POLICY ASPA MEETING
MARCH 29, 2012
ST. LOUIS, MO
Attendees: Carla Aguilar, Julie Bannerman, Janet Barrett, Cathy Benedict, Susan Cogdill, Ken Elpus, Altovise Gipson, Keitha Hamann, Patrick Jones, Ron Kos, Doug Orzolek, Sarah Phelps, Lauren Kapalka Richerme, Ryan Salazar, Patrick Schmidt, Evan Tobias
- Reviewed and discussed progress toward and ideas for moving forward on the action goals set at the 2011 SMTE symposium.Goal #1: Identifying specific intersection between policy and other areas/ASPAs.
Ron had volunteered to coordinate the efforts of ASPA members to create talking points or policy briefs as a resource for recognizing and addressing the policy issues related to the goals of other ASPAs. Since the symposium, Ron identified a number of potential policy connections. Those connections were shared at the meeting. They will be posted online and ASPA members are encouraged to volunteer to work on t talking points for one or more ASPAs, either individually or collaboratively.Goal #2: Developing strategies for state policy awareness.
There was considerable discussion regarding the intent behind this goal. Questions were raised regarding the audience for these efforts, the best ways to accomplish this awareness, who might be best positioned to coordinate the efforts, and what policies might be a focus. The issue of teacher evaluation at the state level received considerable attention (see topic 2 below). It was determined that individual members would “infiltrate their state,” consider writing articles for state MEA journals or presenting sessions at state MEA conferences. Teacher evaluation might be a focus, or perhaps other issues depending on the state. These actions might be reported more broadly through the ASPA website or, in the case of teacher evaluation, through the teacher evaluation section of the SMTE site. The possibility of an online policy forum was raised (see topic 3 below)
Goal #3: Creating “Policy Bites” – Series of Podcasts presenting views, definitions, insight from practical and conceptual experience.
Patrick Schmidt had volunteered to spearhead this effort. So far he has identified several likely topics. The next step is to contact the membership and seek volunteers to create a few initial podcasts. Some logistics were discussed, including how best to host the podcasts, as the ASPA site is not particularly robust, podcasts would require considerable bandwidth, and visibility is also a concern. The creation of a youtube channel was suggested, those videos could then be embedded in a website or links could be provided. A suggestion was also raised that we consider creating our own site independent of the SMTE site.
- Doug Orzolek discussed the new Teacher Evaluation section on the SMTE website. A portion of that section is set aside for policy related to teacher evaluation. Members who do work with policy and teacher evaluation are encouraged to submit materials to that site. There are a number of individuals with access to post the materials, including Doug and Ron. Materials might be papers or presentations regarding teacher evaluation, or examples of evaluation policies that might serve as models for other states or districts.
- We discussed the benefits and logistics of creating a space for teachers or other interested individuals could pose questions about policy that would be answered, perhaps by members of the Policy ASPA. The “ask the mentor” model used by NAfME was suggested as a possibility, as was an FAQ document available on the ASPA site. One concern with the ASPA site is that it is not highly trafficked. A suggestion was made that we request that NAfME create a forum on its site specifically for issues related to policy, much like the forums that already exist for topics such as band, choir, research, and teacher evaluation. Ron will contact NAfME about the possibility and, should it come to fruition, coordinate finding volunteers to respond to questions that are posed.
- Ron raised the issue of the relevance of the current policy ASPA mission statement, which currently reads as follows: To coordinate the efforts of SMTE, MENC, NASM, and CMS in supporting music teacher education as well the involvement of other pertinent groups; to build capacity for policy development. Discussion revealed the rationale behind some of that language, and the membership generally agreed that the statement needs to be revised. Ron will create an online document so that members may comment or offer potential revisions.
- The ASPA website includes a section for resources. The current bibliography is somewhat dated and includes some things that are not necessarily policy related. Ron is crafting a new annotated bibliography based on an article he is writing and will post it to the site in the near future. In addition, members are encouraged to report on any current policy related projects in which they are engaged.