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Minutes Nov 10 2011


									                        Tennessee STEM Education Leadership Council

                                Minutes for November 10, 2011

       Chair, Dr. Sally Pardue, was unable to attend due to illness. Dr. Tom Cheatham and Dr.

Shelia Pirkle led the meeting at Dr. Pardue’s request. The minutes from the May meeting had

been forwarded to the membership via email prior to the meeting and were available in paper

form for review. Dr. Jack Rhoton made the motion to accept the minutes as written. Dr. Wayne

Stevenson seconded. The minutes were approved by acclamation. The agenda for the meeting

was presented. Dr. Cheatham asked for any additions to the agenda. Dr. Geraldine Farmer

reported that NAEP was requesting input. Please contact her sometime today and she will

forward your remarks. Dr. Shelia Pirkle requested an update on the status of the Science

standards and the results of the Unconference. Dr. Jim Kelly reported a legislator coming to his

campus. Dr. Kelly asked this legislator if he would be willing to serve on the STEM Caucus.

The legislator reported being unaware of the Caucus but stated that he would look into it. Dr.

Pirkle asked if anyone would like to attend TNSELA. The agenda for the meeting was approved.

       Dr. Cheatham and people from MTSU are doing a slide presentation regarding K-5

Science at a session during the conference. The slides present the results of a survey which had

over 2000 respondents. Summary shows that K-5 teachers do NOT believe they need

professional development for deepening their science content knowledge. Not much time is

spent on science instruction. 64% of respondents reported no chemistry; 41%, no physics; 78%

less than 6 hours of Science professional development over the last 3 years. When Dr. Rhoton

asked if these results differ from national studies, Dr. Cheatham reported that it was unknown. A

new national survey is pending. Ms. Linda Jordan reported a request for data regarding science

in grades 6 – 8. Dr. Pirkle suggested examining AAAS data. Ms. Jordan stated she was
interested in state rather than national data. Dr. Cheatham asked if someone had done a survey

regarding K-6 Math, perhaps Dr. Holly Anthony from TTU? If so, he would be interested in

seeing those results. Mr. Paul Stinson stated that, as a representative of industry, he thought we

must be concerned about these results; little science background and little interest in professional

development. Can this lead to a page 2 of the survey? A report of the results has been presented

to the State Board as a White Paper. Dr. Terry Lashley remarked that through many classroom

observations, she has witnessed a lot of teachers getting engrossed in the activities without ever

getting to the science, the debriefing and discussions. Ms. Jordan asked Mr. Stinson if he

thought the Business Roundtable would be interested in hearing about the results of the survey?

He noted that he would check with the President of the Roundtable and let her know.

       Ms. Ruth Woodall noted that in meetings with the ACT council, preparation for taking

the ACT can begin in Kindergarten. The United Way is also interested in assisting through

volunteers and helping parents know how to help their children. Ms. Jordan stated that she had

taken this issue as far as she could. The impetus will have to come from outside. The question

was raised: What kind of message do we send when we do not count testing of science in the

AYP? In the reauthorization of NCLB, should science be a federally mandated test area?

Should STEM be singled out as a curriculum area? Currently, STEM is the only content area

“called out” as important. Dr. Rhoton suggested that we should consider the preparation of pre-

service teachers. We turn out elementary teachers with shallow knowledge of science and math.

Dr. Pirkle noted that pre-service teachers are coming in with better preparation but we need to

look at pre-service prep programs. Dr. Kelly noted that in the community colleges, if you

complete an AS, you must have 12 hours of science and 9 of math. Currently the state has
standards that higher education must use to design their teacher prep curriculum. Dr. Cheatham

noted that the white paper was presented to Martin Nash and Dr. David Sevier.

       Ms. Woodall presented questions and answers from the Caucus meeting in January, led

by legislators. This is the first State STEM Caucus in the nation. Rep. Jim Tracy is taking the

lead. Rep. Hays from Memphis represents West TN. The Caucus needs to remain small to be

effective. Members of the advisory committee include TN-GAC, Battelle, ORNL. The Caucus

represents a great way to get information to the people who can make a difference. Ms. Sky

Gallegos, TSIN, reported that the network will play a strong role in advocating STEM to the

legislature. Ms. Anne Pope reported that policy will develop through the barriers and

achievements of the Hubs and Platform schools. It was reported that the average ACT in TN is

22.8, with 95% if these students attending TN schools. There are plans to survey higher

education students to see how they would change things to improve their success.

       There will be an NSTA-STEM forum at the Atlantic City conference in May 17-19,

2012. NSTA is looking for support and advocates (not money) focused on K-8 Science. The

forum will include a strand for administrators. Contact for more


       Ms. Gallegos reported that Education First is leading the effort to develop a strategic

plan. (She promised to share a PowerPoint with the council.) They have completed over 50

stakeholder interviews. They expect an explosion of STEM jobs in Tennessee over the next 3-5

years, more than 100,000 by 2018. She referenced a report recently released from UTK citing a

mismatch between the projected jobs and the degrees being awarded. A report out of

Georgetown suggests that programming and software development will be the greatest

undersupplied job strand in 2018. Nearly ½ of jobs in 2018 will require a minimum of a
bachelor’s degree. We have a written commitment to close this gap. Jobs for TN aims to target

recruitment of STEM related industry. THEC grants need more of a Science focus. Snapshots

of the results coming from the interviews include: Plan is to develop four goals with a set

activities under each goal. Education First will conduct focus groups. They plan to have a final

draft ready to roll out to the public after the first of the year.

        Dr. Farmer reported that the Nation’s Report Card will host a meeting in Nashville. Do

you have a research question you would like NAEP to investigate? If you have any suggestions

she will be happy to forward them to NAEP. They want input by the end of the day today.

There is a feeling of “too little, too late.” The need is to start early, with outreach to the

community to change the culture to emphasize the importance of education. Dr. Pirkle reported

that Clarksville, Montgomery County has begun STEM instruction programs in their schools and

is optimistic about the results.

        Ms. Jordan reported that the blueprints of new science standards from the National

Academies of Science and the NRC came out in July. They have been handed off to ACHIEVE.

A writing team of 40 has been selected. A call has gone out to all states to participate in

guidance, 20 states have responded. Tennessee is one of the lead states. Ms. Jordan has selected

a large leadership committee with a wider range of representation. A major draft for grades 6 –

12 will be ready before the end of 2011 for review. A public draft is expected in February, with

a 2nd draft in late summer. Hopefully by December 2012 there will be a framework for

professional development.

        The next meeting of the council is scheduled for February 2 from 9 -11, in conjunction

with the TMSTEC Conference at MTSU, Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, February 2-3, 2012.

Tom Cheatham, MTSU,

Terry Lashley, SouthEast Educational,

Jim Kelly, Pellissippi State CC,

Sandy Watson, UTC, UTeaChattanooga,

Stephen Kuhn, UTC, UTeaChattanooga,

Paul Stinson, AT&T, TN Business Roundtable,

Jack Rhoton, ETSU,

Shelia Pirkle, APSU,

Patty Flowers, UTM,

Geraldine Farmer,

Wayne Stevenson, ORAU,

Craig Rigell, ORAU,

Linda Jordan, TDOE,

Becky Ashe, TSTA/Knox County Schools,

Sky Gallegos, TSIN,

Anne Pope, TSIN,

Ruth Woodall, TN Scholars/ACS,

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