NCSS Board of Directors

November 29, 2006

  • Peggy Altoff, chair; Gayle Thieman; Michael Yell; Stephen Armstrong; Susan Blanchette; Michael Boucher; Wendell Bourne; Lynne Boyle-Baise; David Faerber; Jesus Garcia; Steven Goldberg; Susan Griffin; Barbara Hairfield; Diane Hart; Susan Hickenbottom; Dorsee Johnson-Tucker; Michael Koren; Ricki Laviano; Sally Jo Michalko; John Moore; Paul Nagel; Kelly Palmer; Jeff Passe; Shelly Singer; Renay Scott; Robert Dytell (Guest)
  • Staff: Susan Griffin, Timothy Daly, Ella McDowell, Ana Post, Cassandra Roberts, Paul Schwobel, Michael Simpson

President Peggy Altoff called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes
    • Motion: to approve April 2006 minutes. (Johnson-Tucker/Armstrong). Passed
  3. Review of votes taken since last meeting.
    • Motion: reaffirm governance/communities policy approval. (Passe/Koren) Passed
    • Motion: ... to reaffirm approval of joining working group on NCLB reauthorization. (Passe/Michalko ) Passed
  4. Washington Partners
  5. Reports
    The board reviewed written officer reports.
    1. President
    2. President-Elect
      • Gayle Thieman presented her report, and provided information on plans for the 2007 annual conference.
    3. Vice President
    4. Staff Reports
      • The board reviewed the written staff reports. NCSS will be expanding the use of state council lists for marketing mailing. The board noted that membership revenues were under budget. Mike Koren suggested that the board of directors address this at a future meeting.
    5. Audit and Financial Reports
      • Derek Strosnider of Caliber LLC. presented audited financial statements to the board. Strosnider reviewed management letter, and reviewed the recommendation letter. Recommendations included:
        • conflict of interest policy
        • code of ethics policy for staff, management or the board of directors.
        • update the employee manual to reflect items regarding Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.
      • Strosnider also reported that revenues are down 3% from last year and net assets decreased $53,580 He recommended that NCSS continue to work toward a reserve of 1-2x annual expenses. He commented that NCSS is a very "lean" organization in regards to expenses.
      • Paul Schwobel noted that the current year probably won't end in a loss given the registration levels for the conference.
      • Susan Griffin stated that the board may wish to discuss audit firm requirements at its February meeting. Staff will make a recommendation.
    6. Scope and Sequence Committee
      • Mike Koren, committee member, explained history and progress of the committee. The committee drew up a model that will be presented for comment a hearing during the conference. The committee is recommending a range of courses. Its goal is to allow flexibility for states to take what they currently do and fit them to the NCSS recommendations. The committee requests the board to consider next steps. A final recommendation is expected for the February meeting.
    7. State Liaison Reports
      • Michael Yell and Peggy Altoff reported on trends and commonalities and among the state reports. The board noted a need for more support for state councils and discussed the possibility of affiliate groups on college campuses. Most successful councils are connected to state department of education or universities. NCSS should consider how to teach people to make these connections.
    8. Standards Ad Hoc Committee
      • Peggy Altoff reported that the committee is holding a meeting and hearings at the conference and will present further report in February.
    9. Recognition for Deceased Colleagues
      • Peggy Altoff asked the board to pause to recognize many members who have died in the past few months:
        • Sam Natoli, former editor of Social Education
        • Roy Erickson
        • Neil Deason, Colorado Council
        • Mel Miller, NSSSA
        • Jake Seitz, West Virginia
  6. Continuing Business
    1. Nominations and Elections Committee Report
      • Jeff Passe presented the committee's report and recommendations. Passe commented that the nominations committee work was easier with fewer slots. The executive committee recommended that the board approve a pilot of a conference call meeting of the Nominations and Elections Committee in lieu of an in-person meeting.
        • Motion: ... to have pilot of a conference call in place of face-to-face nominations and elections committee meeting (Thieman/Scott) Passed
          • The board had some reservations about a conference call, including the benefits of having a face-to-face meeting-body language; confidential conversations; less time for meeting or exploring other topics.
      • Pass reported on additional committee ecommendations:
        1. Additional Question for packet
        2. Presentations at president's receiption
        3. Additional time at HOD. This is in effect for this year.
        4. Provide video of candidates speeches on the website. The executive committee recommended against this as it might not show candidates in the best light, and all might not be comfortable.
        5. Invite candidates to observe November board meeting, at the candidate's expense. The executive committee recommended against this because of the possible additional financial burden on candidates.
    2. Recruitment of Underrepresented Groups Update
      • John Moore reported on progress toward prioritizing recommendations. The committee will be meeting at the conference to identify particular items for implemention in 2007. The committee will have recommendations to report to the board in February.
  7. New Business
    1. Social Studies Summit-Mission Statement
      • Motion: ... to approve mission statement (Hart/Bourne) Passed
        • Mission Statement: Advocate for greater recognition of the core social studies disciplines-civics, economics, geography, history-within the reauthorization of NCLB.
      • Susan Griffin reported that the group will be called "Working Group for Civics, Economics, Geography, and History." Eepresentatives of several of the groups involved will meet November 30 at the conference. The groups were asked to provide priorities on what they'd like to see in the reauthorization, and we have received responses from several of the groups. The board noted that recognition of social studies in the classroom is being marginalized by the requirements of NCLB. NCSS needs data showing that social studies classes make a positive difference in student achievment.
    2. Changes to NCATE/NCSS Program Standards for the Initial Preparation of Social Studies Teachers.
      • Susan Griffin reported that the current NCATE/NCSS program standards are tied directly to the NCSS curriculum standards. Although there are issues with the program standards, NCSS does not want to make major changes to NCATE standards until the curriculum standards review is more clear. In the meantime, there are changes that can be made to help NCSS and institutions implement the standards. The changes presented are recommended by Alberta Dougan, NCSS NCATE Representative and Program Review Coordinator. These changes do not undermine the strength of the standards, but will help institutions comply with the standards. Altoff reported that the executive committee voted to recommend approval.
      • Motion: ... to approve removal of "by standard" (Thieman/Hart) Passed
    3. Apointment of new members of Nominations and Elections Committee.
      • Peggy Altoff recommended NCSS members Joe Gotchy and Phyllis Bowie for terms on the Nominations and Elections Committee. The continuing members are Mary Ellen Sorenson, Cricket Kidwell, Adrian Davis.
      • Motion: ... to approve. (Michalko/Goldberg) Passed
    4. Intelligent Design/Freedom Forum
      • Jeff Passe reported that NCSS was invited by Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum in June to a meeting to discuss issues related to teaching intellegent design. Haynes wished to put out guidelines or a position statement to assist schools to deal with these issues. Discovery Institute was in favor of this as it is wishing to get intelligent design into schools. NCSS was open to further discussion, but took no position. No further action has occurred. There is a HOD resolution before the house that NCSS should stay away from teaching intelligent design. This was defeated last year, but is before the house again this year.
      • CSSSO put together a team to develop a survey to find out what is being taught in social studies, and how it is being taught. 12 states are involved.
    5. Governance Transition Implementation Committee Training
      • Jeff Passe reported to the board, and explained process and history. Passe presented two documents to the board to assist members in briefing committees about their transition to communities.
    6. Nominations & Elections Committee
      • The board discussed adding an extra questions for candidates. The committee could not agree on what the additional question would be. Gayle Thieman suggested in particular it would be most important and appropriate to add a "organizational" question for vp candidates.
    7. Review of Conference Duties
      • President Peggy Altoff, reviewed duties beginning with exhibitors to visit.
    8. Review of Academic Freedom & the Social Studies Teacher
      • The board reviewed a draft position statement, "Academic Freedom and the Social Studies Teachers, from the Academic Freedom Committee. The board passed commendations on the draft to the committee and looks forward to considering the final statement.
    9. Review of Constitutional Amendments
      • The board discussed the constitutional amendments that would be considered by the house. The board had concerns regarding the implementation of mail ballot changes; logistical questions will be addressed after the amendment has been passed.
    10. Inconvenient Truth
      • The producers of the film "Inconvient Truth" offered 50,000 copies of the DVD of the film to NSTA. They elected not to distribute the DVD. Jesus Garcia was contacted about the possibility of collabortation with NCSS. Garcia presented the possibilities and some of the downsides. Distribution implies endorsement, so this should go through the endorsement process.
      • The board discussed political ramifications, legal issues, and whether NCSS should endorse a position on global warming. Board members alco commented that this could be a good recruitment possibilities.
      • Motion: ask Jesus Garcia to pursue with the producers possible distribution of Inconvenient Truth to education community.
      • Passed
    11. Documents Review?
      • Gayle Thieman presented a report on the plans of the Documents Review Committee. She will review position statements with her committee and bring first group for approval to the bod in February.
    12. Center on Congress proposal from Lee Hamilton.
      • Lynn Boyle Baise is an advisor to the Center on Congress and provided some background, describing the School of Education role. Free distribution; teacher involvement at every stage. Middle school and high school classroom teachers. December 15th is the deadline for sending names for formal advisors.
    13. NCSS Archives.
      • Margaret Crocco, NCSS Member from Teachers College reported on the current status of the NCSS Archives. The collection has been at Teachers College since 1975, and is the second largest at TC after their own. The expense of archival collections has been an increasing challenge. TC has closed down the NCSS archives. The physical collection is still there, but the collection must be digitized. This would provide increased access, and reduce costs for Teachers College Crocco described some of the rich history of NCSS, social studies education, and issues facing the country. However, the NCSS archives is large collection so digitizing would cost around $105,000 and they destroy what is digitized. In addition, funding for such work is not widely available. There is not much encouragement from foundations, or other possible funders. NCSS has maybe a year to make decision.
      • The board suggested a working group to take this up. Is there a way to save document "gems." David Faeber and Ricki Laviano are liaisons to the Archives Committee. Kelly Palmer, Shelley Singer, Michael Boucher, Steve Goldberg, Lynn Boyle Baise volunteered for the working group.
      • Motion: ... to find a way to digitalize the NCSS Archives over the next year. (Boyle-Baise/Bourne) Passed
      • Barbara Hairfield will see about bringing resolution to HOD Resolutions Committee. Michael Boucher is the head of the working group.

  • The board moved to adjourn.
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