Resolutions 1998

Board Resolution 1 Commendation to the Convention Committee

Background

The world is growing smaller every day it seems, and our lives can sometimes take on a very constricted focus. But thanks to the efforts of a few remarkable people, for a few days at least the world seems filled with limitless possibilities. Wide Horizons is indeed an appropriate metaphor for that hopeful and expansive view of our world of education.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers English commend and thank the members of the Convention Committee listed below for their untiring efforts to bring this remarkably successful convention to fruition:

Convention Chair: Cheryl Joseph
Local Arrangements Chair: Susan Walkup
Program Chair: Dianne Lucas
Registrars: Bob and Judy Toll
Convention Coordinator: Punky Fristrom
Convention Treasurer: Anne Fristrom
With the Assistance of:

Bev Kreps
San May
Donna Bessant
Linda Stockton
Tom Clifford
Peggy Dewar
Don Hackling
Pat Egenberger
Edd Armstrong
Carol Fuessenich
Caroline Caracciolo
Susan Hovermale
Dave Swartz
Robin Drury
Mary Lou Strathmeyer
Kathryn Stark
Terry Harrision
 Nancy Harray
Buzz Joseph
Jennifer Abrams
Angus Dunstan
Mark Nicoll-Johnson
Lorraine Tracey
Vince Piro Matt Weeks
Deborah Hansen
Robin Luby
Bonnie Culp
Bonnie Just
Nancy Bernhard
Marsha Miller
Buck Roggermann
Pat Mui Yip
Kitty Drew
Marybeth Rinehart

Resolution 1 Library Services

Background

The results of a number of studies reveal facts that lead to school literacy. Prominent among them is access to a well-stocked school library that is rich in print environment and employs a skilled librarian.

In California we have one school librarian for every 6248 student (Sandowski and Meyer, 1994). The average number of books per student in California is 13, sometimes dropping to 3 in inner city schools (LAUSD, 1990). The average allocation for books per student in California is $8.00, sometimes dropping to $3.00 in inner city schools while nationwide it is $15.00 to $18.00 per student (H. White, “School Library Collections: Ranking the States”).

In many schools the housing of computers in school libraries has resulted in the reduction of space for books and students. In addition, the number of librarians per student has been reduced and access to library services has been greatly curtailed due to budget cuts and other restrictions.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urge Governor Pete Wilson, the California Legislature, the State School Board, and local school boards to provide adequate funding for libraries:

  • to employ a certificated, skilled librarian
  • to ensure that a wide range and updated selection of books and other reading materials are available for every student;
  • and to provide library facilities that are large enough to house a wide variety of high quality print as well as computers, video cassette players, other technological tools, and quiet places to read and research.

To:
Governor Pete Wilson
The State Board of Education
California Department of Education
California Legislature
Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Libraries Association
California School Libraries Association

Resolution 2 California Subject Matter Projects

Background

The California Subject Matter Projects are widely acknowledged and imitated as exemplary professional development models throughout the United States. The California Subject Matter Projects serve over 65,000 teachers annually in content area inservice programs. The California Subject Matter Projects have been instrumental in developing professional teacher leaders in every academic field. The California Subject Matter Projects have been an important resource for advancing the content knowledge of teachers in every major subject.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend the California Subject Matter Projects for their many years of exemplary professional development training; and

Resolved that CATE urge Governor Pete Wilson to restore to his proposed budget funding of the California Subject Matter Projects.

To:
Governor Pete Wilson
The State Board of Education
California Legislature
California Department of Education
Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Chancellor of the University of California
President of the UC Board of Regents
Miles Myers, Director of the Subject Matter Projects
President Atkinson, University of California
President Lindall, President CSU
Mary Ann Bergeson, California Secretary of Education
The 9 Executive Directors of the Subject Matter Projects

Resolution 4 Unz Initiative

Background

The proposed English Language Education for Children in Public Schools Initiative (Proposition 227), known as the “Unz Initiative,” will require English learners be taught through “Structured English Immersion” only. Students will have an arbitrary one-year transition period to learn English, denying the reliable and replicable research findings that students need from 3 to 7 years to acquire the academic language needed for content learning in English.

The initiative claims to empower parents by allowing an organized group of 20 parents the choice of continuing bilingual education for their children, but the district will be given discretion to deny waivers without providing any standards for denial or providing any appeal.

In addition, the initiative states that, “any teacher who willfully and repeatedly refuses to implement the terms of the statute by providing such an English language educational option may be held personally liable for fees and actual damages by the child’s parents or legal guardian” (Article 5). Thus, the initiative calls for a unique intrusion of government into every classroom. In doing so, the initiative singles out teachers and administrators for exposure to legal liabilities from which other public employees enjoy protection.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) oppose the Unz initiative, which restricts teachers from using effective, research-based methodology in language arts instruction, which interferes in the matters of instructional practice in the classroom, which compromises their professional integrity, and which bypasses the expertise of teachers; and

Resolved that CATE oppose this initiative which mandates only a one year transition for students to learn English; and

Resolved that CATE oppose this initiative which restricts parental choice in education; and

Resolved that CATE oppose this initiative which allows teachers to be held legally liable for implementing professionally acceptable teaching practices.

To

Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Teachers Association
California Federation of Teachers
National Association for Bilingual Education
California Association for Bilingual Education
California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Resolution 5 Class Size Reduction: SB 804

Background

In August of 1997, the California State Senate and Assembly passed and Governor Pete Wilson approved Senate Bill 804 Education, a law which limits class size to no more than twenty students in grades K-3 in all California public elementary schools. This law “establishes the Class Size Reduction Program to provide funding to school districts to reduce class size in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive, to not more than 20 pupils per certificated teacher.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend the California State Senate, the State Assembly, and Governor Pete Wilson for the creation and support of a law which improves the quality of education for our students in California public schools by reducing class size ratios; and

Resolved that CATE urge the State Senate, the State Assembly, and Governor Pete Wilson too continue to extend class size reduction throughout all grade levels, kindergarten through grade twelve, immediately targeting grades 4, 5, and 6, and at the secondary level English/Language Arts, and to allocate resources for the effective implementation of proposed expansion of the class size reduction program.

To:
Governor Pete Wilson
The State Board of Education
California Department of Education
California Legislature
Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
West Ed Laboratories
California Teachers Association
California Federation of Teachers

Resolution 6 The Definition of Reading

Background

Attempts by legislators and government agencies to define reading have failed to acknowledge reading as a complex process of constructing meaning which includes contextual, social, cognitive and phonetic processes.

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) acknowledges that all readers need to use a range of dynamic, interactive reading strategies, which may include phonics as one of many approaches.

CATE acknowledges that it is the professional responsibility of teachers to develop knowledge of the reading process and a repertoire of teaching strategies to adapt to the needs of students as individuals.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) oppose the establishment by legislature or governmental agency of any definition that does not acknowledge reading as a complex process; and

Resolved that CATE endorse approaches to the teaching of reading that embrace a wide range of research-based strategies designed to help all students become successful readers.

To:
Governor Pete Wilson
The State Board of Education
California Department of Education
California Legislature
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing