Civics Coalition Meeting 9/21/05 9:00 - 10:30 am
Wednesday, September 21st
9:00 am - 10:15 am AzCivics meeting
Black Canyon Conference Center
9440 N. 25th Avenue
Members Present: Sen. Tim Bee, Tara Blanc, Ken deMasi, Robert Flores, Syd Golston, Sen. Linda Gray, Nancy Haas, Beth Hebert, Liz Hinde, Jane Kolbe, Col. Richard Minor, USA Ret., Alberto Olivas, Janice Palmer, Lynda Rando, Dana Salsbury, Tammy Waller, Carol Warren, Lynn Wiletsky, Rani Collins, Robert Leming, Winnie Noonan, Tosha Smith, Kevin Ruegg, Alvaro Flores, Jeff Schrade, Chris Thomas
Welcome and Introductions
Jeff Schrade opened the meeting with a welcome and introductions of the special guests. Each of the members present, then, introduced themselves.
National Civics Campaign
Robert Leming, Center for Civic Education, spoke to the group regarding the need for civic education and the campaign to strengthen civics on the national level. He shared how people often take our democracy for granted because it is here. He shared that we must all defend through education the gift that we now accept as a part of our daily life. Bob, then, updated the group on his work with Arizona regarding the We The People Institute for Native American tribes and the upcoming.
Legislative Ad Hoc Committee on Civic Education & 3rd Congressional Conference on Civic Education
Senator Tim Bee, joined by Lynda Rando and Senator Linda Gray, informed the group about the Legislative Ad Hoc Committee on Civic Education and the 3rd Congressional Conference on Civic Education. The Ad Hoc Committee, a bi-partisan effort, has three goals:
- Stress the importance of civic education in Arizona
- Collaboration and communication
- Establish a Civics Commission
In the discussion following the review of the Committee’s work, the importance of increasing dollars for professional development was discussed. It was stated that ASU was available to help with professional development and has distance learning and week-end classes to assist teachers with their professional development goals. In addition, several non profit organizations like Kids Voting and the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education also provide teacher professional development.
Arizona Civics Coalition Research & Data Gathering
Tara Blanc, an ASU doctoral candidate, acknowledged that Brue Merrill from the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism was taking the lead on the research, and that she was honored to assist with the project. The first surveys have been distributed to district administrators, the next set of surveys will be going out in the coming weeks. A series of focus groups were conducted at middle and high schools led by Jeff Schrade and Tosha Smith. The response was enlightening and Syd Golston felt it was very helpful to have had received the feedback from the focus group held at Alhambra High School. It was discussed that the youth organizations, outside of schools, were not having an opportunity to provide input. It was suggested that they work with ASU and Jeff Schrade to explore the best avenue to assure the kids they serve have input as well.
Arizona Department of Education Social Studies Standards
Carol Warren, Arizona Department of Education reported that the Board will meet Monday 9/26 at 9:00am to vote on the new standards. Again, the request for support of ongoing professional development was discussed.
Azcivics.org website and listserve
The availability of this resource was stressed and ideas welcomed for improvement and information for the website.
Next Arizona Civics Coalition Meeting – Late October
Late October was the preferred time. Suggested topics for the agenda included: Standards update, Arizona Civics Inventory update, draft of Civic Index survey instrument, and information regarding a policy agenda and the plans for public presentations.
This Arizona Civics Coalition meeting was held in conjunction with the Law, Youth and Citizenship Conference. Participants were invited to join conference sessions throughout the day including a morning awards ceremony and address by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor from 8:00 – 8:45 and lunch from 11:45-1:00.