Transcript and Audio 'Disgusting' Executive Session Idaho Charter School Commission

Illegal Executive Session Unveils Extreme Anti-Charter School Bias, Disparaging Remarks of Students and Communities, Misleading Claims, Plans to Skirt the Law to Close Schools and Manipulation of Student Data for Legislators and the State Board of Education

This is a draft transcript that we continue to update. While reading this transcript, we encourage you to listen to the audio at the same time for 100% accuracy. Post any clarifications to the recording in the comments below. Thank you!

Scroll to the bottom for full audio.

Idaho Public Charter School Commission - April 11, 20 

…Transcripts start from 00:48


Tamara:  Act 4?, What are we on now?


Male: We’re on the tired part of the day


Female: The epilogue

Female: We need to shut the door

Female (maybe Wanda): Not yet, we gotta approve the executive session

Alan Reed: Chelsea, Could you leave that open for just a minute

Alan Reed: We gotta make a motion

Female: We have to turn off the phone

Female: After we make a motion

Female: Okay, you need a motion to move or to adjourn and then open? What else.

Alan and Wanda Quinn somewhat jumbled.  Female says “I’ll make a motion” “Now what else?” “I make a motion to go into executive session pursuant to Idaho Code section74-206.1(d) to consider records that are exempt from disclosure as provided by Chapter 1Title 74 Idaho Code.

Female: I second it

Alan Reed:  We have a motion and a second to go into executive session. Any discussion?

Female: Roll call

Alan Reed: We need a roll call for the vote

Tamara:  Commission Sigliano “here”

Alan Reed:  Aye or Nay

Commissioner Sigliano: Aye

Tamara:  Commissioner Quinn: Aye

Tamara: Commissioner Peterson: Aye

Tamara: Commisioner Bair: Aye

Tamara: Commissioner Kunz: Aye

Commisioner VanOrden: Aye

Female (Quinn?): Now everything can go off

Alan Reed:  Thank You

MALE 1: Thank you. 

Tamara: Okay so we've muted the phone because we have to go back into open session [crosstalk] because we're talking about student level data. So another thing I would ask you please don't take notes that I don’t want any of these numbers to leave the room. So I’m not gonna give you anything, just nothing accidentally walks out the door. I'm just gonna use the screen [inaudible] 

AR / MALE 1: Chelsea, did you order dinner?  [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 3: I just like to point out that these guys work really really- [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 2: We had five schools in intensive intervention status and it has been- that's on top of the pre-opening year for some schools it has really hurt reopening here and- it's been a lot a lot of work to try to- nurse them alone [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 4: Oh it's people going in and out [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 2: So it dinged but it did not let you hear, is that correct? 

FEMALE 4: I did not hear it. It said it transferred me into the conference but I could not hear anything [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 5: Okay so we’re meeting each other. 

TB / FEMALE 2: Okay we're ready? So as you know we've now been through the initial renewal cycle with all of our schools except for the very newest among them and quite a few of them and I think the number around- you'll see if you count as we go- quite a few of them were renewed with conditions. And as you know and as we explained by the way to the NACSA reviewers it didn't come up in the conversation today, we understand and we know that you understand why so many conditions were gonna place rather than considerations and you all have to do with defensively  given the data changes. But that does mean that some of these conditions are for very serious deficits in academics primarily of the schools. So the first set of them comes up for consideration for the most part in technically June 2020 but realistically by the time we get the ISAT scores it's going to be fall 2020 before we can look at them [crosstalk] anyway so that's the set for the earliest and then for the next year conditional renewals, most of those come up in 2021- hindsight if we had to do- had it to do over again I think we would be doing the same thing that we did with Blackfoot. And as NACSA suggested let's put in some interim guidelines at least maybe shorten the timeline altogether or something like that, I think that was good advice. The climate at the time was such that we honestly as a staff didn't think the commission would approve a condition that was any shorter. 

That's what it really boils down to it but I'm kind of hearing a different message here and you can all tell me if I'm hearing it wrong. But what I'm gonna do today because we are getting close sort of to some of these conditions coming due and you having to make some decisions on what to do about it is update you on the status of where all these schools are right now. 

There is no action that you could take. I just want you to know where the schools are, what you might be looking at down the road if things don't change and then also let you know what we're doing to make sure the schools are keenly aware of this situation- so- so I have slides for each of the individual schools. I’m gonna starting with the school name of there in the corner so you know who we're talking about. Heritage Community Charter School is the heritage that's in Caldwell. We have a few Heritages in the state. They were renewed in 2018. I'm starting with the most recent renewals that had conditions with the exception of [inaudible] we just talked about them. So these are the 2018 renewals then we'll back up to the 2017 renewals because those are the ones that are coming up first, now that kind of fresher in your mind. These are the ones that are less urgent. So we put two conditions in place for Heritage Community. At the time of renewal both their math and ELA growth were well below the commission standard which is represented by the green lines. That's the bottom of our meet standard category in those areas. The blue line or I'm sorry we’re talking about the orange line, most of these slides whenever it works this way that orange line is going to represent the standard that they need to meet per the condition which is different than the commission's real standard overall where they need to be in five years. The conditions for the most part were designed to give them halfway there in two thirds of the term. So it's very generous but the idea is they should be moving toward meeting that standard. And the blue line is what's actually happening at the school and as you can see they've done a really good job on math growth here. They have surpassed the condition already and they've almost come up to the standard. And ELA, not so much, we'll be talking with the board about making sure that they don't forget about ELA while they improve their math because that when it's remained flat. 

Then there are these final little slides. I think that you are probably familiar with this kind of chart once I say a few things. This is the one where you can look at whether this group started low, stayed low, that would be this corner or started low and moved high or started high and stayed high or started high and moved low. So these charts are used quite a bit in education, I think most of you will be familiar with them. They're not perfect for this case but what we're looking at is growth for [inaudible] only. We don't have the ability to make these for high school. So for our schools that have elementary, I’ll show you these and what it's gonna tell you is the number of kids who were not proficient last year and didn't make adequate growth. So you're looking from spring to spring, we are not just looking at kids who started at some other school and came into the charter. If they were low, they may have been low at the charter school already or they may have come in low from a different school. We're just looking year over year here. In the next box up here, we're gonna be looking at students who were not proficient before but they're either making adequate growth to become proficient within three years or they moved up to proficiency. So that's a good box to be in, we want to see kids there [inaudible] the kid was already proficient and they didn't lose ground. 

Moved from proficient to not proficient, obviously we don't wanna see that. So these are the percentages of students in the school who fall into each of those categories. I will not go into the detail on this with each line for each school but I wanna information to be available to you for both math and ELA in case you wanna talk about it with regard to any particular school and for those of you who are quick at math,  you can think of it this way. If you add across this direction, you can kind of briefly think about this is the percentage of kids that are being well served by the school. This is the percentage of kids who are not being well served by the school because they're in those categories where we really don't want kids. If you look vertically you can add up and these are the kids who started low in the beginning here and then these are the kids that started high. So you can kind of see what they're dealing with. You are not again seeing the population that comes into the school or rather just where they were at the beginning of that particular years and years cycle [inaudible] any questions on Heritage Community before I go on to the next school? 

FEMALE 3:On the [inaudible] and demographic?

TB / FEMALE 2:Oh yeah sorry I skipped right over that. I do have that in there for each school so that you can take a look at how their demographics compare to the state and the surrounding district. This is a school that tries really hard to get a population representative particularly at the high Hispanic and LEP Communities at the very end. As you can see they're not quite making it but they sure are trying and they're having a lot closer than most charter schools. Also LEP actually the district there, special needs comparable, free introduced lunch a bit lower. I'm not sure [crosstalk] so that's a Federal funded [crosstalk] actually 100%. They qualified to be funded as if they were. 

FEMALE 4: I heard them talking and they're in the 80%. 

FEMALE 2: Okay. 

FEMALE 4: At a recent hearing. 

FEMALE 2: Okay so the district is a little higher than that but again this- this is one of our schools that comes closer than most due to the district demographics- obviously different than the state. 

FEMALE 3: So what is- 

FEMA                      LE 4: And serving all populations. 

FEMALE 2: Yes. 

FEMALE 1: So what is their model?

11:30 ish FEMALE 2: They use a dual language immersion model in the younger grades and then going more to English as they widen out into the older grades 

FEMALE 1: Classical- 

FEMALE 2: Yeah classical model with dual language. 

FEMALE 1: Wow, that's interesting with their population [inaudible] they have a high (doesn’t finish sentence)

12:20 Alan Reed (not FEMALE 5): So- so they accomplish the math in1 year? 

FEMALE 3: Yeah. 

FEMALE 2: Yeah, one of the conversations that we'll be having with these schools that are blowing off those kinds of numbers is how you do it. They use professional learning [crosstalk] so I'm sure that would come up but I want to know what else? 

FEMALE 3: Especially because it's math. 

FEMALE 2: I think [crosstalk] math first because that one tends to be slower to turn around but really they need to be focusing on obviously. 

FEMALE 5: I have heard from like in Jerome a school district that they have dual immersion in some of their classes and they said that the English is actually slower in dual immersion than the math because the student is trying to learn language along with the- 

13:13 TB / FEMALE 2:Yeah they’ve got a lot of LEP kids [crosstalk] so moving on to Idaho Science and Technology Charter School, this is the one in Blackfoot that was started to be a middle school but they've since moved down into lower grades. Math growth is their weakest area but we set a condition around. They started 22% points below the commission standard which again is the green Line. The condition asks them to get up to the orange line by 2021, obviously we're seeing a significant slide in the wrong direction. One can hope this might just be that particular year of kids but not necessarily. They don't have a lot of population turnover so I don't really think that's the case. They're struggling some with the implementation of the lower grades. Their financial situation is unfortunately getting worse instead of better. This is what I really have a careful eye on- good people but it's- it's not happening, and Kristen jump in, I didn't bring my list of [inaudible] but you've been to recently and have thoughts on it. 

Kristen/FEMALE 4: I have not been to this one recently so I don't wanna speak. I think maybe the next one. 

FEMALE 2: Here's that breakdown for ISTCS, if you look at this the math is particularly concerning with only 35% of students falling into that well served if you add up those two in this direction like I was talking about, a lot of students here are dropping out of the proficient range [crosstalk] 

FEMALE 4: Well I just because I am familiar with ISTCS- the reason really doesn't matter but sometimes it does and that was about two years with the bad math teacher- a really difficult situation with a teacher that had to be replaced. So. no excuse, just a factor that is present. 

TB: Yeah there was a time that I could keep all our schools straight. (Cross talk)

FEMALE 4: I know [crosstalk] 

TB  / FEMALE 2: Anything else on ISTCS? Okay so North Valley Academy in Gooding- look at all the green. This- I'll show you the charts in a minute but bear in mind that this change occurred over one year. We're not looking at a super easy population. It's not fully representative of the surrounding district but it's not way way off either. They’re the blue line. 

FEMALE 5: Wow. 

FEMALE 1: What’d they do?

FEMALE 2: [inaudible] in proficiency and growth in both areas.

KP / FEMALE 5: I am really excited to talk about this school. So I went last month and what a turn around. I have been to this school three times. So this is the third visit and this is the first time that I've really seen this new administrator hit his stride. So he's only been here a year and a half. So these results changed while he was in his first year of running this school. So- 

FEMALE 3: As an administrator? 

FEMALE 4: As an administrator. 

FEMALE 3: Is this in Gooding? 

?? staff but not TB / FEMALE 4: Yes, this is the Gooding. So - he was a math teacher in the high school and had his administrator certificate and applied for the position and was well liked within the staff and so he was given this role and he has struggled with some of the operational parts of this. Some of his reports to the SD had been in late, that kind of thing, but the academic part is what he has really shined in as well as really thinking about student well-being. So I wanted to talk about two things. One thing is, the poverty rate is quite high here. They have a lot of kids who not only qualify for free reduced lunch but who need to take backpacks of food home for the weekends. So their school and this has been a really great support of their board too has really helped connect with social service agencies so these kids are getting that food from school- like the social service agencies come to school and they bring them these backpacks that they take a food home. Then there has been a private donor who's made sure that there's always snacks at the school. Plus they've done a really good job with the free reduced lunch program. So they've always had lunch and breakfast and they also work with social service agencies just to make sure that the kids are clothed. And they have a uniform which is actually great because they always have uniforms so the kids always have something to wear.

 So they're taking care of this- the health of these- these kids and their well-being and then their academics which is what I'm most excited about. He comes in with this attitude of I want to listen to anybody who will help me. SD has given them a lot of support. He's worked with a mentor and gotten some ideas and his best idea I think so far is that he's combined 4th, 5th and 6th instruction in that he had a bang up 5th grade teacher in math. So that 5th grade teacher teaches the 4th, 5th and 6th graders in math and then for ELA and for social studies they split that way. That's what they do is they get looping and so these kids create these relationships with these three teachers and then they get the best out of each teacher and then they also have these professional learning- learning communities where they're working on specific skills. And there's just this culture of experimentation and this belief that these kids can- can be amazing and that their school can continue to grow. The one area of concern is they have this mastery based program particularly for the high school and I asked them, so what's going with mastery based? What do you doing? How are your results? And he said, we are still struggling with that. 

We're kind of pulling back a little bit from mastery based and trying to shape it to our school. So that's his next- I feel like his next big hurdle. What he says is these kids come out so prepared from 6th grade that they need to revamp the rest of their curriculum because these kids are now ready for something higher. So it's gonna be really interesting to see what happens with his mastery based. If they're able to really change it and to make it useful, I think that would be a model because they're the kind of school that could be really successful or if they decide to scrap it that will also be interesting too. Another thing about this school is they have this musical program for strings basically like viola, violin, cello etc. and they make sure all the kids can participate and so that is a very good combination of bringing work with math and music [crosstalk] 

20:17 FEMALE 4: No they’re K12. 

FEMALE 5: So they're 9 to 12 this mastery based? 

FEMALE 4: Hm-mm. 

FEMALE 5: So you're saying he's thinking they need to just continue what they're doing in K-8, probably try to continue it on into 9 - 12 somehow. I don't know how you do it well with their class sizes. 

FEMALE 4: Well their class sizes are 25 to 30-ish, I can’t remember. But I don't know what they're going to do with that. That's kind of up in the air and he is working his tail off because he has to learn all this operation piece, plus he has a board that's really demanding. Plus he has a- you know pretty tough population. He had to turn around the culture because their last administrator wasn't that strong. So we'll see what happens. 

FEMALE 4: Yeah so I don't know but like watching our schools on Facebook a little bit. But he also took a group of some of his high school students, on like, the whole Boston,  Washington D.C., the whole of the whole tour over spring break. So he didn't even rest on spring break. He just goes goes goes and that's great. 

FEMALE 5: That's pretty amazing for one year. 

FEMALE 4: It's one year. 

SLB ? / FEMALE 5: See that's the kind of things that you want to be able to give to other charter schools or even the look back into the traditional schools to me is that piece we're missing. And if you can take that back into like their neighborhood schools and they've probably got there in their community. 

FEMALE 4: They are also improving their relationship with the neighborhood school. That’s something that’s gotten a lot better and I feel like they are now starting to engage with them and so I'm hoping that they can create that dialogue. I think everyone there-  that district they really want to serve these kids. This is not the easiest population. 

TB / FEMALE 2: Well these are conversations that we have with boards of schools that are struggling. It's not uncommon. We'll get to some data for some of those schools later. Even the ones that are just kind of languishing in poor performance. Sometimes we hear a real attitude of- oh we've just got tough kids and they don't have what this school has which is that belief that all kids can make it. And I wish we could pull out this data. Maybe there is a way we can should say this is A school's data or something but not tell them who it is or in some way I would love to point out to certain schools that yes this can be done. It really can- it's not impossible but it takes- it takes skill- it takes choosing that right person. 

SLB / FEMALE 5: A whole- a whole child thing that you've talked about [crosstalk] how important is that?

Staff ? FEMALE 4: He said especially for a special needs kids. He noticed that they are ones that were really struggling. 

SLB / FEMALE 1: Tamara I know we can't keep score, can we just take notes like “NVA” and Social Services?

TB / FEMALE 2: Oh yeah, it's just the student data, it’s the numbers. Obviously not all of these are confidential but a significant number of them are because a lot of these schools are small. So rather than parse out what we could share in open session and executive session makes sense. Just some of these numbers are protective so- 

AR / MALE 1: We really do need to figure out a way to share this- the difficult schools- I mean this is- this is what charter schools are supposed to do. 

SLB / FEMALE 5: All schools are supposed to do [crosstalk] 

AR / MALE 1: But we hear this- well the students that we have can't do that [crosstalk]  

WQ / ?? FEMALE 5: So this is why that’s such a good example because of his demographics [crosstalk] this is what's so good because it's a Charter and the demographics [inaudible] the success is phenomenal. 

TB / FEMALE 2: Yeah- this one's impressive. So they are fine. They've already surpassed their [crosstalk] 

??? WQ / FEMALE 5: But you know the other point I will make too, this I do believe administrators that come from a scientific math background are totally different administrators the those that come from a language arts, coaching perspective.

TB / FEMALE 4: I would agree. [crosstalk] 

TB / FEMALE 2: So just a couple points on this for North Valley, you can see on the map that about 75% of their kids start low and 61% of them are being served well. So that’s good to see. 

[Second Part] lots of missing comments in transcript

TB: Only four of them dropped. In ELA they’ve got 65% starting low and 65% being served well, not necessarily the same 65%. It's just interesting to stare at these (numbers?) for you. But we do and when we have conversations with the schools and we can sit down with just people who can, who are allowed to see this data, there will be some interesting conversations. we have not having long enough to sit down with schools. 

Female ?: This is the poster child for turning. 

TB: Yeah

25:54 Tamara: 

OK. Idaho Virtual Academy as you know is a statewide virtual school's largest the state's largest render. By quite a bit. (KE transcription in blue highlight overlayed starting here)): “Their focus here of their condition was with math growth and it was targeted at general education students, that is their non-alternative students, because virtuals do tend to enroll a somewhat higher population, depending on data – how much higher, how much harder – has proven almost impossible, but they do get some more challenging kids, so we wanted to limit the condition to, “how are you doing with just the non-alternative kids” and see are they able to perform as well as the standard which is up here. The condition is the orange line, again, and then the blue line you see a slight decline. It’s one percentage point over this one year, so no real change there in terms of their math growth. Incidentally, I think it’s instructive to look at the demographics. They don’t look terribly different than the state. And where they are very different, they tend to, you know, run lower in terms of the non-white population and Limited English Proficiency, so, take that for what you will.”

Female Commissioner: “Maybe they need to do what Inspire just did.”

Tamara: “They did already. They have.”

Female Commissioner: “Oh, they have?”

Female Commissioner #2: “They do have the alternative.”

Female Commissioner: “Oh, they do have the alternative, but that was just their non-alt kids.”

Tamara: “Correct”

Female Commissioner #2: “Yes”

Female Commissioner whispers: “Oh my”


Tamara: “So in math, this is still IDVA, you see about 60% of kids starting low/40% starting high and a little less than half, about 47% of them, are falling at ‘being served well’. In ELL, there are some more – or ELA rather – there’s a more even split there. In both subjects we see a lot of kids dropping out of the proficient range, so that’s something to keep an eye on. Anything else on IDVA?”

TB / Back to the Village on academics this time. Again they're the blue line here and like Tony said during the meeting earlier we are seeing a bit of an increase in both areas. So that's good to see. They started out with pretty low math growth. You can see well below the comm- the commission standard here for the percentage of students making adequate growth. And their proficiency rate on ELA here started out about the same. And the board, you may have gathered that kind of jumps from focus to focus. So the second condition was put in place to remind them to continue focusing on ELA. While you bring up the math and they have managed to do that. May. Have again they’re not there yet but they're on a good trajectory. You're in luck. I didn't write out a particular comment on the breakdown here. 

29:10 Staff not TB / (doesn’t know math but is critical of math) Can I make a quick comment on that instruction. I was in the renewal site visit a year and a half ago with this school. And I did notice that the math instruction was very poor. Math is not my particular area of expertise. But I noticed errors that the math teachers were making. While they were giving instruction which I brought, I did bring that to the attention of the administrator at the time because, it was a bit concerning. That there was you know, And so it doesn't surprise me that the 10%. Copy of IDCSCExecutiveSession4.11.19 (2nd file).mp3 It is a move from proficient to not proficient. 

Female ?: The sadness about that is there no math teachers. So long as they have a warm body there, they will take it. 

30:07 Different Female ?/ staff (the one who doesn’t know math): What happened guys to see us behind. Yeah I mean this was just I think it was a fourth grade classroom but I think there was another one in particular because, I couldn't observe all the classrooms but there were two other folks on my team and they also are really weak math instruction. I think the oversight of the math instruction has not been touching the string. It is an area of concern. 

Female (older voice, Not sure of the number): What’d the administrators say? 

Female ?: No I'll talk to them. 

Female ??: Well it seems to be getting better but. 

Female ???: It's getting a little better. But I mean. There is work to do. 

Female (Older): I know there is a capacity builder school up north that walked out on the lesson because they could not stay. And. The administrators comment was “What was wrong?” You know, once again it's that level that they come to to the administrative position. 

TB:  Such a critical position we just see that over and over.

TB / Inspire Connections Academy. This virtual school is state wide and they serve K through 12. But the first of the conditions focuses on math growth in the elementary grades K through 8. Because that was where the particular weakness was at the time of renewal. Also the commission put in place a five year cohort ACGR condition. They are not an alternative school. You just approved an alternative program today. But in recognition of the nebulous part or population of virtuals the commission was generous and said let's look at a five year ACGR. We know you're doing some credit recovery and so forth. So in their standard framework we still look at the four year a ACGR but the condition is tied to the five year. So to look first at the K through eight math you can see there is a slight improvement here. That's like a couple of percentage points. That will have to move at a faster rate of change ithey're going to meet that condition in time. The five year ACGR no change. Really interesting. A lot of the virtuals say we have a lot of kids during credit recovery it's not reasonable to expect them to graduate in four years. OK. So we started looking at the 5 and 6 year During CPR. Guess what. Almost none of our kids graduate. Almost none. In many years. There is no change from five years to six. In four to five. 

Conference call voice: You have been conducting a meeting for a long period of time. If you need to continue meeting press one now if not I'll end the meeting. 

TB: Sorry. 

Female ???  commissioner Can I just jump in on that. It's not just virtuals who don't graduate their kids in 5 years. 

Female  : That's true. 

Female (staff maybe?): That's just right. Yeah. If you don't graduate by, because when we were doing that I went and looked at a whole bunch of five year graduation rates even four year plus summer. It just drops off and they don't graduate by June…

Female   : Then they give a JD or not. 

TB: The outlook isn’t good.

Female   : Sadly

TB / So I think it's important to keep looking at it for the virtual schools.  They are trying really hard to graduate some of those struggling kids. But unfortunately it doesn't really seem to be happening. By the way this 48 percent was not arbitrary. That is the 2015. Statewide average five year ACGR for alternative schools. This is not an alternative school but it's a very generous condition. I just wanted to make sure you knew where that number came. Generally a little less diverse than the state. You can see. That is a little bit higher. In ELA you've got 70 percent of the students being served well, 42 percent in math. And more kids, like in most places, come in struggling in math than ELA. This is pretty typical of all types of schools. 

TB / Another statewide virtual, I succeed Virtual High School obviously just a high school. So math proficiency. Needed to move up to 20 percent. So you can guess where it was to start with, math and science proficiency were fine. This is just a condition that says just keep maintaining those while you work on the math. And then again that same five year ACGR. Sometimes you'll see the percentage here be a little bit different from one school to the other. The reason for that is that it's based on the amount of change they need to make. Remember we're trying to get them basically half of the way there. So it's it varies depending on where they started. Demographics again. Less diverse except for free and reduced lunch. They are on the blue line. It's an interesting dip here. I'm not sure what that represents. Do any of you happen to know…

Female   : It was a surprise to me when I looked at those numbers... 

Another female: I just saw...

TB: Yeah we’ll have to ask the school what the deal is with that I'm sure they have some insight into what's happening there. Unfortunately though, we're not seeing or hearing any ELA there's actually a drop from here to here. Regardless of. Here a. Little bit of a drop in math big drop in science although because of the way the science testing is, I don't know how much weight you really want to put on that going forward to science. Yeah until we have a better assessment structure there 

Older female: Why is the science assessment so much higher?

TB: (Mumbling)  They always are for everybody. Nature of the test. I don't really know exactly what are we going somewhere we can score. 

Other female staff – Kirsten? / It's a much smaller amount of material that they have to cover. As opposed to you think about how comprehensive the math curriculum is.

Older female voice: Gotcha 

Female maybe staff: You can go look at the sample questions of. 

TB: Oh, Agenda. 

TB / Five year ACGR are hovering really low. So because at the high school I don't have the little box right now. 

37:09 TB  / Bingham Academy. Is the good news about being that. You didn't get to hear it earlier. They're actually making good progress on their math proficiency here. And this one's not as bad as that. Not that makes it look… show you in a second. They did obtain stem certification that condition was put in place because there was concern about mission drift at the time of renewal. They do seem to reign that in and focused on it. And then math proficiency has improved considerably. It's gone past the condition standard and is almost up to meeting the state standard. Also I threw in the yellow line here just to show you where their surrounding district is. 

Kirsten: Can I just hop in for one second. They changed their math instructor between 17 and 18 and they attributed a lot of the change to that. 

Female : So we said. 

Different Female: Oh you know who it is? Oh Good. 

Comm JVO / Because she’s married to my nephew. Favorite. Tried to steal her this year. 

Older Female: Which is a whole different conversation. 

Comm JVO: Bingham Academy gave her a deal she couldn't refuse. And we're like. Well really! (Crosstalk) So Snake River is too, but I think they gave her, so her father in law was just diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. And her mother in law and father in law were the ones that were taking care of their kids, and getting them to school. And so they gave her her prep hour I think. In her first hour. 

Older female: In addition to…

Comm JVO: ...getting to the school just a little later. That was one of my minor in they gave her more money. Yeah. 

Older female: In addition to dollars that was what my ears perked up when the comment about offering contracts without knowing where we're gonna get that money to meet them. 

Female : There's more to it. 

Older female: There's a whole lot more to that. Laughter and (Crosstalk)There is a whole lot more to that.

AR: After the commercial. 

Female: I decided not to make it 20 20. Word said no but Fred offered contracts anyway. And. (There's a whole lot of words.) Here. 

JVO: Yeah. When I heard that. Somebody tell me I said who. Came here that helped. But I didn't say any more than that. I'm thinking it’s probably from Fred.

39:48 TB / So. (crosstalk) ELA proficiency. They are just fine signs you can see. Dropped a bit. I'm not losing any particular sleep over that at this point. Just something to keep, have an eyeball on. Yeah yeah. Just reclining here as a reference Point.

Female staff maybe: Tamera, they also lost a science teacher. (Muttering)

TB: See how I would be dead without these people. Heritage Academy the other, well one of the Heritages. This one is in Jerome. I think we're shifting to 2017. Or did we already?

Female staff: No

TB: Yeah sorry we did. I missed it but these are now the ones that were renewed a couple of years ago. 

TB / So heritage Academy in Jerome renewed in 2017. They started with a proficiency rate that was quite low, well below the commission standard as you can see. They are in a tough community. They qualified for participation in the Community Eligibility. Provision so it looks like they have 100 percent FRL. I think the line for being able to qualify is about 45 percent. And I think their real number if you look at other types of data is in the 60 to 70 percent range. So which you're right. OK. So that's actually pretty close to the district. Special needs you can see as high. LeP is high but not as high as the district. Same with non-white. So this is not an easy community that they're in. Unfortunately they have struggled and struggled and struggled to make any headway academically. The proficiency condition here focuses on getting their math and ELA on par with the district. We're not even saying up to where the state is. It makes a lot of sense to compare this to their own community. 

42:02 The commission standard again is shown in green here. And the way these measures work, these these terms that you may have noticed right now are a little bit different. The commission standard used to be equal with or better than the district so that's why they're on the zero line. The commission standard is to be the same as. The math is the blue line here and you can see it's getting further away from the standard which is the district. So they started at 15 percentage points below the district on proficiency rate, they're now 17 percentage points below. ELA is the orange line, got lot worse. 

SLB / What's their enrollment done? 

TB: Enrollment? 

SLB: In terms of numbers?

TB: I. Think. It's pretty... 

Female: Still 160’s stable but low. 

TB / They say they have a fair amount of turnover by the way. All these numbers for everybody are looking only at kids who are enrolled for the whole school year.

Older female: which is fair

 TB / We do get more turnover than...

Female :  They did have a period where there was quite a little pulling out but I think that some may have come back. 

TB: Maybe so. And the district as a whole sees a fair amount of turnover. Also. It's just part of part of the community. 

Older Female: So much transiant. 

Male, not AR: Justin was either there with you? 

Female ??: You were there with John Maro. 

Male: Ah, right.

Female ??: Yes so you might have some thoughts on them and I also have some thoughts from my minds. (hard to hear and some laughter at unclear comments) Maybe Tamara wants to finish her part. 

Female  “ I don’t know if it’s going to be as good. 

TB: It's great. This is the boring part that was really 

Female staff maybe?: ….for the caller. 

43:51 TB / So here again this is more like the kind of chart we've been looking at, criterian reference for growth we're wanting to see 70 percent of kids thinking out a great growth in ELA. The orange line you're seeing the percentage of kids making adequate growth go down. The good news is here in the math it did go up so that’s possitive.

SLB / Tamara can I just clarify to make sure we're talking about growth toward proficiency. 

TB / That is correct. We are still to reach proficiency within three years or by timeframe 

SLB: we are still leaving out an incredible number of our kids and that's my soapbox and it will be for a long time. 

TB: Yeah. Start to get there with this but,

SLB / Not really it still doesn't tell me anything about a kid who's proficient. Is he growing or is he flat. He might stay there at the very bottom of proficient. 

TB / Are they just hanging out or are they reaching their potential. 

SLB / Are they ever growing. 

TB / Yes. That is a reason we like to see schools do MAP testing but it's not free and a lot of them especially if they're struggling academically there's a good chance they're also not that strong financially and they tend either not to want to know or don't understand how much they need to know or they can't afford the additional assessments that help them get a better handle on this.

SLB / or don't even know the difference. 

TB: That

45:10 ish AR / Would you mind going back to the other, So on the proficiency comparison in the district. I mean, what do we, what do we do as a society with that. I mean it's all in school. 

general laughter from group

SLB: With that town, I love it!

(Cross talk, comments not clear but negative)

SLB: But I'll bet you looked it. You looked at the traditional you'd see so 

AR: Well you can see the traditional. 

Female: But it's not zero. 

TB: I don't have it there but I have it, I have it,  it never came up. Their actual math proficiency rate at Heritage Academy is 13 percent. ELA 17 percent. I don't have a district with me sorry. (Crosstalk) Well we don't have magic in what we can out of there. 

46:00 TB / Well yeah you can just add 15 percent. Well that's good. Those resist this slide. 

SLB: The colors are different limit oriented math in the L.A. not the district it is different than I had the slightest. (Chatter and comments)

AR / The district can't be much different than that. 

Male not AR: That plus the District just below the state.

TB: The district is 30 percent at math 

Ar: The district is 30%?

TB: The district is 30% on math and our school is 13. 

Female: Yeah. Yeah. KK / This school is below the district

Female:  Put an ice cream shop there that will help. 


AR / Ice cream doesn't make brain cells. 

JVO / So where are they on ELA then? 

TB: The district is thirty nine. And our school is 17. 

Female: So I haven't met any of that…

AR: So what do I do with that school?

Female: Yeah. That's what I mean. 

AR: I mean that's. Those kids are in trouble. 

Female: And they're the ones that are there all year. 

AR: Yeah I mean they have no future. 

KK / I think the assessment why we did that site assessments was that there needed to be some changes in administrative type stuff and it didn't happen. 

JVO / Well then we're doing ‘em a disservice to keep them in. Where they could go to the traditional school, correct, and be a little at least a little higher. Are they going to go there and pull their scores down too. I don't know. 

TB / This right here is the saddest single thing to me about the fact that we couldn’t consider non renewals. This is not ok. These are kids that will never get that time back. 

AR / Yeah we should have closed…

Female: And they would have done better in the traditional school 

Other female: have a better shot statistically speaking...

Different female: Oh my word. What do we do. You have to put in the right administrator and provide more money for teachers to go there. 

AR / Well I agree with you. 

Male: We need to go to Gooding and get that guy. (More laughter) 

TB / you have to wonder. If the term school close and those kids went back to the district, they do have more money. 

Female: Yeah. Yeah. 

Female: Well it's not true. 

TB: A time or more. 

Female??? Staff / Kirsten?: Can I speak to my visit. I was there last month. And they have had the same administrator, Christine Ivie for at least six years. And she has caused problems at some other schools as well. Three other charter schools. 

TB: (mumbles) Some troubles. 

Femle Kirsten: First thing they tell me when I walk in the door besides the fact that they're really unhappy with the PCSC. This is a tough visit. They stress that their student population is really hard and it's harder to serve than the Jerome School District. This is the first thing they want to tell me when they walk when I walk in the door. And then the next thing they want to tell me is that there there's no way the students that they are serving could ever meet the PCSC standard out  

.. lots of OMGs here…. 

Female: (indistinct) … over to Gooding and show …

Different Female: There’s your answer.

Female Kirsten?: I visited these schools in the same day within hours of each other. This distinction was so stark. They don't believe their kids can make it. 

49:18 Female?: Can you take them to North Valley?

Female Kirsten?: I brought up North Valley as an example I didn't say Well they're meeting all the conditions as possible but I did say you know they have a hard population. They're serving them. They're seeing growth there. And they also didn't understand that our PCSC framework includes growth. They did not believe me that it included growth. But. I'm not sure they stood out to me. But she also said that she doesn't believe that charter schools should be quote unquote better than traditional public schools. And she doesn't think her parents want that. They only want an option. (lots of laughing here) And then. This was like the thing that broke my heart the most. She said she was happy that they fell from the bottom 10 percent of state performance to the bottom 5 percent. They got my money. 

Female : Oh so this is malpractice. 

Female Kirsten: This is the attitude if feels like malpractice. And it was very sad. And Melissa's been there too so he can probably chime in on. Experiencing. Experiences there. 

SLB?: No need. 

Male commissioner?? Peterson? Well I mean you don't want to move on. Feel free. But. My experience was a similar tale of two cities. I had been up in Ketchum the day before.

Female Kirsten?:  And we were together 

Male not AR: That's why I and. And there at Syringa mountain they were struggling in a variety of ways. One of my observations was feeding kids doesn't fix the problem. Each school was just big on feeding kids in the mountains. 

They were producing higher taxes resulting on that because of something else. It wasn't because of feeding I concluded because at Heritage they fed them and they produced no results. And I'm all for kids eating. I believe that is part of a problem a potential problem but but clearly it doesn't fix the problem. What Christine said to us was. I didn't realize they didn't have curricular materials and whatever it was second class varies. I know. So right. So we have purchased them. I was saying the before 17 numbers. So there presumably weren't curricular materials in 17 and 18. Well. That yield is no. So now I don't believe curriculum materials is the solution. I believe it's leadership. And maybe teachers as well. But if we don't change the leadership we won’t change the teachers. 

Female: (indistinct) ...the board?

Male Not AR: They are not engaged.

Staff?? Kirstin The board does not. It is not there. They were not engaged. They are not engaged. They take the word of the admin..

SLB?: they rubber stamp whatever Christine says.

Female Kirsten: exactly. Because they believe that Christine Ivie has the children's best interests at heart. And I walked away from their thinking. Christine Ivie should run a social service agency not a school because that's what they're interested in. Feeding them and making sure the parents have some yellow and all this kind of thing. But the academic part of it they're not interested. 

Female/ TB: It's one of those boards that's not dissimilar to the villages board that really doesn't want to deal with the hard stuff it's scary and so they they will find someone who tells them what they want to hear. Someone who can calming and pacating and placating…

Female: and they didn't want to allow others to come in and they did to understand it and talk to them. They wouldn't vote them in because they differed with them. 

They wanted to go with Christine. 

?? Commissioner? Well their president is vacant. On the board. Plus they call it a school board. 

AR: So so they have to meet these by 2020. 

TB: Right. 

AR: And if they don't... 

TB: Then you can proceed with revoking the term. 

Male not AR: So by 2020 meeting a year from now they show data and the decision won't happen until a year from then. 

TB: Well so as soon as the spring 2020 isat data comes in and wait for the appeal data set which is going to be about October then we get that to you and you can do it. Over 20 21 22. 

Kunz: Because July 1st would have been the renewal deadline. Or is that the next year? 

Female: Why wouldn't we take this. So we can go on a nine tails challenge and be able to get to 2020. 

TB: Because they have till 2020 to meet it. So if you don't look at their 2020 test they could argue with us 

SLB?: so we're shooting ourselves in the foot. 

KK / Why is it that people…

Female: we did that and we're doing that partly because we had no way to base it right, so that we could do that. We had closed schools for financial reasons but never for academic. 

Van Orden? SLB / We are still making some really big decisions based on one test one day in a student's life which is not right or fair either. 

TB / True. But it's all it's always tested over the entire…

JVO:... right and it's all we have. 

Female Kirsten: And it's consistent with what we see when we go in and visit. You talk to the SDE Michel Clemant Taylor right. Same kinds of experiences and at some point. We have to be brave and be willing to say this is unacceptable. 

???? Who would ever send their kids there? Who? Anyone in this room. no one would ever send their kids there. 

???? (Crosstalk) Not knowing where you stand at home one test with this school and with. This test. Good. Same indicator. Tells the same story.

55:20 SLB or JVO? / It does just it is hard as an educator to face big decisions on one test and over time certainly helps. Over time helps. But it's one day. 

Staff /In this case.  It took five years to get to us putting the condition on. 

JVO: Right. 

Female: And so it's been a seven or eight year happening.

Female: This is a child’s life... 

[Around 56 Minutes]

TB / Yeah, This is a child's entire academic career. But also. What you have to base your legal decision on is this. And you base your real decision on is this not just that. It's also understanding this even in context this is really bad. Signs on the ground the outside if you were right all saying this is really bad. It's not like potentially Chief.Targee. 

Female: Right. 

TB: That might have a chart that looks similar. Whole different attitude whole different situation over there. They're not stellar academically but they're actually starting to turn that ship. 

Female: They are not above their district but they're above their comparison school. 

Staff not TB / So they're going to be above their line. So the right. It wouldn't be exactly the same. But I mean it's not proficiency that's what we really really low. But it's a different story. So...

KK / Well I'm just here today looking at this. There. Is two districts there right next to each other that are very very impoverished districts. The students come from very low income people. And yet one is succeeding in going in leadership and the other one is failing. So. 

Female: They do get students all the way from Jerome by the way. I’d go there too. 

Male AR?: And if I live in Jerome, I drive (Crosstalk -  Leave us. All the way down. I mean it's a drone. 

JVO / They should. Know. That they have kids. So you know that. Think about that. There's actually an option. You know. 

Male: Is there an extra grant that you qualify (indistinct) 100% of that  community? 

TB / No they get funded for free lunch reduced lunch free lunch free or 100 percent of kids regardless of whether they, (indistinct) or a child actually needs it. 

SLB?: They serve all the students breakfast and lunch 

Male: right two meals. Which is great. (Crosstalk and laughter) which is not the solution.

Female: ... is to some reason they are able to. 

Female: Well they also do the other piece because I feel like if they just had the academic piece their kids wouldn't be growing in that rate because they come home they need those things. 

JVO / But. Christine Ivie, oh she doesn’t have the academic…(laughter) Sorry. Hope she doesn't come back. I'm. Sorry. Myself. OK. You. See. There's a little more money and a whole lot less. Yeah. See. 

TB / So you're looking at 15 percent to 30 to 34 percent of kids falling in the not being served well. Majority of kids making inadequate growth in both categories as you can see especially in ELA you got a lot of kids losing ground. 

Female: Do they... 

TB: You may have some like sure right now. You could have some in here or losing ground to you they just haven't dropped out. And in here who knows. 

SLB / Are they taking the interim. Assessments?

Female: No I had, I wouldn’t be surprised. 

Female: That's not an easy thing to do. 

??? Why not. Well lay. After. This. 

Female: K-3 They aren't doing some. Probably, reading. Yeah they're doing that…

Female: Yeah. The ISAT

Female:  I mean the iStation. 

Female: Just administering the test again, it's a technical upload, it's making sure you have secure browsers, it's kind of a technical issue and then also once you get those results from the interim bank what do you do with them? That's the key. You can take in terms all day long unless you sit down around the table and look at the results and change your instruction based on the results. That’s the part that is challenging.

Female staff?: It’s like we said, it goes back to that administrator, if she’s not getting that material to the teachers, how’s is the teacher going to do what they need to do?

Female: Well?

Female: Ok

1:00:00 TB / FEMALE 2: Next, Syringa Mountain School in Hailey, also they were renewed in 2017, they started with proficiency in both math and ELA very low. They are in a relatively high performing district so to be generous, the commission gave them a condition of saying your math and your ELA at least have to exceed the state, which is lower than the district. What you are going to see down here, by the way, population is busier than the surrounding district. Blue line once again is the school, this is math and ELA proficiency. The green line is the condition that was set and the district line there in orange is just for perspective. 

KK / FEMALE 1: So they are not meeting it yet either.

[Cross talk 01:00:58 with laughter]

WQ? /I am not saying this as an excuse but is there any… I think you can say the same about Ib. but is there any correlation between the Warldorf method and our assessment? Are they doing that?

TB / FEMALE 2: Nope. 

[Cross talk 01:01:30]

They don’t have a very strong belief in early literacy and the Warldorf philosophy is more lots of exposure to different things in the young grades and they would read when they are ready. Their claim is that Wardorf kids tend not to read as well as much until about fourth grade and then they jump above their peers. 

FEMALE 1: Do we have that data?

FEMALE 3: Do we have any kind of assessment on the new one?

TB: Talk to us in a few months. I’m dying to know.

[Cross talk 01:02:08]

TB: So that could be a factor but they don’t really shoot for early literacy. It is not  part of Wardorf, that was a big part of the conversation when we were in the petitioning phase and you all said look, remember that we still have these requirements, your kids have to be reading. 

FEMALE 1: Most research shows that they have to be reading at that age. 

TB: Indeed it does: I do not have research on their kids and it would be hard for it to be meaningful because the numbers are so small to see if they actually do see a jump in the upper literature grades for kids who were there all along. 

FEMALE 4: So can I just add to that. Interesting to note, that there the test, the IRI, iStation that goes only through 3rd grade and then it would turn into the ELA ISAT, which is a different set of standards that is not particularly literacy focused. So maybe they do jump to literacy at 4th grade but there is no test for that that the state requires them to do. 

FEMALE 1: That is no different, the IRI has always been K through 3.  

FEMALE 4: Right, I just think it is interesting that you should expect that our students would score low through 3rd grade. But then in 4th grade they are going to jump up, but there is no 4th grade test that is really going to tell us. 

FEMALE 1: Can I just pop in between 16 and 17? In that year, they had administered… this is the one that you met, Kristin, her name’s Christine. She was trying to turn the school around and really trying to integrate “common core standard” with the Wardorf and the board didn’t like this approach, ‘cause it wasn’t Waldorf enough, I don’t know for what reasons. But that is why you see a jump. 

SPEAKER 2: You think that is what affects the line up? 

FEMALE 1: I am pretty convinced 

FEMALE 3: Has that board seen this? 

Female : Yeah no kidding!

Staff / Kirsten? FEMALE 1: I can provide a few comments on that. 

Female: It’s not their priority.

Staff/ Kirsten?: Jenn and I were just there and my favorite word to describe them is laissez faire. They just think it is going to be okay, they are not really that interested in how their academic performance is. They don’t really care that much. What they care about is that the school is implementing Wardorf to it’s fullest and the ISAT performance is not something they are that engaged with. However, as Jenn noted to me as we were just chatting, they do now have an operations manager who is the first person who seemed pretty engaged in finding out what the conditions were. Because I don’t think they, the board has not been reviewing them. 

FEMALE 3: The finance person? 

Staff / Kirsten? FEMALE 1: Yeah. So she is interested in what the conditions are, she is interested in how she can show what the students are doing beyond just ISAT. She is interested in setting up interim ISAT testing and improving connectivity, because she says is part of the problem with this testing is the technology has been iffy. So when they are taking these ISAT exams, I guess there has been some work on and off because of the technology because that hasn’t been their focus. They do have someone now that seems somewhat engaged. However, she is the operations person, the academic leader of the school who has actually been there 2 years, they have never had an administrator stay 2 years, they had 1, 1, 1 three different administrators, bang, bang, bang. That is Nigel. Nigel is not particularly interested in the ISAT results.  He cares about Wardorf, you know, fidelity to Wardorf and he does care about kids, I think he does. But the academic portion, that is not of particular... 

FEMALE 3: Why the administrator turn over? 

FEMALE 1: I think it’s a real challenging board

FEMALE 2/TB: It is a difficult Board to work for. 

FEMALE 1/KP: And financially, they have been in a lot of strain so that is a lot of stress every year trying to make up, you know, 100,000 plus in deficit. Right now, they have their hoe down in 2 weeks and they have to make what…

FEMALE 3: $130,000 just to brake even for the year. 

[Cross talk 01:06:15]

FEMALE 1/KP: But they make so much more, it is very affluent population. One of the things that is very hard is that they do have students who come from families that are very affluent so they should be doing really well in these assessments because they are not coming in with a lot of deficits. 

Female: They’re K-8?

SPEAKER 2: What is their enrollment like there? 

FEMALE 2: It is very low, it is about 105.

SPEAKER 2: It has been dropping., hasn’t it? 

FEMALE 1: Yes, it has. 

FEMALE 3: How are they doing when they get to the high school?

FEMALE 1: They told me that the high school kids just do amazing so they are going to present me with some data on that. But I said it is hard for me to, like, see that data but if they can show me some redactive versions of student data, that they were able to follow their students. I think that would actually be very helpful for us. 

FEMALE 4: We can’t see their data? Why not?

TB: Because they won’t be our kids anymore after they are moving to high school. 

FEMALE 3: Can’t they follow up by EDU ID.? 

FEMALE 1: But why can’t we see public data, you as a commission.?

FEMALE 2/TB: We can see the individual student data for the kids from our school but once those kids move on, it’s protected. 

FEMALE 4: Can’t we take it to the board and they can get something?

TB: I mean they can follow it by using the ID but would they be able to share it with us. Not these tiny numbers, I wouldn’t think. 

FEMALE 4: Yeah, this is too small.

FEMALE 1: And there are data counselors, very restrictive right now. The climate on that, I don’t know what is happening. 

FEMALE 3: The entire grade levels, probably the number of students is pretty low. 

FEMALE 1: Very low. 

FEMALE 2: Because the population of the school is dropping and in the height of that, the population is maybe 130. There are very few children. 

FEMALE 1: What did they tell us they’d be? 

SPEAKER 2: 160-170

[Cross talk 01:08:03]

That area of the school.

MALE 1: It just wasn’t really a good choice. 

[Cross talk 01:08:17]

(KE transcription in blue highlight overlayed starting here)

1:08:37: Tamara: “I find it interesting that some of these boards that are struggling the most, or some of these schools that are struggling the most, are also the most resistant to help.”

Commissioner Bair: “Right”

Tamara: “The ones that we talked about the interventions with today. They have been pushed to the very, we’ve gotten very aggressive and very in their face about “you need to fix this immediately”. We’ve pushed that further than ever before.

Commissioner Bair: “And then they bring ISBA today. (pause) After 20 years. No thank you. 

Male Commissioner: “I was a little frustrated with ISBA.”

Tamara: “I wasn’t buying the…… “

Commissioner Bair: “Sorry.”

Tamara: “It’s probably good for their relationship with the school (laughing), but reality is there is no reason those people shouldn’t know.”

Male Commissioner: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Commissioner: “Yeah”

Commissioner Reed: “Come on ISBA. Tell the truth.”


Male Commissioner: indistinct comment

Tamara: “That’s more like it.”

Female Commissioner: “I just gave Crissy a kind of an earful of my opinion.”


Commission Reed: “I’m glad somebody did.”


Tamara: “Their board was sadly misinformed, but nobody of reasonable intelligence could be on a board and not know that they were sadly misinformed.”

Commissioner Baird: “I fear that the minute someone started to feel misinformed, they were replaced.”

Murmurs of agreement

Tamara: “That’s exactly right. Yep. That is what happened. Repeatedly. That’s why you have this track record of us trying to get the school to pay attention, and them, you know, doing just the basics, the minimal, to fix it and then backsliding as soon as we turned our backs. And that’s what the Director is now telling them, “Oh, just wait, the Commission will get tired and go away. Well – we’re not going away this time.”

Female Commissioner: “Well, you know, but this does speak to. Is how do we break the cycle? I mean, you know, there are lessons learned here for us.”

Tamara: “If we approve strong schools to start with, so we don’t get these ones that have all this turmoil right from the beginning, because they almost never recover. This is not just our observation in Idaho. This is nationally. We just don’t see those weak schools get better. Hardly ever.”

Commissioner Reed: “Well, Heritage.”

Tamara: “Which one? Oh, Heritage Academy. They’re a classic example.”

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah, I mean. That was a mistake we made a long time ago.

Female Commissioner: “I mean, let’s just talk about today with McCall. I mean that’s a strong academic program, BUT not financially or operationally.”

Tamara: “But we’re not super confident with the board. We’ve seen a lot worse, though.”

Female Commissioner: “Yeah”

Tamara: “They’re kind of (middling- not sure)…. The conversation we’ve had in our office is kind of, you can take a mediocre board and make it a pretty decent board through training and if they’re willing to listen, which that group, for the most part, seems to be. You can’t take a really bad board and make it even a decent board.”

Commissioner Bair whispers: “Same with a teacher.”

Tamara: “Back to Syringa Mountain. You’ve got 57% that show as being served well in math, although we’ve got more dropping out of proficiency with the state.

Commissioner Reed: “It’s a huge number.”

Gasps, quiet exclamations

Tamara: “If I had time, I would have gone and pulled actual numbers of children for you on this, but I didn’t have time.

Commissioner Quinn: “And this is the one that Lori Otter wrote the letter in support of.”

Female Commissioner: “Yeah”

Commissioner Bair: “Well there’s 105 kids, we can do the math. The numbers are kids.

Female Commissioner: “Wow”

Tamara: “And that’s the political pressure that came up during the NACSA presentation. Right? At some point we just have to say, and I’ve been working on this actively with our legislators and with the Governor’s office to say, come to us and ask what the story is. The Commission is not being arbitrary here. We’re taking these actions for a reason, and the Governor’s office is listening in a way that they never have before, so that’s going well. But, stay tuned. We’ll see what happens when things really get difficult. And I told Greg, the Governor’s Education Advisor, it’s coming. Of course, I couldn’t show him this data, but what I showed him was the percentage of our schools that are in, you know, critical and remediation in academics. It’s half! Half of our schools are not meeting the standard. Well, that’s a problem. So he knows. He’s warned.”

Female Commissioner: “We can show him, though, the public data on their report card. Cause that can’t be looking good either.”

Tamara: “Yeah, but in a lot of their cases it’s masked because of their …. so small. We can share very little. We’re working with our data people in the State Board office to make sure that we share out every piece that we possible can. This year, we had to mask a whole bunch, because there wasn’t time for them to help us sort through what could and could not be shared, because it’s not as simple as just this school’s number. If you’re looking at say a median SGP, technically, somebody really smart………………………

can figure out what one individual student’s score was at a small school if they knew who was on either side of that median. So it gets very complicated and the data people are just erring on the side of caution. The only thing we were able to share out this year was the overall academic score that, was very helpful to the parents. 

(KE transcription in blue highlight overlayed starting here)


Commissioner Kunz: “And here we are in Idaho where homeschooling is a huge deal and there’s a huge discrepancy between homeschool students as to whose achieving and whose not, and it all relates back to the parent and if the parent’s making the decision, like this one, where they don’t care, then, what do we do?” laughs

Kirsten: “But the taxpayer money is going to the school”

Murmured agreement

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah, that’s a challenge. If we close the school, the parents go nutso even though that it’s a terrible education opportunity. They just burn you at the stake.”

Tamara: “Well authorizers everywhere face that. You’re not alone. That happens to everybody and Authorizers gets through it. You’ve gotten through it before. We’ve all survived this in a few cases. It’s not pretty and it’s not fun, but you get past it. And most of the community out there, including the charter school community, says, good. Thank you.

Tamara: “That’s the hard part.”

Female Commissioner: “I get the calls – say we’re with you but we can’t say anything.”

Tamara: “Our schools let us know. They give us a quiet phone call and say thank you.”

SLB / FEMALE 4: I know it is not our responsibility and I know this is not the right time but I would plant the seed that I need to. We’ve got to talk about some kind of succession plan let us say a school closes. I know it is not my job but I cannot make a good decision unless I know something about what are the options of those kids. 

TB / FEMALE 2: Just to plant a seed back, a lot of authorizers do send out RFP’s. Saying we have identified the need in X community and we would love to get a petition there. For the longest time, that didn’t make sense in Idaho because the petition would have to go to the district first and you are kind of telling a different authorizer and a different entity what to do and that is no longer the case. So it makes sense here and that might be something…  (And here in lies the Bluum opportunity)sb

[Cross talk 01:16:05]

FEMALE 4: So there is president for that. 

TB: Most states do that. 

FEMALE 4: Then I need to learn more about that. 

TB: We actually have that on our little interior research agenda because we think there is value. 

Speaker 3 : Where is the time to do that?

TB: In all our spare time. We are also going to ask for NACSA recommendations too. 

[Cross talk 01:16:27]


(KE transcription in blue highlight overlayed starting here)

Tamara: “Idaho Technical Career Academy. This is ITCA, the very small K12 school that does the career technical stuff. We set conditions here around growth in both subject areas as well as graduation rates, if I remember correctly. This one is more input based saying they’ll maintain standards focused on passing NOCTI data, kinda career technical specific and the note down here is all I have on this. They did include mission specific measures based on NOCTI and the framework. They communicated to us that they wanted to keep the old ones. They actually wanted to change. So they didn’t collect the data this last year, so we don’t have the data. But you notice this is not outcome focused this was one of those that just says don’t let the mission drift happen. So, technically, they did meet that condition, but it’s not super meaningful for a variety of reasons having to do with the level of NOCTI testing they do and so forth that, but we can talk about that later, They’re… they kind of have a career technical program. It’s pretty….. pretty basic level, but they’re workin’ on it. So math growth. Let’s see first demographics. Less diverse as you can see. So in each case here, I think, the school is the blue line once again. So you’re seeing Math go up and actually meet the conditions, so that’s good to see. You see ELA actually started above and dropped. (groan from a Commissioner – noted “oh, it went down”) Oh, by the way, this is the one… if you’re looking at this with a raised eyebrow because the green line, the Commission standard, is below the orange line which is the 2020 condition which is exactly what I said at the last meeting we shouldn’t do – set a condition for a school that’s higher than our baseline. That’s because of the timing here. The standards were not set at the time of renewal. So when you go to look at this school for whether they met the conditions or for renewal, I would highly recommend holding them to the usual standard not the higher conditions. That was just an accident of timing. It was not a willful let’s hold them to something higher.”

Staffer: “So, Tamara, can I just jump in on the data here. I think maybe there are like 10 to 15 kids in this. So when you see”

Tamara: “Yeah, these are very, very, very small.”

Female Commissioner: “Noooo”

Staffer: “So, when you see fluctuations it’s really hard to say that it’s meaningful at all. This is not significantly significant.

Female Commissioner: “How can they financially….”

Tamara: “cause K12 waives the fees.”

Commissioner Bair: “K12. K12 funds it. They make sure they stay solvent.”

Staffer: “Well, I’m talking that are taking these exams. The amount of data is teeny tiny. So it’s like whoever is they can…. You know… whatever sophomores they can get to take this exam or these exams. So it makes it really hard to make a decision on them when there are so few kids.”

Commissioner Kunz: “Yeah, that happens with a lot of the virtuals. Yeah, cause they’re not coming to one place to take the exams.”

Staffer: “Nope. Not either. They may not even show.”

Commissioner laughing

Tamara: “Most of them have enough kids that they at least test a reasonable number of kids. Who knows about the kids who don’t get tested, of course. This one just doesn’t have very many kids in the school period.”

Commissioner Quinn: “So how do you even hold the…. Hold them to the fire? (pause) Cause financially, they’re gonna be fine.”

Tamara: “Yeah, financially, they can’t not be fine. I think you have to …”

Female Commissioner: “Won’t K12 get tired of the deficit?”

Tamara: “Ultimately, you have to base the decision under statute on the data in the framework.”

Commissioner Bair: “They’ve been doing it for many years.” (answering female commissioner’s question about K12 getting tired of the deficit).

Commissioner Reed: “That’s hard, because, like you said Sherrilynn, one kid has a bad day. I mean it drops that.

Tamara: “Graduation rate is an interesting one. This is the five year ACGR. They went from 0 to 50% but guess how many kids are in this group?”

Commissioner Peterson: (laughing) “There are two in that class.”

Tamara: “Exactly”

Commissioner Peterson: “Three in the next class.” (laughing)


Tamara: “They got all mad at us this spring because their score on this measure actually dropped because it’s an either or score and it’s either they made their progress goal or they met a certain level. Well in this year, technically, they made their progress goal, because they went up by 50 percentage points. Well the next year, they….

Commissioner Kunz: “One of them didn’t graduate.” Laughing

Much laughter

Commissioner Reed: “One of the two.”

More laughter

Tamara: “We explained it (indistinguishable due to laughter from Commissioners) but it was a little confusing.” Laughing

Commissioner Peterson: “Well, so, so maybe, I mean it’s like get big or get out in this case. (Commission Kunz: Yeah) If they’re running a school at that size, not only will K12 ultimately get tired of losing money but if they’re numbers… they’re not going to be able to consistently hit a standard and that’s because their numbers are too small. If they had more numbers then they wouldn’t have the noise and then they could actually work on getting them up.

Commissioner Reed: “The problem is K12 doesn’t get tired of that, for some reason, in the state of Idaho.”

Tamara: “K12 never wants to see a school closed, because they are very, very concerned about their media, their public image. Also they’re supposedly using this school as their test case for developing the virtual CTE programs.


Commissioner Kunz: “Not going well.”

Commissioner Peterson: “What do they think? Do they think it’s going well?”


Tamara: “They have an interesting perspective on what going well means.” OK – so Richard McKenna….”

TB / Richard McKenna - This one is supposed to be a virtual school but for reasons unknown, the SDE cannot figure out… I am not even sure the school can figure out which of their kids are in the on site program and which of the kids are in the online alternative program and which of their kids are in the online generally. It is sorted out somewhat now and then they also have an elementary program. But at the time of renewal, there was no way to tell which kids were which so it was obvious that their proficiency rates were very low especially for the on site program. We could sift out those kids from the data so the commission said at least let us make sure that those on site kids are being served well. On site is not an alternative for the school, the alternative is part of the virtual. So these are non-alternative kids in a very small on site program, they are not at home and resting, they are now in proficiency to meet or exceed that of the traditional option in the community. We are seeing a population once again that is less diverse. Down here, the commission standard, you can see that it moves because… the commission standard for proficiency is meeting or exceeding the district so it is going to track the district. 

FEMALE 1/KP: Maybe it is with the state. 

FEMALE 2/TB: Maybe that is the state line, I am just trying to give you some perspective. It is not related to the condition per se, that is the orange line. Here is what the district did about proficiency in those years and here is what our school did and those are actual proficiency rates down there.

SPEAKER 2: So it is moving up a little but it is not very quick. 

FEMALE 2: Yes, not very quick and really low. 

FEMALE 1: They currently enrolled 30 kids in the high school on the onsite school. 

FEMALE 4: 30?

FEMALE 1: 30. So we are looking at the same thing as ITCA where there are like 10 kids who are taking the exam maybe. 

FEMALE 4: When does it become imprudent for the state? I guess every school district is 12 kids. 

FEMALE 2: But there are a lot of options whereas here, there is. So it is a big question. 

FEMALE 1: The virtual program is paying for everything else so that is how they are making it around. 

FEMALE 2: Why do they keep them onsite?

Kirston P / FEMALE 1: Because they have the Montessori program and they are growing in elementary grades. I think they ultimately want to have this whole k-12 experience and kind of change the culture of the high school. Because the high school, even though it is not technically alternative kind of feels alternative, we are hearing they are building. So they are hoping that these kids would stay on and they would change the culture of the school and performance would go up, I don’t know. They have been in this place for a long time. 

FEMALE 2: Yes, I think it might have been 1999. 

FEMALE 4: It was one of the earlier ones. 

FEMALE 1/KP: They do have a much better administrator now. He started about a year and a half ago and he was in a traditional district and I am seeing a lot of improvements in the Montessori program. They are really focused there and he has only been around for a year and a half but I don’t see a lot of focus on the virtual program or on the onsite. 

FEMALE 2: The virtual program isn’t doing well either. 

FEMALE 1: No, it’s not. 

FEMALE 2: I just don’t have that data yet because there are a lot of conditioning around it. But the virtual program appears to be basically like a cash cow for the school. 

FEMALE 1: Well, they admit that. 

TB / FEMALE 2: Yes, they do, they admit it. 

KP / FEMALE 1: This is a tricky one because I think that the Montessori program seems to be a very strong program. The rest of these programs, it feels like there is nothing else to focus on the outcomes. 

TB / FEMALE 2: This is concerning, I don’t know if anybody can shed light on this but we have no kids graduating.  

FEMALE 1: They only had 2 kids at that point because their enrollment had gotten down so much. 

[Cross talk 01:27:19]

You can’t make this up.

TB  / FEMALE 2: They don’t have the authority to say that it doesn’t make sense to spend the money on a 30-kid school with a virtual cash cow at this stage. You did at the petition phase in 1999 when the commission didn’t exist and theoretically, you have that opportunity at the petitioning phase. But after that…

KK / FEMALE 3: I have seen in [inaudible 01:27:53] school district, I think it is valley hill, it is where this particular school is. There is a charter school that is chartered by the district, the same thing happens. The high school numbers are minimal and the school district is not doing anything about 


TB / FEMALE 2: They may be putting up a transfer request soon, I keep hearing rumors. I can accept it, I am just telling you it may be coming. 

TB / I think this is the last one; another choice virtual school. Obviously, virtual, they are not state wide, they served in about 5 districts right around here. Note the demographics on this one, they do target special needs kids intentionally and they are succeeding at getting those kids in the door. The condition here focuses on the general population because it is so hard to tell what is going on with special needs because a special needs kid is not just a special needs kid, here is a whole other cap. But theoretically, they should be able to do at least as well as the other school with the general led population so we are saying your general led population needs to achieve a good standing designation on the framework. They are not doing that, you can tell by looking at the number of academic points earned. So they don’t have to earn this many to be in the good standing category, that gets them to the bottom of that category. We consider it a little bit of progress towards it.

SPEAKER 2: Three more years of progress.

TB / FEMALE 2: Graduation rate, they have really been working on it and you can see that they have made some progress there. It is a big leg [inaudible 01:29:48] not only do they don’t have to wait for the years to come through and you don’t get that date until January. You have to wait until the following January to see how many of them in that cohort gruaduated. It is quite a length but they have been working on this. Do you have any further thoughts on that one? 


FEMALE 3: So these are just for [inaudible 01:30:18]. 

Tb / FEMALE 2: No, this is for everybody, glad you brought that up. The whole population accepts for anyone who took the alternative exam for special needs. 

MALE 1: So they are not serving anyone well. 

TB / FEMALE 2: So where do we go from here. You don’t necessarily have to do anything except for any conversations you can have with the legislators you know to help them understand why you are concerned and what may need to happen down the road. I think this sets the stage and I went ahead and had some of those conversations at the beginning of this session. I felt like we were heard, we are never going to get full agreement from everybody but I think it is preparing the environment for what is coming. Meanwhile, we would be working with and have been working with all these schools every year they get their annual report from us, they look it over and they respond and then they correct any errors that they might catch. Then they get the final version that goes out on the website. So they interact with it to make sure they have seen it. Then as we come up to renewal, of course, there is an instance where the school raises an issue, it is talked about but we plan to have a series of more formal conversation with these boards. This is the situation, you are still a year out but we want to make sure we have touched base and that you know what is going on here. 

(KE transcription in blue highlight overlayed starting here)

Tamara: “Then as we come up to renewal. Of course when Kirsten does site visits at schools where this is an issue, it’s talked about, but we plan to have a series of more formal conversations with these boards just as a best practice. Hey this is the situation. You’re still a year out but we want to make sure we touch base and let you know what’s going on here.

Commissioner Kunz: “It seems to me that with the virtual high schools, we’ve got so many little tiny ones that aren’t doing well. Maybe we should be looking at the whole picture, and if we’re gonna be closing some of them determining which ones are actually achieving, so that… you know, cause there’s just too many options out there right now. And, so, you’ve got 2 or 3 students at one charter.. virtual school and 2 or 3 at another.

Recorded message on conference line interrupts.

Commissioner Kunz continues: “So anyway we might want to start looking at something like that.”

Tamara: “None of the virtuals rise to the top as stellar in academics. There are some demographic reasons for that. There are probably are also some deliver method reasons for that. Those things don’t operate independently of one other. I sat down with all of the virtual schools this summer to talk about this issue and try to get down to help me really understand the population. (Indistinct)….help me understand how many kids are struggling and in what ways. And then how are you doing with kids who are and aren’t in those categories. Didn’t get very far, unfortunately, on hard data. It was good for the relationships. I think they feel heard, and they feel like we care. We wanna know what’s true. But it’s really hard to pin down what’s actually true. But one thing that I asked for the school leaders – is, OK, don’t you think that if you’re getting these kids that are struggling in a traditional school where they have more peer and adult support and then you put ‘em in a situation where they have to have more intrinsic motivation, they have a lot less contact and support, don’t you think that’s problematic, (commissioners expressing agreement) especially if they don’t have that family learning coach, and they say, well, yeah, it doesn’t work real well for those kids. And they can’t deny enrollment to those kids. They have to offer them the opportunity to enroll. Interestingly, with some of them my next question was if you could decline to enroll kids who don’t have adequate home support would you? And they said no. But I only asked a couple of them. I didn’t think of it in time to ask all of them. But it, it, the nature of the child coming in doesn’t seem to be well served by the model which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have any virtual options. There are kids that it does well for but how do you ensure the kids there are the ones for whom it will actually work and also that you don’t have 8 virtual schools, most of which aren’t doing all that well and there is a pretty big differentiation between how well some are doing compared to others.”

Commissioner Quinn: “So Tamara, back to your initial comments about preparing for what’s coming. What’s our next step?”

Tamara: “Well - So if a school fails to meet its conditions on the specified timeline, you may proceed with revocation. So as we come up to these timelines, we will be working very hard to pull together as much data as we can to help you understand the context of what’s going on there. Obviously, the school’s perspective of what’s going on there. And put that in your hands, and you can decide whether or not you believe it’s appropriate to proceed with revocation in each case.

Female Commissioner: “Are we. I mean, can you not take this type of data without any school there to like the State Board?”

Male Commissioner: “Oh, School 1, School 2, School 3 – let me show you a story.”

Female Commissioner: “yeah. This is what we’re looking at. And at least set the stage. I mean I’d start with people that need to… will be petitioned.”

Female Commissioner 2: “But the State Board isn’t the right place to take it, is it, because.”

Tamara: “They’re not usually the ones who push back. The Board usually is behind us.”

Commissioner Quinn: “I’m talking about an educational campaign. At least starting with your supervisor to prepare them.”

Tamara: “I do share the data with the Board annual – not to this granular level.

Female Commissioner: “But you could go… can you go into exec with them?”

Tamara: “Good question. I don’t know.”

Female Commissioner: “You could.”

Tamara: “Probably. Technically, they have a right to see it, but I’m not sure it would be a good idea, because guess who the appealing entity is.”

Commissioner Kunz: “And the legislature is the one that’s dictating our code to our rules.”

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah, that was my question. Can we just take the names off of it and do Schools 1, 2, 3, and 4. Sit down with the legislators and say look at. Yeah – we need the individual schools to get the…”

TB:  If we combine the data, we kind of lose the picture.

AR / SPEAKER 2: We need the individual schools to get that.

Kirsten: “You have to make sure that you’re not really seeing individual educational data, so if you could get it in a way that somebody would be able to identify…”

Female Commissioner: “Because I would think the legislature is the better option.”

[Cross talk 01:37:24]

JVO / FEMALE 3: If we can just have school 1 and school 2, the names are redacted. 

MALE 1: We had the same thing. 

FEMALE 4: If anything, we would just say that it is a school that we authorize.

Staff / FEMALE 1: As long as there is no way to identify it, we should be good.

KK / FEMALE 3: Because I would think that the legislator…

Commissioner Reed: “That’s what we need to go to. Cause they’re the ones that come back at us.”

Female Commissioner: “And that will change the law.”

Commissioner Reed: “And that people will call complaining about us.”

Commissioner Kunz: “The State Board is just kind of over us like and umbrella.”

Commissioner Quinn: “I understand, because they still need a heads up about what’s going to come.”

TB FEMALE 2: They do have a heads up as to what is to come, I just don’t want to get into this level of granularity because of the appeal process. 

JVO / FEMALE 1: Tamara, if we did that, if we did the same thing as redacted information, school 1, school 2, school 3. They would not know and whatever school came before them, they wouldn’t be able to identify that. 

SLB / ?? FEMALE 4: That is too close. Somebody goes to them with an appeal and they just heard the story of a school, it may sound…

[Cross talk 01:38:44]

FEMALE 3: Who heard the story of a school?

MALE 1: The board. 

FEMALE 4: The board is who I was thinking of. 

Commissioner Peterson: “I still think we could combine from say some of these schools in the virtual space and the then traditional and do an average. Say this is what…”

Tamara: “Ah – you don’t need to do that. CREDO did that. CREDO report – I think we sent it to you. They’d probably come and present to you if you wanna hear the report.”

Female Commissioner: “Well – why don’t they present to the legislature.”

Commissioner Reed: “They did. They went to each committee.”

Tamara: “A lot of the legislators were pretty upset with them actually.”

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah, they didn’t like it.”

Female Commissioner: “Why?”

Commissioner Reed: “cause it’s bad mouth… virtual schools”

Female Commissioner: “Virtual schools”

Tamara: “It was pretty harsh.”

Commissioner Reed: “The first committee. Was that the House. They really hammered virtuals verbally, and they did not like that.”

Commissioner Quinn: “In our case, I don’t think we editorialize. You just hand them the data.”

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah. I can take this. I mean we…. a lot of the new legislators said, yeah that’s not acceptable when we explained to them what was going on. Even Mortimer was open to “yeah that’s not going to work any more” and I’ve never heard that out of him. So you take this (holds something up??) which is a number instead of a name.”

Commissioner Kunz: “Is there a way to…. Some of those numbers for those virtuals because of it being one or two students, it really skews their…”

Tamara: “yeah, I think those are the ones that are not….”

Commissioner Reed: “I wouldn’t even take the virtuals.”

Kirsten/Jen?: “Well, you could take like IDVA because it’s pretty big and Inspire are big, but the rest of them are not very big, so you’re going to have to skew data and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Commissioner Kunz: “And I don’t either.”

Female Commissioner: “And it doesn’t show any alternative data er.. alternative classifications that’s identifiable. I wouldn’t do that.”

Tamara: “Although none of these conditions are on alternative programs or schools. The only alternative number there is that 48 percent which is the statewide average five year cohort ACGR for alternatives, so they can see that for sure.

Commissioner Reed: “We’ll have a hard time with the virtuals. (pause) There’s somethin’ about the virtuals out there.”

Commissioner: “K12” (quietly)

Commissioner Reed: “Yeah… but, but the rest of these other schools, I think we need to take this data without the name and I think we need to make the case, and if we can buy their trust with that it’ll move us into the rest of it. That’s my opinion. But we won’t be able to buy the trust with the virtuals. (Female Commissioner says, “Yeah, because that’s….) but we can buy the trust with the others.”

Female Commissioner: “You’re going to be the one facing them, so I do what you want.”

Commissioners laughing and commenting.

[Cross talk 01:42:00]

Tamara: But you know the audience we’re concerned about. 

FEMALE 3: The audience is changing. 

JVO / FEMALE 1: It really falls with a lot of them if you can really. Because they would go “you can make data say anything”, that is the case that they are talking about. But if you can show it in different ways that they can understand it is pretty basic. 

FEMALE 3: I think the box does that. 

SPEAKER 2: Yes, it tells a story. 

FEMALE 3: The box when you show they are not proficient, I mean look at that. that to me… I mean, look at that

MALE 1: They are not proficient enough. 

AR / SPEAKER 2: We know almost everyone in the house ed and senate ed and they will understand this. 

??FEMALE 3: What would be even more powerful if we have it is to show the local district along side it.

FEMALE 2: Along side it? 

FEMALE 3: Along side it. Actually, that is the fairest thing. 

FEMALE 4: Actually, that is doable. 

TB / FEMALE 2: It is not easy because first, I have to get the data out of the data table.

[Cross talk 01:43:44]

FEMALE 4: Is it something that you could get a grad student to do?

FEMALE 3: They are not allowed to see it, maybe you can contract with them in some ways that they can be allowed to interact with the data

FEMALE: at the university? 

TB / FEMALE 2: Yes, there is hope. I am pessimistic because it is going so badly. We seem to be the bottom of the priority for them to get to us, work on our data and get our questions answered. It has been a nightmare and we would tell them something a year ahead, this is something, we need this. Then remind them in 8 months, 6 months and 3 months. Then it comes to the deadline and they say we might be a week late, it can be very frustrating, it can be immensely frustrating. To get this much energy has been huge and that said, they do have some additional staff. Supposedly, there is a person that has a specific amount of time to it. It is ridiculous, like an hour a week and that is how bad it is trying to get this data. This takes expertise that we don’t have, we are not trained to run these numbers. We can understand these numbers but we cannot generate them from raw data. We need experts to do that, so we are kind of stuck. 

JVO / FEMALE 4: So who did this for you?

FEMALE 2: The state board of education’s data team. It is not that they are bad, they are just busy. 

FEMALE 3: I can think of one person I know that would be really good to get that data. 

JVO / FEMALE 1: Tamara, I just think when you say talking to legislators you are still going to run into that. “Will the parents like it?” 

TB / FEMALE 2: No, they never will and I think it is when it comes down to… I think it was Kerson who said you just have to face the fire like all authorizers do. Just maintain a laser focus on what is right for the kids. 

JVO / FEMALE 4: And just do it, whether they say yes or not, you just got to do it. 

TB / FEMALE 2: We always have to come down to what is right for the kids. Is it okay because we are afraid of what the parents would say, what the legislators would say, the governor’s office would say. Of losing my job, of losing my spot on the commission. Are we going to be afraid of that or are we going to say this kid are going to have a shot at life. 

Kirstin?? FEMALE 1: Especially these kids like the ones who are in Jerome. They live in Jerome, what are the opportunities and we are really allowing them to go to this really lousy school for another 4 years. 

Commissioner Kunz: District is better-- It is not great but it is better. 

FEMALE 1: That feels like an abdication of our duty. 

AR / SPEAKER 2: If all those kids went to the local district, there would be that much money going to the district.

SLB / FEMALE 4: But it is better with this one piece of information we are looking at and I know that is all we have. But it is better and I guarantee that the parent didn’t take the child of that traditional school and out them into a charter school because of an ISAT score, because of anybody’s ISAT score. They took their child out of the traditional school and put them in a charter school because of the environment. Because of something we cannot quantify. 

Atty / FEMALE 1: I hate to be the due diligent attorney here but since we are done with the showing of…

FEMALE 2: Yes, we have to go.

Male: We could back the slides up a little bit and keep talking.


[Cross talk 01:47:21]

FEMALE 4: What are our next steps? What are we doing?

SPEAKER 2: We would need a motion. 

Atty   // FEMALE 1: You don’t actually need a motion because you can’t make a vote in an executive session. 

SPEAKER 2: I am used to having a vote to get out of this executive sessions. 

FEMALE 3: Do we would need to unmute the phone, open the door and have a statement that we are back on.

[Cross talk 01:48:04]

FEMALE 1: I think the chairman can just state we have ended the executive session and we are returning to…

FEMALE 3: So are we ready?

SPEAKER 2: We are now in open session, reconvene public session. Okay, there is no action necessary so I guess we need a motion. 

MALE 1: Motion for you to take us out to ice cream, is that what you are looking for?

SPEAKER 2: Absolutely, you can put that in the adjournment. 

[Cross talk 01:48:45]

I have the motion to adjourn, is there a second?

MALE 1: Second. 

SPEAKER 2: Any discussion? All in favor, say I.

Chorus: I

FEMALE 3: I do want to thank the staff because that was a lot of work, a lot of preparation and thank you on top of everything else you do. 

SPEAKER 2: I think it was very interesting. We saw a laying out a set of considerations and then we saw the call, we saw 2 schools that we are working on. It tied it all into one package, it was nice. 

FEMALE 3: It came full circle, it was well illustrated.

[Cross talk 01:49:34]

SPEAKER 2: Thank you for the work. 

Tamara: There was not an accident for the most part. In June, we would present to you our thoughts on a structure for moving forward with the NACSA recommendations. A lot of those are things that we have always been driving towards so… a more cohesive plan. 

_... I mean, they have no future._.png