NEW MEXICO PARTNERSHIP FOR MATH AND SCIENCE EDUCATION Meeting
September 26, 1997 at the APS SMART Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Attending: Dave Alexander, Sheri Benischek, Carol Brown, MaryJo Daniels, Garry Davis, Julie Depree, Michele Diel, Dorothy Draper, Ken Eckelmeyer, Jerry Everhart, Claire Fenton, Mary Finch, Rita Gonzales, Pat Hess, Ricardo Jacquez, Robert Jenkins, Julie Johnston, Barbara Kimbell, Ted Korbin, MG Martinez, Clo Mingo, Mary Neikirk, Vanetta Perry, Kathryn Powell, Rick Scott, Quincy Spurlin

I. NASSMC Report - Rick Scott reported that the National Association of State Science and Math Coalitions (NASSMC) has presented a proposal to NSF on "Building State-Level Reform Infrastructure", and if funded would provide some financial support to the NM Partnership. NASSMC will be holding a meeting in Baltimore from November 20 to 23. The Partnership¹s Co-Presidents will be attending. Any other Partnership member who has funding available is encouraged to attend.

II. Mary Finch related that the Systemic Initiative in Math & Science Education (SIMSE) has secured the state "Special Projects Funding" of $441,000, although it will not be available until sometime in November. In the meantime, SIMSE is operating on a no cost extension from NSF through December. Mary will stay with SIMSE until the end of the year. The staff of Field Specialists has been reduced from ten to three: Dorothy Draper, Kirby Gchachu and Kathy Carpenter. One immediate goal is to collaborate with the ten Regional Education Centers (RECs) that are currently serving 66 of the state's school districts. Dorothy Draper emphasized that SIMSE will continue to provide professional development opportunities and teacher/student resources to go with that professional development.

III. Ricardo Jacquez indicated that the Cooperative Agreement between NSF and NMSU that creates the New Mexico Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (NM-CETP) is in the process of being signed. The subcontracts for the collaborating institutions (NMSU, UNM, NMHU, ENMU, WNMU, Diné College, NNMCC, and UNM-Valencia) are at NSF for final approval. A National Visiting Committee is being established. CETP will reform courses, establish novice teacher support programs, establish a web site at ENMU, and consider policy issues at universities and SDE that affect teacher preparation. A Master Teacher (CETP-Fellow) program is an important element of the project. NM-CETP will hold a Fall Mini-Conference in Albuquerque on November 7. NM-CETP is one of four NSF-funded CETPs in the Southwest, and plans to collaborate with the CETPs in Colorado, Arizona and El Paso. Ricardo encouraged CETPs institutions to hold local meeting to promote discussions among university faculty and K-12 teachers.

IV. Robert Jenkins reported that the Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico Rural Systemic Initiative (UCAN-RSI) is into its third year. The first year had focused on community awareness. The third year will continue the teacher professional development emphasis begun in year two. The New Mexico Tribal Coalition is bringing about renewed tribal collaboration on educational issues, and has helped to foster the Coalition for the Education of Native American Children (CENAC).

V. Julie Johnston shared copies of "Environment, Safety, and Health at Los Alamos National Laboratory: A Report to Our Communities². She stressed the way the report clarified what Los Alamos is doing for the environment and indicated ways in which the report displayed people in science-related careers. Pointing to the special features of the layout of the report she offered assistance to educators who are interested in improving the design of documents. She requested suggestions for environmental topics that might be dealt with in future issues of the report. Printed copies of the report can be requested from by email from juliej@lanl.gov. It is also available online from lib-www.lanl.gov/la-pubs/00326319.pdf

VI. Ken Eckelmeyer indicated that Sandia National Labs in the period form 1990-1995 had been dedicating about 20 FTEs to efforts with public education. That effort is now down to 0.25 FTE. The educational materials and kits from earlier efforts have been transferred to the APS SMART Center and to Bernalillo High School. He presented the results of one important recent effort: "A Study of Hands-On Science". Approximately 200 elementary teachers volunteered to use science kits from one of four commercially available products. In general, they reported that the kits were easier to use and more effective that expected. Kits from Rio Rancho's Center for Hands-On Learning and the FOSS kits were rated by the teachers to be the most effective and efficient, and were determined to be the most economical in the long run. Among the conclusions of the report are that such kits are very useful in the science teaching/learning process, but that funds must be available for replenishing items in the kits.
Although Sandia has not yet given official approval for disseminating the report, when it does it was suggested that the results be made widely available to teachers, administrators, school board members, and parents to support of the adoption of effective science kits during this current science adoption cycle.

VII. Rick Scott reported on the success of the "Family Meeting on Math and Science Standards" held in June sponsored by the Partnership, SIMSE, and the Southwest Educational Development Lab (SEDL). Partnership members who had attended the recent SEDL meeting in Tulsa reported on the results of the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). Carol Brown stressed that the main variable that TIMSS seems to be able to identify for differences in achievement is "the way teachers teach". Kathryn Powell pointed out that the study also showed that the working lives of teachers in the US allow them less time for planning and professional development than in some countries were there is higher achievement. Quincy Spurlin reminded us that we have had relatively few recent efforts at offering professional development for high school teachers. Barbara Kimbell indicated that a look at results from specific tests items gives support for emphasizing a science education that stresses understanding and thinking. Ted Korbin suggested the establishment of a structure of volunteer scientists and engineers in support of science education in the central/northern part of the state. When several people pointed out the need for education of such volunteers, Ken Eckelmeyer indicated that the National Academy of Sciences is preparing guidelines for such volunteers (Project Rise).

As a result of the SEDL meeting the Partnership will undertake two specific actions:
1) Rick Scott and Elaine Hampton will prepare a flyer for teachers on the TIMSS results that will support the adoption of Standards-based science kits. (Jerry Everhart will facilitate its dissemination, perhaps as an insert sheet in the newsletter of ENMU's Center for Excellence in Teaching.)
2) A group will meet during the State Math/Science Conference in Farmington (October 23-25) to discuss a theme and agenda for a SEDL-sponsored Spring Conference.

VIII. Claire Fenton suggested that the 1998 state legislative session will probably be too short for any new major education legislation to be introduced. There was some concern that lottery money might be used as an excuse to cut regular education appropriations.

IX. It was decided that the Partnership should send a letter to New Mexico's members of Congress indicating our support for Eisenhower funds continuing to be earmarked for math and science education.

X. The following individuals were elected to the Partnership Board: Tim Aydelott, Mary Jo Daniels, Ken Eckelmeyer, Jerry Everhart, Claire Fenton, Mary Finch, Rita Gonzales, Elaine Hampton, Julie Johnston, Ted Korbin, Ken Ladner, Vicente Llamas, MJ Martinez, Vanetta Perry, Abad Sandoval, Rick Scott, Quincy Spurlin, Betsy Yost, Carole Zibert.

XI. The next Partnership meeting will be on Thursday, November 6, 2:00 PM, at a location in Albuquerque to be announced.