American Indian Education Oversight Committee Meeting Minutes
September 8, 2011
Committee Members: Laura Lee George, Rod Lindsay (arrived at 12:22 p.m.), André Cramblit, John Focke, Helen Doherty, Deborah DeForge, Amber Machamer, Rachel McBride
Absent: Kathleen Marshall (excused), Russell “Butch” Murphy (excused), Irma Amaro (excused)
Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson: Update by the SSPI
California Department of Education (CDE) Staff Present: Judy Delgado, Chavela Delp, Brian Centeno
Meeting convened at noon.
Motion to approve agenda: Moved by Helen Doherty, seconded by John Focke, and passed unanimously
Item 1―Office of the SSPI: Update
- The SSPI congratulated new members on their initial appointment and existing members on reappointment to the American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC).
- The SSPI said he received the AIEOC’s letter dated July 26, 2011, and he talked to Laura Lee George regarding ways to share American Indian education across the state.
- He discussed his visit to the Santa Ynez Summer Program.
- He said he would look at the organizational alignment and budgetary issues to support American Indian/Alaskan Native programs.
- The SSPI discussed the idea of field trips for legislators to see Indian education programs. He wants to find ways to share the culture with Assembly leaders and district superintendents to look at the possibility of going into Native communities to see what is going on in Indian education and sharing rich history, ethnography, and culture to enrich California curriculum. He wants to go to the appropriate Assembly and Senate leaders to give them a chance to see the land, places of origin, and tribal leaders. He will work with Tribal Chairman Alliances to host these visits.
- The SSPI worked together with State Board of Education (SBE) member James Ramos to develop an advisory board to the SBE working on some of the same policy issues and goals. One idea is to tell the story of the Natives in each of 15 different geographic regions to make a rich curriculum to create a digital and physical kit to support instruction at different educational levels beyond what is in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This will be more of a task force to raise money and develop the outline of what they want presented. This work may include members of the AIEOC.
- The SSPI wants to identify the top three Tribes/programs to visit; perhaps plan for next spring. He discussed visitation possibilities with the AIEOC. Hoopa and Tule River were suggested as potential sites.
Item 2―Public Comment
There was no public comment.
Item 3―CDE Updates
- Craig Cheslog, Principal Advisor to the SSPI, manages special projects and new initiatives.
- A Blueprint for Great Schools was discussed. There are three areas of emphasis: (1) educator quality; (2) a focus on whole child health, financial stability of family, safety etc.; and (3) creating teamwork and community involvement. Schools are considered as beacons in the community. A Blueprint for Great Schools promotes equal opportunities to learn and bridging the digital divide. The SSPI may look to this committee to help push the agenda and goals in bringing in more resources. There is support for the concepts of innovators, creative participation, and team players, not just test takers (“bubble test takers”). They are looking for community partners to help move this along. There are eight task forces, with three broad general areas of growth. Their recommendations can be found on the Web site mentioned above.
- The SSPI is working to broaden assessments, including college and career readiness.
- Team California is to rethink Arts Education
- The SSPI is concerned about student absences and dropout rates.
- The SSPI supports career education, including making math meaningful for students, and partnerships and technical jobs that can benefit students.
- The SSPI wants to define what education is in the 21st Century. There will be a design summit to develop goals and expectations of staff on what the CDE might look like.
- A realignment is needed due to budget cuts. Most of the work that is completed at the CDE is federal work. Employees have stated their desire to work across Branches. There will be interdisciplinary groups (Integrated Action Teams). Four Branches will incorporate some of these changes: (1) Services for Administration, Finance, Technology, and Infrastructure; (2) District, School, and Innovation; (3) Instruction and Learning Support; and (4) Student Support and Special Services.
- Seventy percent of voters do not have a child in school.
- André Cramblit said that 80 percent of the United States has Internet access; 80 percent of those who do not are on Indian land.
- Laura Lee George said that some students are bussed 1.5 hours to school each way, with no transportation to the library or community programs. Cultural education is lost with budget cuts.
- Deborah DeForge said that some communities are working together, including, for example, San Jacinto, where the city and school district operate a community library shared by all.
- Assessment and accountability are two different things.
- We are looking for creative and quality after school programs, and for parental and family engagement.
- AIEOC members suggested looking at recognizing American Indian education in the Division title.
Item 4―Legislative Update, presented by Katie Valenzuela
- Assembly Bill 404 (Gatto) was discussed. Native American Language Preservation Act. This bill would establish a Native Language Institute at Humboldt State University (HSU). Input from Tribes is needed.
- André Cramblit commented that there is no money for this recommendation, and he asked why locate at HSU instead of at Berkeley where the resources are?
- AB 18 (Brownley) will put Native Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program funds into categorical block grants, pulling the funds into the school funding stream and away from the Native programs that it was intended for. There was discussion by the AIEOC to recommend that the AIEOC Chair write a memo to the SSPI stating that the AIEOC recommends removing Native ECE funds from the Brownley bill to ensure that those funds are not put into the categorical programs that are in maximum flexibility and that instead, the Native ECE funds continue to be made available to Tribes and Indian government nonprofit organizations for implementation and use in American Indian ECE programs. This recommendation was moved by André Cramblit; seconded by Rachel McBride. Vote: 7 in favor; 0 opposed, 1 abstain.
- Key dates are 2014 and 2015 when the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test will be replaced.
- There was discussion of AB 250 (Brownley) Math and English and Language Arts Common Core frameworks.
- Senate Bill 140 (Lowenthal) identifies the gap between current standards and CCSS and will have publishers fill in the gaps with supplemental materials. It will create bridge materials that will help transition to the CCSS. They will be looking for reviews to include the Native community to guide the adoption of these standards and curricular resources. Part of the criteria that will be acted upon is that the materials will have to be easily integrated into existing materials. Additionally, a professional development module will be part of SB 140, in the 6–12 CCSS. We are encouraged to look at the technical pieces that can be modified to be more culturally appropriate. There has been an invitation to put together a list of authors and articles to be included as part of the state’s official guides. The AIEOC needs to put together suggested reading lists to supplement the core curriculum.
Item 5―Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Grant
- California was not awarded the SRCL competitive federal grant. It was recommended that the tenets be rolled into the CCSS.
Item 6―CCSS Update, presented by Tom Adams, Director, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division
- Professional Development materials will have to be easily integrated into the existing curriculum. AB 250 will create Professional Development modules in grades six through twelve. Standards have science, language, etc. We should look at Appendix A and see how we would supplement some of the content areas (for example, substitute the Environmental Protection Agency report with something American Indian-relevant). Tom Adams and Phil Lafontaine have staff to provide technical assistance to help sort literature to fit to the CCSS.
Item 7―Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA), presented by Greg Masten, Hoopa Education Director and TEDNA Vice President
- The TEDNA is working to have the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reflect a greater acknowledgement of Tribal Education Department’s authority to oversee issues of education, culture, and language, and to establish a new designation of the Tribal Education Agency (TEA). This would support tribal sovereignty and it would support their capacity to administer these programs. It would start with five tribes to demonstrate their capacity to administer the services and functions of a state educational agency (SEA) or local educational agency (LEA). Tribes do this in coordination with local schools that are serving their students. See ESEA sections 160–161.
Item 8―Transitional Kindergarten
- SB 1381 Kindergarten Readiness Act. The cutoff date has changed for kindergarten and first grades. Kindergarten is not mandatory, but the dates are now set at age five by December 1 for 2011, November 1 for 2012, October 1 for 2013, and September 1 for 2014. Transitional kindergarten is a modified program to help students enter kindergarten. This will affect about 25 percent of the kindergarten population. Regular average daily attendance will fund transitional kindergarten. There is a monthly teleconference and Web site available to help people understand the change to transitional kindergarten.
Item 9―Smarter Balance, presented by Kristen Brown, CDE Education Research and Evaluation Consultant
- California’s Assessment Consortium is Smarter Balance; it is funded through Race to the Top funds to help roll out CCSS, and it is managed by WestEd and will replace STAR testing and includes a technology component.
Item 10―Committee Business
- The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Helen Doherty moved and Rod Lindsay seconded, passed 7 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain.
- It was discussed and decided that draft minutes could be distributed as long as they were posted at AIEOC Public Meeting Agendas and Minutes.
- Elizabeth Stein: Bagley Keene Statutory responsibilities of the AIEOC. Bylaws were approved in 2007. Conflict of Interest was discussed. Online training for ethics issues is available. An overview of Bagley Keene was given. An overview of Roberts Rules was also presented. (Rod Lindsay asked the question, if someone attempts to take over [verbal interruptions, etc.], what do we do? The answer was that it was okay to accept the input and move on.)
- Introduction of Division Director Gordon Jackson.
Laura Lee George―Asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. John Focke moved to adjourn the meeting, Helen Doherty seconded. Unanimous to approve.