Presidential Advisory Commission Meeting Minutes
San Diego, California
August 6, 2002
Full Commission Meeting
San Diego, CA
The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (Commission) met, in its entirety, at the Westgate Hotel, San Diego, California. A quorum was present throughout the meeting. Commission Co-Chair Frank Hanna called the meeting to order at 8:10 AM.
Frank Hanna, Co-Chair
Enedelia Schofield, Co-Chair
Anna Maria Farias
Rev. Jose Hoyos
Ofelia Vanden Bosch
WHI Staff Present
Leslie Sanchez, Executive Director
Adam Chavarria, Associate Director
Webber Barton, Special Assistant for Policy Development
Desiree Avila, Administrative Assistant
Syddia Lee-Chee, Special Affairs Director and National Media Liaison
Jason Casellas, Fellow
Agenda Item 1 - Welcome and Co-Chairs Remarks
Commission Co-Chair Frank Hanna opened the meeting, thanking Alex Gonzalez for hosting the dinner the previous night. He then asked the Commission to go around and reintroduce themselves for the benefit of the new members. Co-Chair Enedelia Schofield explained the proceeding agenda and asked for any recommendations or alterations.
Agenda Item 2 - Approval of the Minutes
Frank Hanna discussed the amendments to the minutes from April 18th meeting in Las Vegas. A motion to approve the corrected version of the minutes from the April 18th meeting was made by Francisco Paret, which was seconded, and passed without opposition.
Agenda Item 3 - Briefing on White House Initiative
Leslie Sanchez addressed the Commission by discussing the launch of the "Yes I Can" Campaign in Los Angeles. Ms. Sanchez stated that the website, the bilingual publications, and the new mascot "Pablo" were an immediate success. Furthermore, Ms. Sanchez discussed possible partnerships with corporations including Apple Computers and the Arizona Diamondbacks, as they are dedicated to Hispanic education and raising awareness within the Hispanic community.
Ms. Sanchez concluded by giving the status of the White House Initiative Staff and also briefed the Commission on possible sources of funding for the "Yes I Can" campaign. Ms. Sanchez concluded by answering various questions from the Commission.
Agenda Item 4 - Approve Revised Vision Statement and Goals
The Commission reviewed and discussed three separate versions of the vision statement document. Fred Armendariz made a motion, seconded by Van Romero, to vote on which proposed versions of the vision statement to vote on. The second version, including new language, passed by a majority vote.
Ofelia Vanden Bosch moved, and seconded by Charles Garcia, to remove the word "American" from the first line of the vision statement that states the "the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans seeks to enhance opportunities for all Hispanic Americans . . . " to simply state "for all Hispanics". The proposal passed to delete the word "American" from the vision statement.
Octavio Visiedo made a motion, seconded by Patricia Mazzuca, to include the word "rigorous" academic achievement. After further discussion from the commission, Mr. Visiedo withdrew his motion.
Christopher Barbic made a motion, seconded by Charles Garcia, to keep the word "quality" and add "promotes the highest standards of academic achievement." The Commission unanimously passed the revised vision statement.
The final version reads as follows: "The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans seeks to enhance opportunities for all Hispanics to receive a quality education. The Commission will focus on early childhood development and a K-12 system that promotes the highest standards of academic achievement and encourages all students to obtain a post-secondary degree."
Agenda Item 5 - Working Group Reports
Leslie Sanchez introduced the topic with a power point presentation that summarized the commission's work up to that point. The different phases of work included in the assessment phase were, identifying and evaluating key issues and barriers, establishing timelines, and defining strategic imperatives. The interim report will be the culmination of the assessment phase, to be followed by formulation of strategies and implementation.
Agenda Item 5A - Educator
Chris Barbic, the Chairman of the Educator Working Group, discussed the progress that the Working Group had made during the previous meetings in Las Vegas and Milwaukee. He stated that the group had decided to focus on two major issues: 1) teacher recruitment and training and 2) student preparation.
The goal of the Educator Working Group, regarding teacher education, training, and development, was to "develop a pool of competent teachers who promote the highest standards of academic achievement and encourage students to obtain a post-secondary degree." The Working Group will also "concentrate on 3-5 year retention programs that seek to keep quality teachers in areas where they are needed the most." Regarding student preparation, the Working Group concentrated on "how to address high drop out rates" and "access to Advanced Placement courses."
Commission Co-Chair Frank Hanna accepted Mr. Barbic's proposed language regarding the goals of his working group as a motion and was seconded by Van Romero. Prior to the vote, Micaela Alvarez made an amendment to the goal (motion) to read the following: "develop a pool of competent teachers who promote the highest standards of academic achievement and who encourage students to obtain a post-secondary degree." Charles Garcia then made an amendment to change the wording of the goal to read "competent teachers" comma " especially Hispanic teachers" comma. Francisco Paret seconded the motion. The Commission did not pass the amendment, and Mr. Garcia stated a point of order because the majority of the Commissioners abstained from the previous vote. After further discussion and instruction from the Co-Chairs, the Commission passed the motion and approved the goal.
The final version reads as follows: "Develop a pool of competent teachers who promote the highest standards of academic achievement and encourage students to obtain a post-secondary degree."
Chris Barbic made a motion, seconded by Patricia Mazzuca, to pass the three strategic imperatives associated with the goal. The commission passed the motion unanimously.
The strategic imperatives are as follows: 1) recruitment, 2) training and development, and 3) retention.
Chris Barbic made another motion to set the committee's goal for "student preparation for and access to higher education" as "by 2015, increase by 10 percentage points the rate at which Hispanic high school graduates: 1) enroll in post-secondary institutions immediately following graduation, and 2) obtain a post-secondary degree." Francisco Paret seconded the motion.
The Commission approved the goal and related strategic imperatives, which are as follows: 1) increase enrollment rates in college, and 2) increase the graduation rates from college.
Co-Chair Frank Hanna called for a 10-minute recess.
Agenda Item 5B - Family
Micaela Alvarez addressed the Commission and discussed the goal of the Family Working Group that read; "implement a plan to provide information and knowledge to empower the family to support their educational success, with higher education as the ultimate goal" The strategic imperatives of the Working Group read as follows: 1) to elevate the educational expectations by influencing cultural beliefs, 2) knowledge of navigating the educational system, and 3) parental education through literacy and language.
Co-chair Frank Hanna accepted the proposed language as a motion, which was seconded by Francisco Paret. The Commission voted to approve the stated goal of the Working Group as well as the strategic imperatives.
Agenda Item 5C - Community Partnerships
Working Group Chair Francisco Paret opened by reminding the Commission that "community partnerships are a critical element in closing the achievement gap for Hispanics." The goal of the Working Group is "to foster and facilitate a faster and more widespread adoption of effective community partnership models aimed at closing the educational achievement gap for Hispanic Americans". The strategic imperatives of the Working Group are as follows: 1) highlight community partnerships that work, 2) empower community and faith based initiatives (empower those who get it), and 3) attracting more resources.
Co-chair Frank Hanna accepted the proposed language as a motion to approve the goal, which was seconded by Chris Barbic. Patricia Mazzuca proposed an amendment to the goal to read: "to foster, facilitate and accelerate a widespread adoption". The Commission unanimously approved the Working Group's goal, as amended, and the Commission also unanimously approved a motion made by Mr. Paret to approve the strategic imperatives.
The final version of the goal reads as follows: "to foster, facilitate and accelerate a widespread adoption of effective community-partnership models aimed at closing the educational achievement for Hispanics."
Co-chair Frank Hanna called for a short recess.
Agenda Item 5D - Government Resources and Accountability
Rene Vazquez addressed the Commission, stating that the subcommittee was working on a questionnaire to be sent to close to 30 federal agencies. The questions that were included in the survey were as follows: "what percentage of the respective federal agency's budget was allocated to education, and how much of that money went to Hispanics?" Mr. Vasquez stated that he anticipated having all of the information from the federal agencies collected by September 30, 2002 as stipulated in the executive order.
Leslie Sanchez clarified the duties of the Government Resources and Accountability Working Group as stipulated by the President's executive order. The executive order mandates that federal agencies report what they are doing to increase Hispanic participation in federal educational programs to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Mr. Vazquez made a motion to approve the revised questionnaire form, which was seconded by Francisco Paret. After extensive discussion about the issue of deleting the word "American", the Commission voted by 14-2 margin to pass the goal as proposed. The final goal of the Government Resources and Accountability Working Group reads as follows: "increase the participation of Hispanic Americans, Hispanic serving school districts, Hispanic serving institutions, and other educational institutions for Hispanic Americans in federal education programs and services."
Octavio Visiedo made a motion, seconded by Frank Caldeiro, to revert back to the usage of the "Hispanic Americans" in all of the commission's aforementioned goals. After further discussion the commission approved the motion 12-3.
The commission recessed for lunch at 12:06.
Working Lunch - Ambassador South Terrace
The Commission heard public comments from Gloria Rojas, a woman from Chicago working in the area of speech pathology. Ms. Rojas stated that in the area she services, one thousand children were tested, and 95% were found to be "alingual" (having no language foundation in their native language or English). She asserted that this problem has the potential of jeopardizing all of the Commission's efforts to close the educational achievement gap. Ms. Rojas made recommendations to the Commission that include: 1) having the child be a full participant in the learning process and 2) using a multi-modality approach through the use of song/dance and sign language.
Agenda Item 5E - Public Awareness and Motivation
Charles Garcia briefed the Commission on the progress of the Public Awareness and Motivation Working Group and acknowledged that Leslie Sanchez had been working on the campaign since it was developed. The goal of the Working Group is "develop a framework for recommendation for the national public awareness and motivation campaign." The three strategic imperatives of the subcommittee are as follows: 1) develop a blueprint for a Presidential Call to Action, 2) work with the White House Initiative to implement and secure funding for a public awareness advertising pilot effort in early 2003 to measure effectiveness of a national campaign, and 3) to evaluate model programs to determine the best way to initiate a sustained and measurable campaign aimed at the Hispanic community that implements the vision of the Commission.
Co-chair Frank Hanna accepted the proposed language as a motion, which was seconded by Francisco Paret. The Commission unanimously approved the goal of the Working Group. The Commission also accepted the strategic imperatives with a unanimous vote.
Agenda Item 6 - Plans for Release of Interim Report
Leslie Sanchez briefed the Commission on the process of finishing and releasing the document prior to the September 30th deadline. Ms. Sanchez discussed the logistics of establishing a review committee for the Commission and how the process would enable the full Commission to generate feedback for the interim report. The Commission approved the plan for the release and timeline of the interim report by a unanimous vote.
Agenda Item 7 - Discussion of the Interim Report
Jose Canchola made a motion to accept an outline to give guidance to the staff on the drafting of the interim report. Alexander Gonzalez seconded the motion. After discussion and clarification from Leslie Sanchez on various issues concerning the outline, the outline was approved by the Commission.
Agenda Item 8 - Other Business
Leslie Sanchez briefed the Commission on the status of future meetings and hearings. They discussed the possibility of conducting a commission meeting in Puerto Rico in January of 2003.
The meeting adjourned at 1:54 PM
As amended December 17, 2002