National Council for the Social Studies 41st Session of the House of Delegates

November 21-22, 1997

The 77th NCSS Annual Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio

 

 

Session One

Friday, November 21, 1997

 

Call to Order

Rich Diem, President: I’d like to ask the delegates to please be seated. I’d like to call to order the 41st Annual House of Delegates of National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) for the first session. Thank you.

My name is Rich Diem. I’m President this year and I’d like to welcome you to Cincinnati to our annual meeting and of course to the House of Delegates. The entire NCSS family, all of our members, appreciates the time and effort that all of you put in to be part of the NCSS governance structure. This is an important and time-consuming obligation that many of you take on. All of us appreciate your efforts.

I’d like to introduce the other folks on the platform with me. To my immediate right is Carol Marquis from California, who is this year’s Chair of the House of Delegates. She’s also a liaison to the Board of Directors and she’s done a wonderful job. To her right is Joy Myers, who’s our parliamentarian this year. She’s from Circleville, Ohio. Just to remind you a bit about the role of the parliamentarian, the chair makes all rulings regarding motions and order in the House. The chair can call on the parliamentarian for guidance if there is a question as to order. The House itself can overrule any movement by the chair at its discretion.

President Richard Diem then announced that the minutes of the 40th House of Delegates meeting had been approved by the Steering Committee. The agenda for the 41st session was moved, seconded and approved.

 

Credentials Committee Report

Gwen Walker: I’m Gwen Walker, and I’m with the Credentials Committee. This is a report of the voting members of the House of Delegates who have registered as of 3:30pm today, November 21, 1997. The total number entitled to vote is 205. As directed by the Credentials Committee I move the adoption of the Credentials report just read.

The motion was seconded and the report was adopted.

 

Carol Marquis, Chair of the House of Delegates Steering Committee: For the House of Delegates Steering Committee, having you all in the room is a delight. In just a couple of minutes, I’d like to introduce the members of the Steering Committee. But before that time I’d like to mention just a couple of the changes that we’ve tried to make in this year. After looking at last year’s evaluations, it was clear that you wanted us to improve on communication, streamline a lot of the activities in the House, and give some more time for discussion of issues of substance. And those of you who’ve had a chance to look through this session’s agenda will see that, during tonight’s session, there’ll be some time to talk among yourselves and your delegations about some of the issues that came in last year’s survey, and we’ll be telling you more about that.

You’ll see that there is time set aside as usual for resolutions but because of efforts made in the summer institute, the Leadership Institute, and by many of your councils and committees, this year we’ll have over 12 issues of substance or resolutions of substance to discuss in tomorrow’s deliberations. You’ll get copies of those a little bit later on from the Resolutions Committee.

We’ve made an effort to try and communicate with all of you. Thanks to the committee members, we’ve tried to include information in the House of Delegates Manual, including the agenda and all of the rules. But this document, like many others, is not perfect and we’ve already had some suggestions, not only from our parliamentarian but from some of the people here in the House. We welcome those suggestions from all of you.

In a moment I’ll turn this back to Rich, but I’d like to introduce to you the members of our committee, not only because they’ve done a lot of hard work but because you may want to call on them as time goes on. Ken Mareski is over here on your left. Ken is the person who is primarily responsible for the new visuals that you’ll see and I hope that you’ll let us know how you feel about them. There have been complaints for years and we hope that this year you’ll be able to read them much more easily. Also there is Linda Fusco who also has taken responsibility for that. I should mention that Ken is from Michigan and Linda is from New York. We have Barbara Ameiss from Missouri. She has the timekeeper’s responsibility. Fred Isele, who’s in the back of the room, developed last year’s survey, which we will be putting to the test. And then Chris Stewart, who is working with the Credentials Committee, is in the back of the room.

At this point the next order of business is a discussion of the nominations process. What I’d like to do is ask members of the committee to use our old technology, the overhead projector, to put up two transparencies. One of the things that came out in your evaluations of last year and past years is a feeling that you weren’t really familiar with what the roles of the various committees are, and so we have two transparencies to share with you. One gives a brief overview of the various responsibilities and the other gives an idea of the nominations process. Barbara was passing out to all of you copies of the nominations form. I know some of you have already started to think about whether you’d be willing to run for one of these committees. So, I’m going over this information with you now, I hope briefly, and will be glad to answer any questions you have. Then we’ll ask you to turn those forms in to any one of those hard working Steering Committee members that you were just introduced to.

The committees of the House include the Steering Committee, the Resolutions Committee and the Assignment Committee. Some of you have been concerned about how often these committees meet. The Steering Committee meets in the summer before the House of Delegates. Its members are very busy during the annual meeting and their responsibility is to make sure that this House runs efficiently. And so that means everything from working with technology to passing things out and setting up the House. The Resolutions Committee, also another committee of the House, does most of its work at this session. There were two hearings; they reviewed and edited, they talked with people, and you’ll see the results of their work in looking at the twelve plus resolutions that you’ll see later on today.

The Assignment Committee also does its work primarily while here. You’ll remember that this ties into a change in how the other committees, the NCSS committees, are set up. They receive applications to serve on the various Board of Directors NCSS committees. They review those and later on today you’ll be receiving their recommendations for those committees.

And then there’s the Nominations and Elections Committee which, for me, has always been a different kind of animal. It is an Operations Committee of NCSS. On it, there are people who are recommended and appointed by NCSS but we also have the opportunity to recommend people. Those are the committees that you’ll be thinking about for your particular delegations.

And then there is a clarification of aspects of the elections for the Steering, Assignment, Nominations and Elections, and Resolutions Committees, etc. Some issues that I think have caused problems before are highlighted. Obviously, to be on one of the committees you need to be a current delegate. One factor that is often a problem is that you cannot succeed yourself. Also, no affiliated delegation can have more than one representative elected to any one committee. You can read those yourselves. Now are there any general questions about the nominations process or any of those committees that I can try and answer for you?

All right, once you finish filling those forms, please give them to one of the Steering Committee members and I will turn this back to Rich.

 

State of the Council Addresses

Rich Diem, President: The next item is President’s Message. Before I begin the message I’d like to take some time first of all to introduce the officers and members of the Board of National Council for the Social Studies for 1997-1998. First Tedd Levy, President-Elect, from Connecticut, and Vice President Rick Theisen from Minnesota. Then the members of the Board of Directors: Peggy Altoff from Maryland; Linda Black from Texas; Adrienne Davis from Michigan; Dorothy Dobson from Utah; Syd Golston from Arizona; Sandra Haftel from New Jersey; Michael Hartoonian from Minnesota; Binta Jalloh from New York; Stephen Johnson from Texas; Terry Kuseske from Michigan; Eric Ladue from Arizona; Jim Leming from Illinois; Jodi Marcello from Alaska; Mary Mason from Georgia; Denee Mattioli from Tennessee; Murry Nelson from Pennsylvania; our immediate Past President Pat Nickell now from Georgia but formerly from Kentucky (She still thinks of herself as a Kentuckian I think); Shelly Singer from Illinois; Gary Swalley from Illinois; Emily Wood from Oklahoma and, once again, our ex officio member from the House of Delegates, Carol Marquis from California. And again I would like to thank all the members of the Board for all of their hard work as well as the time and effort they’ve put in to make this organization what it is.

In your packet I’ve written out a brief message from the President. But I’d like to add a couple of things to that. As I’ve had the opportunity to visit with a number of state councils and travel to various places throughout the first half of my presidency, it has been amazing to me to see the amount of enthusiasm that exists in the social studies profession. The reason I say “amazing” is that when you pick up the paper on a daily basis all of us, no matter where we are in the education profession, seem to take a hit from various sides. When I talk to social studies teachers I see the thing that brought me to the education profession many years ago, which is that I think at heart I’m an optimist. And at heart I think all social studies teachers are optimists. They see themselves as change agents. They see themselves as working with young people and providing opportunities. And this gives to me the greatest pleasure and of course the greatest hope that we have for ourselves, not only as a profession but as a nation. All of you who are teachers, no matter where you are, keep at it. There may be fights about standards and there may be fights about books and there may be fights about censorship but we always seem to be optimistic that we can overcome these things and that we can be better and continue to do better. And I think you need to give yourselves a round of applause because I think you all represent the best there is in the teaching profession.

Second, I also would like to thank you. To me, being a president of NCSS has really been one of the privileges of my life. And as I was coming on the plane up here I was trying to figure out how this all happened. I couldn’t quite put it together, but it’s been interesting. And again I really appreciate it and I thank you. I also would like to thank the folks down in the front row, the folks from Texas. They got the flag here. I moved from Illinois to Texas about 25 years ago and Texans in general have, first of all, opened their arms to me and then provided mechanisms for me to work in the Texas Council for the Social Studies. I was a delegate the first time when I was an officer in the Texas Council for the Social Studies. So my fellow Texans have provided me a venue and I just wanted to thank them from this podium.

Finally, I would also like to invite you this evening to a Presidential Reception which will be at the Omni Hotel at 7:00 in the Hall of Mirrors. If you haven’t been in the Hall of Mirrors it’s really quite a beautiful room. And what I want to do this evening is honor some of the past presidents of NCSS. I think one of the things that we need to do as an organization is not only to look ahead but to look back and to thank those who’ve given their time and effort and energy. And so we want to take a little time tonight to honor those past presidents. I hope you will take the time out of all the receptions that you’re going to go to tonight and wherever else you’re going to be and come over to the Hall of Mirrors at the Omni Hotel.

At this time I would like to introduce our Executive Director, Martharose Laffey, who will make her presentation and give the financial report. Martharose.

 

Martharose Laffey, Executive Director: Thank you Rich. Good afternoon everyone. I’m pleased to say that I have good news to report about NCSS during this past year financially, in terms of membership and in terms of new projects. We continue to grow and thrive as an organization and we’re planning some exciting new initiatives for the future.

First, let me thank you for coming to Cincinnati and contributing to the success of our meeting. I hope that you’re all enjoying the conference and I thank you also for taking the time and making the effort to serve in our House of Delegates. It’s a very important role within NCSS and we certainly appreciate your participation and support in that. Let me also thank Dean Moore and Dan Langen from the Ohio Council for their excellent support in local arrangements and the program committee. And also the entire Ohio Council for the Social Studies which has been so supportive of bringing our conference here to Cincinnati.

My remarks will be brief because we have a fairly short session this evening and I just want to highlight some of the items from my report to the House which you have in your packet. First, our financial picture. Last year we again reduced our structural deficit by 13%—by about $43,000—and we’ve now increased our membership also during the past year to over 24,000 members. In fact, I think it’s actually 24,001. That information is also in your report. Our membership marketing campaign has been very successful and one of the things we’ve done in the past year that’s quite exciting for us is that we’ve reached out to some new potential markets. In particular, we’ve targeted the elementary principals and middle school principals. We did some tests of both of those markets and we have found that they are very responsive. We have over 400 new members who are elementary school principals taking comprehensive institutional memberships for their schools. And we’re very encouraged by this because we hope that the quality of Social Studies and the Young Learner, which was edited in the past by Gloria Alter and is now edited by Sherry Field from Georgia, will convince elementary school principals to continue to join NCSS, to renew their memberships, and also perhaps to make individual memberships available for some of their elementary school teachers. So we’re very encouraged by that development. We’ve been trying to get more elementary membership and more elementary participation. We think this is finally beginning to succeed. Also we’ve done some test mailings to the middle school principals and these are even more promising than the elementary school principals. We haven’t done full scale mailings yet to the middle school principals, but we are planning that in the future, and again, we anticipate a very good response.

A couple of other highlights from the past year are the successful 4th International Social Studies Conference which we held in Australia in conjunction with the University of Sydney and the Social Education Association of Australia and partner institutions in New Zealand. We have almost 500 participants in that meeting. I myself personally participated, as did Rich and Tedd and some of our other leaders, and many of you were also there and I think it was a very successful meeting. We are making plans now for our 5th International Meeting which will be held in Enschede in the Netherlands in the year 2000.

Another major milestone for us was the revision of our teacher preparation standards for NCATE accreditation of institutions that prepare social studies teachers. Those standards have been accepted by NCATE. They were developed by a task force chaired by Dr. Charles Myers. Chuck Myers is sitting in the back of the room. We want to thank you, Chuck, and other members of that task force for all their hard work. The standards are now out on our website. We encourage you to review them and we will have a publication coming out of NCSS for the standards so I ask you to look for that as well.

Those were some of the highlights from the past year but I want to mention some of the more exciting things that we’re planning. We’re right in the middle now of the development of the long range plan for NCSS and this is a very exciting opportunity for us. Last year we did a membership survey. We surveyed members, non-members and lapsed members. And we also took the results of the House of Delegates survey that Fred distributed to you last year. And we did a survey of some of the leaders within NCSS: the Board members, committee chairs, etc. We took all of that information that we got and we have developed a draft long range plan based on the responses to these surveys. You’re telling us what you want to see NCSS dealing with and concentrating on over the next few years and we’re thinking of a 3-5 year plan that we’re developing. The Board is going to be considering that draft long range plan at its meeting on Sunday and we hope that we’ll be moving forward to really plan for NCSS in light of what we know our members want.

Rich may have mentioned to you that one of the major initiatives of his presidential administration is increasing the NCSS role in professional development and leadership. I think that we’re doing a number of things that are very interesting in that regard. One of the major things we’re doing is interacting with other national education organizations and other national subject matter organizations to provide professional development opportunities for teachers that focus on integration across the curriculum. Next summer we will be holding a joint institute with the National Science Teachers Association, “Making Curricular Connections in the Classroom.” That’s going to be held in Flagstaff, Arizona on July 25-28. In 1999 we will be holding a joint conference with the National Council of Teachers of English in July or early August. Again the subject will be integration. And in the year 2000 we will be working with the National Council of Teachers of Math and the International Reading Association to do a joint conference focusing on integration across those areas in the curriculum. And we’re very excited about this because we want all of these conferences to appeal to elementary school teachers. We really would like to build our membership in that area. And even though some of the meetings will include secondary school teachers, we are hoping to focus on elementary teachers and give them something in the way of a conference that will interest them in joining NCSS and will help them to appreciate the resources that we can offer them as a professional organization.

I think you may have noticed over the last year that we’ve improved our publications. Our flagship journal, Social Education, has a new look. Social Studies and the Young Learner also has a new, streamlined look. In addition to continuing the high level of quality in those publications and making them ever more teacher friendly and providing teachers with more hands on activities that they can utilize in the classroom, we’re also planning the development of two important new publications. One is a publication with the teachers of English to speakers of other languages which will focus on strategies for teaching social studies to speakers of other languages. The second publication will, I think, be a very important one for NCSS. It will focus on assessment related to the national standards; not only our national curriculum standards, but hopefully also the content standards and history, civics, geography, economics and civics. And we’re hoping that that publication will take our social studies profession another step in the direction of standards based education reform by enabling educators to go beyond simply the establishment of standards and trying to teach to the standards to actually assessing how well their social studies programs and their individual performance as teachers are helping students learn according to the social studies standards. That publication is in the capable hands of our Assessment Committee. They are developing the scope for the publication.

Finally, I want to say how excited I am about what has gone on here in the House in terms of the development of very meaningful resolutions that really address the issues that are basic to our profession. If you remember, last year at this time I urged the House to take action to work on such resolutions and to think about how it might play more of an influential role in influencing the Board of Directors and influencing the organization. And you took me very seriously about that. At our Leadership Conference this summer we worked with the leaders of the state councils to develop resolutions that would be meaningful for social studies education. I’m not implying by this that your previous resolutions haven’t been meaningful but I think that the resolutions that will be coming forward this year are more directly related to our primary concerns as social studies educators. And I’m very happy to see that development. And I can tell you that the Board will be listening very attentively to the resolutions that you bring forward and hopefully will be acting favorably on them. So I thank you for the leadership that you’ve shown in that area.

I want to mention how pleased I am that the College and University Faculty Assembly has decided to meet with us in Anaheim next year and not to meet separately. I know that that was a very difficult decision for them to make. But I must say that I’m glad that their concern for the unity of our organization took precedence over some other very valid concerns and I certainly am glad that they will be with us next year.

Let me encourage you over the next year to continue to develop leadership for your state councils and also leadership for NCSS. You know who the leaders are within your states and we would very much like you to encourage them to serve on committees and to run for NCSS Board positions. We need strong leaders in the social studies and our leaders have to come from you. They have to come from our state councils. So again, please encourage your officers to serve on committees and to run for the NCSS Board.

I want to close my remarks by acknowledging my excellent staff. The reason NCSS has made so much progress over the last few years is because of the efforts of the staff and I’m very very proud of them. Not many of them are here with us this evening and I’m not going to read off all of their names. I will point out to you that they are listed in your program. And I want to mention four in particular who are in this forum. The first is Susan Griffin who is the Director of our Council Services and Membership Marketing. Susan just does a marvelous job. You all work with her very closely and I don’t have to sing her praises to you but I do want to publicly acknowledge her. She also has been the one who has been working with Marketing General, our membership marketing consultant, to achieve the gains in membership that we’ve had over the last several years. Her assistant, Mildred “Peaches” McBee, also I think works very closely with all of you, and I want to acknowledge Peaches. Of course we are all enjoying ourself at this meeting thanks to the efforts of Jaime Hitchcock, our Director of Meetings, and her assistant Kim Soehnlein, who handles registration and exhibits. So I’d also like to acknowledge both of those individuals. They’ve done a superb job for us and I look forward to them doing an even better job as time goes on. Thank you. And I’d be glad to respond to any questions you might have. No questions? Thank you.

 

Carol Marquis thanked Rich Diem and Martharose Laffey for their reports and introduced Jack Larner, Chair of the Assignment Committee.

 

Report of the Assignment Committee

Jack Larner: Good afternoon everybody. It’s good to be here and I’m hoping you’re feeling the same way. It’s a wonderful conference, and we’re off to a great start. We’re looking forward to a good tomorrow and maybe a beautiful Sunday if the weather changes a little bit for us. We have a report from the Assignment Committee. As you know, we are elected from among you and it is our responsibility to select on your behalf two individuals to serve on a cluster of the NCSS operating committees. And I would like first of all to thank the members of our committee who are just superb individuals, who really work well together, they are heart and soul individuals, sweetheart people up and down the line, sharp, articulate, just everything we like to see in our profession. It’s a fine bunch of people. I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to work among them for three years. Steve Armstrong from Connecticut, Lynn Burlbaw from Texas, Marsha Hurt from Kentucky, Kim Kozbial Hess from Ohio, Jeff Ladd from New Hampshire, Vernell Forrest Lewis from Mississippi, John Papadonis from Massachusetts, and Sandy Senior Dauer from Connecticut, who will be next year’s chair of the committee.

Our report for you today is two-fold. First of all, you’ll remember on this occasion a year ago I somewhat took the Dwight Moody extortionist mode encouraging you all to really work the trees, bushes, and fields of this nation to get people to step forward, and present themselves for consideration for committee membership in this organization. We are so happy to report to you that you were effective. We had quite a nice number of candidates, well qualified people to consider this morning at a three hour meeting. It is not an easy task because you did provide us so many really good people. Please continue to do this. It’s obvious that it can be done and we are so delighted to have these people stepping forward and offering themselves to the service of our beloved organization. The selections that we made on your behalf today are as follows. Academic Freedom Ethics and Equity Committee: Charles E. Jenks, Pennsylvania; Jeff Ladd, New Hampshire. Assessment: Jesse Markow, Illinois; Peter McAllister, Nova Scotia, Canada. Awards: Leslie L. Youngstead, Wisconsin; Kristy Brugar, Maryland. Conference: Linda Bennett, Missouri. Curriculum: Ellen Kottler, Nevada; Carol Corrody, North Carolina. Instruction: Sharon Daugherty, Texas; Janet Elaine Alleman, Michigan. International Activities: Rich Gibson, Michigan; Ernie L. Diller, Colorado. Publications: Edward Hootstein, Virginia; Timothy Little, Michigan. Public Relations: Virginia Davis, Virginia. Research: Marie Elena Galvez-Martin, Ohio. Teacher Education and Professional Development: Rosa Hernandez Teitz, Alabama; Charles Holt, West Virginia. We again thank you so much for bringing so many fine people our way and the committee will continue happily and heartily to serve you in the future. Thank you.

 

The Report of the Assignment Committee was accepted by the House. President Richard Diem introduced Cricket Kidwell, Acting Chair of the Resolutions Committee

 

Cricket Kidwell: Thank you. I’m acting chairperson as Ed Lott was not able to be here with us. The Resolutions Committee looked at 19 different resolutions beginning yesterday. We have copies that are being passed out right now by the Steering Committee. You’ll have an opportunity to look at these this evening and we will take comments and move for action at tomorrow morning’s meeting. There are 19 resolutions. The last eight are courtesy resolutions. Any questions? The resolutions that we will be considering are: 97-01, Freedom of Speech; 97-02, Conference Preview: This deals with the program; 97-03, Assessment And Teacher Evaluation; 97-04, Social Studies in State Assessments; 97-05, The New Standards Project; 97-06, Teacher Certification in Social Studies; 97-07, Elementary Educator Participation in NCSS; 97-08, Public Relations; 97-09, Social Studies in Democratic Society; 97-10, School to Work; 97-11, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 97-12 is a courtesy resolution commending NCSS and the collaboration with FCSS, and the rest are the courtesy resolutions. Thank you.

 

Carol Marquis: While those are coming out to you, we promised that you would be looking at different pieces of paper. I would appreciate it if you could find in your packet the piece of paper that’s listed as number 14. It is the NCSS House of Delegates Survey. And Martharose Laffey made reference to this particular document. Last year those of us on the committee fondly called it the purple haze document in honor of Fred [Isele], who we found out is quite a whiz on 60’s and 70’s music, and that document was in a purple color for you. It was quite a lengthy survey and we truly appreciated you taking time to fill it out and give us your comments. They were very interesting and as was mentioned by Martharose, the Board of Directors has looked at those documents. And actually, thanks to Fred, each of your delegations will receive a complete copy of those results so that you can take a look at the comments of last year’s delegates.

We wanted to take the survey one step further and offer you a chance to take a look at the top three choices in each of the categories. And you’ll notice when looking at handout number 14 that the four categories were: the issues facing social studies education, areas in which social studies professionals need assistance, ways NCSS can support the social studies, and, as NCSS enters the 21st century, what its top four goals should be. I wanted to ask you in the next few minutes to talk among yourselves and people in your delegations and spend a few minutes considering these items. Then, take time on your own as individuals to rank order these items so that we can get a little bit more specific when it comes to what your concerns are. You’ll notice in the directions you are asked to assign a rank order by numbering 1, 2, 3 or 4 for each category. Number 1, for our purposes, will be the item in that list that you think is the most important, and so on. Go as far as your numbers can go. And it is all right to talk during this time period. This is not a quiz. In fact, we would welcome questions. We would welcome you talking to each other and what we’d like to do is give you kind of a time limit for this. We’re going to give you the next fifteen minutes to talk about this and we’ll be out among you talking to you. The chair has said it’s actually going to be ten minutes.

 

Delegates completed the handout.

 

Rich Diem, President: Please come to order again. While you’re getting this together and coming back to order, I hope that many of you had the opportunity this afternoon to see the Amistad presentation with Debbie Allen. If you did and you enjoyed it as much as I did and you really want to make yourself helpful to NCSS you might want to drop a line to Steven Spielberg’s company DreamWorks because we are going to be in Anaheim, CA next year. It would be so nice if we could also help out Tedd Levy [NCSS President-Elect] as he puts his program together. It would be nice if DreamWorks said, “We’d like to do something with NCSS again.” And I think if we could show our appreciation by just simply dropping a note, that would help. I thought that it was a wonderful presentation and I certainly want to see the movie. I hope everybody does. My understanding is that they’re going to have teacher materials that they are beginning to develop for that movie. Eventually it’s going to come out on videotape, and people will be able to use it in classrooms with accompanying teaching materials. So I hope that you keep your eye out for that, because I think it’ll probably be a very useful and a very important film to show students.

 

Roll Call of the State/Nominations for House Committees

Carol Marquis, Steering Committee Chair, conducted the roll call of the states to receive nominations for HOD committees.

 

Nominations for Assignment Committee were: Maria Gallo, New York; James Sheehan, North Dakota; Ruth Stas, Middle States.

 

Nomination and Elections Committee nominees were: Betty Barringer, Texas; John Chiodo, Oklahoma; Jacqueline Purdy, California; Kate Samoska, Illinois.

 

Resolutions Committee nominees were: Dean Cantu, Missouri; Tracy Dussia, Virginia; Eugene Earsom, Oklahoma; John Papadonis, Massachusetts.

 

Steering Committee nominees were: Keith Dauer, Connecticut; Bob Lombard, Illinois; Mark Previte, Pennsylvania; Linda Trevorrow, Minnesota; Lynda Wagner, Rhode Island.

 

 

Rich Diem, President: The House will come to order for just a few more minutes. Let me make a couple of announcements before we adjourn for this evening. The first announcement is that we will reconvene tomorrow at approximately 8:00, let’s say 7:50. We will have the food cart available, coffee for sure. The second announcement I’d like to make is that one of our long time members of NCSS, a member of the Board of Directors and a delegate from Maryland, Peggy Altoff, is celebrating her birthday. She has celebrated her birthday with NCSS for the past 11 years. I don’t know if we want to sing Happy Birthday but we can all say it. There’s also somebody from California.

 

Gentleman: Also from California, our current president Linda Boaen, has a birthday as well today.

 

Rich Diem, President: Happy birthday and thank you for celebrating your birthday here at our meeting. We will not mention anybody’s ages unless it becomes a point of order. Finally, we had a terrific general session today and we have two more that I think are really going to be terrific over the next couple of days. Tomorrow we have Sharon Robinson, who is the daughter of Jackie Robinson, making a presentation. She now works for major league baseball among other things. And then on Sunday, we’re very fortunate because we have the teacher of the year for the United States who happens to be a teacher in the Cincinnati public schools. And I think that both of those presentations will be well worth your while. Having said that, I will adjourn the house until tomorrow morning at approximately 7:50. Is there a motion for adjournment?

Can I have a motion for adjournment? We are adjourned.

Session Two

Saturday, November 22, 1997

President Richard Diem called the House to order. Dan Langen, Chair of the Credentials Committeee announced there were 217 delegates certified and seated. This report of the Credentials Committee was adopted by the House.

 

 

Voting for House Committees

Carol Marquis, Steering Committee Chair, introduced Nominees for House Committees. Ballots were distributed and collected.

 

Recognition of Gold and Silver Star Councils and “Each One Reach One” Participants

Susan Griffin, Director of Council Services and Membership Marketing: I’d first like to recognize our “Each One, Reach One” campaign, which was started by the Membership Committee about four years ago. We ask NCSS members to recruit people for National Council for the Social Studies. And each time their name appears as a sponsor their name goes into a hat. Once a year, we pick a person to get two free tickets anywhere in the continental United States. This year’s winner was Barbara Cruz from Florida. But we had 75 other people who participated in Each One, Reach One. We want to display their names so that you can see them. We encourage you to do the same thing because in a four month period we had 230 members recruited this way. We’re trying to get people involved at the very beginnings of their careers and that’s extremely important. So I want to remind you that if you do recruit someone, please put your name on the membership application as a sponsor so you get credit for it. Then you too can be eligible for two free tickets somewhere.

Now we’re ready for the Gold and Silver Stars. Because of the time it takes to distribute the Gold and Silver certificates, we’re going to mail the certificates to everyone. But we wanted to have your name in lights as well and these Gold and Silver Star Councils are going to be listed in The Social Studies Professional this year. The criteria for attaining Gold and Silver Star status are pretty rigorous and as a result of that we get very few Gold Star Councils. We have a wonderful list of Silver Star councils, and frequently the problem in getting from Silver to Gold is the fact that a Council was not able to increase the number of members who belong jointly to the Council and to NCSS. So I urge all of you Councils that are doing so well in other areas to try to increase your joint membership and recruit people for NCSS. Our Silver Star Councils are California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, (you can clap for these) Michigan, Middle States, Niagara Frontier which is in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Cypress Fairbanks in Texas (Cypress Fairbanks is here every year.), Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. We’re very proud to have two local councils as Gold Stars this year. One is the Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers. Those New Yorkers are so shy. The second is Lancaster Lebanon in Pennsylvania. And our Gold Star State is Missouri. I’d also like to welcome two new councils—the Cape and Islands Council in Massachusetts and the San Antonio Northside Council. The work of our affiliates is vital to the success of our organization so I want to thank you for all you do.

 

Rich Diem, President: Again, I think we owe a large round of applause to Susan Griffin for all of the work that she does. Before we turn things over to the Candidates Forum I’ve been asked to make sure that everybody has turned in their ballots. Do we have anybody, so they can begin the counting procedure. Are there any more ballots out there? Okay. We’ll then turn to agenda item number 17 which is the Candidates Forum for Board of Directors nominees and I’d like to turn it over to Barbara Easley from Missouri. By the way, having grown up in St. Louis I guess I deserve to be thought of as from Missouri as well, right? I graduated from University City High School.

 

Candidates Forum

Barbara Easley, Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, introduces the Nominations and Elections Committee and explains the procedures for the Candidates Forum.

 

Barbara Easley: See, everybody has roots in Missouri somewhere. Go back six ways and sooner or later you’ll find somebody who belongs to Missouri somewhere along the line. Good morning, everybody. It’s very nice to see you all here today. This portion of the House is devoted to a very brief opportunity for you to meet the candidates that will be on the slate in the spring for the Board of Directors of NCSS. Before I introduce them, I would like to say a very huge thank you for all of the diligent hard work that the Nominations and Elections Committee has done. It is not one of those leisurely committees where you write back and forth. Everyone on this committee is out actively seeking candidates every year and I just want to mention their names very quickly! Jackie Abbott from Connecticut who will be the chair of this committee next year; Gerald Marker from Bloomington, Indiana; Sherrelyn Smith from Kansas; Allen Queen from North Carolina; Marcie Taylor Thoma, from Maryland; Linda Johnson from Michigan; Linda Trevorrow from Minnesota; and our Board liaison, Steve Johnson from Texas, who has done an outstanding job and I want to give a special thank you to him.

Very quickly, this is the process that we use: I will introduce the two vice presidential candidates. They will each speak for three minutes and then all of the other candidates will come up, introduce themselves to you, and give a very brief little bio of themselves and their goal for NCSS should they be elected to the Board. Then at the end of this House the candidates will be available to informally answer questions, and if you look around the room right now you’ll see there are signs hung that will identify where they will be. So if you wish to see the middle school candidates, for example, their sign is hanging over here and that’s where you would go to locate them. The candidates will also be available to speak with any and all members from 1:30 to 2:30 in the NCSS booth just before the FASSE raffle drawing. So you could also encourage any colleagues who are here with you who are not present in the House to come and meet with the candidates, speak with them, ask questions, and be informed voters. That, after all, is what we teach our students every year and we should be fulfilling that same goal. The president elect who will be on the ballot this year is Tedd Levy from Connecticut and Tedd is here somewhere. Tedd, would you stand up and let everybody see you so they know where you are? Okay. Our two vice president candidates this year are Dr. Susan Adler and Dr. Tom McGowan and to be very fair they were just saying how are we going to do this? We do things and so Dr. Adler will speak to you first, immediately followed by Dr. Tom McGowan.

 

Dr. Susan Adler, Kansas City, Missouri, Candidate for Vice-President: Good morning. It was in the spring of 1992 that I received a phone call from then NCSS President Margit McGuire asking if I’d serve on the task force to develop curriculum standards. Well, I replied naively, that could be interesting. When I got together with the task force in Bloomington, Indiana that summer we looked at one another and heaved a collective sigh and wondered what we’d gotten ourselves into. In fact, we continued to wonder about that as we worked over a two year period of time. I am proud of what emerged, not only from the efforts of the task force but from the collective wisdom of all of you and others who gave us feedback and support. As an organization we may frequently wonder what we’re doing, but we have through this work and other efforts taken important steps to clarify and strengthen our vision of meaningful social studies curriculum and instruction. But that work continues.

We need to continue to work to get our message out to the public. Who was it who said that good things have to be done again forever? Educating ourselves, our colleagues, and our publics about the nature and role of social studies must be an ongoing effort. At the same time we must always remember the children and the adolescents, the kids. When I watch you work with young people I’m reminded of the importance of caring and community. The support of caring classroom relationships and civic and civil communities is an extension of work we already do. However, NCSS might do even more to advocate classroom and school structures which are learner and teacher friendly.

Schools should be places where children and learning, not bureaucracy and schedules and tasks, are primary and where teachers are regarded as responsible, capable professionals. Through our awards which honor programs of excellence and outstanding teachers we can highlight the ways in which teachers and schools build relationships and focus on all learners. Committees can be asked to examine their charges and to identify possible activities they might engage in to strengthen the voice of all youth. Programs at state and national levels can highlight themes of caring and connection and help disseminate models of classroom communities. And we must explore ways in which we can be better advocates for all kids outside of classrooms where civic action and civic education ultimately take place. As educators we must be about the business of structuring and creating systems that work better for teachers and young people that can be real caring communities. Thank you.

 

Dr. Tom McGowan, Tempe, Arizona, Candidate for Vice-President: Good morning. I’m honored by this opportunity to address the House since it represents the membership of NCSS. So I feel privileged to share my vision for this organization’s future this morning. To be honest, I feel like a preacher since I’m addressing an assembly of our organizations’ most faithful members but I promise not to pound the podium. I will confess that in preparing this talk I searched for a text on which to speak and I discovered one in the survey of last year’s House of Delegates that we looked at last night. Asked what issues face social educators, respondents named assessment, updating social studies standards and the devaluation of social studies in the K-12 curriculum. Asked to identify areas in which teachers need assistance, they targeted the application of technology to the classroom and turning national standards into local curriculum. Asked how NCSS can support its members, they stated that we must provide quality teaching resources, offer professional development opportunities and support research that describes best practice for social studies teaching. I endorse these recommendations as a powerful vision that the NCSS should make a reality. Viewed collectively, they argue for responsiveness, and that NCSS should intensify its efforts to respond to the needs of teachers and the young people that they serve.

Attempts to revitalize NCSS must pass this test. They must make classrooms better places in which young people can learn to hold the office of citizen. For example, as we focus on assessment we must remember who it is that we’re assessing and not view assessment in political terms. We must assess children’s progress so that they can learn
better, not because the newspaper has questioned declining test scores.

In his last campaign, Bill Clinton was reminded to focus on the economy. As an organization we can never forget that our priority is the students. In my twenty-two years as a teacher I’ve tried to remember that priority. As a state council president and an NCSS board member I’ve pushed for programs that influence what happens in the classroom. In my current job I spend most of every day trying to connect my university with schools across our state. And I say to my colleagues that we should judge our teacher preparation programs by one standard—do they encourage future and present classroom teachers to do good things for kids? My daughter once told me something to keep in mind as we work to make NCSS a more responsive organization. I asked her, what does a teacher do? Being a professor, I thought she’d use terms like manage and facilitate but instead she said a teacher helps kids out. We need to find people who understand and exemplify the phrase, “It’s the students,” and support them in the crucial work that they do. Thank you.

 

Barbara Easley: You’ll now hear very briefly from each of the other candidates. I had just said that we would do this alphabetically to be very fair. But the two elementary candidates were down there doing rock/paper/scissors to decide who was going to go first. So I’m going to let them do it their way. And there are two elementary level candidates. One will be elected. All the following candidates now will introduce themselves, tell you where they’re from, what they do, and give just a one sentence statement of their goal for NCSS and social studies.

 

Mary Ellen Sorensen, MA: Good morning. I’m Mary Ellen Sorensen from Massachusetts. Kim would have gone first but she had a band lesson. So you know that’s what happens. I’m delighted to be on the agenda on the Board. Actually, I did this because Susan Griffin promised me I’d see my name in lights and I think that if I had to say one thing about my goal for social studies for the future for elementary teachers, it is that I want to let them know that they’re a respected part of the educational community and I want to share the fact that after years of teaching, I’m still excited about it, and I want the new teachers in the community to know that it’s a great profession. Thank you.

 

Kim Kozbial Hess, OH: Good morning. My name is Kim Kozbial Hess. And I’m a 4th grade teacher in Toledo, Ohio. I’ve been teaching for 17 years. Right now I’m on special assignment and I’m working with computers in two elementary schools in Toledo with K-4 teachers and their students, in using technology and integrating it with the curriculum. My goal would be to increase elementary principal and institutional memberships through the elementary principals. And also there has been a growth in elementary memberships through Social Studies and the Young Learner, our elementary publication. I’d like to encourage more elementary teachers to participate in the NCSS programs and also encourage them to use the NCSS standards as they are preparing their lessons for their students. Thank you.

 

Barbara Easley: There are two candidates for the middle school level. One will be elected.

 

Sandy Haftel, NJ: Hi, my name is Sandy Haftel and I’m running for re-election to the Board. I’m from Allendale, New Jersey please. Not New Joi-sey. Only Joi-sey City people say New Joi-sey. Anyway, I’m from middle school. I do the social studies coordination for our school district that’s K-8. And I teach all of the 7th grade classes and I mean all. I have two goals that I’d like to continue with. The first is continuing to make social studies an integral and an important part of all the disciplines in the middle school and all the other grade levels. Sometimes I feel that social studies is devalued and I get very upset. I feel that citizenship and a sense of our history is probably most important and all the other disciplines can be integrated into our discipline, which is what I do in my middle school. The second concern, most dear to me, is for bringing new young teachers into the fold of NCSS, nurturing them and teaching them how to be true professionals. I’ve continued with this and I guess it must be working because my youngest is now a social studies teacher in Pennsylvania. So for the one who said “I hate history,” something happened along the way. And it was one of you or someone like you who helped to change the course. And so I thank you.

 

Leonard Piekarski, MO: My name is Leonard Piekarski and I teach 7th and 8th grade social studies at Hazelwood Junior High School, a suburb of St. Louis. I was previously an elementary teacher of sixth graders and moved up to the middle school level. I realize that in education we need to be child-centered. Content, of course, is important, and mustn’t be forgotten, but NCSS needs to realize that the students, their education, and their activities in the classroom need to be foremost in our minds. And so as a member of the NCSS Board of Directors, I will keep the students on the Board and not forget about them. Thank you.

 

Barbara Easley: There are four secondary level candidates and two will be elected. And I think we’re sticking with alphabetical order now. Is that right?

 

Christine Allen, OR: Good morning. My name is Christine Allen. I am a high school social studies teacher from Salem, Oregon and, in addition to teaching high school, I also coordinate the high school model UN program for the state. My goal for NCSS and for being on the Board is to continue the growth in membership for NCSS. In addition to that, I think there is a real concern for all of the varieties of state standards and state assessment tests and so on so that NCSS needs to continue to provide excellent leadership in that area. Thank you.

 

Steve Armstrong, CT: Good morning. My name’s Steve Armstrong. I’m a teacher and social studies department chairperson at Manchester High School, Manchester, Connecticut. I’m also an adjunct professor of history at Central Connecticut State University in Connecticut. Last year I was a teacher in residence at the State Department of Education. My two goals for social studies and for NCSS are: first off in Connecticut, and in many states, there seems to be an effort to devalue the social studies as a discipline. I think this is an important thing that we continue to fight to keep social studies at the same level as math, science, and the other disciplines. My other goal would be to continue to increase participation by teachers at the local and national level. And perhaps most important for me is to increase activities in the NCSS and local councils. Let’s do things to make students active participants in the elective and democratic processes as well. Thank you very much.

 

Bill Bartelt, IN: My name is Bill Bartelt. I am a teacher at Harrison High School at Evansville, Indiana. I teach economics, government, and American history. I also am an adjunct faculty member of the University of Southern Indiana. I have two goals. One, of course, is for NCSS to be a voice for the secondary teachers and on the controversial issues which face our profession. And the other one is that, as the local school districts reduce their budgets for inservice learning and additional training of that sort, I think NCSS and their support services become even more important. And so I would encourage NCSS to continue and maybe even expand the activities that currently are going on to provide material and support services for the secondary teachers across the country. Thank you.

 

Katherine Robinson, MD: Good morning. I’m Katherine Robinson and I teach at Parkville High School in Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland. I’m very honored to be here. I’ve only been involved in social studies for 7 or 8 years. I’m a younger teacher, and it’s a second career for me. But I’m excited about the chance to bring the excitement of this group of people to every classroom, to every child. Staff development provides an opportunity to do that and NCSS provides leadership in that area. I know that we can go back and infect everybody and every child can be in a classroom like yours. And that’s what I want and that’s what I hope I’ll be able to do as I work with the Board of Directors. Thank you.

 

Gavin Faichney, Melbourne, Australia: I’m Gavin Faichney from Deacon University in Melbourne, Australia. I’m currently the vice chair of the International Assembly of Social Studies Educators of NCSS. I would like to assist NCSS to develop further its recognition of the international fraternity of social education. We have a growing number of people who are becoming involved with their organization, and through our international assembly I would like to increase and enhance that implementation and affiliation of those people within your organization. So the opportunities for social studies, not just within USA but around the world, can be increased and the students that we work with can be active participants in the 21st century. Thank you very much.

 

Barbara Easley: There are two candidates in the “other professional” category. One will be elected. And we’re doing this alphabetically.

 

Diane Hart, CA: Good morning. My name is Diane Hart. I’m an education writer and consultant and I live in California. There are two things I want to say. One is, I would like to help serve as a bridge between the people who hire me to write the words your students read and the people I write for, you and your students. Secondly, I think the work we do as social studies educators is the most important work in the world. I would like to see NCSS become a stronger advocate for what we do and its importance; but also support each and every one of us to be better advocates where we live in our own communities, in our own schools, and in our own districts for social studies education. Thank you.

 

Gayle Thieman, WA: It’s been my privilege and pleasure to be a social studies educator for over 20 years in Illinois, Colorado, Alaska, and now Washington, my new home. Currently I’m a high school assistant principal and a part-time doctoral student working on educational reform. My goals for National Council for Social Studies reflect the work that I have done on the Membership Committee for 7 years and as a member of the FASSE Board. I think the most important goal for the National Council is to continue increasing and diversifying our membership, because with a very strong membership we can then continue to move forward in some other challenges. I believe that we need to continue providing the leadership for promoting instruction and assessment strategies that truly reflect the social studies and that reflect the NCSS standards. We need to be increasing our leadership and our outreach and dialogue with teachers all over the world. And we need to continue to provide opportunities for workshops for teachers everywhere. It’s very important to me that NCSS play the lead role in social studies and I would like to have the opportunity to continue that as a member of the Board.

Barbara Easley: There are two candidates for the FASSE [Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education] Board. One will be elected. I believe Jack Zevin had another commitment and is not here but Ron Banaszak is. Ron.

 

Ron Banaszak: I’m Ron Banaszak and I currently direct youth education programs for the American Bar Association but in previous jobs have been a college professor, a high school social studies teacher, and vice president of a foundation in San Francisco dealing with economics education. In that capacity I both raised money and made strategic decisions about how to use the money to further the goals of the organization. And it seems that that’s what we need to be doing with the FASSE Board. That would be that experience that I would bring to the Board, both on the fundraising side—how to generate additional income so we have it to use—and on how we use that strategically to further the organizational goals.

 

Barbara Easley: That is the slate of candidates who will appear on the ballot in the spring for NCSS. I’d like you to join me in recognizing them one more time for the commitment that they are willing to give to this organization. Please remember that you can speak to each and every one of them after this House meeting, which is over at 10:30. And please avail yourselves of that opportunity and an additional one, from 1:30 to 2:30 at the NCSS booth. Thank you all very much.

 

Presentation and Actions on Resolutions

Cricket Kidwell, Acting Chair of the Resolutions Committee, introduced members of the committee and presented resolutions.

Cricket Kidwell: I’m Cricket Kidwell from California and I’m the acting Chair of the Resolutions Committee. If you are here, would you please stand? Sophia Atkins from Tennessee; Evelyn Williams of Maryland. Also assisting were Linda Fusco, Steering Committee member from New York; Susan Griffin of NCSS; and Carol Marquis, Steering Committee chair, California.

We had two hearing meetings over the last couple of days and a lengthy session for review and revision. I’d like to say that during the revision process we sought to maintain the integrity and the intent of the resolution, attempting only to clarify ambiguity or grammar. I made several corrections in typos and spelling, this morning so the corrected version should be on the big screens in front of you. Our role is only to present the resolutions, not to take a position. This year we had a unique situation in that several of the resolutions that came to our committee were developed during the summer leadership institute and they were then taken back to state councils for state sponsorship. So several of the resolutions that we received were either identical or very close to other ones from other state councils. So we attempted to summarize or condense those into one resolution.

 

97-01

Freedom of Speech

This resolution was withdrawn by the New York Council for the Social Studies.

 

97-02

Conference Preview

Submitted by Maryland Council for the Social Studies

 

WHEREAS Social Studies educators need to validate their participation in the National Conference in order to receive permission and/or funding to attend, and

 

WHEREAS social studies educators may decide to attend a national conference in part because they know other educators who are presenting, and

 

WHEREAS publication of the national conference preview for 1997 appeared to have ample space for the publication of names of presenters, and

 

WHEREAS it has been a practice in the past to publish the names of presenters,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the NCSS Board of Directors work with the Director of Meetings to assure that the annual preview for the 1998 and succeeding years include publication of all session presenters whose names appear on the proposal form.

Passed.

 

Resolution 97-03: Educator Assessment Instruments

Submitted by the NCSS Assessment Committee

 

WHEREAS state-wide assessment testing is being adopted by more states, and

 

WHEREAS teacher, administrator and staff evaluations and job security are being tied to state-wide assessments, and

 

WHEREAS there are numerous methods of assessing students other than standardized paper and pencil tests, and

 

WHEREAS there are a variety of factors affecting the results of any given assessment instrument,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Council for the Social Studies state its firm belief that standardized test results not be used in teacher, administrator and staff evaluation processes, and communicate its opposition to state education agencies, state boards of education, state associations of school committees and superintendents organizations of all states and territories.

Passed.

 

Resolution 97-04: Resolution to Include Social Studies in State Assessments

Submitted by the Middle States Council for the Social Studies and the Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers from New York City.

 

WHEREAS testing/assessment is a vital component of education, and

 

WHEREAS many states require state level tests/assessments,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that NCSS strongly supports the inclusion of social studies skills and content at appropriate curricular levels in state tests/assessments at elementary, middle and high school.

We urge that delegates press their state education agencies and boards of education to ensure social studies skills and content are present in all state assessments.

Passed.

 

 

Resolution 97-05: New Standards Project

Submitted by the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS The National Alliance for Restructuring Education has done an excellent job in establishing rigorous, world-class national education standards collectively called The New Standards Project, and

 

WHEREAS The National Alliance for Restructuring Education has created noteworthy national assessments including both performance assessments and traditional objective examinations to measure those national educational standards, and

 

WHEREAS The National Alliance for Restructuring Education has regrettably chosen to exclude the social studies from the academic subjects in their standards and assessment, and

 

WHEREAS the exclusion of social studies from these standards and assessment may diminish the importance of instructional time devoted to the social studies in school systems throughout the nation,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Delegates request the Board of Directors to take action to encourage state, regional, affiliate organizations and all other social studies professional organizations to communicate their displeasure with The National Alliance for Restructuring Education on the exclusion of social studies in The New Standards Project and encourage that organization to include the social studies in its assessments and standards.

 

A number of delegates spoke in support of this resolution, recognizing that if social studies is not assessed in their state, its place in the curriculum is undermined. Passed.

 

Resolution 97-06: Teacher Certification.

Submitted by the New York State Council for the Social Studies, Middle States Council for the Social Studies and Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS it is important for students to receive the best education possible in order to prepare for their future, and

 

WHEREAS it is recognized that teachers educated in a specific discipline are able to conduct more knowledgeable and interesting classes,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that NCSS strongly advocates that all teachers of middle school, junior high school and high school social studies classes be certified by their state educational agencies in social studies or social studies disciplines in which they teach. This resolution shall be distributed to state governors, educational chairpersons of state legislatures, state education department leaders, the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and National Association of Secondary School Principals.

A number of delegates spoke in support. Passed.

 

Resolution 97-07: Elementary Educator
Participation

Submitted by the Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers of New York City, Middle States Council for the Social Studies, Missouri Council for the Social Studies and New York State Council for the Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS elementary education is the foundation of the social studies experience, and

 

WHEREAS elementary social studies professionals have been underrepresented in local, state and national organizations, and

 

WHEREAS research indicates that social studies instruction in the elementary school is of great importance to the development of civic competence,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that we encourage NCSS and all affiliated councils to have elementary educators represented throughout all levels of council participation, activity and governance.

Passed after strong support from delegates.

 

Resolution 97-08: Public Relations Campaign

Submitted by Florida Council for Social Studies, New York State Council for Social Studies, Middle States Council for Social Studies and Missouri Council for Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS social studies education is important in understanding our common heritage and our role as citizens in the United States, and

 

WHEREAS the general public and many political leaders may not have a clear perception of the subject matter and importance of social studies education, and

 

WHEREAS this perception may contribute to devaluing of social studies education in our society, creating a climate in which states and local schools may dismiss the importance of social studies in their curriculum planning,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the NCSS Board of Directors create and oversee an ongoing public relations program with the goal of providing a clear image of social studies and its importance to the general public.

Discussion followed. The resolution was amended by adding “and the world” after “ citizens in the United States.” Passed as amended.

 

Resolution 97-09: Recognizing the
Importance of Social Studies to a Democratic Society.

Submitted by the New York State Council for the Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS social studies is a vital component of education that stands at the core of democratic society, and

 

WHEREAS standards of social studies content, skills, and common core values are essential means of understanding and acquiring civic competency to preserve and further the ends of democratic society,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that National Council for the Social Studies supports the development, practices and assessment of the related disciplines of social studies that support our democratic society. We urge that the NCSS Board of Directors cultivate relations and alliances with groups responsible for proposing and/or writing state standards and assessments in the area of social studies.

Passed.

 

Resolution 97-10: School To Work

Submitted by the Indiana Council for the Social Studies.

 

WHEREAS the School To Work Opportunities Act in 1994 has resulted in high school programs being established in 41 of the 50 states, and

 

WHEREAS in most of the secondary School To Work programs social studies courses are not included as part of the core curriculum and social studies teachers do not have an opportunity to participate in the program,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that NCSS develop a taskforce to investigate how social studies fits into the School To Work Program and develop a position statement which could be used to convince state and local departments of education that social studies courses belong in the core curriculum for School To Work Programs.

Passed.

 

Resolution 97-11: Declaration of Human Rights

Submitted by the NCSS Academic Freedom, Ethics and Equity Committee

 

WHEREAS December 10, 1998 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sets forth a common standard of achievement for all peoples of the globe and serves as a foundation for all human rights law, and

 

WHEREAS human rights are essential to democracy and a sustainable peace, and

 

WHEREAS education about human rights is itself a basic human right guaranteed by international law which declares that a government may not stand in the way of people learning about their rights from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and

 

WHEREAS education about human rights is also a responsibility of every individual and every organ of society which the Universal Declaration exhorts to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms,” and

 

 

WHEREAS the United Nations has declared 1995-2004 the Decade for Human Rights Education, and

 

WHEREAS at the 1991 annual meeting in St. Louis, National Council for the Social Studies endorsed education about the rights of children,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that National Council for the Social Studies declare its support for human rights education and call on NCSS members to use the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an occasion to bring human rights into every classroom during 1998 and beyond. NCSS members are encouraged to display the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their schools; include in their teaching the full range of rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, such as health care, housing, and equal education; bring a human rights perspective to both professional and classroom discussions of contemporary issues in the United States, such as intellectual freedom, capital punishment, affirmative action, children’s rights, gender equity, bilingual education, welfare reform, refugees and immigration; improve their own knowledge of human rights and methods for teaching human rights by participating in inservice and enrichment courses; and strive to make their classrooms and schools human rights communities that reflect the standards and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

Amended to reflect “1989 annual meeting in St. Louis” instead of “1991.” The Be it Resolved section was amended to:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the National Council for the Social Studies declare its support for human rights education and call on all NCSS members to use the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights as an occasion to bring human rights into every classroom during 1998 and beyond. NCSS members are encouraged to:

  • display the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their schools
  • include in their teaching the full range of rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • bring a human rights perspective to both professional and classroom discussions of contemporary issues, such as intellectual freedom, capital punishment, affirmative action, children’s rights, gender equity, bilingual education, welfare reform, refugees, immigration and people with disabilities
  • improve their own knowledge of human rights and methods for teaching human rights by participation in in-service and enrichment courses, and
  • strive to make their classrooms and schools human rights communities that reflect the standards and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Discussed and passed as amended.

 

Richard Diem: The first item, Resolution 97-01, that was submitted by the New York State Council for the Social Studies was withdrawn. I’ve been informed that the Maryland Council for the Social Studies wishes to reintroduce that. In conferring with the parliamentarian, if there is no objection, since this resolution has already been looked at by the Resolutions Committee we will bring it forward. Is there any objection? Seeing none we will then be discussing Resolution 97-01 and we’ll read that to you.

 

97-01 Freedom of Speech

Submitted by Maryland Council for the Social Studies.

WHEREAS campaigning for public office is an important part of the democratic election process, and

 

WHEREAS prohibiting all campaigning for an elected National Council for the Social Studies position is contrary to the democratic principles of the citizenship taught by social studies educators, and

 

WHEREAS the prohibition of all campaigning denies members and candidates the freedom of speech and assembly and is not legally or morally enforceable,

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the NCSS Board of Directors establish new guidelines for NCSS election campaigning that allow candidates and their supporters to utilize the freedom of speech beyond the confines of forums at the annual NCSS convention and the statements and background of candidates in the NCSS election packet. These guidelines would also include a clear limitation on campaign expenditures.

There was a lively discussion on both sides. An amendment was offered and passed:

 

In the third “whereas,” to strike the words after the word “assembly” in the line that says, “and is not legally or morally enforceable.” The clause now reads:

 

WHEREAS the prohibition of all campaigning denies members and candidates freedom of speech and assembly,

 

Following Resolution 97-01, nine courtesy resolutions were moved, seconded and passed. The resolutions commended the collaboration of NCSS and commended the Florida Council for the Social Studies (97-12); John Weakland, Editor of the International Journal of Social Education (97-13); Richard Diem, President of NCSS (97-14); Martharose Laffey and the NCSS staff (97-15); Jaime Hitchcock, NCSS Director of Meetings, the Program Planning Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee (97-16); the House of Delegates Committees for Nominations and Elections; Credentials; Resolutions; and Assignment (97-17); the House of Delegates Steering Committee (97-18);the Cincinnati Convention Center and the Cincinnati Convention Visitors’ Bureau (97-19); and the Summer Leadership Institute (97-20).

 

Announcement of Election Results

Rich Diem, President: New members of the Steering Committees are: Bob Lombard and Lynda Wagner. New members of the Resolutions Committee are John Papadonis and Dean Cantu. For the Assignment Committee the new members are Ruth Stas, Maria Gallo and James Sheehan.

Our new members for the Nominations and Elections Committee are Jacqueline Purdy and Betty Barringer.

Again I want to thank you for your time and your work in the House. I would again remind you of this meeting’s General Sessions, the Vital Issues Sessions. Do I see a motion for adjournment? Is there a second? All those in favor? We stand adjourned until next year in Anaheim.

-- TimDaly - 02 Sep 2005
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