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Minutes of Commissioner's Task Force
on Gender Equity in Education
April 14, 2004 Meeting


Patrick Phillips, Susan Corrente, Lisa Plimpton, Duke Albanese, Rich Kent, Carla Ritchie, Sharon Wilson-Barker; Michael Montagna, Lyn Brown, Mary Madden, Harry Osgood


Welcome to Harry Osgood ( DOE ) and Lyn Brown (Colby). Harry distributed some data he had collected "Distribution of 2002 Fall Enrollment by Gender/Maine Public and Private Colleges and Universities. Lyn and Mary shared information about two well - known researchers in the field of gender issues for youth/education who will be speaking in the Camden area in Fall, 2004: William Pollack of Harvard (September 10 - target audience is parents) and Judith Jordan (September 11 - target audience is educators, counselors). Lyn had also sent information earlier about Michael Kimmel's planned speaking engagement at Colby in Fall, 2004 and she will keep the group updated, as this may be a very good event for the Task Force to help sponsor as a centerpiece for sharing the Task Force's work to date, in the Fall.


1. Participants and Roles - Some new members were recommended to participate on the full Task Force, and the recommendations were accepted: Diana Doiron, DOE ; Jeanne Whynot-Vickers, Dir. of Elem/Sec Ed in Portland; Emma Carlson, Mitchell Scholar; Richard Robles, Ex Dir, Heritage Farm, Ft. Fairfield; a Milken Award winner; and Greg Miller, UTC as an alternate in the event that Tim Hathorne or Don Canaan can't attend for Vocational Education. Colleen Quint from the Mitchell Institute will be deleted from the membership list, since Duke and Lisa are representing the Mitchell Institute. Sharon mentioned the Task Force to Wendy Ault (already listed - MELMAC) and she is interested; Susan mentioned it to Bob Cobb (already listed - UMO) and he too is interested.

2. Anticipated Costs/Contributions - Susan is still awaiting final US DOE approval of use of carryover character education funds for this initiative; in light of Mitchell's kind offer to cover food/facilities, these funds would cover speakers' fees and publication costs. Duke has asked that food/facilities for the Task Force be direct billed to the Mitchell Institute, attention Pam Fisher.

3. Electronic Clearinghouse - Susan described the critical role Character Education Program Associate Tonia Stevens played in the development of the report from the Commission on Ethical and Responsible Student Behavior and recommended her as a resource for website development, if the members from the Mitchell Institute agreed it was worth the Department pursuing that with their Mitchell Institute colleagues with whom Tonia now works on secondary school reform. Lisa and Duke agreed and it was recommended that Patrick discuss this directly with Norm Higgins and Susan Johnson at the Mitchell Institute. He will ask that she also attend the Task Force meetings, to help her understand how best to work with the material being collected.

4. Lending Library - There was a return from Rich Kent.

5. Other - Susan described Patrick's recent meeting with First Lady Karen Baldacci she cannot make the first meeting in May but we will ask her to send a letter to set the stage as Honorary Chair. There will be a prep meeting with her and any Research Team (RT) members who can attend on June 1, 9:30 - 10:30 at the Blaine House, prior to the June 3 meeting which she will attend - along with Patrick, the members who think they can make it are Duke, Carla, Harry, Lisa and Mary, and the others will check to see and attend if they can. Commissioner Gendron will be away at the times of the first two meetings but it was recommended that we keep the schedule set, to get the work of the Task Force underway. The members also agreed to extend the first meeting by 1 hour (now May 6 from 9:30 - 1:30, including a light working lunch) to allow an hour for organizational matters and then time for substantive work (see discussion or presentations, below.) Also, the members revisited the October, 2004 deadline for a final product or a conference, recommending instead that October be a time to share the Task Force's work to date, with an event to be discussed in the next few months, given how little time there is between now and October and that summer is a time when most people take vacation time. It was agreed that, in addition to the May and June meeting dates already set, there would be no July meeting, and a meeting on August 19, 2004 from 9:30 - 12:30 . Meetings beyond August will be set later.


1. Workplan - The first 3 meetings (May, June and August) will be devoted to the sharing of research already done by members of the RT. Two or three members may present at each meeting, with contributions from other RT members as the presenters/members see as useful. Members may also include adjunct presenters whose work is relevant to their presentations. Presentations will be followed by Task Force discussion, most likely in small groups with time for reporting out. Presentations and discussions will be tailored to address the 8 research questions developed by the RT members, and they will address paragraphs A and B in the Draft Charge of the Task Force developed by the RT members. Discussions will be summarized to inform any final recommendations from the Task Force (covering paragraphs C, D and E of the Draft Charge of the Task Force). Some clerical support for this may be needed from the Department

2. Timelines - A tentative schedule was set: --

May: Lisa - research questions: 1A,B,C re: indicator J; 2; parts of 3)

Harry - research questions to be determined following canvassing of other DOE staff for available data (and Mary recommended

Walt Harris as a source of data on special education and reading recovery)

Michael - research questions to be determined, most likely in relation to other presentations scheduled for May

June: Lyn - research questions 1; 3; 7

Mary - research question 1; 3; 7

Rob Pfeiffer - research question 7 (Patrick will contact him about presenting on this topic at the June meeting; Lyn recommended Mark Tappan as an alternate, if Rob is not available)

August: Sharon and Carla - research questions to be determined

Rich (tentative) - research question 8 - Rich will follow a constructivist approach and will recommend where best it may fit into the course of the work of the Task Force)

As noted above, October is now viewed as a time for an interim report/event, perhaps with recommended issues to pursue further, instead of as a deadline for a final product.

3. Subcommittee Assignments - In light of the structure set above for presentations and discussion, Task Force subcommittees were not discussed.


1. Measures of Aspirations/Achievement for Students Who Aren't College Bound - Members agreed that exploration of this issue would begin with research/presentations/discussion of research question 1A; related issues for further study will be identified during the course of the work of the Task Force.

2. Incorporation of Students/Issues Associated with Juvenile Justice Programs in Maine - Members agreed that exploration of this issue would best follow research/presentations/discussion of the identified research questions, with the Task Force that does include juvenile justice representatives, as that may contribute to an understanding of why some students are in the juvenile justice system; related issues for further study will be identified during the course of the work of the Task Force.


The Research Team will meet again before the first meeting of the full Task Force. The meeting will be on Friday, April 30, 2004 at the Department of Education from 9:30 - 12:00 noon in Room # 541. At that meeting, we'll:

(a) review the responses from invitees to the Task Force (responses to the invitation will be due April 28); (b) discuss any further plans for the RT member presentations; and (c) identify which research questions will be addressed in the RT member presentations and, if any remain to be addressed, how best to do that.