Marsha is on her way. She called from the car phone I think. It sounded like the
car phone, to let us know that she would be delayed.
I would like to welcome two people who haven't been with us before.
Suzanne Clewell, we're delighted to have you with us today. Suzanne, would you
tell us a little bit about what you do?
CLEWELL: Yes. I'm the Coordinator for Reading Language Arts with the
Montgomery County Public Schools which is the suburban district surrounding
Washington. We have 173 schools and 25 elementary schools.
It's great to be here.
STRICKLAND: And I'll skip over to another member of the committee, but
for her, this is her first meeting, too, Judith Langer. I think we all know her
work, if we didn't know her.
LANGER: Hello. I'm delighted to be here.
I have carefully read and heard about all of the things that the group has
discussed up until now.
I'm a Professor of Education at the University of Albany, the State University of
New York. And I'm also the Director of the National Research Center on English
Learning and Achievement.
STRICKLAND: Her mother wrote the stances.
KAPINUS:Dorothy, I might add also that Judith probably has more history
with NAEP than just about that I know of, you know, NAEP and reading.
STRICKLAND: Yes, yes. We will really turn to you as a very important
And we have a new member, Gloria Lopez Gutierrez.
And, Gloria, tell us a little bit about yourself.
GUTIERREZ: Well, I'm a bilingual teacher in the San Rafael City Schools,
a small district in Marin County, actually the largest district in Marin County.
I'll check what the population is there. Our student population, I don't know,
but it's certainly under 10,000. I would say something like 7,000 or 8,000, a
I'm a third grade teacher. I'm a parent of a soon-to-be fourth grade student.
STRICKLAND: Well, we all serve many roles.
STRICKLAND: And that's the beauty of it, all the different perspectives.
David, some opening remarks.
MANDEL: Well, we're here and moving forward.
MANDEL: And when I wrote a note the other day about the new text that we
had and I looked at the calendar and realized that we just had met nine days
before this new document was coming out, I said, well, this is a really even more
hectic pace than we thought we were on, but a good one.
And many thanks to Eunice and Matt for lots of hard work and for really making a
big leap forward and for going from where we were in Chicago in terms of text to
where we are today.
And there was a real hard attempt, both to be faithful to the conversation that
took place in Chicago and to capture the good ideas around the table and put them
into some logical order that would be reader friendly, and also to put forward a
couple of ideas about how to address the set of issues that have been around the
table, but may not have been resolved.
And so some of what's in front of you is a bit perspective and anticipatory about
where you might be going and at least to sort of test the ground to see if we've
got it recorded right or if there's a better way to do it or a different way to
Also, I noted that the passage of this document from our office to you in some
cases was not as smooth as it might have been and including the hotel conspiring
against us last night to not deliver this document to Eunice and to Dorothy among
MANDEL: But I think we will struggle forward here.
It's also the case that in reading over the summary of the last meetings which is
under tab F, I believe, we discovered that we had such a good summary of the
meeting that there are some things in the summary that haven't been yet
transferred to the document.
And we are prepared to tell you what those things are. That is, things that you
decided that were well captured in the summary, but haven't yet all made it into
the document, but that need to be.
I don't know if you noticed their absence or not, but we did. And we want to
In addition, you have before you here in the document a set of new text that
Eunice found, searched for this past week in between writing, and a set of
prospective questions that one might ask around this.
And Eunice might want to say a little bit about what that is and what they are
and how they came to be.
And then, I would just like in closing to say that we've got a good deal of work
ahead of us, even though we got a lot accomplished.
We have a National Test Panel meeting coming up on Wednesday and Thursday of this
week, where Dorothy will basically provide the status report to the Test Panel
about where things stand and share with them this draft or something very close
Our objective is, I would say in the next 10 days or so to find a way to get a
draft out to the public.
That is to take the current draft before you and refine it. And in that time -- I
know you're going to refine it based on this conversation over the next two days.
But in that time, to get another draft to you to review so that the committee is
clearly comfortable and ready to have its name put on the draft as a draft
seeking public comments and critique.
And then, that draft will be the basis for hearings in Atlanta and the public
comment process that we want to begin so that when you come to Atlanta in the
middle of August, you will have a range of advice from people in the reading
community, people in the Board of Education community, from folks in the
measurement community about the merits of the work that has been done to date.
And that if we do all that well with the help and participation from all of you,
we will get a lot of good advice that we can use and take advantage of.
We may get some advice that we are not happy about, but that is part of the
And you all have the good judgment to decide which advice is helpful and which
may be less helpful.
And we are confident that you can do that.
I should also say on the comment process though, our intention is both to put up
the draft on a Web site so that people have access to it that way, to make it
available through e-mail to people who are on various lists, to mail it to the
folks who were recommended to us to do that, and to, in fact, give it to anyone
who wants it.
We all know that each of you have your own networks and a collection of
colleagues, teachers, and scholars in the field.
And to the extent that you have those kinds of individuals whom we might
otherwise miss that we sort of welcome you to provide us either e-mail addresses
or regular plain old post office addresses so that we can get this out.
It's the case that if anyone wants to distribute it themselves, that's fine, too.
That would help the process if you could let us know basically where it's going
so we can sort of track who's getting it.
And we can make sure that it gets distributed in a broad range of communities.
Then, we get a complete diversity of responses in the review process.
LANGER: Now, David, will you please be able to tell us by e-mail when
the drafts can be distributed? I assume it's too early at this point?
MANDEL: Yes. I mean the notion is that, in fact, the draft that will get
distributed is two drafts from this point because there will be a draft that
comes out of this meeting which we want you to review.
And then, based on your review, there will be a second draft. And then, Dorothy
and Marsh‡ will estimate the final call on it. And that will be what gets
But as soon as that is available, we will make it available to you in both hard
and electronic versions to do as you see fit.
STRICKLAND: So that will be the same draft that goes for the August
STRICKLAND: All right. So it will be prior to August 14th or whatever
date it is.
MANDEL: Way prior.
STRICKLAND: Way prior, yes. Way prior.
STRICKLAND: Anything else?
MANDEL: No. That's our report to the conversation.
And I know Wayne would be with us today, except he married off a daughter this
weekend. And so he's flying back from Colorado today and joining us tomorrow.
And I imagine Gary will show up at some point.
Marsh‡ called. Marsh‡ had car problems. She's due in sooner or later. She was
planning to be here on time. I talked to her yesterday.
STRICKLAND: Barbara, would you like to kind of update us on anything,
any thoughts that might be on your mind?
You're the next person, Barbara. Surprise.
KAPINUS: I wasn't expecting that.
VOICE: But she'll make something up.
KAPINUS: Yes. No, I really don't think that there is anything main.
Are you going to talk about the Technical Committee phone call, David, in terms
of an update? Or do you want me to start it?
MANDEL: Good. If Steve wants to.
MANDEL: I want to give you that later. I mean, I think that the main
thing on reading on the Technical Committee was that we went back to them and
told them about where we were on their concern about the number of texts.
And they were pleased to hear that we are now up to six.
MANDEL: From four.
But they also said that didn't remove the general interest and concern with the
question. They thought it was important to do the kind of analysis that they had
originally suggested that we do. And so that will happen.
And also we had a conversation with them about untimed tests where they were, I
think, of two different minds.
One finds it attractive and for the reasons that people generally find it
That is, I guess mostly to remove the test anxiety and also to make sure that
everyone has a full opportunity. And this is limited by the length of the test,
But at the same time, understanding that it was one of several ways in which the
comparability issues with NAEP and our interest in linking this test and
providing students and their teachers with some of their results in terms of
where they are on the NAEP scale could be a compromise, not the only place, but
one of several places.
And so they wanted us to sort of keep watching that and keep attending to it and
in the course of pilot and field testing to think about possibly adding a little
bunch of time and to also interview students about whether they thought they had
enough time to complete.
I don't know that that exactly fully addresses the concern.
When this conversation was discussed in the Mathematics Committee, Wayne, amongst
others but not alone, worried a lot about the sort of logistics and
administrative complications that could ensue from an untimed test, to say
nothing about the comparability issues.
And I think it was in part a concern that given this is supposedly a voluntary
test -- it is a voluntary test that this might make the examination less
attractive in some quarters than in others than it might otherwise be.
So I think -- is that close, Steve?
FERRARA: Very close. Quite on target.
KAPINUS: Well, I would just add two things on the timed/untimed thing,
you know. I've had some discussions with Wayne on this.
Wayne weighs in pretty strongly on timed. The interesting thing is Wayne brings
kind of the perspective of a state assessment director to this and all that you
have to go through if you have an untimed test and the testing burden on that.
So that, you know, with Marsh‡ not here right now at least, it is interesting to
kind of keep that perspective in mind because they've been through some of this.
The second thing is that an Ina was on the --
MANDEL: Say --
KAPINUS: Ina Mollis was on this second conference call. And Ina is
probably one of the mothers of the NAEP, if not the mother of NAEP.
And one of the things that she indicated a concern about -- and it's just to keep
in the back of your mind. I mean, she just said think about this.
And that is if you dramatically change the length of the passages -- the length
of the passages that the kids are dealing with in this assessment, the degree to
which it links back to NAEP is decreased.
So just -- that's something to keep in mind that what we say about what kids do
on NAEP is based on certain kinds of passages.
And she just sort of gave us a caveat to sort of think about that as you do that.
And I know you have the range and everything, but just keep that in the back of
BINKLEY: Is that arguing on her part for longer passages than we've
KAPINUS: Well, just making sure that there are a sufficient number of
long passages, too, I would say, not that you cannot have the short passages, but
make sure that there is sufficient number of passages that look like the NAEP
I don't know. Judith, do you want to weigh in on that?
LANGER: Yes. I assume that she was talking about something that I was
going to mention which is that if it's going to be related to NAEP in any way,
then comparable kinds of passages and obviously comparable length passages are
And NAEP tries to have shorter and longer passages, as well. So I think that
comparability should be able to hold in this.
The other thing that I just wanted to mention very quickly, because again I don't
know what the concern was here among the people on this panel, but NAEP had done
a very interesting sub-study with the Southern Regional Education Board, SREB.
I can't recall when, but it was for the writing assessment.
And one of the concerns at that point is what happens if students have more time?
And so in that assessment, it was a comparison of 20 minutes and 15 minutes to
see if in fact the additional time made a difference.
I'm mentioning this here not because it's writing, but people might have been
concerned about how much time was given to the students to read and then write
the extended passage.
And they found that with the additional time, it made almost no difference.
The students who were least able to make any additional scoring advantage with
the additional time were the students who were in fact the lower scorers anyway.
And the students who were the higher scorers did ever so much better.
Now, this is 20 minutes to 15 minutes. It's not a very insignificant amount of
time, but 20 that minutes would be sufficient time.
This was -- I honestly don't know. I assume this was an eighth grade study
instead of a fourth grade study.
So I just think we need to take that into account, too, when we are discussing
CHUDOWSKY: Can I just say that another concern we talked about with the
Technical Group is that it's harder to standardize?
Some schools, because of logistics, are just going to cut it off and send the
kids onto their next class. They are not going to give the kids as much time as
Whereas, other sites may really take advantage of the opportunity.
So it just really increases the standardization. And that was another concern.
MANDEL: Yes. I would say the last, the related issue, there was a
discussion about sort of both this committee's and the Math Committee's interest
in having a second extended response item, even though the initial instructions
were that the exam will have one.
And there, the issue of comparability came up in sort of -- I won't say a
positive, but in a supportive way saying that that would be the second item that
would contribute to making it more comparable and that it also had a number of
other positive properties that had to do with both the nature of what we expect
kids to be able to do or we'll look for them to do in both reading and
mathematics and that you can get at that better with those items.
Barbara also made the point at the meeting. And it sticks with me. And that is
the modest difference in both what kids write in between a short constructed item
and extended item and what that means in terms of scoring burden which are the
big issues here.
And that, in fact, if you didn't have this second extended constructed item, you
wouldn't have nothing, but you would have something else that would take time.
And so it does not say that the issue of what this might contribute to in the
overall turnaround time and the scoring burden on the whole process isn't one
that needs to be looked at hard, but that there are a range of factors stacking
up in favor of the second extended constructed response item in both cases.
I think we got a very clear set of signals on that score and continuing
encouragement for Steve's production of scenarios, multiple scenarios that would
vary by number of students participating and what the implications of that would
be for scoring burden and time and potential implications on the quality of
scoring that could be achieved.
STRICKLAND: Just one thing going back to the issue of time before you
I really would like for this committee to make that decision about whether or not
we want to have an untimed test or not.
I think it can be something that would be researched indeed, but I would like for
us to make that decision and indeed any kind of accommodations.
I think we need to be very specific about what we want. And they need to be
standardized for the very reasons that Naomi was addressing.
STRICKLAND: Eunice had her hand up before.
And then, Barb, we'll come back to you.
GREER: I was just going to say that I wonder if a reasonable compromise
would be to make sure that we conducted studies in conjunction with the pilot so
that we could say fairly confidently 95 percent of the kids are finishing this
test in X number of minutes.
Because I understand the need for consistency, and I think that gives us some
consistency, but it also says that we've paid attention to it and to our best
knowledge, this is not a speeded test.
STRICKLAND: A good point.
KAPINUS: Well, I would just build on that. And my suggestion was to sort
of think of some sort of compromise in all of this.
I mean, I don't think that we're stuck with the opposite ends of the continuum or
whatever, 90 minutes versus untimed.
But, you know, it could be that based on pilot information, we may expand the
time, but not appreciably.
But if you keep sort of a given set of exercises constant and it looks like maybe
it takes another 15 minutes a day, that might be a more reasonable thing than
thinking about untimed.
And the other thing though that I would want to take a look at in the pilot in
terms of this timing thing is whether -- I mean, I like that 95 percent number,
except that what we need to do is look at whether it's particularly difficult for
certain groups of students, whether it's LEP students or students with special
If that timing particularly biases against their performing well or their ability
to demonstrate what they know, then I think that we would need to look at it
So I mean more than just the 95 percent. We need to look at the special
populations that are usually impacted by time.
PIKULSKI: I also don't see why the pilot couldn't exactly the kind of
study that Judith mentioned earlier where some of them are administered in an
PIKULSKI: And then, look at the comparability results and the kinds of
students that are most affected by it.
It seems to me that that's exactly the kind of data that we would need.
And then, you also look at the kinds of complications that occur when you do
administer it in an untimed fashion.
QUALLS: The only problem with altering some of them during tryouts for
the '99, there is not enough time to go back and pull together the form.
And whatever you administer, the conditions you administer that form under are
going to be the ones that have to be actually used.
So you're not going to be able to play with the intact form per se. You can take
pieces and some separate kinds of studies.
But an intact, I don't see how you could do it.
PIKULSKI: But what -- there isn't enough time to have some of the kids
take it in 90 minutes and other kids take it in an untimed setting the same,
MANDEL: I think it's a first-year problem.
CHUDOWSKY: Well, we can only do it, you're right, if we double the
sample size and do it both ways.
I think there are some opportunities because the field test is supposed to be a
process. We're going to give a whole form to each kid.
CHUDOWSKY: And we're trying to mimic as much as possible the operational
CHUDOWSKY: And so Audrey is right. We have to do a whole sample 45
minutes and then a whole sample 60 minutes and see which way it works better, and
then, use the data from whichever sample.
STRICKLAND: Audrey, do you want to respond?
And then Marilyn.
QUALLS: I guess since I'm not clear yet on how large the samples we're
going to give kids --
QUALLS: You're talking about 10 forms as is. I don't know if practically
you're going to be able to double sample size, but that's all.
CHUDOWSKY: There are some issues. But we're also doing a pilot test. And
we might be able to collect some of that information at that time.
CHUDOWSKY: And, you know, I think we can figure out ways to look at that
question to make sure that there is enough time for 95 percent of the kids to
We should be able to find something to look at that.
BINKLEY: I'm very concerned about in the field test when we have to get
the final item statistics playing with absolutely with anything for testing.
And so I would prefer to see or I would suggest that you consider seeing this as
a research study to be done on the side.
And make a choice now. Go with it now with the understanding that we can do a
research study around it.
It could be in the first couple of years. But we need item statistics that we can
count on to do all the scaling, norming, the whole thing.
And so it's going to be real messy.
LANGER: The SREB study that I talked about was a very special study. It
wasn't the way that NAEP ordinarily does business. And it was one that required
additional funds, additional time, and a great deal of planning.
But I might mention that every time NAEP has new items, they in fact do something
such as Eunice was describing.
They definitely look at how long it takes students to actually complete the
entire item. And they do make some judgments about how much time to allocate
based on student performance.
And you will have time to do that.
But we can't. I would be uncomfortable with us making that determination without
actually having real time, students in real time.
CHUDOWSKY: And we can do that during the pilot testing, the initial
STRICKLAND: Barbara, anything else that you can think of that we need to
KAPINUS: I can't think of anything right now.
STRICKLAND: Because there are so many things that you're involved in,
you and David, I just want to make sure that they get on the table.
KAPINUS: I will tell you that I do have one other -- I guess one other
piece. And I do not know the results of this.
But the people from states who have strong state standards right now should take
maybe some comfort in knowing that there are people in the Department who are
currently mapping the NAEP, sort of the goals in NAEP, reading and mathematics to
state standards to double check the match there so that we don't have something
that is dividing people's attention and their resources.
Actually, I was pleased to hear it because it's something that I have suggested
for a long time should be done to make sure that this is aligned with at least a
portion of what most states have in their standards.
STRICKLAND: Are you doing that enough? Or are you helping people to do
it for themselves?
KAPINUS: No. People in OERI are working on that. But they're in contact
with us and working with some of our documents and checking back.
FERRARA: I want to make sure I understood what Barb just said. People in
OERI are mapping the NAEP reading framework to state content standards.
MANDEL: So based on this range of decisions, you said you wanted the
committee to make a decision on --
STRICKLAND: Well, not necessarily right at this minute.
MANDEL: Okay. I just wanted to know if we were going --
STRICKLAND: But I just wanted to make sure that that's a part of our
I would rather for us to make the decision, even with some, you know, freedom.
But let's make it clear what we want to have happen.
And I think it not only affects the test in general, but also those
I think when we get to the part of the specifications document, I really do think
that's going to be very, very crucial. And we need to have that discussion.
STRICKLAND: Now, as you noticed, we're suppose to start with the
discussion of the draft specification document.
However, some people have only had a chance to glance at it.
And I'm wondering, and I just need to hear from you, whether or not you feel you
would like to have a little time to look at it and then we can go back.
The main thing we wanted to do, the way we wanted to handle it is to have people
key in, first of all, on the key issues.
What are some of the major points that you're concerned about in any way
And then, we eventually will be going through it almost line by line, if not line
David is shuddering at the thought.
STRICKLAND: If not by line, by paragraph.
STRICKLAND: I think this meeting is so important because there probably
will be relatively minor modifications after this.
There may be one, two, a few items that we've got to come back and really look
I really think this is already taking shape. But I really think that after this,
we would hope we would really be moving forward.
Sharon expressed an opinion about read time.
Okay. Gloria said so, too.
Then, why don't we do this, Sharon, what would you say would be a reasonable
amount of time?
O'NEAL: Ten minutes, 15 or 20 minutes.
KAPINUS: I would say at least 15 or 20.
O'NEAL: All right.
KAPINUS: And people may want to key in especially on things that are
particularly near and dear to them.
STRICKLAND: Then, let's resume at 10, you know, with our discussion.
VOICE: Should some of us do this time with some untimed?
STRICKLAND: Welcome, Marsh‡.
HORTON: Thank you very much.
STRICKLAND: And welcome, Moddy.
Did you just come in this morning?
STRICKLAND: I thought we might begin by having David and perhaps Eunice
telling us what items that were in the minutes that were included in the draft.
MANDEL: Okay. Just a few. The minutes which aren't exactly meant to be
minutes, but generally capture the main points of conversation, decisions, there
are about three or four issues.
One was on page -- and then just directly to tab F of the summary. On the second
page, there are three bullets in the middle of the page. And this is more about
style and tone than about necessary decisions.
But no bullet talked about the ways in which the test could -- it says, "It could
be used to develop a common ground for dialogue among educators and parents about
what's important in reading."
And there is a point that isn't exactly captured in the document, but could be or
should be, if we still agree on that point. So that was one.
On page 3 under day two, the third bullet talks about the kinds of directions
that students should receive and especially the notion about encouraging them to
complete all items.
That set of ideas isn't exactly in the document. As I said, the natural place for
it to be is under the test administration test section.
There is a list of things for administrators to do. And in fact, if you look --
go back to page 33 of the draft, it says, "include text for introducing the test
to students and preparing them for testing sessions and to see if this is the
kind of things they may not exactly be" -- I don't know if tips is the right
But it seems like a natural place where those kinds of instructions ought to be
part of the overall document. So that's the second item.
Third is on page 4, the bullet says, "ECR items will not be used in the
intertextual portion of the test" which was a pretty straightforward decision
that the committee made at the last meeting.
As I remember, Steve led us through a variety of options for being more precise
about the test specifications.
And somehow, we left that out. But it's easy enough to put it in.
VOICE: Tell me what ECR is.
MANDEL: Extended constructed response. I'm sorry.
Longer items, the last item is on page 6.
Tell me if I got this right, Eunice.
And that is that it says here in the middle of page 6 in the second quote under
the distribution of items, cross cognitive reading behaviors and passages, " If
there are only four questions for this kind of passage, that is -- yes, for this
a short passage, then either a personal response or critical stance item may be
selected. This rule of thumb need not apply to the intertextual component as this
task naturally engages readers in interpretation critical analyses."
Was that the last one we sort of overlooked? Am I right about that?
MANDEL: Well, I think we overlooked it.
GREER: I'm not sure if we overlooked it. I thought that was in there.
GREER: But if we did, we can double check.
MANDEL: Right. So that's the viewpoint at this juncture between the
summary which we think is accurate and the text which needs to reflect it.
STRICKLAND: And if anyone comes across any other or some that they think
might be a possibility that we didn't capture it quite the way we thought it
should be from the summary from the last meeting to the draft, just raise that
issue at any point.
Now, we will move on to major issues, concerns.
O'NEAL: When you summarize the meetings the next time, will you put who
O'NEAL: Because for some of us who missed the meeting, we would know who
MANDEL: Okay. We'd be happy to do that.
QUALLS: Just a couple of major things that stand out, one in the
overview. We're saying, "This national test will serve as an indicator when
individualized diagnostic assessment is warranted."
I don't believe that's correct. It's not going to provide that type of
information for an individualized diagnostic assessment.
It could serve as an indicator when additional assessment is warranted.
GREER: That's what that sentence is supposed to mean.
STRICKLAND: Yes. I changed the "when" to "as whether." Would that help?
GREER: “As to when,” that's what I put down, “as to when an
STRICKLAND: What about when?
GREER: As to whether.
HORTON: I put "as to," too.
QUALLS: I don't even know if it tells you diagnostic, when you think
about diagnostic, if you're thinking of diagnostic tests.
GREER: No. It's supposed to flag the need for diagnostic. Kids who score
real low should be.
HORTON: Yes. So it will serve as an indicator for --
MANDEL: I think we're all at the same place of what it needs to say.
QUALLS: I think what it means is additional assessment with this test.
GREER: But not --
QUALLS: And it doesn't say that.
HORTON: That it should --
QUALLS: It should apply when it's a low score.
MANDEL: Oh, I see. Okay.
QUALLS: You're going to always need something more.
MANDEL: In other words, the message is this test can't stand alone for
QUALLS: Right. It says that in the back in the summary for the minutes.
QUALLS: But it's not reflected here.
MANDEL: Okay. Yes.
QUALLS: And I don't want anyone to interpret this as saying immediately
it needs to be a diagnostic assessment. You need more.
O'NEAL: So the sentence about it, this test will not provide descriptive
or diagnostic information.
You almost need a "more" in there to indicate that more testing would be needed
to obtain a profile of a reader.
QUALLS: You need more. I don't know what it should say exactly.
STRICKLAND: Would this be a place to slot that first item, David, that
STRICKLAND: About the --
MANDEL: About the common ground?
STRICKLAND: On page 2.
QUALLS: I have -- on 37, I guess I'm not sure, impact on the
instructions and students' perception of scores. The primary goal --
STRICKLAND: Audrey, clue us to what paragraph you're dealing with.
QUALLS: It's the section, the whole section of impact on instruction.
STRICKLAND: All right.
QUALLS: Towards the bottom, we have the primary goal is that it returns
instructionally useful information.
Then, it goes on about student performance in reading compared to national
I guess I'm still not sure what instructional information is provided. The first
thing says, when we look at the overview, we're going to tell parents and
teachers how their students -- where they are basically on their development.
Now, we're implying we're giving instructionally useful information. And I don't
think we are.
PIKULSKI: I agree.
JOHNSTON: I agree.
STRICKLAND: If a teacher -- all right.
Jack and then Ginny.
PIKULSKI: It seems to me that we're saying the only thing this test does
is it gives you a global picture of where kids are.
It seems to me that that's the theme that needs to be consistent through the
And I think the kind of statement that Audrey picked up on 37 is not consistent
with that, saying, we're going to tell how now you should shape your instruction.
I don't think the test is going to be designed to do that.
SCHRODER:Also, I had starred that one because going back to the overview
again, it talks about in the first sentence its purpose is to provide students
along with their parents and teachers a report on the development -- their
development as readers.
Students there are given (Inaudible). And here, the primary goal is that it
returns information to teachers about their students' performance.
It's put the shift in another direction. I think we need to be consistent all the
way through on how the scores are going to be used and by whom, who was this test
intended to inform.
BINKLEY: This is a question that I've been wrestling with. And it's one
of if the framework is very well publicized and the test really represents the
framework, have we -- irrespective of scores, of individual student scores, have
we expressed an instructional goal?
I would argue that we have because the framework is rather rigorous in the sense
of what it is accomplishing. Okay.
So therefore, I would take the position that we could have an impact on
instruction because we're making a general statement of what we think the outcome
would be -- should be of instruction.
And we're creating a test that demands certain kinds of behaviors, performances
by kids to do it.
Then, I would add to it my class scores -- am I getting a measure of how well my
class is doing towards meeting that global outcome?
I don't see it all as diagnostic. But I see it as a statement of what it is that
instruction should be aiming at.
So I'm not as critical of that paragraph as you seem to be, but I think it has to
be, where is the information being --
STRICKLAND: Jack and then --
PIKULSKI: I would disagree with what you said, Marilyn. I think though
the way it's stated here, it could be interpreted that I now have useful
instructional information with respect to a particular student.
And I don't think it's doing that. What you communicated is that there is a
framework and that if a teacher's class has difficulty with this, then maybe the
teacher needs to consider the dimensions of that framework.
But that's a pretty complex construct that I don't think is reflected in this
particular kind of statement.
The other thing -- I think this notion of purpose is secondly important to this
The other thing I'm very concerned about is the issue of aggregation of any of
this data. This issue has come up before.
And I think we have to address it squarely, whether in fact we're saying these
data should not be aggregated.
And that begins to touch on it because now I'm saying here's how the class
I'm not saying it's addressing all the dimensions of the aggregation issue, but
it begins to get us in there.
And I think it's one that we have to discuss this morning and have some kind of
BINKLEY: Can I just conclude that you mean that you're taking the
position that there should be no aggregation?
PIKULSKI: I'm not prepared to make an absolute decision on that at this
point, but I think it's something that there are a number of people who feel
strongly that these data should not be aggregated, given their purpose.
I mean, that has been communicated to me by people outside the committee and
actually some people on the committee.
LOPEZ: And I think it's just important to remember from a classroom
perspective that any time we do any kind of assessment, it does directly impact
instruction, regardless -- the degree of impact may vary, but there is definitely
an impact in instruction.
For example, if I'm going to give this assessment, then I'm going to look for the
following school year and plan accordingly.
I provide more opportunities for children to engage in informational text if that
was an area that I felt I had not done an adequate job in.
I might look at the four stances and do more around the area of demonstrating a
So I think it's important that we keep in mind, any time any assessment is given
in a classroom, it will to some degree impact classroom instruction.
HORTON: She said exactly what I was going to say, exactly. So the only
thing I want to add to that is that -- and that's why the statements don't
trouble me because I was drawing the distinction in my head between different
levels of impact on instruction.
Because any time that we talk about assessment, we talk about all the assessment
activities that occur and how all those pieces of information contribute to form
And so, although no one piece is going to drive anything in particular, each
piece is important.
STRICKLAND: I think Jack wants to respond.
PIKULSKI: Yes. It worries me a little bit because it seems to me that
what I've been hearing is that we're not going to have the technical reliability
to be able to tell you whether your kids do better on the information pieces than
on literary pieces or on one of the four stances as compared to the other three.
So I worry that we make statements that imply that you're going to be able to do
I think we have to offer caution to the fact that there isn't the degree of
technical quality that would allow that kind of interpretation.
JONES: I agree that it always has an impact on instruction. But I guess
my concern is that the test does not really give instructional information to
And my understanding was that that's why we were going to have the supplementary
materials to show what the implications for instruction might be.
I think most of us sitting around this table could very comfortably look at the
stances and mold that and put that into instruction.
But I do know, having worked with a variety of teachers, that many times that
just by looking at an assessment, they can't then change it and mold it into what
they see as instruction.
So I think at least I agree. I think we have to be clear to say that there are
some things that you can understand from this assessment, but there are also
going to be some things that we don't get now.
And that's why there is a need to have other types of assessments that are going
on in the classroom.
STRICKLAND: Janet, how would you augment that sentence?
Or do you feel comfortable with the sentence that the primary goal in fact it
says is true?
I mean, you don't have to do that right now.
But I'm wondering, do you feel comfortable with that? Or you would prefer that we
come to some adjustment of that sentence?
JONES: It didn't bother me when I first looked at it. But now, looking
at it more carefully, I do think that it's not -- the test itself is not really
going to give instructionally useful information.
It's going to give us some information about what the student is doing.
But I think that teachers are going to have to look at it a little more carefully
before they decide how that's going to impact their instruction.
STRICKLAND: Right. At least the primary goal is certainly something that
we would want to change.
Moddy and then Ginny.
MCKEOWN: It seems like maybe we need to make the distinction between to
say what instructional useful means.
Does it mean individually useful? Or maybe, we should the use word "curriculum."
Because I agree with Alice and what Marsh‡ was thinking and with what Marilyn
started with that that has kind of been the point of this that we do want to kind
of model instructional in sort of a general way, maybe in a curricula way. We
want to provide that kind of information.
But it's not individually directed instruction that it's going to change.
So maybe we can get the wording around to that. But, you know, it's the bigger
picture that we're looking at.
STRICKLAND: Ginny had a point. Then, Barbara and Eunice.
SCHRODER: Perhaps, if we were more explicit about the information, the
results of the test would provide rather than saying something as general as
instructionally useful, it would also help answer the issue of what's the purpose
of the test to begin with?
That seems to be something that's out there.
What information exactly will teachers get because there obviously are aspects of
reading that this test is not going to address?
So I think we have to be very clear about what it will address in 90 minutes’
KAPINUS: Well, I think you might want to go back to what was originally
said about assessment.
If you look in the overview which is the first page of text, the first paragraph
under the overview about half down, it says, "The test will not provide
prescriptive diagnostic information." And then, "However, it will provide an
In the spirit of that, I think you ought to make this sentence align or this
paragraph align with that statement and then elaborate on it.
And, you know, I think the direction is clear.
And this, the overview pieces are taken out of the policy kinds of statements
that were originally made by Gary and that I've heard from Mike Smith and so
So I think what you do is -- the point of this paragraph is to talk about the
need for studies, the paragraph under discussion.
So what we need to do is just tweak the paragraph, make sure that we don't make
statements that are out of alignment with what's in the early part of this.
GREER: That's what I was going to say is that sentence is just in the
section under research studies.
I think we just modify it to be consistent with the introduction and move on.
BINKLEY: I would like the introduction expanded a little bit more to
look at the potential impact of the framework.
Elaborate the last sentence of that first paragraph. It says, "holds the
potential to provoke positive changes across the American educational landscape."
By elaborating, extending, or standardizing curriculum or something --
STRICKLAND: All right. You wanted to --
MANDEL: You'll solve that problem later.
BINKLEY: I killed a few. They want to move on.
MANDEL: Aside from solving the particular language, I just want to make
sure that we're in the same sort of place in terms of how we're thinking about
this thing because, you know, Eunice and I can go away. And we can write another
strange thing if we don't have this right.
And that is, I understand the point about this is only one assessment amongst
many and that by itself it can only get you so far.
And, Audrey made the point well. And I think we can sort of attend to that; that
it's not going to be a diagnostic instrument is also I think clearly understood.
What's a little fuzzy is -- at least for me is this notion about whether it's
going to provide anything useful to teachers.
In other words, forget about aggregation.
This individual score and the individual results and all the variety of
individual information, is that just for parents and students?
Or could teachers find any utility at all, as I've heard Alice suggested, like in
informing their overall practice, whether it's informing their general plans,
it's informing the way they address individual students?
Or are people around here suggesting that this is such a modest instrument that
it can just be ignored and it's not attended to at all?
I mean, because that's where the conversation -- part of the conversation is
going. It's sort of like, well, it ain't perfect. And so don't pay too much
attention to it. And just do other things.
And, it's something to give to parents and kids. And you cannot think about it at
all in how you go about your business.
STRICKLAND: Let's see what Gloria has to say.
JOHNSTON: Well, I certainly wasn't prepared to respond to that question,
but I might say that if that's the case, then we're certainly spending a great
deal of effort and resources on something that would seem frivolous.
JOHNSTON: Since I have the floor for the moment, I want to go back to
some point I wanted to make about the overview.
And we really -- and David's question is hanging out there. So I will make mine
And that is I want to emphasize what Ginny said. And I believe in the overview,
there needs to be a statement added about the primary consumers of this test.
And that those primary consumers are, number one, students, parents, and
teachers. And I think that they are missing.
I originally wrote down parents and students under the bullets somewhere at the
very bottom of the overview page.
But I believe there needs to be more emphasis on that.
MANDEL: It's in the second sentence.
STRICKLAND: Do you want to expand that second sentence?
JOHNSTON: Not necessarily. When I was looking down at the
characteristics of --
STRICKLAND: I see.
JOHNSTON: Actually the diamonds at the bottom, I was considering perhaps
that since there are supplementary materials that will provide schools and
teachers various kinds of opportunity, that we also should include that
supplementary materials will be of use to parents and students.
And I'm not going to wordsmith how it should be included.
JOHNSTON: It's just a suggestion that they be added in the overview,
particularly because I would expect that some portions of this overview may come
if not as written, somewhat as written into some kind of final document.
GREER: Could I?
Gloria, do you want us to strengthen the force of that second sentence, as well,
with respect to the privacy of that group of consumers?
JOHNSTON: No, I think that it is fine that you list students first. I
like that. I think students should always be first.
Every time we list a string of people, they should be listed first.
I don't use the term "parents" anymore, unless I say parents and families. Or
typically, I'll just say families, although there are people who say parents and
families. So, however, I'm --
STRICKLAND: That is a very good point, Gloria.
JOHNSTON: But I do have a very consistent order to include the primary
stakeholders in when I write a document.
And I think we should maintain that consistency. And Ginny raised it. And Audrey
even raised it when we talk about who's involved. That's all.
MANDEL: Yes. I think you're right.
LANGER: I'm very concerned about the notion of individual assessment and
the ease with which it can slip into diagnosis and immediate recommendations for
what can happen in the classroom.
Diagnostic tests are very, very different.
And I know because we know this from many tests in the past that tests that were
meant only to provide aggregate scores were in fact very often used for all good
reasons with intentions by districts and teachers to try to make diagnosis
implications, inferences from them.
And they're not necessarily the best way to go. And I'm afraid that we need to be
It seems to me there are two things that are happening. And I'm going to agree
with Moddy in one aspect.
It seems to me that the framework and the items do in fact serve as models to
suggest features to be included in the K-4 curriculum that are supportive of high
level reading comprehension, something of that sort. That's number one.
So that's one-half, one-half of what I would talk about.
The other part would be that this instrument may provide information to families,
students, and teachers regarding possible follow-ups and/or further in-depth
So that it then requires discussion and further steps before anything else is
But a student does quite well or quite poorly not for the reasons that first
appear when you're looking at an individual student rather very large test
selection of students.
STRICKLAND: Judith, would you like to follow up in terms of where you
think this might be plugged in or where --
LANGER: Well, I can see two parts. If there were time and eventually I'd
like to see, number one, right up-front that first introduction to the fact that
it does make suggestions for curricula, at least K-4 if not beyond.
And then, the second part is that it does point to directions of possible
follow-up or it points to -- it may imply the need for possible follow-up.
STRICKLAND: And that would be in that first paragraph.
LANGER: And all of these at the very beginning in terms of purpose.
Later on, I think it would be very important for there to be enough models so
that in fact school districts and curriculum developers and so on could think
very seriously about what could be offered.
And I know that Mike Smith is obviously talking about this a lot, how can we
change things, the K-4 instruction?
STRICKLAND: Well, I think that's a key piece.
Sharon is going to talk now.
This business if we put something in there about curriculum, Sharon, I want to
hear your thoughts on specifically saying K-4 because I think there are people
who worry that people are going to think this is a test on fourth grade, period.
O'NEAL: Well, my thought was that as I hear the conversation that
sometimes what we're saying really is said here, but maybe it wasn't said as
straightforward as we might have said it.
And is it -- in the overview section, could you even have a bold face heading
that might say what this test does and what this test does not do, but worded
better than that?
But would it make it that clear? Or is that not appropriate for this kind of
I mean, to me, if somebody, a parent or a naive reader picked it, okay, what is
it going to do? And then, what is not going to do?
QUALLS: That's part of the test standard.
STRICKLAND: Thoughts on that.
O'NEAL: So that's in the wrong place. We can do it here.
QUALLS: No. It's test standards requiring you to state what a test
cannot be used for.
KAPINUS: And I would agree with that. I think you can outline that.
And one of the things in my mind that we need to separate out here is what will
the actual reporting of the test results consist of and do and not do?
And then, what will the supplementary materials contribute to people's ability to
use the test results and interpret them and then inform what they're doing in
And I think in my mind, that is an important difference. It's one thing to get a
score and say my kid or kids or students or whatever do or don't match these
standards by about this much.
That is not highly informative in terms of instruction. It's a gross cut.
But all the other stuff, when I see what kids are being asked to do and the kinds
of answers that they are making, and I say, well, my kids probably answered it
And that's where I think the insights into instruction will lie. And I think to
pull that, to tease that apart a little bit more clearly would help the document
because as we were talking, I was looking back under the first paragraph under
We talk about professional development and stuff, but we don't really say in that
first paragraph that we will have supplementary materials that will help, inform
teacher's instructional practice, help them think about what they're doing
literally in their classroom.
I mean, we're implying it when we talk about professional development, but I
think we need to say it right up-front.
And the other thing is that it's the very last thing. We say in fifth they'll
have a list of curricula resources.
Well, first of all, they better have more than just a list of curricula
I think that the examples and the released samples of kids' work and so forth,
that's going to be the powerful stuff.
But that stuff is not just powerful as examples of assessment. And we've talked
about assessment system and models of student work for professional development.
That stuff informs instruction. And the first thing that we ought to say in that
paragraph is that you're going to get some resources connected with this that
will help you take a look at instruction.
And Marilyn just wrote me a note saying the other piece is to not only inform
instruction, but probably almost more importantly in our days of talking about a
wider partnership in education and that is to inform parents of what is reading
today. What does reading consist of?
They are not often accustomed to thinking about what they do as readers and then
thinking of the implications then for their kids.
Rather they often just substantiate what they may have done several years ago and
rightly or wrongly and in first, second, third, fourth grade.
So I think that that's going to be an important aspect, too, is to give them
those models, too.
But that's not the test itself. That's in the supplementary materials, I think.
STRICKLAND: Ginny and then Jack and Eunice and Marsh‡ if I remember.
SCHRODER: That is recapturing what we're saying then that the overview
needs to precisely spell out what the test will do and show and then precisely
what will students know and teachers be able to do based on the results.
VOICE: What it will not do.
SCHRODER: And what it will not do. All that should be in the overview.
PIKULSKI: The other thing I would like to see spelled out in the
overview a bit more is that we're really studying very high standards for
It's implied in the kinds of descriptions that we make.
But I'm kind of sick of hearing people say 44 percent of the kids can't read a
single word because they fell below the basic level on NAEP.
And if we're adopting NAEP standards, we are setting high standards for kids.
But I don't think that comes through clearly enough. And I think that is one of
the real strengths of what we're doing.
STRICKLAND: Eunice, I think, you are next.
GREER: I wanted to get back to the standard issue. So Jack took care of
what I wanted to say.
STRICKLAND: Okay. Marsh‡.
HORTON: Several points. One is in order to make the language consistent,
keeping up with that line of conversation, in the overview we say that the test
is going to be based on the NAEP framework.
But then, when we talk about the development of item and test specs, we say it's
going to be informed by the framework and it's going to be --.
I mean, let's be straightforward and say that it's based on the NAEP framework.
The other issue is in here, in the third paragraph in the second line, we say
that this process is going to be part of an effort to move assessment forward.
We're not moving assessment forward, are we?
VOICE: Where are you?
HORTON: The third paragraph.
VOICE: Of the overview.
We're not moving the assessment forward. Because of some of the constraints we're
dealing with, in some ways we're moving it back. And in some ways, we're holding
But we're definitely not moving it forward. So I think we need to take that out.
STRICKLAND: Okay. Barbara.
KAPINUS: Well, I -- first of all, I'll let the people that disagree talk
about why they disagree about moving assessment forward.
You might be moving some other stuff forward.
I mean, I think that one of the things you're doing, the real thing is to
And that maybe doesn't go in that paragraph. That's what we talked about.
HORTON: I agree with that. I mean, that fits in with the line that Jack
was saying of making sure people understand what we're talking about when we say
And I think we need to get that in more than one place. We need to get that at
We need to get that when we talk about scoring so that people fully understand
what we're talking about.
I support that 100 percent coming from my world of assessment.
STRICKLAND: Marilyn, do you want to respond?
BINKLEY: In terms of the actual assessment itself, I agree that we're
not pushing very ahead at all, but we are taking what NAEP has done.
On the other hand, I think where we have the opportunity to really make a
difference is in terms of the kind of communication about test results and test
And by virtue of going to parents, by virtue of going out there, by virtue of the
list of publications that you came up with at the end of the meeting, I think
this is where you will be able to say that this committee will have an impact on
moving assessment into a different sphere in terms of what it communicates.
And I think it came out of the list of -- Marsh‡, you weren't there to listen to
the list of --
HORTON: I heard the list from the first meeting. I mean, I saw it.
BINKLEY: So what I'm suggesting is if you focus on where the
communication efforts will be and how that is framed, then you can have a bigger
It could be an impact in what instructional outcomes could look like.
It could be an impact for parents and kids in terms of what they're expected to
be doing, okay, how they should be expected to be performing.
It's not just the score. It's not just the test, but it is the whole package.
HORTON: And if we can enlarge the terminology to encompass all this
stuff because when I hear assessment, I'm thinking about the process of testing.
HORTON: And that's what it is going to communicate to a lot of people.
And they are going to think we're moving -- well --
GREER: I think just with the test itself we are moving forward. This is
the first national test that is linked to standards.
For some states, it's the first large-scale piece of assessment that includes the
opportunity for open-ended responses.
So it's the first test to validate on a national scale the use of more
contemporary forms -- what we used to call alternative assessment which is
becoming more mainstreamed.
This is the first test that is going to come with a set of supplementary
materials that expands the notion of what a large-scale assessment is and that
tries to situate it in a context and help schools to situate it in a larger
context of assessment.
And so for all of those reasons, I think it is. And the ways we're thinking of
reporting, I think it is what you said it wasn't.
O'NEAL: I think we can never underestimate the power a test like NAEP
When you look at what's happened in California and Texas, pay very close
attention to California's actions following their NAEP, the release of their NAEP
data on their reading test.
And we just can't underestimate the kind of impact that is going to have.
Marsh‡, you say it keeps us at a standstill. In Texas, this could move us way
It probably depends on which state you're in and how progressive you are.
I come from a very conservative state where changing assessment, from reading a
paragraph to multiple choice questions to a whole passage was a major event.
So it probably depends on your perspective as to where you are.
Granted, you are in a place where you're doing terrifically progressive things,
HORTON: My concern, I guess, is knowing the states that are in the midst
The conversations that I have, the struggles that they are having with this test
right off the bat was the percentage of multiple choice.
And so knowing that we have to deal with that and knowing that, yes, there are
states out there who are still thinking 100 percent multiple choice is
But to have a statement that we're moving is almost like a slap in the face to
those who are way down the road and still want to participate.
So that's one thing. The language, I can deal with it if the language is somehow
clear enough that we're not just talking about the test itself, but how the test,
the processes that may be associated with that, instructional materials,
But just that statement, you know, just doesn't get us there.
LANGER: Yes. I want to be sensitive to Marsh‡'s concerns and to the
states and to the districts.
It seems to me that it's very important for a different constituency to be able
to say that these in fact are well-founded instruments we're basing this
assessment on, well-founded instruments.
That it is not something that either is used for experimental or advancing at
least within the state of assessment. And it's not.
So I think it's important to say what we are doing is offering a much more
widespread use to use assessment to make a very substantial difference in what
students learn in the early grades or are exposed to in the early grades.
We are committing districts and states to be able to re-think their own
curriculum if they would like to do that.
But I think it's important for the states that are moving beyond this. And those
that are nowhere near it and have a very conservative constituency be able to say
this isn't something that at this point could be (Inaudible) in fact we're
following the framework that has been in place for quite some years at a national
STRICKLAND: Yes. The point about this not being based on something
experimental I think is very, very important, especially for states that are very
Ginny and Audrey.
It's almost time for a break. So let's finish up with the two of you.
And then, David, if you are just about --
STRICKLAND: All right.
SCHRODER: Maybe, the message is that we ought to exclude as much as
possible any kind of qualitative statements throughout and by being more
explicit, as we said before, telling what the test can do and what it cannot do,
and leave out things like moving something forward or moving something backward
which tends to have a qualitative connotation to it would be safer.
I think I'm agreeing with what Judith is saying that we just need to leave that
kind of language out and let states make that determination for themselves as to
whether we're moving it forward or not.
HORTON: Well, I wouldn't advocate being safe.
HORTON: And so --
SCHRODER: That's safe.
HORTON: Yes. Because I just want to make sure that the message clear.
HORTON: I think if we were to stick only to statements that were not
qualitative that we would deprive ourselves of communicating some messages that
are in fact very rich that we need to communicate.
I just want to make sure the message that we're communicating really speaks to
the accuracy of what we are doing.
QUALLS: My comment goes back to David's question a little further. So
I'll wait until --
STRICKLAND: Anybody else on this issue about -- David.
MANDEL: Yes. No, I mean, I'm just sort of building on Judith's point
that the accomplishment here is in fact building on a lot of rich work that has
gone on over a number of years, that some of the best work of leading edge states
and school districts that have piloted this and implemented it and found it be
helpful and useful and better than what they had before, and bring it up to the
national level and make it available to everyone.
And that's an important accomplishment to be recognized and not to be undersold
and not say no one has ever done this before and open yourself to attack.
That is why it is an experimental thing.
But to understand that this is a next natural progression after many years of
work at the local and the state level.
And so you give people credit where they've done important work and say we're
making this available to everyone and build on that.
STRICKLAND: Okay. When we come back -- it seems to me, we've actually
pinpointed a number of things that we want to do with the overview actually.
And I will list those, what I think they were when we begin. And you can let me
know if there are other things that you think need to be added or if I got it
STRICKLAND: I think we're about ready to resume. We'll gather around the
It seems to me that we really spend a good deal of time on some suggestions for
And so I jotted down some of the things that I had. And I would like for others
to chime in if there are some points of difference.
I just want to say though that we have to be careful. The overview shouldn't be
overloaded. It should have important elements in it that we think we want to
convey immediately, but we have to be careful not to overload it.
We want to express clarity about what the test will do and what it won't do, and
how the supplementary materials will contribute and make a statement somewhere
within the three existing diamonds, I guess at the third diamond something about
the supplementary materials for parents and students.
And, Gloria, you had raised that issue.
We want to make it clear that the assessment will have curriculum implications
for K through 4. And that can certainly be put in, embedded within maybe that
Stress the use of high standards. And that these youngsters will be assessed
against high standards.
Stress the fact that it capitalizes on the best thinking and research to date,
that it builds upon previous work and makes that available to everyone.
It has a firm foundation, something, words to that effect.
And either add families to parents or just include families where we talk about
providing information for students, parents, and teachers.
It could be parents and families or just families.
Now, those are the things that I had. Is there anything else?
GREER: What did you have before stress the use of high standards,
STRICKLAND: Curricula implications for K through 4. And that probably
will be embedded there within some sentence, but that is very, very important.
And that's why that was raised.
HORTON: A new issue, under supplementary materials, it says provide all
kinds of stuff, are we still providing assessment materials on meta cognition?
I thought we said we were not going to do that.
GREER: There wasn't a -- unless I missed it. There wasn't a note.
HORTON: Help me out because I thought at that first meeting, we said --
QUALLS: I thought we said, no, because it hadn't worked with NAEP,
didn't know how to deal with that.
GREER: That was on the testing of meta cognition. What we said is we -
HORTON: Yes, I know. But then, in the rest of the conversation, I
thought we just said we were going to steer clear of that because it wasn't
GREER: Even in the supplement.
HORTON: Yes, I thought.
GREER: Okay. That's fine.
STRICKLAND: Okay. Let's eliminate it, unless there is anybody having a
STRICKLAND: All right. Let's move on to broad issues. I thought this
would be a good time to capture what had gone on because we focused so much on
that. And I think there are some very good suggestions.
HORTON: In the rationale for the specs, in the second sentence, we talk
QUALLS: Give me a page. I'm having problems.
HORTON: Oh, six, page 6.
HORTON: In the second line, we start talking about the characteristics
of school vendors.
And the first thing we talk about is their positive attitudes and positive
I know that -- I have two concerns about that: one, whether we should have that
statement in there at all.
And secondly, if we put it in there, that it should come later after we describe
the attributes of a proficient reader.
Why I'm concerned about putting it in there at all because although it's true
that that's the characteristics of a proficient reader, when people read things
like that, the first thing that they come up with -- this is one of those flags
from a policymaker's perspective.
People think, oh, they're worried about kids feeling good about their reading.
They can't read.
Skip all the other parts that say proficient readers feel good, you know,
etcetera and so forth.
We're not assessing that. We're simply talking about one of the attributes.
If it's not important to put in there, I would say take it out because I think
it's going to cause more problems from those who read things like that in ways
that we don't intend than the good that it would cause in terms of just giving
people a general description of what readers are about.
Alice, I saw you shaking your head. What do you think?
LOPEZ: I agree with it just some from a policy perspective. I'm thinking
of two board members in particular.
LOPEZ: They see that. And it's, you know --
MANDEL: A red flag.
STRICKLAND: And they don't get any further.
LOPEZ: And mainly because Marsh‡'s point is that we are not assessing
that. So --
STRICKLAND: Other reactions? Does somebody else --
O'NEAL: I would just agree.
STRICKLAND: Now, are you saying that we should move it to another spot
or eliminate it?
HORTON: I say take it out.
JONES: I don't really want to take it out. I don't mind limiting it to
But if we're saying that -- I mean, this is what I deal with when I talk with
parents all the time.
There are many children who can read and are able to read, but they choose not to
read. And they are not growing in their reading.
They are not -- I mean, I just think it's important for us to say -- to keep it
under the characteristics.
These are characteristics that do separate accomplished readers. I think a lot of
them -- NAEP data show that people who read on their own time tend to score
And that's because they have a positive attitude. And they're making their
choices about what they're reading.
So I would like to have it somewhere, but I don't think I agree with Marsh‡ to
put it right up front there in the first paragraph because it could cause some
people from reading on into it.
HORTON: But take it further, Janet. Think about how that statement
sounds if you apply it to math.
One of the attributes of people who do well in math, they have positive attitudes
about math and they do math things.
I mean -- and I guess if I were -- well, that's nice.
JONES: Well, no math attitudes are --
SCHRODER: Again, I think we have to be consistent throughout. Who is
this for? Who are the test results for?
Again, if we put the students primary, there first, and then policymakers are
some place on the list, students need to know that.
It's a qualification of a good reader. Or a part of being a good reader is your
attitude about reading and your uses for it.
I agree with Marsh‡ that probably it shouldn't be first out of the box, but I
think it needs to be included again because of the audience that we're trying to
appeal to. And that's the student, not the policymakers.
MANDEL: The student won't read this document though.
SCHRODER: The student may not read it, but it still keeps a consistency
throughout that the student is an important part of our consideration.
STRICKLAND: Moddy and then Suzanne and Audrey.
MCKEOWN: It seems like the following sentence is going to meet on those
issues that we've just been talking about about why you want to keep that.
So I don't think that we really do need to keep the sentence.
I mean, they choose to read a variety of materials, recognizing that they read
often to develop their own criteria. They function successfully. And they take
personal satisfactions in their reading.
I think those sentences say what we've been trying to say of why we think that
STRICKLAND: Okay. Suzanne.
CLEWELL: I think that we should definitely include it. And I agree with
Marsh‡ that perhaps it shouldn't be first.
But it certainly has implications for students, for families, for teachers.
And even though we're not assessing it, students who read and choose to read are
going to be successful readers.
So couching it in the attributes of what a successful reader is in terms of being
strategic and motivated and engaged are really important.
STRICKLAND: Barbara, Marilyn, Eunice.
KAPINUS: Okay. First of all, I think you could probably go on about this
I think you can strike a compromise by moving a sentence to the end of that
paragraph that says in general, accomplished readers have positive attitudes
about reading. Stop.
None of this positive self-perception stuff.
Then, what I would also do is take the number A under that list that really
expands this and move it down to the last on the list instead of the first.
Not only does it take care of your concerns, but the other thing that it does is
it puts first in that list something that is near and dear to a strong
And that is the fluency statement. And I think really when some interesting
people come out to question our endeavors in this area and want to know why we're
not testing for anemic awareness in the fourth grade, that statement B being
first on the list of characteristics of good readers is going to be a very
important statement to be able -- not to have buried in the list.
STRICKLAND: Marilyn, before you --
STRICKLAND: Barbara, I'm not clear as to what you want to do with the
first paragraph. Can you just repeat that?
KAPINUS: Okay. In the first paragraph, I would take that sentence in
general, they have positive attitudes about reading, on and on and on, and I
would simply delete it there.
KAPINUS: And at the end of that paragraph, you could say, in general,
accomplished readers have positive attitudes about reading period.
So that deals with people's needs to say something about positive attitudes. It
doesn't get quite into so touchy an area as positive self-perceptions which I
think is much more the red flag on this piece.
And then, the second step would be to move A down to the end of the --
STRICKLAND: Yes, the last part.
Eunice, you wanted to make a point.
GREER: Yes. I just wanted people to know that as a source, the bulk of
page 6 and 7 are almost direct lifts from the NAEP framework, so you know that.
And also, Barb, so you have, in general, accomplished readers have positive
attitudes about reading.
Do you want to say "and about themselves as readers"? Or do you want -- no. Okay.
KAPINUS: Well, you can say "and about themselves as readers."
It's just that that phrase "positive self-perception" is a red flag to some
BINKLEY: Not in 1997. Don't put it in there.
KAPINUS: Yes. I think just leave it out, yes. I mean, you're right. It
was very much in that framework. But we have learned some sad and --
HORTON: The school of hard knocks.
KAPINUS: The school of hard knocks in the last seven or eight years,
BROWN: Welcome. Happy New Year. Congratulations for getting through the
first week of classes, which is always high intensity and anxiety for some of us.
And I want to introduce our new Secretary, David Thompson, who comes to us from
UNC News Services where he's worked for five years, so I'm hoping he will help
with our media relations as well -- which I find in this job is the most
difficult part of my job, even, ironically, being a Professor of Journalism, on
the other side of the pen at this point, or the camera.
I have a couple of things to talk about. Things are moving quickly with the
Legislature, as you know. Over the holidays -- we have what is called a Faculty
Legislative Liaison Committee, a rather lengthy title for basically our radical
faculty group t hat's trying to figure out how to work with the Legislature. And
this group worked diligently over the holidays. We met with the Governor, in
cooperation with NC State. We had representatives from both NC State and Carolina
to meet with the Governor to push two primary goals that we've been working on
for a couple of years. First is competitive faculty salaries. We continue to work
on that, to get us back to where we were in the early 80's. The second piece that
we've now begun to discuss is greater support for graduate education. This is a
tougher sell. We haven't really talked about this in a way that the State
understands yet. And so we're working hard to make that understandable and have
the State understand all that that brings to the State. We have made an economic
argument to the Governor which he endorses and supports. A couple of years ago
Michael Luger in City and Regional Planning did an economic analysis, and he's
updated it. And basically what we know is that for every dollar the State gives
to support the University at Chapel Hill, we generate another three to four
dollars for the State. And so basically every year we are generating almost $1
billion for the State economy. So if we need to be speaking in economic terms,
which I think we do need to be speaking about at this point, we would say that we
are a great investment for the State. And so when the State is in a situation as
we are in now, in economic good times, we would argue that it is time to continue
investing in the University.
However, we are now at a point where we should probably be very pragmatic about
the political environment we're in as well. This morning we saw that the UNC
Board of Governors has begun to talk about which programs we're going to cut. The
measure they 're using to decide which programs they would cut is the number of
graduates. I think most of us would argue that may not be, certainly wouldn't be,
the sole measure we would want to use to decide which programs to cut, that there
are a number of explanations for why we may have small, very high quality
programs. And graduates take longer to graduate in some programs than others. And
part of it may be, especially at the graduate level, that they're not graduating
because we don't give them enough to live on. And so they have to be having two
or three jobs to support themselves while they try to get through the degree
program. So these are complicated issues. And what I would argue at this point is
that we as a faculty, rather than criticizing the Legislature or the Board of
Governors for the kinds of solutions they're coming up with, is what we need to
say is that we want to be involved in this process. If cuts are to be made, we
need to be in that conversation. We need to be involved in deciding what measures
should be used, to decide what should be cut if we have to cut.
So, what we've been thinking about, that is the Executive Committee of the
Faculty Council, is to -- this is a bit of an awkward segue, but I think it's
related -- is that what we've been working on is, there is a convergence of
planning efforts right now. The Chancellor just spoke about the land-use
planning. You've been seeing that all over the newspapers. And a number of
faculty are involved. And a committee that's working diligently, with Tom Clegg
as its chair. That's one planning effort. At this point we're beginning to say
also that -- I'm sorry -- so the planning effort that's also in place or moving
is what we have coming out of the SACS reaccreditation process. So for a
year-and-a-half we've been involved in a self-study. We've basically been self
critical, looking at what are we doing well, what still needs to be done, what's
missing. I see this as a possibility right now, that we put these pieces together
and we start looking at the future in a way that, so we will be prepared to speak
to the Legislature about where we want to be going in the future, where we might,
could perhaps cut if we need to. Like that. So we will be talking more about that
planning process, getting that in place in a way that really will work for us. I
encourage you all to speak with us about how this can proceed. Some of you are
experts in planning. Some of you have expertise in thinking about the future in a
way that I perhaps don't. I've only just come to this, thinking of 25, 100 years
hence. Some of you do that every day. So, if you do, please let me know about
that. And we'll start talking about how we can make this happen. And if you want
to talk about it right now, I'll be happy to. I have a couple of other -- So
that's where we are. That's what I've been spending a lot of our time thinking
about and the Executive Committee's been thinking about -- besides basketball
tickets. That will come up again.
I'll tell you about it since it's been in the press again. We will talk about it
at the next meeting probably. It comes back to the Agenda Committee in a couple
of weeks, and so the Agenda Committee will decide whether we are going to talk
about it here. I've heard some comments from you. If you want to give me more
input now, fine. As you've read in the paper, I think this isn't the most
important thing we could be talking about right now, but John Swofford assures me
that this is an issue that never goes away. So perhaps we just have to keep
dealing with it. So, your advice and counsel on that are appreciated well.
Three announcements, or I would say, in the church I go to we call them
"invitations," when they're announcements -- opportunities for you as faculty.
George Jackson is here. George Jackson is the Academic Affairs Officer for
Student Government. I think I just botched his formal title, but we've been
working on a couple of issues together and he wants to speak to us about the
Carolina Course Review quickly.
JACKSON: I'm here because Student Government wants to invite you to a
forum that is designed to offer the University community an opportunity to
discuss possible revisions to the Carolina Course Review survey. I don't know how
many of you have actually seen a copy. This is the latest Carolina Course Review
that came out for this semester. The Carolina Course Review is essentially
designed to give information to students about the classes for which they may
register for the following semester. It includes both information provided by
faculty about the courses, including course descriptions and requirements for the
course, as well as information from a survey that's filled out at the end of each
course. This survey both provides information to students as well as possibly
help with feedback to faculty. Hopefully we can get a good conversation between
students and faculty to discuss what really needs to be on the survey so that the
survey will provide information to students that they really feel is needed, as
well as information to you that feel can give you constructive feedback on your
courses. This forum is going to be this coming Tuesday, January 17th, at 5:00 in
the Student Union, Room 205 and 206. We would really appreciate it if you could
come. Thank you.
BROWN: Do it again, George, where is it?
JACKSON: It's in the Student Union, Room 205 and 206, on this coming
Tuesday, January 17th, at 5:00.
BROWN: I will ask for volunteers. Are there a couple of people in the
Faculty Council who will be willing to work with Student Government on, I think,
an important piece -- this is something that the students have given money to.
It's now part of student fees to support the -- am I right about that?
JACKSON: Yes --
BROWN: to support the Carolina Course Review. And we brought it up to
the Agenda Committee, and the Agenda Committee was not high on the Carolina
Course Review. They were not very supportive of it. And I think that it behooves
us at this point to say okay, if we don't like it, what can we do to make it
better. The students are paying for it, it's going to be coming out, and our
classes are going to be evaluated. So we need some people to work with the
students to help them make it a document that we can use, and that works for us.
MORIATY: I think one way of improving it is, any norms that you compare,
present rankings to that in the early 1980s, is the time when many faculty did
not respond to that survey. And I think you need to send a new survey.
JACKSON: We are encouraging as many faculty as possible, we even send
out some surveys for courses that were taught the previous semester then attempt
to get the information back. We would encourage all of you to send those
documents that you get as well.
BROWN: Any other comment about that at this point? Any volunteers?
Great, will you do that? Thank you very much. Ah, good, Larry, from the Center
for Teaching and Learning, thank you, Larry, Larry Rowan. If you don't want to be
public about it and will tell me later, I'd appreciate that.
BAYNE: Just pick a name from somebody who's not in attendance.
BROWN: Two other invitations. The Johnston Scholars is a wonderful
program of scholarships here on campus. They have been, each year a 100
outstanding students are chosen for the Johnston Awards Program. It's in its
twenty fifth year. And this is the first year that they've decided -- they are
taking on, creating a program for the campus. This program will take place in
September, 23rd to the 30th. They're focusing on "Media and the Mind, Shaping
Political and Ethical Consensus in America." They've invited Charlie Kuralt to be
the keynote speaker, and a number of very interesting people to come and be on
campus for a week to meet with students and give presentations, forums, and
seminars and so on. They are looking for faculty participation, widespread
faculty participation. So I encourage you all, when, if a student calls you and
asks you to be involved in some way, to look to see if you have the time and
energy, and I hope that you do, to work with them. I think this is a valuable
program on campus . Okay.
And thirdly, there is the eighth annual Show of Hands for Peace and Unity. How
many, anybody ever participated in that before? It's on Wednesday, January 18th.
It's in support, it's in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday, and
apparently it's a very moving experience. It's been primarily students
previously, and we'd like to have some faculty participation there as well. It
takes place noon to 1:00 this coming Wednesday, on Polk Place. Where is Polk
Place? Is that the Old Well, or is that behind the South Building? So, great, I
hope we see you there. Anything else? Invitations, announcements from you.
Opportunities, comments, criticisms, celebrations?
KASSON: Just comment on your earlier comments about the need to get into
the discussion about budget cuts and planning. I don't do planning, but I do
think about words, and I would love to see us control the vocabulary in a
different way. The idea that the only way that we could respond to pressures to
be more efficient in our budget is by lopping off programs is something that I'd
like to see us move from that concept to another kind of concept, efficiency,
accountability, something else. So when you go in there, I'd like to see you try
to get control of the vocabulary and move it to another level.
BROWN: Great. I think that's very important. One of the things a small
group of us have been doing is to talk about intellectual themes for the
University as another way of getting clearer about our sense of the University,
and the framing of that is very important, of how we're going to talk about who
we are and what we're good at, so that's excellent. Goo d. Thank you. Anything
BROWN: David Godschalk is not here yet, he has a class, he'll be here in
a minute. So we'll move on to Madeline Levine.
LEVINE: I'm here as Chair of the Faculty Hearings Committee, and I'm
going to take questions about the report.
BROWN: It was an interesting report in that, I think previously you had
talked about I'm not sure you called it conflict negotiation, conflict
resolution, but that you all were participating in negotiation skills or
something? And that you have been rather, it looks like you have been successful.
LEVINE: We haven't been formally trained in it, but what we have
attempted to do since I don't know if there is anyone in the room right now who
has gone through a faculty hearing, but for the grieving faculty member who feels
that he or she was dismissed or not reappointed and for the chair who is accused
of making mistakes or of malice or some other impermissible ground, these
hearings are tremendously disruptive, very, very difficult processes, and so what
we have done informally and the chairs of the committee when contacted by a
faculty member, is to see if there is any mediation that we can do, but it is not
a formal process, and if it doesn't work, we can go ahead immediately with what
we are mandated. Some hearings have been called off in the process. They have not
gone further because the parties agree that there was some misunderstanding and
were able to resolve it.
BROWN: That's great. Thank you very much. Any comments for Madeline?
BAYNE: Just sort of an odd question. Hopefully most of the grieving
faculty never get into the grievance process; there's some sort of resolution.
But some of the people that are unhappy just end up leaving. And I wondered if we
were collecting exit information from some of our faculty who go other places for
whatever reasons to find out what the problems are. Sometimes it's salary, but
other times it's problems with your supervisor or the administrative structure,
or you feel like you're a minority being discriminated against, or whatever.
BROWN: Have you read the women's report?
BAYNE: Yes, but what I'm thinking of is the people that are exiting will
have a whole range other than just the minorities, the other things that account
for it, and I wonder if we could collectively sort of look at that periodically.
I don't know whether there's an exit interview process for faculty, cause I sort
of came to stay -- I'm loving it, so I don't know about that part.
BROWN: As far as I know there is with the Affirmative Action Office,
does do yearly exit interviews, and are you using that data, Pamela, or are you
using other data? Not yet. It's not quite what you want yet.
BAYNE: And so feeds that committee, but we also could also look at maybe
an overview of as it comes up.
BROWN: More broadly. Good.
HERSHEY: I'm just going to note for Professor Bayne that indeed Bob
Cannon's office does collect those. We do have questions about that from time to
time which might be worth it, Bob, either with the Council or through some other
mechanism providing just an overview of what they do do.
BROWN: Good. Can you make that happen? Yes? Okay, great, thank you.
BAYNE: Thanks, Garland.
BROWN: Anything else about hearings? So that's duly noted that Garland's
going to take care of that. Right?
CONOVER: You all have the report. I just have two comments to add. The
Committee feels it's very important that the faculty, particularly those serving
on search committees, continue to recognize that increasing the presence of women
faculty at UNC is a need that we haven't fulfilled yet, and therefore we would
urge you to guard against complacency in terms of recruiting and finding for
women on campus. And the other thing I'd like to add is the Committee would like
to publicly thank Garland Hershey and Dick McCormick and their offices --
BROWN: Pamela, I'm going to have to ask you to come forward so that we
get every stellar word.
CONOVER: We'd like to thank Garland Hershey and Dick McCormick and
especially the staffs in their offices for all the help they've given us this
past year in gathering the data for the glass ceiling study that we are currently
engaged in, and hopefully next year we will have in our report the conclusions
from that study. Questions?
BROWN: Comments for Pamela?
BAYNE: I don't want to ask two questions in a row but I will. When I
first saw this report in the Agenda Committee I had two reactions and I want to
sort of express both of them. One is I think as a University we've made great
strides, certainly in the last two, three, four years, and I'm very proud of
those. But I did something for the Agenda Committee which I didn't bring to share
with you all, but I'll tell you. I just took the data out of this report and did
a linear regression analysis to find out at what point in time we would have 50%
women on the faculty in tenured and tenure-track positions. And the answer, the
correlation coefficient was very high, about 98%. The number, the break-even
point for men and women on the faculty is the year 2056. Now, on the one hand I
think we've done an incredible job of getting to this point. I mean compared to
other universities I think we're a decade ahead. But on the other hand, I think
we should be at the point now of developing sort of secondary levels of
strategies about how we empower women, okay, more than just having a few to
count. And I don't know how that process should occur, whether it should occur it
in this committee, or a different committee, or whatever, and I know Dick
McCormick has made great contributions, and others in this past year, and maybe
they have some questions, but I guess I'm looking forward to saying how fast can
we get towards that goal? I mean can that happen in the 2000 - 2010 range, or do
we have to wait until 2056. That's sort of crazy, but that's the pace we're going
right now. That's when it's going to happen. And I thank you, Pam, because I
think the Committee's done a great job.
CONOVER: Thank you.
BROWN: Great. And I'll be dead by then.
BAYNE: And you wouldn't be counted then.
BROWN: Is David here yet? David Godschalk. Buildings and Grounds. Maybe
he can't find us. Well, he's on Buildings and Grounds, he should be able to find
BAYNE: Maybe we can just ask if there are any questions about the
BROWN: Are there any questions about the report? We're going to be
hearing much more about buildings and grounds in the near future.
ANDREWS: I'm sorry David is not here; is anyone else from Buildings and
Grounds here? Let me just for the record then say that one of the comments that
was indicated in there is that the Buildings and Grounds Committee has approved
the statement, or advised, that the renovation of the Campus Y building would not
be advisable or cost effective and that its replacement should be planned.
BROWN: There he is. Come on up, David. We just started talking about
LENSING: Why don't you go ahead with your point, Pete. Unless David
wants to say anything first about the report, then I can come back to it.
GODSCHALK: Well let me just say that I'm here on the occasion of the
stepping down of John Sanders who's been Chairman of Buildings and Grounds for
some time and certainly devoted an enormous amount of energy and knowledge and
care to the Buildings and Grounds Committee. So I feel like Harry Truman or some
others might have felt when sort of the mantle falls on you, and I'll do my best
to answer your questions. John has basically summarized the actions of the
Committee in the report. And I think the thing I could do is try to respond to
points in question.
BROWN: Pete has a specific question about one of the recommendations.
DOSSEY: I think we've reached 9:00 a.m. And it's probably time that we
get the hearing underway.
I would like to welcome everybody on the part of the Department of Education, the
Council of Chief State School Officers, and members of the committee.
And I think it might be good to just go around the table and introduce ourselves,
since there are some members of our committee here for the first time.
And maybe, we'll just start in the corner and have everyone introduce themselves
at the table.
(Whereupon, the introductions took place.)
DOSSEY: Okay. We'll begin this morning with a report by Gary Phillips of
the U.S. Department of Education on the status of the National Math Test
initiative at the moment.
PHILLIPS: Thank you.
Well, I also want to welcome you here and welcome our guests. This is a very
important meeting for us.
It's the first public hearing of the Math Committee. I think there will be one
other public hearing as well later on in the process. And there will be two as
well for the reading.
We've had about five or six public meetings on the test overall.
But these are very important meetings for us. They give us an opportunity to hear
from you and to think through what you say. And what you do say does affect
We will listen carefully to what you have to say, both the Math Committee and the
Department of Education on a broader level.
And what we've done in the past, the transcripts of the meetings and the
summaries and the minutes, we take those back.
And we go over them. We think it through. We see how what we're doing is
consistent with what you would like us to do.
And, you know, in general, I think we have a real good policy here, this National
Test. I think it is a good idea. And it's the right time.
But we want to have you to buy into it, to understand it, to support it. And we
will make whatever modifications that we need to, you know, satisfy you as best
So these are very important meetings for us. And we appreciate your coming here
to give us your comments.
Just in general, I just want you to know that this is not -- this whole activity
is really not just to create a new test.
There are many good tests out there. Some not so good, but many very good tests
This is really not the whole idea of this. It's not just to create a new test.
The idea of this or the purpose of it is to improve student learning. That's the
And how does this work? Well, I think it will work by just the presence of this
test, I believe, will energize the American educational system, just being there,
not to mention the information that it will provide, but it will energize the
American educational system.
And I think it will serve as a scaffold that will stimulate other activities that
will surround it.
The whole idea here is to empower teachers and parents with information that they
don't currently have.
When we give reports from the TIMSS results or from the NAEP results which are
national surveys, policy makers use that information.
They consider it to be important. They use it for policy purposes. They make
Not a single teacher, not a single parent or student has that information for
No teacher knows what their students do on the NAEP test, for example, no parent,
The idea here is to empower parents and teachers with information they don't
This test also really is the next logical step in the standards reform movement,
the National Content Standards Reform Movement. NCTM standards have been around
now for almost 10 years.
And other associations have developed standards in reading and other areas.
Those have been considered to be successful. But again, a lot of the work on the
standards movement are really at the policy level, at the national, the state,
maybe the district level.
There hasn't been a lot of penetration down into the classroom. This test, part
of what this test will do, I think, will take national standards and move them
down into the classroom.
So for the first time, parents and students and teachers will know how they stack
up against national standards and international standards as well.
Another aspect of this whole activity, again from a policy point of view, is that
we want to set -- the whole thrust of this is to set the same high expectations
for all students.
We don't want to have just the good curriculum in the suburbs, curriculum with
lower expectations in the inner cities.
We want to have the same high expectations for all students. I think this will
help to bring that about.
It won't guarantee it. It will help bring it about because the same students in
the inner cities and the suburbs will be taking this test.
So this is really a different kind of test. It is another test, but there are
things about this test really that are very different from what I think you might
be used to from other tests that you observe in local and state testing programs.
One is, of course, the President's involvement. The President has committed
himself throughout the remainder of this administration to talk about education
and this test.
And you've seen that in the past. He's had many meetings on this. He's going to
have many meetings in the future.
So this is really the first time where we actually have the President of the
United States out there talking about education and talking about the importance
of this test and what it will do.
This is really the first time that this country has had a test in which it will
be released to the press right after the first -- right after the administration
It will go -- it will be released to the press, to the Web, along with scoring
Parents and teachers will be able to see and students will be able to see what
this test was all about.
This will be a lot like the test in Europe where when they are released, parents
and the public talk about the test. The items are in the press. And people
discuss it. It's a topic of conversation.
This test will be developed in a fish bowl. Most tests are not developed that
Every meeting that we have on this test, every single meeting will be a public
meeting. There will be transcripts of those meetings.
And the only meetings that we will have that will not be in public will be those
in which we work on the items themselves.
But the item and test specifications will be a public document. We will have a
sample of the test available prior to the administration in 1998 so that the
public can see what the test is all about.
It's all being done in the open with lots of opportunities for stake holders and
other constituents to have input into the process.
We want that input. And it's being designed explicitly to get that input.
This will be also I think one of the first tests that will be developed in such a
way that we are going to make the test understandable.
The metric and the reporting is going to be focused on making the test
understandable to parents and teachers.
Most testing programs, even the most well intentioned, don't put the energy and
the effort into trying to make the scores and the information understandable and
That's a primary goal of the testing program. When parents look at this and
teachers look at it, they will say, yes, I understand that. This is obvious. This
is a good thing to do.
A lot of effort will go into that in the development contract with focus groups,
with students, parents, and teachers.
This is also a test and possibly one of the few tests or the only test in which
students will get information. We will get information on individual students
about how they stack up against other students in the nation on nationally
developed standards, developed through a national consensus process.
And we will do that through the linking with NAEP. And so what we will know, we
will have information on each student about whether or not they are below basic,
basic, proficient, or advanced.
And that information simply is not available in any of the testing programs.
We will also have international information. Students can see how they stack up
against students in 41 other countries.
So the whole idea here is to energize the educational system, make this test be
-- have a catalytic influence.
And I think we're really entering into a new era here. In many ways, this is
historic. This will be information that the educational system simply hasn't had
in the past.
And so you are an important part of this. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad we're
having this meeting. I'm looking forward to it.
DOSSEY: Thank you, Gary.
DOSSEY: Well, I mentioned before, we're assembled this morning to hear
testimony from people representing professional groups, representing other
entities, as well as representing themselves.
And we do have some people who have already indicated that they are representing.
And we will begin this morning with testimony by Tim Schlenvogt whose
representing the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
We welcome you, Tim.
As I mentioned, we are here to hear from individuals and the input that they
have. We will allow you to present your testimony.
There may be some questions from members of the committee relative to specific
remarks you've made following your remarks.
I would like you to begin by identifying yourself, you know, technically, the
group that you represent.
And if you have written comments, I would appreciate having a copy at the close
of your remarks so that we can have that to make sure that anything that is in
the record is accurate and falls very closely.
So we welcome you. And I'll let you identify yourself.
SCHLENVOGT:Okay. Good morning. I'm Tim Schlenvogt. And I'm a Principal
at Walter L. Becon Middle School in Brighton, Colorado.
I'm also a Pastor of NASSP's Middle Level Committee.
I want to thank you for soliciting our ideas and concerns, as you deliberate and
develop the item and test specifications for the Voluntary National Eighth Grade
My comments represent my views as a middle school principal and former
mathematics teacher and the thoughts of Sue Galletti who is the Director of
Middle Level Services for NASSP.
First, we believe that the instrument that is developed needs to be aligned with
the curriculum that is taught.
"Breaking Ranks: Changing an American Institution" which was published by NASSP
in 1996 makes the following recommendation.
"Assessment of student learning will align itself with the curriculum so that
students' progress is measured by what's taught," echoes what Gary was speaking
This call for alignment is further called for in the "Draft Standards for
National Board Certification of the Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence
Mathematics Standards" which was published in April of 1997. And that is found on
The previous quote I had from "Breaking Ranks" is found on page 11 in that
At the same time, accomplished mathematics teachers advocate changes in
accountability measures so that such indicators become more closely aligned with
instruction in important mathematical outcomes and therefore more accurately
portray student learning.
Second, we believe that the instrument needs to encourage consistency of
commitment to math reform recommendations.
NCTM has developed high standards. One of the findings of the recent TIMSS study
of eighth graders was that where instruction mirrors a reform recommendation,
students do well.
In fact, Japanese mathematics teaching more closely resembles the teaching
envisioned by NCTM standards than does current U.S. teaching.
A further finding is that most U.S. math teachers report familiarity with reform
recommendations, although only a few apply the key points to their classrooms.
NCTM practices have been validated by the TIMSS. We encourage that the Voluntary
Test reflect the NCTM standards, include input from NCTM, and mirror reform
We believe that assessment of students needs to encourage instruction and
curriculum that reflect the vision of these standards.
Third, we believe that the instrument needs to emphasize high standards,
encouraging our students to be competitive with students around the world.
Test items need to discover the degree to which students are able to discover
concepts and principles underlying important mathematical topics.
They need to detect important relationships connecting content strands. And they
need to use mathematical ideas and methods in significant application.
Test items need to encourage that all students understand algebraic techniques
and procedures for transforming and simplifying algebraic representations, as
well as understanding how to reason about relations and how to draw inferences in
The test needs to encourage algebra for all students who exit the eighth grade.
The test should be problem based rather than multiple choice.
Fourth, we encourage that the Voluntary Test should not just be more testing. Too
much time is already spent in classrooms currently preparing students for state
standardized tests or district standardized testing at the expense of time spent
on quality instruction.
Teachers should be implementing reform recommendations in their classrooms,
teaching students what has been collectively identified as what students need to
know and be able to do in the area of mathematics.
The test should measure the degree to which this has been accomplished.
It should not just be one more tool to collect data which is not aligned with
curriculum and instruction.
We encourage that the Voluntary Test when developed to align with NCTM standards
and instruction that responds to NCTM recommendations, become the state
standardized test, replacing other state standardized math tests.
We support the idea that there be easy to understand reports that would provide
students, parents, and teachers with a sense of what students know and are able
to do against high standards.
We further encourage that end service be provided to schools on how to use the
data to improve instruction.
Ideally, the assessment will be tied to end service that ensures that schools are
accountable and that all students perform all standards -- or at standard.
States will consequently need to examine provision of resources that ensures that
students are taught the standards that are expected.
Regarding details of the test, we encourage the test be administered on two
We support that calculators and manipulatives be used in keeping with the
recommendations of NCTM.
Finally, while we recognize the political necessity of the Voluntary Test being
voluntary, we would encourage that after a given period of time during which the
test is piloted, monitored, and adjusted to ensure alignment with reform
recommendations and best teaching practices, the test become mandatory.
If we indeed know what our students need to know and be able to do by the end of
the eighth grade, and these standards are high, competitive, and agreed upon, we
should expect that all students will be able to demonstrate that they have
performed to standard.
It is only by requiring the same test, if constructed correctly, that we will
ensure that all students be provided an equitable and complete access to quality
Thank you for your consideration and your attention to all of the things that we
Are there any questions?
DOSSEY: Yes, David.
MANDEL: Yes. Well, thank you very much for your statement. I mean, I
think it provides lots of good advice for the committee to wrestle with and to
And I think it also lines up well with some of the earlier deliberations that the
committee has had.
So I think you will have a good result.
The one thing that I was curious about is early on, you said how important it was
to align the test with the curriculum that is taught.
And you also made a statement about being consistent with the current reforms and
with the NCTM standards.
MANDEL: We know that there are a range of curricula across the country
that are taught. And sometimes, they are not so well aligned with these other
And how do you think about that, or if it's on a chasm, at least that variation
of that exists out there?
And how can this committee think well about satisfying those two very sound and
legitimate issues that you put on the table?
SCHLENVOGT:It's been my experience that quite often, we as -- we who are
in the classroom as a teacher, we have our little pet curriculums, things that we
like to do, little topics of whatever it happens to be.
I know that in our state, in the state of Colorado, one of the things that we are
working on right now is meeting standards and benchmarks for curricula.
The curriculum that happens needs to lead to whatever the assessment is. If we
decide what the assessment is, we have our standards and benchmarks. And we have
our assessment over here.
Then, we figure out the things that happen to lead to that assessment.
Teachers can do that. Even if it is a range or a variety of ways, it can still
get to that.
But then, teachers need to also be accountable for making sure that the things in
all those little pet projects that happen internal in the classroom do indeed
lead to some sort of authentic assessment.
And if the authentic assessment is this Mathematics Test and it is indeed an
authentic assessment of what kids know, then the curriculum will lead to that.
And teachers will be accountable for that curriculum.
I don't think our charge here is to devise a curriculum. The charge is to devise
what the authentic assessment is.
Many different curriculums will still lead to the same authentic assessment.
And I think the variety or some of this disagreement from teacher to teacher as
to what exactly is the best way to get a topic across to students to meet a
particular assessment, that's okay, as long as it is leading to that assessment.
And that's a little bit different than the way curriculums have been developed in
In the past, we've developed what the curriculum is. And then, we try to figure
out what it is that we're testing, how we're going to test it, and how we
determine whether it's been learned.
Well, this is a little different. And it is coming from our benchmarks and
standards, whatever they happen to be.
And if you begin in a very concrete subject like mathematics, the natural
evolution is that it will follow to other courses.
And I think -- I don't know if I've answered your question, but I think in that
process that the variety of different curriculums that are there, as long as they
are meeting the authentic assessment is allowable.
MANDEL: That answers it.
DOSSEY: Are there any other questions?
KIFER: I'm sure that you mentioned end service. And I don't know that we
talked about that in this committee.
And that is the business of how to help classroom teachers think about using the
results of the assessment for better instruction.
KIFER: Do you have ideas about who should do that?
SCHLENVOGT:Well, it certainly can be developed at each individual
building or each individual district.
However, if there is the support of how to do the corrections, you know, the
corrective action to make sure that kids are leading to that assessment or how to
teach teachers how to meet and reflect on how -- what is the curriculum that is
going to lead to that particular assessment as an end result, some sort of staff
development, end service ideas that fit with that could certainly align with many
of the other things that are currently being done to help teachers plan for
leading to -- meeting standards and benchmarks in other subjects.
And I know that we internally in Colorado have worked long and hard on that over
the last two or three years of how do we help teachers reflect on student
achievement and either do corrective actions to make sure that students
And it can be done I believe, as an umbrella. Okay. Here are a menu of things
that happen. Here's what you do. Here's a menu that you can check against.
And if that information is supplied to each individual building administrators or
teachers, I think all of us have the ability to pick and choose things that will
help us do that.
And a menu of things would certainly be an idea. I don't think it's the only
DOSSEY: I might mention that discussing end service is not one of the
charges of this committee.
DOSSEY: But I think it is important that people are aware that the Joint
Working Group appointed by the President from the National Science Foundation and
the Department of Education actually has a subgroup within that working group
specifically dealing with the questions of faculty professional development, as
well as public information about the need for that development.
One of the things that will come out of the work of this committee as it really
rolls forward to whatever contractor the government would pick to enact the
design and specifications that we're responsible for, will be a development of a
set of sample assessment materials that instructors may use, both to test and as
It could be used in the schools, a base for professional development.
Or it also can be used as a teacher, as examples to actually supplement their
curriculum as students prepare for the National Mathematics Test so that they're
quite aware of the different forms of assessment that appear on that actual
And such a book would be produced each year. So it would have student work so
that teachers can actually see how rubrics are applied and see how students
actually respond to questions and how that matches up with the objectives that
those tests were written for.
PHILLIPS: I have a comment and also a question, following up on what
John just said.
Again, as the test is being developed, there are many other initiatives in the
Department, like the American Reach Challenge, the Math Initiative, and this
joint group, working group.
The committee efforts there or some efforts there will be focused on the National
And there will be resources of materials available as those groups work. And
those will be connected to the National test in some way. We haven't gotten that
worked out yet.
But -- so I just want you to know that that is going to happen. And we're looking
forward to the report from the working group.
My question is, do you see some role, national role that we could play to -- for
the end service and staff development, I mean, something that would be
appropriate for the federal government to either support or think about or
encourage, something like that?
SCHLENVOGT:Definitely. I think --
PHILLIPS: What would that be? Can you think through that for a moment?
SCHLENVOGT:Well, I think certainly by taking a stance and a position.
That will help immensely, but then also to say here are some things that you can
do in end service.
As I suggested earlier, it may be the menu of items that you can do.
I think the position, first of all, establishing the idea that this is a
commitment that we're making nationally and letting folks know that this is not
just another thing that is happening.
SCHLENVOGT:It's not another add-on. It's not something that this, too,
shall pass, as is many said in classrooms by our peers at all levels.
And something that is a long, long reaching or a far reaching commitment by the
government, by the Department of Education and that that also networks down into
state departments of education that this won't go away. This is going to be here.
And we're going to work at it. And we're committed to it.
KIFER: Yes. Just to make the point that there may be a place where even
though the Voluntary National Test isn't going to deal with end service, there
may be a place where their interests dovetail.
And I think that would be score reporting. And that is maybe worthwhile to think
about, the kinds of reports that will tell, be available so the classroom
teachers can look at patterns of performance across content areas or other kinds
And that would be a different kind of report that one could get of individual
So the report might be helpful.
DOSSEY: Any other comments?
DOSSEY: Well, Tim, thank you very much.
SCHLENVOGT:Thank you for your time.
DOSSEY: And again, if you do have a set of your printed remarks, we
would be glad to accept them. We would like to. Okay.
Do we have other groups that wish to address things and individuals?
BERRY:Good morning. I'm Fran Berry. I am currently a Principal
Investigator with the Colorado Statewide Systemic Initiative.
I serve on the board of directors of the National Council of Supervisors of
Mathematics. And I'm currently -- and I'm formerly a middle school mathematics
And I just wanted to address some of the information that I recently received
regarding the National Test for Mathematics and a position of my involvement with
NCSM as well as with our Statewide Systemic Initiative.
First of all, we definitely the alignment with the mathematics framework for the
1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
We support the wide distribution of items so that they are across the number
sense, the 25 percent number sense, 15 percent to measurement, 25 percent in
geometry, 15 percent in data analysis, statistics, and probability, and a 25
percent in algebra and functions. So that there is a balance of those items.
At the same time, we would like for the committee to think seriously about the
big ideas of mathematics and not be tempted to address these various issues --
these various topics with a lot of isolated items.
So the big ideas of mathematics are being addressed.
Secondly, as far as the form of the test items are concerned, we would like to
see as many items as possible addressing student's conceptual understanding of
mathematics and their ability to solve problems in meaningful contexts.
This may involve some performance-based items, as well as constructed response.
We would like to see -- because of our work in Colorado with looking at
assessments from multiple measures, we're comfortable with having items that are
a balance of multiple choice, short answer, but also to emphasize the need to
have some performance items as well.
As far as the question regarding calculators and the use of manipulatives, we
would like to see unrestricted use of calculators and manipulatives for students,
those that students could bring with them and those that they are most familiar
and comfortable in using.
And we would like to have some items on the National Test that would require the
use of calculators so that we can see -- the effective use I should say of
calculators so that we can see whether students are in fact using the calculators
Regarding your request for information on reports to parents on students in the
community, we would like for those to highlight student's strengths as well as
their weaknesses so that we have students who know.
Perhaps, we could use the format that we've been using with the National
Assessment for Educational Progress that students are told if they are
proficient, advanced, or partially proficient in each of the five content areas
related to the ideas of mathematics.
The time framing for the test, we have been involved with the Connecticut State
assessment program in looking at how can we provide time for middle school
students and within a period of time.
So I would strongly suggest that you not consider one 90-minute session, having
worked with eighth grade students for many years. It's hard to keep their
attention for 45 minutes, much less 90 minutes.
So that would be one suggestion, if you're going to look at two 45-minute blocks
in order to be able to assess the mathematics that would be in there and at the
same time, to provide flexibility for those students who need accommodations, for
instance, students who could have the test read to them.
Things that are normally accommodated for them in their regular instruction could
be accommodated for them during the test.
The other thing is, having been involved as a middle school teacher during the
development and piloting of the new standards projects assessment items in my
eighth grade classroom, I found that students needed in some cases an incentive
to know that they were participating in something that was important.
I'm not sure how you could possibly do that, other than the fact of telling them
that it's important.
But the idea of thinking about what could students do to be supported in doing
the best they possibly can.
I was teaching -- I happened to be teaching in a suburban school. And it wasn't
quite an issue as those of my colleagues who were teaching in more urban centers.
I also wanted to mention something about what Tim was talking about as far as the
professional development component.
With our statewide systemic initiative over the past several years, we have been
involved in providing professional development opportunities for elementary,
middle school, and high school teachers centered around performance-based
And we have found that using the assessment as a tool for professional
development has been a tremendous impact in classroom instruction.
We not only gathered data on how well students did on the assessment, but at the
same time, we involved teachers in actually scoring assessments, providing them
with examples of assessment items and student work.
And the dialogue that occurs during those professional development activities has
a tremendous impact on what happens as far as instructionally in the classroom.
Because once teachers see what students are asked to do and once they actually
look at student work, it has tremendous impact on how they, in fact, deliver
instruction to their classrooms.
I actually have no other comments. But if you would like to ask questions, I'm
more than willing to answer them.
DOSSEY: I would like to ask you to be a little more explicit about
distinctions you would make between student constructed response and performance
What types of items do you consider performance items?
We're facing the potential of developing a test that, you know, at some point
could be taken by 3 million students.
So the questions of distribution of materials and such, are paramount in that
situation, as well as the types of extra load that we might be placing on
classroom teachers who in that situation are being able to deal with the actual
development to administer an exam on such a broad scale.
I would like just to hear you talk a little bit about the kinds of performance
items you would like to see us providing as part of the National Mathematics
BERRY:The difficulty I know that you're facing is the same difficulty
that we face in any type of assessment development.
And that is to get at those rich, meaningful, problem situations, and to have
kids actually look at big ideas requires more than a 45-minute class period.
So far as the development of the actual items in the test itself in thinking
about five strands of mathematics, big ideas, 90 minutes and me mentioning
performance assessment, I'm thinking what a daunting task you have in front of
I would still, however, like to support the idea of having a form of some sort of
item or items that would require students to have to think through a problem and
then actually record their thinking, explore various avenues of reaching their
final answer, response in that.
The assessment which I'm most familiar that we've been giving to students
themselves, one performance item takes 45 minutes.
We have some items that may be 15 minutes. But as far as getting to the deeper
mathematics, the big ideas, that item itself takes 45 minutes.
So I realize the impossibility of trying to do everything on one test.
However, if in fact there is a subcommittee that is looking at professional
development, I think that would be an avenue in which you could provide some
opportunities for students -- for people and teachers and students, to perhaps
pilot some items, to have some information you could have back on what it
requires to do a longer test.
I really don't have an answer, John, on how you can do both easily, other than
the fact that I would like to see some balance so that it's just not a multiple
choice and short answer, but also some constructed response.
And given the time frame, probably 15 minutes is the most you could have for the
constructed response to get to those five areas.
DOSSEY: Are you familiar with the extended constructed response items
that were given as part of the NAEP assessments?
DOSSEY: Are those a step in the direction that you're talking about?
BERRY:I think they are. I think they are, yes.
PHILLIPS: You mentioned that you would like to see the test divided into
two 45-minute sessions.
Do you have a view about whether or not it should be the same day or on separate
Would it be acceptable to have like one in the morning and one in the afternoon?
There is a test security issue that has to be dealt with.
BERRY:There is a test security issue. There is also the issue of
impacting student's schedule within the middle school.
And that's, the balance between that. I mean, the middle school in which I
taught, I was given a 45-minute class period to work with students.
And granted, I had all those. I had 150 students over the course of the day.
But to think about trying to assess all 150 students in two 45-minute blocks on
the same day, I'm just trying to think how I could have gotten my teammates to
help me do that because, you know, it would have impacted what we had done that
And I think there would have been the reasonability of doing that.
If you were going to think along those lines, I would suggest that you do, you
know, a sample.
First sample the section A in the morning and section B in the afternoon and a
second sample of kids hopefully that have the same demographics or the same
And then, switch it around so that they have sample B in the morning and sample A
in the afternoon.
PHILLIPS: But would it be an examination nightmare if we had the test 45
minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon?
Or would it -- we have to think about thousands of schools taking this test.
PHILLIPS: Would it be -- I know that when the committee was thinking
about this, they were recommending or considering having 45 minutes on two
separate days, if I remember correctly.
BERRY:Well, when you talk about test security, are you thinking you
would give them the entire test and let them work as far as they could in 45
PHILLIPS: Well --
BERRY:Or are you going to have two separate packages?
PHILLIPS: No, if we had two separate days, we have to have the test
divided into two parts.
PHILLIPS: And part one would be administered on one day. And part two
would be kept secure probably in a bundle, shrink-wrapped, things like that.
PHILLIPS: Which would be opened the second day.
PHILLIPS: So there are ways around it, but it does, you know -- it just
increases the likelihood of some problem, but --
BERRY:I think you're right, it increases the likelihood. But I think the
structure -- and I was in a large school.
I had -- we had 1,200 students in seventh and eighth grade. So we had 600 eighth
graders who would be taking this assessment.
And so the impact on the school I think would be quite a scheduling problem. I
don't want to say nightmare, but quite a scheduling problem to do the assessment
in the morning and afternoon on the same day because you just have to stop the
schooling for the day.
And I think that may be something that you want to get feedback from more
teachers than just myself.
BERRY:Personally, I would prefer knowing the eighth graders that I had,
45 minutes one day and 45 minutes the next.
PHILLIPS: So if we had that and then, let's say, maybe one day make-up
and that's it, do you think that would do it?
BERRY:I don't know that you could limit it to one day of make-up because
if you have a student whose absent both days, then that -- if they're not there
the third day, then you're saying they just don't take the test at all.
BERRY:I mean, that's a possibility.
PHILLIPS: Again, it's a security issue.
BERRY:Security, I understand that.
PHILLIPS: The students who are taking the make-up, the test will be out
BERRY:The students taking the make-up I would assume, then they would
take both sessions the same day when they return, one in the morning and one in
That would keep you at a three days maximum if that's what you were thinking of.
MANDEL: Just to add to the logistical --
MANDEL: In the schools that you're familiar with across Colorado --
MANDEL: How does the scheduling of this all play out with your interest
in having calculators available?
And is that an issue at all? Or is that a non-issue?
And the second part of that is if you can just a little more, cite the logistics
of this about why you advocate unrestricted use of calculators?
I mean, I sort of -- I know some of the arguments. And I also know there are
MANDEL: And so from your perspective, how do you think about that and if
you can also say something about if there is any logistical issue around your
interest in having the unrestricted use of calculators and the various scheduling
arrangements that might occur?
BERRY:Well, I'll talk about the unrestricted use first and then the
As far as the unrestricted use, I think to second to what Tim had said earlier,
and that is the fact that we are talking about supporting the reform efforts that
have been forth by the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics.
And so in having unrestricted use of calculators on the exam, as well as having
items that call for the effective use of calculators, you are in fact delivering
a very strong message about what are the important things that should be taught
to students and what should be required in their learning.
If in fact the test items don't require the use of calculators, then you begin to
question, you know, why have them at all?
But if you have items therefore that are problem situations in which the
mathematics and the level to which the mathematics can be addressed requires the
use of calculators, then you're saying that this is the kind of mathematics we
want all kids to have access to by the time they're in eighth grade.
And so therefore, the unrestricted use of calculators.
I also understand how that could possibly mean in some classrooms, not only in
Colorado, but across the country.
And that is the fact that they may not have calculators available for all
students. And the students themselves may not have access to calculators.
So you've opened the Pandora's box of equity. And so do you in fact provide
calculators for students to use on an assessment if they don't have the use of
them in their schools?
The schools in which I taught, I have to be honest and say that as an advocate
for that type of unrestricted use of calculators, we had classroom sets of
calculators for students who didn't have their own.
So it wasn't a matter of them having to have a certain calculator or not being
allowed to use a calculator they brought from home.
But the calculators were always available whenever they felt that they needed
And I know that does not exist in some schools. And so that's the issue around
the manipulatives as well.
If you're going to provide an assessment for students that need manipulatives,
they may not have manipulatives in school.
And so that's something that needs to be packaged with the assessment when it
comes delivered to the schools.
DOSSEY: If the exam was given at one hour, say, during a day, do you
feel that there would be enough?
And given the fact that perhaps not every student has a personal calculator, but
the school has calculators to be used in a classroom, is it a possibility or do
you foresee it as a problem that by bringing all the math students at one hour,
that you would actually be removing them from access of the school calculators?
BERRY:Yes, I mean, when I talk about classroom set, to have 35
calculators but 150 students, if there were three other eighth grade teachers,
that's not enough calculators to cover all the kids.
MILLER: Yes. We had addressed the idea of motivation of students.
MILLER: How do we motivate eighth grade students?
BERRY:Well, if I had that answer, I would be on the road.
BERRY:You know, I really don't have a simple answer for that one.
I know that there have been some suggestions from NCTM to consider perhaps a
presidential scholar, you know, kids who do well.
And I think that you have those kinds of things that work, that can work for some
students. I'm not sure that it would work for all, especially in areas where
academic achievement is not valued.
So -- and I'm not sure that publishing results by school -- at least we know
about the Sunshine Law in Colorado. And you rank schools and rank students. That
hasn't been something that has motivated the students to do well.
I think that what we have to really think about is how do we work with the
teachers through professional development or through the release of the items
that then allows the teachers to change what's happening in the classroom if
students feel that they can do well on the assessment. It's not something that
MARTIN: Fran, if we go back over this question for a minute.
MYERS: A couple of quick things. First of all, as you know -- at 4:00
p.m. today in the OEOB the different departments will meet on radiation. There
will be representatives there from Veterans, Defense, Energy, OMB, Justice, NASA
and HHS, as well as White House officials. It is being coordinated by Phil Lader
and Christine Varney. Mark Gearan will also attend that meeting and be here in
the briefing room sometime, probably between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. for a
VOICE: Can we have a little photo op?
MYERS: No, probably not, but I'll take it and see if we want to do
that. And perhaps a White House photo, but I'm not sure we can turn it around
quick enough. So we'll take a look at that and let you know.
VOICE: What's this again? (Laughter.)
MYERS: This is the radiation meeting. You know, there's been this
issue -- (laughter.)
VOICE: Will the President drop in?
MYERS: I think it's unlikely. It's still possible. It's not on his
schedule. He said that he may drop by. He may choose to do that, but I think it
will probably be conducted on a staff level.
And then I just thought a little readout from this morning's health care meeting
VOICE: Before you do that, can I ask who Markey was meeting with?
MYERS: Markey came over -- I'm not sure who all he met with, but he did
-- as you know, he produced a report -- his office produced a report on this
issue sometime ago. Many of the issues that are now being discussed were covered
in that report, and he came over here to talk with some White House officials
about what his --
VOICE: Why is the CIA not at this meeting today? Because there has
been some information from Markey and others that the CIA is not being as
cooperative as some of these other agencies in releasing their information.
MYERS: I'm not sure why they're not there, but I'll certainly take the
question and find out if they were ever part of this process and what the status
of that is.
VOICE: Does the President agree with what Secretary O'Leary said about
compensation? What is the latest thinking about whether compensation should be
made to all who have been affected, including --
MYERS: Well, I think that's the goal of this meeting, is to find out --
to begin a fact-finding process to find out exactly what the status is, what the
state of play is and then begin to make decisions about how best to proceed.
I think if there were injustices rendered that need to look at compensation, the
President certainly believes that. But I think at this point I think the process
needs to move forward with the fact-finding.
VOICE: Did the White House give O'Leary the go-ahead before she made
this promise to compensate victims?
MYERS: I think it's been something that she's been working on at the
DOE. Certainly the President -- part of what initiated this process was the
President's directive last year to begin declassification of documents, something
he certainly supports. I think we'll see where the process goes from here.
VOICE: But did she go to the White House first and ask permission
before she came out publicly with this?
MYERS: No, I think -- I'm not sure that she asked for permission, but
it is something that she's discussed with White House officials.
VOICE: Did she notify the White House in advance of the amount that she
was going to make?
MYERS: Of the compensation?
VOICE: Well, the first part -- and separately, the conversation.
MYERS: Yes, yes. I'm not sure about the compensation but it's
certainly -- because I'm not sure what the exact chronology was. But it's
certainly something that she's been in discussion about, as she is about a number
of issues that they're undertaking at DOE.
VOICE: Could you give us a health care readout?
MYERS: Sure. As you know, the President called together the working
group on health care today to kick off the new year. I can -- what we'll do is
post the list of -- I guess you guys saw the attendees. We don't need to do
He began by thanking the Cabinet members for their work on health care over the
previous year, and for the appearances that many of them made, particularly in
the last few months since the President announced the health care plan in
September. He talked about the importance of continuing to coordinate closely
between agencies, about the importance of the initiative, about getting health
care passed this year, about the absolute immutability of universal coverage and
comprehensive benefits that can never be taken away.
The First Lady, I think, underscored that. She talked about the importance of
coordination and consultation between the various agencies. And I think they
talked about a number of areas where coordination is particularly important on a
policy level, on a legislative level -- as all the different agencies will have
legislative liaisons on the Hill working the various committees and members of
Congress who will be key players on this. They talked about communications,
making sure that we all work together on a communications level, and outreach to
various constituencies who will be affected by health care reform.
The First Lady suggested that there should be regular meetings of this working
group, which is something that's been fairly regular throughout the previous year
and will certainly be intensified this year -- and I think talked a little bit
about -- the President talked a little bit about how health care would fit into
his overall domestic agenda for the coming year; how important it is both to the
continued economic recovery, to other initiatives -- everything from worker
training to welfare reform; how all of those initiatives fit together; how health
care reform is central to achieving other points of the President's domestic
The meeting lasted about 50 minutes.
VOICE: How many agencies would be involved in this
consultation-coordination? And obviously, that were not involved before. And
how many lobbyists does that mean on the Hill for the administration if each
agency sends people up?
MYERS: Well, the Cabinet agencies that were represented today -- the
Secretaries who were there were Bentsen, Shalala, Ron Brown, Jesse Brown, Reich,
Riley, Reno, Cisneros; the Vice President, obviously, was there and Laura Tyson.
So those are just the various Cabinet members that were present at the meeting.
Each of those agencies has had and will continue to have a role in health care
VOICE: They will be the ones who will be consulting?
MYERS: Sure, as part of the overall working group. I think our strategy
is to work collectively, to have a collective strategy that deals with both the
policy issues as well as the legislative issues. There will be a number of
committees. I think that still remains to be seen in the Senate. There are
three primary committees in the House, plus additional committees that will be --
have primary jurisdiction over the health care bill. And then there will
certainly be other committees that will have different pieces of it. So there
will be no shortage of members of Congress involved, and certainly the
administration wants to work closely with them.
VOICE: Did anyone in this meeting sit down and give the President an
objective assessment of where Congress is on this issue right now?
MYERS: No. I think that's something that we've certainly followed very
closely last year and continuing to evolve. I think that there is generally
optimism that this is something the President believes that we can get done this
year. It is something that we have no illusions that it will be a very difficult
fight. It's a complicated issue, and one that affects one-seventh of the domestic
economy. I think that generally the assessments were that people are ready to
buckle down and to work very hard to get this done this year, and that Congress
is also willing to go along. But it's going to be a tough fight.
VOICE: The President spoke about the need for crime, for education, job
training and health care reform, but didn't say anything about welfare reform in
his agenda for this new year that he outlined --
MYERS: He did touch on it in the radio address. I think it's certainly
something -- health care reform is certainly a component of welfare reform. It's
something the President has always said that until you can guarantee people the
same benefits by working that they now receive by being on welfare, then you
can't either get them to move from welfare to work or keep them working -- unless
they have a guarantee that their children will be provided for, that their
families will provided for. So it's certainly an important component of welfare
reform. But the President will also have a comprehensive welfare reform package
VOICE: Does that mean -- just to go back -- that until health care
reform, really the outline of the deal is struck, there's no sense in going ahead
with welfare reform -- to delay welfare reform for the time being?
MYERS: No, I don't want to say that. There are certainly -- but health
care is an important component of welfare reform, just as the earned income tax
credit which was passed last year is an important component of welfare reform.
But the President will come forward with a comprehensive welfare reform proposal,
and we'll have to see exactly how the sequencing and timing of that works out.
VOICE: You're not saying January anymore?
MYERS: I think -- I'm not sure that we'll have the whole comprehensive
package. I think it's something that the President will certainly address in the
State of the Union on the 25th.
VOICE: Mrs. Clinton talked about the human working groups this group is
going to need. Does she mean at the Cabinet level? Are they actually going to
spend their time rather than their deputies?
MYERS: No, I think there's certainly be -- I think this group will be
convened periodically, but the majority of the work will be done at an assistant
level: assistant secretaries, deputy secretaries, other staff members.
VOICE: The President said beyond universal coverage he's willing to
talk about the details when he was asked about compromise. It seems like an
awfully early time for him to be responding that way and agreeing to compromise.
MYERS: That's been our position for months, that the two components of
this that we're absolutely not able to compromise on were universal coverage and
comprehensive benefits that can't be taken away. That's not a new position.
VOICE: That's right, he's reiterated his willingness to compromise
beyond that point. I'm wondering why, before the fight is even underway, he's
MYERS: Well, I think we've outlined a very comprehensive, detailed
health care plan -- one that addresses everything from financing to the specific
benefits included in the package. As we move into a debate in Congress, I think
that the onus will be on other people with other plans now to be as detailed, to
be as comprehensive as the President has been.
So far we haven't seen that from any of the other plans. I think at that point,
once other people have put forward the specific details of their financing, where
the money's going to come from, or have outlined the specific benefits that will
be covered in their packages, we can discuss how best to go about it. I think
when the President made the announcement of the health care package, he said he
didn't come down from the mountain with the stone tablets. That's certainly our
posture. What we did do was put together what we think is the best plan, the
most comprehensive plan, and it should be a benchmark in terms of specificity.
VOICE: Have you seen any one thing he likes in any of these other
MYERS: I think there are a lot of elements that are shared. A couple
of the plans include universal coverage. Others include elements that he likes.
I still think that the President's view is that his plan is the best plan; that's
why he put it forward. Certainly things like the employer mandate looked at a
number of ways of providing universal coverage. He thinks that's the best. But
as the process goes forward, we're certainly going to debate this and look at a
number of other ideas.
VOICE: Can you give us some sense of how the President's preparing for
his trip to Europe?
MYERS: He's going to be spending a lot of time this week in briefings,
both at a staff level. He has a couple of briefings today at a --
VOICE: Who is briefing him?
MYERS: He has one with the Joint Chiefs this afternoon, and most of
them are done at staff level. Tony Lake is coordinating a series of briefings.
I believe -- there are certainly people from the State Department who will be
participating. Strobe Talbott was here this morning for a briefing. I believe
Secretary Christopher is here part of this afternoon. But mostly it's NSC, State
Department officials. He'll also meet with some outside people -- has a dinner
tonight -- I mean, tomorrow night with outside experts to talk just generally
VOICE: With Kissinger --
MYERS: I don't have a list, but we can certainly see if we can provide
that for you. So there will be a --
VOICE: You'll find out what -- all parts of it, or NATO?
MYERS: Different parts of it. There are, obviously, a number of
different parts, and I think the -- outsiders will represent a variety of
different areas of expertise. Today, he's looking at some overall -- sort of the
overall trip. That was this morning. There will be a meeting to look at NATO
and one to look at Central Europe. Certainly he'll spend time discussing Russia
as well as the Middle East, in preparation for the meeting.
VOICE: Does he have decisions to make? I mean, the policy is, as has
been described by State Department briefers in recent days in terms of the
balance between Partnership for Peace and the Russian involvement. Those
decisions have been made or does he actually have decision-making meetings?
MYERS: Most of the decisions in reference to the trip have been made.
So this is to bring him up to speed on all the details of the schedule.
Certainly, he's got a number of bilaterals, he's got a number of multilateral
meetings to prepare him for the substance of those meetings so that he can have
thoughtful, meaningful conversations just to continue to bring him up.
VOICE: He's not for taking Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into
NATO at this time?
MYERS: The Partnership for Peace establishes a vehicle for evolution,
for full participation. And it is, I think, a truly historic initiative, and one
that we'll be discussing after the NATO summit. We will start briefings for you
all perhaps as early as tomorrow, but definitely by Wednesday, and we'll do a
number on a number of different issues from, again, NATO, Central Europe, Russia,
Belarus, and then probably what's going to happen in Geneva.
VOICE: Can we get a briefing with Strobe?
MYERS: I think he was one of the briefers, and I'm hopeful that that
will not change, given his new responsibilities.
VOICE: He's much too important now.
MYERS: He's a veritable Bigfoot now. (Laughter.)
VOICE: Do decisions have to be made on a specific aid package? Is a
new aid package being announced in Moscow?
MYERS: I don't think so. No.
VOICE: We're not going there with any type of new --
MYERS: No. I mean, the purpose of it I think is to continue to work
with the Russians to encourage them on the road to democratic and market economic
reforms, and to talk about a number of ways we can help them in that transition.
But I don't expect the President to announce any major new aid package.
VOICE: How do we encourage them? I mean, what incentives do we offer?
MYERS: Well, part of it has been outlined before in helping to make
sure that the aid that we've already promised gets delivered efficiently, working
with them on a number of -- everything from economic cooperation to a number of
initiatives that we've already talked about -- environmental, other economic,
energy -- just to continue to move forward on those kinds of initiatives. And we
can certainly have more details on exactly the content of those meetings as we
move a little bit closer to it.
VOICE: What does the President expect to get out of this trip?
MYERS: I think in NATO, I think we plan to underscore that this is
still the most important geopolitical relationship to the United States -- and
certainly NATO has been the most effective such partnership in history -- and
that it will continue to be the central organization for our relationships in
Europe. We'll also meet with leaders from the EU to continue to discuss ways to
increase our economic relationship with Europe.
Then we'll move on to Prague where we'll continue to work with the Central
European countries, the Visegrad countries, in their transitions to democracy.
We want to continue to encourage them and to help them in their transition.
And then on to Russia -- same thing. Certainly the stop in Minsk will
underscore, among other things, the importance of their initiatives to
denuclearize. And then on to Geneva.
VOICE: Back to Moscow. Is there any change of heart in meeting with
MYERS: No schedule -- no plans to meet with Zhirinovsky.
VOICE: On that point, in July, even before the election in Japan, the
President went out of his way to meet with opposition leaders, including the man
who became the Prime Minister. Why would he go to Moscow immediately following
an election that signaled a lot of opposition to the guy we've thrown in with and
not see anyone? Not even -- it wouldn't have to be Zhirinovsky.
MYERS: We're not -- that is incorrect. We are seeing other people,
VOICE: Who are they?
MYERS: We will have a more detailed schedule, but we will certainly
meet with other members of Parliament, members of the democratic -- other
democrats there who aren't necessarily Yeltsin supporters. I think we fully
expect to expand out contacts while in Moscow. That's part of the reason for the
VOICE: Isn't it unusual that you're kind of not -- you're not going to
meet with the person who is considered the key -- the biggest opposition leader?
And you've said, leading up to this trip, of course, you plan to meet with all
MYERS: Well, I don't know that he's the key. I don't think that's
necessarily our assessment.
VOICE: Well, 25 percent --
MYERS: Twenty-five percent of one portion of the vote does not reflect
his strength in the Duma. Certainly there are a lot of other forces there, which
is why we, again, are going to expand our contacts and meet with some other folks
while we're in Russia. But I think many of the views that Zhirinovsky had
expressed are an anathema to what we believe, and at this point we have no plans
to meet with him.
VOICE: To meet --
MYERS: We just have no -- absolutely.
VOICE: Has he asked for a meeting with the President?
MYERS: Not that I know of.
VOICE: When you say, "we're meeting with these democrats," you mean
MYERS: Yes. I'm sorry, we -- pretty much me and Don and -- (laughter.)
VOICE: What happens in the end?
MYERS: We have no plans to meet with him. I don't expect that that
VOICE: Has Zhirinovsky requested a meeting with you or any of the
MYERS: Again -- just asked that question, and the answer is, not that I
know of. I don't think there have been any requests from Zhirinovsky or his
people for a meeting.
VOICE: Will there be meetings with members of any parties outside the
two reformist parties?
MYERS: We'll have a more complete list now, but I do expect us to
MYERS: I think it will be confined mostly to reformists. But, again,
I'll wait until we have a more complete list.
VOICE: Do you expect him to see President Kravchuk in Moscow?
MYERS: I believe there will be some meetings, not with -- are you sure?
We'll have to get back to you on that. I'll take that question.
VOICE: Dee Dee, has the President spoken with anyone in the Israeli
government, and is he concerned about the Middle East peace process at this
MYERS: He has not spoken to anybody in the last, certainly recently.
The question is, has the President spoken to anybody in the Israeli government,
and is he concerned about the peace process. With regard to the peace process,
obviously he is interested in seeing the principles in the declaration
implemented, we're continuing to encourage the parties there to work toward that.
As you know, they are continuing, some point, face-to-face meetings in Egypt, and
we certainly expect that process to go forward, and we'll do what we can to
encourage it to go forward.
VOICE: Dole and Gingrich yesterday both called for an appointment of a
special prosecutor in the Whitewater case. Does the White House think that would
be appropriate at this time, and do you think that the Republicans have just seen
a political opening here and are trying to take advantage of it?
MYERS: Yes, I think -- yes. The Republicans would be political? I
find that hard to believe. (Laughter.) Yes, I do think it's not a coincidence
that people who have been staunch opponents of reauthorizing special prosecutor
statute -- independent prosecutor statute -- are now calling for an independent
prosecutor. I don't think that's that hard to figure out.
At this point, we have taken the initiative and turned over all of the --
VOICE: No, you haven't yet, have you?
MYERS: I'm sorry, we have not. We're in the process -- they're being
catalogued and will be turned over within the next couple of weeks.
VOICE: Why catalogued?
MYERS: There's actually quite a bit of documents, and this includes
campaign files, personal files, things -- there's quite a bit, and we just want
to make sure that it's catalogued as complete and we will hand it over to the
VOICE: Dee Dee, is it also not a coincidence that someone -- that
people who said that this administration have always supported an independent
council law would now be resisting it?
MYERS: I don't think we're resisting it. It's not up to us to make
that decision. The Attorney General said today that she wasn't going to appoint
a special prosecutor, but I think that there's no -- first of all, we handed over
the Whitewater documents in support of an ongoing investigation in the Madison
Guaranty. There is no other investigation that we know of, ongoing, and I don't
think we have anything to add to what we've already said about this.
VOICE: To whom are you giving these documents if they weren't
MYERS: We turned them over --
VOICE: Which office --
MYERS: -- of our own initiative, but we will turn them over to the
VOICE: to the people pursuing --
VOICE: You haven't turned them over yet?
MYERS: We're in the process. We've made clear our intention to turn
VOICE: It's going to take a few more weeks?
MYERS: It will take a couple of weeks.
VOICE: Who is doing this cataloging?
MYERS: It's being coordinated, I believe, by the White House Counsel's
Office, but I will take that question and make sure.
VOICE: Are these the files that were in his private lawyer's --
MYERS: Some of them are in the private lawyer's, some of them are --
VOICE: Why would the House Counsel's Office be overseeing that?
MYERS: I'm taking the question. I think that they're playing a role,
but I'm not sure that they're the ultimate point person.
VOICE: How many documents are you talking about? Like boxes --
MYERS: I don't know. I think that there are some documents -- campaign
-- as you know, we went through this once in the campaign. There are a number of
files there. Most of it is public -- a lot of it, I'm sure, in those files is
public information, things that were collected through the campaign.
VOICE: Did you finish your answer to Gwen? You said some of them were
in the custody of private lawyers, some are -- who has the rest?
MYERS: Some are in the campaign, and I think that's it.
VOICE: So there's none here now?
MYERS: No, those were turned over.
VOICE: Dee Dee, does the President still support the reauthorization of
the independent counsel law?
VOICE: Why does he think that's a good law? What is the purpose?
MYERS: He believes that it helps provide independent inquiry and has --
VOICE: In what kind of cases?
MYERS: Cases of alleged public corruption, I suppose. He hasn't said a
whole lot about that. I think that the parameters of the statute are pretty
VOICE: Dee Dee, a number of us have asked on various occasions whether,
in fact, Mrs. Clinton got the power of attorney she requested over Whitewater.
Can you answer that question for us now, and if not, why not?
MYERS: I failed to find out the answer to that. I'm not sure, Deborah,
and I'll have to take it and get back to you.
VOICE: Have you asked Mrs. Clinton's people? I mean, it's a simple
MYERS: I just don't have an answer for you, I'm sorry. I apologize. I
will take the question.
VOICE: What is the position regarding making these documents, once they
have been catalogued, public, available to all of us?
MYERS: We're going to hand them over to the Justice Department and have
no plans to make them public.
VOICE: Why is that?
MYERS: We'll let the Justice Department review them.
VOICE: Why not make them public? Wouldn't that just clear the air
MYERS: Again, I would just emphasize that there is no investigation
ongoing -- we turned over these documents in support of an investigation into a
savings and loan. There is no investigation. There is no allegations of
impropriety with reference to the Clintons.
VOICE: No, but there certainly is an air of questions --
MYERS: We voluntarily handed these over to the Justice Department --
are in the process of handing these over to the Justice Department, and we think
that that's sufficient. And I have nothing else to say about this.
VOICE: Is the President ready to normalize relationships with Vietnam?
MYERS: As you know, the President has maintained that that is
contingent on progress on POW and MIA issues. Certainly there has been some
progress and we've taken a couple of steps -- or took a couple of steps last
year, allowing IFI funding and allowing American companies to participate in some
of those projects. Further change in the relationship will be contingent on
additional progress. Win Lord came back from Vietnam; it was a good trip, a
productive trip. And we're still reviewing the status of that.
VOICE: Is the White House looking into evidence that American POWs or
MIAs may have been held by Laos after the war was over?
MYERS: That's something that's been looked into, but as you know, the
criteria we have for progress -- there are four areas, and one of them is the
trilateral relationship, Vietnam, the U.S., and Laos. So it's always been
something that we felt was an important part of our sort of progress, of
guaranteeing progress, and something that we'll be looking at. But none of this
information, I don't think, is really new.
VOICE: Do you have any comment on the government in Mexico --
VOICE: But that's not the point.
MYERS: No. I think, certainly they're handling it there. (Laughter.)
VOICE: I don't think it's correct to say that none of the information
is new. We're saying for the first time that U.S. intelligence officials may
have been aware that there was as many as 300 POWs in Laos and that -- I mean, in
the same way that you're going back through the files and finding out who knew
what about radiation experiments, are you not going back and trying to figure out
who knew what about POWs?
MYERS: There were a number of congressional inquiries into this. I
think the files were looked at. I don't want to suggest that there won't be new
evidence coming to light, but -- and I think the officials at the time were
fairly extensively interviewed and testified as to this. But I want to make it
clear that the trilateral relationship between Laos, Vietnam and the U.S. is an
important part of our furthering relationships with Vietnam, and anything that's
new will be, I'm sure, reviewed.
VOICE: But you're not going back to make sure that there's not new
information or there's no information that perhaps has never come to light?
MYERS: I'll have to take that and see exactly what, if anything, is
being done about that right now.
VOICE: Could you explain the current situation with North Korea?
MYERS: There's been no change in that, and dialogue is ongoing. We
think that there has been some progress, but dialogue is ongoing and our criteria
has not changed.
VOICE: It's now a month after the IEA suggested it had to know within
weeks, had to inspect within weeks. What's the state of the urgency now? Where
are we now in terms of being able to continue to certify North Korea does not
have nuclear weapons?
MYERS: Well, there's been no certification of a break in inspection. I
think, again, that we feel like we've made some progress in the dialogue. The
dialogue is ongoing and we're continuing to move forward on that. I think,
again, we continue to insist on full inspections. We think we're going to get
inspections. And we will continue to work with the North Koreans as we work
toward final resolution of this.
But again, I wouldn't suggest that it all has been completed, but I think there
is some -- has been some progress.
VOICE: If I can follow, since we have not inspected and since the time
continues to pass, where's the progress?
MYERS: The progress is in the dialogue.
VOICE: Then where was the initial urgency to inspect?
MYERS: I think that there is still a sense of urgency attached to this.
I don't think we ever attached a deadline to it. We certainly didn't, and I
don't remember hearing the IAEA attach a specific deadline to it. I think that
the dialogue has been ongoing, there have been a number of meetings in New York
between North Korea and the U.S. on this. As those meetings have progressed,
there has been some progress. We do believe, as Secretary Christopher said last
week, that we're moving toward inspection. That's important and there's been no
-- we believe there has been continuity, and at this time we're going to continue
to press for a resolution. And we think we're making progress toward that.
VOICE: What about the deal that Kim was talking about in his New Year's
radio address, saying that the North Koreans had reached some sort of agreement
with the United States?
MYERS: I think that's the status of the dialogue now. I think we're
still in dialogue, so I don't want to suggest that it's completed. But I think
as President Kim sort of indicated, that there will be inspections.
VOICE: But we have made a deal?
MYERS: We're not there yet.
VOICE: There was a report this morning from South Korea saying that
IAEA inspectors could get into North Korea as soon as January 10th. Is that
consistent with the progress you mentioned or --
MYERS: I don't have any specific deadlines, other than to say that the
discussions are ongoing.
VOICE: Has the White House received the Justice Department's report on
MYERS: Not yet.
VOICE: Do you anticipate it this week?
MYERS: I think the Attorney General wanted to comment and ask -- said
that hers wouldn't be ready until after today -- until at least the 3rd. So I
think we expect it soon, although we don't have any specific deadlines. It could
come as soon as this week.
VOICE: What's the focus of the Thursday speech?
MYERS: On Thursday, the President goes back to the Pabst Theater in
Milwaukee where he gave his democracy speech in October of '92, toward the latter
months of the campaign. This will be, I think, also about looking forward to the
European trip, talking about the importance of Europe, Central Europe, Eastern
Europe in our geopolitical view and our continuing efforts to build on NATO and
the European union. So it will sort of foreshadow, I think, in many ways why the
American people should care about this, how does it affect the United States.
VOICE: Day trip?
MYERS: It's a day trip. He'll go to Milwaukee in the morning, give the
speech, I believe at 11:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., meet with some local leaders there
and then come back by evening.
VOICE: What's the coverage of the meeting with the local leaders? It's
not like a town meeting?
MYERS: No, no. It will be private meetings. It's conceivable we could
do a pool spray, but I don't think we've decided that yet.
VOICE: Who is this to?
MYERS: The speech is to -- it's at the Pabst Theater and it's sort of
foreign relations organization, different ethnic groups and people that will
come. It's sort of a community-wide -- it's not any particular organization, but
just organizations that will invite both their members and their friends. The
theater holds a couple of hundred people.
VOICE: How about tomorrow, the CIA?
MYERS: Let me give you the week ahead here. Tomorrow, 10:15 a.m., he
will be at the CIA in the lobby of the headquarters where he will speak briefly
to employees. Then he will --
VOICE: Is that open coverage?
MYERS: Yes, it will be open coverage, yes.
VOICE: What's the subject?
MYERS: The subject will be --
VOICE: Can't talk about it. (Laughter.)
MYERS: I think generally about thanking them for their work, about the
importance of intelligence in a changing world, and just sort of welcoming them
to the Clinton team. (Laughter.)
Periodically, he has gone to a number of different agencies and spoken to
employees. As you recall, he's been to Justice and Treasury and other places not
only to talk to them about issues of concern, but to talk to them about his views
a little bit since they are now part of the Clinton team.
VOICE: Is he going to lay out his vision of the role of intelligence?
MYERS: No. (Laughter.)
VOICE: How many minutes?
MYERS: It's about 20 minutes.
VOICE: A 20-minute speech?
VOICE: Is this the first time he's been to the CIA?
MYERS: I believe this is the first time as President, and I don't know
if he'd ever been there before. I don't know.
MYERS: But he will certainly talk -- I just wouldn't look for this to
be a major policy overview of the importance of intelligence. It's more of a
periodic view, and then he will be briefed privately out of the view of your eyes
Then he will have lunch with the Vice President. At 5:00 p.m. he will meet with
Prime Minister Lubbers of Holland. That will be followed by a written readout.
There's a photo op at the top -- pool spray at the top of that meeting.
VOICE: What time does he meet?
MYERS: Five o'clock. Five to five-thirty in the Oval Office with the
Prime Minister of Holland followed -- and again, the readout will be written.
On Wednesday, at this point, the President has no public schedule, although he
has a number of briefings with regard to the upcoming trip and other meetings at
the White House.
On Thursday, as we talked about, he will go to Milwaukee. The Pabst Theater
speech is a 11:30 a.m. He will leave and be back here sometime in the late
On Friday, he will be briefed -- he will meet with congressional leaders,
bipartisan congressional leaders regarding the Europe trip in the morning. And
as of right now, that is the only public schedule, public event on the schedule.
Saturday, he will give his radio address live at 10:06 a.m. and then leave that
night at roughly 11:00 p.m., maybe a little bit before, for Brussels.
VOICE: Lubbers is not an official -- I mean, it's not a full-scale --
MYERS: It's not the longer working format.
VOICE: You said you'll have a written statement after?
MYERS: Yes. So 5:00 p.m. pool spray, 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oval
Office meeting; written readout at some point as soon as possible.
VOICE: Dee Dee, can I ask a question on Saturday? Are there any other
events that you're planning as like a farewell beyond his radio address?
MYERS: No. He'll spend the rest of the day probably doing some work
here and some final briefings for the trip. But that's it.
VOICE: On the "don't ask, don't tell" revision late last month, why did
the White House find it necessary to bring the Joint Chiefs over here and ask
them not to criticize it publicly?
MYERS: That's fiction. And I think General Shalikashvili will issue a
statement to that effect later today.
VOICE: Well, he wasn't at the meeting.
MYERS: You might check, but the Joint Chiefs were -- certainly General
Powell who was the Chairman at the time, was very involved in the development of
the "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy. It something that we have
consulted closely with them throughout.
VOICE: Which part of the story are you saying is fiction? That there
was a meeting at all?
MYERS: That they were somehow muzzled, which is the implication of the
VOICE: Was there such a meeting where they came and --
VOICE: What were they asked at the meeting?
MYERS: They had been consulted regularly about this, and certainly made
aware of progress on the debate. I'm not sure who was at the meeting, so I can
certainly take that.
VOICE: Were the Joint Chiefs here on that day for a meeting on that
MYERS: I'm not sure who all was here on that day for a meeting. There
were a number of meetings. I'll have to check specifically who was here. But
again, a number of them have been here periodically, have certainly been
consulted on this process throughout, have worked closely with the White House
both in the drafting and in the drafting of the regulations about it.
VOICE: So are you saying that there was a meeting; it was for the White
House to inform them of the announcement after it was made and to brief them in
advance, not to tell them please don't go out and attack this --
MYERS: Correct. I mean, it was something that they had worked with us
VOICE: Well, why did they have to be told about a policy that Aspin was
going to announce?
MYERS: I think they were --
VOICE: Don't they kind of work for Aspin in a way over there?
MYERS: I think they work for the President ultimately. And I think
that since the White House was working closely with DOD, that it was certainly
part of the process to let them know. And again, I didn't check -- I need to
check to see exactly who may have been at the meeting. But the point is that
they were involved throughout the process, that they were informed about the
process and the progress as it went along, and that they were certainly never
VOICE: If your going to inform them in advance of the think, aren't you
going to ask them to wait before they comment until after the Secretary speaks?
Aren't you at least going to muzzle them to that degree?
MYERS: As you do with any policy announcement. But that's different,
that's not what the allegation is.
VOICE: Markey said before he went into this meeting that he would
recommend that not just the agencies represented here this afternoon, but CIA and
others that may have sponsored radiation testing also ought to be examined to see
what went on and that there be full tracking of people who, unbeknownst to
themselves, were exposed to this. In addition, he said he wanted the government
then to provide medical follow-up tests and compensation where damage was done.
Do those recommendations track current White House thinking or do they go beyond
what you folks have in mind at this point?
MYERS: Well, as you know, Congressman Markey met with people here at
the White House today, and I think that the point of the meeting this afternoon
is to review the state of play and to decide what steps to take next. I think
that we'll wait until this meeting takes place and see what the results are of
VOICE: Do you expect some policy guidance following the meeting?
MYERS: Yes. As I said at the beginning of this, Mark Gearan will give
a readout after the meeting. What level --
VOICE: Who's running this meeting? What level is it at and --
MYERS: Phil Lader's running it here for us. Certainly Mack, Phil and
John Podesta and Christine Varney have been sort of the point people in the White
House as this thing has come together over the last few days.
VOICE: Will Mark be able to walk us through the President's specific
involvement from beginning to end in this -- exactly when he was notified about
it and how -- what the directives have been?
MYERS: Sure, we can get that for you by then.
VOICE: Will Mark be for camera?
MYERS: Probably. The first five minutes probably.
VOICE: Can we get a list of the people participating in this meeting?
MYERS: Sure. That can be part of Mark's readout.
VOICE: Can we get back to North Korea for a second? Reuters is quoting
a senior U.S. official as saying that the United States and North Korea are near
a deal on Pyong Young's nuclear program that could be wrapped up this week.
VOICE: Is that you?
MYERS: Exactly. (Laughter.) I said they were making progress. You're
-- as always, Wolf, you're ahead of me on that. I'll have to --
VOICE: Is that possible that this week they could wrap up a deal?
MYERS: I would be very reluctant to put any kind of deadline on that.
I mean, I think we are making good progress, and we'll have an announcement when
we have an announcement. Hopefully, soon.
VOICE: On these nuclear experiments, do you know whether they are
conducted on any non-Americans, outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
MYERS: I don't know, and again, that's something that we -- (laughter.)
Not that I know of. We'll have more on all of that sometime between 5:00 p.m.
and 5:30 p.m when Mark comes back.
(White House press briefing by DEE DEE MYERS January 17, 1994)
MYERS: Before we begin the background briefing on today's event and the
empowerment zones, I thought I'd give you an update on the earthquake.
President Clinton was informed about the earthquake this morning by Secretary
Cisneros, who called him around 8:00 a.m., told him about the situation. The
President then called his brother in Los Angeles, Roger Clinton, to make sure
that he was okay, which he was, just to get an assessment from him about events
that had transpired. He then turned on the television and watched -- flipped
around from channel to channel watching developments there.
Meanwhile, the White House was informed early this morning as the earthquake was
happening. Christine Varney and others, Mack McLarty, were notified, and they
began to put the sort of response process in motion. Mack talked with FEMA
Director James Lee Witt, who began coordinating federal assistance immediately.
And the President then notified people that he wanted to be briefed in more
detail at about 11:00 a.m. So he came in about 10:00 a.m., was brought up to
date again by Mack McLarty, was briefed in more detail 11:00 a.m., at which time
he placed calls to James Lee Witt, who told him he was on his way out there, had
already been in touch with people on the ground, both state and local officials.
The President then called Mayor Riordan and told him that he was watching the
situation closely, that his heart and the hearts of everybody in the country was
going out to the people of Southern California and that the White House would
work and the federal government would work as closely as they could with state
and local officials.
The President then spoke to Governor Wilson, and the Governor informed him that a
disaster declaration would be coming today. And the President said he would sign
that as quickly as he could. We expect that this afternoon, and we hope to have
the President sign it this afternoon, and we will provide some kind of a forum
for that -- probably 5:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
VOICE: What would that specifically put in place?
MYERS: It will sort of launch a number of programs. Basically it will
provide low-interest loans for the replacement of homes, businesses and personal
property. Those are provided by FEMA, SBA and the Economic Development
Association, which is part of Commerce. There will be additional cash grants
provided by FEMA, longer-term disaster housing, up to 18 months, for people who
lose their homes. Clearly, we don't know yet how many people that will affect.
That's coordinated by HUD and FEMA. There's other programs, including emergency
food stamps, disaster unemployment assistance and crisis counseling, and finally
public assistance for rebuilding roads, bridges --
VOICE: What about hospitals and health care?
VOICE: What's the damage assessment so far?
MYERS: It's too early to say. James Lee Witt and Secretary Cisneros
are on their way out there now, as is John Emerson. Mack McLarty asked John
Emerson, who's a Deputy Assistant here at the White House, to go to coordinate
White House efforts on the ground. Christine Varney, who is the Cabinet
Secretary here in the White House is coordinating events here.
VOICE: Planning a presidential trip?
MYERS: The President asked James Lee to call him and to stay in close
touch with him when he arrives out there. He's expected to leave right about
now, weather permitting, arriving in Los Angeles around 8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.
tonight. If the local officials there, the state and local officials, and James
Lee and others believe the President can be useful, we'll certainly take a look
VOICE: Maybe this week?
MYERS: Again, it will depend on the assessment of things on the ground.
I think the President is waiting to hear from them. Secretary Pena is also on
his way out there. He was in Birmingham today. He left from there and is
expected to arrive in Los Angeles around 6:00 p.m.
VOICE: What about Ron Brown, is he coming back to go out there?
MYERS: Not expected. There is somebody from Commerce going --
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Parks, who's with the Economic Development
VOICE: Dee Dee, have you been able to reach your family, and can you
tell what their experience has been?
MYERS: Unfortunately, I have not been able to reach my own family. As
you know -- many of you know -- I'm from there. I did hear from friends of the
family. My family is fine. The house is not in such good shape, as are a number
of people --
VOICE: How close are they to the epicenter, do you --
MYERS: My parents live in *San Canyon, which is quite close to the
intersection of the 14 and 5 Freeways where the interchange collapsed. The house
has suffered quite a bit of superficial damage, and it's unclear to me whether
there's any structural damage, so -- it's a mess.
VOICE: But you think your parents are okay.
MYERS: My parents are fine, thank you.
VOICE: Is this your house or this is the house they live in now?
MYERS: It's my parents' house, yes.
VOICE: Where you grew up?
MYERS: Yes. So, others in the neighborhood I grew up, there's a lot of
damage in my hometown.
VOICE: Where is the heaviest damage, do you know?
MYERS: Unclear. I think the northern San Fernando Valley seems to be
hardest hit. And I think it'll take sometime
before we know exactly what the damage is, again, which is why the President has
sent a team out there. A number of federal agencies are already involved -- the
Department of Defense, Transportation, HUD, a number of other agencies.
VOICE: What is defense doing?
MYERS: Defense provided transportation for the Secretary -- for
Secretary Cisneros and other federal officials. They're standing by at a FEMA
center is San Francisco. And, as events would have it, there is still a FEMA
center open in Southern California due to the fires. And so that site has been
staffed up again, and I think is ready to coordinate any assistance.
VOICE: What about hospitals and medical care? Is there any federal
effort to get emergency medical treatment into the region?
MYERS: I think that that will be pending a request from the state and
local officials. And I don't think we've received anything on top of the
emergency disaster declaration yet. But certainly we stand ready to provide
whatever assistance we can.
VOICE: Is there any thought of need for troops to patrol or send
national guard or anything like that?
MYERS: Again, that would have to be requested by the local officials,
and there's been no such request yet.
VOICE: Can they get in LAX?
MYERS: I'm not sure what airport. My latest understanding is that LAX
has been partially reopened, the other regional airports are open.
VOICE: Dee Dee, does it seem more serious than what President -- you
know, got an informed opinion on what was going on when he made his remarks this
MYERS: Oh, I think that the initial assessments were that it's quite
serious -- 6.6 on the Richter Scale is very serious. And the President's been
keeping informed of this, being briefed regularly about it. And, again, I think
has directed federal officials to work very closely with state and local
officials to provide whatever assistance the federal government can.
VOICE: these officials doing?
MYERS: The first thing, I think, is to assess the damage. And the
second thing is to provide whatever assistance state and local officials request
and is possible to put forward.
VOICE: How long do you expect them to stay out there?
MYERS: As long as it takes.
VOICE: How much money do you think will be required initially to get
the federal government's response going?
MYERS: I don't have any initial assessments yet. I think that will --
Christine says that we expect something, an initial assessment later today. I
think it may take sometime before we can have an accurate assessment of the
VOICE: But is money available already in terms of not going back to
Congress and requiring --
VOICE: additional appropriations?
MYERS: Yes, yes.
VOICE: How much money is available?
MYERS: Unclear. I think that there are a number of different ways that
we can assess money or tap money that's already in the system. We've done it for
other disasters this year. It's been a busy year for James Lee Witt and the
folks over at FEMA between the floods and the fires and now the earthquake.
VOICE: Is the unhappy that he was not notified earlier?
MYERS: No, I think he was notified within a half an hour of the quake.
And certainly, the White House was notified immediately and began to take
VOICE: We were told he was notified by Cisneros -- no, that's not true?
MYERS: No, he was.
VOICE: Eight o'clock in the morning?
MYERS: Correct. The earthquake struck around 7:30 Eastern Time.
VOICE: Dee Dee, as an earthquake veteran, and you're looking at those
pictures, what's your take on what you see?
MYERS: Well, I am something of an earthquake veteran, actually. It's
hard to tell. It's a little unnerving to see your community suffering another
quake like this, and it's been a tough couple of years for Los Angeles generally.
I think the President's concerned about that as are all of us. I'm certainly
not an expert on earthquakes. But the biggest one I was ever in was, I think,
6.1 in 1971 which did a severe amount of damage. I think that there's great
concern about the disruption in transportation due to collapsed freeways, about
damage to homes and other building and infrastructure. And we're just going to
take a look at it and do whatever we can to help rebuild.
VOICE:I remember the President saying that both the floods and the
hurricanes have spent accounts down. He's actually borrowed from other accounts.
Has there been any consultation with Congress about perhaps an emergency
MYERS: I'm glad you asked that. Actually, the WHite House has been in
touch with all members of the California delegation who are affected by this,
including Senators Feinstein and Boxer and then members of Congress Tony
Beilenson, Henry Waxman, Howard Berman, Jane Harman, Julian Dixon, Lucille
Roybal-Allard, Xavier Becerra. And the President will probably speak directly to
some of them later today.
VOICE: What about the leadership, Dee Dee -- be necessary to get money
MYERS: The President hasn't spoken to anybody yet. We've been, I think,
focusing more directly on people who are affected. Certainly, we'll consult with
members of Congress as the week goes on. Today is a federal holiday, and a lot
of the members, of course, are still out in their districts, so certainly we'll
do what we can to marshall the requisite resources.
VOICE: Congress is not back until later in the week, do you expect that
there might be somewhat of an emergency request ready to go as soon as Congress
MYERS: I think we'll have to take a look at that. Certainly we'll wait
until James Lee and others get out there and can give us some kind of an
assessment about what might be needed, but I wouldn't rule that out.
VOICE: Dee Dee, has the President talked to Governor Wilson? And have
you -- have you put any thought into changing the 75-25 ratio between Fed and
state assisted -- disaster assistance?
MYERS: Yes, the President spoke to Governor Wilson around 11:45 a.m.
this morning. The usual ratio is that public assistance is 25 percent state, 75
percent federal -- 25 percent state and local. I don't know whether there have
been any thought given to changing that yet or not. Certainly we'll have to wait
and see how things progress.
VOICE: Do you think the President might do one of these satellite TV
addresses to the people in Southern California?
MYERS: We haven't had a chance to discuss that yet. I think at this
point we want to get a better view of what's happening on the ground. Again, I
think the President wants to hear from James Lee Witt and others out there and
assess the situation; then, again, he will be signing the disaster declaration.
As soon as we have a specific time for that we'll let you know. Again, probably
5:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
VOICE: What does that require -- knowing how much damage there is?
MYERS: No, it just requires that the state has to request it. The
actual request goes from the state to FEMA to the White House, and the documents,
as we understand it, are en route.
VOICE: You said the President hasn't spoken to any other members of
Congress directly. Has he spoken to anybody else, like the Mayor or anybody else
directly besides Governor Wilson?
MYERS: Yes, Mayor Riordan, Governor Wilson both this morning -- 11:00
a.m. -- he spoke to Mayor Riordan first at around 11:35 a.m., Governor Wilson
around 11:45 a.m.
VOICE: Did the President place those phone calls, or did they call him?
MYERS: No, no, the President placed those calls.
VOICE: Are there any plans for the President to go out there at all?
MYERS: Again, we'll wait -- he's asked James Lee Witt to call him after
assessing the damage and talking with state and local officials and to tell him
whether or not that would be useful. If there's some useful role for the
President, then certainly we will take a serious look at that.
VOICE: What do you mean they're en route? Are they coming from
MYERS: No, they're on route from here to Los Angeles. And they were
supposed to leave at around 3:30 p.m., I think, weather permitting.
VOICE: Is the President still having his physical tomorrow.
VOICE: And what time does that take place?
MYERS: I think it's -- he leaves at 7:45 a.m. by helicopter, flies to
Bethesda, and we expect it to take several hours. I don't know yet exactly what
forum we'll report on it.
VOICE: Well, I hope we'll have a thorough report.
VOICE: Roger Clinton --
MYERS: He just gave him an assessment of where he was. I think Roger
said he was sleeping, and just told the President what it was like going through
that earthquake. The President obviously just wanted to make sure that his
brother was okay.
VOICE: He doesn't live out there, does he --
MYERS: He does.
VOICE: Does he have a house or --
MYERS: I believe he lives in an apartment, but I'm not sure.
VOICE: damage --
VOICE: didn't fall down --
MYERS: I don't know. It did not fall down, that I know of.
VOICE: Can you tell us anymore about the week ahead?
MYERS: No, actually. I'll be happy to put that out later today. So I
think we'll go to the background briefing now on earlier events. Do we need a
few-minute filing break?
MYERS: Okay, why don't we take a few minutes and then we'll come back.
VOICES: Thank you.
(White House press briefing by DEE DEE MYERS, January 25, 1994)
VOICE: That little bit of over $4 billion or $5 billion, a little bit
-- $2 billion is nothing to sneeze over.
MYERS: No, the supplemental is $6.6 billion. And then if you add the
$900 million that we've already spent in contingencies is $7.5 billion. But I
said simply that it would be above --
VOICE: You said a little bit.
MYERS: Well, a billion here -- (laughter) -- okay, I thought that just
there may be some passing interest in tonight's speech, so I would go through a
little bit what you guys can expect just in terms of where he is in the process.
The President met briefly with aides yesterday and then took the draft home with
him to the Residence last night where he worked on it. He brought it back this
morning. Those changes were worked into the existing draft. The President got
back together with the speech team about 10:30 a.m. this morning, and as of the
time we walked in here, he was still working on it with them.
I think he'll take a break midday, and then resume working on it this afternoon.
VOICE: What were the change? What were the areas?
MYERS: I think he's just working through some of the lines. What were
the areas of changes? I think that there have been a number of changes, and the
draft has gone through a number of revisions. Let me just give you a little bit
on the substance about what you can expect.
In tone, I think you can expect characteristically optimistic. I think the
President will proclaim that the State of the Union is basically sound --
surprise. He'll begin by saying that, together with the American people and with
the Congress that we made good progress last year, it was an impressive
beginning, but that much remains to be done, that not everybody has benefited
from the effects of the progress, and that we need to continue to work hard to
continue to make progress in the coming year. I think he'll specifically point
out some of the accomplishments, from reducing the budget deficit, cutting taxes
for millions of low-income Americans, passing NAFTA, making college more
affordable for all Americans, passing the Brady Bill, a number of other things
that you've heard before.
In order to make sure that the impact of the changes are felt by everybody as
this proceeds, he'll outline a plan of action to create more and better jobs in
the coming year, guarantee health security for all, reward work, promote
democracy abroad, and begin to
take on the issues of crime and violence, or continue to take them on, actually.
The President's first priority in this plan of action is continued economic
renewal, which means reducing the deficit by making additional budget cuts,
changing some of our spending priorities, cutting the size of government. He'll
also talk about the importance of opening foreign markets to American products
and services through initiatives like NAFTA and the GATT.
I think the President will also say that we need to continue to prepare our
people through education and training, to seize opportunities that are presenting
themselves in the changing world. This includes tougher standards for our
schools, essentially Goals 2000, a national apprenticeship program and a system
of reemployment rather than unemployment to deal with changing circumstances.
The President, as you have heard many times, also believes that we need to change
welfare as we know it, and he'll talk about that. He'll also say that we need to
work on -- we can't have comprehensive welfare reform without health care reform,
and that we need to do both, and to do both this year.
He'll emphasize that there is, in fact, he believes a health care crisis in this
country, and he'll talk at some length about his plan for addressing that,
including and particularly emphasizing that what his solution provides is
guaranteed private insurance for every American and a comprehensive package of
benefits that can never be taken away.
He'll talk about foreign policy, of course, pointing out that if we're going to
renew America at home, we must also renew our leadership abroad, and that in the
wake of the Cold War we have a unique opportunity to include both our security
and the security of other countries. He'll say that we'll continue to fight the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, expand market democracies around
the world, and maintain the best fighting force on earth. I think he'll
emphasize that we'll continue to support reform in Russia and work to bring the
emerging democracies in Europe into the NATO framework through expanding economic
opportunity and other things. I think he'll talk about crime. I think he'll
emphasize his support for a crime bill this year that includes 100,000 more
officers on the streets, more prisons for violent offenders, boot camps for
first-time offenders, and a ban on assault weapons.
I think, finally, he will talk a little bit about values, about the need for us
to take responsibility for our families, our communities and our country.
Overall, I think it's a good speech, it'll probably run between 45 and 50
minutes. It could go somewhat longer. The word count as of this morning was
somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 words. Again, there are a number of line edits
taking place, so we won't have a final count or a final text, I'm afraid until
shortly before air time.
VOICE: Will he be specific about budget cuts? You said - that he would
talk about the need for more budget cuts. Does he have a figure and is it --
MYERS: He'll have some figures which I'll leave for the speech. I
wouldn't look for specific -- too much detail. I mean, again, this is more a
thematic speech. But I think he'll touch on some of the goals and the
achievements in the coming budget.
VOICE: This is the President that fought tooth and nail against
Penny-Kasich, and now he's saying that he wants more budget cuts? Doesn't he
have an obligation to tell people how many?
MYERS: Of course, and we'll do that through the budget process. The
budget, as you know, is due at the beginning of next month, and we'll certainly
have a lot more to say about that as the process goes forward. But I think he
will talk a little bit about both the amount of cuts that we achieved last year,
which I believe was $255 billion --
VOICE: Yes, questions.
LEAVY: Yes, we'll do that. We'll turn them back on.
MYERS: Okay, lights back on.
VOICE: Is this plan of action a new jobs -- new series of jobs
programs? Will this be new money, or just --
MYERS: No, no. It's an overall comprehensive plan that includes all
the initiatives that I just talked through. I think basically the President is
striving for economic renewal, both at home, renewed leadership abroad and I
think a whole series of initiatives that will achieve that objective.
VOICE: Does he plan to answer, specifically, some of his critics, and
could you tell us if he plans to refer to his own troubles with Whitewater at all
or any of the things --
MYERS: No, this is not an address to his critics. It's a report to the
American people on the progress that he's made in the previous year. They
elected him, and I think this is an opportunity for the President to stand before
them and tell them what progress we've made and where we're going in the coming
VOICE: And the Whitewater question?
MYERS: -- don't expect that to be addressed, no.
VOICE: As the economy picks up steam, it's just a natural phenomena
that there are increased wage and price pressures. Will Clinton, in this address
continue to closely link his economic strategy with a low interest rate
environment, and will Greenspan be sitting next to Hillary this time?
MYERS: Don't have any final info for you on who will be sitting with
Mrs. Clinton tonight. Certainly, he will make reference to the fact that as a
result of last year's budget plan and economic forces that interest rates remain
at almost record lows, and he'll talk a little bit about some of the other
economic factors, from increased home purchases to things like that, that have
resulted from both, I think -- well, we take some credit for the economic plan
and the disciplined deficit reduction that have had a positive impact on the
market, so --
VOICE: But is the tie between -- I mean, last year he really tied
himself -- I mean, the whole progress was tied to the fact that we had lower than
expected interest rates, and so I mean, are we --
MYERS: He makes a reference to that. I think that the disciplined
deficit reduction program and the budget that was introduced last year with the
tight spending caps which we're living under this year have had an impact on the
economy. And I think that the business community and most economists give the
President some credit for that. So, yes, he'll mention that in his speech as
part of the overall economic health of the country and part of the continued --
part of the reason that we're going to continue on the path that we started on
VOICE: On the foreign policy side, is he going to discuss any more
about Bosnia and his feelings about intervention?
MYERS: No, this isn't an opportunity to expound on that.
VOICE: On crime, will he back the policy -- three felonies and life?
MYERS: There's been a lot reported on that. I think it's best for me
to leave that to the President tonight.
VOICE: On health care --
VOICE: But you're not contradicting what one of your colleagues said on
MYERS: I would not contradict a senior policy advisor to the President.
VOICE: On health care, does he signal any new direction or emphasis, or
any ideas on where he's going to compromise with all of the different other plans
that are out there?
MYERS: It's more of an opportunity for him to restate the goals and the
needs for comprehensive health care reform to underline why he thinks this is so
important and how his plan will address the crisis in this country.
VOICE: Will he respond to those who say there is no crisis?
MYERS: Yes, I think he'll underscore the fact that he believes there is
VOICE: Dee Dee, can you address the rather dramatic contrast between
coming up with $7.5 billion for California in a matter of days and the difficulty
the administration's had coming up with more significant assistance to Russia
during their transformation process?
MYERS: I think, as Director Panetta pointed out, that we have --
VOICE: the electoral votes as well? (Laughter.)
MYERS: That this -- (laughter) -- the senior advisor to the President
from NBC just answered that question. As Director Panetta pointed out, we do
have in this country a tradition of taking care of disasters and supporting
different regions of the country when they're struck by disasters, and there is,
I think, precedent that allows us to spend that money outside the budget caps in
case of a legitimate emergency.
VOICE: As Leon pointed out, you're still not ready with your welfare
package. Is it a safe assumption that since you have health care, your health
care plan is ready, that you're going to push this first and not wait for
welfare, that you're not going to push them together, even though you want both
of them done this year?
MYERS: Well, I think that certainly we are going to move ahead with
health care right away in this legislative session. As you know, the President
met yesterday with Speaker Foley and Majority Leader Mitchell to begin discussing
the best strategy to move forward wit health care reform. He'll meet with other
committee chairs and people in Congress as the week and the weeks progress.
I think we're in the process of finalizing a welfare reform plan. The President
expects to have a comprehensive welfare reform program introduced sometime soon,
and we'll push forward with that this year as well. And I think that one of the
things the President will say is that you can't achieve welfare reform without
health care reform -- that the two are inexorably linked, and that he expects to
push forward with both this year.
As to the specific sequencing and timing, that's something that we'll work with
VOICE: Do you have a little bit more precise time estimate as to when
you folks may be ready to crank in welfare reform?
MYERS: No, not yet. But soon.
VOICE: Tell me a little bit more about this plan of action. I didn't
quite get it. Is it a new plan of training or what is it?
MYERS: No. It is the series of initiatives on the economy from -- on
education, on foreign policy, on crime, on health care, on welfare -- that define
what it is this President wants to achieve in the country. And that is what he
VOICE: That's overall --
MYERS: Right, overall.
VOICE: These are all previously announced --
MYERS: Yes, these are all -- but together, these are previously
announced initiatives or previously announced goals that together constitute a
plan of action that I think will explain to the American people where the
President wants to take the country.
VOICE: Will you get tough on Japan in this speech, given the fact that
we've got talks going on across the White House. Will he talk about the
possibility of redefining?
MYERS: No. I mean, I think he makes the point that it's important to
open foreign markets to American services and products, but I wouldn't look for
anything more specific than that.
VOICE: Who will be responsible for putting the right text in the
TelePrompTer? (Laughter.) Which White House official?
VOICE: Al Gore.
MYERS: As you can image, I think David Dreyer has a particularly
parochial interest in that issue. But I think that a new system has been worked
out and we're hopeful. We have our fingers crossed.
VOICE: What is the new system?
MYERS: It's fairly technical and I'm not sure I understand all of it,
but it used to be that you could store things in the memories of the
TelePrompTer. And one of the things that was stored in the memory of the
TelePrompTer in September was the February 17th speech, and they were using it to
check the screens to make sure that it was working. The TelePrompTer has nothing
in its memory now so when -- there's only one document -- whatever is on the disk
that is given to the TelePrompTer operator is the only thing that will ever be
able to appear on the screen.
VOICE: Does anybody see any irony in the idea of a speech that is 5,000
to 6,000 words and expected to run 45 to 50 minutes and is going to be largely
MYERS: Well, it's --
VOICE: It's characteristically optimistic.
MYERS: It is characteristically optimistic and we'll have some themes
running -- it is, what I guess I mean by that is that don't look for a 10-point
plan, don't look for an announcement of a comprehensive welfare reform package,
but I think --
VOICE: Because there isn't time, no doubt.
MYERS: There isn't time. (Laughter.) We couldn't get to everything.
VOICE: Is he going to rehearse in the theatre?
MYERS: Yes, he'll spend some time, I think, working through it. But I
think his speech will be quite specific, and again it will include this plan of
action which outlines a number of initiatives that he will move forward on this
year. I think it will be a good speech, but I think you're going to really enjoy
VOICE: The theme of his values speech in Memphis was that government
can't do it alone. Are you going to have all these programs drawn out and then
say that same message, that government can't do it all?
MYERS: I think the President will talk some about what government can
do and then certainly make the point that government can't do it all. That if
we're going to restore our families and bring our communities back together,
people have to take responsibility. And that is something that he will touch on.
VOICE: Are there people anecdotes in the speech or in the galleries?
MYERS: As of -- there were one or two in the last draft and I suspect
that those will stay, so there will be one or two.
VOICE: Can you tell us where they're from?
VOICE: With people present?
MYERS: Yes. I don't know whether the people will be present. I don't
VOICE: Will you be able to tell us later this afternoon?
VOICE: You said he would not mention Bosnia or Japan? Any foreign
country he mentions in the speech, maybe Russia?
MYERS: Yes, he'll mention Russia and some other countries. It's just
not an opportunity for him to redefine the policy on Bosnia.
VOICE: What's the ratio of foreign to domestic in the length of the
MYERS: I didn't count the pages.
VOICE: I know, but what would you estimate?
MYERS: There's a fairly sizable passage on foreign policy and then it's
also included in some of the other --
VOICE: Is it 25 percent foreign?
MYERS: Probably. Maybe not quick the --
VOICE: Isn't it an attempt to report -- on his trip?
MYERS: I didn't count the pages. It might not be quite that much, but
there is a sizable --
VOICE: What was --
MYERS: I hate to get into characterizing it because there are
references to opening markets and it passes on the economy and that's, as you
know, a primary objective of our foreign policy. And then there's a passage in
the speech which, who knows what it's going to look like in six hours from now,
but primarily dedicated to foreign policy that's quite lengthy.
VOICE: And is that in the nature of a report on his trip?
MYERS: He touches on that about NATO and about what the objectives were
of that trip. But he also talks about what it is that U.S. foreign policy is
sort of seeking to achieve.
VOICE: Middle East?
MYERS: Yes, a little bit.
VOICE: And in the context of Russia, does he deal with the setbacks to
reform in recent days?
MYERS: I think he'll reemphasize -- again, we're talking about the text
here, and so there's plenty of opportunity for expansion upon the 5,000-6,000
word text. But he'll talk little bit about a little bit about our continued
support for economic reform. But I don't think he'll get too -- again, this is
not an opportunity to give a speech on Russia, specifically.
VOICE: Dee Dee, would preview Thursday for us?
MYERS: Sure. Thursday the only --
VOICE: What about Wednesday?
MYERS: Oh, yeah, let's do Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow
he's going to go to Kramer Junior High School, 17th and Q, Southeast. It's an
inner city junior high school that has been adopted by the Secret Service, the
Presidential protection detail here at the White House as a gift to the President
and First Lady for Christmas. They decided to give community service in the form
of adopting this school. And so the agents are --
VOICE: What are they going to do, guard it?
MYERS: No. (Laughter.) But they'll be working with the students and I
think giving presentations in class and perhaps field trips and other things to
help those kids see an alternative career.
VOICE: You guys are so --
MYERS: You are. It's shameful.
VOICE: This was a gift to the Clintons?
MYERS: Correct. That they would adopt this school as opposed to giving
them an, I don't know, an attache case or something.
VOICE: like voting.
MYERS: Yes, exactly. (Laughter.)
VOICE: What time is that?
MYERS: That's at 12:30 p.m. and it will be open press.
VOICE: Is he going to discuss the state of the union with them?
MYERS: I think he will re-emphasize some of the themes of the State of
the Union, about where the country is going and why these junior high school
students -- seventh, eighth and ninth graders -- should care. That's the only
open event, he'll have other private meetings and such tomorrow.
On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., he will go to an event at the GM plant in Baltimore;
that is also open press. He'll helicopter up and then helicopter back.
VOICE: Afternoon or morning?
MYERS: That's 10:30 a.m. in the morning. He wanted to make sure he got
back in time for his weekly lunch with the Vice President. Wouldn't want to miss
Then he'll have some briefings and meetings in the office. At 7:00 p.m. he'll
depart by helicopter for Piney Point for the House retreat.
VOICE: What time?
MYERS: He leaves here at 7:00 p.m. and he returns at -- he's scheduled
to return at 10:00 p.m.
VOICE: What's the GM plant subject?
MYERS: The GM plant subject will be economic. I think it will focus on
a lot of the economic themes, both worker training, lifetime learning, state of
the economy, etc.
VOICE: What are the travel plans for both elements of that day?
MYERS: It's pool and I'm not sure --
Dave, do you guys know? They'll be bused up?
SELDIN: We'll have a bus to Baltimore, and Piney Point will be just the
MYERS: Is that -- are they going to be bused up?
SELDIN: No, they'll be helicoptered up.
VOICE: And the bus to Baltimore --
MYERS: No, it's closed. Piney Point -- there will be buses to take the
press to the GM plant event, which is open. So anybody who wants to will be able
to take the bus to Baltimore. And the Piney Point event is pooled, so we will
chopper the pool up with the President; but there is no coverage of that at all
-- it's protective only.
VOICE: What time do we depart for Baltimore?
MYERS: The press will depart probably around 8:00 a.m., because it's
like an hour drive.
VOICE: Hey, let's start early. MGM -- (laughter.)
MYERS: Right, it is the MGM bus service with no toilets and no heat.
Okay, finally, Friday at 2:00 p.m. he will meet with the mayors who are here for
the National Conference of Mayors meeting. That is in the East Room; it is at
3:00 p.m. It's expanded pool -- I mean 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., I'm sorry. And
that's the only, again, the only open event for Friday. Saturday he will do the
radio address live and he's down for the rest of the day -- may go out that
evening. Sunday he's down all day and then in the evening he has the closed
National Governors Association dinner here.
VOICE: What about the Super Bowl? Will he be watching it?
MYERS: They did watch the Super Bowl partly last year. We had Governor
Richards -- the same teams last year -- and Governor Cuomo. So --
VOICE: Isn't the President -- he's a big Dallas fan.
MYERS: He has been a Dallas fan for a number of years.
VOICE: Super Bowl --
MYERS: I ain't getting into that one.
VOICE: Is he going to be --
MYERS: It's true, it's the Arkansas connection.
VOICE: Dee Dee is he going to be interviewed during halftime or
anything like that?
MYERS: CNN Live, I believe. Just kidding. No. (Laughter.)
VOICE: Is the dinner open for coverage?
MYERS: I don't -- let me see if it's on here. I don't think so. I
think that's --
VOICE: It is.
VOICE: I want to know if he's doing an interview.
MYERS: Yeah, he's doing a post-roundtable. Press unclear on the
dinner. I think we did a photo of some part of it last year.
VOICE: What about watching the Super Bowl?
MYERS: We did a photo of that last year, as well. I don't know if we
let you guys in, or at least the White House photo let you in?
VOICE: Dee Dee, back to the speech, is he going to mention specifically
APEC or hemispheric free trade or any of those newer initiatives?
MYERS: Probably, but very briefly.
VOICE: There will be a text a few minutes before?
MYERS: That's our -- that's generally how it operates. As he's
standing, walking to the podium, we're frantically handing out almost-final
VOICE: Oh, that close.
MYERS: Yeah, I think if we can do it, we'd love to. And I think the
speech was in pretty good form this morning, but it's -- yeah, it's a crapshoot.
VOICES: Thank you.
(White House press briefing by DEE DEE MYERS, January 28, 1994)
MYERS: We have no announcements today, so if you all have any
Do you want me to go through the schedule?
VOICE: Can we do that at the end?
MYERS: Okay, Wolf, for you.
VOICE: The first five minutes are on camera --
VOICE: How much division is there within the White House over which
issues to -- the President should be promoting at this time -- health care versus
welfare reform, versus crime? How much of a split is there?
MYERS: I don't think there's any division. I think the President
outlined his agenda for the coming year and beyond at the State of the Union. I
think we'll build on that throughout the year. Clearly, health care is the
centerpiece of our domestic agenda. That is something that we've met with
congressional leaders with this week. We'll be doing more meetings and,
certainly, the President will be talking about it. Today, he's meeting with the
U.S. Conference of Mayors to talk about crime.
Monday he'll be meeting with the National Governors Association to talk about
crime. Certainly the welfare reform proposal is being finalized by the Domestic
Policy Council here. So I think we'll move forward on a number of fronts,
including the worker training program, which Secretary Reich spoke about
yesterday. So I think there is a commitment here to move forward on a number of
fronts. I think those policies all work together in terms of strengthening the
economy and furthering the President's agenda.
VOICE: How's his voice? Is he speaking now? Is he audible?
MYERS: His voice is pretty good today. He's speaking; he's audible.
He's gone up to Piney Point to address the Democratic members of Congress there
-- House members. And he's feeling pretty good.
VOICE: There's a lot of complaints in the House that the President
isn't showing enough leadership. The House bill is in a lot of different pieces
on crime, and it looks like it might not get passed until maybe even March, even
though the President talks about it as if it is a done deal. What is he doing to
try to get this thing through?
MYERS: Well, I think certainly the first thing he's done is made it a
centerpiece of his agenda. He talked about it eloquently and movingly in the
State of the Union address. Again, he's meeting with the mayors today about it
and the governors tomorrow about it. I think he's outlined the major principles
that he'd like to see in the crime bill --
VOICE: But mayors don't have a vote in Congress.
MYERS: No, but I think certainly this is something that the American
people are concerned about. And I think that sentiment is going to work its way
up, and I think members of Congress are going to respond to mayors in their
district, to constituents in their district, to people who have genuine fears
about crime and want to see this government take more action.
So the President -- the first thing he's going to do is what he's been doing,
which is to speak out on it, to begin a dialogue and to create a consensus for
more action. I think he's done that very effectively and will continue to do
that. The second thing he is going to do is work with members of Congress.
Again, he's outlined the things he'd like to see contained in the bill. He's made
it clear he'd like to see a crime bill passed by both Houses and brought to his
desk soon, early this year, and will continue to do all we can to move the
VOICE: So you have two centerpieces.
MYERS: Well, no, I think health care is the centerpiece of the
President's domestic agenda, but crime is something that is -- I think affects
almost every other issue. It certainly affects health care. It affects welfare
reform. It affects the state of the economy. It is both a legislative issue and
an issue of the country's spirit as the President said. It's an issue of whether
we come together as a community and how we do that. And the President will be
VOICE: Can he push both of them at the same time?
MYERS: Sure. And, as the President said, he'd like to see welfare
reform introduced this year and passed.
VOICE: Have you lost any momentum by virtue of him being down for two
MYERS: I don't think so. Certainly, he would have done a number of
events and talked about these issues had his voice been healthy. But I think
he'll be back at it starting today. I think there's been a lot of discussion
about it on the Hill. The Vice President went to the high school yesterday where
gunshots were fired the day before. I think there's been a lot of discussion by
members of the administration about both crime and health care over the last few
days and welfare reform. And I think you can expect to see that the
administration will be firing on all cylinders. It will be the President, backed
up by the entire administration.
VOICE: How moved are you, were you, by the Senate resolution on
normalizing relations with Vietnam?
MYERS: Well, we certainly welcome their expression on that. I think
the President's made clear what his criteria is. We need to be assured that the
Vietnamese are doing all they can on POW-MIA issues. We're continuing to review
it. I don't have any decision on that yet.
VOICE: Even if you do have a decision that -- to go forward and to
normalize relations, would Clinton consider going there, or would he definitely
go there or what's the possibility?
MYERS: I think it's too soon to say. I think we're still reviewing the
facts as to POW and MIA progress.
VOICE: How much time do you think is needed at this point?
MYERS: I don't think we have a timeline on it. I think there have been
a number of good trips there recently. There's certainly been some progress on
the issues the President laid out that are of particular concern to him --
discrepancy cases, remains, documents, cooperation with Laos. But we just don't
have a timeline for a decision.
VOICE: Is this being discussed, that the President might go to Vietnam?
MYERS: Not that I know of. It's just too soon to even discuss it.
VOICE: What do you need to finish the review? This has been going on
MYERS: Well, I just think we need as much information as we can to be
certain that the Vietnamese are doing all they can.
VOICE: Is there something specific we've asked for to get that we
MYERS: No, I think it's just progress on those four specific aspects
that the President laid out.
VOICE: How about Gerry Adams?
MYERS: Gerry Adams met with our counsel general in Belfast today to
discuss his views of violence and of the joint partnership agreement reached
between the British and the Irish. We will review his responses on those
questions and make a decision in light of that.
VOICE: Have you required him just to make certain statements against
violence as a precondition of getting a visa?
MYERS: No, but we've said his views on those two subjects are important
in our decision-making. So once we've -- I don't know that we've gotten a report
back yet today.
VOICE: Well, you have to make a decision pretty soon, don't you,
because he's coming.
MYERS: Yes, the conference is Tuesday.
VOICE: Dee Dee, in Japan there's been a compromise saving the Hosokawa
coalition. What will the effect be on the framework talks that are ongoing and
also on the February 11th meeting?
MYERS: I think it's too soon to say what effect it will have. I think
on the framework talks we are going to move forward or try to move forward under
any circumstances. But we'll certainly be watching developments in Japan closely
over the next 36 or so hours and see what happens after that.
VOICE: Dee Dee, to what extent -- slipping human rights considerations
into the decision of the President to -- towards Hanoi because, as far as I know
it is still a communist regime.
MYERS: Right. Certainly, we're concerned about human rights in
Vietnam, and we're -- we have an ongoing dialogue with the Vietnamese about human
rights issues. But the trade embargo is linked specifically to progress on MIA
and POW issues. But that doesn't mean we won't continue to try to make progress
on human rights issues as well.
VOICE: Dee Dee, what's the story on the Interior Department, and are
you in fact transferring a key official out of the area where he would make
decisions on grazing fees and environmental matters?
MYERS: No, I think quite the contrary. Mr. Baca has been, it's
something that's being worked on within the Interior Department, and I'd refer
you there for more details. But he's been offered, essentially, a post that
would oversee a number of other -- including the Bureau of Land Management, but a
number of divisions within the department I think with an eye toward better
coordination on mining and grazing policies.
VOICE: So you're denying that he's being eased out of the environmental
MYERS: Correct. The job that he's been offered actually would oversee
a number of departments and seek better coordination on those issues.
VOICE: But he doesn't seem to see it that way.
MYERS: The decision is his. I don't think he's reached a decision yet.
But again, that job has been offered to him.
VOICE: How do you assess the position of the Prime Minister Hosokawa's
-- for example, are they weaker stronger than before? Do you have any
MYERS: No. At this point, again, we are watching the developments
there with great interest, and we'll see what happens before the Diet recesses on
VOICE: What is the latest administration opinion on Bosnia, and what's
your assessment of where it is right now?
MYERS: Essentially there has been no change in our position. I think
the, at the NATO summit we requested -- the communique requested that the U.N.
review the situation with respect to possible steps that could be taken to open
the airport at Tuzla and to secure troop rotation at Srebrenica. That report has
been completed now and has been forwarded, and I think that's under review.
Other than that, I don't think there's been much change in the situation.
Let me look ahead and give you guys the week. I actually have quite a few
details, if I can find them. Saturday the only -- again there's been no change
in that. The President will give the radio address live and then the rest of the
day is down. Actually, he'll go out tomorrow night probably -- personal, but
it'll be travel pool only. And then on Sunday he'll watch the football game with
a group of governors who were here for the NGA dinner. I don't know who they all
are. I think Governor Miller of Nevada is one of them and there will be several
others. And then they'll do the dinner at the White House, which I think you
guys have gotten the
pool assignments on -- or actually what the specific opportunities are.
On Monday at 9:30 a.m., he'll address the NGA crime -- he'll host a NGA crime and
violence discussion here at the White House. Then at noon he'll go to the
restaurant Filomena's with Chancellor Kohl. They will discuss --
VOICE: He loves that place, doesn't he -- Kohl.
MYERS: He -- I think the both of them -- it must be a sumo wrestling
VOICE: The portions are up to it.
MYERS: Is that right?
VOICE: Do you go there a lot, Brit?
MYERS: I can't say that I've eaten there, but -- they'll just discuss a
number of bilateral and regional issues following up on the NATO meeting --
Partners For Peace, things like that. Then at 8:30 p.m., he'll attend the DGA
dinner at the Omni Hotel.
On Tuesday --
VOICE: is there any kind of statements or something -- toast?
MYERS: No, he's actually here to address the National Governors
Association conference, and it was an opportunity for the President and the
Chancellor to sit down and follow up on their conversations in Europe last -- a
couple of weeks ago.
VOICE: So their only conversation will be at Filomena's and there will
be nothing here?
VOICE: Who suggested Filomena's?
MYERS: I think they both like the restaurant and decided that it would
be fun to have lunch off campus. So there they go. I don't know that there will
be any formal statements. There will probably be some kind of a pool spray.
VOICE: A spray on the street?
VOICE: Does he have any desire to discuss with Kohl, since --
MYERS: I don't know.
VOICE: since Kohl is saying over there, the apparently deteriorating
situation with Russia? I mean, is there any sense not of urgency, but of desire
to have a conversation with someone about that?
MYERS: Oh, I think a number of things are likely to come up. I think
it's entirely possible that they'll discuss Russia.
VOICE: Is the President having any additional or longer consultations
on that issue these days?
MYERS: Certainly. I think his advisors -- he's had conversations with
his advisors and I think he plans some longer discussions in the coming days.
VOICE: With whom, and when?
MYERS: Well, the schedule's been in flux a little bit because of his --
because we had to cancel a number of events. But I think within the coming week
certainly he'll have longer discussions with a number of his key foreign policy
VOICE: Has he called any meetings at the White House among senior
advisors from the various agencies to discuss these problems?
MYERS: None have been scheduled yet, but I think it's in the process.
We're working it out.
VOICE: Any reaction to Stanislov Shushkevich's fall from power?
MYERS: Well, I think he was a reformer and was committed to both
economic reform and denuclearization. I think that the Belarussians had some
comments about that yesterday; that they remain committed. The foreign minister
said they remain committed to denuclearization and to economic reform and we
certainly are interested in seeing them pursue those courses.
VOICE: Isn't he a little disappointed that after having given him what
was obviously intended as a bit of a political boost by making the stop there
that the guy is then ceremonious ousted soon after Mr. Clinton leaves? Does that
trouble anybody around here?
MYERS: We -- again, we -- I think the President had a good relationship
with him. He met with both Shushkevich and Kebich while he was there, and we
would have liked -- want to see the reforms continue.
VOICE: Any more on the new guy, Mr. Grib?
MYERS: I don't have anything for you on that.
VOICE: Kebich indicated today also that there would be a major
house-cleaning. In the discussions that they had in Minsk, was there any hint
that this was about to come down?
MYERS: Well, certainly we knew that the vote was coming up and that
this was a possibility. I think, certainly, Shushkevich understood that he was
going to have to stand up and face a vote of the Supreme Soviet.
VOICE: But did Kebich give President Clinton any kind of indication,
any kind of assurances as to what a Kevich-backed government would look like?
MYERS: I don't know. I can take that question. I don't know whether
they discussed specifically what might happen if Shushkevich was ousted. But
certainly we're very interested in seeing the denuclearization program go
forward. I think the Belarussians have -- there seems to be a national consensus
for that. And we're hopeful that that will move forward. And, again, the Foreign
Minister commented on it yesterday saying that they remain committed to reform.
We'll have to see what happens.
VOICE: Does the U.S. believe Russia and Belarus are really going to
continue on reform when the hard-liners, the communists, are back in power?
MYERS: We're going to do what we can to move them in that direction.
Certainly we don't have any guarantees of anything. But it's in our interest to
see certainly Russia and the other former republics of the Soviet Union --
VOICE: But do we have any leverage to keep them on the move --
MYERS: Well, we have financial incentives, which we've been trying to
use both in Russia and in other countries. I mean, for example, the
denuclearlization agreement includes $12 billion in funds that will be
distributed to the former nuclear republics and Russia -- I mean, the former
republics who were nuclear and Russia. And that is a tremendous financial
incentive for countries like Belarus and Ukraine. There are other financial
incentives that we're working on -- everything from Nunn-Lugar money to private
investment that will be contingent on their progress toward reform. It is
certainly in our interest, and we'll do what we can to try to move the progress
forward. We have no guarantees, but that -- I think our policy is going to
continue to do everything we can and move them in that direction.
VOICE: But you grant that it is becoming much more conservative and
going back to a much more dogmatic political --
MYERS: Yes, I think the -- I don't think anybody ever thought that the
Belarussian government was one that was full of reformers. It's always been a
difficult situation. Shushkevich was committed to reform, he was not a
communist. We supported him. He's no longer there. We'll work with the Kebich
government and try to move them in the direction of reform as well.
This is not -- this is a long-term policy for the United States. It's something
that we're going to be working on for the decade -- next several decades as these
countries try to transition their economies.
VOICE: But you won't be able to give money to those countries if they
persist in this direction.
MYERS: Well, certainly aid is going to be tied to progress on reform.
I mean, I think we've made that clear. Both our bilateral assistance and
certainly the multilateral assistance.
VOICE: But things are falling apart pretty fast since the President
left Moscow. Now, to what extent is the President concerned about it? Is there
a time to redefine -- politics?
MYERS: We remain concerned about it. We'll continue to follow events
there. I'm not sure I would -- I'm not sure it's falling apart, but I think we
remain concerned about events and I really don't have anything more to add to
what we've said over the course of the last week.
VOICE: Is the President --
MYERS: Tuesday, let's go back. (Laughter.) Thank you.
VOICE: If it's Tuesday it must be Bosnia.
MYERS: No, this is Russia week. Ten o'clock a.m., he speaks to the
American Hospital Association. Then at 11:30 a.m., he speaks --
VOICE: Here at the White House?
MYERS: No, these are -- I'm not sure what that is -- it's off -- both
these events are off-campus. At 11:30 a.m. he speaks to the National Governors
Association -- I believe that's at the Omni, and the subject of that is welfare
and health care.
VOICE: Will he go from one place to the other?
MYERS: Probably. Then Wednesday -- that's it for public events on
Tuesday. On Wednesday, he'll have a meeting with the joint congressional leaders
in the morning. Then he will --
VOICE: When you say "joint congressional," what does that mean?
MYERS: Members of both Houses.
VOICE: Does it mean bipartisan, or does it mean just --
VOICE: What time is it?
MYERS: I think it's bipartisan, yes. As opposed to -- it's at 10:00.
I think it's bipartisan, but it could be committee chairs. So I'll have to
double-check that. Which will be from both houses -- the House and Senate, but
not necessarily bipartisan.
At 1:30 p.m. he's speaking at a Reich conference, called "What's Working." It's
a jobs conference that Secretary Reich is hosting. And I'm sure he'll talk there
about worker training.
VOICE: Where is that?
MYERS: I don't have a location. That's something that's hosted by
Secretary Reich. Thursday, he starts the day with a prayer breakfast. Mother
Teresa will attend that.
MYERS: It's here at the White House. But I believe -- these are
generally closed. But he does this periodically.
VOICE: Are you sure it's here?
MYERS: No, I'm not positive, no.
VOICE: No, it's at a hotel, always. National Prayers -- (laughter.)
MYERS: Are you guys making jokes about Mother Teresa back there?
VOICE: She's coming to the stakeout. (Laughter.)
VOICE: She's come to the stakeout before.
MYERS: Has she?
VOICE: That's right, she has.
MYERS: Helen points out that the National Prayer Breakfast is not here,
that it might be someplace else.
VOICE: It's usually at a hotel.
MYERS: I don't have a site, so -- that's 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning.
At 10:30 a.m. he'll go to Kramer Junior High
School to make up for the event that he missed. Friday, as of right now there
are no public events. Saturday he'll do the radio address live.
Sunday he'll be in Houston for a DNC event. We will overnight in Houston.
Events on Monday and beyond are still under discussion. So I have no -- but
we'll definitely overnight in Houston and possibly go someplace else in the
VOICE: Is he going to Arkansas on the way to Houston?
MYERS: It's possible. But I don't know yet.
VOICE: That would be on Sunday?
MYERS: No, it might be before that. Could be.
MYERS: But I think, just for planning purposes only, no final decisions
have been made on that.
VOICE: He might leave Saturday, stay overnight in Arkansas Saturday?
MYERS: That's possible.
VOICE: And we would all go with him?
MYERS: No, that would probably just be the family pool for the Arkansas
VOICE: Is there a basketball game or something?
MYERS: No, he just wants to -- might spend some time with his family
VOICE: Have you all made any sort of logistical arrangements yet for
that Monday and the budget briefings?
VOICE: Yes, we'll be on the road when the budget --
VOICE: Budget Monday?
MYERS: February 7th.
VOICE: So he'll be on the road when the budget comes out?
MYERS: That is the plan, yes.
VOICE: What a relief
VOICE: I mean, you guys really want to come to that? (Laughter.)
MYERS: When we have -- I'm sure we can provide you administration
officials galore to talk about the budget, but probably not on the road, so we'll
be doing health care and other things like that out there.
VOICE: You'll be doing health care while the budget's being done here?
VOICE: Will he give a budget-related speech on the day that the budget
MYERS: I don't think so. I mean, it'll be -- yes, in the respect that
we might talk about some of the things -- break out pieces that are in the
budget, but not do something that is an overview of the budget. That will
probably be done separately.
VOICE: Would you figure that your main briefing was going to be here,
MYERS: I would think it would be here. I mean, we won't try to do that
on the road. We'll get more --
VOICE: I mean, elsewhere around town.
MYERS: Don't know. I think we may probably do a couple of different
things. We'll have a better schedule on that next week.
VOICE: When is the civil rights announcement?
MYERS: It will not happen today or over the weekend. It could come as
early as sometime next week. I don't think it'll happen in the first half of the
week. Not the first couple of weeks.