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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education had its scheduled meeting on November 17, 2015. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles,  Chair, Regent Bendit, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell, Regent Brown, Regent Finn, Regent Chin, Regent Ouderkirk and Regent Johnson. In addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were: Commissioner Elia and Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin.


Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.  Regent Tilles reminded everyone about the report from the Blue Ribbon panel on Arts Assessment that will be held in the Huxley Theater in the Cultural Education Center at 1pm today.    He encouraged staff and Regents to attend.  Regent Tilles turned the meeting over to OCE Director of Operations Tom Ruller.

Creating New Knowledge through Archival Research

James Folts, Supervisor of Research Services at the State Archives, provided an overview of the Hackman Research Residents program at State Archives.  He also provided an overview of the mandate and programs of the State Archives.  Mr. Folts reviewed selection process for residents.  He also highlighted some of the more significant or notable research projects that have used records in the State Archives and have resulted in publications.  Regent Bendit encouraged staff to examine opportunities to provide research support or exposure to researchers for students in K-12, especially high school students who would benefit either from support for their own research or assisting a scholar who is doing research.  Mr. Ruller reviewed a number of the programs for students including the annual student research awards program.

New York State History Month

Mark Schaming, Director of the State Museum announced the acquisition of  a model for a building designed by Phillip Johnson.  He remarked that the model is currently on display at the Museum.  He then introduced Senior Historian Jennifer Lemak, who reviewed activities, programs and special exhibitions both in Albany and statewide in recognition of November’s New York State History Month.   Ms. Lemak introduced Kathryn Weller, Chief of Education and Visitors Services at the Museum who reported to the committee on activities that the Museum is pursuing to increase awareness by teachers about History Month activities.  The Commissioner suggested that the Department partner with Public Broadcasting stations to highlight local activities related to history month.

Statewide Summer Reading Program Report

Bernard Margolis, State Librarian, introduced a new handbook for Library Trustees that was distributed to all committee members.  He indicated that the handbook is also available online and that the handbook, which is 112 pages long, was produced in collaboration with the New York Library Association and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.  Mr. Margolis introduced Carol Desch, Manager of the Division of Library Development in the State Library who reported that the participation in the 2015 Statewide summer reading program was 1.99 million school age children.  In response to a question from Regent Bendit,  Karen Balsen, Coordinator for the Statewide Summer Reading Program in the State Library responded that we are working on ways to gather data that will correlate participation in the statewide summer reading program with student achievement on the ELA examinations.  Staff will explore this issue further and will evaluate the results of a similar study in the State of Virginia that that explores this issue.

Regent Tilles adjourned the meeting at 9:25am.

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 8:30am