Shakira at Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Uploaded by whitehouse on 06.10.2011

Eduardo Padrón: We have -- I have the distinct pleasure today and we're very
privileged to have someone with us today who's well known by
everyone, who's a tremendous advocate,
who supports the work that we do.
Someone who's in the trenches, like many of us,
and therefore understands very, very well the discussion that is
going on here; someone who spends her time
transforming lives.
And I couldn't think of someone that is doing more in advocating
for education today in this great nation of ours,
the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden.
Dr. Biden.
Dr. Jill Biden: Thank you.
Oh, gosh, thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Please, sit down.
Good afternoon.
It's great to be here today to see all of you.
Actually, I'm a little bit out of breath because,
as Eduardo said, I did come directly from my
community college.
I was giving midterms.
And so then I ran into the bathroom and I changed my
clothes, and so -- and just praying, you know,
that my students -- none of my students would walk in there and
start screaming, like, "Ahh! There's my English teacher!"
But, so anyway, it's great to be here and I want to thank you,
Eduardo, for that kind introduction.
You know, I visited Eduardo, I think, at his college in Miami,
was it two years ago?
Eduardo Padrón: Well, it was right up there in the beginning of
the administration.
Dr. Jill Biden: Yeah.
And I saw, you know, that he truly believes in the power of
community colleges to save lives.
And I saw through his own example just why he is an
inspiration to so many -- so many of us, so many students --
to so many.
And as a teacher myself, I just --
I love being around other educators,
because this has been my life's work.
I've been doing this -- now we've changed it.
It used to be that I taught over 30 years, now it's like,
lifelong educator, you know?
So anyway, I taught my three classes,
but I just did not want to miss the opportunity to come here
today and say hello to all of you.
So, thank you for being here, thank you for what you're doing.
And, you know, I see every day in my classroom firsthand just
how important a quality education is for the future of
our country and our students.
And I'm sure that you all see the same thing in your
communities around the country.
We know that if Americans want to succeed in the 21st century,
we need to offer all our kids the best education possible.
I know you all believe that.
And as a teacher, I'm so proud to be part of an administration
that has made education a priority since day one.
We've enacted important reforms and made significant investments
in education in order to provide our children with a better
future, and I'm just so proud of all that what --
what has happened in the past couple years since we've been
in office.
Today's meeting of this commission is part of
these efforts.
We know that Latinos make up the largest minority group in
America's schools, so improving our schools is critically
important to this community.
The President set two important goals for American education
when he came into office: First, to make sure that all our
students receive a first-rate education; and also,
to increase America's share of college graduates to be --
so that we are first in the world by the year 2020.
This work that you are all doing,
that the Commission is doing, is critically important to
achieving our goals.
So on behalf of President Obama, my husband the Vice President,
the First Lady and myself, we thank you, thank you,
thank you for your service.
We're so grateful for your commitment to providing quality
education for all of our students.
Thank you so much.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Can I walk around?
You know, I'm a teacher, I want to meet everybody.
Is that okay?
Am I disrupting your meeting?
Hi, how are you?
I don't want to take up all your time,
I know you have important work to do.
Hello, hello.
Hi, Sylvia.
Hi Maria, thanks for being here.
Oh, you're also a teacher, what do you teach?
Marta Tienda: I'm a professor (inaudible).
Dr. Jill Biden: Yeah, that's teaching!
Okay, you're not in a community college,
but that's teaching and that's okay.
(inaudible cross-talk)
Hi, how are you?
Hi, JoAnn.
(inaudible cross-talk)
I didn't mean to ignore you, it's just, you know --
(inaudible cross-talk)
Thank you.
Thanks for letting me share the time with you.
Juan Sepúlveda: So, I want to say thanks to Dr. Biden for stopping by after
class to kind of -- she wanted to get a chance --
we had talked to her about this before,
that we were getting ready to do our second Commission meeting,
and she was really excited about wanting just to come by and say
hello and to thank all of you for kind of signing up to help
us with the work we're kind of taking on.
And I want to say thanks to the Chairman as well.
Eduardo Padrón: Thank you.
Juan Sepúlveda: So we just finished with Adrian [phonetic], wanted to open it
up again.
Who's next?
Who else has got thoughts or comments on this
particular piece?
And what I thought, you know, and my mistake because as we've
got the new members as well in particular,
what I'm going to make sure is that our staff gets --
in our first Commission meeting we put out the big areas and we
gave you all a couple of sheets on each one that really kind of
talked about what we considered kind of the big questions for
each one of these strategic conversations that we're having
as a Commission.
So I'll make sure we get those again so that we can kind of
remind ourselves about the full package.
But I just wanted to mention the headlines again right now so
that we can put that in the full context of what we're looking
at, and what potentially we and you all as Commission members
can be doing.
So we talked -- so, one area is around community outreach,
communications and social media.
We had a conversation just on media itself --
César Conde did a great job in helping us with that one.
Interagency work; public-private partnerships;
corporate and philanthropic council,
which we've been putting together;
policy and policy input; Hispanic-serving institutions
and research -- we're going be getting to that a little bit
tomorrow -- the national network itself;
and then how all of this is getting placed within the larger
Latino strategy that we have as an administration.
So those are kind of the big areas of --
that we're tasked with through the Executive Order.
We're talking about some of these pieces right now but I
wanted to mention that because those are the bigger,
broader areas.
Once again, reminding ourselves that on the content side,
we're responsible for anything that has to do with education in
the Latino community.
So that's the big picture.
But I wanted to go back, given that bigger framework as a
reminder, my mistake for not putting that up again at the
beginning of the conversation, knowing we'll get to those other
pieces, but wanted to come back to the invitations we received
from communities on the education side to kind of get
your other comments or best advice on how you think we can
move forward in that part of the game for us.
Other comments or thoughts?
Eduardo Padrón: Juan, let me just say that we're involved here in the process of
building consensus and it's important to recognize that,
and my goal is that by the time we leave tomorrow,
we will have a very clear understanding from everybody's
part of what the goals are, where we're heading,
and the role that we can all -- that we can all play,
because it's important that we maximize the energies as well as
the passion and the talents that are around the table --
which are impressive, I have to tell you that.
I'm very impressed.
I have participated in a lot of efforts for many years,
and what we have here is unique.
And we need to take advantage of that.
And that's what we all need to keep in mind,
so by the end of tomorrow we have a real understanding of
what we need do.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Other comments on -- other comments on this specific piece?
Mildred García: Have we put together a document?
We talk about what we need to do,
but what about the tremendous contributions Latinos have made
to education in this country?
Do we have that somewhere?
Juan Sepúlveda: My quick response is, no.
There isn't one place that I think we have or that we've put
together or anyone else has put together kind of a collection of
those pieces.
I think -- I think they're scattered in lots of different
places, and I think we've had some --
we've put some of those examples into the report we put together
recently and that we keep updating.
But no, and I would open it up to see if folks have other ideas
of where they've seen anything like that.
I think there are a lot of those conversations that have been
moving down that path and I think people in different slices
of the system have had kind of some of those pieces.
And I would mention a couple things here and I think --
I'll just mention it again.
On the research side, I think I mentioned to you on the first
Commission meeting that we had a very interesting conversation
with a number of the top researchers in the country on
education as a whole.
And they know that we've been very interested as an
administration as how we kind of build upon the success that's
out there already, and kind of proven practices and some best
and promising practices.
But what I think was interesting,
which I had mentioned in the first Commission meeting,
were some of the warnings they gave us.
I don't know if you all remember this conversation that we had.
And it was really important to us,
and their advice to us was not to give up on that approach or
that idea, but they were real honest about saying if we're
going to -- they said, Juan, you guys,
thank you for bringing us together,
we're really going to be honest with you,
the honest answer is there are not a lot of proven or best
practices in the education world that really have the data and
the over time to show that there has been a lot of success.
They said if anything, we're going to give you guys some
advice on what you need to be careful with.
That particularly in communities who on the positive side have
strong relationships with each other,
there's deep social capital, that in those communities where
you have that as a plus, one of the potential shadow sides of
that is that instead of having a rigorous level of best practices
that people can apply -- remember this conversation we
had last time -- they introduced me to a new term,
that we fall into best friends practices as opposed to
best practices.
So Lilly and I know each other, and I'm not really sure what
she's doing but I just trust her,
she doesn't really know what I'm doing,
she just kind of trusts me, and we say that's good work.
And so they said you've just got to be careful,
because once again, while we as researchers have --
that's what we do, that's our job,
we spend all that time doing that --
communities aren't doing that.
They don't have time to just only do the research piece.
They're just looking to try to find some solutions.
And a lot of times they're just going to build on the trust they
have with relationships to people.
I may not completely understand what they're doing,
but I understand -- I trust them and know they're going to do the
best they can.
That was one piece that we got that was interesting,
that was challenging us in a critical way about this notion
of best practices.
The other piece of advice we got were from our friends at
Silicon Valley.
And I think -- I don't know if you remember when we talked
about this -- their advice to us was, you know,
even if there are best practices,
the way we see that in Silicon Valley is we see that's the
equivalent of looking in the rearview mirror.
That's past.
That's done.
And so for them, the question is not what are the best practices
-- what are the next set of practices or how do you move
forward, right?
This is classic alpha, what's beta, what's the next version.
And that, for them, the notion of kind of getting stuck --
and we finally figured out this one is working,
by that time things have changed and you're moving and other
things are kind of kicking in.
So once again, just another way to think about how we work with
this notion of what even best practices means.
At the same time, we know that there are some and there's some
really great starting points in a lot of the communities.
And so the question is how do we get people to share those and
yet still have our critical friends there with us to remind
us as we take those on.
But that's kind of what -- that's the advice we've gotten,
and I haven't -- has anyone else seen anything that's
looked like that?
I know a number of foundations have tried to do bits and pieces
of it, but I've never really seen anything that's been kind
of the overall collection.
Eduardo Padrón: Marta.
Marta Tienda: You know, I think that focusing on, we often focus on failure.
We've studied poverty to death.
But there's a paper that I often cite called,
"The Hispanic Prologue," it was written by Rubén G. Rumbaut on
the, you know, 500 years of discovering Columbus.
What it does is it traces the imprint of the Latino population
from the -- from before the United States even was imagined
through the present time, and it documents all of the imprints.
We had the mission system and the Jesuits,
and the different organizations that actually had that.
So it would be, it's an important question for this
group to say when did we start falling so far behind?
Where was it, where did we fall behind?
We often tend to blame immigration,
but if you look at the actual trends,
it's not all about immigration.
Because if you compare the national --
the native-born population with their second or third
generation, you start seeing these bigger gaps.
So we are making progress as we're widening the gaps.
And the gaps are widening as you go higher up on the ladder.
So from graduate school, they're the widest.
At university they're the second widest.
In high school they're the third widest.
So we can learn by asking where were we succeeding and how did
we lose our way?
And it's not all an immigration story,
but that would seem to me an important piece of our
understanding of the necessary and sufficient conditions.
So we can ask the counterfactual question of where we missed it
or where we had it and lost it and why.
Because we've been making a lot of progress,
and what we want to do is build on success.
We've succeeded in so many ways, if we can better our falling
behind as a nation, et cetera, but we are, we are,
we have the best universities in the world, still.
In spite of the fact that we're losing ground,
the world wants to come here to be educated.
We do have still that going for us.
And we have some extraordinary high schools.
And we have some extraordinary middle schools.
So we don't have to go back to discovering the wheel,
we know how to succeed, and what I think is important is to
understand where is it that the Hispanics diverged?
Where are we, where did we -- and it's --
we're deviating from the trend, so we're falling further behind.
Because then we can have some analytical leverage to say what
is it that's unique about the Hispanic experience in schools
so that we can target it with universalism,
because the education systems are so gigantic,
it will get lost.
It's like going in the water and swimming in the ocean.
So that way we can at least find our way and do --
if we do two or three things that move a needle or two,
then I think we will have done our job.
Eduardo Padrón: Patricia?
Patricia Gándara: We can actually answer part of that question.
In 1975-'76, a Latino kid and an African-American kid and a white
kid had an equal chance of going to college.
We had policies in place that supported that.
We have backtracked in terms of policy since that time.
So, yeah, we do know something about how to make that happen,
but we have to have the courage to do those things that make
it happen.
Eduardo Padrón: Luis?
Luis Fraga: Juan, just since we're focusing a bit on research,
one of the areas where I think our research,
our education research falls fundamentally short,
is understanding the conditions in education systems that
facilitate major policy shift that broadness opportunity.
We've got great ideas for practice,
we've got great ideas for instruction,
we've got great ideas for facilitating our communication,
but how do you get a system that isn't doing particularly well
and what are the conditions that help it transform?
And there isn't a lot of system --
in my view, there isn't a lot of systematic research,
and it could be done by education researchers,
it could be done by policy people,
it could be done by political scientists,
it could even be done by sociologists, right?
It could even be done by sociologists that really helps
us systematically see, right?
Speaker: (inaudible)
Luis Fraga: I know, I understand.
Depending on the group.
That could help us see and better strategize, right,
about not what to do, but what we need to do to set the
conditions to help us then implement the shift in change
that we may want to work toward.
And that's why I see a value.
And I know we may, some of us may disagree about this,
but that's why I see a value in focusing on elements of
the local.
Because that's where you begin to understand with sufficient
depth what the conditions are that facilitate that.
And what we do know so far, last point I'll make here,
is that local leadership is key.
And that's something that's hard to strategize about.
It seems so obvious, right?
But local -- but how can you pick the local leaders or what
structures can be established to try to facilitate local leaders
being in positions to have that responsibility?
Thank you.
Speaker: Just following up on these ideas.
If you have -- if you have a vacuum and people are not
looking at this, then there will be states that will come up with
the solutions.
We know that it's happening in many states.
And the worst example is, you know,
Alabama and Georgia coming up with a solution on education
for, you know, in terms of immigrants.
But I see some of that happening in different states,
including Texas.
And that is people will come up with the idea that
Thomas Jefferson doesn't belong in your textbooks.
Why would you want to put Thomas Jefferson in your textbooks?
People will come up with solutions and say Pre-K is
important, but not so important that it's a priority.
So we're going to lessen and decrease the amount of money for
the Pre-K programs, and they have.
So when you have a $4 billion shortfall, you know,
it's because there is a vacuum of people who have pushed.
So while I think it's true that the best practices are behind
us, but if we don't stand up somewhere,
we're going to find that somebody else will design the
best practices for us.
And I see that in, I see that in our education.
If you haven't read,"The Seven Breakthrough Solutions,"
then you ought to read them, because for a while there it was
the idea that that's how we're going to run schools in Texas
and we're going to run them, you know, with universities,
major universities like Texas A&M, if you turn a profit,
then we -- you can continue teaching.
If you don't turn a profit, then we might not let you teach that
course any more.
So there's some serious stuff going on,
and ever more reason that we have to step up and say we're
not going to let you make all the decisions here.
We feel empowered, we're bringing forth some ideas.
And ever more reason that this is so important what
we're doing.
Eduardo Padrón: Alfredo.
Alfredo Artiles: Just to reiterate some things that have been said that I think
are important.
One of the risks of using the idea of best practices is that
it compels us to replicate and transfer those very procedures
to other contexts and to stress Luis's point,
we know from the history of educational reform that that
never works.
So I think it will be more productive for us to think in
terms of design principles and features of interventions that
can be, in turn, adapted and made relevant to very
specific conditions.
If we provide a framework that is informed by evidence from a
number of fields, the work done on systems change in a number of
disciplines -- the work on social movements,
the work on urban sociology, demography, and so forth --
I think it will be an important contribution that could be then
used with the second point, which is,
we already have a map of needs of the Latino community that has
been produced in a number of ways over the years.
The inner city report on Hispanics,
the inner city report on immigration and education --
all of these are already giving us a map of areas in which we
want to prioritize, that will bring this idea of
design principles.
And the third point I think will go very well with this too is,
where is this happening?
Can we find sites that could be seen as experimental sites that
will provide some feedback loop to the updating of this logic;
this framework of design principles that will be renewed
over time?
So I think if we think about this through the interplay of
these three aspects, it might be a productive way of
approaching the work.
Thank you.
Eduardo Padrón: Thank you.
Let's start with you.
Speaker: There's a big part of me that want to go oh, oh, oh!
Because I visited a school that -- oh, thank you.
I visited a school that is working with the University
of Connecticut.
They have no money to redesign --
they wanted to do something to transform schools that were
failing on every level that you could find.
They are working with the AFT and the NEA affiliates
in Connecticut.
And in Waterbury, Connecticut, the teachers in the school were
begging for someone to come and see what they have done
in four years.
The first thing they did was they had good data.
They surveyed everybody.
It wasn't just test data.
They actually asked parents, how do you feel?
Do you feel welcome here?
They asked teachers, how do you feel about your colleagues?
What is the climate like here?
And in the end, the folks at the university said,
here's the results of the information.
You guys hate each other.
The parents hate you.
The kids hate you.
Everybody hates everybody here.
And they started arguing with the data.
Well, they shouldn't hate us, we love their kids.
We are working hard.
No, no, you can't argue.
We asked them how they felt.
And you said the parents don't care about their kids because we
have back to school night and no one comes.
You have to ask that question, we had back to school night,
no one came.
What did we do that made barriers for parents to
want to come?
What can we do to make this more welcoming?
And they started saying, it is not a template that says here is
the best practice of how to get parents to come.
They said, you know your parents here.
What would you design?
They empowered them.
They made them feel responsible.
Not blamed them.
They said, nothing is going to change if you can't figure out
how to do this.
They brought in the support staff.
They brought in the school secretary.
Maybe it is because I started out as a lunch lady.
They bring in the school secretary and they said you
know, the parents say when they walk into the office,
they don't always feel like you pay attention to them.
And she started, you know, like, well, I'm busy,
and they got rid of my -- you know,
half my staff and I have this much to do.
And so they said, so given that and the fact that we can't hire
all those people back, what are you going to do that
you could change?
And she said, gosh, you know, I could put a coffee machine
over here.
And if I am too busy to get to them, I could say,
you know I have to finish this phone call,
but can I get you a cup of coffee?
Would you like to have a cup of coffee?
It is transformed -- this stupid little coffee machine --
has transformed the way parents feel when they come in.
Because someone offered them a cup of coffee.
You cannot say, that's the answer --
we just put a coffee machine in every single school in a
low-income area.
This secretary saw something she came up with,
someone bought a coffee pot.
She is going to make it work.
She is looking for someone she can offer a cup of coffee to.
And they have fiesta night instead of back to school night.
They have a Mariachi band and they have the junior high kids
playing -- playing in the Mariachi band.
They make that school a very welcoming, fun place.
And the reason is not because the district or some group said
here, have a Mariachi band.
It is because it was their idea and they are excited that they
designed something.
They have incredible metrics.
They look at -- everything is measured.
Did we get more parents to come?
We survey them.
Did we give them information that is useful to them?
If they get something that says no, you didn't succeed,
they go gosh, we got to change something.
And so even failing something is the learning opportunity.
This school is excited.
They were begging for someone to come and make a documentary
about them because nobody got fired.
There were no picket signs.
It was just this very quiet transformation of a school.
I asked one of the parents who had an older kid who went
through the school years ago.
How did you feel?
This was terrible, nobody wanted me.
Nobody cared about my kids.
I said, how about now, your younger kid going through?
She pointed to the wall.
She said, I own these bricks.
This is my school, I would fight for this school.
It was incredible.
And it was an empowerment of the staff from the principle to the
lunch lady, saying you are responsible for these kids
being successful.
How are you going to make that happen?
And they took it and they ran with it.
The design model, the transformation is,
you tell folks they need to design something that works.
And we want to do that.
I think we are hungry to do that.
Eduardo Padrón: Thank you.
Speaker: Yeah, I think there's a danger sometimes when we rely too
heavily on best practices, but to say they aren't out there --
I think there's a lot of proof points and I think we don't need
to recreate the wheel.
And I think the difference is, someone raises the conditions
upon which you go into to create success, or know success.
So Veronica and I were talking about couple of new tech schools
in LA and I said, I probably would never go back into LA
again without being a charter, because I couldn't control a lot
of district policies that happen to the school.
That would then contribute to the school not being successful.
But I think we know what a good school looks like.
And I was looking at JoAnn, like come on, JoAnn,
you can talk.
Yeah, I don't think the solution is replicability immediately for
us to be able to solve the world's problems.
There is no silver bullet.
But we know it is good teaching.
We know it is a strong culture where you care for the kids.
We know that it is a culture of academic press mixed with
academic support, not one or the other.
And we know that it is teachers who care for the kids and
teachers who can differentiate their teaching based on
the kids' needs.
Tons of systems problems around all of that,
but to say that we can't depend on best practices at this point,
there are many good schools, whether it is at KIP,
whether it is IDEA, whether it is New Tech,
whether it is High Tech High, Ed Visions, Ann Visions.
They have very common things that happen.
And that is what we have to look for.
I think as commissioners we can differentiate ourselves by the
problems, by the demographics or we can differentiate ourselves
by how we are going to provide innovative solutions to
intractable systems problems.
Juan Sepúlveda: Well said.
Anyone else?
Manuel Gomez: Can I say something?
How about best practices?
In this, I have spent something like $7 million to gather the
best practices of 20 SSIs.
And the result was, that they are not transferable.
Because each one of the states that participated have different
cultures, different leadership, which was crucial.
And the solution in one jurisdiction did not apply to
the other.
So I don't think that going by best practices is an easy way
out, but it doesn't work.
So I suggest that we don't look into that.
It is not -- and they did hire several firms of sociologists
and all of the people that were so --
ethnologists and it didn't work.
It didn't work because it wasn't transformable.
Speaker: I think there's, again, a difference between best practice
and where there is conditions for success.
And this is -- also goes back to our conversation about
Race to the Top.
The states who did not get the money did not have the
conditions to be able to pull off that grant.
So you have to look at the conditions for success and what
is there to make it happen.
If it is not there, don't go.
You are going to waste money and everyone's time.
Eduardo Padrón: Lisette, Sarah and Kent.
Lisette Nieves: I guess what I think about the whole forward looking approach,
for me, I think these paradigms where we have seen public
college vs. private college vs. for profit college.
I think those things actually really bleed into each other.
I think it is abominable what we'll put into a community
college and not see the outcome.
And I am just being honest, you know.
And so for me, I think what I would love to see in this
particular group or something I would like out of it is for us
to get out of those kind of dogmas of what we see as
good and bad.
And because that is not going to be helpful to us.
I have -- I have a better chance of sending my graduates to
Berkeley, than to the local community college,
because I know they will graduate from Berkeley and
be hired.
Who would have thought that?
That's a for profit.
That's not the way I think about that.
So one is, what is political will?
I know there are changes being done around community colleges,
but how we think about that I think is really important.
So one is, not believing those kinds of I think archaic views.
The other is that there are a lot of people exploring with
this notion of scalability.
They are.
It's not a new thing.
They're exploring with it.
They realize where there is local power and where they can
feel some movement to have things happen.
Whether it is through the charter school movement,
whatever it is.
There are people who are expressing and exploring that
and are have enough commonality, that I think that creating
interesting networks so we can see.
Including and I would say a public thing that we've seen in
public schools that has made a difference that's pushed
the needle -- people always want to know what is pushing
the needle.
We have seen it.
People have reported on it.
You have a coach for literacy.
You make a difference in how people learn.
It is just that simple.
If teachers have a coach for literacy,
we see that difference.
And so I just -- in understanding,
I think there is this fine balance,
but I really hope we make sure we are constantly bridging the
language between the practitioner and the academic,
between making sure we continue to blur the lines between for
profit and private and public.
Because that is what our future is going to be.
Eduardo Padrón: Sarah?
Sarah: I don't want to let us drown in morass of words like
best practices.
But we have to be incredibly careful,
because I think best practices appeal to the idea that there is
an off the shelf strategy that we can buy and import to address
a solution.
It is like watching a workout video instead of going
to the gym.
It just doesn't change anything about your muscle mass or your
physical capacity to affect change.
It's a little bit like, you know,
your favorite recipe from your tia --
it's missing an ingredient.
Those pre-existing conditions that have to be thought through
and invented by entrepreneurial leaders that are desperate,
desperate to develop the talent in their community.
And I also think that we have made a mistakes and we have to
own that we bought into it.
We have allowed the showcasing of strategies that are nourished
by unsustainable revenue sources.
And I -- how many times have you walked away and said,
I'm really happy for you.
And if I had one of those $10 million grants,
the kids in my community would also be carrying laptops in
their back packs.
So I would like to challenge us to think about people that are
making scalable change with sustainable resources through
policy and practiced adjustments in their communities.
Juan Sepúlveda: Okay.
To Manuel's point, if best practices -- and Alfredo --
if best practices are not replicable,
and it's all about leadership, then let's talk about what are
the design principles for effective leadership for
low-income Latino kids?
That's a definable goal.
We're not talking about middle- and upper-income kids.
We're talking about low-income Latino kids.
So from my perspective, the effective schools -- likely,
charter, public, district schools, whichever --
have effective leaders.
That is leaders at the teacher leader level,
principal leader level, superintendent leader level,
not siloed leadership development,
but real true comprehensive leadership capacity building.
We are full of moral purpose.
But moral purpose without leadership action is a
waste of time.
It is a great conversation.
And I share in the impatience in terms of --
in terms of let's define what we are going to do perhaps that
is tomorrow.
But I would -- I would really ask us to revisit the concept of
leadership development and that pipeline of leaders for
low-income Latino schools.
Who was next?
Eduardo Padrón: Anyone else who would like to address the issue?
No one?
Let's keep going.
Juan Sepúlveda: So, thanks.
So here is what I would like to do based on what I was
hearing right now.
I would like to go through another quick whip
round with folks.
Before we jump into the early learning summit piece that I had
brought as a second point up for us to discuss.
And here I wanted to go back to what the chairman was saying,
to make sure that by the time we finish tomorrow,
we have clarity from the group in terms of the goals that we
see for our office as a whole, for the commission in
particular, and specifically how the roles that once again
we can play.
And when we say "we," it's the office ourselves.
And the role that the commission can play.
And then kind of the measures that we hold to kind of see how
we are going to make sure we are kind of getting down that path.
So I would love to kind of just quickly go around to folks to
kind of say you signed up to be part of this.
And you signed up for some vision of what it
could be, right?
So I'm curious, and just in a quick way --
I know we have talked about from the office side.
I said this in the first meeting and I will say it again today.
That in terms of the goals, we see that the over all goals are
not easy to achieve, but pretty straightforward in terms of what
we think has to happen.
That across the entire education spectrum,
we have to help be a part of a movement that is moving the
needle at every part of the spectrum.
If there aren't more kids in early childhood education,
if there aren't more kids graduating from high school,
if there aren't more of our sons and daughters getting through
college and making it in adult education and getting into adult
education classes that help you build your skills,
we are not being successful.
Now I know we as a government and as administration,
have put into place those strategies.
We are bumping up those numbers in terms of participation and
those kinds of courses.
We still know that is a means to the end,
so we are not completely there.
So we know in our office when we sit around and talk about this,
we know if those things don't happen for us as the over all
goals, we haven't gotten it done as an office.
Now, we don't kid ourselves we are not going to go do
this tomorrow.
We are not going to be the one's that are running those early
childhood programs.
We have got to play a role within that system that helps
move those things forward.
That is how we think of the goals.
Obviously, you are hearing some of the ideas of some of the
roles we think our office should be playing to try to mess with
this very complicated system.
But I would love to kind of just quickly go around and get your
beginning thoughts knowing we are going to spend the rest of
tomorrow morning really kind of deep diving even deeper into
this conversation about what that looks like for you from
your perspective.
Manuel Gomez: Can I turn this question back to you?
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure; absolutely.
Manuel Gomez: As a new member, what is the White House --
this is a White House initiative can contribute that the agencies
who have similar mission have not achieved?
NSA on it, the Department for Education for it.
How many programs for STEM fields?
I have from almost every grant from every agency,
and they are all trying to do the same.
So what is it that the White House can contribute from this
our advantage point to make a difference?
Juan Sepúlveda: Great question.
So the question is what can the White House office itself do and
what can the White House do that isn't necessarily happening in
the separate agencies?
They are already trying to do their own version of this.
So I think there are a couple of pieces that we see that are
potential here.
That once again, I will be honest,
if we are really honest about, this office has been around for
20 years; it hasn't moved on these pieces.
So that's hard to say, right?
Because we have to -- we have got to put the reality of the
stuff onto the table.
So part of it is what has this office tried to do in the past
and what have we learned from what they have tried and what
has worked and what hasn't worked?
And then how do we move forward in a new political environment?
So the past has been about -- so the reality for this office in
the past has been a real focus on putting out a report that
gives a status of Latinos in the United States.
I think we have done that already.
And we have done it, literally, to kind of give a current sense
of what is happening.
Moving beyond that has been a difficult thing for this office
and once again, I think we have to be real honest about for
folks who were here before us, it was a different time
and environment.
Latinos were not the largest minority group.
It was -- they didn't even want to have this office created at
first when it was first getting started.
So I know it's a tougher game than what our predecessors faced
and we are in a different place.
So I think we build upon all of the struggles they had to
go through.
So when I think about where we are today,
I think about the power that we have from our White House office
vantage is we have the -- you know, and there's --
the first pieces around the two words of the White House and
the convening ability that we have both within the government
and outside the government.
So we have the ability to get agencies to come together to at
least have a conversation about how we think about these
things differently, right?
We have the ability to do that.
Which when they try do it sometimes across with each
other, it becomes a little bit like we are kind of equals,
I don't have time for that and it gets trickier to really think
through some of the interagency pieces.
It's not easy to do, but some potential there.
I think we've been seeing a lot of success on the convening site
out in the communities.
To see, to both help the communities understand that
there are folks here in D.C. who are trying to help
them think through.
What are some of the possibilities to do things
differently moving forward and to be a partner with them?
So I think the convening pieces is a really critical piece.
I think our office in particular has been able to try.
And I think with some success to get Cabinet members to get other
key folks within the White House and the President himself to be
able to go to and talk about the Latino community in a way that
hasn't happened before.
So we think about the messaging side.
And the importance of breaking out of a mentality that didn't
really include us in the conversation.
I think -- I think -- I kind of was describing this a little bit
earlier that I think there's this movement towards a new way
of thinking about the policy landscape,
that in the past you only thought about working with
minority communities or the Latino community, in particular,
only solely in a targeted way.
And so if it wasn't a specific grant to an Hispanic serving
institution, that there wasn't, how much money are we giving to
migrant education, if it wasn't specifically about English
language learning, if it wasn't something that targeted,
then you weren't doing something to help the Latino community.
That's changing.
And I think we are helping try to change those conversations as
we help agencies understand the numbers and the realities of
the demographics.
Those are the ones that I think come to mind first.
There are other ones that I think we'd like to try
to play out.
But I think we also have to be just,
honest about the challenges of moving things within the system,
whether it's here in D.C. at the federal level or how we can
relate to the community.
Those are the first ones that kind of pop into my head that we
have been kind of talking about as an office.
Speaker: Juan, what pops into my head is the undiscussables.
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure.
Speaker: Because I think that --
Juan Sepúlveda: No, that's been a part -- I think of that as part of the
convening piece.
I didn't say it but it's a big part of the --
Speaker: Oh, no; for us, for us, because, I mean,
I got some advice from somebody who works --
who has worked in the agencies, you know, and saying, you know,
you just really have to be a voice and you have to press
on these issues, because we can't do it internally,
because we have to meet all of these little things that we have
to meet and the bureaucracy.
But you can raise these issues and you can press on them.
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure.
Speaker: And I think we have a president who wants to hear the truth --
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure.
Speaker: And who is an intellectual, really;
I think he likes to think a lot about, you know, what are the
various truths here.
You know, things have been raised here that are a little
critical of the way we are doing things now.
And it seems to me that this is a place where we should be able
to have a voice to say let's examine some of these things and
consider if there aren't better ways to go.
So, I would like it if we go a back to our list of
undiscussables and almost start there in terms of what uniquely
this initiative can do, that the agencies can't do,
because they are trapped in their own bureaucratic thing.
Juan Sepúlveda: So we totally agree and this is our second commission
meeting, right?
So I think we did a little bit of that at the first meeting.
I think we can continue to do it here.
One thing you need to know, though, is that's been a key
part of what we've been doing this every community
conversation we've been having.
And once again, I think we've gotten really great feedback
from the community and from the leadership in particular,
that D.C. hasn't come to them to kind of help elevate those
kinds of things.
Now I think the other thing just from what we found is we want to
be careful about -- the other thing I know that just from our
experience, both here and from before I came to D.C.,
it's tough to raise the undiscussables but you've got to
be there for the long haul, because the worst thing you
could do would be to get these things out in a public way and
then just, well, we've got it out there,
now it's open and raw, see you later.
And so, I think thinking through,
because you can also kind of get caught up into,
isn't this fun to really get out the stuff that nobody wants to
talk about.
And then you leave and then somebody else has to --
no, I'm being honest.
It's easy to be the nice -- this is classic,
we can be really good at the critical analysis and bump it up
and say now I'm going to go back to and leave the community.
So I think we also want to be smart about how --
we've been trying to really think through in a safe way both
to be able to create a space to get those things elevated but
then start thinking what's the strategy to help them now that
they have been brought up to kind of deal with them
moving forward.
Manuel Gomez: I think Patricia has an idea that that I think is pregnant
with possibilities.
What did you mean by undiscussables?
Is that the belief that nobody wants to talk about or the value
system about education in the United States that nobody wants
to talk about?
Speaker: No, I think it's about the things nobody wants to
listen to.
I think there are a lot of people who want to talk
about it.
Juan Sepúlveda: That's different, yeah --
Manuel Gomez: I'm sorry, because if it is about the things that nobody
talks about, I think there's a lot of possibility there.
Let me give you one example.
Who are the best chess players in the world?
The Russians.
Not only is the Russian a chess master, he is a celebrity.
Now who's a celebrity in the United States?
The basketball player.
I rest my case.
Juan Sepúlveda: So I think -- so you know how we've been thinking about it,
the way we've been thinking about the undiscussables at one
level has been things that are simmering around in a community.
Manuel Gomez: (inaudible) beliefs that are there --
Juan Sepúlveda: No, no.
That's how we define it as we are working the community,
things that people in the community know are happening
around, but it's harder to get them up into kind of a
public discourse.
Speaker: Well, Juan, yeah, I'm thinking --
Let me just mention one in particular, okay?
I mean, we have NCLB.
We have an accountability system for these kids that has been
killing our English learners who are about half of our kids at
any point along the continuum, at some point along
the continuum.
It's killing them.
And we know that.
And we know that this kind of false accountability is just
destroying schools and demoralizing teachers and making
kids feel they are stupid.
And yet it's kind of one of these undiscussables because we
got a system in place that's moving down the road and,
you know, where do we possibly intervene in this,
and if we backtrack at all, my goodness,
isn't that like we are not going to be accountable anymore?
So I think about these kinds of things.
I mean, we can speak out on these things and say,
yeah I was part of a lawsuit in California.
Nine districts sued the state, sued the state so that the state
could sue the federal government.
You know, I'm saying this is nuts, you know,
you're driving us into the ground using instruments that
are invalid, unreliable under which every single person who's
been involved in developing these things says
don't use them.
But there we go.
Juan Sepúlveda: So respectfully we slightly disagree,
because in the communities we don't see those as
undiscussables because we are hearing that the first thing.
So people are not afraid to say it.
There's a lot of agreement with it.
And I think the President been saying I'm hearing that and
that's why he's proposed changes in No Child Left Behind.
Those kinds of things we don't see as an issue at all.
That's literally just listening to the community and they are
not afraid to tell you this is what I'm going through on a
day-to-day basis.
I think there are other issues that are even deeper than that
that we are trying to kind of get up that are even
more complicated.
Those are just really about people telling --
and we are not, I want to make sure people hear me clearly.
Community is not afraid to tell you right when you come in here
is it what I'm -- they can tell you,
here is what I'm going through on a day-to-day basis and this
is not working for me.
I think there we have -- the challenge is,
how do we get that voice lifted up here so that we are making
sure it's part of the policy making.
So I just want to make sure because it's a slightly
different thing than just about kind of --
because we are hearing -- people are not having a hard time
talking about that.
Speaker: No, no; but I think the question is whether anybody is listening
to them when they say it because we haven't seen any dramatic
changes in that particular area.
Juan Sepúlveda: So yeah, so once again we think that this is --
I think the answer is yes, right,
I think the President just announced some waivers a few
weeks ago for the states because Congress hasn't taken
it up, right?
We can't legislate.
We can't change No Child Left Behind by ourselves.
Congress hasn't stepped up and so the President has said I'm
going to step up and create a bridge that nobody likes as
the answer.
And the whole point here is I think --
the question is how do we get pieces --
the community -- they have been telling us already.
The question is are they listening and how do we get it
in the right places to then try to make policy move,
knowing that once again it's about a really tough
policy landscape.
You all know this, I don't have to tell anyone,
you guys are all smart folks, about the reality of what is
happening and not happening up on the Hill.
And right -- and so we can wish for a new environment,
but that's not reality.
That's the environment we have.
So the question then becomes what are the strategies given
that it's very unlikely, there is not going to be No Child Left
Behind there's not a new elementary and secondary act
that's going to get passed before the end the first term
because Congress is not taking it up,
even though we been pushing it from the beginning.
So then the question becomes what are your strategies to not
just accept and say, well, can't do anything,
you can't get to what you would really like,
but are there other pieces that you can use for the few levers
you have as an administration to try to move some
of those things.
Speaker: Let me just say one more thing.
Because I know we have to let other people talk,
but it just seems to me this is a place where this commission
can really help the President do what he wants to do by saying,
look, this, the Latino community,
the Hispanic community, you know,
some sort of consensus around these communities and around
representatives believes this is a big issue,
and not the President, but other folks who might not be so
helpful in this, maybe need to listen to what is coming out of
this community.
Juan Sepúlveda: So here's where we need your help.
We are doing that.
So what happens when you bring and say here's what the
community is telling you loud and clearly and they say,
I don't care, I disagree.
I don't see it that way.
We don't see it that way.
And this is the reality in being in a tough policy landscape.
It's not enough for us as a commission to say we've heard
from the folks, here's what they say, now change it.
We would love for that to happen from our perspective,
but the question becomes how do we work with a side that,
this is always -- I always laugh at this thing about logic,
right; that there's a sound notion here,
is not always the way we are going to convince folks.
So what are the other strategies?
(unintelligible) people who have a very different world of view
on how this issue should be taken on and I would love to get
people's advice on how do we tackle folks who are opposed to
what we are talking about and really fundamentally in a very
sincere way, this is not about good guys and bad guys,
this is about a different perspective of what they see in
terms of public education, in terms of the system and in terms
of how the things get -- how do we tackle that?
I would love to get folks' thoughts on dealing in that kind
of an environment.
Alfredo Artiles: (inaudible) about Patricia's comment.
One strategy should take the pulse of the community and
bring that forth.
I mean, not resonate with other key players,
but there is an increasingly large body of evidence showing
that NCLB is damaging the lives of students and teachers because
of the reasons she stated.
So I think that's another major source that we can provide now
if we need it.
Speaker: Marta.
Marta Tienda: Yeah, I have just a quick question, I mean --
a little concerned from what you just said about that there's
no openness to evidence-based policymaking.
And I'm not saying that what you're saying --
conversations at the community levels that you hear this, that;
it's distilled.
I'm talking about evidence-based policymaking.
And if what I heard you say is that they are just dismissing
it, then you know people are entitled to their opinions,
but not their facts.
So --
So, I would be very, very concerned if this administration
is dismissing evidence --
Juan Sepúlveda: No, we're not; we're not, no; no, that is not what I'm saying.
Speaker: Well, you said you brought the --
Juan Sepúlveda: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
That is not what I'm saying at all.
And once again nothing is 100% monolithic.
Speaker: Oh, I understand.
I understand variances.
Juan Sepúlveda: So what I'm saying is, both sides have their evidence.
And both sides have the ability to say that from my world view,
here's the research that I can show you that backs up
my perspective.
So there are competing sets of facts.
Speaker: Oh, yeah, like the science -- like climate change one, okay.
Juan Sepúlveda: Right; but I want to be honest, because that's the reality of
the landscape we are in.
Speaker: I understand it politically.
But the question I have, and this is for maybe tomorrow to
think about, what you said about the previous --
what worried me a little bit was you said well,
it was very hard to get this commission started, this office,
the legitimacy of the office, because people have been looking
in their rear views for too long.
This is an office whose existence depends on a political
order, right, executive decision.
Because you don't always have to have this office at
the White House.
Then the commission is within that purview.
So it is conceivable then, because you said well,
what we don't want to do is talk about the undiscussables and
then walk away.
If that's the case, then if we start a process and then the
election turned out in a different way,
will this office be dismissed and will we have a lot of loose
ends on the table given that we are just started the third year
into this current administration?
So I just wanted to have some -- it doesn't have to be now,
but given what we are talking about, the undiscussables,
the areas where a commission can actually recommend to the
government that is mired in its own bureaucracy so we can
actually have some leverage analytically and politically.
If that's of limited duration, then I think we need to think
about that.
Juan Sepúlveda: So that's -- so make sure -- that's not what I said.
So let me be very clear about the potential of moving forward.
When we were talking about the undiscussables,
what I was saying is that our experience before I got to the
government as we dealt it undiscussables before and as we
are bringing into the picture is that we just have to be mindful
that there's one group that says, don't even get near it.
I know as we get near it we just have to be mindful,
means to bring it up.
That doesn't mean we are not going to bring it up,
it just means as you bring it up you have to be careful that once
you open up those wounds, you can't just leave and say we
brought them up, now, great, you deal with it.
So that's what I was talking about in terms of --
Speaker: (inaudible) into the duration of this appointment of
this commission.
Is it finite, or is it bound by political terms?
Juan Sepúlveda: So each administration, new administration has to kind of
pass the new executive order from the first President Bush
until now check they have continued to do it,
so on both sides of the aisle they have continued --
but I am here to have an honest conversation with
you all, right?
We can have a commission -- this is some of the smartest folks we
have in the country who can help us think through these things.
You could come up with the best ideas.
And it won't mean anything if we can't get it through the system.
Speaker: I agree.
Juan Sepúlveda: Right?
So that's why I'm saying is that I want your ideas,
but I also know you all are very smart about thinking through how
we work the system.
I will be very honest that in the past,
you had great people on the commission who came up with some
really smart recommendations and I've got be honest,
none of them got through because they weren't thinking through.
Now that I've got this great idea,
how do I actually work it through a really
complicated system?
I don't want to have our time here and our tenure with our
commission is being that we had some really interesting ideas
that were cutting edge and innovative and didn't
go anywhere.
So we need your help, both in terms of the ideas,
but then also how we work the system.
And none of this stuff is easy.
Speaker: That is so true; that is so true.
Change of administration, we are all out of here.
So you know, but given that, it jogged something in me that
really, you know, that impressed me when I went to Connecticut.
Because they didn't give up lobbying their state
legislature, lobbying the federal government,
but they also said you know what,
there's a kid walking in my classroom tomorrow.
So what am I going to do for that kid tomorrow?
And they decided to proceed until apprehended.
You know, I'm just going -- we are going to get together.
We are going to get some great ideas that we think address some
of the data that we didn't like, and we are going to design
something and we're going to keep measuring to see if we're
moving in the right direction.
All the while, the Connecticut Education Association is still
going to be beating down the door of the governor.
We are going to tell NEA what we don't like about No Child Left
and all of those things.
And, you know, so you have your short-term,
the kids coming tomorrow, what am I as the teacher going to do?
Where's the response to intervention?
How am I going to collaborate with my colleagues?
How do I get the math teacher to work with the art teacher on a
geometry project, which they showed me, by the way.
So, what they did was they didn't let anything stop them
from being better tomorrow.
There are some things you can do just because you do it smarter,
an that's what I think of this group.
Maybe what we do is we have to talk about where those
short-term things where we can put models and examples and
things that will spur something creative in someone's head for
their kids tomorrow while you're still working on policy,
while you still have to get something past the senate.
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure, absolutely.
Speaker: So you don't let anything stop you from the big things or from
the small things.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thank you.
Sarah: A quick comment.
I really want to endorse the idea of temporal zones of
opportunity that Lily has suggested.
I think it's very, very, important for us to be
instrumental about it.
and I'm afraid we're going to lose Millie's idea.
I think it's incredibly important,
what are these converging imperatives that are emerging
from groups that have some collective expertise that's very
friendly to the things that we want to do.
We could lose the opportunity of acting during a temporal period
of time, if we reinvented or sought fresh validation for
those ideas.
How do we, in fact, model the work that we are expecting our
states and our regions and our communities to do by gathering
those allies and advancing on a unified front and then asking
ourselves, what's missing?
What has not been addressed that is a pivotal issue anchored at
the federal policy level that we can move while we're doing the
parallel work in our states and our communities,
which is of course as you love to point out at the 90% level of
where our funding comes from.
So that's where a lot of our daily activities must be while
we are working in and running our institutions.
But Millie has something we just can't let go of.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thank you.
Yes, (inaudible).
Speaker: Hello, this (inaudible).
Can you hear me?
Juan Sepúlveda: Yes.
Speaker: I am still here.
I have to get off to get to a family event,
but I think the discussion that you've had all afternoon
about what the next steps are, what meeting we're going to have
I think is something we can end tomorrow with those commitments
and those next action steps I think would be critical,
because I know that I'm being asked in organizations that I
work with every day about what is going to happen,
what's going to look different.
And earlier I don't know who said it,
but I was reminded about the metrics,
what are our benchmarks, and I think if we can each make that
commitment about what we can do strategically,
understanding the political environment that we're in within
our own communities and in the country,
that we can make progress and make sure that this commission
does take a stand on the important issues.
Thank you, and I will see you my time 6 --
well, I'll speak to you tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. my time.
Thank you.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thanks, (inaudible).
Speaker: Okay.
I thought the undiscussables.
We talked about the discussibles,
and that is to be -- you know, when Toyota came to San Antonio,
they said,we want to hire people willing to work hard,
be critical thinkers, problem you solvers,
work in teams and believe, honestly believe in
continuous improvement.
Everybody embraced it.
They come from Japan.
Everybody is, that sounds great; nothing wrong with that.
The undiscussable is that our kids are attending schools in
which there is low expectation, horrible low expectation of what
they're capable of, number one, and certainly not capable of
hard STEM stuff.
Number two, it then translates into low self-esteem.
So when you have low self-esteem,
then you're going to be likely the one that says,
I'm not good enough to go to college.
And so what we're battling when we go to schools and we find in
some of the schools is that, why aren't you applying?
Why would I apply to go to college?
College is for smart kids.
Because they've been told that.
Now, you heard me say something about Thomas Jefferson.
What I didn't say was the same committee said,
you can't have Thomas Jefferson in your textbooks,
and you can't have Cesar Chavez, and you can't have Henry
Cisneros in your textbooks.
So there are no (speaking Spanish) forget it, you know.
So we're talking about what kind of role models do
these kids have?
And if we're being denied that, to me it's an undiscussable,
because people want to talk about other issues.
But it is something, low expectations,
low self-esteem is serious stuff in our schools.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thank you.
Other comments on this one?
So let me do a popcorn round.
So anyone who wants to pop up and add something,
because we don't have to hear from everybody,
but I'm just curious, because it looks like the conversation that
we'll need to carry on -- we'll continue today but also move in
tomorrow before we end is really around your roles.
So at the last meeting for those of you who weren't here the
first time, what we did was we --
I had each of the commission members really go around and say
from their perspective, right, here is what I think I can do as
a commission member, and here's what I think the commission
should be doing.
So we kind of started that conversation with the 16 who
were here last time.
So those folks can kind of bring it up.
We'll check to see if you say the same thing again.
And for the folks who are new, but going back to this question
of role, right, and putting it in context,
we know that at a minimum we're probably going to meet twice
a year, right?
There may or may not be subcommittees that you have time
to be a part of.
Right, we want to be honest about the time commitment.
We didn't ask you.
We know you all have busy portfolios and busy lives.
So when we think about the amount of time you're going to
be able to give to the commission,
as I talked to you each individually,
our hope was that beyond the two times we get together like this
that if it made sense in your backyard or in other ways or
something that you had an interest in,
that you would be able to step up.
But that's really on an individual basis.
Given that kind of a framework of the commitment, you know,
we know that's what you signed up for,
I would love to kind of hear popcorn ideas of what you could
see as your role moving forward.
Knowing that we've talked at least about this bigger set of
goals of across the education spectrum,
trying to help move the needle at each part of the spectrum is
kind of a target of goals for us that we're one part of a lot of
folks who are trying to make that happen moving forward.
But what does that mean in terms of your individual roles,
or what do you think is potential for the commission
as a whole?
Who would like to help us think through some ideas on that?
Speaker: Well, I might be a bit of a wet blanket on it.
That's actually why I've been asking, what's the goal?
Because I don't know what my role is until I know what goal
we're shooting for, and then I can begin to position
myself in that.
Juan Sepúlveda: Put out a goal that you think, a goal that potentially we should
be following.
Speaker: No, I can't do that.
That's something I really would like for us to think about,
and given the amount of time that we have what's realistic.
Juan Sepúlveda: Sure.
Speaker: I mean, I think this is a meaty discussion.
Juan Sepúlveda: Okay.
Manuel Gomez: I think that you're right.
We have to set some realistic goals,
and then we can tell you how we can help.
Juan Sepúlveda: Okay.
Manuel Gomez: But they have to be realistic.
As you say, you can make --
Eduardo Padrón: But Juan is not going to set the goals for us.
I think it's up to us to set the goals.
Manuel Gomez: No, no, no.
Eduardo Padrón: And that's what we're trying to begin to do here,
because I won't be happy until we have goals that we all
understand, that we're clear on.
So when we leave here tomorrow, not only we know the goals,
but we make a decision as to the role we want to play to
accomplish these goals.
And this is the beginning of that, so...
You have Lisette and then we have --
Lisette Nieves: Outside of the goals just I think I could bring and broker
what I think are strong conversations and collaborations
between the for-profit sector and higher ed institutions as
part of thinking about how that impacts Latinos obviously
educationally but also economically.
So I know we -- I know we still have yet to do the goals,
but that is definitely an anchored personal position I'd
like to represent.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thanks.
Eduardo Padrón: Monica and then Luis.
Monica: Yeah, I think if we're going to continue moving in the direction
where you've started with crowd sourcing and the community
action meetings, I think it's a decision whether it's going to
be for to identify problems from which we're going to create a
national agenda, or is it to identify potential solutions
that we're going to create a national agenda.
But I hear you saying we're looking for voice,
and then I look at these guys that Daniel leads up for some
real ideas on grassroots organizing and things like that.
But then if we're going to look at research,
then the pipelines in the cradle to grave is pretty
obvious, you know.
And I think as a matter of picking out,
we could pick out early childhood, fifth grade literacy,
eighth grade algebra, ninth and tenth dropout,
12 to post secondary no transition two years out,
less chance going to college.
So, you know, there's a lot of problems we could pick.
Which part of the pipeline do we want to do?
So, are we looking to the community to define the
problems, to define the solutions,
or are we looking at research to define the solutions and define
the problems, and is it problem solving or solution solving?
Juan Sepúlveda: And love to get y'all's reactions to that kind of a
question, as well.
Speaker: Can I add something to that too?
Because I think the piece that I was anchoring on was the last
chance, in particular piece, and thinking innovative about that.
Speaker: Okay, going to go to Luis and then to Sylvia.
Luis Fraga: So, the commitment I made at our first meeting was to play a
clear convener role and to try to use the position as a
commissioner to get folks to talk to one another who I think
are critical to talk to one another.
So we organized a meeting with all Latino,
they are called school directors,
school board members in the state of Washington.
It's a small community, they're 26.
We had a meeting that included five,
and a commitment to have a second meeting,
and generated the idea to have a discussion to establish a
statewide organization so that those school board members could
begin to communicate with each other on a regular basis and
ideally begin to learn from each other.
Did the same thing with school superintendents in the state
of Washington.
And the superintendent said, we don't want to talk to
each other.
We want to talk with each other and with the school board
members and with the groups of parents and teachers.
But the superintendent said, we need to have those mechanisms
of communication.
They came to the meeting because of our role,
because of my role here as a commissioner and because of
their perception of what an appropriate role was for the
White House initiative.
So that the initiative gave me, I think,
and our efforts the capacity to bring those people together.
And then I mentioned as well the work that I've been doing with
the archdiocese of Seattle to try to think of yet the other
sector, right, the other side -- you got the public and then you
got the private -- was to convene a group to say, hey,
you've got a problem, how about an innovative strategy.
So the convener role, it seems to me,
is a critical one that we can play,
and that depending upon the structure facilitates the
generation of ideas from people who are in the work in the
practice, but our larger goal here is to facilitate
strategizing, it seems to me, strategizing through
enhanced communication.
Will that actually lead to anything?
I don't know.
But I have to trust others to make a similar commitment to try
to not waste their time given that these are all busy people
to actually try to improve educational opportunity for
our communities.
Eduardo Padrón: Okay.
Sylvia, JoAnn and Alicia.
Sylvia Acevedo: All right.
Thank you very much.
I really think of the many goals you have,
I think there's several, but one goal that I'd like is to really
leverage our White House Washington position.
You know, Juan, when I go and talk to people at the DOE or HHS
about some of these issues, they say, you know what, those guys,
if we heard them talking about it,
it would make all the difference in the world.
So what I'd love for you --
Juan Sepúlveda: Who are they, those guys?
Sylvia Acevedo: So people like in the DOE.
Juan Sepúlveda: Who was saying it?
Sylvia Acevedo: I've met with different people in the different departments,
so like, for STEM, okay, Michael Lach.
Juan Sepúlveda: Saying they wish that --
Sylvia Acevedo: Yeah, that you would be saying things --
Juan Sepúlveda: That the office?
Sylvia Acevedo: The office would be saying things like --
you know, for example, STEM, let's make sure that we include
requirements that are reflective of where our kids live,
in terms of scalable solutions.
HHS, let's make sure that, you know, Head Start --
you mentioned it, we're not getting our kids prepared.
Let's make sure that Head Start at least is using current data
in allocating its resources.
I mean, that's something that you,
if people are hearing our initiative talk about that as
one of the goals, and then finally,
let's just get the iPads to be programmed so that we can track
our kids as they go from community college to four year
universities so we can begin to have good data and metrics on
college completion.
I mean, that's not all the goals,
but I think that's one goal that ties into our position here
in Washington.
Eduardo Padrón: Okay, JoAnn.
JoAnn Gama: I'm trying to think about, you know,
my work with the commission.
I think one of the things that really moves me and motivates me
is changing the number of one in two Latinos having the
opportunity to graduate from high school and one in ten
having the opportunity to graduate from college and
thinking of all my nieces and nephews that I have in the
public education school system and knowing that those are the
options that are set before them.
And so I think part of my work with this commission is,
you know, we are trying very hard to figure it out in South
Texas, and we started with one school, and we're at 20,
and we're planning on going really deep into San Antonio.
And so bringing what we're doing in South Texas to San Antonio
and working with you -- I mean, I've heard you mention that city
several times and their educational initiatives and what
they're doing, so working with you and how can we take what
we're doing in South Texas and bring it to San Antonio and
bring it to other communities so that we can get more students in
our schools and ensure that they are matriculating to college.
I think it's a very small impact but has a potential to be very
broad, and I think we all just have to keep doing what we're
doing and noting that collectively we're doing a lot.
And so, you know, I don't know that we need any more goals that
are already out there.
There are a lot of nonprofits, there are a lot of schools,
there are a lot of folks who are trying to do tremendous work.
And so, where can we latch on or attach ourselves to, you know,
matriculate more kids to UTSA and then partner with UTSA to
ensure better persistence of our students once they are at UTSA
rather than creating a whole new goal or initiative.
Eduardo Padrón: Okay.
Alicia Abella: So I was here at the last meeting,
and I walked away knowing that the role that I wanted to play
on this commission was one in which would utilize my training
as a scientist.
And by that I mean as a problem-solver.
And so I thought, well, how can I use my problem solving skills,
use the sort of innovative drive that we have to create
innovations to bring innovation to this commission and to the
work that we're trying to do here,
and then how can I utilize the people on this commission to
help create that?
And by that I mean create a new potential pilot program that we
could as a commission here with the people in this room and
maybe even people outside of this room can stand up in the
time that we have on this commission and then have
quantifiable metrics by which we evaluate some pilot,
and I'll get to what that pilot might look like so that we have
something that we can show for at the end of the
commission, period.
Because it's important, I thought,
last time too to go after some kind of low hanging fruit that
we can point to and say, we did this,
and this is how we succeeded or not.
You know, part of an experiment is you learn from it.
It may succeed, it may not, but you learn something from
doing it.
So that was kind of my role, and I have ideas for a specific
pilot that I'd like to discuss a little later on.
Juan Sepúlveda: Lily.
Lily: I guess the short answer to, you know, what is the committee's --
there is a charge right here in our charter,
and it says that we're supposed to advise the President on how
to improve outcomes for all Hispanic kids of all Hispanic
ages, all Hispanic kids all ages.
So, to me, my role being a teacher and being someone who
called roll for 20 years, I figure my role is to be this
nudge, to just be this totally obnoxious person that just says,
hold child, hold child, hold child.
Whatever we're discussing, I'll want us to discuss how does that
serve the whole blessed child.
And President Obama had me when he said we're not going to do
things to the teacher, we're going to do things with
the teacher.
And that's the secret sauce.
That's where you say, I'm going to unleash the passion of the
parents, the professionals, and the kids to make that school
something that makes the whole child the whole adult.
Eduardo Padrón: (off mic)
I said, I'm getting conscious of the time, and we had agreed that
we would, as the last part of this meeting,
have a discussion about early childhood education,
and we're going to do just that.
I'd like to welcome another member of the commission,
someone who has conquered the world with her talent,
a world citizen, someone we all admire.
I'm mostly impressed with Shakira because of her
humanitarian efforts and what she does to change the lives of
so many children throughout the world.
So, with that, I would like to welcome you, Shakira,
and if you would like to start the discussion on early
childhood, we could get going.
Juan Sepúlveda: Great.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Shakira,
for joining us.
Shakira: (indiscernible)
Juan Sepúlveda: So what I want to do, one thing is we kind of finish this
portion, and we just want to start.
We have two conversations we're going to start,
kind of a homework assignment.
We're going to continue tomorrow morning to really go back to
this question of really looking at the goals,
of really getting clarity on the goals,
of looking at what you all as individual commission members
think of as your specific roles, looking back to the order,
looking how we measure and kind of hold ourselves accountable.
So I'd love for you all to be thinking about that tonight as
we come back tomorrow to really think about how we want to play
that out, how we want to name it so by the time we finish
tomorrow, we've got more clarity on the goals and the role and
how we measure and hold ourselves accountable.
The second piece I mentioned earlier today in addition to the
Hispanic community action summits and then talking about
this education focus, another idea that we've been talking
about from the beginning of our time in the office,
we know that all across the education system we have
challenges, but we know that in particular at the early learning
side, and we all know what the research and the realities of
what's been going on about how critical that is for us as a
Latino community.
And as I mentioned before, we're the only minority group in the
United States where less than half of our kids are in any form
of early childhood education.
And so one of the things that I think we're very fortunate that
we have a number of our commission members with Shakira,
with Modesto, with Adrian, who all have spent a lot of
time, a lot of you as well too, but I know those three in
particular who have spent a lot of time on the early
learning front.
And so one of the things that we wanted to talk to you about
today to get your best advice, to hear from our folks who have
been working in the early childhood education feel for a
long time are their thoughts on how we best do this.
Because what we want to be able to do,
we were looking probably at the beginning of next year as kind
of having a national summit that focuses on this really critical
piece of the education equation for our kids.
And once again, thinking about how we help move the needle and
what's it going to mean to kind of move forward on that piece.
So I would love to have Shakira, Mo, Adrian,
to kind of help us start that conversation,
what you all have experienced on the early childhood
education front.
Shakira: If I may interject, I hope that through my appointment to this
commission I can share a little bit of what I've learned during
this past 15 years working with Latino kids in Colombia and also
in Latin America.
And what I've learned is that there is no better and faster,
fastest investment than investing on our kids' specialty
when they are very, very little.
It is proven, it is not only my belief, but it is proven,
and there is some scientific support to this,
that when we invest in children in their first six years of
their lives, when their brains are developing,
and their cognitive skills, and their motor and social skills
are developing, then we are guaranteeing that this kid will
have a successful and a productive life when he or she
becomes an adult.
So it is very, very important.
And I'm going to insist on this particular topic during my or
our meetings in this commission, because I am convinced that
early childhood development strategies and promoting those
strategies and initiatives is the way to ensure that our kids,
our Latino kids especially will stick to their
secondary education.
They will be more successful.
They will perform better, not only in high school,
but they will also make it through college.
One of the reasons why our Latino kids are dropping out of
school and too far few make it through college is that most of
them didn't receive access to early childhood
development programs.
So we should insist on that.
We should insist on creating more of those programs,
open more (inaudible) centers to which our Latino kids have
access to.
And this is going to be one of the recurrent subjects that I'm
going to insist on while I'm here with you guys.
And so that's something of what I wanted to share briefly with
you today.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thank you.
And what I want to do -- I know with Adrian,
there's the question of how New Mexico can move in this
direction, but I'd love to hear Mo and Shakira both talk,
because I think both of you have had success in getting folks who
weren't funding it to fund it.
And so I'd love to kind of hear both of you talk about what
you've done internationally to kind of get other countries to
step up to put the dollars down and to make it happen and, Mo,
kind of what you're doing in Florida,
love to hear both of you talk about how you made it happen.
Modesto Abety: Well, part of what we did in Miami Dade is pass a voter
referendum that creates a base of funding,
which citizens voted to tax their property to create a pool
of funding that we can invest not only for early care --
Eduardo Padrón: Speak louder.
Modesto Abety: -- not only for early care and education programs but across
the board for all children zero to 18.
In terms of child care specifically,
and we know fewer than half of Latino children are
participating in early learning environments that getting them
there prepares them for school, makes them readier for school.
We have invested in a quality rating and improvement system
which incentivizes child care to look at their learning
environment, look at teacher qualifications,
look at child teacher ratios, look at curriculum that builds
literacy, perform early screening of children to
identify learning disabilities or developmental delays,
and then make the proper referrals for treatment.
We believe that parent involvement needs to start very,
very early, that parents are children's first teachers,
and that teaching immigrants, Latinos,
how they can help their children learn and be better prepared for
school is key.
And so building those skills among our parents and --
Juan Sepúlveda: Let me interrupt you for a second.
Let me interrupt you for a second, Mo.
I'm curious, the first time you guys put this on to the ballot
and had to kind of convince the public that,
when we know this is such a difficult thing to do,
to convince them that they should be taxing themselves to
kind of specifically add some of these early learning pieces,
how did you do that?
What led to success to make -- what was the campaign behind
that idea?
Modesto Abety: I think a number of factors.
Clearly we had the leadership on our political action committee.
David Lawrence very clearly someone well respected,
a former publisher and editor of our local newspaper, who,
and others, who came from a position of integrity and spoke
to the importance of this issue and to the importance of
ensuring that the funding was going to be used in a way that
was transparent, that would stand public scrutiny,
and then laying out very specifically how we were going
to invest the money.
And we did that by going to community.
We had over 28 public hearings and all of the communities
within Dade county, we asked parents what they wanted,
what they needed, we asked them what they thought the issues
were, what the problems were, and we came back to them with,
this is what we will fund, this is what we hope to fund,
which also included considerable input from opinion leaders and
folks in the field of child and family issues.
The issue was depoliticized.
The board which administers our funds are folks who are
involved in policy with children and families,
but we are making decisions based on what's best for
children, what is in the best interest of the community,
and while there are political appointments to our board,
the majority of our members are folks who have children as their
primary interest.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thanks.
And then I wanted to go back to Shakira again,
because I know you've had success kind of working with
some of the different Latin American countries to kind of
help get this put into place.
And I was curious about what you all did in some of those kind
of conversations.
Speaker: Just coming from Brazil where we signed an agreement with the
Brazilian government, and a foundation of which I'm a part
of, ALAS, which promotes initiative directed towards this
sector of the population, children between zero to six
years old, and we agreed on building and creating 100 new
centers for early childhood development.
And it is my belief, but it is also demonstrated,
that if we provide early childhood development strategies
and initiatives to Latino children,
it would take much less than a decade to reap the benefits of
this kind of investment.
When I was saying before that, I was mentioning that investing in
education is one of the fastest investments in generating
returns to the state, I say it based on the premise that it's
been proven that per every dollar that is invested on a
child's education during his or her first years of life,
this same child when he or she becomes an adult is going to
give $17 back to the state.
So it is a good deal for all of us.
It's a good deal for the children,
for them to unlock their potentials and talents and grow
as dignified individuals and live productive lives,
but it is also good deal for government,
good deal for all of us, and it shouldn't be overlooked.
So in our last encounter, Juan, and also I had the opportunity
to previously discuss this with the President,
we mentioned the possibility about perhaps planning on
creating an ECD summit, an early childhood
development supplement.
I still believe in this idea.
I think we can work together to make it happen,
a summit that brings together people in government,
but also academics, people in the economic front,
the private sector business leaders.
I think it's very important that the civil society mobilizes
around the urgency of investing in early childhood
development strategies.
And a summit like this, I think, could bring the attention of so
many people around the world and people within the United States
towards this very important issue,
and I think it's a good start.
So I know that the President is currently instituting programs,
more and more programs for ECD, for ECD centers,
but I believe that now that we are going to be the voice of so
many Latino kids when we already have been the voice of them for
so long for some time, we can double the bet.
We can make it more of a priority.
Juan Sepúlveda: Okay.
Thank you.
Shakira: Thank you.
Juan Sepúlveda: I think we've hit about time, but I just wanted to get a quick
-- we'll continue the conversation in the morning,
but I'd love Adrian just to give us a quick minute or two on kind
of where things are in New Mexico,
which is trying to get it done.
Adrian: Real quickly -- I appreciate Shakira's and Modesto's emphasis
on early childhood.
The beautiful thing about the science of early childhood
development in the first three, six years of a life is that it's
an international, right, it's a global science.
And so we apply it anywhere and it makes that impact and
that investment.
It can be felt anywhere you go.
I'm reminded of this every day that I go home and I see my
one-year-old and my three-year-old about the
importance of early childhood.
In New Mexico our campaign, grassroots campaign,
to bring more resources to early childhood is called Investing
Kids Now -- not investing kids tomorrow or investing kids for
the future -- investing kids now,
because we get that that investment will produce greater
returns in the future.
And that's what this pin stands for right here,
Invest in Kids Now.
It's a little girl and a little boy,
and we wear it to remind us that if we make this investment early
on that we will make that impact.
And I brought one for Shakira to wear.
Shakira: Thank you.
I will wear it.
Adrian: So now we have a global spokesperson, Shakira,
to hopefully spread that word for us in New Mexico.
Thank you.
Juan Sepúlveda: Thanks.
So I see we hit our time, Chairman, for today.
So once again, as I mentioned, we're about to adjourn in just
a second.
So, remember as kind of a homework piece for the
commission tonight, we want to be able to come back tomorrow
and pick up with this notion around the specific goals,
the specific roles, the kind the measures we'll use to kind of
hold ourselves accountable.
Thank you all for a good start again today.
In terms of logistics for all -- thank you,
big round of applause to all our community members for joining
us today.
And so in terms of logistics, we are adjourned.
We're going to have time to chat at the reception.
I need the commission members for just a few minutes.
So I'm going to ask the community members if you all can
please exit through that back door.
You'll have time to talk to commission members at
the reception.
I need them for a few minutes right now.
So if you could all just kind of exit through that door.
We'll be back again here for the start tomorrow morning at 9.
We're going to ask the press to stick around.
We're going to be ready for you in just a few minutes.
Thank you all very much.