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Thursday, May 6, 2004
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM


MEMBERS ATTENDING: Patrick Phillips; Susan Corrente; Rich Kent; Sharon Wilson-Barker; Carla Ritchie; Phyllis Brazee; Joyce McPhetres ; Harry Osgood; Mary Madden ; Lyn Brown; Stephanie Cook (for Wendy Ault); Walt Harris; Richard Robles ; Kevin Jordan; Michael Montagna; Elizabeth Fisher; Joan McDonald; Pender Kimball; Shelley Reed; Rob Pfeiffer ; Duke Albanese; Henry Kennedy ; Emma Carlson; Lisa Plimpton; Rebecca Sockbeson; Ruey Yehle ; Charlie Harrington

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS ( 9:45 AM , due to last minute change of room): Patrick Phillips introduced himself and asked each member to do the same. He explained that Commissioner Gendron is in Washington , DC and is looking forward to joining us at the next meeting.

LETTER FROM FIRST LADY KAREN BALDACCI: Patrick Phillips read the letter sent by Honorary Chair, First Lady Karen Baldacci and copies of the letter were distributed.

CHARGE OF THE TASK FORCE: Patrick Phillips asked Duke Albanese, Sharon Wilson-Barker and Carla Ritchie to describe the genesis of the idea for the Task Force, which they did, stressing that the scope had broadened from a concern about lagging educational performance in boys to one that includes all students and the affective issues that affect their performance and aspirations. Patrick noted that Lyn Brown had recommended that the scope remain broad and inclusive of both boys and girls and that the Department agrees with the importance of approaching the issues as issues of equity in opportunities and in delivery of services, for all students. Patrick Phillips then read the Charge of the Task Force, copies of which were distributed; he noted that it would be important for the Task Force to link their efforts to any related initiatives in the Department or with which the Department was involved. Rebecca Sockbeson recommended that "race/ethnicity" be added to the list of examples of factors associated with any discrepancy between male and female achievement (Charge, at B), and the members agreed with this recommendation. [Followup - see revised Charge, attached.] Patrick Phillips then asked the Research Team members to identify their areas of research, which they did.

PROPOSED WORK PLAN AND SCHEDULE: Patrick Phillips reviewed the proposed work plan and schedule, to date, copies of which were distributed. Rebecca Sockbeson recommended that the Task Force consider a presentation on multicultural education and Indian education, and later Elizabeth Fisher noted that she could add to this presentation with data on gender issues from her work with Somalian students in the Lewiston area. The members agreed that this presentation should be included; it is tentatively scheduled for August or October. Patrick Phillips also noted that the Department is developing a website for the Task Force as a clearinghouse for research links and articles, and for posting the Agendas, Minutes of the Task Force.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Patrick Phillips invited the members to read the research questions that were developed by the Research Team members, and explained that this was done ahead of time because of their expertise as researchers and also to allow us to begin work immediately today with presentations and discussion. However, he noted that these may still be refined by the Task Force as it proceeds. Several recommendations were made:

1. Extend question 1 from K-12 to K-16 (Carla Ritchie later explained to the members that we do cover K-16, but we separated out K-12 as the subject of Question 1 because the indicators we'll track there are specific to K-12) and include the effect of gender on selection of major in postsecondary education. (This is included in Research Question # 3 at "fields of study".]

2. Add data on students who are incarcerated. (The Department of Corrections has been invited to sit on the Task Force and, along with the several Task Force members who are members of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, can assist with the provision of this data; it can be related to the listed indicators.) [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

3. Add data on students who commit suicide. [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

4. Add data on boys with ADHD who are treated with Ritalin and girls with ADHD who are undiagnosed. [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

5. Add data on gender of classroom instructors, counselors, coaches and support staff who provide role models to students. [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

6. Explore the culture of the institutions in which students learn. (This is related to Question #6 but is a different issue.) [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

7. Explore the culture of the family, beyond the educational level of parents - e.g., what is taught as needed for survival. [Followup - see revised Research Questions, attached.]

8. Make copies of Taking Responsibility available to the Task Force members. [Followup - copies will be provided by the Department at the June 3, 2004 meeting.]

9. Have a separate presentation on MEA/NAEP data. [Followup - the Department will invite a presentation by Brud Max cy and others from the Department.]

10. Link to other initiatives and to grant opportunities . [Followup - the Department will include information it gathers and that is recommended by Task Force members to the electronic clearinghouse/website for the Task Force.]

PRESENTATION ( 11:10 AM - 11:40 AM ): Lisa Plimpton - "Relevant Mitchell Institute Data". Feedback: Duke Albanese suggested that the College Board will provide SAT score analysis for Maine , in comparison with national trends, once we develop the questions we want answered; perhaps they would send a researcher here. Patrick Phillips noted that PSATs will be offered free of charge to all high school juniors next year and that may be an additional source of data. Lisa will do an analysis of her data by region, where possible. This data should be linked to the Mitchell Institute's "Barriers to Postsecondary Education in Maine " (July 2002) report that is available on the web . Can early developmental indicators for these differences be identified? Rob Pfeiffer began to speak to that question and Patrick Phillips noted that he will be an important resource on that topic; likewise, Duke Albanese offered some reflections on the role of sports for male students and female students. Patrick Phillips also noted that we may also want to have a developmental psychologist advise the Task Force.

Susan Corrente recommended that, as the Task Force members learn more about the presentations/presenters scheduled so far and see opportunities to join in on those presentations, they should feel free to network with scheduled presenters to collaborate on presentations.

PRESENTATION ( 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM ): Harry Osgood and Michael Montagna - "Relevant Department of Education and State Planning Office Data. Feedback: Harry will provide links to the websites he has used in compiling this data (for the clearinghouse being established for the Task Force). Note: at tab 6 (Special Education Child Count Date, 2000), the incidence of deafness is underreported; tab 6 data can be disaggregated by gender. Duke Albanese noted that Maine is a "high identifying" State; and Shelley Reed noted that the incidence of specific learning disabilities in the alternative education and incarcerated population is high. Tabs 7 and 9 are the same - an oversight. [ Followup - Harry will provide links to the websites used for this data and he will recalculate the total percentages in tab 17 (2002 Fall Enrollment by Gender) as they don't appear to match the subtotals.]


1. Stephanie Cook shared anecdotes about college graduates unable to find jobs related to their studies in Maine when they return from college. Rob Pfeiffer questioned whether the State should be subsidizing dairy, agriculture, forestry, to create the sorts of jobs these students are training for and seeking, in order to direct their talents to the needs of the State's economy and also to create meaningful employment and rights of passage for young people.

2. Rebecca Sockbeson asked if there were an economist on the Task Force. (Yes, Michael Montagna, State Planning Office). She also suggested Susan Feiner, USM professor and author of "Race, Class and Gender in the Economy" as an advisor to the Task Force. Patrick Phillips asked if she might recommend some articles for the clearinghouse; Rebecca will inquire. [Followup - Rebecca will send any recommended title/links to the Department for inclusion in the clearinghouse.]

3. Carla Ritchie described the lending library established for the Task Force and Carla, Sharon Wilson-Barker and Lisa Plimpton described the three books available: Beyond the Gender Wars , Gender Gaps and Failing at Fairness [Followup - the Department will seek further information from Rebecca Sockbeson on Susan Feiner's book and either add it to the lending library or provide a reference for it on the electronic clearinghouse/website for the Task Force.]

4. Phyllis Brazee noted with approval the inclusiveness of the Task Force membership and hopes that the Task Force will inspire other groups to consider this issue, as well.

5. Joan McDonald will bring copies to the June 3, 2004 meeting of the Girl Scouts' recently published report "Wings that addresses some of these issues. [Followup - Joan will bring copies of the report to the next meeting.]

6. Rebecca Sockbeson asked why there were no numbers on Native Americans in the report on "Health Risk Behaviors Among Maine Youth, 2003" included in Harry Osgood's Department of Education data; she knows the numbers are small but they are available from the CDC on request. Sharon Wilson-Barker noted that data shows that Native Americans are the least likely to get a college degree. [Followup- the Department will follow up with Joni Foster in the Department on the request for these numbers.]

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting will be June 3, 2004 from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM in the Cross State Office Building , Room 107.

ADJOURN ( 1:30 PM )