American Indian Education Oversight Committee
May 21, 2011, Meeting Minutes
Present: Laura Lee George (Chair), Amber Machamer (Vice Chair), André Cramblit (Parliamentarian), Deb DeForge, Rachel McBride, Irma Amaro, John Focke, Kathleen Marshall, Rod Lindsay (10:15), and Helen Doherty
Absent: Marc Luker (unexcused), Matt Franklin (unexcused), and Bessie Shorty (unexcused)
Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson: Update by the SSPI
California Department of Education (CDE) Staff Present: Phil Lafontaine (joined meeting at 10:50 a.m.), Brian Centeno (joined meeting at 9:35 a.m.), and Judy Delgado
Several community members were also in attendance.
Meeting convened at 10:00 a.m.
- Laura Lee George established a quorum and opened the meeting with a brief overview of the responsibilities of the American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC).
Item 3―CDE Updates and Information
- The SSPI introduced himself, discussed his initiatives, and stated that he wants to work with the AIEOC. Anyone who wants to remain on the committee needs to submit a letter of continued interest and include letters from tribes if appropriate.
- There are other projects and committees he would like us to be involved with, including an American Education Commission that includes 11 members. They will concentrate on three areas: (1) Looking at the educational needs of American Indians (dropout rate, achievement gap, etc.); (2) Examining how the budgets are being effectively utilized and what additional resources are needed; and (3) Developing additional cultural curriculum beyond the fourth grade mission requirements. A joint group of the new Commission and the AIEOC will work over the next 18 months to help steer the curriculum effort.
- The SSPI is interested in bringing legislators into Native communities to get a better understanding of the issues that exist for our students. He would like to see the AIEOC produce an annual report to help brief him on the status of Education Centers, programs, and issues in American Indian communities. The issue of travel costs was brought up, and the SSPI said that this needs to be discussed and addressed by proposing a budget and a plan that will help meet the intent of the program visits. This would allow the AIEOC to become a better advocate for the needs of our students. Rod Lindsay commented that this collaboration is much appreciated and will be quite valuable. John Focke said that this information should be brought back to the local districts so they can hear the message from several levels. The SSPI will be relying on Brian Centeno and Judy Delgado to work with the AIEOC as these projects develop.
- Brian Centeno said he wanted to see the committee help identify criteria and benchmarks to be addressed in the development of curriculum and programs. The committee discussed ways to structure potential visits to their communities. It would be good to establish a focus of the visit that highlights something for the local community. It was suggested that we work on this cooperatively with the centers so they are part of the process. Amber Machamer suggested we look at the visits as opportunities to highlight a part of the overall picture of needs and issues in Indian education, since we will have limited time and resources for these visits. It will be necessary for the centers and communities to use this visit as an opportunity to highlight the key problems and success they have in their areas, including both academic and cultural resources. We need to remember that we are here to advise on all aspects of Indian education, not just the issues and needs of the Education Centers.
Item 5―Common Core Standards
- Jose Ortega and Cynthia Gunderson, CDE Curriculum Frameworks Office, presented on Common Core State Standards. The frameworks have been halted, as there is no funding to implement the standards. The focus is on English Language Arts and math; other content areas may be considered as well. They went over a publication that is being developed entitled “A Look at Kindergarten Through Grade Six in California Public Schools.” This is a new publication focusing on California’s content standards, including the Common Core State Standards. Assembly Bill 250, along with the Brownley Bill will examine professional development in regard to cultural relevancy. This Bill will help address funds for implementation.
Item 6―Committee Business
- Minutes from the last meeting were distributed and reviewed. It was moved and seconded to accept the minutes with grammatical and spelling corrections, and passed by acclamation. Notes from the public hearing were also distributed and reviewed. It was moved and seconded to accept the public hearing notes with grammatical and spelling corrections, and passed by acclamation.
- Issues of AIEOC correspondence were discussed, including what the process is to ensure that the input of the AIEOC is being heard and addressed. The AIEOC previously submitted written communication but was advised to submit through staff. Since there will be a new Commission, it is important that communication be distributed efficiently within the new structure. It would now be best to submit it directly to the SSPI with copies to staff. This will allow the information to be easily tracked and responded to in a timely manner. We also need to address the process for establishing the format of the agenda. It will still go through Judy Delgado and be discussed between her, Brian Centeno, and Laura Lee George. The format will be based upon the agenda format of the State Board of Education. Meetings were set for the remainder of the year.
Item 7―Public Comments
- Ernie Salgado submitted a letter of public comment regarding the move of Chavela Delp.
- Katie Valenzuela brought up AB 18 (Brownley) about collapsing categorical programs into a block grant. This will be submitted for an agenda item for our next meeting.