Minutes of the 36th Delegate Assembly

Detroit, Michigan, November 21–22, 1992

Editors’ note: The following is a summary of the tape-recorded minutes of the 36th House of Delegates meeting prepared by Susan Griffin, NCSS Director of Council Services and Membership Marketing.


Introductions by President Charlotte Anderson

President Charlotte Anderson called the House to order, reviewed House rules for discussion of issues and introduced Richard Diem, parliamentarian, Texas; Peggy Altoff, timekeeper and newly elected chair of the House Steering Committee, Maryland; Tom McGowan, current chair of the House Steering Committee, Arizona; and Denny Schillings, NCSS President-Elect, Illinois.

Anderson also introduced the other members of the Steering Committee: Marjorie Foster, Indiana; Ann Lockledge, North Carolina; and Pat Nickell, Kentucky.


Credentials Committee

Linda B. Johnson, Chair of the Credentials Committee, Michigan, reported that there were 240 registered delegates as of November 21, 1992.


Adoption of Agenda

The agenda presented by President Charlotte Anderson was moved, seconded, and adopted with one agenda item added, “Item C, Consideration of House Roles in NCSS Committee Restructuring.”


Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the 35th House of Delegates were approved as presented.


Nominations of HOD Committees

Tom McGowan, Chair of the Steering Committee, alerted House members to the change in HOD Manual Article 6, Section 2, adding an additional member to the Steering Committee. Two elected per year for three-year terms. To effect this change this year, delegates elected four members to the Steering Committee. This year the two people receiving the highest votes received three-year terms. Those people receiving the third and fourth highest votes received two-year terms. The two members continuing on the committee will serve the one year remaining in their terms.


State of the Council Addresses

Charlotte Anderson introduced the Board of Directors: Jim Barth, Indiana; Bob Stahl, Vice President, Arizona; Beth Cummins, New Mexico; Frances Davis, Georgia; Richard Diem, Texas; Barbara Easley, Missouri; Cecelia Gross, Massachusetts; Barbara Jackson, South Carolina; Jim Lane, Ohio; Tarry Lindquist, Washington; Margit McGuire, Past President, Washington; Shirley Mead-Mezzetta, California; Rich Moulden, Washington; Gail Riley, Texas; Angie Rinaldo, Colorado; Fred Risinger, Past President, Indiana; Pat Robeson, Maryland; Rick Theisen, Minnesota; Tom McGowan, Arizona; and Denny Schillings, President-Elect, Illinois.

Anderson directed delegates to her written report, in particular the definition of social studies, which they would consider later in the agenda. She described the process followed in order to reach councilwide consensus on the definition. Anderson went on to describe the work of the Social Studies Standards Task Force, chaired by NCSS Past President Donald O. Schneider, Georgia. She urged people to get involved in the hearings taking place throughout the annual meeting and participate in the review process as hearings on the standards travel to state and regional meetings throughout the spring.

Anderson reported on two motions generated by the board at their meeting earlier in the conference. The first said that NCSS should not hold the 1994 annual meeting in Colorado due to the recently passed amendment to Article 2 of the state’s constitution revoking protected status based on homosexual or bisexual orientation. The second motion directed the board to communicate to the Colorado Council for the Social Studies, the Colorado state legislature, and Colorado convention bureaus the reasons for the withdrawal of Denver as the site of the 1994 conference. She added that should the Article 2 Amendment be rescinded or overturned, NCSS would welcome a new bid from Colorado to serve as host state for a conference and that the Conference Committee be directed to give preferential consideration to the Colorado Council for the Social Studies should they make a bid for the conference in the future when and if the law is changed.

President-Elect Denny Schillings provided an overview of the committee reorganization developed by the board. He explained that the committee structure was evaluated with the goal of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of committees in accomplishing the goals of the council set out in the long-range plan. Further, the board wanted to assess the role of the membership in council governance and activities hoping to empower the committees, and therefore the membership, with even greater responsibility and commitment to council activities. Finally, Schillings told the delegates that the other main goal of reorganization, to increase membership involvement, would be achieved through the role of the House of Delegates and the associated groups in naming members of various committees.

To this end, the present committee structure was substantially modified including the elimination of all advisory committees. The new structure would consist of operations committees and management committees. Management committees are to be committees of the board and have a specific responsibility for council functions. Operations committees, which are to provide direction and assistance, and (under the rewritten charges) have continuing areas of concern and responsibility, will be more widely representative of the membership. He concluded by noting that implementation would occur over a two-year period and be fully in place with the beginning of the 1994 fiscal year.

Fran Haley received a question from a delegate concerning NCSS finances. Haley explained that because advertising revenues have decreased over the last five years, the board had decided that it would no longer consider such revenues a major source of revenue and so would look to membership.

Fran Haley: “Last year was a very serious year for membership. We had a major drop in membership. I don’t know whether the trickle-down theory of economics was just finally working and…the debt had trickled down to [the school districts], but we are picking up this year. All of our past bills from last year have been paid off. This year’s revenues are looking good. Our plan is that the shortfall from last year will be paid off by the end of the ’94–95 fiscal year; that at the end of this year it will be down by $80,000; at the end of next year it will be down by close to $140,000; and that the last $60,000 will be not paid off but that our revenues, our status, will be even; and in the third fiscal year not only will we pay off the balance but we also will be ahead. Now in the meantime, we have built up our reserve funds to about $180,000, which isn’t very much—but those reserve funds have not been used to pay off those bills. We have continued to borrow forward. We have used those reserve funds to secure a line of credit. In the past, practice was to dip into some of our other reserve funds—for example, the Council Assistance Fund, or the Legal Defense Fund, or the FASSE Fund. We have not done so. Those funds are in reserve and are not being touched. So while last year was a bad year, we are not a council that’s in financial jeopardy. We are operating in very restricted circumstances.”

Haley went on to explain that council participation in membership recruitment was more critical now than ever before. For that reason, a member of the NCSS staff or a board member would be present at as many state and regional meetings as possible (as had been the case throughout the fall). She also directed people to the NCSS booth to pick up information about summer workshops and foreign travel opportunities.


Recognition of Gold and Silver Star Councils

Haley asked that the delegates acknowledge the hard work of the gold and silver star recipients noting that there were a record number of silver star councils this year. Fran apologized on behalf of Susan Griffin who is the new secretary of the HOD. Susan did not know that she was responsible for preparing the certificates for gold and silver star councils; they would be mailed after the meeting. Gold Star recipients are Kansas, Missouri, and Oregon. Silver star councils are Alaska, Arizona, the Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers (New York), California, Cypress-Fairbanks (Texas), Fayetteville (Kentucky), Kentucky, Long Island, Los Coyotes (California), Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Middle States, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Washington, West Texas, and Wisconsin. Haley expressed congratulations and thanks to all.

Candidates Forum

Carol Marquis, Chair of the Nominations Committee, California, introduced the two nominees for vice president: Michael Hartoonian, Wisconsin, and Pat Nickell, Kentucky. The candidates described their vision for NCSS and the profession and responded to two questions. The first concerned their opinion on the addition of a middle school position for the board and the reorganization plan. The second question asked the candidates their thoughts on the definition of social studies that would be considered by the HOD.

Carole Bigelow, Delaware, and Sue Powell, Alabama, candidates for the elementary category, were introduced and gave statements. They were followed by the secondary candidates: Tracy Dussia, Virginia; Joe Gotchy, Washington; Taddie Hamilton, Texas; and John Solberg, South Dakota. Each candidate gave a statement and then responded to a question about what the new administration should know about them and from them.

Next, the college/university candidates, Murry Nelson, Pennsylvania, and Tom McGowan, Arizona, were introduced and made their statements.

Finally, Mary Fortney, Indiana, and Nannette McGee, Georgia, the two candidates nominated as “other professional,” were introduced and provided their statements.


Nominations for HOD Committees

Steering Committee nominees were: Gayle Thieman, Alaska; Carol Marquis, California; Jacqueline Abbott, Connecticut; Sandra Young, Hawaii; John Papadonis, Massachusetts; Terry Kuseske, Michigan; Ken Rasmussen, Minnesota; Lennis Larson, South Dakota; Pam Wells, Texas; and Dave Seiter, Utah.

Resolutions Committee nominees were: Paul Robinson, Arizona; Frederick Clark, Indiana; John Jay Bonstingl, Maryland; Eric Luce, Mississippi; and Sue Hickenbottom, Washington.

Nominations Committee nominees were: Fred Isele, Indiana; Linda Rhodes, New Mexico; Steven Waldman, New York; and Ted Henson, North Carolina.


Constitutional Amendment

Charlotte Anderson explained that the proposed amendment would add a new category to the members of the Board of Directors: a middle school/junior high classroom teacher. Specifically, the amendment called for one person to be elected in the middle school/junior high classroom teacher category for a term of three years. There was a motion to approve the amendment, it was seconded, the question was called, and the amendment was passed (183 voted for ratification, 17 opposed).


Credentials Committee

Linda Johnson, Chair of the Credentials Committee, Michigan, introduced the members of the committee: Bob Lomberg, Illinois; Christina Brockman, Maryland; Val Evanenko, Michigan; Christina Campbell, Michigan; and Mary Lou Soumaski, Michigan.


New Business—Consideration of the House Role in the NCSS Committee Restructuring

Charlotte Anderson explained to the delegates that although the decision-making authority for governance of the council rests with the board, this agenda item provided an opportunity for the House to consider its participation in identifying members for the restructured committees.

Delegates for the most part did not consider the HOD participation in appointing members of the committee. The majority of delegates who spoke did so against the proposed restructuring, saying that it undermined inclusiveness by adding bureaucracy and diminishing the number of opportunities for members to serve. The motion was defeated: 35 in favor, 150 opposed.


Presentation and Action on Resolutions

Michael Zahs, Chair of the Resolutions Committee, Iowa, introduced the members of the committee: Steve Waldman, New York; Ruben Zepeda, California; Deena Fleck, Oklahoma; and Sophia Atkins, Tennessee, who was chosen to be the Committee Chair for 1993.

Resolution 92-01, the NCSS Definition of Social Studies, was submitted by the Board of Directors. Margit McGuire provided background on the development of the definition before the House, describing the consensus-building process that brought the organization to this point. Beginning with last year’s HOD, which endorsed moving ahead and working on a definition, a call for responses was placed in The Social Studies Professional and forwarded to committee chairs, SIGs, state and local council officers, associated groups, and past presidents. Discussion followed and the motion was adopted.

Resolution 92-02 was passed without discussion. Resolution 92-03 prompted discussion both for and against, but was defeated: 95 in favor, 118 opposed. Resolution 92-04 passed without discussion. Resolution 92-05 inspired discussion; most delegates who spoke were against the motion and it was defeated. Resolution 92-06, to change the 1994 meeting site, prompted support from all but one of seven delegates speaking on the motion; the resolution passed. Resolutions 92-07, 92-08, and 92-09 passed without discussion. Resolutions 92-10 through 92-15 passed with unanimous consent.


92-01 NCSS DEFINITION OF SOCIAL STUDIES, submitted by NCSS Board of Directors

WHEREAS, the 1992 Long Range Plan Goal I calls for a definition of social studies and was strongly supported throughout the council; and,

WHEREAS, the political and educational climate necessitates a clearly stated definition from the council; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors called for a definition that was concise, clear, and grounded in basic beliefs about the field; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors circulated among the membership a proposed definition and received many responses and recommended revisions; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors, after due consideration of those responses, approved a revised definition; and,

WHEREAS, the board, recognizing that the House of Delegates represents the broad membership of the council, seeks that body’s response to this definition;

BE IT RESOLVED that NCSS endorse the following definition:

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.



92-02 NCSS MISSION STATEMENT, submitted by the Board of Directors

WHEREAS, the council needs to revise its mission statement to more closely reflect the work of the council as it has evolved over the past sixty years; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors called for a mission statement that was concise, clear, and accurate in its statement of the goals and objectives of the council; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors proposed a mission statement and established a procedure to gather responses from the membership and then revised the statement based on the responses;

BE IT RESOLVED that NCSS endorse the following mission statement:

National Council for the Social Studies engages and supports educators in strengthening and advocating social studies.



92-03 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE COMPOSITION OF COMMITTEES AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS, submitted by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, preK–12 classroom teachers currently constitute approximately 70 percent of NCSS membership; and

WHEREAS, preK–12 teachers are significantly underrepresented on many NCSS committees and task forces; and

WHEREAS, only four of the twenty-nine current NCSS committee chairs are preK–12 classroom teachers;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates recommends strongly that: (1) at least 50 percent of the members on all NCSS Task Forces and Committees be preK–12 classroom teachers; (2) at least 50 percent of the appointed chairs of NCSS Task Forces and Committees be preK–12 classroom teachers.



92-04 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE DISTRIBUTION OF NCSS BOARD OF DIRECTORS MINUTES, submitted by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, minutes of NCSS Board of Directors meetings that specifically reflect the dialogue and actions taken by the NCSS Board of Directors should be shared with each affiliate; and

WHEREAS, these minutes will improve the communications between NCSS and its affiliates;

BE IT RESOLVED that the actual minutes of the NCSS Board of Directors which have been approved by the Board of Directors at their meetings will be sent to each president.



92-05 RESOLUTION CONCERNING HOUSE OF DELEGATES REORGANIZATION, submitted by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, the committee reorganization of NCSS will provide the House of Delegates with a significant voice in determining committee membership; and

WHEREAS, the enhanced role of the House of Delegates in NCSS policy-making should be equitably shared by all NCSS members;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates Steering Committee implement the following principles for the 1993 House of Delegates:

1. Guarantee that all affiliates will have at least one delegate.

2. Change the current system (ratio) of allocating delegates because it discriminates against larger affiliates.

3. Ensure that each NCSS member has equal representation at the House of Delegates.



92-06 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE CANCELLATION OF CONVENTION COMMITMENTS FOR DENVER 1994 ANNUAL MEETING, submitted by the Oregon and Colorado Councils for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, Colorado voters have passed a constitutional amendment eliminating civil rights protection based on sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, the standards for the social studies teaching profession and matters concerning improvement of the quality of social studies teaching services available to children in American schools are germane to National Council for the Social Studies’ legitimate role and in the public interest; and

WHEREAS, the passage of this constitutional amendment could preclude the admission to the social studies teaching profession of gay, lesbian, and bisexual teaching applicants, based on their private sexual orientation rather than on the basis of who is the most qualified, and could result in the disciplining of social studies teachers for their private lives; and

WHEREAS, passage of such a constitutional amendment could have an immediate and adverse impact on the quality of social studies teaching services available in the state of Colorado or other states by requiring the state government to stop employing gay, lesbian, or bisexual teachers;


1. National Council for the Social Studies, neither in support of nor in opposition to homosexual life-styles, cancel its convention commitment to meet in Denver, Colorado, for its 1994 annual meeting in support of the Board of Directors decision for rescission;

2. no NCSS-sponsored national convention be held in Colorado until such time as the constitutional amendment is either repealed or found to be in violation of the United States Constitution by the United States Supreme Court or by the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado;

3. no NCSS-sponsored national convention be held in any state that passes legislation that allows for such discrimination.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of NCSS send this resolution to the governor of Colorado, the presiding officers of the Colorado legislatures, and the mayor of Denver, Colorado.




WHEREAS, the mission of the National Council for the Social Studies is to “engage and support educators in strengthening and advocating social studies”; and

WHEREAS, the annual conference of the National Council for the Social Studies is one of the primary methods for verbally disseminating information and gathering opinions regarding social studies; and

WHEREAS, The Social Studies Professional, Social Education, and Social Studies and the Young Learner are the major official printed medium for disseminating information and gathering opinions regarding social studies;

BE IT RESOLVED that at all national conferences, starting with the 1993 conference in Nashville, meeting time be set aside in the conference schedule for all elected members of the Board of Directors to meet with their respective constituencies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that several times a year, particularly prior to the annual conference and immediately after the election of the new Board of Directors, the National Council for the Social Studies publish a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the appropriate Board members and standing committee chairs, so their respective constituencies may communicate with them.



92-08 RESOLUTION CONCERNING MEMBERSHIP MARKETING, submitted by the NCSS Membership Committee

WHEREAS, the NCSS Long Range Plan Goal IV is to “promote the full and active participation in the social studies profession and in NCSS of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas, rural, urban, and suburban”; and

WHEREAS, Goal VI.C.1 is to “develop a membership marketing plan that will increase overall membership from the current 28,000 to 35,000 within the next three years”; and

WHEREAS, membership in NCSS has dropped substantially in the past year;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates adopt an “Each One Reach One” membership incentive plan to increase the number of members in NCSS, especially those from underrepresented groups.



92-09 RESOLUTION CONCERNING SOCIAL JUSTICE, submitted by the California Council for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, United States population continues to grow and be diverse, and the nature of schools reflects that growth and diversity; and

WHEREAS, gender, race, and sexual orientation continue to be conflict elements in the U.S. population; and

WHEREAS, there has been an increase in tensions among ethnic and religious groups as they interact on campuses; and

WHEREAS, the media has contributed to the reinforcement of numerous stereotypes and bigotries; and

WHEREAS, textbooks in social studies classrooms fail to deal with the contemporary reality of racism and hate crimes; and

WHEREAS, few teachers have had formal training in, and some refuse or fail to see the need to deal with, the complexities of misogyny, racism, and homophobia; and

WHEREAS, the social studies classroom is an appropriate place in which these issues need to be addressed by both teachers and students; and

WHEREAS, the mission of the social studies at all levels of instruction encourages the discussion of controversial issues and demands reflective analysis and the examination of conflicting views; and

WHEREAS, the goal of social studies education is to promote civic responsibility among America’s youth;


1. devote an issue of Social Education and Social Studies and the Young Learner to issues of equity and rising intolerance;

2. publish practical guidelines with specific techniques that teachers can use in the classroom which demonstrate how to implement the ideas for addressing equity issues and racism;

3. publish a resource list of audiovisual materials, texts, supplementary aids, and human resources that demonstrate how to implement ideas for addressing equity issues and racism;

4. continue to be aware of and include such related issues of social justice as age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and religious intolerance as a primary focus in publications, workshops, and conferences for teachers enabling them to address the issues effectively in classrooms with their students.



92-10 RESOLUTION CONCERNING PRESIDENTIAL RECOGNITION OF SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATORS, submitted by the Awards Committee and the Michigan and New York State Councils for the Social Studies

WHEREAS, the National Council for the Social Studies recognizes expertise in elementary, middle school, and high school teaching through annual awards; and

WHEREAS, these award winners represent exemplary social studies educators in the United States; and

WHEREAS, exemplary social studies teaching most successfully promotes the national goal of civic competence which is basic to the principles of American education;

BE IT RESOLVED that, by January 31 of each year, the President of National Council for the Social Studies request that the President of the United States formally recognize these educators;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of National Council for the Social Studies send letters to the appropriate members of Congress requesting that the names of the social studies award winners be announced on the floor of the respective houses of Congress.



92-11 RESOLUTION COMMENDING CHARLOTTE ANDERSON, submitted by the House of Delegates Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, Charlotte Anderson has provided National Council for the Social Studies with outstanding leadership as President; and

WHEREAS, Charlotte Anderson has served as an able spokesperson and advocate for National Council for the Social Studies and has worked to foster its goals; and

WHEREAS, Charlotte Anderson has served the social studies profession and National Council for the Social Studies with scholarship and sincere commitment in her office as President; and

WHEREAS, Charlotte Anderson exemplifies social studies professionalism at its highest level;

BE IT RESOLVED that Charlotte Anderson receive the sincere appreciation of the House of Delegates for her devoted dedication to National Council for the Social Studies and to the profession itself.




WHEREAS, Fran Haley and the NCSS staff are an important part of National Council for the Social Studies; and

WHEREAS, NCSS has achieved many of its goals during the past year through the efforts of these people;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates of National Council for the Social Studies extend its appreciation and thanks to Fran Haley and the entire staff of NCSS for their service to social studies education.




WHEREAS, the local arrangements and the program for the 72d Annual Meeting have been well organized and highly successful; and

WHEREAS, the Local Arrangements Committee and the Program Planning Committee have done a superb job that has required long hours;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates express its appreciation for jobs well done.




WHEREAS, the Nominations, Resolutions, and Credentials Committees have significantly contributed to the productive and proper operations of the House of Delegates; and

WHEREAS, each committee member has assumed the duties and responsibilities of committee membership;

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Council for the Social Studies House of Delegates extend its appreciation for the outstanding service rendered by these committee members.



92-15 RESOLUTION COMMENDING STEERING COMMITTEE, submitted by the House of Delegates Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the Steering Committee has done an excellent job of preparing the business of this House of Delegates meeting; and

WHEREAS, the House of Delegates Steering Committee has provided guidance for NCSS;

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates express its appreciation for a job well done to all of the committee members.



Announcement of Election Results

Steering Committee. Three-year terms: Jacqueline Abbott, Connecticut; Ken Rasmussen, Minnesota. Two-year terms: Lennis Larson, South Dakota; John Papadonis, Massachusetts.

Resolutions Committee. Frederick Clark, Indiana; Paul Robinson, Arizona; Eric Luce, Mississippi.

Nominations Committee. Fred Isele, Indiana; Ted Henson, North Carolina.


36th Delegate Assembly adjourned

-- TimDaly - 02 Sep 2005
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