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.


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.


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.


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



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.


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

Approved by CATE Board on December 4, 2011