Arizona Civics Coalition Meeting
Wednesday January 18th, 2006
8:00 am - 9:30 am
Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education
3rd Floor Boardroom
4201 N 24th Street Suite 200
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
The Coalition discussed progress with the Arizona Civics Index, Ad Hoc Legislative Committee on Civic Education, Civic Education Practice Examples and District Administrator focus groups.
Arizona Civics Coalition Meeting Agenda 1/18/06
Arizona Civic Coalition Meeting
January 18, 2006
Attending: Dale Langkilde, Dick Minor, Lynn Wiletsky, Carol Warren, Syd Golston, Jane Kolbe, Paul Roddy, Alberto Olivas, Ken DeMasi, Jen Nickason, Jeff Schrade and Kevin Ruegg.
Alberto shared opportunities to attend programs of the Center for Civic Participation under Maricopa Community Colleges. He discussed the potential ramifications for voters without proof of identification now that Proposition 200 is in effect.
Jeff Schrade reported on the survey tool developed for students. While there are 108 questions the pre-testing of the survey has shown that it only takes between 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Currently there is a difficulty with having school districts allow the survey to be distributed. The coalition discussed the possible reasons why the districts may be turning down the opportunity for participation and suggested contacts to obtain approval. One of the reasons discussed was the insertion of questions which could be seen as possibly violating a students’ right to privacy regarding religion. The questions which raised concerns were: 82, 83, 84, 85, and 5-#13 . To have a good sample of students the goal was to reach 250 students per district. Syd offered to take the survey to Central High School. Others were encouraged to let Jeff know if they had any ideas in raising participation levels.
Jeff Schrade also suggested that the Coalition members thank Rep. Jennifer Burns and Sen. Tim Bee for their support of Civic Education and their work to establish a State Civic Commission.
The group discussed the goal of having a database where civic education policies/standards of other states could be accessed through online links from websites. In addition, there is work being done to develop a database of Arizona Civic programs that can be crossed referenced with the schools that are implementing the programs. This can then be used to promote the programs and analyze areas of the state where civic education programs may be lacking. It was announced that Civic Mission of Schools has a national database overview and is a great website for reference.
It was reported that there has been discussion of holding District Administrator focus groups. Kathy Williams has expressed interest in assisting with the forums. The groups would discuss the broad question: “With unlimited resources what would you do to improve Civic Education?” The group said that not only superintendents, but school board members should be invited. Alberto stated that currently there is a meeting referred to as the “East Valley Think Tank” where superintendents attend and discuss issues. He will see if the focus group topic can be listed as an agenda item at this meeting. It was also mentioned that perhaps Mrs. Basha would be interested in hosting such a focus group. Also mentioned as another connection was the Arizona Hispanic School Administrators; they meet every other month.
Dick brought the group back to the discussion of the survey for students. He mentioned that to help with the survey, we might want to contact the people with the Hugh O’Brian leadership program. Jeff Schrade said he would follow up with that contact. The group also questioned if Charter schools and Home school students could also be brought into the survey process. Jane suggested making contacts with the libraries as they too promote education.
Jeff asked the group if they would want the Coalition to sponsor a Civic Summit in late 2006. The ideas that surfaced included: a grand one day event; meeting together to focus on one topic; have students involved with the summit; make certain that we know what results we want from a summit before beginning the planning; possible we could showcase the results of the survey and databases development; holding it before the election would be difficult and after the election too close to holidays; possibly June of 2007 would be a better time; we need to also consider the availability of students if we want maximum involvement; it could be used to build capacity for teaching civic education; the Coalition could call for papers and research to be presented; models to look at could be the Arizona Townhalls; and possibly consider more than one summit – first for where we stand and the next for where we are going.
The Foundation announced their Law Related Education grant application process with $55,000 in grants to be awarded in total: estimate $500 to $10,000 award per grant.
Jane shared information regarding a conference for librarians at the Black Canyon.