Arizona Civics Coalition Meeting
Tuesday January 23rd, 2006
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education
4201 N 24th Street, 3rd Floor Board Room
Phoenix, AZ 85012
In attendance: Tara Blanc, Joannie Collins, Nancy Haas, Bruce Merrill, Alberto Olivas, Michael Rivera, Tanis Salant, Jeffrey Schrade, Dotty Spears, Carol Warren, Kathy Williams, Kay Lapid.
- Report on Civic Engagement data collection:
- Bruce Merrill and Tara Blanc. Bruce suggested holding a seminar for coalition members on how to use data from the survey. There is an abundance of data and now we need to decide what to look for in the data, and to see how it all relates.
- 800 valley high school students are still needed to make the survey sample representative of the state’s school population. AZFLSE will send list of high schools to the listserve so members can help recruit additional schools to participate in survey.
- The sample includes a good number of Native Americans, which is a valuable and often overlooked demographic in Arizona surveys
- The Arizona survey has some questions included on other surveys across the nation, so we will be able to connect data to other states and national surveys
- Charter schools may have more leeway to handle controversy and we might be able to seek some charter participation in our survey
- Tools are needed to integrate civics into curriculum in leading/math/science
- Should consider offering survey every 2-3 years
- Kids decide their attitudes (“status crystallization”) at about the 7-8 grade. One result of the survey may be to focus civic education on primary schools
- Report on Teacher/Administrator Focus Groups: (Summary attached)
- End of Course Testing: Carol Warren, Arizona Department of Education.
- Department of Education has asked the AZ Legislature for funding to cover end-of-course testing for social studies – including Civics/ECON/US & World History
- Tests would be administered at grades 3/6/7 and High School and would not be tied to AIMS graduation requirements – but would be posted on school report card.
- If approved, tests could start in 2010
- Some concern arose about how skills can be tested through a “bubble test.” Attitudes and skills must be assessed in order to teach civics skills meaningfully, participatory skills
- The Educational Commission of the States has a database of civics assessment questions available on its website: http://www.ecs.org/ecsmain.asp?page=/html/ProjectsPartners/nclc/nclc_main.htm
- Justice O’Connor is working with the Arizona department of Education and ASSET to develop 7-12 grade civics programs using technology
- Best Practices: Kay asked participants to complete information on their Civic Education Programs that are being actively used in Arizona Schools. The Coalition will use this information to identify where great programs already exist, where they don’t and should be. The list of civics programs and participating schools will also be compiled in a database that will encourage networking among practitioners and will provide publicity for great civics programs.
- Summary of Oct. 24th ABA Roundtable event w/ Sandra Day O’Connor: (see attached)
- Commission on Civic Education:
- One member, Dr. Bruce Merrill, has been appointed to the Arizona Commission on Civic Education and Engagement. The group is waiting to ask Justice O’Connor to serve on the commission. We will post information on the appointments to the Arizona Civics Coalition listerv as the information becomes available.
- Roundtable discussion:
- Alberto Olivas – Maricopa county community colleges: The center won a Federal grant to recruit college students as poll workers. Looking forward to recruiting more student poll workers for 2008. Working on municipal elections. Kids Voting Arizona is working on a Native American program with the Salt River, Tohono O’odham. Indian commission is training lawmakers on Indian law, tribal governance.
- Tanis Salant – Project Arizona Civic Education (PACE): Focuses on the role of local government. Developed and published textbook: Arizona Counties, Cities and Towns, aligned to state standards. 2-week unit, grade 8, $10 plus teachers guide and handouts-$50. Sponsored by local governments. Working on 4th grade edition to be published soon. Approaching Tohono O’odham nation to help produce an 8th grade text.
- Dottie Spears – 4-H: Clover Kids reaches 5-8 year olds with citizenship information. 4-H programs encourage kids through leadership opportunities. 4-H is in need of adult leaders/volunteers for 4-H programs – for more info contact Dottie at: 602-470-8086 x359 .
- Nancy Haas – ASU West professor of education: Is in the process of establishing a Center for Teacher Ed in civics. Civic education methods and research on civic education are needed. ASU West Education dean Mari Koerner is a stong advocate for civic education. Meeting with faculty and dean. Nancy is compiling list of district social studies coordinators.
- Kathy Williams – Mesa Public Schools: Local government issues are needed in the curriculum. Mesa PS governing board is voting to approve curriculum that covers new civics standards. Civic engagement is in standards, but teachers need training on pedagogy.
- Carol Warren – Arizona Department of Education: Next school year the new social studies standards (including civics) will go into effect.
- Michael Rivera: Rodel Foundation. Working with schools with 70% or higher free and reduced lunch – poverty. Rodel recognizing 12-14 Exemplary Teachers. Feb. 6 @Ritz. MACRO- math program in 88 schools, 38 districts for last 4 years. Excellent gains in math scores in MACRO schools have been documented.
Next Arizona Civics Coalition meeting date in March to be announced.