Arizona Civics Coalition Meeting
March 28, 2008
1. Welcome and introductions: In attendance: Beth Hebert, Carol Warren, Dick Minor, Kathy Williams, Sally Martinez, Liz Hinde, Nancy Haas, Alberto Olivas, Ken deMasi, Jeff Schrade, Kay Lapid.
2. Report on the progress of the Center for Teacher Ed in Civics at ASU West: Nancy and Liz reported on their research and evaluation of Civic Ed programs, professional development and teacher education. ASU is likely still one year away from creating a center.
3. Report on the Sandra Day O’Connor project: Nancy and Liz reported on this interactive technology-based curriculum initiated by US Supreme Court Justice O’Connor (ret) in conjunction with ASU and Georgetown University. The program is aimed first at Middle School, and will then be adapted to High School and Elementary School levels, to teach the concepts of Separation of Powers and an Independent Judiciary. It will first be used in Arizona, and later will be used nationally.
4. Discussion on the compilation of data from the civic engagement surveys: We will be scheduling a symposium with Tara and Bruce from ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to define how to organize and summarize the data collected from the surveys and make recommendations. The results can be used in a public awareness campaign. The group suggested holding a PR event to announce the report. Community colleges can be involved in developing forums to collect local reaction to the data and report. We plan to publish the results in a report similar to the samples from other states that were passed around. There were some comments that the survey was too long, that it should be shortened if administered in the future. The geographic areas covered by the survey were: Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Mesa, Globe, Superior, Tucson and Gilbert , with a total sample of just under 4000 students.
5. Update on the Best Practices surveys: There is some confusion among the members about the concept of the survey, as the name “Best Practices” is more commonly used to describe teaching techniques and not curricular programs. Through the survey, the Coalition is collecting general information about model civics programs and cataloging in which schools model civics programs are active. The group suggested changing the title to “Programs of Excellence” to clarify. The survey describe how civic education programs align to the 6 promising approaches of civic education from the 2004 Civic Mission of Schools report.
6. Report on the partnership between Kids Voting and the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education: The Foundation has entered into a partnership with Kids Voting Arizona for at least the next year, in which the Foundation will provide financial and staff support for running Kids Voting Arizona programs. The Foundation is also working with the KVAZ Board of Directors to determine a future strategy that will serve the KVAZ mission best.
7. As may arise: The Hugh O’Brian Youth Seminar (HOBY) will be held in June for outstanding high school sophomores. Registration is done by schools– check with your schools to see that they have submitted a student.
The Arizona Youth Leadership Conference (AZYLC) for juniors and seniors is in July in Thatcher AZ, registration is needed by May 15. Check the website AZYLC.org for more information.
8. Next meeting: The general Coalition meetings will take a break over the summer, during which time subgroups will work to analyze the Civic Engagement surveys and produce a report. Regular coalition meetings will resume in the fall.
Next Arizona Civics Coalition meeting Data Symposium in April, and sub-group work on report over summer.