Resolutions 1962-2000

Resolutions 2016

CATE 2016: Board Resolution–Commendation of the Convention Committee

Inspiring Literate Lives is not only the theme for this year’s convention, but a rallying cry for what
teachers of English do every day–they inspire literate lives. May CATE continue to inspire literate lives through the shared ideas and camaraderie experienced at a CATE convention.

The annual CATE convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who donate their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers and members of the convention committee:

Convention ChairJan Stallones
ERWC Training/Cal Poly Pomona, Instructor/UC Riverside
Convention CoordinatorMichelle Berry, Retired, Windsor High School, Windsor
Program ChairWilliam Foreman, CSU Stanislaus, Turlock
Registration Area Richard Hockensmith, Summit High School, Fontana
Hospitality Chair Elizabeth McAninch, Mercy High School, San Francisco
Meals/Decorations ChairNancy Himel, Paramount High School, Paramount
College Credit Chair Kim Flachmann, CSU Bakersfield, Bakersfield
Autograph Chair Susan Schaeffer, Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Corona/Norco
New Teachers BoothMarina Santos, Dinuba High School, Fresno
President’s Reception Denise Mikkonen, Stone Ranch Elementary, Poway
AV Co-Chairs Trevor Guina, Central Catholic High School, Modesto
Brian Aleman, Santiago High School, Corona
Volunteer CoordinatorMary Adler, CSU Channel Islands
Convention PhotographerKate Jackson, Corona Norco Unified School District
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams, Retired, Arcata High School, Arcata
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink, California Writing Project, Berkeley
CATE Co-Treasurers Greg Johnson, Central Valley Continuation HS, Shafter
Mary Adler, CSU Channel Islands
Exhibits/Advertising ManagerNancy Himel, Paramount High School, Paramount
RegistrarCindy Conlin, Stratham, New Hampshire
Flyer/Program PublicationCarole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
PrinterRick and Carol Benson, Golden Ink Litho, San Diego

 

Clarification of Terminology in English Language Development Curricula

BACKGROUND:

The California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts include not only literacy standards for core subjects, but also English Language Development standards. The California Department of Education (CDE) created a framework to define all areas of implementation of the ELA/ELD standards. Practitioners in the field have concerns about the disparity between the framework and the tools that have been provided to implement the ELD standards, especially in regard to Program 4 Intensive Intervention ELA and Program 5 Specialized ELD. The following resolution details the specifics of this disconnect.

Whereas Senate Bill 201 (Chapter 478 of the Statutes of 2013), on October 2, 2013, authorized the State Board of Education to conduct an adoption of kindergarten through grade eight instructional materials in ELA/ELD aligned to the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and the new California English Language Development Standards, and

Whereas the Program 4 Standards Map indicates that a Program 4 curriculum shall be evaluated for containing foundational reading skills, but does not contain the standards in the ELD framework, while the Program 5 Standards Map indicates that a Program 5 curriculum shall be evaluated according to the ELD framework, but does not contain the foundational reading skills, and

Whereas Chapter 2 of the ELA/ELD Framework states that “meaning making should be the central purpose for interacting with text, producing text, participating in discussions, giving presentations, and engaging in research,” and that “meaning making includes literal comprehension but is not confined to it at any grade or with any student,” and

Whereas the Resource Guide to the Foundational Skills of the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects states that acquisition of the foundational skills is a necessary condition to achieve the overarching goals of California’s ELA/Literacy and ELD instruction, and

Whereas the students with the lowest levels of proficiency, such as newcomer ELs, need a viable curriculum that meets their needs and helps them master the foundational skills, and

Whereas the majority of the curricula currently on the adoption list for Program 4 approved by the California State Board of Education do not contain foundational reading skills as needed by Emerging English Learners as part of their English Language Arts Instruction, and

Whereas the curricula currently on the adoption list for Program 5 approved by the California State Board of Education does not meet the requirement of foundational reading skills, as outlined in the description of Program 5 materials listed in Chapter 12 of the ELA/ELD Framework,

RESOLUTION:

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Department of Education (CDE) to make Program 4 Intensive Intervention ELA and Program 5 Specialized ELD consistent with the demands of the framework and explore avenues to broaden the scope of curricula that will serve students with the lowest levels of proficiency.

cc: California Department of Education (CDE), California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), CATESOL (The California and Nevada affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Resolutions 2017

Resolution on Class Size Reduction

Whereas, the Common Core State Standards Initiative emphasizes and
delineates College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for
Writing; and

Whereas, a key strand of the English Language Arts/English Language
Development Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade
Twelve is written forms of expression; and

Whereas, the California Writing Project has, for 40+ years, at 16
regional sites, promoted student learning via the teaching of writing;
and

Whereas, more than a dozen California state commissions and reports
on the teaching of English language arts content and skills, during the
past 40 years, have emphasized the need for student writing; and

Whereas, California has, in recent years, had the highest teacherstudent
ratio in the nation; and

Whereas, individualizing and differentiating instruction to improve
the writing skills of students’ diverse cultural and academic needs in
California is paramount; and

Whereas, restorative justice calls for teachers getting to know their
students on a personal level, using peer-mediated small groups’
written expressions to reconcile differences; and

Whereas, a secondary English teaching load of 100 students per day
(NCTE recommendation since 1960), at a minimum of 20 minutes per
week per student for the evaluation of writing, involves 33 hours
beyond teaching duties; and

Whereas, California English language arts teaching loads have
increased greatly since the 2008 Great Recession;

Therefore, let it be resolved that the California Association of
Teachers of English (CATE) commend those school districts which
have reduced class sizes in English instruction; and

Therefore, that the California Association of Teachers of English
(CATE) urge other school districts, via their Boards of Education,
administrators, and English departments, give their immediate
attention to the perennial and pressing problem of reducing class
sizes, including, but not limited to, seeking additional state funding.

To:
California:
Governor
Assembly Education Committee Chair
Senate Education Committee Chair
State Board of Education
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Business Round Table
School Boards Association
Chamber of Commerce
Manufacturers Association
Teachers Association
Federation of Teachers
State Parent Teacher Association
California English
News Media

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

Resolutions 1999

Board Resolution 1: Commendation to the Convention Committee

Background

The miracle of the cocoon is fascinating. The magical process that transforms a fuzzy caterpillar into an elegant creature of flight is secret and hidden. So, too, is the secret process of learning. In our classes, we hope to provide a safe “cocoon” so that our little “butterflies” will emerge, spread their wings, and fly.

“Metamorphosis – On the Wings of Change” identifies that noble goal to which we all aspire, and CATE ’99 has taken flight through the efforts of many dedicated volunteers.

Resolution

Resolve that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) congratulate and commend the following Chairpersons, committee members, and assistants who have worked so hard on CATE 99, “Metamorphosis – On the Wings of Change”

Convention Chairs – Joyce Bennett and Joanna Exacoustos
Convention Coordinator – Punky Fristrom
Local Headquarters – Amy Shaw
Registrar – Linda Scott
Local registration – Sharon Hunter
Treasurer – Anne Fristrom
CATE Membership – Linda Stockton
Program Committee – Sheila Hill, Amy Shaw, Thelma Quinn, Ellen Swieck, JoEllen Harche
Local arrangements – Jan Burke
Hospitality – Pat Ellis and Kyoko Sato
Tours – Anna Roseboro
Audio visual Aids – Ken and Kathy Allen
Concierge – JoAnne Mitchell
Lesson Plan Exchange – Joan Williams and Susan Schauwecker
Musical Entertainment – Celeste May
Signage – Roberta Tragarz
Certificates – Edd Armstrong
Table Décor – Judy Inskeep
College Credit and Taping – Jim Day
Student Teachers – Barbara Farris
Pre-Convention – Ron Strahl, Nancy Armaris, and Linda Querry
Speakers, Book Signings – JoAnn Fahey and Karen Eastland
Meal Functions – Carmen Carrillo, Marilyn Wells, and Lynda Querry
Emeritus – Barbara Stewart
CYRM – Betty Ostrom
Box Lunches – Kathy Frattaroli
Odds and Ends – Bill Bennett
Give-Aways – Ann and Ruth Busenkell
Webmaster – Larry Jordan
Graphics – Victor and Ivy Gastelum
Printer – Non-Stop Printing
Flyer Distribution – Precision Assembly
Exhibits – KAW Company

Resolution 1 – Implementation of Chapter 742, Statute of 1998

Background

Last year Chapter 742, Statute of 1998, legislation eliminating social promotion, was signed by Governor Wilson. Essentially, this bill requires that students attain basic skill proficiencies as ascertained by standardized testing prior to promotion to the subsequent grade level. While the legislation intended to identify and help at-risk students, concerns have evolved as districts attempt to implement the legislation. Plans that simply require retention at the same grade level merely provide a chance for repetition of previous course content and maturation. Additional remediation needs to be implemented in order to ameliorate the deficiencies of at-risk students. A blanket approach for all students will not address individual needs.

Additionally, the legislation has made no distinction between native English speakers and English Language Learners when identifying candidates for retention. These English Language Learners are at risk of being unfairly kept back due to a lack of English proficiency rather than a lack of skill development.

Resolution

Resolved that California Association of Teachers of English support district implementation plans in which grade level is determined using multiple criteria assessments including assessment in the primary language as necessary.

Resolved that CATE support district policies that provide for individualized remediation plans addressing the specific deficiencies of the students identified for retention.

To
California Association of Superintendents
California School Board Association
Association of California School Administrators
California Parent Teacher Association
Senate Committee on Education
Assembly Committee on Education

Resolution 2: Correlation of the California Language Arts Content Standards and SAT 9

Background

The match between instruction and assessment is an important factor in student achievement. The more closely standards-based instruction matches assessment, the better our students perform.

Our analysis of the correlation between the SAT 9 and the Language Arts Content Standards for grades 9 – 11 reveals that only 3.4% of the content standards are addressed in the state test.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English urge the State Board of Education to develop various measures of student progress toward the Language Arts Content Standards, such as portfolio assessment and the direct assessment of writing; and

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urge the State Board of Education to suspend the use of the SAT9 and develop an assessment that has a closer correlation to the English Language Arts Content Standards.

To
The State Board of Education
Governor Gray Davis
Fair Test
The Los Angeles Times
The Sacramento Bee
The San Francisco Chronicle
The San Diego Union
The San Jose Mercury News
The Fresno Bee
The Modesto Bee
California Educator

Resolution 3 The California Reading and Language Arts Framework

Background

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) appreciates many features of the 1998 Reading and Language Arts Framework, especially the definition of the teacher’s role to “instill in students (1) a lifelong love of reading; (2) a facility and joy of communicating through language; and (3) a deep appreciation of literacy and informational text and the ways in which print expands our universe and understanding of history and humanity.”

CATE remains concerned by a lack of balance in the Framework. This imbalance may be seen in the over-emphasis on reading instruction in the reference sections, in the over-emphasis on the mastery of individual words in the language arts curriculum, and in the lack of emphasis on authentic assessment in writing.

The reference section contains 54 entries, of which 31 are citations of books and reports on reading. Of these, 18 are readily identifiable with a phonics-based, direct instructional model, while not one challenges or questions this model. The reference section contains only three works that mention writing. Nowhere in the entire framework do we find any mention of the names of prominent national figures in English Education such as Applebee, Atwell, Dyson, Goodman, Hillocks, Myers, Rosenblatt and Weaver, who have made substantial contributions to the research in the teaching of language arts.

In the discussion of the curriculum, there are approximately 100 references to instruction in word meaning and only 20 references to teaching students the meaning of phrases (or larger chunks of texts) or to making meaning out of literature. The fifty references to the teaching of literature almost all occur in the high school section, leaving the impression that chapter books are less important than word attack skills in the elementary grades. The Framework also defines balance in an unusual way, as “the strategic selection and scheduling of instruction.” A more widely accepted definition might refer to the attempt to give due emphasis to direct instruction, guided practice, and independent discovery in the learning process.

The Framework indicates that direct writing assessment in grades 9-12 should be administered once a year, biannually in the other grades; yet vocabulary, spelling and conventions should be assessed every 6-8 weeks in the elementary grades and every 4-6 weeks in the middle grades. For years, secondary school teachers have been told that they need to assign more writing, assess writing more reliably, and provide better feedback so students can improve their writing. The Framework should give more emphasis to the teaching of writing and to the direct assessment of writing in the classroom.

Furthermore, the full implementation of the Framework will require the cooperation and enthusiasm of the teachers of California, yet none of the major language arts organizations representing California has endorsed this document as it stands.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urge the State Board of Education to enact the following revisions of the 1998 Reading and Language Arts Framework:

  • Provide a supplemental list of references more reflective of current research in English Education, especially in writing.
  • Give due emphasis to direct instruction, guided practice, and independent discovery in the learning process.
  • Give more emphasis to the teaching of writing and to the direct and frequent assessment of writing.

 

To
The State Board of Education
The California Department of Education
Chair of the English Subject Matter Committee, State Curriculum Commission
Senate Education Committee
Assemble Education Committee
The Los Angeles Times
The Sacramento Bee
The San Francisco Chronicle
The San Diego Union
The San Jose Mercury News
The Fresno Bee
The Modesto Bee
California Educator

Resolution 4: Professional Development In Reading Instruction For Teachers

Background

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commends the Governor’s goals to enhance professional development in reading instruction; in particular, we support the proposed California Reading Development Institutes to provide instruction in the teaching of reading, K-3.

CATE also commends the professional development grants recently made available by the State Board of Education and the Department of Education in support of the teaching of reading, grades 4-12.

However, CATE continues to be concerned about the narrow research base within which professional development may be offered, namely the research on phonemic awareness and word attack skills.

Professional development should be based on the following assumptions:

  1. The best teachers of teachers are other teachers. A knowledgeable teacher can translate information from research into effective classroom practices, and can communicate those practices directly to other teachers.
  2. Classroom practices must be based on the best research available, research that is confirmed and generalizable. Teachers have a professional responsibility to keep abreast of the research in their discipline, and to use information from that research to guide their practice.
  3. Teachers must study and assess student work in order to make instructional decisions. Only through on-going, accurate assessment of student performance can teachers decide what they need to teach.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urge the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education to make the guidelines for professional development in reading instruction reflect a wide variety of research-based pedagogies in the teaching of reading, to include integrated instruction and reading across the curriculum.

To
Governor Gray Davis
The State Board of Education
The State Department of Education
The California Reading Association
The International Reading Association
The Los Angeles Times
The Sacramento Bee
The San Francisco Chronicle
The San Diego Union
The San Jose Mercury News
The Fresno Bee
The Modesto Bee
California Educator

Resolution 5: Positive Approaches to Encourage Reading

Background

We applaud the governor’s goals to encourage reading using positive approaches, particularly his proposals to finance a Pro-Reading Public Relations Campaign and a Reading Rewards Program for Schools.

Governor Davis proposes a $4 million Pro-Reading Public Relations Campaign to recruit all Californians as reading boosters and publicize the importance of reading skills in later academic success.

However, CATE would caution the governor to emphasize a balanced approach to reading skills and, in the words of the new language arts framework, to encourage everyone, not only teachers, to “instill in students (1) a lifelong love of reading; (2) a facility and joy of communicating through language; and (3) a deep appreciation of literary and informational text.”

In addition, the Governor proposes $2 million to finance a Reading Awards Program for Schools. The program would provide awards of $5,000 for elementary and middle schools encouraging reading by their students. The reward criteria would include a tally of “age-appropriate” books read by students from the California Department of Education’s Recommended Readings in Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade 8.

Resolution

Resolved that California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend Governor Davis for his proposals to fund the Pro-Reading Public Relations Campaign and the Reading Awards Program which instill a lifelong love of reading, the joy of communicating through language, and a deep appreciation of literature (both fiction and non-fiction).

Resolved that CATE urge the California Department of Education to revise Recommended Readings in Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade 8 and Recommended Readings in Literature: Grade 9 Through Grade 12 to include high interest and quality literature published since 1987.

To
Governor Gray Davis
California Department of Education

Resolutions 2000

Board Resolution 1: Commendation to the Convention Committee

Background

“To him at least the Door in the Wall was a real door, leading through a real wall to immortal realities.” Teachers lead students to their own “real doors.” As teachers, we must cross our own thresholds to new methodologies, curriculum, assessment tools, and other ideas to urge students to cross the thresholds of their “real doors.” “Crossing Thresholds” and CATE 2000 provide these opportunities because of the efforts of many dedicated volunteers.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) congratulate and commend the following chairpersons, committee members, and assistants who have worked so hard on CATE 2000, “Crossing Thresholds”

Convention Chairs – Angus Dunstan and Cecil Morris
Convention Coordinator – Kermeen “Punky” Fristrom
Convention Program Chair – Suzanne Packard Laughrea
Local Arrangements Chair – Marla Sullivan
Pre-Convention Chair – Kathy Dixon
Treasurer – Anne Fristrom
Registrar – Linda Scott
Registration Chair – Susan Karpowicz
Decorations Chair – Lesley Fontanilla
Speakers’ Hospitality – Noie Koehler
T-shirts and Sweatshirts – Susan Snyder
Lesson Plan Exchange Chair – Gini Grossenbacher
Program Committee – Debi Pitta and Lisa Blake
Program and Registration Materials Design – Susan Tuimoloau of Get SET Graphics
CATE Membership – Linda Stockton
CYRM – Lorraine Tracey
Webmaster – Larry Jordan
Printer – Non-Stop Printing
Flyer Distribution – Precision Assembly
Exhibits – KAW Company

Resolution 1: Correlation of the California Language Arts Content Standards and the SAT9

Background

The Stanford 9 Achievement Test, a nationally norm-referenced test, was approved by the State Board of Education, the State Legislature, and the Governor for statewide administration beginning in 1997-98, in grades 2-11. During 1998-99, the Stanford 9 became the primary measure of California school performance serving as the basis for the placement of schools on the Academic Performance Index.

The match between instruction and assessment is an important factor in student achievement. The more closely standards-based instruction matches assessment, the better our students perform. California language arts teachers do not consider exclusive use of multiple-choice testing as an authentic assessment tool. Performance tests modeled on the Golden State Exams could reflect the ability of students to write coherent, critical analyses of textual material. Such tests assess basic requirements of the State Language Arts Content Standards as well as those skills most often used in language arts classrooms.

Resolution

Resolved that California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to develop various measures of student progress toward the Language Arts Content Standards, such as portfolio assessment and the direct assessment of writing. And be it further

Resolved that the CATE urge the State Board of Education to suspend the use of the SAT9 and develop an assessment that has a closer correlation to the Language Arts Content Standards.

To
Governor Gray Davis
The State Board of Education
Fair Test
All major print media

Resolution 2 – Consultation with Subject Matter Organizations

Background

In his proposed 2000 state budget, Governor Davis seeks to increase the K -12 State Fund by $1.6 billion, and also proposes measures to improve teacher recruitment and preparation such as the Teachers As a Priority Program (TAPP), the Teacher Housing Assistance Program, the Assumption Program of Loans for Education Grants (APLE), the increased allocation for the Subject Matter Projects and the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program.

However, the emphasis on SAT 9 test scores, the prospect of the High School Exit Exam and the increase in the general workload of classroom teachers as a result of many recent reform initiatives make us uneasy.

When so much importance is attached to educational reform it is crucial that teachers are informed, consulted and respected. Instead, The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) notes a widespread feeling of disillusionment, disenfranchisement and dismay among even the most dedicated and experienced teachers.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend Governor Gray Davis for giving education such a high priority. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge the Governor to include members from professional organizations representing language arts teachers in decisions regarding matters of curriculum and pedagogy, and to consult regularly with organizations such as CATE, CRA, CABE, CATESOL, CSLA and the California Subject Matter Projects, so that we can all cooperate in promoting improvement in student academic performance.

To
Governor Gray Davis
CRA
CABE
CATESOL
CSLA
CLA

Resolution 3 – The Use of the API

Background

In the past, The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) has applauded authentic assessment (Resolutions in 1981, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995) but condemned the excessive use of standardized testing (Resolution 5, 1980; Resolution 3, 1996; and Resolution 2, 1999). The most recent resolution (1999) urged the State Board of Education to suspend the use of SAT 9 and develop an assessment that has a close correlation to the English/Language Arts Content Standards.

Nevertheless, the intervening years have seen increased reliance on standardized scores to make decisions about the education of children.

As one of his first attempts to institute educational reform, Governor Davis directed the State Board of Education to development a reliable, valid and fair set of assessments of school performance statewide, to be known as the Academic Performance Index (API). This index holds public schools accountable for the academic achievement of all California public school students. In a letter to the Los Angeles Times (January 25, 2000), Governor Davis stated:

In the first two years, the API will be based solely on test scores from the SAT 9 exam, the best gauge of educational quality available to us in California and the only statewide measure we have.

Most teachers disagree with the governor’s premise that the SAT 9 is the best gauge of educational quality.

The state is forcing schools into high stakes testing before educators have had a chance to either adjust to the new standards, some of which are still being finalized, or to use new textbooks and other materials. Schools are being judged by test results without really knowing what is being measured or how the results should be interpreted.

CATE joins NCTE, the American Research Association, and the American Psychological Association in their support of the National Council on Measurement in Education’s Standard for Educational and Psychological Measurement 8.12 which, in effect for more than 25 years now, states:

In elementary or secondary education, a decision or characterization that will have a major impact on a test taker should not automatically be made on the basis of a single test score. (1975, p. 54).

The state does not currently abide by this clear standard.

The same standard applies to a high stakes test that is used to judge school performance.

Although CATE has widely distributed its very strong positions on high-stakes testing and norm-referenced testing in general, it has, so far, not been able to derail the political engine of high-stakes testing. It is time to plan specific action.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) appoint CATE’s Policy Chair to publicize and disseminate research findings regarding the political, educational, and social impact of high-stakes testing. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge school districts to inform parents and guardians of their right to submit “a written request to school officials to excuse their children from any or all parts” of the Stanford 9, pursuant to Ed. Code 60615. And be it further

Resolved that CATE encourage professional teacher organizations to support and mobilize growing opposition and resistance to high-stakes testing conducted by the state. And be it further

Resolved that CATE appoint the Resolutions Chair to work constructively on the above resolutions with other organizations concerned with high-stakes testing.

To
Governor Gray Davis
State Board of Education
NCTE
ARA
APA
NCME
Fair Test
PTA
The California Curriculum Correlating Council (4C’s)
All major print media

Resolution #4 – Truth in Testing

Background

In the 1970’s, New York state passed Truth-in-Testing legislation which required makers of college admissions exams (ETS and ACT) to provide test takers with a copy of the exam with the desired answers and the student’s own responses. The process exposed many flawed items and made the entire testing enterprise more open to public scrutiny.

In California, the High School Exit Exam Committee has identified the Content Standards which the exam will address, although there has been no indication that the committee will adopt full disclosure of the actual, past test items. In November, the California State Board of Education approved emergency regulations for STAR 2000 test preparation which stated:

No administration or use of an alternate or parallel form of the designated test for any stated purpose shall be permitted.

This regulation, in effect, makes the form and content of the state test secret. This form of secrecy not only hides from students what they should learn, but it also prevents parents and taxpayers from knowing what the state really expects of their children.

While The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE), in principle, condemns the use of a single test score to make decisions about the educational future of a student, the least that can be done to offset the harmful effects of high-stakes testing is to disclose past items for review and scrutiny.

Resolution

Resolved that California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) request that the High School Exit Exam Advisory Committee make public all forms of the test, after they have been administered. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge the California Department of Education to reverse the regulation that prohibits the use of an alternate or parallel form of the STAR test so that students can review past items, especially those that purport to assess standards. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge the legislature to enact Truth in Testing legislation.

To
Governor Gray Davis
State Board of Education
Fair Test Organization
All major print media
CPTA

Resolution 5 – Support for Library Bond

Background

Proposition 14, California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2000, would provide for a bond issue of $350 M to provide funds for the construction and renovation of public library facilities. Such funding would expand access to reading and literacy programs in California’s schools and expand public library services for all residents of California.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) support the passage of Proposition 14 to provide funds for the construction and renovation of public library facilities.

To
Committee in Favor of Proposition 14
California Library Association
California School Library Association
California Reading Association
All major print media

Resolution 6 – English Language Learners, SAT 9, and the API

Background

As one of his first attempts to institute educational reform, Governor Gray Davis proposed that the State Board of Education direct the development of a reliable, valid and fair set of assessments of school performance statewide, to be known as the Academic Performance Index (API). This Index would nurture, promote and hold public schools accountable for the academic achievement of all California public school students.

Upon passage of SB1X, the State Board of Education established the Public School Accountability Advisory Committee. As its first task, the committee adopted a set of guidelines stating that it would not recommend any assessment or process that was not valid or fair.

In the fall, 1999, 28 committee members considered the issue of including the Stanford 9 academic achievement test scores of students with limited English proficiency in the state’s new Academic Performance Index. This index would be used to make decisions regarding rewards or sanctions for each school.

Because 25 percent (close to 1.5 million) of California’s students have limited English proficiency, the committee labored over whether or not to include the test scores of students with limited English.

According to Eugene Garcia, a former member of this advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley, an analysis of last year’s Stanford 9 test scores showed that students with limited English guessed at the answer five to six times more frequently than English-speaking students.

This data, combined with other concerns, led the committee to recommend to the State Board of Education (SBE) that the scores for these students be excluded from the Academic Performance Index until a reliable, valid and fair assessment could be put in place. Such an assessment is currently being developed.

However, the SBE ignored the committee’s recommendation and instead adopted a plan mandating that those limited-English-proficient students be assessed. These students scored poorly, and such scores went into their permanent records.

Moreover, the Academic Performance Index is in a “high-stakes” system. On the basis of this test alone, schools could either be rewarded or dissolved. Since schools are assessed for their academic performance through this index, those schools with large numbers of limited-English-proficient students — and there is a significant number in this state — will be measured with a ruler that is academically suspect and potentially disadvantageous.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge Governor Gray Davis and the State Board of Education to expedite the development of an assessment of limited English proficient students (the English Language Development Assessment). And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge school districts to inform all parents and guardians of their right to submit “a written request to school officials to excuse their children from any or all parts” of the Stanford 9, pursuant to Education Code 60615.

To
State Board of Education
Governor Gray Davis
Fair Test Organization
All major print media
California PTA

Resolution 8 – NCTE Convention Sites

Background

In 1998 the Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) changed the procedure for selecting sites for the NCTE annual convention. Prior to this time, affiliates were invited to submit proposals for the convention and NCTE selected a convention site from the proposals. Under the change in procedure, NCTE selected the convention site and then told the local affiliate that they would host the convention at the site selected. The first site selected by this method was San Francisco. This new procedure is totally unacceptable to The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) and to other affiliates across the country.

CATE President Robin Luby presented the following motion at the NCTE Annual Business Meeting for the Board of Directors and Other Members of the Council on Friday, November 20, 1998; Nashville, Tennessee. According to the minutes:

Robin Luby, California, moved that the NCTE Executive Committee reevaluate the new policy of selecting a convention site and then informing the local affiliate, and return to its former policy of advertising and soliciting proposals from affiliates within the designated area so that affiliates are integral, supportive PARTNERS in the convention process; seconded by [the Parliamentarian]. The motion carried.

While the NCTE Executive Committee did reevaluate its new policy of selecting a convention site, the result of the reevaluation still denied affiliates their rightful role within the process. The reevaluated process still called for NCTE to select possible sites for the convention without prior notification or invitation from the affiliates in those areas. Affiliates are informed of the site selection only after the locations to be considered have been chosen by NCTE. Notifying an affiliate that it will be responsible for hosting an NCTE convention causes unexpected hardships for an affiliate. For example, the selection of San Francisco as NCTE convention site using the changed selection procedure forced CATE to relocate its state conference planned for the same city, and to shift responsibility for the relocated state conference to CATE membership in a different part of the state to accommodate NCTE’s actions. This hardship sets a dangerous precedent for affiliates who may be adversely affected by NCTE’s new convention selection procedure, and creates a resentful rather than cooperative relationship between affiliates and NCTE.

The CATE Board of Directors made its concerns known to NCTE. In part the board said:

This convention selection process turns the world upside down. NCTE must realize that it is an honor for NCTE to be invited by an affiliate to hold its convention in the affiliate’s region. It is not an honor for the affiliate to have NCTE impose its convention on the affiliate’s region. Such an action imposes a great deal of work on hundreds of people who already work 60 hour weeks and volunteer to help put on the convention out of their professionalism and commitment to teaching. The thousands of hours of work and the high level of inconvenience are worthwhile if the affiliate takes the initiative to invite NCTE to come. It is onerous if NCTE invites itself.

In the original criteria for selection included in the reevaluated policy, the most important criterion was not mentioned. It is the existence of a strong affiliate in the area being considered. To the credit of the committee, they did (say they would) add, “Must be able to support the largest possible attendance, including the presence of an affiliate willing to host.” Unfortunately, this phrase, “including the presence of an affiliate willing to host,” is not part of the current procedure.

It is also unfortunate that some of the criteria are so specific that they \would eliminate all but one or two possible convention sites within each region.

In September, 1999, the CATE board once more directed President Robin Luby to present a motion at the NCTE Annual Business Meeting. She made the following motion at its meeting in Denver, Colorado in November, 1999.

On behalf of the Boards of Directors of the California Association of Teachers of English and the Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English, I move that the NCTE Executive Committee revoke the new policy of selecting a convention site and then informing the local affiliate, and return to its former policy of advertising and soliciting proposals from affiliates within the designated area at the beginning of the selection process.

The motion had the unanimous support of the NCTE Committee on Affiliates and received a unanimous vote of approval at the business meeting.

On January 21, 2000, NCTE Director of Affiliates, Millie Davis, sent President Robin Luby a copy of the current procedures for the Selection of NCTE Convention Sites. The current procedures are identical to the procedures rejected by the CATE board, the NCTE Committee on Affiliates and the NCTE Annual Business Meeting.

Resolution

Resolved that CATE urge the NCTE Executive Committee to revise its convention selection procedures so that affiliates in the appropriate geographical area are provided the opportunity to bid to host the convention before the NCTE board or staff takes any other actions concerning the convention. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge the NCTE board to change the word “criteria” to “guidelines” in its convention selection procedures. And be it further

Resolved that CATE urge the NCTE board to include in its guidelines for selecting a convention site “the existence of a strong local affiliate willing to host the convention.”

To
Faith Schullstrom, Executive Director NCTE
Jerome Harste, NCTE President
NCTE Executive committee
All NCTE affiliates
NCTE Affiliate Task Force
Print Media
Oakland Tribune
Orange County Register
Los Angeles Daily News
Riverside Press-Enterprise
Santa Barbara News-Press
Long Beach Press-Telegram
San Bernardino County Sun
Education Week
Los Angeles Times
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union Tribune
San Jose Mercury News
Fresno Bee
Modesto Bee
Bakersfield Californian
California Educator
California Teacher

Resolutions 2001

Board Resolution 1: Commendation to the Convention Committee

Background

Polonius: “What do you read, my Lord?”
Hamlet: “Words, Words, Words.”

Teachers guide their students in the discovery and love of words. We build this into a discovery and love of literature; from there, students are able to discover their connection to the world as a whole. As teachers, we must continue our own journey of discovery. Words, Words, Words and CATE 2001 provide these opportunities because of the efforts of many dedicated volunteers.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) congratulate and commend the following chair persons, committee members, and assistants who have worked so hard on CATE 2001, “Words, Words, Words.”

Convention Chair – Akiko Morimoto
Audio Visual – Jan Oonchitti
California Young Reader Medal – Lorraine Tracey
College Credit – Martha Plender
Convention Coordinator – Kermeen “Punky” Fristrom
Exhibits Managers – Julia Gottesman and Jan Burke
Graphic Design – Susan Tuimoloau of Get SET Graphics
Hospitality – Pat Ellis
Lesson Plan Exchange – Dotsie M. Bell
Local Arrangements – Al and Cista Leonard
Meals – Connie Murphy
Pre-convention – Martha Plender
Program Chairs – Don Mayfield, Anna Roseboro, Carole LeCren
Registrar – Linda Scott
Registration – Kay Pierce
Student Teachers – Anne Henke
Treasurer – Anne Fristrom
CATE Membership – Linda Stockton
Webmaster – Larry Jordan

Resolution 1: Class Size and Teacher Load

Background

The relationship between the number of students assigned to an English teacher and the effectiveness of that teacher’s instruction has been investigated since 1911 by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). NCTE has recommended “that full-time English Language Arts teachers be assigned a teaching load of no more than 100 students. Just such a load of 100, at a minimum of 20 minutes per week per student for the evaluation of writing, involves 33 hours beyond regular teaching duties.” The same 100 to 1 ratio was recommended by James B. Conant’s 1960’s study of The American High School. No other subject area bears such a disproportionate and overwhelming workload.

CATE wishes to acknowledge and express appreciation for the efforts of the governor and the state legislature in reducing class size in grade 1-3 and grade 9.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California State Legislature and Governor Gray Davis to enact legislation which would ensure that the overall student-teacher ratio never exceeds 100 to 1 for English Language Arts teachers. CATE further encourages the governor and the state legislature to continue to seek funding of this ratio.

To
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education CommitteeAssembly Education Committee
Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
News media
California Federation of Teachers
California Teachers Association
California State School Boards Association
Senator Martha M. Escucia

Resolution 3: Parents’ Rights to have their Children Tested or not Tested without Penalty

Background

The State of California Education Code grants parents the right to decline standardized testing for their children. To take away or limit parents’ rights to decline standardized testing is to limit their democratic right to influence the education of their children. Punishing schools financially when parents opt out does just that.

Recently, the State Board of Education adopted regulations regarding the Academic Performance Index (API), especially the percentage of students at schools taking the test, and the legal right of parents to exempt their children from taking the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9).

The regulations were developed in response to the high rate (more than 10%) of parents who exercised that option. The State Department of Education found that 134 schools had 10% or more of their students, some as high as 50%, not taking the test in spring 2000 because of parent requests. Parents who are most likely to request such waivers include those whose children are limited-English proficient, attend charter schools, or are home-schooled.

The regulations propose to limit the number of parent waivers of the SAT-9 test to 15% or fewer of the enrollment in the grades tested in order for the school to be eligible for awards based upon API. The Board approved the regulations, but requested that a waiver process be included for those schools that can provide a good rationale for the high percentage of parent waivers.

Resolution

Resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English urge the State Board of Education to rescind the regulation that penalizes the school when parents exercise their legal right to refuse to allow their children to take the SAT-9.

To
Governor Gray Davis
State Board of Education
Senate Education Committee
Assembly Education Committee
Association of California School Administrators
California Federation of Teachers
California Teachers Association
California PTA
CABE

Resolution 4: Test Takers Bill of Rights

Background

At the 2000 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Business Meeting the membership resolved to develop a Test Taker’s Bill of Rights in conjunction with other professional and public policy organizations and learned societies.

As has NCTE, The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) has been consistently and increasingly concerned about the nature, uses, and abuses of standardized testing. In fact, CATE has passed numerous resolutions addressing these concerns. Although CATE continues to be concerned about standardized testing, particularly high stakes testing at all levels, we recognize that testing is a pervasive feature of American education.

In addition to the pervasive influence of high stakes tests, the State Board of Education insists on secrecy and denies access to the SAT 9, the state-mandated test used as the key element in the Academic Performance Index.

On the other hand, the state board seems willing to release all field test items of the new High School Exit Exam and has published a Teacher Guide with illustrative test items.

It is important for there to be consistency in all aspects of testing, including standards of open practice that allow the public to scrutinize the development and dissemination of tests.

A test taker’s bill of rights would include items such as:

The right of the test taker to:

  • insist that standardized tests be adopted through an open, public process that considers the design and appropriateness of the test;
  • know before the test date the form of any given test;
  • experience a challenging curriculum that is not constrained by any given test;
  • know how the results of the test will be used;
  • have accommodations made for documented learning differences and/or unforeseeable circumstances;
  • display competencies through various means, not just bubble-in tests;
  • review test items and results;
  • challenge test scores and have them changed if they are incorrect; and
  • have a process that corrects tests and/or individual items found to be invalid or unreliable.

Resolution

RESOLVED that the policy committee of the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE), in cooperation with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), develop a test-taker’s bill of rights that guarantees an open and equitable assessment process that safeguards the rights of all test takers.

Resolution 7: Lack of Equity in Norm-Referenced Tests

Background

In an effort to implement mandatory standardized testing in California, the State Board of Education adopted the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) as a required exam in all California public schools. This norm-referenced test is currently the single standard by which student achievement in California public schools is measured. When developed, this test was not normed for the diverse California student population.

The State Board of Education has not taken into account the inherent lack of equity in such norm-referenced tests. They have disregarded the diversity of student abilities and needs. At the outset of such a test, a disproportionate percentage of California students are predestined for “failure.”

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to adopt an equitable model of student assessment that includes direct writing assessments, student grades, criterion-based tests, and other authentic assessments.

To
The State Board of Education
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee
Assembly Education Committee
California Federation of Teachers
California Teachers Association

Resolutions 2002

Board Resolution 1: Commendation to the Convention Committee

Background

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers.
Bring me all of your
Heart Melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

…Langston Hughes

Teachers keep the dream of literacy and creativity alive. As dream keepers teachers share the vision of many through literature. We make it possible for students to awaken to a brighter day when their dreams come true, and they become keepers of their own dreams. The Dream Keepers of CATE 2002 provide opportunities because of the efforts of many dedicated dreamers.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) congratulate and commend the following chair persons, committee members, and assistants who have worked so hard on CATE 2002, “The Dream Keepers.”

Convention Co-Chairs – Lorraine K. Tracey, Linda J. Stockton
Associate Chair – Al Adams
Audio Visual Chair – Charleen Silva Delfino
California Young Reader Medal – Lorraine K. Tracey
College Credit – Bev Kreps
Convention Coordinator – Punky Fristrom
Exhibits Managers – Julia Gottesman, Jan Burke
Graphic Design – Susan MacMillan Graphics
Hospitality – Linda Marohn
Lesson Plan Exchange – Bev Kreps
Meals – Edd Armstrong
Pre-Convention – Chiyo Masuda
Program Chairs – Don Mayfield, Anna J. Roseboro, Carole LeCren
Registrar – Linda Scott
Registration – Mark T. Sneed, Jennifer Ough, LuPaulette Taylor
Student Teachers/Volunteers – Chiyo Masuda
Treasurer – Anne Fristrom
Webmaster – Larry Jordan
Authors – Akiko Morimoto
Autographing – Judy Toll

Resolution 1 – Class Size Reduction

Background

In 1989, the California State Legislature enacted the Morgan-Hart Class Size Reduction Bill. Reducing English class size provides the opportunity to increase student literacy and overall academic growth. Presently, potential budget cuts threaten to eliminate high school class size reductions.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California State Legislature and Governor Gray Davis to continue to fund high school English class size reductions.

To
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
Governor Gray Davis
State Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Virginia Strom-Martin, Chair
Delain Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Teachers Association, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers, Mary Bergan, President

Resolution 2 – Discontinue or Re-norm SAT9

Background

The California State Board of Education has mandated a norm-referenced test, the SAT 9, as a measure of student achievement in the California public schools. The norming population of the SAT 9, however, was very different from the heterogeneous population of California students. For example, while only two percent of the norming population were English Language Learners, approximately 25% of the students in California schools are English language Learners. Consequently, the test results do not accurately represent the skills of California students when measured against the normed population.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to discontinue the use of the SAT 9 as a measure of our students’ academic skills,

Or, at the least

to require the publisher to re-norm the SAT9 to reflect California’s diverse population.

To:
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
Governor Gray Davis
State Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Virginia Strom-Martin, Chair
Delain Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Teachers Association, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers, Mary Bergan, President

Resolutions 2003

Board Resolution 1

In these turbulent days of educational reform, it is more important than ever to value the voice of the classroom teacher. We at the California Association of Teachers of English are dedicated to making that voice stronger and more informed. CATE 2003 supports and inspires California language arts teachers with excellent programs and speakers.
But CATE 2003 would not exist without the diligent effort of many dedicated volunteers. To these we owe our thanks.

Convention Chair: Carole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
Convention Coordinator: Punky Fristrom, San Diego City Schools, Retired
Assistant Convention Coordinator: Teisha Hase, Oroville High School
Hospitality: Jo Anne Mitchell, John Marshall High School, Los Angeles Unified School District
Registration: Annette Davis and Cyndi Furr, Palm Desert High School
Concierge: Svetlana Lazarova and Loret Stagg, Palm Springs High School
Programs: Don Mayfield, San Diego County Office of Education, Retired
Meal Events: Julie Steitz and Tiffany Campbell-Cunefare, Murrieta Valley High School
Friday Night Event: Catherine C. Linn, Palm Springs High School
Lesson Plan Exchange: Chiyo Masuda, Albany Middle School (Retired), Albany
AV and Room Set-Up: Charleen Silva Delfino, Director San Jose Area Writing Project
CATE Membership Booth: Linda Stockton, Davis Intermediate School, San Jose
Pre-Convention K-12: Martha Plender, Inland Area Writing Project, University of California, Riverside
Pre-Convention Community College: Joni Jordan, College of the Sequoias
Janice Albert, Chabot and Las Positas Colleges
Vince Piro, Merced Community College
Local Arrangements: Catherine C. Linn, Palm Springs High School
Book Signings: Kathy and Ken Allen
Volunteer Coordinator: Oscar Browne, Lincoln High School, San Diego
College Credit: Martha Plender, Inland Area Writing Project, University of California, Riverside
New Teacher Reception: Teisha Hase, Oroville, and Cheryl White, McKinleyville
President’s Reception: Anna J. Roseboro, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla
Exhibitors’ Reception: Punky Fristrom, San Diego City Schools, Retired
California Young Reader Medal: Diane Tellefsen, Wilson Middle School, Pasadena Unified
CATE Treasurer: Anne Fristrom, Retired, San Diego
Exhibits: Jan Burke and Julia M. Gottesman, The KAW Company
Registrar: Linda Scott, Carlsbad
Program Layout and Logo Design: Carole LeCren, San Diego
Printer: Rick Benson, Golden Ink, San Diego

CATE 2003: Resolution 1 – Subject Matter Projects

Background

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend the work of the California Subject Matter Projects, specifically those involved with the advancement of language arts instruction in the State of California, the California Writing Project and the California Reading and Literature Project. These projects, with their premise of teachers teaching teachers, have proven to be pedagogically sound and have provided invaluable training every year to thousands of California teachers in improving student writing and reading. Funding for the subject matter projects is in danger of being eliminated from the state budget.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge Governor Gray Davis and the California State Legislature to continue funding of the California Subject Matter Projects, particularly the California Writing Project and the California Reading and Literature Project.

To:
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Jackie Goldberg, Chair
Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell
California Teachers Association President, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers President, Mary Bergan, President
Office of the Chancellor, University of California, Richard E. Atkinson
Office of the Chancellor, California State University, Charles B. Reed

CATE 2003: Resolution 2 – Class Size Reduction

Background

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend the State legislature for instituting class size reduction in grades K-3 and in 9th grade English/language arts classes. Small class size helps create the conditions teachers need to achieve high educational goals. The State of California is presently in a budget crisis, and eliminating the class size reduction program is being considered as one way to reduce the deficit.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge Governor Gray Davis and the California State Legislature to maintain funding for the class size reduction program in grades K-3 and in 9th grade English/language arts.

To:
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Jackie Goldberg, Chair
Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell
California Teachers Association President, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers President, Mary Bergan, President

CATE 2003: Resolution 3 – The Reading First Initiative and The Single Test-Based Accountability System

Background

The Reading First Initiative of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) affirms the need for all states to take accountability for students to become better readers. The law mandates a single test-based accountability system for all states. It requires annual testing at every grade level, and states must disaggregate their test scores by students’ racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. The legislation further mandates a single definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP), the amount by which schools must increase their test scores in order to avoid sanctions. Finally, the law sets a single target date by which all students must exceed a state-defined proficiency level-an issue that in the past has been left almost entirely to states and localities. By so doing, the federal government has defined accountability to mean testing alone.

It was in the early 1990’s that reformers included, in addition to tests, portfolios and formal exhibitions of students’ work, student initiated projects, and teachers’ evaluations of their students. Over the past seven years, accountability reform in California has been diverted to the easier route of standardized testing. However, relying only on standardized tests dodges the complicated questions of what tests actually measure and of how schools and students react when tests are the sole yardstick of performance.

In a recent study published by the National Education Association (NEA), the limitations of tests are made abundantly clear. By their very nature, standardized scores are imprecise and always include a “standard error,” which is rarely explained to the public. The study also points out that a test is both a sample of all possible questions that could be asked about a subject and a sample of a student’s behavior at a single point in time, suggesting the inherent unreliability of all standardized test scores. Additionally, the study points out that teaching to the test can raise scores without students actually knowing more. An example would be the score inflation phenomenon we have seen over the last few years in the STAR test scores across the state.

Because the NCLB Act of 2001 legislates sanctions against schools for not showing continuous progress and meeting achievement goals, it is particularly disturbing to note that it will be nearly impossible for schools that have mobile populations to show this continuous progress. As the NEA study shows, “volatility in average test scores, due to external factors (such as highly mobile student populations)” could make it difficult for schools to show continuous progress determined by the NCLB.

CATE recognizes that good tests can provide consistent, comparable and useful information not easily obtained by other means, but to continue the reliance on inadequate standardized tests, especially when sanctions threaten local control and teacher judgment, is harmful to schools.

CATE has had a long history of addressing the abuse of standardized tests through its resolutions (1980,1986,1992,2000, and 2001, which “urges a test takers’ bill of rights that guarantees an open and equitable assessment process that safeguards the rights of all test takers”).

Once again, CATE asserts the responsibility of literacy educators, collectively and individually, to speak out about the limitations of standardized testing.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) oppose standardized tests of isolated skills and decontextualized information; and

Be it further resolved that the CATE reaffirm commitment to an authentic assessment system that reflects research on learning, provides useful information to teachers, and safeguards the rights of all test takers – including English language learners and students with special needs.

To:
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Jackie Goldberg, Chair
Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell
California Teachers Association President, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers President, Mary Bergan, President

CATE 2003: Resolution 4 – Textbook Adoption

Background

Currently, the State Board of Education is making decisions that limit the choice of literature texts and programs used in teaching English/language arts in the K-6 levels. Only two programs, Open Court and Houghton Mifflin, are currently approved. Although the Instructional Materials Evaluation Panels (IMEP’s) with teacher representation has recommended additional texts for state adoption, the State Board of Education has disregarded these recommendations.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California State Board of Education to follow the professional recommendations of the Instructional Materials Evaluation Panels (IMEP’s) in approving instructional materials which can be purchased with state funds.

To:
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Jackie Goldberg, Chair
Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell
California Teachers Association President, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers President, Mary Bergan, President

CATE 2003: Resolution 5 – State Board of Education

Background

The California State Board of Education makes significant policy decisions about curriculum, materials, and methodology. Current members of the State Board of Education are primarily from the private sector with little or no classroom experience teaching a standards-based curriculum. In addition, the high standards expected of all students are strongly based on knowledge of English/language arts.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge Governor Gray Davis to appoint individuals to the State Board of Education with skills, knowledge, and experience in the teaching profession, at least one of whom should have an English/language arts background.

To:
Governor Gray Davis
Senate Education Committee, John Vasconcellos, Chair
Assembly Education Committee, Jackie Goldberg, Chair
Secretary of Education, Kerry Mazzoni
State Board of Education, Reed Hastings, President
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell
California Teachers Association President, Wayne Johnson, President
California Federation of Teachers President, Mary Bergan, President

Resolutions 2005

CATE 2005: CATE Board Resolution 1 – Commendation of the Convention Committee

Background

CATE 2005, “The Power of One Teacher,” celebrates the work of individual teachers in classrooms across the state and reminds us of the incredible responsibility and honor inherent in our work and passion. This convention happens only because of the volunteer efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English, CATE, thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers:

Autograph Chair Vince Piro
Audiovisual Chair Bob Chapman
College Credit Chair Charleen Delfino
Concierge Chair Al Adams
Friday Night Event Chair John Thomas
Hospitality Chairs Peggy Clifford
Susan Dillon
Lesson Plan Exchange Chair Bev Kreps
Meal Events Chair Liz McAninch
Pre-convention Chair Charleen Delfino
Program Chair Cheryl Joseph
Program Design Chair Carole LeCren
Registration Chair Eddie Hase
On-site Registration Catherine Linn
Sponsorship Chair Lorraine Tracy
Volunteer/Student Teacher Coordinator Angus Dunstan
Speaker Transportation Ken Allen
Convention Coordinator Teisha Hase
Convention Coordinator Consultant Punky Fristrom
Convention Treasurer Anne Fristrom
President’s Reception Maureen Rippee
Convention Chairs Michelle Berry – Linda Stockton

CATE 2005 Resolution 1: Proposition 98

Background

The 2004-2005 State budget reflected a two billion dollar reduction per the agreement reached in the 2003-2004 budget year by the Education Coalition and the Governor. Also, during the current fiscal year, increased funding for education under Proposition 98 reached $1.1 billion. The Administration proposes not to fund the current year Proposition 98 increase, contrary to last year’s agreement. As a result, the Administration gains a $1.1 billion in Proposition 98 savings. The loss of current year funding results in a reduced base to the constitutional provisions of Proposition 98. Additionally the budget hit from the State Teachers Retirement System shift and subsequent funding proposals has the real effect of lowering the overall Proposition 98 adjustment.

A recent study by the RAND Corporation shows California ranks near the bottom of all states in per-pupil funding and is 38 out of 52 for teachers’ salaries after adjustment for cost of living, while ranking in the highest percentage in class size. In spite of such evidence, the Governor wants to repeal portions of Proposition 98, the voter-approved initiative that provides minimum funding guarantees for public education. In addition, the governor’s proposal would allow multiple mid-year cuts with no promise of repayment that could potentially cripple the ability of schools districts to effectively plan and implement educational spending.

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) is keenly aware of the potential damage to the English Language Arts curriculum that could result from a reduction in base revenue funding for school districts. A loss of resources would result in

  • even larger class sizes which would cause a loss of quality writing instruction;
  • a reduced amount of classroom materials;
  • a smaller quantity of already inadequate textbook and supporting resources;
  • less access to teacher development;
  • less incentive for qualified professionals to enter the classroom.

Decreasing teachers’ abilities to deliver quality instruction in English Language Arts has a negative impact on students’ educational experiences in every subject area of a school.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) demand the Governor and the State Legislature honor the guarantees of Proposition 98; and

Be it further resolved that CATE demand the Governor and the State Legislature fulfill its obligation to repay the $2 billion as signed into law in the State Budget of 2004.

To
Governor Schwarzenegger California State Legislature
Other Subject Matter Organizations Editorial Boards of Major State News Organization California Teachers’ Association State Board of Education
Senate Budget Committee Assembly Budget Committee

CATE 2005 Resolution 2: Library media Teachers

Background

Current concerns about the reading/literacy abilities of California students have generated numerous programs and reforms geared toward increasing literacy ability. Research shows that access to interesting and comprehensible reading material promotes reading and enhances reading ability. Libraries offer students access to information in a variety of forms through the expertise of library-media teachers. These teachers

  • teach students to access and retrieve information through books, the internet, and other forms of media;
  • provide language acquisition activities;
  • offer services such as book clubs, homework assistance, computer training and access;
  • provide a scholarly environment for students to read and work on homework before and after school and during lunch;
  • train parents on how and what to read to their children;
  • provide reading lists for students, staff, and parents;
  • work with teachers to assist in lesson planning;
  • work with teachers to provide assistance in whole class library activities such as teaching the research process, finding appropriate reading material;
  • coordinate and maintain school media such as classroom computers, school intranet/internet, and technological resources;
  • maintain a professional resource library and up to date, comprehensive school library;
  • supply requested titles and materials to school site staff.

Schools throughout California are faced with challenges in staffing libraries. For example, according to an article by Helen Gao published in the December 6, 2004, San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego has “. . . 190 schools [which serve] about 136,000 students, [with only] 40 full-time equivalent librarian positions to staff 43 libraries. . . . three of the district’s highest-priority high schools . . . lack a librarian. . . . Fifteen of the district’s 23 middle schools have a librarian – part or full-time. . . . Of the 113 elementary schools in the district, 12 have librarians.” While the situation in San Diego is indicative of the problem, it is not among the most severe cases in California.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the Governor and State Legislature to allocate and to increase funding for all districts to provide at least one full-time certificated library-media teacher in every school.

To

Governor Schwarzenegger
Members of Senate and Assembly Education Committees
Legislative Budget Committees
California School Libraries Association
California Library Association
California Reading Association

CATE 2005 Resolution 3: Journalism

Background

Recent budget cuts to journalism programs challenge the value and positive impact of student media courses in California. Over the past twenty years, research and studies by Dvorak, as well as Blinn, indicate participation in high school media courses significantly improves secondary and collegiate English Language Arts competence. Additionally, skills acquired in journalism courses address and reinforce the California Language Arts standards.
Journalism and all media classes prepare students for participation in the democratic process. Under the guidance of qualified journalism educators, these courses give students a voice and allow the students to exercise their constitutional right of free speech as set forth in California Education Code 48907.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to

  • Include training in student media advising/publication management, including ethics and California school press law, in the Single Subject English credential requirements.
  • Include increased training in California school press law for those seeking administrative service credentials.


To
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Journalism Education Association

CATE 2005 Resolution 4: Digital High School Grants

Background

Digital High School grants enabled high schools throughout California to institute a higher assimilation of technology into instruction. English Language Arts content standards call for the use of technology to support instruction in the classrooms as well as for student acquisition of technology skills. Computer literacy remains an important component of English Language Arts instruction.

Unfortunately, the Digital High School grants have expired. Today, most high schools in California do not possess the funds to maintain the technology that is in place. In many instances equipment is obsolete and needs to be updated or replaced. The funds to update old equipment or acquire new technologies often are nonexistent.

Resolution

Be it resolved that The California Association of Teachers of English urge that the State Legislature reinstitute and increase funding for the Digital High School grants to all schools in California.

To

Chairs of Legislative Education Committees
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Assembly Budget Committee
Senate Budget Committee
Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance
Computer Using Educators
Editorial Boards of Major News Organizations

CATE 2005 Resolution 5: STAR Writing Assessment

Background

Recently the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to keep the 4th and 7th grade Writing Assessments as part of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. In addition to finding funding for these assessments, the SBE accepted the recommendations of the Grades 4 and 7 Task Force to

  • “define the writing construct/genre more clearly;”
  • change the current system of prompts, directions and scoring to reflect a more accurate measurement of the construct;”
  • field test additional prompts and collect more process data;”
  • promote clarity, consistency and efficiency in scoring;”
  • “make the system and all steps and decisions transparent;”
  • “align the standards, task prompts and scoring rubrics;”

The SBE also “approved a one-reader model for scoring [the writing assessments], replacing the current two-reader model” and approved field testing additional writing tasks. The additional writing tasks will add ‘brief prewriting activities…to allow students to organize their writing. This would include describing all components of the writing process in the directions, clarifying that the writing is expected to be a first draft with edits, and adding an element of audience to the writing task to help students direct their writing and give a voice to their writing.” (“State Board of Education Tackles Several Testing Issues”: 4, EdCal, 24 Jan., 2005)

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend the task force and the State Board of Education (SBE) for their decision to retain the 4th and 7th grade Writing Assessment portion of the STAR program.

To

Governor Schwarzenegger
State Secretary of Education
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board of Education
Chairs of legislative Education Committees

CATE 2005 Resolution 6: Merit Pay

Background

In his recent State of the State speech, Governor Schwarzenegger announced his proposal to tie teachers’ salaries to student performance. He repeated this proposal in his February 12, 2005, weekly radio address.

The Governor’s solution is to treat schools like failing businesses. One of the elements he proposed is to change teachers’ compensation. What will make schools better, he implied, is to make teachers compete for resources. This competition will include merit pay, which may be based upon subjective evaluations or standardized test scores that do not necessarily reflect actual student learning.

Although merit pay systems present problems to all teachers, as an organization of English Language Arts teachers, we know there are many inherent obstacles which make our jobs especially hard to evaluate on a merit system. These include

  • large class sizes which make responding to writing difficult;
  • large numbers of English Language Learners in Language Arts classrooms;
  • the inability to control the assignment of students to any individual teacher;
  • the challenge of assessing English Language Arts in an authentic manner;
  • the “inclusion” or ‘mainstreaming” of special education students into regular English Language Arts classes without adequate support;
  • high teacher turnover in low-performing schools;
  • inadequate school library funding that diminishes student access to books;
  • inadequate support for professional development organizations such as California Writing Project, California Reading and Literature Project, and other subject matter projects;
  • the deleterious effect of inappropriate, time-consuming, and costly testing programs.

The Governor has chosen to ignore the problems in establishing a fair merit pay system. This misnomer of “merit” pay will not solve any of the major challenges facing schools and English Language Arts teachers today.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the Governor and the State Legislature to terminate the pursuit of merit pay as part of his education reform; and

Be it further resolved that CATE urge the Governor and the Legislature to examine what accounts for the excellence of existing Language Arts teachers, and to use all influence to make it possible for more teachers to reach this level of excellence rather than introduce a system which will only pit one teacher against another.

To
Governor Schwarzenegger
Secretary of Education
Assembly and Senate
State Education Committees

Resolutions 2006

CATE 2006: CATE Board Resolution 1 – Commendation of the Convention Committee

Background

CATE 2006, “Adventures in Anaheim: an “E Ticket Experience,” celebrates the enriching, engaging, and enchanting experiences that occur in our classrooms and beyond every day. We are reminded that our efforts provide students with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

This convention happens only because of the volunteer efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers:

Convention Chair JoAnn Mitchell,
Convention Coordinator Teisha Hase
Hospitality Cyndy Shelton
Registration Michelle Berry, Angus Dunstan
Concierge Kathy Allen, Ken Allen
Programs Robin Luby
Meal Events Diane Tellefsen, Marilyn Wells
Major Speakers and
Friday Night Events Nancy Himel
Lesson Plan Exchange Bill Younglove
AV and Room Set-up Bob Chapman
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink
Book Signings Vince Piro
Local Authors Akiko Morimoto
Technology Strand April Moore, Gil Diaz
Local Arrangements Joyce Bennett
Volunteer Coordinator Phil Bowles
College Credit Martha Plender
New Teacher Reception Akiko Morimoto
President’s Reception Maureen Rippee
Awards Maureen Rippee
Exhibitors’ Reception Teisha Hase
CYRM Akiko Morimoto
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom
Exhibits Jeff Wilson
Registrar Eddie Hase
Flyer/Program Publication Carole LeCren
Convention Consultant Punky Fristrom
Printer Rick Benson

CATE 2006: Resolution 1 – Keep Novels at the Heart of the English/ Language Arts

Background

As districts adopt standards-based textbooks, the emphasis of these lessons results in reduction of time for novels and longer works, which are often sacrificed to complete the textbook curriculum. Furthermore, textbooks are not meant to be core texts, but supplemental. In addition, the volume of prescribed textbook material hinders teachers from using their individual expertise and professional judgment.

The standards include the use of novels. In fact, the teaching of novels supports and delivers the standards. Novels are the place where students explore complex characters and situations that unfold through the study of longer works, rather than the quick glimpses that short stories provide. The study of novels provokes students to confront critical decisions in their own lives. Also, students often become life-long readers through their novel studies.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to support professional judgment of teachers in meeting the state standards through the use of multiple full-length novels and plays in all English/language arts classrooms.

To

State Board of Education
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Secretary of Education
Chair of Legislative Education Committee

CATE 2006: Resolution 2 – Keep Flexibility in Intervention English/ Language Arts Classes

Background

In an attempt to respond to the provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the state mandated exit exams, schools have initiated intervention English/ language Arts classes for students falling below the 40th percentile on standardized tests. These classes are designed to assist students who may read far below grade level, may have attendance or behavior issues, or lack proficiency in English language.

Scripted curriculum, such as Open Court, and Language!, is approved and supported by the state, and is implemented in the majority of interventions classes.

Scripted “one-size-fits-all” programs can be ineffective as can any program that does not recognize the individuality of students. Students are, therefore, unable to move at their own pace and often become frustrated and stop attending class. This is a disservice to students, teachers, and communities.

Teachers are often prohibited from interacting off script to meet student needs. Teachers often have difficulty in addressing multiple needs with limited or inappropriate materials.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to support teachers in using their professional expertise in addressing the needs of individual students who need intervention in order to meet the standards. Funding for addressing the needs of the individual must be provided.

To

Chairs of Legislative Education Committees
State Superintendent of Public Education
State Secretary of Education
State Board of Education

CATE 2006: Resolution 3 – Electives Support the English/Language Arts Curriculum

Background

As education budgets are cut and additional classes are mandated to accommodate standardized testing schedules, school electives are being stripped away. Journalism, yearbook, speech, drama, creative writing, art and music classes as well as many computer classes are being identified as non-essential. In their place, intervention classes are being presented outside of the best learning context, draining fundamental instruction of all possible joy and innovation. Joy in learning should be a critical component of education. English/ language arts instruction is best served through a rich and varied school curriculum. Knowledge is not a set of individual terms and skills, but is about connections, relationships, and patterns that may be completely improbable. Students and teachers alike learn by going through the process, exploring what works for them, and building knowledge from their experiences.

  • Students express themselves in a variety of ways through the arts and other elective classes that augment and allow them to practice skills introduced in English/language arts classes.
  • Many electives such as journalism, speech, drama, and creative writing produce end products, which appeal to students. Electives develop job skills and lead to other proficiencies that engage students. Each of these areas can be connected to and enhanced in English/language arts classes.
  • Electives allow students to interact with a larger community through performance or publication, which enhances confidence and enthusiasm for school. Arts have long been a motivator to keep students in school by allowing them to use their imagination and push the boundaries of their thought processes.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to endorse electives as an extension and support of the English/language arts curriculum, integral to the education, personal growth, and employability of students, and as a place where remediation of skills can occur.

To

The State Board of Education
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

CATE 2006: Resolution 4 – Teacher Credentials

Background

Proof of job qualifications (credential/certificate) are required for teachers of English/language arts applying for or retaining a teaching job in California. California requires both subject matter and CLAD certification for anyone teaching English/language arts.

  • Some districts are threatening loss of seniority and/or positions for teachers unable to prove qualifications
  • Currently, many teachers have experienced more than a six-month wait from the time teachers send in applications to renew or obtain new credentials until the time they are processed. (This includes CLAD certification.)
  • Exacerbating this problem is the fact that the budget for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has been dramatically reduced over the past several years, contributing to the backlog of the processing of teacher credentials
  • Frequently, no one is available by phone or e-mail at the Commission for Teacher Credentialing. The website still has some problems and often says only “pending” to signify an application was received.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Legislature to adequately fund CCTC so that they can process teacher credentials in a more timely manner and provide a quicker response to teacher.

To

Legislative Budget Committee
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

CATE 2006: Resolution 5 – ELA Organization Policy Input

Background

Currently public input for legislation on education issues occurs only after recommendations have been drafted and largely decided by a series of committees and commissions. Four major organizations critical to English/language arts teachers in California are not consulted for input into these drafts.

  • The California Writing Project and the California Reading & Literature Project are programs providing highly successful professional development opportunities for thousands of K-14 teachers.
  • California Association of Teachers of English and the California Reading Association provide resources and support to thousands of English and language arts professionals

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education and the California legislature to consult with these projects and professional organizations before establishing state policy, publishing curriculum frameworks, or passing laws that affect the teaching of English/language arts in California. Furthermore, be it resolved that CATE urge the State Board of Education and the legislature to seek input from these stakeholders during the drafting process.

To

California State Board of Education
California Legislature
California Reading Association
California Writing Project
California Reading and Literature Project

Resolutions 2007

CATE 2007: Resolution 1 – Increase Library Funding to make Possible Compliance with the Williams Settlement

Background

The California Association for Teachers of English (CATE) support the intention of the Williams Settlement: all students must have equal access to the textbooks and curricular materials. In the past, library and media teachers have strategically refused to issue new texts to certain students in order to retrieve missing textbooks and to collect replacement money for those that are lost. With the Williams Settlement, libraries no longer have the power to use this method to replace a percent of precious library funds. As a result of the lawsuit, school libraries can no longer refuse to issue texts; thus they are unable to rigorously enforce the return of all textbooks. The state provided extra funds to offset the cost of implementing the Williams Settlement the first year. After the first year, however, no more state funds were allocated to sites to implement the Williams Settlement. Without a powerful incentive for students to return texts, and without additional funding from the state, public school libraries are falling into a significant deficit replacing missing and lost texts.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the legislature, with the support of the California State Department of Education, to increase funding to public school libraries and media centers for textbook and curricular materials and library personnel in order to ensure students equal access to textbooks and so that the schools can effectively enforce and comply with the Williams Settlement.

To

State Budget Committee
Chairs of Legislative Education Committees
State Superintendent of Public Education
State Secretary of Education
State Board of Education

CATE Resolution 2: Support for CSMP Funding

Background

Two California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP) are particularly important to CATE members. The California Writing Project (CWP), the original model for the National Writing Project (NWP), is the most successful and cost-effective staff development program for writing teachers in the state. Founded in 1979 by the late Jim Gray, CWP advocates the principle that the best teacher of teachers is another teacher. Teacher leaders working through CWP have extensive training in writing pedagogy and years of practical classroom expertise. If one wished to identify experts in the teaching of writing in California, the natural place to look first would be to one of the nineteen CWP sites.

Additionally, the California Reading and Literature Project (CRLP) supports professional development opportunities for teachers of reading and literature, including expository texts, in K-12 and university classrooms. Through its many institutes and school site programs, CRLP brings state-of-the-art classroom practice and sound theory to thousands of English teachers in California each year. If one wished to identify experts in the teaching of literature in California, the natural place to look first would be to one of the CRLP sites.

English teachers in California, who are recognized by their peers and by their administrators as superior practitioners, are frequently affiliated with one or both of these professional organizations. Together they represent an extraordinary pool of knowledge and insight about the teaching of all the language arts.

Resolution

Be it therefore resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the legislature to continue funding the California Writing Project and the California Reading and Literature Project, commend and support those responsible for seeking additional funding, and express its continued support for the activities of these two excellent professional development projects.

To
State Budget Committee
Chairs of Legislative Education Committees

CATE 2007: Resolution 3 – Scheduled Reauthorization in 2007 of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act

Background

The 2002 NCLB Act has required significant changes in the way states fund programs, review grants, certify teachers, instruct students, assess progress, and report results. Intended to help schools close the achievement gap in English Language Arts between disadvantaged children and their peers, NCLB has, in fact, created under-funded programs; administered Reading First via an unreliable grant review process that has excluded many researchers; provided for questionable alternative teacher certification; superimposed an Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) formula on top of many states’ own productivity formulas; and provided fewer, instead of more, choices for parents concerned about their children’s progress. Public and professional concern is growing over the increasing negative effect that the NCLB Act is having upon teaching and learning.

Whereas, under the current administration of the No Child Left Behind Act, children are still being left behind due, in part, to early, questionable, and frequent testing; the inclusion of English Learners with little or no English proficiency; negative school sanctions, and

Whereas, there is considerable doubt on the part of the public and of professional literacy educators about the efficacy of the NCLB Act as a transformative school reform measure

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge:

  • Congress to consult carefully with teachers and local school officials to fashion revisions to the Act as it comes up for renewal, and
  • the U.S. Department of Education to adopt a peer grant review system for Reading First made up of independent panels of scholars representing multiple perspectives to make recommendations on the basis of observable evidence, and
  • the U.S. Department of Education to include “Growth Models” to track learning improvements for students over the course of the year and implement multiple measures to support these models, and
  • the U.S. Department of Education to implement performance-based multiple measures to support the “Growth Models,” and, finally,
  • Congress to eliminate the NCLB Act as it exists, or, if renewed, to fully fund it.

To
U.S. Senate Education Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Department of Education

CATE 2007: Resolution 4 – Recruitment that Supports Diversity

Background

As we look around our classrooms, we see students of different ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Our curriculum has grown to include authors and subject matter that represents a variety of cultures to connect to students with various backgrounds. Additionally, students need to see a mirror of themselves in the teaching profession in order to consider it as a viable career opportunity. And yet, as we look at the teaching population, we are not seeing this broad spectrum represented, nor are we seeing both genders fairly represented. We see the rich differences in our students, in the novels, and in the textbooks, but sparingly in our teachers.

Loan forgiveness programs such as APLE have been successful in recruiting teachers; however, they fail to target groups that have been traditionally underrepresented.

We want students of today to become role models for future generations.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge all recruitment centers, state programs, foundations, and those in the teaching profession to reach out and encourage men and women of different ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds and communities to become English/ Language Arts teachers. Additional programs need to be created and implemented beginning at the middle school level to encourage students to consider teaching as a career. Additionally, we need to retain teachers with these broad backgrounds.

To

State Board of Education
State Superintendent Public Instruction
State Secretary of Education
Chair of Legislation Education Committees
National Education Association
Future Teachers of America
Future Educators of America

Resolution 5– Exit Exam Requirements for English Language Learners

Background

Students who have been in the United States for one year must pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) to obtain a high school diploma.

Research shows that acquiring academic levels in a second language requires 7-9 years of study. A minimum of at least 3 to 5 years is necessary for students to navigate the CAHSEE exam, since many students come to the United States with limited or no previous exposure to English.

Many students have a conversational level of English that allows them to access basic curriculum but is insufficient for multi-layered questions involving inference from text or deconstruction of writing prompts with sequenced instructions.

Often English Language Learners demonstrate proficiency on the math portion of the CAHSEE but fail to pass the English portion. In the past these same students were very successful in college.

Students sometimes spend an extra year in high school remedial English classes for the sole purpose of passing CAHSEE. Often these motivated students are unduly frustrated by their inability to pass CAHSEE and see it as a roadblock to reaching college.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the State Board of Education to allow English Learners who have had less than three years of study in the United States an exemption from being required to pass the English portion of the CAHSEE if they successfully complete all their units to graduate.

To

California State Board of Education
California State Department of Education
TESOL
CABE
CATESOL

Resolution #6—Balanced Curriculum

Background

Curriculum has narrowed to boost math and reading scores at the expense of technology education, physical education, science, social studies, literature, foreign languages, and the arts. Individual progress and success take a backseat to the school’s overall AYP score, where the focus is placed on basic reading, writing, and math.

Scripted curriculum and relentless pacing guides limit the interaction of students and teachers, fostering superficial skills at the expense of “teaching moments” and in-depth thinking.

Students need to be exposed to a number of different disciplines—including, technology education, physical education, science, social studies, literature, foreign languages, and the arts—because all disciplines support critical thinking and reinforce one another.

Historically, sports and the arts have been inducements for school attendance by students who may not have experienced academic success. If students are not in school, they do not come to our English classrooms to engage in reading and writing. Students should have as many access points as possible to school.

Supporting a rich variety of subject offerings is an equity issue that directly affects all facets of education, graduation rates, and life possibilities.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) request the State Department of Education to encourage school districts to ensure a curriculum balanced with a variety of subject offerings for all students.

To

California Board of Education
California Department of Education

Resolution #7—Multiple Assessments to Determine Individual Progress

Background

In California, 44% of all schools failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2005.

If the percentage of “proficient” students is required to go up each year, with 100% proficiency expected by 2014, California is headed for a crisis. In large part, the single assessment to gauge student proficiency is contributing to the perception that students are not performing as well.

Typically, students meet proficiency levels set by the standards when they are graded on writing that stems from multiple drafts, writing that demonstrates effective progression in portfolios, and writing that shows their ability to think and perform across disciplines.

Therefore, because students come with diverse abilities and respond differently to tests, students should be assessed with multiple measures in order to evaluate their progress and proficiency.

Resolution

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Department of Education to support multiple measures (e.g., portfolios, essays, interdisciplinary projects, etc.) to count toward student progress and achievement, along with STAR test scores, when evaluating student proficiency for AYP and API.

To

California Board of Education
California Department of Education

Resolutions 2008

CATE 2008: Board Resolution 1 – Commendation of the Convention Committee

CATE 2008, “Reading the Water, Writing the Wind,” celebrates the unpredictable nature of the learning that occurs in our classrooms and the sometimes gradual, sometimes monumental waves of progress our students achieve. We are reminded that our efforts mark each student’s life; our hope for what they can be becomes the very air they breathe.

This convention happens only because of the volunteer efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Resolution

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers:

Convention Chair: Nancy Himel

Convention Coordinator: Teisha Hase

Program Chair: Cheryl Hogue-Smith

Hospitality: Joanne Mitchell

Meals/Decor Chair: Marilyn Wells

Registration: Lisa Hernandez

Concierge: Joyce Bennett

Lesson Plan Exchange: Barbara Abramovitz

AV Chair: Bob Chapman

CATE Membership Booth: Joan Williams

Pre-Convention: Jayne Marlink

Autograph Chair: Kathy Allen

Volunteer Coordinator: Courtney Lockwood

Tech Chair/College Credit: Richard Hockensmith

New Teacher Reception: Akiko Morimoto

President’s Reception: Michelle Berry

Awards: Michelle Berry

Exhibitors’ Reception: Teisha Hase

CYRM: Audrey Fleming

CATE Treasurer: Anne Fristrom

Exhibits: Jeff Wilson

Registrar: Eddie Hase

Flyer/Program Publication: Carole LeCren

Convention Consultant: Punky Fristrom

Printer: Rick & Carol Benson

CATE 2008: Resolution 2-Teacher Professional Development

Background

Teaching is a vital and evolving profession, with new research and pedagogy emerging daily. Many teachers work in isolated situations without the opportunity for collegiality. New teachers are mandated in Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment training to pursue professional development.

While many subject area organizations offer conferences for teachers, numerous school districts will not pay for professional development unless it is required for credential renewal.

The failure to provide active accountability in the credentialing process is viewed by many districts as a tacit admission that professional development is no longer part of the California credential requirement and renewal.

Resolution

Therefore, let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urges that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing continue to include ongoing professional development as a requirement for part of the credential renewal process in order to emphasize the value of professional development for teachers.

TO:

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

Gene Mullin, California State Assembly Education Committee

Jack Scott, California State Senate Education Committee

CATE 2008:  Resolution 3 – CAHSEE Test Questions and Essay Prompts

Background

Upon review of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) released questions and essay prompts, it has been found that this high stakes test includes questions and prompts that are unclear, confusing, culturally and socio-economically biased, and inaccessible to many students. In addition, writing prompts often overwhelm students with overly wordy instructions that contain unfamiliar vocabulary, which distracts students from the task they are expected to accomplish.

In an age where our national government demands that “no child be left behind,” students face an unfair situation when having to answer questions or write essays about topics for which they have little or no cultural framework.

Experienced language arts teachers, who are familiar with the California state standards, and have worked with a variety of student skill levels possess vital knowledge and expertise that should be considered a fundamental resource when reviewing current and creating future CAHSEE questions and writing prompts.

Resolution

Therefore be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urges the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education to enlist the assistance of experienced English Language Arts teachers, are familiar with California state standards, and have worked with a variety of student skill levels to review current and future CAHSEE questions and writing prompts to assure that they include clearly defined wording and instructions, are free of cultural, socio-economic and gender bias, are grade-level relevant, and are accessible to all students.

TO:

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

Gene Mullin, California State Assembly Education Committee

Jack Scott, California State Senate Education Committee

CATE 2008:  Resolution 4 – CST Test Questions (all grades) and Essay Prompts (4th and 7th grades)

Background

Upon review of the California Standards Test (CST) released questions and essay prompts, it has been found that this high stakes test includes questions and prompts that are unclear, confusing, culturally and socio-economically biased, and inaccessible to many students. In addition, writing prompts often overwhelm students with overly wordy instructions that contain unfamiliar vocabulary which distracts students from the task they are expected to accomplish.

In an age where our national government demands that “no child be left behind,” students face an unfair situation when having to answer questions or write essays about topics for which they have little or no cultural framework.

Experienced English Language Arts teachers, who are familiar with the California state standards, and have worked with a variety of student skill levels, possess vital knowledge and expertise that should be considered a fundamental resource when reviewing current and creating future CST questions and writing prompts.

Resolution

Therefore be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urges the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education to enlist the assistance of experienced teachers who have a background in English, are familiar with California state standards, and have worked with a variety of student skill levels to review current and future CST questions and writing prompts to assure that they include clearly defined wording and instructions, are free of cultural, socio-economic and gender bias, are grade-level relevant, and are accessible to all students.

TO:

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

Gene Mullin, California State Assembly Education Committee

Jack Scott, California State Senate Education Committee

CATE2008-Resolution 5- Grading of Writing on State-wide Standardized Tests

Background

The California Department of Education requires a number of standardized writing assessments throughout the school career of California students and California students represent one of the most diverse and mobile student populations in the country.

Currently readers with a non-English B.A. can score student writing on-line from home with on-line training.

Resolution

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English requests that the California Department of Education and State Board of Education have student writing graded in-state by experienced English Language Arts teachers, some of whom are currently in the classroom.

And let it be further resolved that two or more readings be given to the papers to ensure reliable scores are maintained.

TO:

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

Gene Mullin, California State Assembly Education Committee

Jack Scott, California State Senate Education Committee

CATE 2008: Resolution 6-21st Century Literacies

Background

Today’s students are experiencing the shift from a page-based to a screen-based society, resulting in the need for advanced technological skills to navigate that society.

Both oral and written communication, as well as reading skills and working collaboratively are viewed as essential job skills.

Approximately 50% of four-year colleges and 30% of community colleges now use electronic course management tools.

Students attending the richest schools in California have a student to computer-ratio of 4.74, as compared to a ratio of 6.13 for the poorest schools.

Schools with the highest poverty level have 80% of classrooms connected to the Internet as opposed to 93% in well resourced schools.

Teens with access to home computers are 6 to 8 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school creating more of a digital divide for students who do not have access to computers at school.

Resolution

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English     asks that the California Department of Education assist with eliminating the digital divide in California schools to guarantee that all California students have access to computers with broadband connections in multiple school locations.

TO:

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

CATE 2008: Resolution 7-Support for Journalism Teachers

Background

Freedom of expression and of the press are fundamental to a democratic society and are granted by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

These freedoms are meant to ensure a lively and broad-based discussion of issues that lead to informed and educated citizens and so these freedoms need to be taught, practiced and cherished in public schools. In reflection of this fundamental belief of the significance of these freedoms, the California Legislature has established some of the strongest protections for student press in this country, but currently, these rights are under attack by those who would circumvent the students’ right to an uninhibited press.

The First Amendment rights of students are protected by California Education Code (section 48907 and section 48950), but advisers have no comparable protection.

At least six California journalism advisers have been threatened, disciplined, reassigned or fired because of the protected speech of their students in student publications during the 2006-07 school year, joining a significant number of other California teachers  who have suffered similar mistreatment in recent years for adhering to the California Education Code and the First Amendment.

Resolution

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) supports protection for student media advisers from intimidation, harassment, termination, involuntary transfer, reassignment, removal or other discipline for refusing to suppress the legally protected expression of student journalists.

Let it be further resolved that CATE recommends that the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education compel school districts to develop freedom of expression policies within the framework of the First Amendment and the California Education Code. Such policies should include reasonable guidelines concerning adviser support of student expression, and which specifically restrain public schools from disciplinary action against advisers for supporting protected student expression.

Be it further resolved that CATE supports SB 1370 (Yee) which is the Journalism Teacher Protection Act.

TO:

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

National Education Association (1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-3290)

American Society of Newspaper Editors (11690B Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1409)

National Council of Teachers of English

California Teachers Association

Journalism Education Association (Kansas State University, 103 Kedzie Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-1505)

Associated Press (1215 K St., Suite 960, Sacramento, 95814)

Capitol Morning Report (925 l St., Ste 290, Sacramento 95814)

Capitol News Service (530 Bercut Dr., Ste E, Sacramento 95814)

San Jose Mercury News (1215 K St., Ste 930, Sacramento 95814)

San Francisco Chronicle (Senator Hotel office Bldg, Sacramento 95814)

Sacramento Bee (925 L St. Suite 600, Sacramento 95814)

Orange County Register (925 L St., Suite 315, Sacramento, 95814)

San Diego Union-Tribune (925 L St., Suite 1190, Sacramento 95814)

Education Beat (980 9th St, Suite 175, Sacramento 95814)

Fresno Bee (925 L St., Suite 600, Sacramento 95814)

Resolutions 2009

CATE 2009: Board Resolution 1 —
Commendation of the Convention Committee

Voices from the Epicenter of Change is about the impact of teachers. Educators shake up the lives of students so they can go out and shake up the world. As CATE recognizes fifty years of teachers speaking out to strengthen English Language Arts education, we honor those who continue to reshape the landscape of education.

This convention happens only because of the volunteer efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Convention Chairs Charleen Delfino and Elizabeth McAninch

Convention Coordinator Punky Fristrom

Program Chair, Cheryl Hogue Smith

Hospitality Bev Kreps

Meals/Decor Chair Susan Dillon, Megan Petersen

Registration Charles Schaefer

Concierge John Thomas

Lesson Plan Exchange Lorrraine Tracey

AV Chair William Foreman

CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams

Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink

Autograph Chair Brucine Doherty

Volunteer Coordinator Jan Goodspeed

College Credit Jonathan Lovell

Technology Kathy Nichols

Graphic Novels Kathleen Cecil

New Teacher Reception Trevor Guina

President’s Reception Robert Chapman

Signage Michelle Berry

CYRM JoAnne Mitchell

CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom

Exhibits Jeff Wilson and Tammie Harvey

Registrar Eddie Hase

Flyer/Program Publication Carole LeCren

Printer Rick & Carol Benson

Awards Robert Chapman

Certificate Creation Tamra McCarthy

Printer Rick & Carol Benson

CATE 2009: Resolution 2 — Eligibility for CAHSEE

BACKGROUND

Whereas California offers multiple administrations of the CAHSEE each year, with sophomores having one opportunity and juniors and seniors having several opportunities based on eligibility by grade level and Whereas California Ed Code is silent on a definition of grade level, leaving districts and school boards to make that determination, using either age or units, creating inequity across the state in access to the test and

Whereas students with life challenges and responsibilities that make it difficult for them to complete units at the traditional pace are being denied opportunities to take CAHSEE because they fail to have the necessary units to be eligible by grade level and

Whereas teachers have reported that students whose overall attendance may be poor, but who are physically present on test day, are often motivated by a passing CAHSEE grade to graduate.

RESOLUTION

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) recommends the State Board of Education adopt a regulation allowing districts flexibility so that any student who takes CAHSEE as a 10th grader is automatically eligible to take any subsequent administrations of the test.

And let it be further resolved that districts have no fiscal penalties for administration of tests to those students.

TO:

State Superintendent of Instruction, Jack O’Connell, California Department of Education,1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ted Mitchell, Chairperson State Board of Education, 1430 N Street, Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814

Assembly Education Committee Chair, Julia Brownley, State Capitol, Room 2163, Sacramento, CA 94249

Senator Romero, Chairperson Senate Education Committee, State Capitol, Room 2090, Sacramento, CA 94248

CATE 2009: Resolution 3 — Drop-out categories

BACKGROUND

Whereas the State of California has begun to refine what constitutes being a “dropout” in order to distinguish transfer students from actual dropouts and

Whereas the State of California defines dropouts in one instance as, “Completed four years of high school, has not graduated (including those who have not passed the CAHSEE, if required)” and

Whereas, the U.S. Department of Education already includes students who take more than four years to graduate in a separate category for graduation rates and

Whereas parents, students and teachers are disheartened by the failure to acknowledge the real work being done by some students in the face of incredible personal challenges and

Whereas schools need a clear indication of actual student achievement and the term “dropout” is inaccurate

RESOLUTION

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urges the California Department of Education to eliminate the term “dropout” for those students who have completed coursework but not passed the CAHSEE,

And let it be further resolved that CATE urges the California Department of Education to establish a new category called “pending graduate” to describe those students.

TO:

State Superintendent of Instruction, Jack O’Connell, California Department of Education,1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ted Mitchell, Chairperson State Board of Education, 1430 N Street, Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814

Assembly Education Committee Chair, Julia Brownley, State Capitol, Room 2163, Sacramento, CA 94249

Senator Romero, Chairperson Senate Education Committee, State Capitol, Room 2090, Sacramento, CA 94248

CATE 2009: Resolution 4 — One Book, One City

BACKGROUND

Whereas many cities in California have sponsored a One Book, One City celebration for the last several years, and

Whereas schools find such programs promote literacy through author visits, book group discussions and other events encouraging a common cultural experience through literature and

Whereas the end of the year celebration which involves schools, libraries and the reading public creates an increased sense of community

RESOLUTION

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commends the efforts of libraries and other organizations throughout the state to organize celebrations such as One Book, One City, and encourages local councils to work with schools and libraries to promote and sponsor these events.

TO:

KPBS- 5200 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182

San Diego Public Library, 820 E St., San Diego, CA 92101-6416

San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

San Francisco, CA 94102-4733

Kern County Public Library, 701 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, 93301

County Library Foundation?7400 E. Imperial Hwy?Downey, CA 90242

Alameda County Library-2450 Stevenson Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538

Fresno County Public Library: 2420 Mariposa Street, Fresno, CA 93721

Resolutions 2013

Resolution in support of the restoration of the Single Subject Theater Credential

Whereas arts education is an essential part of the regular curriculum in all California schools; and

Whereas Theater and Dance remain the only two core subject areas (as designated by the ESEA) in the state of California that have standards without dedicated credential programs to support their implementation; and

Whereas Theater teachers should have the same subject specific training as other subject areas teachers so that the tens of thousands of students currently studying Theater in California schools can have the same highly qualified teachers as students in Music, Visual Arts, English, Mathematics, Science and History/Social Studies; and

Whereas Superintendent Torlakson’s arts education task force has recommended the restoration of a Theater credential; and

Whereas the most recent Teacher Advisory Panel to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has also recommended the restoration of a Theater credential;

Be it therefore resolved that CATE (California Association of Teachers of English) urge the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to accept these recommendations and reinstate the Single Subject Theater Credential.

To:

Gai Jones, past president of CETA, Gai.jones@sbcglobal.net
Linda Darling-Hammond, Chair, Commission on Teacher Credentialing

CATE 2013: Board Resolution
Commendation of the Convention Committee

This convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who donate their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers and members of the convention committee:

Convention Co-ChairsMegan Petersen and Maggie Potter
Central Catholic High School, Modesto
Convention Coordinators Michelle Berry, Retired, Windsor High School
Senior Convention Coordinator Punky Fristrom, Retired, San Diego Unified School District
Program ChairCarole LeCren
La Jolla High School, San Diego
Autograph Chair Kathy Nichols
Pleasanton Middle School, Pleasanton
Registration ChairRichard Hockensmith, Summit High School, Fontana
Hospitality ChairTrevor Guina
Central Catholic High School, Modesto
Volunteer CoordinatorsAngus Dunstan, CSU Sacramento, Sacramento
Bill Foreman, CSU, Stanislaus, Turlock
College Credit Chair Jonathan Lovell, San Jose State
Local Committee ChairsSusan Dillon, Central Catholic High School, Modesto
Technology/AV Chair Robert Chapman, Eureka High School, Eureka
Meals/Décor ChairCharleen Delfino, Retired, San Jose State University
CATE Membership BoothJoan Williams, Retired, Arcata High School, Eureka
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink, California Writing Project, Berkeley
Photographer Ron Lauderbach, Retired, San Ysidro High School, San Diego
WebmasterCindy Conlin
LiasonMichelle Berry, Windsor High School
SignsDavid Ryan, CSU, Bakersfield

Resolutions 2014

Resolution Commending Governor Brown
February, 2014

Whereas continuing concerns about state budgets have placed pressure on all elements of California government, and

Whereas the federal government has attempted to place sometimes unreasonable and expensive mandates on the states regarding standardized testing, and

Whereas Governor Jerry Brown has helped direct recent increased revenues toward public schools and prioritized funding for K-12 schools, and

Whereas Governor Brown has courageously resisted excessive testing for California public school students, in the face of threatened funding cuts from Washington,

Therefore

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) commend Governor Brown for his support of public education, which demonstrates his commitment to California’s future.

CATE 2014: Board Resolution
Commendation of the Convention Committee

This convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who donate their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers and members of the convention committee:

Convention ChairCarole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
Convention CoordinatorMichelle Berry, Retired, Windsor High School, Windsor
Senior Convention CoordinatorPunky Fristrom, Retired, San Diego Unified School District
Program ChairWilliam Foreman, CSU Stanislaus, Turlock
Registration Area Richard Hockensmith, Summit High School, Fontana
Hospitality Chair Jo Anne Mitchell, John Marshall High School, Los Angeles
College Credit Chair Kim Flachmann, CSU Bakersfield, Bakersfield
Autograph Chair Felicia Heck, Vista del Lago High School, Moreno Valley
New Teachers BoothAkiko Morimoto, Retired, Washington Middle School, Vista
President’s Reception Elizabeth McAninch, Mercy High School, San Francisco
Technology/AV Co-Chairs Robert Chapman, Eureka High School, Eureka
Brian Jeffrey, Montclair High School, Montclair
Volunteer CoordinatorAngus Dunstan, California State University, Sacramento
Convention Photographer Ron Lauderbach, Retired, San Ysidro High School, San Diego
Major Speakers Chair Nancy Himel, Paramount High School, Paramount
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams, Retired, Arcata High School, Arcata
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink, California Writing Project, Berkeley
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom, Retired, San Diego
Exhibits/Advertising ManagerNancy Himel, Paramount High School, Paramount
RegistrarCindy Conlin, Stratham, New Hampshire
Flyer/Program PublicationCarole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
PrinterRick and Carol Benson, Golden Ink Litho, San Diego

Resolutions 2010

CATE 2010: Board Resolution –
Commendation of the Convention Committee

Taking The Road Less Traveled is what teachers encourage students to do. Teachers encourage the road of exploration, the road that leads to discovery and self-knowledge. Teachers need a toolbox of approaches to help students find their way and keep up their courage. It is in conferences such as this that teachers find those approaches and have time to meet with colleagues who will energize them for the task ahead. This is crucial in a time of high stakes testing and scarcity of resources.

This convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who sacrifice their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

RESOLUTION

Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English thanks and commends the following outstanding volunteers:

Convention ChairNancy Himel
Convention CoordinatorPunky Fristrom
Program Chair Cheryl Hogue Smith
Meals /Decor CoChairs Marilyn Wells
RegistrationLisa Hernandez, Charleen Delfino
Technology AV Chairs Brian Jeffrey, Richard Hockensmith
ReceptionPhyllis Shub, Joanne Fahey
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams
Pre-ConventionJayne Marlink
Autograph ChairKathy Allen
Volunteer Chair Courtney Lockwood
President’s ReceptionRobert Chapman
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom
ExhibitsTammie Harvey
RegistrarEddie Hase
Flyer/Program PublicationCarole LeCren
PrinterRick Benson, Carol Benson
PhotographerKen Allen

CATE 2010: Resolution 1 – Eligibility for University of California and California State University systems

Whereas California students must meet increased expectations each year in order to be accepted to University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses, and

Whereas English Language Arts teachers spend their work days preparing students to meet those expectations, and

Whereas qualified students should be able to attend a California taxpayer funded state college/university by virtue of their residency in California, and

Whereas it has been demonstrated that college education provides students a more financially secure future and supports the state’s economy, and

Whereas California students will be motivated to access excellent post-secondary education and should not be discouraged from doing so, and

Whereas the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) tuition and fees increased more than 30% percent this year, and

Whereas the UC and CSU systems have stated they will be accepting MORE out-of-state student applications and fewer incoming California students,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge UC and CSU to limit non-resident college admissions to the average percentage used in the past 5 years, and

Let it be further resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge UC and CSU to examine any barrier to matriculation by qualified California residents.

CATE 2010: Resolution 2 – Access to Literacy Instruction

Whereas literacy is a basic requirement to function and succeed in a democratic society, and

Whereas reading and writing skills determine the economic contribution and participation of citizens in a civil society, and

Whereas literacy supports growth in all core content areas, and

Whereas a substantial number of low-performing high school students, (e.g., second language learners, special needs students, incarcerated youth and students of low socio-economic status) often read at or below a 4th grade level, and

Whereas many school districts are eliminating any courses that support literacy if they are not required for graduation,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the governor, the legislature, and the California Department of Education to ensure that school district budget-cutting measures not target support classes for literacy.

CATE 2010: Resolution 3 – Dropout Prevention

Whereas current budget cuts have placed California last among the states in per pupil spending, with some states spending three times what California spends, and

Whereas the current California drop-out rate is 35% for African- American students and 26% for Latinos, contributing substantially to the nation’s 1.2 million students who vanish from public schools each year, and

Whereas many districts are adopting the University of California A-G requirements as the minimum standard for high school graduation, and

Whereas elimination of electives, vocational and technical training is cited as contributing to low attendance and dropout rates, and

Whereas years of resource reduction in education have resulted in larger class sizes, fewer materials, and decreased professional development for teachers, and

Whereas support classes for struggling students and summer, adult and night school have been eliminated in recent cost cutting in many districts, and

Whereas many of the above educational programs involve learning the essential skill of English language arts, and

Whereas providing an essential level of support for education is the foundation for any free society and in no way expendable in difficult economic times, especially in one of the top ten economies in the world,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge that legislators provide essential funding, ensuring that California achieves at least the national average in per pupil spending, allowing all California residents to master English language arts.

CATE 2010: Resolution 4 – Support for Writing

Whereas writing is seen by many teachers in core disciplines as the ultimate gauge of understanding concepts, and

Whereas larger class sizes and increased responsibilities give teachers less time for grading and one-on-one student response, and

Whereas according to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), class size has a major impact on student achievement, behavior, and attention, and

Whereas without individually tailored instruction it is difficult for teachers to move students of various skill levels forward, and

Whereas without feedback on their writing student efforts to synthesize and make sense of what they have learned is slowed or impaired, and

Whereas when teachers lack the time to grade writing, they use less rigorous and complex measures of what a student can do, and less rigor means less education and lower level skills,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) demand that the California Department of Education direct school districts to restore class size reductions for K-12 English language arts courses,

And let it be further resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Department of Education to encourage school districts to provide teachers additional time to evaluate writing.

Resolutions 2011

CATE 2011: Board Resolution – Commendation of the Convention Committee

Never More Crucial is a vital theme for a convention held in the state’s capital during a year when budgetary and educational issues are foremost in every teacher’s mind. In this year when every teacher in the state is concerned about how to keep going from day to day, attendance at an English Language Arts convention is not only vital, but crucial, and for many participants it is also a sacrifice—all for the good of students in the state of California.

This convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who donate their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers and members of the convention committee:

Convention ChairMichelle Berry, Windsor High School, Windsor
Convention CoordinatorPunky Fristrom, Retired, San Diego Unified School District
Program Chair Cheryl Hogue Smith, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York
Meals /Decor CoChairs Lynda Campfield, San Leandro High School, San Leandro
Elisa Griffin, Franklin High School, Stockton
Registration Chair Sarah Tutt, River City High School, West Sacramento
Hospitality Chair Ariana Rubalcalva, Student Teacher, Rio Americano High School, Sacramento
Volunteer Co-Chairs Angus Dunstan, CSU Sacramento, Sacramento
Shelly Medford, Oroville High School, Oroville
College Credit Chair Angus Dunstan, CSU Sacramento, Sacramento
Autograph Chair Verna Dreisbach, Dreisbach Literary Management, El Dorado Hills
President’s ReceptionCharleen Silva Delfino, Retired, San José State University
Technology/AV ChairBill Foreman, CSU Stanislaus, Turlock
ConciergeMichael Johnson, C. K. McClatchy High School, Sacramento
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams, Retired, Arcata High School, Eureka
Pre-ConventionJayne Marlink, California Writing Project, Berkeley
PhotographerKen Allen, Palos Verdes
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom, Retired, San Diego
Exhibits Manager Tammie Harvey, Chico
Advertising ManagerJeff Wilson, Novato
RegistrarEddie Hase, Prospect High School, Oroville
Flyer/Program PublicationCarole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
PrinterRick and Carol Benson, Golden Ink Litho, San Diego

CATE 2011: Resolution 1 – Mental Health and Learning Disability Support

Whereas students with identified and yet-to-be identified (or noticed) mental health and/or learning challenges often make known their issues in English and Language Arts classes, through the nature of the teacher/student interaction during reading and writing assignments, and

Whereas recent news stories about the mental and emotional issues of students, and the attempted assassination of a Congressional representative, provide evidence of the need for addressing mental health challenges, and

Whereas according to anecdotal and statistical evidence from across the state, students with learning challenges achieve more in years when their services are fully funded, and

Whereas students with mental health and/or learning challenges need both evaluation and consistent ongoing support services from mental health professionals and learning specialists in order to be successful in school and life,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge that the Governor, the State Legislature, and the California Department of Education (CDE) fund services for students with mental health and/or learning challenges and that the funding will be consistent and equitable throughout the state.

Distribution to:
The Governor
The California State Legislature
The California Department of Education
The University of California Chancellor
The California State University Board of Trustees

CATE 2011: Resolution 2 – Keeping Literature in the Curriculum

Whereas the mission of English and Language Arts faculty at all levels is to develop proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking, and

Whereas a related mission of English and Language Arts faculty at all levels is to prepare students to be global citizens who can engage with world issues, and

Whereas improvement in literacy skills and engagement with world issues can be fostered through both nonfiction and fiction, and

Whereas in recent years the teaching of nonfiction in English and Language Arts classrooms has increased in order to improve the outcomes on standardized tests which feature a high percentage of nonfiction texts, and

Whereas the pressure to teach more nonfiction in English and Language Arts classrooms is also driven by an apparent decline of writing and reading skills of incoming college freshmen, and

Whereas the interpretation of these perceived needs has led to the mandated teaching of nonfiction in English and Language Arts courses at the expense of or even the exclusion of literature, and

Whereas engagement with a broad range of cultures and world issues is often inspired by a poem or novel before a student explores the issue further by reading nonfiction on the topic,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Department of Education (CDE), the State Board of Education, Academic Senate of California Community Colleges (ASCCC), and school districts statewide always to include the teaching of works of fiction, poetry, and drama in addition to works of nonfiction in English and Language Arts course offerings.

Distribution:
The California Department of Education (CDE)
The State Board of Education
Academic Senate of California Community Colleges (ASCCC)
School Districts (perhaps use County Departments of Education)

CATE 2011: Resolution 3 – Common Core State Standards

Whereas the state of California applied for the Race to the Top federal educational funding, and

Whereas part of the application process was to agree to replace the California standards with the Common Core State Standards (since renamed California’s Common Core Content Standards), and

Whereas when the California standards were created and implemented, a tremendous amount of time and energy was invested by many stakeholders, including English and Language Arts teachers, and

Whereas it was through that investment that the California standards were promulgated throughout classrooms in California, and

Whereas the Common Core State Standards were introduced to California teachers as a fait accompli, and

Whereas the California STAR and California High School Exit Exam were created to measure the California standards and will now need to be either revisited or revised to align with the Common Core State Standards,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the California Department of Education (CDE) to include English Language Arts teachers in any revision of the state tests and the development and implementation of support materials (as well as fund fully professional development and training) for the Common Core State Standards in English and Language Arts classrooms.

Distribution:
The California Department of Education (CDE)

CATE 2011: Resolution 4 – Changes to CSU “Early Start

Whereas the California Master Plan for Higher Education (1960) established the California State University (CSU) system to provide access to university education for a broad base of California’s population, and

Whereas the CSU has greatly enhanced access to higher education, historically providing the most affordable 4-year degrees available in the United States to many Californians who could not afford college and pushing California’s college-educated population to 30%, making California one of the nation’s most educated states, and

Whereas the CSU has for years provided developmental courses in math and English for many students who have needed additional help in these areas, and

Whereas the CSU has recently instituted the “Early Start” program that requires students needing developmental courses to begin those courses during the summer before their first fall semester, and

Whereas this summer coursework does not receive state support and therefore may be more expensive than coursework taken during the regular school year, and

Whereas students needing developmental coursework in English are predominantly economically disadvantaged and may not be able to afford non-state subsidized coursework and also need to work during the summer to pay for their educations, and

Whereas failure to complete successfully an “Early Start” experience will cause students to be dropped from fall term courses for which they have already registered, creating an additional admissions requirement for a predominantly poor and minority population group, which contradicts the spirit of the Master Plan,

Therefore let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) join the California State University’s Statewide Academic Senate and the California State University English Council in asking the California State University trustees to repeal or fund the Early Start requirement.

Distribution:
The California State University Statewide Academic Senate
The California State University English Council
The California State University Board of Trustees

Resolutions 2012

CATE RESOLUTION in Support of the Instruction of Literature

Whereas the study of literature has traditionally been at the heart of the discipline of English, which is the foundation of academic training for thousands of middle and high school English teachers, and

Whereas every English teacher can testify to the profound impact of particular works of literature on all manner of students year after year, and

Whereas literature connects us to people of other cultures, makes us aware of the power and beauty of language, stimulates the imagination, offers insight into human nature, exposes us to new ideas, new worlds, new perspectives, provokes questions and challenges our beliefs and values, and

Whereas for many years teachers have experienced a restriction in the use of imaginative literature in their classrooms, often because they are limited to the reading of the short excerpts found in anthologies, and

Whereas many teachers fear that implementation of the CCSS will require language arts teachers to privilege informational texts over literary texts, since the CCSS emphasize that “most of the required reading in college and workforce training programs is informational in structure” and cite “NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades,” notwithstanding the CCSS’ assertion that “a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other (i.e. non English Language Arts) classes,”

Be it resolved that CATE urge English teachers to stand firm against the pressure to marginalize the teaching of literature, to teach a variety of literature, including full-length works, and to encourage a variety of responses to that literature, both analytical and personal.

Approved by the CATE Board of Directors, May 20, 2012

Resolution on Common Core State Standard Mandates for Student Reading

Whereas the Common Core State Standards were adopted by California in August 2010, and

Whereas the CCSS directs schools and teachers at the secondary level to choose nonfiction readings as the majority of students’ overall reading assignments, based on the 2009 reading frameworks for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and

Whereas the NAEP framework is aimed at increasing students’ overall reading requirement rather than decreasing the amount of literature they read, and

Whereas this guideline, listed on page 5 of the Common Core document, contains a footnote that reads “The percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELA settings.  Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70 percent of reading to informational texts.  Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the grade should be informational,” therefore

Be it Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English advise school administrators at all levels that the CCSS’s guidelines regarding fiction and nonfiction apply to the aggregate of students’ readings in all their school subjects, and

Resolved, that CATE ask state agencies to disseminate this understanding of the new standards to school boards, district and school-site administrators, and to decision makers throughout the process of curriculum development and implementation.

Approved by the CATE Board of Directors, December 2, 2012

Resolution on Compensation for Costs Associated with the Common Core

Whereas implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will require increased cooperation between English language arts teachers and teachers of other subjects such as math, science, and social studies, and

Whereas the new emphasis of the CCSS on expository, persuasive, and workplace writing, as well as writing in other disciplines, may require further education for English language arts teachers now in service, and

Whereas the method for fostering the cooperation and collegial cross-training necessary for the implementation of the CCSS will be left to individual schools and districts, and

Whereas the implementation of the CCSS will require greater responsibilities and time commitments from English language arts teachers, as well as educational expenses in some cases, therefore

Be it Resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English remind schools and districts of their contractual obligations to reimburse or otherwise compensate English language arts teachers for their time and expenses associated with implementing the CCSS when such duties and expenses exceed current contractual obligations.

Approved by the CATE  Board of Directors, Dec. 2, 2012

Board Resolution Supporting Proposition 30

Whereas the lingering economic downturn that began in 2008 has devastated California’s tax revenues, and

Whereas the resulting budget cuts have caused significant harm to the education of California’s children, including increased class sizes due to the loss of 32,000 full-time teachers, the shortening of the instructional school year in some communities, and deferring purchases of necessary materials and technology, and

Whereas the current plan for California’s 2012-2013 budget depends on the passage of Proposition 30, and its failure will result in an additional $6 billion shortfall, and

Whereas education at all levels K-16 and beyond is essential for California’s continued economic health in an increasingly competitive, information-based world that requires highly-educated, literate workers, and

Whereas the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will require an additional $800 million and $1.6 billion (according to Ed Source), and

Whereas the CCSS requires all teachers to share responsibility for the development of their students’ literacy, so any further decrease in school budgets is of concern to California’s English Language Arts teachers,

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) support passage of Proposition 30 on Election Day, November 6, 2012.

Board Resolution Opposing Proposition 32

Whereas California English Language Arts teachers are uniquely qualified to offer substantive, professional guidance regarding the English Language Arts curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and

Whereas this substantive professional guidance requires political communication, and

Whereas effective political communication in the current environment requires money to purchase both print and electronic media to disseminate messages, and

Whereas California English Language Arts teachers make their voices heard politically through their labor unions, and

Whereas Proposition 32 inhibits the ability of teacher unions to develop funds for political communication, and

Whereas teachers can already opt out of political contributions to their labor unions under current law, and

Whereas Proposition 32 has been opposed by California teachers each time it has been proposed (in 1998 and 2006), and

Whereas Proposition 32 would weaken teachers’ voices in an era of school reform,

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge the defeat of Proposition 32 on Election Day, November 6, 2012.

Approved September 8, 2012

CATE 2012: Board Resolution
Commendation of the Convention Committee

This convention happens only because of the efforts of many teachers and other volunteers who donate their time and energy to make this weekend possible.

Let it be resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) thank and commend the following outstanding volunteers and members of the convention committee:

Convention ChairsKim Flachmann, CSU, Bakersfield
Jill Hamilton Bunch, Point Loma Nazarene University, Bakersfield
Convention Coordinator Punky Fristrom, Retired, San Diego Unified School District
Anne Fristrom, Retired, San Diego
Program ChairCheryl Hogue Smith, Kingsborough Community College,
City University of New York
DecorationsNora Traut, CSU Bakersfield
Darlene Stotler, CSU Bakersfield
RegistrationCindy Conlin, Stratham, New Hampshire
Richard Hockensmith, Summit High School, Fontana
Registration Assistants Carol Surabian, Washington Intermediate School, Reedley
Susan Dillon, Central Catholic High School, Modesto
Hospitality Chair Greg Johnson, Kern High School District
Local Committee Chair Jan Stallones, Corona-Norco Unified School District
Maureen Rippee, Wilson High School, Long Beach
College Credit Chair Brett Schmoll, CSU Bakersfield
Autograph Chair Peggy Dwane-Pope, Stonecreek Junior High School, Bakersfield
New Teacher BoothAkiko Morimoto, Retired, Washington Middle School, Vista
Carole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
Pre-Convention Jayne Marlink, California Writing Project
President’s ReceptionCharleen Silva Delfino, Retired, San José State University
Technology/AV Chair Brian Jeffrey, Los Osos High School, Alta Loma
Volunteer Coordinators Angus Dunstan, CSU, Sacramento
Phil Bowles, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego
Lael Borches-Lloyd, Heritage Charter School K-8, Escondido
PublicityBrad Ruff, Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Julie Paulsen, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bakersfield
SignsDavid Ryan, CSU, Bakersfield
Two Minutes for CATELiz McAninch
Flyer/Program Publication Carole LeCren, La Jolla High School, San Diego
Convention PhotographerRon Lauderbach, Retired, San Ysidro High School, San Diego
CATE Membership Booth Joan Williams, Retired, Arcata High School, Eureka
ConsultantMichelle Berry, Windsor High School, Windsor
CATE Treasurer Anne Fristrom, Retired, San Diego
Exhibits Manager/
Advertising Manager
Tammie Harvey, Chico
WebmasterCindy Conlin, Stratham, New Hampshire

Approved by the CATE Board, February 9, 2012

CATE Resolution: Professional Development

Whereas the California Common Core State Standards are currently being implemented, which will require that teachers and administrators receive professional development, and

Whereas there is a national and statewide demand that our schools improve, and

Whereas the fundamental way to improve schools and student achievement is to foster the highest quality teachers possible, and

Whereas California at this time, provides no requirement for teachers to continue learning and growing as educators, and

Whereas professional organizations are ready to provide meaningful professional development based on the most recent research and pedagogy, and

Whereas instruction in English Language Arts is pivotal to improvement in our educational system, therefore,

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English urge the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to re-establish meaningful professional development as a condition of renewing the credential for all teachers, particularly those teaching English language arts.

Distribution:

CCTC
CDE
Education Committees in the California Legislature
Districts throughout the state

Resolution on Teacher Autonomy at the Advent of the Common Core

Whereas the State of California has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as the basis of its English Language Arts standards, and

Whereas the Common Core provides criteria and guidelines for the selection of readings that local teachers can utilize to develop materials and curriculum, and

Whereas the best English Language Arts education occurs when teachers can create ‘teachable moments’ during which students are fully engaged with course material, and

Whereas students engage with readings most deeply when those readings meet their cognitive, social, and emotional needs, and

Whereas classroom teachers are uniquely qualified to identify the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of their students,

Be it resolved that the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) urge teachers and districts to develop curricula locally, utilizing the skills of local teachers, informed by teachers’ understanding of students and teachers’ knowledge of classic and contemporary texts.

Distribution:

California Department of Education
Various school districts

Resolution on the Credential in World English

Whereas the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) is developing a new credential in World English, and

Whereas this new credential concentrates on the needs of English language learners (ELLs), and

Whereas ELLs make up a substantial portion of the California school population, and serving the needs of ELLs constitutes a major challenge for California teachers and schools, but

Whereas, just as the existing English subject matter does not adequately prepare English teachers to meet the challenges faced by ELLs, so the proposed World English subject matter requirements would not adequately prepare World English teachers to meet all the challenges of teaching the general student population, and

Whereas the literacy needs of California students vary based on their linguistic backgrounds, and

Whereas the CCTC is considering authorizing credential holders in World English to teach English Language Arts to all students,

Be it resolved that CATE commend the CCTC for developing a credential that specifically prepares teachers to instruct English language learners, but

Be it resolved that CATE encourage limiting World English credential holders to teaching ELD and SDAIE classes.

Distribution:

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
California Department of Education
Teacher Education Programs throughout the state

CATE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE

Background:

The study of literature allows students to experience the ideas and identities of people like and unlike themselves, and the most engaging and valuable literature challenges readers to think beyond the bounds of their routine experience.

Multicultural literature reflects the home cultures of many students in California schools, and reading about the experience of people from a variety of cultures and subcultures helps prepare California children to live in the pluralistic society that California is and most certainly will continue to be.

In many cases, the ability of teachers to choose multicultural literature is under attack.  Multicultural literature is a frequent target of challenges to the curriculum—titles like Bless Me Ultima, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, The Bluest Eye, The Color Purple, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings have all been challenged in recent times—and too many schools are reducing in general the total amount of imaginative literature students read in English Language Arts classes.

More specifically, Alvord Unified School District in Riverside, California has restricted teachers’ rights to choose multicultural poetry at a middle school in the district.  They have questioned the motivation and intent of the teachers involved and have stripped the teachers of the ability to continue their school-wide multicultural curriculum because of the pressure of a particular political/religious community organization.

Resolved, that the California Association of Teachers of English  (CATE) calls on Alvord Unified School District, as well as other local schools and districts, to support teachers as they choose multicultural literature for students to read and hear in their schools, and to defend to the public the expertise of local teachers who choose literature appropriate for their classrooms.

Distribution:

Alvord Unified School District
California Board of Education
California Superintendent of Public Instruction

Approved by CATE Board on December 4, 2011