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Presidential Advisory Commission Meeting Minutes

Washington, DC
February 27-28, 2002

Full Commission Meeting
Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

On February 27, 2002, the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (henceforth "the Commission"), was briefed on a number of topics including Executive Order 13230, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). That same afternoon, Alberto R. Gonzalez, Counsel to the President, swore in the Members of the Commission at the White House.

On February 28, the Commission met, in its entirety, at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC. A quorum was present throughout the meeting. Commission Co-Chair Frank Hanna called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.

Commissioners Present
Frank Hanna, Co-Chair
Patricia Mazzuca, Co-Chair
Micaela Alvarez
Christopher Barbic
Jose Canchola
Jaime Escalante
Anna Maria Farias
Charles Garcia
Alexander Gonzalez

Miguel Hernandez
Rev. Jose Hoyos
Francisco Paret
Grace Ramos
Enedelia Schofield
Ofelia Saenz Vanden Bosch
Rene Vazquez
Octavio Visiedo

WHI Staff Present
Leslie Sanchez, Executive Director
Adam Chavarria, Associate Director
Desiree Avila
Erica Romero
Brent Gilmore


Agenda Item 1 - Briefing

Co-chair Frank Hanna opened the meeting and invited Anna Maria Farias to introduce a special speaker invited to address the Commission. Anna Maria Farias proceeded to introduce the Honorable Mel Martinez, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Ex-officio Member of the Commission. Secretary Martinez recounted the enormous challenges he faced in coming to America from Cuba and how he developed a life-long appreciation for the importance of education. He commended the Members of the Commission for undertaking the challenge to address the educational needs of Hispanic Americans. He concluded by acknowledging the confidence the President had in the Commission in accomplishing its task.

Agenda 2 - Presentation of "What Works for Hispanic Families"

Co-Chair Pat Mazzuca next invited Commissioner Christopher Barbic was invited to share the work of the YES College Preparatory School, which he administers in Houston, Texas. As the only state-chartered public high school in Houston providing inner-city students with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, YES College Prep is aggressively addressing the inequities in urban education through a focused mission of preparing students for college and graduation. Ranked the highest performing high school on Texas Assessment of Academic Skills testing, YES serves predominantly low-income students from the Hispanic community. Before students are admitted to the school, parents must sign contracts and students must adhere to rigorous academic standards.

Agenda 3 - Begin Discussion of the First Phase of Commission Work

Co-Chairs Frank Hanna and Pat Mazzuca facilitated a discussion about how the Commission should structure itself in order to accomplish its charge, as specified under Executive Order 13230. It was determined that the Commission should concentrate its work in four to five specific areas and working groups be formed to address them. The four working groups that were identified included Educator, Family, Community Partnerships, and Government Resources and Accountability. The Commissioners were next asked to select the working group in which they were interested in participating until all were filled with a balanced number of Members represented in each.

Agenda 4 - Remarks by Dr. Antonio Flores, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

White House Initiative Executive Director, Leslie Sanchez, was asked to introduce a guest that requested to address the Commission. Leslie Sanchez proceeded to introduce Dr. Antonio Flores, President of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). Dr. Flores provided an overview of HACU's work and a profile of the institutions that comprise HACU's membership. He concluded by thanking the Commission for permitting him to address them and wished them success in their mission.

Agenda 5 - Planning Meeting/Next Steps

The Co-Chairs devoted the remaining time to facilitating a discussion about the number and frequency of meetings that the Commission and the Working Groups should schedule over its term. They also considered the timeframe and deadlines within which the Commission had to produce two reports, as specified in Executive Order 13230.

The first meeting of the full Commission adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
The White House White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans