline of a new policy chapter entitled, "Educational Options" with attached Draft Youth Options Program dated 11/20/07, current Charter Schools Policy 10000, Charter Schools draft revised policy dated 11/20/07 - all attached to the original of these minutes.)

Attorney Crisafi noted the major difference between the current policy and the proposed revised draft is the inclusion of an intermediate step allowing the filing of a petition to establish a charter school at a lower standard (5% of the teachers employed by the District or by at least 25% of the teachers employed at one school vs. the 10% and 50% required for a formal petition). This provides an initial review before a full detailed proposal is developed; an opportunity to ascertain support before investing the bulk of development resources.

Lawrie Kobza noted this is also a first draft of the Charter School policy. It will be discussed further in committee and there will be opportunity for public input.

DISCUSSION:

District policy could be less stringent than state law, but not more stringent.

Petitioners have several routes available to come before the Board (through Board, Superintendent, individual Board members, teachers); may want to discuss streamlined process.

Policy should incorporate a stronger statement of evidence of research, incorporate ways in which the proposal would support Board and district strategic priorities, incorporate elaboration of how the program would reflect district diversity.

7. Other Business

There was no other business.

8. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Lawrie Kobza to adjourn the meeting at 6:02 p.m. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

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