American Indian Education Oversight Committee Meeting Minutes
November 16, 2011
Committee members: Laura Lee George (Chair), André Cramblit (Parliamentarian), Irma Amaro, Deborah DeForge, Helen Doherty, John Focke, Rodney Lindsay, Amber Machamer (Vice Chair), Kathleen Marshall, and Rachel McBride
Absent: Russell “Butch” Murphy (Excused)
Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson: Update by Craig Cheslog, Principal Advisor to the SSPI
California Department of Education (CDE) Staff Present: Barbara Pomerantz, Judy Delgado, Chavela Delp, and Ramona Hoffman
Guests: Janine, Colleen Bruno, Judy Jacobs, Stephanie Myers, Andy Andreoli, and Katie Valenzuela
Meeting convened at 10:00 a.m.
ITEM 1―Update from the Office of the SSPI
- SSPI Tom Torlakson is away in Long Beach speaking out against college tuition increases; Craig Cheslog delivered the report on his behalf. The California State Board of Education (SBE) is working on the development of the Joint Committee on Curriculum Materials. They have not discussed the selection method for the committee membership. Craig Cheslog said that the SSPI hoped a few American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC) members would be members of the Committee, and he expects that the SSPI will ask which AIEOC members are interested in serving on the Committee.
- Also, the SSPI received the letter of recommendation for Assembly Bill 18 (Brownley) Education Finance: School-based Financial Reporting System: Targeted Pupil Equity Funding: Quality Instruction Funding from the AIEOC and thanks the AIEOC for the advice and recommendations. Craig Cheslog met with the legislative team that is meeting with the bill’s author to request modification per our recommendation. The SSPI appreciates all that the AIEOC has been doing.
ITEM 6―Legislative Field Trips
- The AIEOC suggested that Hoopa and Tule River be the first two sites for the Legislative Field Trips. The AIEOC needs some specifics from the SSPI’s office to better plan for the visits. Hoopa is having the Fish Fair in early June―is attending that event something of interest? Craig Cheslog said it was the SSPI’s intention to show the legislators a regular school day, versus only special events, although a little ceremony is to be expected. We want to give the legislators an accurate representation of the school day, so that the outcome of the legislators’ visit can better inform policy.
- Since the travel time from Sacramento to the Klamath/Trinity area is about five hours, Craig Cheslog said that the legislators would be more likely to travel after lunch and arrive in the late afternoon, have an overnight stay, then tour the sites the next morning; but he said there were other ways that the visit could be done as well. Another suggestion was that the legislators’ travel could be done in the morning, with the site tour that afternoon so that they could see more of the activities with the children. The legislators could stay the night and return the next morning.
- Craig Cheslog said that if the visit will require two days, including the travel time, it would be best to schedule the trip during a legislative break, such as one of the two spring breaks. The legislative schedule is posted on the Assembly and Senate Web sites.
- Craig Cheslog agreed that the AIEOC should propose three dates to the SSPI and three alternate dates. The dates need to be submitted to the SSPI through Craig Cheslog; he said that the SSPI’s schedule is already full through January 2012.
- In addition to state legislators, SBE members could be invited on the visits too. We will also be inviting Tribal Councils and local superintendents to participate.
ITEM 8―Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Grant in California, presented by Carrie Roberts and Aileen Allison-Zarea
- The CDE received SRCL Formula Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) last year. (That was funding to each state to assemble a State Literacy Team to develop a statewide literacy plan.) The initial literacy plan was submitted in April 2011. The State Literacy Team advises the SBE and the CDE on the development of a comprehensive state literacy plan for birth through grade twelve.
- In March, the ED released a competitive state grant application that was to be based on the state literacy plan. California submitted an application for, but did not receive any of the $70 million funding available. (Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas were awarded funding.) But even without the competitive grant funding, the CDE can still implement the literacy plan. The State Literacy Team is currently carrying out the “New Focus” phase of the literacy plan.
- The goal is to meet the reading instruction needs of each grade level from birth through grade twelve, and also to focus on major transition periods between age and grade spans (kindergarten to grade one, elementary school to middle school, etc.). In the initial phase of the development of the literacy plan (the period of February through May 2011), small work groups with areas of expertise reviewed research-based instructional strategies, the Early Learning Foundations, and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), investigated Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) strategies, and addressed the needs of historically under performing subgroups. One of their areas of focus was getting RTI2 deeply into each classroom and on differentiation of instruction (customizing instruction for different groups of students, as needed).
- The literacy plan is a “living document,” in accordance with the federal grant, so it changes as needed. The time line is as follows: In November 2011, the Literacy, History, and Arts Leadership Office will reorganize the layout of the plan as recommended by the literacy team. In December 2011, team members will begin to review and revise the literacy plan by age and grade span, and by area of expertise. In March 2012, the entire literacy team will meet to review the plan and make final recommendations. In December 2013, the funds will run out.
- The SRCL Plan established the state literacy plan to help subgroups who are struggling with reading. Those subgroups are identified through state assessment data.
- To date, Indian students have not yet been identified as a subgroup. Carrie Roberts said that some of the identified subgroups are English Learners, students with disabilities, African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans. Laura Lee George noted that concerns have been expressed regarding Native Americans not being separated out as a subgroup identified in the data. American Indian students’ reading/literacy rates should be examined to see if they would qualify as a separate subgroup.
- Laura Lee George said that there is a need for accurate information regarding Native culture. The perception of what and who an Indian is, is very inaccurate. Carrie Roberts said that some funding will be used for updating the CDE Recommended Literature list with authentic Indian books.
- There is interest in having some of our AIEOC members participate in the SRCL/State Literacy Team meetings, all of which are public meetings. Laura Lee George told the members of the AIEOC that they should let Judy Delgado know if they are interested in being on that State Literacy Team.
ITEM 9―Native CLASS Act Sponsored Through the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA)
- Greg Masten said that one of three things may happen with the Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act (Native CLASS Act).
- It may pass in its current form. It is a comprehensive bill (including such things as culture, language in regard to educational process, professional development, teacher training, and juvenile justice). Eric Stedman said that tribes need to step up and leverage their political muscle to let legislators know that they want this Native CLASS Act. It is unprecedented; we have never gotten this far with legislation like this.
- If the Act does not go through in its entirety, then maybe a condensed version addressing critical needs would have a better chance of going through.
- The third option is that the Act does not pass. It has been introduced, but some people do not understand it, and some oppose it. There is evidence of opposition, but no direct statements. At this point, we do not know who the opposition is coming from. The opposition has just been made evident because language has been taken out.
- The message needs to be that tribes support this. The TEDNA does have the support of the ED and President Obama’s Administration. A lot of the components of the Act are in alignment with the goals of the Obama Administration.
- The TEDNA is also seeking increased appropriation for American Indian education. If the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) gets passed and replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, they are trying to see if current definitions could be expanded to include tribes. The ESEA will probably not pass until after next year’s presidential election. It is a political situation. There is the potential of an Executive Order to include some of the components of the Native CLASS Act.
- Greg Masten said in conclusion that he encouraged all of the AIEOC to give out two messages: (1) “We support the Act;” and (2) “We want the same language in the Act included in the ESEA.”
- After concluding his presentation, Greg Masten informed the AIEOC that following his tenure as Vice-President of the TEDNA, he had just been made the President of the TEDNA. He commented that it is helpful at the table during these national legislation discussions. The AIEOC members expressed their congratulations to him.
ITEM 2―Public Comment
- Judy Delgado asked if scheduling of future AIEOC meetings could be done. It will be covered in Item 11, Committee Business.
ITEM 3―CDE Updates
- Judy Delgado said that the American Indian Advisory Committee of the SBE is looking for some funding to cover operational expenses.
- The American Indian Education Center (AIEC) funding cycle has been extended. The funding went into flexibility in 2009, and the funding runs from fiscal year 2009–10 to fiscal year 2014–15, so it will stay in flexibility until then. So funding for the Centers will probably remain the same. Katie Valenzuela pointed out that there is a section under the California Education Code (EC) that requires the tracking of Maximum Flexibility funds. Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) funding will stay the same. Judy Delgado reminded everyone to be sure to consult with AIEC regulations, to use source documents such as receipts to back up all expenditures, and to maintain program accountability. The applicable EC section is EC Section 42605(b)(1).
ITEM 4―National Indian Education Association (NIEA) Update
- André Cramblit presented a PowerPoint on the presentation that he made with Anya Dozier Enos from New Mexico on CCSS, the national and state partnerships with the Campaign for High School Equity, and the La Raza grant to identify best practices in integrating Culture and Language into the mainstream curriculum.
- He talked about the State of Hawaii as being one of the world’s best-practices sites in terms of supporting native language education in the schools (Hilo and Honolulu). Hawaii has gone from having only 49 native Hawaiian speakers to having over 10,000 native Hawaiian speakers. They learned some of those best practices from New Zealand’s Maori-culture people.
ITEM 5―Tribal Education Status Report (TESR): Presentation of a workshop given by Vern Bia, Education Administrator, and Sandra Freeland, at the 42nd Annual NIEA Convention regarding the history and purpose of the New Mexico Indian Education Act, with a focus on the process and growth of the New Mexico TESR―Update by André Cramblit, AIEOC Parliamentarian
- André Cramblit discussed a breakout session he attended on the Statewide Native American Report Card produced by New Mexico. A handout was provided that gave a brief overview of the information that comprises the report card. A full copy of the report was available for review. We need a workshop on data available and outstanding needs that could lead to a Native American Report Card.
- Also discussed was the National Indian Education Survey that was released in 2009.
- Laura Lee George said that the AIEOC is charged with preparing the annual TESR. Judy Delgado noted that the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) is an example of a good potential data source, if we were using it for Indian identifier data. André Cramblit said that often Indians are statistically insignificant, so we come up as a zero in the data numbers. Judy Delgado said that the CDE is limited to data that it must collect by law. The problem with DataQuest is underrepresented of a small subgroup, so there are limitations in the data.
- Laura Lee George said the AIEOC could either do a separate agenda item for “data on Indian students” at a future AIEOC meeting or do an advisory preparation workshop on where we want to go regarding American Indian data on CALPADS.
- Judy Delgado said that if we could obtain that data, then we could compare the academic performance of students who do attend the Centers versus that of students who do not attend the Centers, for accountability. It would help identify underserved areas. One data set in one database could answer many questions. Laura Lee George said that this situation impacts our annual report, which is currently a limited report of limited data.
ITEM 7―Legislative Update, presented by Katherine Valenzuela, Policy Advocate at Public Advocates
- The Legislature is on recess right now, and there is no definite news about legislation at this time. The Governor’s Office is looking at broad-based “flexibility” for all matters.
- Because of the budget cuts being considered right now, April 2012 will be a good time to have education-related legislators participate in the Legislative Field Trips to the tribal sites. The legislators will be discussing these matters prior to making decisions about the funding. There are a great many initiatives for the November 2012 ballot. January/February is the unofficial deadline for all of these initiatives, so there is a need to make sure voters are as informed as possible. 2012 will be big.
- Also, right now there’s a lot of discussion of “career readiness” in terms of high school student performance, and discussion of what that term means, exactly.
ITEM 11―Committee Business
- André Cramblit moved to approve the September 8, 2011, minutes, John Focke seconded. All in favor.
- There was further discussion regarding the Legislative Field Trips. Spring breaks for Hoopa and Tule River were identified, as well as the legislators’ April break. Laura Lee George reminded the committee that Craig Cheslog had said that April2–6, 2012, would be a good time for a field trip. It was decided to offer one specific week to the SSPI and legislators, and let the SSPI decide on the chosen date within that week, in consultation with individual legislators.
- It was recommended that each site provide a one- to two-page briefing paper on their tribal community and environment to let the legislators get a preview of the communities they would be visiting. Their staff (legislators’ staff), at least, will read the briefing papers. This is an opportunity to give a broad view of the needs of each community and how the Centers are working with limited funds to meet those needs.
- One very important concept in the current SSPI’s administration is “meeting the needs of the whole child” and “education supports for the whole child.” For more information, see A Blueprint for Great Schools, particularly Strategy No. 6, Education Supports, and Strategy No. 7, Health, Nutrition, and Physical Fitness.
- Amber Machamer moved that Hoopa dates be presented as April 2–6, 2012, and that the AIEOC have input into the legislators to be invited. The motion was seconded by John Focke. All in favor.
- It was then moved by Rod Lindsay and seconded by Deborah DeForge to rescind the vote and revisit the issue. 4 aye, 3 no, 2 abstentions, motion failed for lack of a two-thirds vote. Discussion ensued as to what input the AIEOC would like the SSPI to consider when inviting participants.
- A motion was made again to propose April 2–6 in Hoopa and have input into which legislators are selected to come. 8 ayes, 1 no.
- Laura Lee George clarified for the AIEOC that this Legislative Field Trip was not a one-time-only event; the SSPI said that maybe there would be two or three of these Legislative Field Trips per year.
- Future dates for AIEOC meetings were proposed. André Cramblit moved, John Focke seconded, and the motion carried that the dates be set as follows:
January 25, 2012
March 16 or 17, 2012 (as the conference at Humboldt State University accommodates)
July 18, 2012
November 14, 2012
- Deborah DeForge and André Cramblit volunteered to write a draft of the annual end-of-year report to be brought before the whole committee for discussion at the January meeting. It needs to include a discussion of the need for data to better prepare such a report. Laura Lee George stated that the dilemma is that the SSPI wants this report, but how can the AIEOC do the report adequately if there is no data? So what better time to produce the draft report than at the same meeting where the AIEOC will be getting more information about the database (CALPADS and its data parameters/limits), so there can be a discussion on the need for data, versus the data available?
- Officer nominations and vote will be held at the January meeting.
ITEM 10―Update Regarding the CCSS, presented by Tom Adams, CDE
- This Friday, the SSPI will announce focus groups for updating and aligning the mathematics curriculum.
- Curriculum frameworks provide guidance for implementing the content standards adopted by the SBE. The framework can be thought of as the "what" and the standards as the "how" they work together.
- Frameworks are developed by the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) (formerly called the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission), which also reviews and recommends textbooks and other instructional materials to be adopted by the SBE.
- The IQC is an advisory body to the SBE on matters related to curriculum, instructional materials, and content standards in accordance with EC sections 33530–33540. The IQC is an 18-member body, including one member from the Assembly, two from the Senate, and the rest by appointment. Currently there are several open positions. In the past, there has been Native American representation on the Commission.
- There are three opportunities for participation in the IQC: there are focus groups that provide guidance, the Curriculum Framework Committee that prepares the document, and there is field review.
- The IQC needs volunteers to help review materials and their alignment. The application will be coming out and they will have a training session. There will be two training centers for this: one will be the San Joaquin County Office of Education (for language arts), the other at the Orange County Office of Education (for mathematics).
- Participants will get familiar with materials in the CCSS and what will work in classrooms. The IQC hopes some educators you know will be willing to participate. This is a one-time process. Frameworks have been on hiatus because of flexibility provision. This is the first time for frameworks since 2009.
- There is a legislative requirement that the language arts curriculum include English language development standards. The IQC is looking for a framework that is broader in scope and connected to the CCSS, not considered a special part of education.
- It should include literacy and science, social science, technical subjects; it shouldn't leave out anything. "Technical subjects" can be about anything, even physical education―for example, if we have an article on kinesiology that is appropriate for a certain grade level, or an article on early California cultures, the First People of California. We can come up with our own culturally relevant readings. What’s important is the process of reading complex text, finding meanings in it, and being able to write our own view about it, that are culturally relevant to our own students. There will be more discussion about this at the January 25 meeting.
Laura Lee George―Asked for a motion to adjourn. Kathleen Marshall moved to adjourn the meeting, Helen Doherty seconded. All in favor.