Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
California State Council—General Business Meeting
October 15, 2013
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Room 3102
Sacramento, CA 95814
- State Council Members: John Burns, Jerry Dannenberg, Jacie Ragland, Kate Wren Gavlak, Department of Defense (DOD) Liaison Representative Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative Shannon Milder
- Invited Participants: Sylvia Crowder, Kelly Frisch
Welcome and Introductions
- Jacie Ragland, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Designee: Opened the meeting of the California State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (State Council) at 12:35 p.m. at the California Department of Education (CDE). She welcomed members present in the CDE Videoconference Room, as well as the San Diego County Office of Education participants attending via videoconference.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Thanked those in attendance for coming, and said the State Council would be completing its review of the Report to the California State Legislature during the meeting.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
- Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Made a motion to approve minutes from the July 18, 2013, meeting; the motion was seconded by Jerry Dannenberg, State Council Member. The State Council voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the July 18, 2013, meeting.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Some issues have come up in discussions with other states. At the annual San Diego meeting in November, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (Commission) may be asked to take positions on issues such as the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. However, the Executive Committee for the Commission feels endorsing state educational policy issues is beyond the purview of state councils, so it is a moot point. Some states are getting more “push-back” on the Common Core State Standards than other states.
- Jerry Dannenberg, State Council Member; Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner; and Shannon Milder, Department of Defense (DOD) Liaison Representative: Taking a stand on these issues is beyond the scope of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Compact).
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: New Yorkers have said they do not want people telling them how to do business in New York. The Compact is designed to be broad enough to handle major issues without interfering with curriculum or other state issues.
- Shannon Milder, DOD Liaison Representative: Concerned that having the Commission endorse the Common Core State Standards would reinforce the perception some people have that the Compact interferes with state sovereignty.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Has had offers from people who wanted to provide training for them on the Compact and its provisions. But it is the role of the State Councils to ensure that training is done, and a national group doing training cannot adequately customize training for individual states. It can be discussed later. At this time, the Commission does not want to consider the idea. The issues may be discussed later at the Commission’s annual meeting in November in San Diego.
- The Commission has named General Stephen R. Hogan of the National Guard as the new Executive Director, after interviewing candidates for the position.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: Student identifiers are referred to in the Report to the California State Legislature as something the State Council does not really need to deal with right now.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: This might be mentioned as part of the School Accountability Report Card (SARC), as a way to track military children.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: It would be counterproductive to track students state by state. If anything is done, Social Security numbers should not be used, due to possible identity theft.
- Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: Asked how the SARC would track students.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Explained that the SARC includes a lot of demographic data, in addition to assessment information.
Review of the Final Report to the California State Legislature
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: The CDE has certain rules about the Reports to the California State Legislature, including a requirement that the Executive Summary be only one page. The quotes in the report from military commanders are helpful, because this helps to clarify the need for the Compact. It is important for the report to be very succinct when outlining the need for the Compact, due to the large amount of legislative material legislators see.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: There may be an issue of getting compliance from some districts that do not want to cooperate or comply with regulations in the Compact.
- Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: There is a need to provide an example of the need for compliance, since compliance is an issue in some districts.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: Plans to reword a part of the Report to the Legislature regarding negative impacts of the Compact, and may include a case study to highlight problems encountered by students.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: A case study could be added to tell the story of a student whose name was taken off the ballot for a school election after the school heard the student’s family may be moving.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: Appreciates the efforts of members who sent case studies and feels the case studies substantially enhance the report.
- Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: Concerned about a recent increase in issues that have surfaced for students who have moved to new districts.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: This can be mentioned in a case study describing problems encountered by students in families that frequently must move.
- Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: Concerned about the use of student information; she wants to be sure the use of the information meets DOD objectives.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: There will likely be resistance, due to the lack of data available. Like any data, it will not be 100 percent accurate. If there is an identifier, it is fairly simple.
- Shannon Milder, DOD Liaison Representative: Asked if a military identifier would help.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: This would help; some schools will just report zero. The military identifier would come from the DOD to the state. It has to come from the top, not the bottom.
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: Perhaps the section regarding SARC should be eliminated and replaced with a statement that the DOD is working on this issue.
- Shannon Milder, DOD Liaison Representative: Does not see how developing a military identifier alone would add to the success of the Compact.
State Council Member Comments
- Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: Would like to receive a quarterly report on issues reported to State Council members.
- Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: It would be possible to coordinate with Commissioner Kate Wren Gavlak and send e-mail copies to other State Council members regarding issues that come up in other areas.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: It would be a good idea to focus on best practices, especially regarding issues such as that of the student who was thrown out of a student council race due to the parent’s possible relocation. It is important to focus on training, and schools need to ask themselves, “What would be the right thing for this child?”
- John Burns, Task Force Chairperson: It would be a good idea to create a history of this process and the related issues, because term limits will result in the arrival of new legislators who will not know the history and issues being dealt with by this group.
- Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: There is a need to locate and appoint a Military Family Education Liaison for the State Council.
Establish Meeting Calendar for November/December 2013
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: The next State Council meeting should be held during the first two weeks of December.
- Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Adjourned the meeting at 2:40 p.m.