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1 you know what, when you have a wonderful
2 opportunity to go out of state to go to
3 college, it doesn't matter who you are, what
4 color. You need to take advantage of it. It
5 opens up doors.
6 This is some examples of some of
7 the programs our kids went to.
8 Measuring our success. This is
9 how we measure our success. That is kids
10 going to college. I just did a one-pager. I
11 am sorry, it is not very pretty. I had it
12 faxed over this morning because I forgot to
13 include it in the materials I brought with me.
14 You can see where our kids applied, where they
15 got in, where they are going.
16 As soon as I am done here, today,
17 I am going to go to lunch with one of our kids
18 at George Washington University. It is nice
19 to see the kids are out there and they are
20 doing well. They earned a lot of scholarship
21 money because, frankly, colleges want Hispanic
22 kids that are qualified to go and they are


1 willing to throw a lot of money at them to get
2 them there. We need to provide the
3 opportunities when the time comes so they can
4 compete.
5 MS. SANCHEZ: Do you consider
6 alumni, a new hire?
7 MR. BARBIC: Yes. One of the
8 things that we have done, when the kids
9 graduate we didn't want them to just leave,
10 see you later. We hire someone full-time
11 whose job it is to track those kids once they
12 are in college, to travel around the country,
13 to visit the kids, make sure everything is
14 okay. She is helping right now finding them
15 summer jobs. We want to do a longitudinal
16 study to see how many of these kids graduate
17 from college. We sunk a lot of time, money,
18 effort into these guys. If they don't
19 graduate from college, it was all a waste. We
20 want to make sure that there is someone on the
21 ball making sure that these kids have someone
22 to pick up the phone, E-mail to. Their


1 parents support them, love them, want them to
2 do well, but they can't -- my roommate in
3 college faxed his papers home so the parents
4 can proof them before they turned them in.
5 That is not a reality. We want to be able to
6 help these kids as much as we can even after
7 they leave. And the alumni program is a
8 really important part of that.
9 When I mentioned the trip to
10 California, Patricia Hernandez, who is at
11 Stanford, she is going to be the one doing the
12 college tours. She is going to be the one
13 setting up the speaker panel. She is going to
14 be the one talking to the kids about going to
15 Stanford. It means a lot more when some of
16 those kids know her, they have seen her at our
17 school, they know her by name. It doesn't
18 make it seem like an undoable thing. Once
19 these kids start going to college, they can
20 sort of facilitate those trips.
21 That is my thing. I will answer
22 any questions. I appreciate the --


1 MR. GARCIA: Do you have any
2 National Merit Scholars?
3 MR. BARBIC: Not yet. We have an
4 Hispanic -- there is an Hispanic -- I don't
5 know what it is called. The highest SAT we
6 have had so far was this kid at GW right now
7 who got a 1370. But Texas is pretty
8 competitive when it comes to National Merit
9 Scholars. He qualified for the Hispanic
10 version of it but not the -- he got honorable
11 mention.
12 MR. GARCIA: You said something,
13 top performing school, Texas.
14 MR. BARBIC: Based on TAAS, which
15 is a state test. We have a 99.6 percent
16 passing range on the test, in every level,
17 every test.
18 MR. GARCIA: What grades do they
19 test?
20 MR. BARBIC: They test in sixth,
21 seventh, eighth, tenth. Then there is an end
22 of course test. We also do AP classes, which


1 isn't part of that. But the TAAS is reading
2 and math. In sixth, seventh, eighth grade
3 they take a writing test. In tenth grade they
4 take a reading, math.
5 MS. SANCHEZ: What is interesting
6 in Chris' model, what we see, visiting schools
7 across the country, the whole department, the
8 Secretary and myself, very similar things he
9 is doing are what we see replicated in these
10 high performing Hispanic low income schools.
11 What is interesting, all of them said the
12 standards, these are standards but we are
13 doing this. All of them said the same thing.
14 It has been amazing.
15 MR. BARBIC: There has been a lot
16 of criticism in Texas about schools basically
17 teaching to the TAAS. Your TAAS is kind of a
18 year-long TAAS prep course. Our TAAS prep
19 is -- in sixth grade, before they take the
20 math test, I show them Stand and Deliver.
21 That's their TAAS prep. Get excited about
22 taking the test and go take it. The TAAS is a


1 minimum skills test. It is pretty easy. If
2 kids can't do the minimum skills, they are
3 certainly not going to be able to go to
4 college. That is a kind of a bump in the road
5 for us. We don't really look at that as a big
6 hurdle.
7 MR. VISIEDO: What do you put as
8 far as furniture, equipment, computers?
9 MR. BARBIC: In terms of what is
10 in a classroom? We have tables and chairs we
11 buy at Sam's Club. You can get six chairs for
12 $24, which is good. We have a computer. Most
13 of our computers have been donated so they are
14 not very good but they do the job.
15 Honestly, I think the technology
16 thing is pretty overrated when it comes to
17 education. Getting internet is great but, if
18 you can't read what is on the screen, who
19 cares. We just got a computer lab this year.
20 The teachers have their computers. The kids
21 don't spend a whole bunch of time on
22 computers, which a lot of people argue is not


1 a good thing. I don't know.
2 Then what else? Just your
3 standard stuff. The one thing I will say, if
4 teachers say, "I need this for my classroom,"
5 we get it to them. When I was at Houston IC
6 it took six months to get stuff. By the time
7 I got it I was already out of the unit. We
8 try and say a 48 hour turnaround time if you
9 need something. We have kind of categories.
10 A must-have, a should-have, a nice-to-have.
11 If it is a must-have, we get it for you. If
12 it is a should-have, I will probably argue
13 with you. If you can convince me, I will get
14 it for you. If it is a nice-to-have, go get
15 it on your own.
16 DR. VAZQUEZ: What do you do with
17 students who don't know English?
18 MR. BARBIC: Houston has a pretty
19 good bilingual transition program. 95 percent
20 of the kids that come to us have already been
21 transitioned out of bilingual education and
22 are starting speaking English. For the five


1 percent that don't, we have tutorials. Part
2 of that extra time, they may not be going to
3 clubs; they may be go to English classes
4 instead of playing piano forever.
5 We don't let a kid go on to
6 seventh grade unless we feel they are on grade
7 level. We retain a good chunk of our sixth
8 graders. I will say 25 percent of our class
9 stays in sixth grade before they go on. We
10 haven't found that has a really bad impact.
11 They understand why they are there. We tell
12 them, "Look, you need to be on level before
13 you move on."
14 MS. ALVAREZ: How do you find the
15 students or how do they find you?
16 MR. BARBIC: It is all word of
17 mouth. They come in. They interview with us.
18 We basically try and scare them out of coming
19 to the school. If they still want to come,
20 they are in. Then we just do a lottery. We
21 have about 300 kids who want to come for the
22 sixth grade. We take a
120. We take a


1 Polaroid of all of them, throw them in a
2 pillow case, pull out 120 pictures and that's
3 our class.
4 MR. HERNANDEZ: It can be anyone?
5 MR. BARBIC: 11 percent of our
6 school is special ed.
7 MR. HERNANDEZ: It doesn't have to
8 be Hispanics? It doesn't have to be blacks?
9 It --
10 MR. BARBIC: We are not allowed.
11 The school happens to be Hispanic because
12 that's the neighborhood.
13 MS. ALVAREZ: How many Hispanic
14 teachers do you have?
15 MR. BARBIC: It is about
16 20 percent of the staff. We have three or
17 four Asians, black. We have a teacher from
18 Iran. It is fairly diverse.
19 MR. HERNANDEZ: Do you teach
20 Spanish and English classes?
21 MR. BARBIC: We have Spanish
22 classes. Kids take Spanish 4 5 minutes a day.


1 It is like an English class for me. In high
2 school it is a lit course. They take the AP
3 Spanish lit test. That's one test our kids,
4 we get fives down the line.
5 MR. CANCHOLA: Chris, to avoid the
6 peer pressure, do you have uniforms for the
7 school?
8 MR. BARBIC: Yes. And we help
9 them if they need to pay for it.
10 Thanks for your time.
11 MR. HERNANDEZ: Any of your kids
12 go to service academies?
13 MR. BARBIC: We are working on
14 that.
15 (Informal discussion.)
16 MR. HANNA: It is time for us as
17 commissioners to get organized and figure out
18 how we go about our task, accomplishing what
19 we have been charged with. What we are
20 looking at doing, Pat and I will sort of run
21 you through. We have been meeting with
22 Leslie. We will lay some of that out. At


1 11:00 we will take about a ten minute break
2 and come back and start having some
3 interchange. We will try to stick to that
4 schedule.
5 What we have been chatting about
6 is the fact, I know we all want to be
7 cognizant and we all understand, as an
8 advisory commission, we are working for the
9 President. He has been -- as we have heard
10 yesterday from a variety of speakers and
11 distinguished parties, he is incredibly
12 dedicated to education and he is incredibly
13 dedicated to the advancement of the Hispanic
14 community within this country. So I think, if
15 we can all keep that in mind as we are working
16 as commissioners, that our job is, indeed, is
17 sort of self-explanatory with the name of the
18 commission. We are a President's advisory
19 commission. And if we keep that overlay and
20 that context in mind, I think it is going to
21 help us all as we organize our efforts and
22 activities.


1 One of the things we are going to
2 talk about today is how we divide into
3 committees. The committees are going to be
4 where much of the work is done. Most of y'all
5 or many of y'all have been on groups of this
6 nature and you know with 17 of us, maybe more,
7 at some point, depending on whether more
8 commissioners are added, it is difficult to
9 get an enormous amount accomplished with that
10 group of people. There is more interchange
11 that takes place. There will be a lot of work
12 happening within the committees. That will be
13 one of the things Pat will come up in a few
14 minutes and talk a little more about those
15 committees and how we want to break into those
16 groups and go about that work.
17 We want to keep in mind -- I know
18 everybody got a copy of the executive order
19 but I would encourage you to study that. It
20 is not just another government document.
21 There are some people who spent an awful lot
22 of time crafting that executive order so that


1 it could, indeed, be something of a roadmap
2 for what we are charged with doing.
3 As you know, that executive order
4 talks about our producing a plan. Granted we
5 do produce a report but within that report is
6 a plan for narrowing the educational gap.
7 That plan is, obviously, supposed to
8 incorporate how the No Child Left Behind
9 legislation that President Bush initiated or
10 passed, how that legislation can be put into
11 practice. So that is one component of the
12 plan.
13 The next component is we are to
14 devise a monitoring system for federal
15 government programs that are currently
16 existing to make sure they are, indeed,
17 serving the Hispanic community. And, finally,
18 we are supposed to put together sort of a list
19 of best practices, a compendium, if you will,
20 of things that we see like Chris Barbic's
21 efforts in Houston. Things that we see around
22 the country through the work that we will be


1 doing and our meetings that we will schedule
2 around the country. We will put together this
3 list of best practices and things that
4 actually work.
5 Again that ties in. We have some
6 rubrics here. We have the executive order.
7 We have the four things that President Bush
8 has stressed in the No Child Left Behind
9 legislation. Pat is going to talk a little
10 bit about that. One of those items is
11 focusing on teaching methods that have proven
12 to be successful and are not just theoretical.
13 These are things that actually work.
14 These committees are going to get
15 together and we sort of have a couple of
16 functions. In order to get to that end point
17 where we produce this plan, we have some
18 functions that committees are going to be
19 involved in.
20 And I want to emphasize, you will
21 also see within the executive order that the
22 commission, we really work kind of hand and

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President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
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