Michigan Council for History Education
Minutes, September 16, 2017
Present: Gordon Andrews, Bill Warren, Jim McConnell, Nick Orlowski, Elaine Themm, Jana Pisani, Michele Anderson, David Hales, Scott Durham
Called to order at 10:12 a.m.
Report by Jim Cameron on the status on the new Social Studies standards. He reported progress is being made but more hurdles are still being navigated.
The status of history education came up and the fact that the numbers of those choosing education as a field of study has been on a decline. Gordon offered that maybe we should, as a Board, put out a statement on the status of history education in Michigan.
Bill Warren talked about the declining numbers of this has caused even some colleges closing their undergraduate programs while others are making major changes. Since 2010, students enrolled in education have declined 61%. Bill posited that one of the reasons could be State’s intervention in the licensure process. The MTTC in History may also be a deterrent.
The teaching profession may be demoralized as well.
Michelle talked about the limited impact of the standards. Teachers are really tired of being told what to do. She mentioned that the teacher evaluations may also be a factor in controlling how and what teachers teach. In addition to the compensation factors and the prestige factors, teachers are demoralized. But, she added, that standards are not the issue.
Nick talked about how maybe the concern will be taken more seriously when the issue of lack of teachers impacts more schools, outside of schools that traditionally struggle.
Jim McConnell said the MEA President refused to answer the question about the impact of Right To Work has had on union membership. He suggested a small group write a statement and share it with the group for revision and approval.
There was discussion addressing the use of virtual classes/education as well.
David asked what the end of the statement would be. Gordon responded to maybe include it in the major editorial pages of newspapers and other professional organizations or maybe an open letter to the Legislature.
Jim moved that a committee of no more than 3 be appointed by the Executive Director to draft a statement on the state of history education in Michigan and share it with appropriate audiences. Supported by David Hale. Passed unanimously.
Gordon shared the draft (most likely final) version of the GLHC presentation schedule. He mentioned the keynote speaker (Dr. Michelle Moyd) is fantastic and will be great talk and be available throughout the conference. He reminded us that the conference is free. Also, Gordon reminded that there are substitute reimbursements available. He offered that maybe we offer a traveling subsidy instead of reimbursement. Jim said that that would mean that we be paying individuals and not institutions. We will look at the details of this in the future.
Gordon mentioned there is a lot for teachers especially for making global citizens. He urged us all to get more teachers to consider attending.
We moved on to Item 5 on the Agenda – the USSYP. Gordon will get the essays and applications available for us to look through. We will use extra Gilder-Lehrman money to support the reception. Scott shared the McConnell Award winners are excited about attending and presenting.
Jim McConnell said that he sent out upcoming events and reviewed them. He also asked for more assistance for Tammy with work on the e-notes. Gordon will talk to her to see if we can find her some help.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.