NCSS Board of Directors Meeting May 2005

National Council for the Social Studies

Board of Directors
May 7-8, 2005
Washington Renaissance Hotel
Washington, DC

Attending: Jesus Garcia, chair; Jeff Passe; Peggy Altoff; Dennis Banks; Lynne Boyle-Baise ; Joseph Braun; Bruce Damasio; David Faerber; Mark Finchum; Syd Golston; Susan Griffin; Diane Hart; Stephen Johnson; Michael Koren; Denee Mattioli; Kelly Palmer; Judy Parsons; Chris Pratt-Consoletti; Eileen Sheehy; Shelly Singer; Lynda Wagner; Carol Warren; Marsha Yoder; Ruben Zepeda; Paul Horne

NCSS Staff: Susan Griffin: Al Frascella; Arthur Ganta; EllaMcDowell; Ana Post; Cassandra Roberts; Timothy Daly (recorder).

Guest: Gayle Thieman, vice-president elect

Jesus Garcia called the meeting to order at 8:30 am and reviewed the agenda.

I. Agenda

  • Motion: ...to approve agenda.
    • Passed

II. Minutes

III. Reports

A. President

Jesus Garcia presented his report. Highlighted a concern that conference attendance is down among state conferences, and for NCSS is steady. This will be a concern in coming years. NCSS is not growing as an organization. NCSS leadership will need to focus on this in a deliberate way. This is something he would like the board to keep in mind.

B. President-Elect

Jeff Passe presented his written report and plans for the 2005 Kansas City Annual Conference.

C. Vice-President

Peggy Altoff presented her report to the board and highlights of planning for the 2006 annual conference.

D. Staff Reports

Susan Griffin summarized and noted staff changes: Director of Creative Services Gene Cowan, and Director of Finance Arthur Ganta are leaving NCSS in May; Assistant Editor Kristen Page left NCSS in April. The board discussed membership totals. Cassandra Roberts presented information on membership totals for other similar organization. These organizations are having similar troubles with membership as NCSS. EllaMcDowell presented an update of conference plans.

E. Financial Reports

Arthur Ganta presented financial statements through March 31, 2005. Cash position is good because of success of Baltimore conference; membership dues are under budget; annual conference revenue was above budget.

F. Proposed Budget for 2005-2006 Fiscal Year

Susan Griffin presented the proposed budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. She explained that revenues are mostly flat due to a level membership and conference attendance. The proposed budget is based on increases to membership dues, conference registration and exhibit fees. Total membership is projected to be flat. Conference registration is estimated at 3,500 attendees. The board discussed the importance of increasing conference registration and effect of site selection on these totals.

  • Motion: ... that for the 2013-2015 conference sites, the conference committee consider only tier one cities as generally accepted by conference planning professionals. (Zepeda/Faerber)
    • Passed

  • Motion: ... to approved dues increase. (Passe/Wagner)
    • Passed

  • Motion: ... to approve proposed budget for FY 2005-2006. (Passe/Wagner)
    • Passed

IV. Ongoing Business

A. FASSE Raffle/Fundraising

FASSE Vice-Chair presented a proposal from FASSE regarding fundraising and the raffle.
  1. Increase the annual conference registration by $2.00 with these funds designated for FASSE to be divided 50-50 between the FASSE fund and the McAuliffe award in the conference budget.
  2. Continue outreach to individuals by including FASSE information on the NCSS membership application and renewal forms. Also continue a check off box for FASSE contributions on the NCSS conference application.
  3. Council contributions to FASSE should be recognized through the Council Award program. There could be three levels of awards, Silver Star, Gold Star, and Platinum (for councils that contributed $500 or $1.00 per affiliated council member (not joint member).
  4. Consider allowing the FASSE board (ONLY) to conduct a mini-raffle during the annual conference. Prizes would be simple, such as one-year's free membership, waiver of the conference registration fee for the following year, etc.

Incoming VP and past FASSE chair Gayle Thieman reported on historical amounts of contributions to FASSE. Contributions have increased from $30 to $13,551 from 1995 to 2004. She supports the idea of relying less on the raffle.

  • Motion: ... to accept proposal as presented (Koren/Damasio)
    • motion to amend: #1 to read" Increase the annual conference registration for member, non-member, non-member with membership and local-school-group categories by $2.00 with these funds designated for FASSE to be divided 50-50 between the FASSE fund and the McAuliffe award in the conference budget." (Altoff/Passe)
    • Passed
    • Motion: to amend by consider each part of the proposal separately. (Passe/Zepeda) Passed

    • #1. Approved
    • #2. Approved
    • #3. Zepeda asked for a clarification. Does this motion include the levels of awards and amounts?
      • *motion to amend to read "Council contributions to FASSE should be recognized through the Council Award program."
        • amendment Passed
      • #3 Passed as amended.

    • motion to amend motion by deleting #4. (Koren/Faerber)
      • motion to amend passed (recommendation #4 was not approved.)

The board discussed whether the raffle should be completely discontinued, or if a small raffle would be acceptable as a "PR" event. Some concerns cited against the motion included the fact that NCSS already increased dues for 2005. Lynne Boyle-Baise commented that she would prefer to have the raffle discontinued all together and focus promoting awareness through the awards. Additional concerns included contributions to FASSE in years where conference registration doesn't cover expenses as happened in 2002 at Phoenix.

Other board members supported the motion stating that NCSS support for research through FASSE is important and that NCSS needs to have a greater research base for social studies.

B. Governance Transition Team Proposal on Board Composition

Stephen Johnson introduced. Six at-large positions, three of which are designated as K-12 teachers (two at large members elected each year, one of whom is a K-12 teacher.)
  • Motion: to accept recommendation. (Passe/Banks) Passed

Board members will circulate a petition reflecting the recommended amendment in order for this to be considered by the house of delegates in November 2005.

C. Fundraising Policy

Peggy Altoff introduced the proposed Fundraising Policy. The executive committee asked that this policy be revised prior to consideration by the board.

The board discussed whether there is the a way to keep track of who is being solicited in order to limit the frequency of solicitations. Ruben Zepeda suggested that the executive director should be the clearing house.

The executive committee had questions about corporate sponsorships and policies related to this. The board questioned whether sponsorships should be addressed separately. Annual events would need to be initially approved, but the policy states only that it needs to be reported.

D. Conflict of Interest Policy

Ruben Zepeda presented the policy, and explained that the executive committee recommended that the following be adopted as policy:

"The standard of behavior at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is that all board members scrupulously avoid conflicts of interest between the interests of the NCSS on one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding potential and actual conflicts of interest, as well as perceptions of conflicts of interest.

I understand that the purposes of this policy are to protect the integrity of the NCSS\x92 decision-making process, to enable our constituencies to have confidence in our integrity, and to protect the integrity and reputations of board members. Upon or before election, hiring or appointment, I will make a full, written disclosure of interests, relationships, and holdings that could potentially result in a conflict of interest. This written disclosure will be kept on file and I will update it as appropriate. In the course of meetings or activities, I will disclose any interests in a transaction or decision where I (including my business or other nonprofit affiliations), my family and/or my significant other, employer, or close associates will receive a benefit or gain. After disclosure, I understand that at the discretion of the Chair I will be asked to leave the room for the discussion. Under no circumstances will I be permitted to vote on the question."

A disclosure form with the following will be used:

"Please describe below any relationships, positions, or circumstances in which you are involved that you believe could contribute to a conflict of interest for you and the National Council for the Social Studies.

I hereby certify that the information set forth above is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I have reviewed, and agree to abide by, the Policy of Conflict of Interest of NCSS that is currently in effect.

I understand that this policy is meant to supplement good judgment, and I will respect its spirit as well as its wording.

(signature and date)"

This would become effective July 1,2005 for current board members, and on nominations forms.

    • motion: ... to approve. (Zepeda/Altoff)
      • Passed

E. Instructional Technology Guidelines

Joe Braun introduced the guidelines. These guidelines were presented to the board in February 2005, but consideration was postponed for clarification. Braun was concerned that ethics were not include. The committee felt that ethics should not be addressed for technology separately but as part of an overall NCSS statement. Braun commented that that ethics is important and the board should consider the ethics statement.

The board questioned whether this document was better used as a position statement rather than a guidelines document.

  • Motion: To ask the technology select subcommittee to revise the document as a position statement based on the template as a lead-in to developing guidelines for social studies educators and students on the use of technology. (Golston/Passe)
    • Passed

  • Motion: ...to that board consider revising 2003 ethics statement to include use of technology. (Braun/Faerber)
    • Passed

Jeff Passe suggested that he could ask that the board take care of this during his term president if technology is not included.

The board of directors asked Joe Braun to communicate to the committee that it endorses the direction of the document. It asked the committee to continue its work on the document.

The board discussed information regarding Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the possibility of standards developed in conjunction with them.

F. Update on action on 2004 request Citizenship Task Force request to form working group.

Diane Hart reported that this is ongoing. Task force John Minkler understands why no action has been taken. NCSS is not ready yet to act on this concept. Jesus Garcia reported that this will be revisited as part of the governance transition team.

Michael Simpson reported on progress on Social Studies and the Young Learner editor search. A search committee has been formed consisting of Jesus Garcia; NCSS board members Joe Braun, Carol Warren, Kelly Palmer and Michael Koren; Janet Strickland, Chair of the Early Childhood and Elementary SIG; and Barbara Knighton, member of SSYL editorial board.

H. NCATE/PRAXIS II Benchmarking

Susan Griffin distributed a report from NCATE. The board received this document in November. NCATE has asked NCSS to comment on the viability of having a national benchmark or cut score that could be used in accreditation decisions. Jeff Passe and Jesus Garcia recommended that an ad hoc committee be appointed consisting of board members and NCSS members who have been on the BOE to review this and make a report to the board. Dennis Banks, Gayle Thieman, Lynne Boyle-Baise, and Eileen Sheehy volunteered.

V. New Business

A. Nominations and Elections Committee Appointments.

Garcia reported that the executive committee voted to appoint Mary Ellen Sorensen, Fran Holleran, and Cricket Kidwell upon his recommendation. One of these will be serving the remainder of Sue Blanchette's term.

  • Motion:... to approve appointments to the Nominations and Elections Committee (Johnson/Wagner)
    • Motion Passed

B. Guidelines for Organizing the Annual Conference.

Jesus Garcia reported that he has asked staff to develop a set of guidelines to assist NCSS officers who are serving as program chairs to assist them in their work.

C. Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind Act

Jeff Passe explained that he received this as member of a mailing list from NCTE. This statement was circulated on this list. This originated with FAIRTEST. Intent was to state opposition to NCLB and to offer a positive alternative. NCSS can add it's support to the statement.

  • Motion: ...to accept statement and sign on as a supporter. (Altoff/Koren)
    • Passed

Lynne Boyle-Baise spoke in opposition to approving this because it implied that NCSS agrees with NCLB and a federal role in accountability. We should work for it to be gone. Altoff stated that we are in support of the goals, not NCLB. Al Frascella reported that it was unlikely that NCLB would be repealed and that NCSS is better served as working to change and revise it than to be in total opposition. Passe agreed and stated that NCSS should be in support of these principles instead of only in opposition to NCLB.

D. Executive Committee Discussion

Ruben Zepeda reviewed the current policies regarding the executive committee for the board. He expressed concerns that the executive committee was not being used as intended, and that consultations among officers only or by the executive director with officers only seemed in conflict with this policy. Jesus Garcia and Susan Griffin commented that there are appropriate times to consult with officers for information or informal guidance. The board discussed the work of the executive committee in preparation for selecting members for FY 2005-2006.

Sunday, May 7

Jesus Garcia thanked outgoing board members Joe Braun, Stephen Johnson, Mark Finchum, Judy Parsons, Chris Pratt-Consoletti and Ruben Zepeda for their work on the board. Outgoing board members spoke about their time on the board.

E. PASS Professional Development Project

Denee Mattioli presented a proposal to offer professional development based on the PASS project video materials. NCSS would train a cadre of consultants through whom NCSS could offer professional development to schools or school districts to create with a school or district a group of teachers who are highly effective within their classroom and in sharing this expertise with other school or district teachers. Mattioli commented that this program could be targeted to underrepresented areas and urban school districts. Appropriate fees would be charged to enable NCSS to compensate consultants, cover other costs and generate additional revenue.

Mattioli asked the board for approval to expend money in FY 2004-2005 to begin training at a June training session. This is not an additional expenditure, but an allocation from funds budgeted for FY 2004-2005 for PASS marketing.

  • Motion:... to accept recommendation as presented. (Banks/Horne)
    • Passed

F. Election of Executive Committee

The board selected Bruce Damasio and Carol Warren to serve on the executive committee for 2005-2006.

G. Special Projects and Endorsements

1. Constitution Day
NCSS was asked to be a co-sponsor of this program, assist in promotion. Committee recommends that the request not be approved because NCSS would not have input and there is no process in place to review accuracy of the materials. By policy, NCSS must be involved in a project prior to endorsement. The committee suggested that the completed project could be considered later for endorsement. NCSS can disseminate information without board approval.
  • Motion: .... to accept the recommendation to not endorse.
    • Passed

2. People to People Ambassador Program.
NCSS was requested to be a "co-sponsor", but this is endorsement under NCSS terminology. The committee recommended to not endorse.
  • Motion: to endorse the People to People Ambassador Program (Banks/Faerber)
    • Passed

Motion: ...that People to People pay $3000 annual fee to NCSS for the endorsement and use of mailing list. (Singer/Warren)
    • Defeated

3. Halinan Consulting Supreme Court Project
Halinan Consulting is requesting formal advising on the development of a national Web-based educational outreach effort on the Supreme Court, keyed to a four-hour PBS television series. The committee recommended approval of formal advising involvement.

  • Motion:... to approve NCSS involvement as a formal advisor. (Endorsement Committee)
    • Passed

Susan Griffin and Ana Post reported on possible proposals that may come from the Center for Congress and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

  • The board adjourned at noon.

The board adjourned at noon.

-- TimDaly - 13 May 2005
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