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SPIG Minutes for Friday, March 12th, 2004

10-11:10 AM

Attendants: Debbie Bordelon, Bart Everson, Michelle Falgoust, Susan Fredine, David Lanoue, and Todd Stanislav. Dr. Elizabeth Rhodes was a guest at today's meeting.

The minutes of the 3-5-04 meeting were reviewed and approved with some amendments.

Elizabeth Rhodes discussed in great detail the original design and purposes of the Center's K-12 relationships. One goal of the relationships was to encourage K-12 schools and teachers to use technology in the teaching and learning process. The belief was that it would lead to school reform. Another goal was to recruit more students to teaching careers. The means to these goals included student scholarships, workshops, mini-grants, grant writing, donate equipment, develop websites, etc. Three schools (an elementary, middle, and high school) were selected as partner schools with the Center. The schools were selected on criteria related to leadership, relationships with principals, area affiliation, and so on. Elizabeth described how Kellogg and other grant (e.g., Apple Partners in Education) monies were used in support of these goals. Elizabeth also mentioned that there was an effort to coordinate K-12 and XU activities through the Center. There was some resistance to this effort.

Over time, the relationships with the three schools, as well as Elizabeth's job, changed. Reasons for change included:

  1. too little scheduling flexibility
  2. after initial three years, there was no budget for K-12 projects
  3. technology infrastructure of school system was not working.
  4. changes in leadership at three schools
  5. insufficient buy-in from the superintendent and the superintendent kept changing - there were three over the eight years
  6. new needs arose in the Center, particularly the need for a full-time staff member with expertise in the areas of assessment and teaching and learning theory/practice
  7. Elizabeth's interests changed after the sabbatical
  8. changes in leadership in Division of Education and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching
  9. the difficulty of one person maintaining core groups of teachers at each of the three sites
  10. the difficulty of one person sustaining all aspects of the Center's K-16 initiatives and work
  11. the PT3 grant brought about Elizabeth's shared responsibilities in the Center and Xavier's DoE
  12. new interest in preK-16 collaborations on the part of the U.S. DoE and the state of Louisiana.

Elizabeth also expressed her personal view on the role that K-12 should have in the Center's mission. She believes that Xavier should always be involved in K-12 schools, especially New Orleans public schools, for purposes of recruitment and building the local talent of teachers. The Center's mission and work, if it is shaped by the University's mission, should be able to demonstrate some outreach component. If its chief work is faculty development, the Center might consider a form of faculty service learning projects, which would translate into more involvement with the schools. This kind of community service would have a corporate effect and could be touted as such. Does this effort warrant a full-time position? Not in Elizabeth's opinion. However, initiatives that are developed ought to advance learning for faculty who are contributors to this local community, and where appropriate, the local public school system.

— Minutes respectfully submitted by Michelle Falgoust,
Administrative Assistant in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching

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