National Council for the Social Studies 43rd Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates

November 19-20, 1999 • Orlando, Florida


Session I
Friday, November 19, 1999


Call to Order

Richard Theisen, President: I’m Rick Theisen, the National Council for the Social Studies President, and I’d like to welcome all of you to the House of Delegates. This is the 43rd House of Delegates and it is a body that is very important in the organization’s structure and functioning.

I’d like to introduce the people at the front here. Ken Mareski is the House of Delegates Steering Committee Chair. He’s doing a fine job. In the House of Delegates, I play a role as President, but the Steering Committee Chair plays a major role And to my left is Charlotte Smith, our Parliamentarian. On the far right is Kim Kozbial-Hess.

President Richard Theisen then announced that the minutes of the 42nd House of Delegates had been approved by the Steering Committee, and called on the Chair of the Credentials Committee to report.


Credentials Committee Report

Jane Palmer, Chair, Credentials Committee: As chairperson of the Credentials Committee I am pleased to report that 200 people are registered and certified to vote in the House of Delegates as of 3:35 p.m. today, Friday, November 19, 1999. As directed by the Credentials Committee, I move the adoption of the credentials report just read.

The motion was put to the vote and the report was accepted.


Richard Theisen: I would like to recognize the people on the Credentials Committee: Karen Beattie, Jane Palmer, John Sims, Jane Humphreys, and Linda Black. If we could just give them a little hand of applause for their work, I’d appreciate it.

President Richard Theisen then drew the attention of the House of Delegates to changes in its manual and agenda. A motion to approve the agenda was made, seconded and passed.


The next item on the agenda is a favorite one for me because, as some of you recognize, the House of Delegates is a place in which I have either made friends or foes—hopefully friends but sometimes foes—because it used to be a place in which I was fairly active. The item is really to explain the role of the House of Delegates and its purpose. It has a two-fold purpose, really. It is to provide a means whereby the members of NCSS may participate in the development of the policies of the organization. Resolutions come to this body and are debated and then passed or modified, whatever the case may be. And then they go to the Board of Directors for their consideration. As a young teacher who was once a delegate here, I used to believe that the Board never considered these resolutions and they just went by the wayside. Now as a Board member and as President, I know that the Board would bypass a resolution with a great deal of trepidation. Resolutions are seriously considered and usually they are either passed or modified slightly and adopted.

The House also serves as a forum for issues relating to the profession and the organization of the Council, and that’s very important. I salute you for being members and also encourage you, if you haven’t done so this year, to bring forth resolutions. This is the grassroots part of the organization and we really need to have your ideas and your proposals.

At this point, I’d like to turn the meeting over to Ken Mareski, the Steering Committee chair.

Ken Mareski: Thank you Rick. I’d like to give a short report on the Steering Committee activities but first I’d like to thank them for all of their work and support. We’ve made a lot of changes in the House of Delegates over the last few years. And it was the membership of this Steering Committee who sat in this House along with you over the years who suggested a lot of these changes. One of the things you’ll note today is that there are no overhead projectors in the room. And we will not attempt to change your eyesight by having you squint at those projections which you noted in last year’s survey should be removed. We have everything on the projection screens this year. The committee has worked long and hard to take care of that. And I’d especially like to thank Kim Kozbial-Hess from Ohio, who is in charge of technology. We both came in with our slides ready to go and it’s a wonderful thing when you can have somebody who is on the same wavelength as you are. We put our slides together and the presentation you see on the board is a combination effort from the two of us. So I’d like to thank Kim for her time and effort in putting it together.

I’d also like to thank Chris Stewart for her work. She’s been working with the Credentials Committee, making sure that we have the places seated. The order has been established in the past by taking the President’s Council and putting them up front and then alphabetically weaving everybody through. So if you’re wondering why you’re seated where you are, it’s because it starts with Rick Theisen’s Council, the Minnesota Council for Social Studies, and then weaves through the House of Delegates as such. And Chris helped us to get those numbers and get everybody in place.

Lynda Wagner, who is the Vice Chairperson of the House of Delegates Steering Committee, is going to be taking over from me and she will be up here next year. She’s done a wonderful job following along and picking up and supporting me whenever I needed help.

Bob Lombard, who you’ll see standing in the aisle over here, is great. He understands the program, the process. We really appreciate his work.

Pat Guillory will be working on the timing today with the clocks. She’ll be following up on the information and passing that along as you are speaking.

And also Susan Griffin, as a member of the NCSS staff, has been instrumental in getting these changes created. I’d like to give her a round of applause for all the support she’s given to our committee.

Ken Mareski then described the procedures for making nominations for House of Delegates committees.


State of the Council Addresses

Richard Theisen, President: The next item on the agenda is the President’s Message. Ken has agreed to put the points on the screen to highlight them. There are several that I’d like to make and they are not very lengthy.

The first one that I’d like to address is on the screen and says the House of Delegates must develop an institutional memory by establishing a platform of positions, principles and beliefs which are modified, reaffirmed, or dropped each year, in addition to the new resolutions that are introduced each year. And the idea behind that is that we need to have an institutionalized memory. Right now it’s like a discrete body. We meet one year and we have no continuation. There’s no memory of where we were and what we were. We need to have such a memory so that when we act as an organization we have a set of principles that we have either had reaffirmed, modified each year or whatever the case may be. So that’s a suggestion for the House.

Secondly, NCSS must find a way of increasing its credibility with elementary teachers by considering staff development models that already work, like those used by our colleagues in geography, economics, and other subject matter areas. I was reminded of that by the Minnesota Council Board Meeting I had just last Saturday in which one of our new board members, who is a fourth grade teacher, made the comment that she got on board through the Geographic Alliance. They had what she called the marvelous workshop in which she felt extremely welcome and walked away with significant amounts of material. Now we may not be able to match the significant financial advantage over us of the NGS, but we really ought to consider how we could make it more attractive and bring in elementary folks.

Thirdly, we must work to strengthen our presence in the state legislatures and departments of education as well as at the U.S. Congress and Department of Education. Again, it’s been an interest of mine to do that, and certainly the fact that we have a great staff member now in Janet Lieberman makes it more possible. If you are on the e-mail and the NCSS website, you know the information she’s provided and I’ve asked the Government Relations Committee to actually come up with a considered legislative agenda or platform.

Next, we must develop a public relations program which focuses on the value of and rationale for social studies in our schools, and responds when unfairly attacked. It fits in well with the fact that we are beginning a public relations program. Some of you may have been members of a focus group already or will be tomorrow. If you were at David Berliner’s session this morning, that is an example of what I think we also need to do in terms of playing a role and doing both things.

Then, we must strongly encourage classroom teachers at the pre-K-12 level to increase their involvement with the committees and leadership positions of this organization. Too much talent, too many good ideas which are experience-based, are currently being lost. You know the individuals who are supervisors, who are college individuals, do a marvelous job, a tremendous job, and this in no way is denigrating their work. But it is simply saying that pre-K-12 people have to step up to the plate and do more of their share too.

Next, NCSS must encourage collaboration between classroom teachers and college/university staff in the schools of education and the social sciences. We can learn from each other. That almost goes without saying, and we’re making some efforts, but we simply have to do more. We just don’t do enough. It’s like separate bodies. It almost reminds me of the separation in the K-12 level between senior high and elementary folks. We have to get beyond talking about up and down and other kinds of language, which get in the way.

And the last item is just to keep a sense of perspective about this all. We must always keep a sense of perspective. Take time to smell the flowers, take long walks by ourselves or with our friends and families. If we don’t, we lose and our students lose in the long run. It was brought to my mind especially by an NEA journal article in which a teacher was making suggestions about eight different things that one might do to keep a sense of perspective, to take care of yourself. So often we are caregivers in many respects but we can only be as good as we are in terms of taking care of ourselves.

The next item on the agenda is one that I enjoy doing. It’s to introduce the NCSS Board of Directors and officers. Could we have them just stand until they all have been announced? Then you might want to give them a hand of applause.

Susan Adler is the President-Elect. Adrian Davis is the Vice President. And then our Board members are Christine Allen—you can applaud each one if you want—and then the next one is Stephen Armstrong. Stephen’s over there on the left. These are being done in alphabetical order. And then Richard Diem, Past President. Diane Hart. Binta Jalloh. Kay Knowles. And Margaret Laughlin. Tedd Levy, the Past President. Mary Teague Mason, who could not be here today. Sally Jo Michalko. Murry Nelson? Oh, he’s picking up Chancellor Schmidt. Leonard Piekarski. Leo Radakovich, right over there. Katherine Robinson, And, no relationship, Paul Robinson. Shelly Singer. Mary Ellen Sorensen. Gary Swalley. Gail Thieman. And finally Emily Wood. Good. Everybody knows Ken Mareski is also on the Board because the Steering Committee Chair is also a member of the Board of Directors.Thank you very much.

Next on my agenda is to introduce Martharose Laffey. Martharose, I think most people know, is the Executive Director of NCSS. She works with the staff we have to provide some excellent service and help us in a number of capacities. And Martharose will be making her presentation at this time.

Martharose Laffey, Executive Director: Thank you Rick. Good evening everyone. It’s a real pleasure to address you today with more good news about NCSS. We have had a very good year financially and in other respects and I want to report to you on that now. You have actually have my written report in front of you or in your packets. And I just want to highlight a couple of things that are in the report for your benefit.

First of all, I want to announce formally that we have, as of June 30, 1999, retired our deficit. We were fortunate last year to have an excess of revenues over expenditures of about $157,000. We had a remaining deficit of $141,000. So we retired the deficit and we also have $15,000 that is now available to be put into a reserve fund or to be put toward new programming for the organization. So we had a very good year financially.

Our membership has also grown over the last year. We have increased our membership to over 27,000 members and subscribers. This is a five percent increase over last year and it’s an all time high for NCSS. I would add that a lot of other educational organizations are realizing membership losses at this time. So I think it’s even more impressive that we are gaining while others are actually losing members. Not that we don’t have a lot more work to do on the membership front. Please don’t get me wrong. We have a much larger universe of potential members out there, and we need to continue to work to bring them into NCSS.

To discuss our revenue picture a little bit further, our budget for this year is 2.9 million dollars. In 1994-95 our budget was 1.8 million dollars. That is a 33 percent increase over the last four years. So we are growing as an organization. Even though our budget is 2.9 million we’ve experienced surpluses of over $157,000 for the last several years.

Our new resources and our increased membership have enabled us to increase our staff. We’ve hired two new staff people. We’ve hired Steve Lapham as an Associate Editor. Steve is editing Social Studies and the Young Learner and will be working to develop a new middle school journal for us, which we hope to launch in 2001. We’ve also hired Ana Chiquillo Post. Ana is in charge of our grants and awards programs and our special projects. Ana will be at the Awards Reception tomorrow evening, and I encourage all of you to stop by and congratulate our award winners and meet Ana if you have the opportunity to do so tomorrow evening.

As Rick mentioned, there are several new initiatives that the Board has decided upon, one of which is the development of a public relations plan. You may recall that several years ago the House of Delegates indicated to the Board that it thought that there was a need to enhance the image of social studies nationally. They called for a public relations effort. And we are being responsive to that request. We have hired a public relations firm, The National School Public Relations Association, to help us develop a plan. They have met with the Board of Directors and are also conducting some focus groups here at this meeting. So I look forward to being able to tell you next year that we have a plan in place that will enhance the image of social studies nationally and also the image of NCSS as the premier organization for social studies educators.

We are also working to enhance our professional development program. This past summer, we had a very successful joint meeting with the National Council of Teachers of English. We anticipate that we will do more of these joint meetings with other subject matter organizations and organizations within the social studies community. This coming summer we are going to be holding a workshop at NECC, a major technology conference in Atlanta. We have found that technology is a very attractive topic for teachers who belong to NCSS and we’ve been able to attract large numbers to technology conferences that we’ve held in the years prior. This will be the largest effort that we have had so far in this area and we hope that it will be very successful.

A couple of other things that I wanted to mention: The Board is considering a proposal for NCSS to spearhead a social studies summit either late next year or early in 2001. And the purpose of the summit would be to bring together all of those organizations that are active in social studies education. These are organizations like the National Council of Geography Education, The National Center for Civic Education, The National Center for History in the Schools, the American Historical Association/Organization of American Historians, and the academic disciplinary organizations that represent the social sciences. At that summit we will look at what our priorities are for social studies education in the next millennium. What are areas of agreement on which we can move forward as a community to work more effectively?

Another effort that looks like it is coming to fruition is one that we’ve been engaged in for several years, a project with WGBH to develop a video series on teaching social studies. This video series would profile teachers in the classroom who are teaching to the social studies standards and would provide good examples of teachers who are effective in the classroom in both pedagogy and content for their social studies students. That project looks like it’s going to be obtaining funding from the CPB Annenberg Corporation.We’re very happy about that and looking forward to it.

I’ve also mentioned that, as some of you may be aware, we are taking over the Keizai Koho Fellowship Program. This is a program that prior to this time had been administered by Linda Wojtan, an NCSS member. NCSS had been a cooperating organization, but we will actually be taking over the administration of this program beginning this year. And I’d encourage those of you who have some time either this evening or tomorrow evening to stop by the Keizai Koho Hospitality Suite which will be in this hotel. If you know of any teachers, or if you yourself might be interested in participating in this program, stop by for more information. It is a program for educators who have never been to Japan who have an interest in developing projects around Japanese culture, education, and society.

Finally, I want to say that I’m very excited about the resolutions that are going to be coming before the House this year. I sat in on the Resolutions Committee yesterday. I must say that I think that the quality of resolutions that you are considering has increased dramatically in the last four or five years. You are dealing with very substantive issues that will have an impact on the future of social studies education. And I am really delighted to see the serious consideration and deliberation that you are giving to these kinds of issues. So I want to thank you for your seriousness and for the guidance that you will be giving the Board of Directors and the staff with regard to some of these issues.

I’m going to close by acknowledging my excellent headquarters staff. I’ll just go through the list of their names. And this year we have pictures of all of the staff so you can actually see them up on the screens. Here’s Ana Post, our Manager of Recognition Programs and Special Projects. As I mentioned, Ana is one of our new staff people. Next we have Gene Cowan, Director of Creative Services and Webmaster. Jaime Hitchcock, our Director of Meetings, is the individual most responsible for the success of this meeting. Janet Lieberman, Director of Communication and Government Relations. Marcia Gerran, Membership Processing Assistant. She works with Cassandra Roberts. Margaret Black, our Receptionist. Michael Simpson, Director of Publications, Mildred “Peaches” McBee who works with Susan on Council Services and on the House of Delegates. These are great pictures, this is wonderful. This is the first time I’ve seen them. Sandy Roberts, Director of Membership Processing. Steve Lapham, Associate Editor. Of course Susan Griffin, Director of Council Services and Membership Marketing. Terri Ackerman, Managing Editor in our Publications Department. Tim Daly, Director of Administration, and my right hand person. Tim McGettigan, Director of Finance. Oh, and two camera shy staff members, Joan Butler who works in our Membership Processing Department and Jennifer Rothwell, senior editor of the NCSS publications. So that was really wonderful. I really liked seeing those pictures and I hope that you did too, being able to associate faces with names. Thank you very much.

Ken Mareski: We will now entertain questions from the floor for either President Rick Theisen or for our Executive Director, Martharose Laffey. If you have any questions for them, there are two microphones found in the aisle that you may use in order to address the questions.

Richard Diem: This isn’t a question, it’s just another announcement. The International Social Studies Education Conference will be held in Calgary from June 28 th to July 1st. Proposal forms are in your packet. Proposals will be accepted until December 15th. I’m happy to announce that our guest speakers will include James Banks and also Miki Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela. So we hope to see you in Calgary.

Male speaker: A question about your affiliation with WGBH. Is there any particular reason that you’re affiliating with this public TV station rather than another one?

Martharose Laffey: Yes, several reasons. First of all WGBH has developed two other series that are similar to the one that we’re going to develop with them. The first one they developed was Teaching Math, based on the math standards. And then they also developed Teaching Science, based on the science standards. So they’ve had a very good track record of developing effective programs in this area. They’re also the largest producer of public television programming, something that I wasn’t aware of until we started to work with them. They have a lot of credibility within the field. And they’re a strong partner for us. They have a long standing relationship with CPB Annenberg. CPB Annenberg funded both the Teaching Science and Teaching Math series. Prior to this time, they have focused exclusively on math and science and have shown no interest in social studies. So we were really delighted when they decided that they were going to go beyond math and science, to start looking at history and then, more broadly, social studies. So those are the reasons why we are associating with WGBH.

Ken Mareski: If there are no further questions, then I’d like to turn it back over to Rick in order to move to the acceptance of reports.

Richard Theisen: At this time I believe we are ready for the next agenda item number seven, the Assignment Committee report from Marcia Hurt. Could Marcia could step forward.


Report of the Assignment Committee

Marcia Hurt, Assignment Committee: On behalf of the Assignment Committee, I’m very pleased to present to you our selections for the NCSS Operations Committees. But before that presentation, I would like to thank the following members of the Assignment Committee who made that yeoman’s effort to get to our meeting at 8:00 yesterday morning: Maria Gallo, who is our Vice Chair; Margo Byerly; Susie Fogarty; Jeff Ladd; Jim Sheehan; and Ruth Stas. Also a special thank you to Vernelle Lewis, who has always attended all of our other meetings but had flight difficulties yesterday and arrived too late to make our meeting. And another special thank you to Kim Kozbial-Hess, who met with us and prepared the PowerPoint presentation. And also, we would like to thank the Board, or Susan, or whoever was responsible for acting on the suggestions that we made last year because you took us seriously and those suggestions went into place and it really helped us get our work done. And once again Susan, thank you for the excellent manner in which the applications were organized and sent to us. We were so excited to open up a packet and see them listed by first choice, second choice, third choice, and the form that said I would be willing to serve wherever you put me.

We were able to fill all the slots for the Operational Committees and they are as follows:

  • Academic Freedom Ethics and Equity: Joyce Apsell, New Jersey, Peg Killam Smith, Maryland
  • Archives
  • Sabrina Sakolsky, Florida, John M. Wilson, Jr., Missouri
  • Assessment
  • Frances C. McMann, Pennsylvania, Jody Smothers Marcello, Alaska
  • Awards
  • Ron W. Wilhelm, Texas, Evelyn C. Williams, Maryland
  • Conference
  • Barbara A. Easley, Missouri, Hillary Rosenthal, Illinois
  • Curriculum
  • Odett Pitter Aderly, Florida, Chad C. Fairey, Virginia
  • Instruction
  • David Hales, Michigan, Roxanna Mechem, Missouri
  • International Activities: Shannon McLeod, Virginia, Amy Roberts, Wyoming
  • Membership
  • Paulette L. Pepin, Connecticut, Margo Sorgman, Indiana
  • Publications
  • Carol Maurice McLain, New York, Andrew Mullen, Maine
  • Public Relations: Steven Ricard, Minnesota, Michelle G. Zachlod, California
  • Research
  • Colin D. Green, Virginia, Susan Wunder, Nebraska
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development: Dawn M. Shinew, Washington, Frances P. Smith, New York

As a committee we would like to encourage more of you to apply next year for these committees and also to encourage other members of your councils to apply. I would personally like to thank the House of Delegates for the privilege of serving on this committee for the last three years and for the opportunity to be the chairperson this year. Thank you.

Ken Mareski: We’re actually running ahead of schedule, usually good news. We have approximately five more minutes before nominations will be closed. I would note that the Resolutions, Nominations and Elections, and Assignments Committees are all short at this point so if anyone’s interested in those committees, at this point they do not have enough members for a full slate. We will be accepting nominations for approximately five more minutes, if you would like to place a name in nomination from your council.

I’d like to remind you that today is the first day of the meeting, when we take care of all of the business, and the actions that have to be done, and tomorrow is normally when the fireworks begin with resolutions.

At this point, we have just a few more minutes. Our Steering Committee members are right now passing out the resolutions to you, and they should be coming out to each of you. They are hot off the press. They were received from the Resolutions Committee just about an hour ago and have been printed and are being distributed at this time. There is also a second item that’s being passed out to you, which is a report back to you on the House of Delegates survey that we have done over the past couple of years. And we will deal with that today also.

We will call for the nominations in just a few moments but I think it’s best that we move on to the introduction to resolutions by Dean Cantu. Dean will introduce the resolutions today and then we’ll finish with our call for the nominations from the floor.

Dean Cantu: Last night and this morning, we reviewed a total of 21 resolutions. I want to recognize the contributions and role of the following individuals in the resolutions process. First, my fellow Resolutions Committee members: Vice Chairperson Ann Kennedy of Oklahoma, John Papadonis from Massachusetts, and Sandy Senior Dauer of Connecticut. Thank you. In addition we found the input and assistance of the following individuals invaluable: Lynda Wagner of the Steering Committee and Susan Griffin and Mildred McBee of the NCSS staff. So please join me in thanking them as well. I will now present to you this year’s list of resolutions.

Under the first category, Current or Future Operations of NCSS: Resolution 99-01, Selection of Outstanding Social Studies Educators; 99-02, NCSS Resolution/Press Release Dissemination; 99-03, NCSS Regional Professional Institutes; 99-04, Membership Assistance and Mentoring; 99-05, Handbook for Leadership; 99-06, Inclusion of Names of Presenters and Titles of Presentations in the NCSS Convention Preview, and the last one in that category; 99-07, National Social Studies Competition.

In the second category, Nature of Social Studies Education: 99-08, Class Size and Student Achievement; 99-09, Resolution to Prepare Students to Become Well-Informed Citizens By Requiring Four Carnegie Units for a High School Diploma; 99-10, Mo’ Money: Eisenhower Professional Development Funds; 99-11, Call for a Meeting to Consider Alternative Models for Elementary Social Studies Curricula Consistent with the NCSS Standards; and the last one in the second category, 99-12, Resolution Concerning the Revitalization of Citizenship Education.

In the third of the five categories for resolutions, Fields of History and Social Studies Inquiry, we have one resolution, 99-13, Aging Education.

The fourth category, Social and Political Issues, received no resolutions this year.

The final category is Courtesy Resolutions: 99-14, Courtesy Resolution Commending Summer Leadership Institute; 99-15, Courtesy Resolution Commending Richard Theisen; 99-16, Courtesy Resolution Commending Martharose Laffey; 99-17, Courtesy Resolution Commending Jaime Hitchcock, Program Planning Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Credentials Committee and NCSS staff; 99-18, Courtesy Resolution Commending House Committees; 99-19, Courtesy Resolution Commending Ken Mareski; 99-20, Courtesy Resolution Commending Steering Committee; and the final resolution, 99-21, Courtesy Resolution Commending Orange County Convention Center.

Those are the resolutions up for discussion tomorrow. Thank you.

Ken Mareski: Does everybody have a copy of the resolutions at this point? If you need them, the Steering Committee members will deliver them to you.

I’d like now to turn your attention to the House of Delegates Survey Implementation Plan, which you should have received just a few moments ago. Over the past couple of years we’ve surveyed the House of Delegates. The “purple haze” document that I refer to is one that Fred Isele put together in order to begin the surveying process of the House of Delegates. At that point, one of the problems we felt we had within the House of Delegates was that the House did not deal with issues that were important to the social studies. And we felt that there were items of substance which we would need to discuss in order to move social studies forward. In the last couple of years, the Steering Committee has attempted, along with the NCSS staff, to encourage more resolutions for this House to debate and to discuss. That will give us the opportunity for open discussion to let the people in this country know where we stand on the issues.

As a part of that survey we were looking at how the National Council might collaborate more with our Councils and provide professional development. This is the number one issue that was noted on our surveys. What you have in front of you are actually suggestions that you have made from the House of Delegates. These suggestions have been reviewed by staff members and reviewed by committees. In bold face after each of the recommendations and suggestions, it is indicated whether these are items that are either being dealt with by staff, or by committees, or have actually had a committee developed in order to deal with the issue itself.

So as you look through this document, you will notice that there are a number of items that have been accepted and moved forward as part of our attempt to move on with items of substance, and there are some items which have not actually been accomplished. And those are items that you may want to consider for future resolutions. So if there are any items here which are of interest to you which are not being dealt with, we’d like to make sure that you recognize these as resolution items that may be introduced and then discussed on the floor of this House so that we may move forward.

Toward the end of the packet, you’ll notice, there is item number two, which is: In what ways has your council facilitated professional development opportunities for your membership? Each of the councils has listed items that they are already doing. And there are recommendations or items that are already being done that you may want to consider to move social studies forward in your state. We meet in committees, we do the best we can at the national level, but when it comes to implementation sometimes the more local we are, the better. These are items that you may want to consider and then you may talk to the members within this House of Delegates to find out more about the activities of the councils that are noted toward the back of the document.

Lastly, there’s a list, number three on the back page which is: The most meaningful, professional development opportunities in which you have recently participated. These have been reviewed with regard to bringing people to the conferences. But these are also things that you may want to consider either on a personal or local level with regard to professional development opportunities and activities.

So this survey is now complete. The key element I think here is the fact that we now have a number of resolutions which deal with issues of substance, and so it’s great to know that this House is actually taking on issues. Tomorrow, we’ll have the discussion. And I appreciate all of the input which you’ve given to us over the last couple of years as we move forward to improve social studies education in this country.

I’d like to now ask Rick Theisen to take over the podium and discuss one of our issues here.

Richard Theisen: One of the items under Items of Substance is the whole concept that we develop what’s called an institutional memory in this House of Delegates that is reaffirmed, modified, or added to each year. The Steering Committee will design the process to do this and the Resolutions Committee will implement it. The intention is to have that ready to go for next year, I believe.

We are ready for the nomination of the House of Delegates Committees.


Roll Call of the Affiliates/Nominations for House Committees

Ken Mareski, Steering Committee Chair, conducted the roll call of the affiliates to receive nominations for HOD committees.

  • Nominations for Assignment Committee were: Cynthia Ledbetter, Missouri; James Meadows, Washington; Barbara Schindler, Oklahoma; Mark Teseniar, South Carolina.
  • Nominations for Nominations and Elections Committee were: Valerie Degnan, Massachusetts; Mary Evans, Michigan.

Nominations for Resolutions were: Dora Bradley, Arkansas; James Bryant, South Carolina; Marsha Hurt, Kentucky; Kate Samoska, Illinois.

  • Nominations for Steering Committee were: Cricket Kidwell, California; Sharon Kimble, Mississippi; Barbara McKean, Arizona; Jack Papadonis, Massachusetts; Ed Pfeifer, Idaho.

Richard Theisen: Since Ken has moved and seconded, all those in favor of closing nominations please say aye. Opposed? And the motion carries. Nominations are closed.

I believe—if I’ve made an error, Ken can correct me—that we are very near the end of the first session of the House of Delegates.

We’re at the stage of the agenda for announcements. There are two announcements.

Susan Griffin, Director of Council Services and Membership Marketing: National Council for Social Studies is very interested in what our members and non-members think of the organization, and our publications, and our conferences. So we’re having two focus groups this year. We need some more volunteers. There’s a focus group on the NCSS conference and membership that’s going to take place tomorrow, from 11:45 to 1:15. Lunch will be served. This is at Salon 18 at the Clarion Hotel. If anyone’s interested, I can give you a ticket to that.

As you know, we have a middle level insert in Social Studies and the Young Learner and Social Education. We’re trying to expand that to a journal. And we’d like some feedback from middle school teachers. So if there are any middle school teachers in the room who would like to participate and give us some ideas about what this middle level journal should look like, that focus group is going to be in the same room, Salon 18 at the Clarion Hotel, from 1:30 to 3:00pm. So anyone who’s interested in participating in those groups, please see me after this session.

Richard Theisen: Martharose has an announcement.

Martharose Laffey: I just wanted to call your attention to one of the features of our conference this year that may have escaped your notice. That is that we have a half scale replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial over in Hall D-2 in the Convention Center. And it’s a little out of the way and a little bit difficult to find, but I encourage you all to go and look at it. It’s a very worthwhile exhibit. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund financed bringing it here at some considerable cost, and they are going to have two events in conjunction with the exhibit. Tonight at 6:00 they are going to have an opening ceremony and they have invited veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and also they’re trying to have some Gulf War Veterans there for teachers to discuss the exhibit and also to provide some guidance on how they might use the materials that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has prepared for the classroom. Also Jan Scruggs, who is the president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, will be making an address there tonight at 6:00. The second service is tomorrow night, Saturday night, at 6:00 or a little after, and this is going to be a POW/MIA service. I don’t know if any of you have seen this, but they commemorate the loss of these POWs and MIAs through setting a place, an empty place at the table. They are going to have a demonstration for teachers about how they might use this kind of a demonstration in the classroom. So I think that will be very worthwhile.

Richard Theisen: In the last announcement before we adjourn, I’d like to suggest that it would be appropriate for us to have a moment of silence for two folks who have been active in our organization and met untimely deaths this past year. Could we have a moment of silence for Jean Lantz of Texas and for Rodney Allen of Florida at this time?

We are recessed and adjourned until tomorrow morning at 8:00.


Session Two
Saturday, November 20, 1999

President Richard Theisen opened the second session of the House of Delegates, and Steering Committee Chair Ken Mareski introduced nominees for House Committees.

Credentials Committee Report

Jane Palmer, Chair, Credentials Committee: As chairperson of the Credentials Committee, I am pleased to report that 216 people are registered and certified to vote in the House of Delegates as of 8:15 today, Saturday, November 20, 1999. 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.

Candidates Forum

Marcie Taylor Thoma, Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee: Welcome, good morning. I’m the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee and we’re doing things a little creatively this morning to accommodate some of our candidates who have other commitments. So we will have our Vice Presidential candidates give their speeches last and the other candidates will go first. So we’re just going to start right away with the elementary category, and our candidates will be walking through with one line presentations. Following the Vice Presidential candidates’ speeches I will have some additional remarks for you. Thank you.

Jill Cook, MN: Good morning. My name’s Jill Cook. I’m from Lake City, Minnesota. I’m a sixth grade teacher, and I’ve taught just about all grades now and then, seventh and eighth grade math and eighth grade geography for the past twenty-seven years. I serve as Vice President of the Minnesota Council for Social Studies and I am the State Geography Bee Coordinator. I serve on the Minnesota Steering Committee for Geographic Education. I’d really appreciate your support and look forward to representing you as an elementary representative. Thank you.

Dorothy Dobson, UT: Hi, I’m Dorothy Dobson from Utah and if elected to the Board, I would like to continue to work for increased elementary membership in the National Council for Social Studies and also so that the different facets of NCSS can work together more cohesively. Thank you.

Carol Arnold, Canada: Good morning. My name is Carol Arnold. I come from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I teach junior high, eighth and ninth, and I have taught high school. I’m thrilled to be here today to stand as a candidate. I’ve been a member of NCSS for a number of years and active in the international assembly. One of the great opportunities here is for there to be a cross fertilization of ideas between our country and particularly my province and the organization that you represent. My first and foremost commitment is to the advancement and defense of public education. I have recently been elected to be the chair of the Public Education Works Program Committee in my province. We have been vigorously defending this program for a number of years. And the interesting thing is that social studies teachers are in the vanguard of this work. Thank you very much for your attention this morning.

Michael Yell, WI: Good morning. My name is Michael Yell. I also teach the puberty-stricken in middle school and I feel that our most important goal must always be to be a resource for our teachers in the classroom. That would be my emphasis as a candidate. Thank you very much.

Betsy Fitzgerald, ME: Good morning. I’m Betsy Fitzgerald, and I’m from Maine, and yes, we do have electricity there. In Maine a lot of us have to wear more than one hat and as I teach school, I also inspect plumbing on the side. That has turned out to be the most interesting aspect of my career, not only outside of the classes but certainly inside the classroom as well. So if you need your plumbing checked, well.... Thank you very much.

George Rislov, TX: Good morning. I’m George Rislov from Dallas, Texas and to put the matter briefly, I think NCSS does good work and as a member of your Board I’ll do everything I can to make sure the organization stays viable and credible and responsive to the needs of its members. Thank you very much.

Bruce Wendt, MT: Good morning. I’m Bruce Wendt from Billings, Montana. You see before you about ten percent of the Montana United States social studies members. Thus, we’re used to doing a lot of work, and I’ll do a lot of work on the Board of Directors.

Susie Burroughs, MS: Good morning. I’m Susie Burroughs from Mississippi. As a social studies educator I am committed to professional service, as evidenced in leadership roles I currently hold in the Mississippi Council for the Social Studies, Mississippi Council for History Education and the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. I also serve as the State Coordinator in Mississippi for the Center for Civic Education, and I hold membership on the NCSS Instruction Committee. I would be most honored to serve as the College and University representative on the NCSS Board. Thank you.

Gavin Faichney, Australia: Good day. I’m Gavin Faichney from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. I’m professor of curriculum and instruction and I want to know, how y’all doing. I’m standing as a candidate for college and university faculty association representatives. And I’m also a Chair of the International Assembly of Social Education and in that capacity would like to invite all of you to come to the Jan Tucker memorial lecture this afternoon. And if you’re not there, I’m going to be very disappointed. I see the National Council for Social Studies as being one of the greatest organizations to support teachers in the curriculum area. We have a lot of people who are aware of NCSS and its work around the world. Unfortunately we have a lot who aren’t aware. And we are all very interested as teachers in developing the knowledge of our students of their country and the world. I see my role as a Board member in furthering the international recognition and membership of this great organization. I ask for your support. Thank you very much.

Peggy Altoff, MD: Good morning. I’m Peggy Altoff from Maryland. I’m in the Other Professional category, which is hard to remember, so I refer to it as the significant others. The biggest issue we face right now is that we are expected to do as much as other content areas in terms of expectations, standards, and achievement for students. But we don’t have the resources that other content areas do. And I think it’s important for this organization to continue to work for parity of resources, not for us but for the kids. Thanks.

Carol Marquis, CA: I’m Carol Marquis. I’m from Berkeley, California and, as Peggy said, part of the “Other” category, which always seems kind of other-worldly to me. I’m in the field of global education. Most of my work at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco is with teachers in Oakland and in San Francisco. There are a tremendous number of teachers who are coming into the field under-prepared, often without credentials, and I see NCSS as a wonderful resource, as it was to me when I was a beginning classroom teacher. And I’d like to spread the word about this organization and work with NCSS for it to become an even more powerful and important organization in the field. Thank you.

Ruth Stas, PA: Hi, I’m Ruth Stas from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and I’m running for the FASSE Board. And I think FASSE Board members must have dedication, support, and vision, along with prudent financial management. I have worn many hats, both in the national council, the state council and the regional councils. I have been a writer of grants and funds and I run very successful conferences and I really do watch. I’m the person of whom they say my middle name is Ruth “Show Me The Money” Stas. So I kind of like to keep an eye on what happens to things. And I think the FASSE fund is very, very important to support social studies education and it really shows what the National Council is all about. Thank you very much.

Marcie Taylor Thoma, Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee: We’re going to move to our Vice Presidential candidates’ speeches right now. I just wanted to let you know that there has been a slight change in our policy, which was passed by the Board of Directors, an amendment on the nominations for Vice President and other candidates. We now have changed the wording to allow “two or more candidates for the position of Vice President and Board members.” So you will see before you that we have three candidates for the Vice Presidency this year. Our first candidate will be Jeff Passe from North Carolina.

Jeff Passe, NC: Good morning. I have a vision for NCSS. I foresee an organization that is the first step for every social studies professional who wishes to improve his or her skills and knowledge. But we’re not there yet. We can’t do it the way we’ve been doing it. We can’t rely on one or two staff members to run staff development, to run the website, we need the help of all of our members who are talented and knowledgeable about these areas and we need to bring them into the mix so that they can help provide these services and make them a part of the solution.

I foresee an organization in which every state and local council is strong and vibrant. But we’re not there yet. Some councils need help in organizing, in planning a conference, in running a newsletter and in attracting members. Allow me to do a little poll. How many of you, if you would please raise your hands, had your first involvement with NCSS through your state organization? Okay, that’s the gateway. That’s where we need to put our energy. We need to start attracting members at the state level, build up those state organizations, and the national council will benefit as a result. But in order to do that we have to do things differently. We can’t let each state worry about how to do it. They need help. Every state needs help. We can provide that help at the national level. And we can certainly rely upon a resource that we really haven’t used much in the past and that’s former state presidents, former board members, people who are retired or are near retirement and have so much experience and so much talent and have already served their time, but moved on to other things. Let’s bring them back into the organization. They can help us solve our problems.

I foresee an NCSS that’s an advocate for social studies in every instance, when our enemies attack us. And we’re not doing it just for social studies teachers. We’re doing it for the children who deserve an outstanding social education. And we’re doing it for our society that depends on us to prepare children for active citizenship in a democracy. We can’t forget that.

But we’re not there yet. We can’t do it the way we’ve been doing it. We can’t do it by having a House of Delegates that discusses important issues for thirty minutes a year. We need to involve all of the talented, knowledgeable, skillful members of the House of Delegates and really all the members of the organization throughout the year. We’re in a new age. We no longer have to come for a face-to-face meeting once a year to conduct our business. Through electronic mail and other means, we can be conducting business all the year round. I’m a member of many organizations that have been doing that and it’s amazing how much you can get done.

Now, anybody can say all this. The trick is electing a leader. You know, I’ve often heard it said recently, we get the leader that we deserve. I think it was Woody Allen that said, “How come I have to get the leader that they deserve?” But I’m a leader, I’ve been a leader my whole career. And if you don’t believe me, I can’t just say it, go and talk to the members of the Membership Committee and ask them about what it’s done under my leadership. Go and talk to the members of CUFA who elected me their Board Chairman. Go and talk to the members of the Teacher Education Committee with whom I’ve worked for many years. Go and talk to the members of the Publication Committee of which I was chair. Go and talk to the presidents of the southeast states that I brought together to resuscitate the Southeast Regional Conference. Go and talk to the members of the NCSS Board of Directors who elected me to be on their Executive Board. Go and talk to the members of North Carolina and West Virginia for whom I served for many years. I have a record of strengthening every organization that I’ve been a leader of and I ask for your support. Thank you.

Marcie Taylor Thoma: Our next candidate for Vice President will be James Leming from Illinois.

James Leming, IL: Good morning. I’m Jim Leming. I’m a faculty member at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. I’m also known as the Lamar Alexander of NCSS. This is my second run for Vice President. I’d like to repeat what George said earlier. I think NCSS is doing good work. I have been a member of this organization for thirty-three years now, and I’ll say that in the last five years I’ve seen some extremely positive trends. We’ve retired the debt, our membership is growing, we’re having better and better meetings, and our publications are outstanding at this point. And I think the big challenge ahead of us for the next five years is to keep those trends all going in a very positive direction.

I think one issue that always grates at me is that, if we are such a good organization and I really believe we are, why is our membership the lowest of any of the subject matter educational professional organizations? And I don’t think we should just accept that. I think we should look at that fact and really study it and try to figure out what is there about the image of this organization that teachers don’t seem to be drawn to it to the same extent as in other subject matter areas. I think we really need to study that and look at it and recognize that as a problem that needs to be addressed. It needs to be a priority issue, in my judgment, because the future of this organization and its strength depends upon its numbers and its resources. We can’t provide services to our people in the fields, we can’t support local and regional organizations the way we should, unless we have the resources. And resources come from dues, and attendance, and annual meetings. So I think we need to look at that.

I want to compliment Tedd Levy for his initiative in starting the NCSS Task Force on Governance, of which I’m a member. Carol Marquis is chairing that committee. We had our first meeting yesterday, and I think we have some very creative and innovative ideas about how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this organization. If you look at the structure of this organization, it hasn’t changed much in the last twenty years. And I think we need to look and say, are we organizing ourselves in a way that allows us to do the work that we want to do? What’s the relationship between the House of Delegates and the Board, for example, the relationship between the regionals and the national, that kind of thing? And I think we need to sweep the table clean and ask how we can organize ourselves effectively for the business that we want to carry out.

We are supposed to be an umbrella organization for all of the subject matter areas. How effectively are we carrying out that task? I think there’s just a whole bunch of issues in that sort of vein that we need to begin to rethink. But, by and large, I’m a conservative in most issues. I think we’re doing a good job at this point. We should build upon that, continue the initiatives we have going, and increase membership, and look at our image and how we are projecting ourselves to policy makers, to teachers in the fields. And you know, it’s the era of spin—try to put the spin on this organization that truly reflects the greatness of its membership and the power of its ideas. And if I’m elected President that’s what I’ll try to do. Thank you.

Marcie Taylor Thoma: Thank you Jim. The next candidate for Vice President is Stephen Johnson from Texas.

Stephen Johnson, TX: Why is it that I feel like a caboose? I’m Stephen Johnson, candidate for the office of Vice President. I am currently teaching AP and regular U.S. History to the eleventh grade at Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas. I’ve been teaching for twenty-one years. For fifteen years of those, I have been active in professional organizations. During the time that I have been active in NCSS, it has been an opportunity and a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors.

While serving on the Board of Directors, I learned the governance and inner structure of this organization. I would say that one of my goals when I first went in was to watch the financial structure of this organization. And those who serve know I watch the budget. Well, we learned yesterday that we are in excellent shape. We have retired the deficit and now we are looking at surpluses and how to spend our money, and to use it for the benefit of our organization. And I think it’s important now as we look ahead still to monitor it because now we really need to be cautious. And we need to look at the assets and the opportunities that we have for our organization. Membership is one of the ways. We heard yesterday, our membership is continuing to climb as others are decreasing. But we also need to go after that young membership. And we want to retain the members that we have because that’s very important, the experience that they share with us.

We also need to look at more professional development. Everyone in this room knows that we can always learn something. And we need to continue that learning process, whether it be with course work, hands-on activities, or research. We will all benefit if we are provided those opportunities, not only through NCSS but also through the other areas that we can help report back on to our organization and the opportunities that are exhibited for us. The students will benefit if we learn. Our students are the best that we have, and after all that is what we are about in education.

Another goal that’s very dear to my heart is the opportunity to look at our students and what we need to be teaching them. And in social studies, I feel that it’s very important that we look at their civic virtue. In today’s society I see the students are not as interested as they once were in our civic responsibilities and civic pride. Whether they are at the elementary, middle, high school, college/university, graduate, or postgraduate levels, they all need to be encouraged to perform and to give time to community service, charities, and even to vote. Our government teacher in our building gives each one of the students when they turn eighteen years old a birthday card. And that birthday card is a voter registration card, which I think is neat. And when they turn eighteen they look forward to that because that is teaching them civic responsibility. That is something that we really need to be stressing more as we look out there because the twenty-first century is upon us and these are the coming leaders. And we need their help to make our democratic process continue.

And on that, as educators I want to say one other thing. We need to get out there and tell people that we’re doing a good job. We always hear that education is in bad shape. Education’s not working well. Well I’m sorry, but we have a lot of successful students out there. Every once in a while we need to pat ourselves on the back. Every once in a while we need to tell people what a good job we’re doing. And that’s our position and we need to work on it. Because we are good educators or we would not be here today attending this conference.

Professional development provided by NCSS, civic responsibilities for our students, and pride in our profession are some of the goals that I have for this organization. I’m Stephen Johnson, a candidate for Vice President, and I would appreciate your support. Thank you.

Marcie Taylor Thoma: Good morning again. I want to tell you that I don’t believe we’ve ever had the representation of the candidates for our board that we have today. We have fourteen states represented and three countries. You will have an opportunity to speak further to these candidates at the end of the House of Delegates session today. And they will be in the back of the room. You also will have an opportunity to speak with these candidates between 12:00 and 1:00 today at the NCSS booth. Missing today were James Adomanis who is also running for the FASSE Board, and also Todd Tolbert who is running for the secondary candidacy.

The members of the Nominations and Elections Committee worked diligently throughout the year to seek qualified candidates for the Board of Directors of the National Council for Social Studies. To do so, committee members contact state affiliated councils, NCSS leaders, House of Delegate members, SIGs and other sources of possible candidates. Committee members meet in July to compose the slate of candidates for National Council for Social Studies and recommend these candidates to the Board of Directors. These are the candidates whom you meet at the annual conference in November.

The committee sets strong priorities on geographic distribution, ethnic background, areas of specialization, grade levels and prior service to NCSS. Committee members also monitor elections and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The House of Delegates plays a strong role in the membership of the committee. In addition, the House of Delegates members can impact the committee work through encouraging individuals to complete candidate nomination packets, to consider nominating themselves. As House of Delegate members they possess the leadership potential and represent the geographic, ethnic, and grade level diversity to represent all members of the National Council for Social Studies.

As I told you earlier, we had a change this year and we had three candidates for Vice Presidency. I also want to thank Susan Griffin and Jaime Hitchcock for responding to a recommendation that we made this summer by including the colorful badges that they provided for the candidates. I want to thank Ken Mareski for his creative scheduling for us because we did have some difficult times trying to accommodate everyone’s schedule. As you know, we’re all very busy people. I want to end my remarks by thanking my committee members, because without them we could not have had as successful a year as we did. They are Betty Barringer, Jackie Purdy, Wendell Brooks, Terry Harper, Ed Lott, Ray Wicks, Kate Samoska, and Mary Teague Mason, who is our Board liaison. We will continue to serve you in the Nominations and Elections Committee. Next year, the chair for this committee will be Betty Barringer from Texas. I want to continue to urge you to participate by voting and certainly spending some time talking with our candidates. Last year, Tim Daly informed me that we had an increase in voter participation. And certainly that makes us all happy. I hope that that trend continues. I would like to see it higher than it has been in the past. But I understand from both Susan Griffin and Tim Daly that our organization’s voter participation is slightly above the national norm. So we’re happy about that. But we’d certainly like to see more participation. Thank you very much, and please take some time to speak to our candidates today. Bye now.

Richard Theisen: Just a suggestion that we give the entire committee a hand one more time because it is really a lot of work to do this. I would really encourage you to consider the person sitting next to you or one down from you or wherever, to encourage them to run for the Board of Directors and to run for the offices of this organization. We have many qualified people and I really encourage you to encourage them.


Voting for House Committees

Ken Mareski, Chair, Steering Committee Chair, introduced Nominees for House Committees. Ballots were distributed and collected.


Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) Announcement

Margit McGuire, FASSE Board: Good morning. I’m Margit McGuire and I am the Chair of the FASSE Committee. You have a letter in your packet. It’s item number thirteen. This letter has been in your packet for many, many, many years. And I wonder how many of you have actually looked at it and noticed what it is. In fact, how many of you know what FASSE is? Would you show me by raising your hand. Oh, good, I’m reassured. This fund is called the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies and we’re in need of money, and so that’s why I’m here this morning to encourage you or your council to give to the FASSE Fund.

We really have two major ways in which we support the organization. We have one grant that is a sizable grant of about $20,000 to support research and collaboration in looking at the standards and assessment in schools. And that award is given every three years. We also have the Christa McAuliffe fund, which is money that’s given to special projects, often classroom projects: that award is $1,000. And what we need to do is increase the principal of our fund so that we can help support the advancement of social studies. So, today I hope you will take a look at item number thirteen and you’ll seriously consider giving to the FASSE Fund. Most importantly, if you could go back to your state councils and put this on your agenda and encourage your councils to give to this fund, we can build the principal so we can support projects that are going to advance the social studies. Thank you.


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

Susan Griffin, Director of Council Services and Membership Marketing, thanked members who had recruited members during the year and encouraged delegates to make that important effort to bring people into NCSS. Gold and Silver Star councils received their certificates.

  • Gold Star: Colorado Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers, (ATSS/UFT, New York), Ohio, Oklahoma, Lancaster-Lebanon (Pennsylvania), Texas
  • Silver Star: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Prince George’s County (Maryland), Middle States, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Peters Colony (Texas), Virginia, Wisconsin


Presentation and Actions on Resolutions

Richard Theisen: I’d just like to check to see that everyone has a copy of the resolutions and we’re prepared to move forward with that. Also could I have your attention for a moment? It was brought to my attention that we had one other untimely death in this national organization. Dick Aieta from the Massachusetts Council, a beloved member and extremely active individual in that council, whose conference I attended this past fall, passed away, too. Could we just have a moment of silence for Dick?

We’re into the business part of the meeting and I’m going to hand it over to Dean to move forward. But before that, please have a round of applause for the entire Resolutions Committee for their work and the effort they put into this very important part of our meeting.

Dean Cantu, Resolutions Committee Chair: At yesterday’s session you received packets containing the full text of each of the twenty-one resolutions which will be reviewed today. With the exception of certain minor grammatical and typographical changes, these same resolutions will be presented in the order in which they appear in your packet. Over the past few days, our committee has attempted to review, clarify, and refine the twenty-one resolutions presented to us. In certain instances, we have merged some of the resolutions of similar content and intent and have called upon representatives of sponsoring organizations to address certain points for clarification. I will now present to you the twenty-one resolutions, the last eight of which are courtesy resolutions. And at the conclusion we also have a resolution that was received from the floor.


Resolution 99-01: NCSS Operations: Selection of Outstanding Social Studies Educators

    Submitted by Connecticut, New York State, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina Councils.

    WHEREAS the support of outstanding social studies educators is part of the NCSS mission, and

    WHEREAS the number of submissions by states does not adequately reflect the Council’s membership, and

    WHEREAS the states and NCSS affiliates have processes in place to select outstanding social studies educators,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS accept these outstanding social studies educators as nominees for National Awards, provided the state and NCSS affiliates include a documentation letter that addresses all the criteria endorsed by NCSS.



Resolution 99-02: NCSS Resolution/Press Release Dissemination

    Submitted by Ron Foore, New York State, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina Councils.

    WHEREAS one of the important functions of NCSS operations is to “promote social studies education and to publicize the work and positions of NCSS,” as outlined in the charge to the NCSS Public Relations Committee, and

    WHEREAS currently the national staff does not distribute sample press releases outlining recently adopted House of Delegates resolutions to state council leaders in a timely manner to be disseminated in turn to local press, and

    WHEREAS it is in the professional interest of local councils to inform local publics concerning NCSS actions,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS disseminate those resolutions adopted by the NCSS House of Delegates and approved by the NCSS Board of Directors in press release format to all House of Delegate members after the first Board of Directors meeting in the following calendar year to be forwarded to local media.



Resolution 99-03: NCSS Regional Professional Institutes

    Submitted by Iowa and South Carolina Councils.

    WHEREAS NCSS is dedicated to the professional development of its members, and

    WHEREAS the existing regional structure provides a vehicle for the delivery of professional development, and

    WHEREAS in-depth professional development training of teachers in new techniques, strategies, philosophies, and pedagogical tools is vital for both pre-service and in-service social studies teachers,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCSS Board of Directors work with the regional conferences to design Regional Development Institutes lasting one to three days. Each institute would consist of training in new techniques, strategies, and pedagogical tools.

An amendment was proposed to add “content” after “pedagogical tools” and that amendment passed. The resolution was passed as amended.


Resolution 99-04: Membership Assistance and Mentoring

    Submitted by New York State, Iowa, Pennsylvania and South Carolina Councils.

    WHEREAS NCSS has been very successful in membership recruitment, and

    WHEREAS some state councils and affiliated councils are experiencing difficulties in teaching and maintaining members, and

    WHEREAS strong national, state and local councils are paramount in maintaining social studies as a core subject area,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS actively assist through mentoring, recruitment materials and other appropriate resources at its disposal any state and other affiliate social studies council desiring help in membership recruitment.



Resolution 99-05: Handbook for Leadership

    Submitted by Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, New York State, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Rhode Island Councils.

    WHEREAS NCSS is supportive of the leadership potential of newly elected state members, and

    WHEREAS leadership in state councils and affiliate groups serves as the training ground for future NCSS officials, and

    WHEREAS NCSS will prosper as a national organization from adequately prepared leaders,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCSS will develop a handbook/guide for supporting councils and affiliate groups to prepare newly elected state level officials for their leadership roles.



Resolution 99-06: Inclusion of Names of Presenters and Titles of Presentations in the NCSS Convention Preview

    Submitted by Association of Teachers of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers.

    WHEREAS presenters at the NCSS annual convention are members of NCSS, and

    WHEREAS presenters at the NCSS annual convention are important contributors to the improvement of social studies education through their presentations, and

    WHEREAS presenters travel great distances and at considerable expense to present at the annual NCSS convention and have spent valuable time in preparation for their presentations, and

    WHEREAS some presenters need to show their schools, and/or school districts, and/or organizations further proof that they are presenting at the annual NCSS convention, and

    WHEREAS listing all presenters and presentations might induce more social studies educators to attend the annual conference, and

    WHEREAS recent previous Previews of the annual convention have omitted the names of the presenter or currently have listed only a few as “special presentations,” and

    WHEREAS the urging of previous House of Delegates that the names of presenters at the annual NCSS convention be inserted in the convention Previews has been neglected or rejected by the NCSS Board of Directors,

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT all future Preview booklets for the annual NCSS convention contain minimally the names of all presenters, their school or organizational affiliation, and the titles of their presentations.

Although there was no discussion offered, there was a request for a division of the House to verify the “nay” vote. The vote was 86 against, 82 for, and the resolution was defeated.


Resolution 99-07: National Social Studies Competition

    Submitted by Michigan Council.

    WHEREAS part of the function of the National Council for the Social Studies is to promote social studies education, and

    WHEREAS many national organizations have student competitions to demonstrate and promote student excellence in their disciplines, and

    WHEREAS a national competition would promote many different types of activities and learning styles in all of the social studies disciplines, and

    WHEREAS a national competition would increase the public visibility of social studies,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS establish and seek corporate or grant support for a national social studies competition using the Michigan social studies Olympiad and any other state or national competition as a guideline.



Resolution 99-08: Class Size and Student Achievement

    Submitted by Alaska, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New York State, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia Councils.

    WHEREAS student achievement in core content areas is affected by class size, as substantiated by the Tennessee Star report, and

    WHEREAS increased student achievement will better prepare students for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy, and

    WHEREAS the mission of the National Council for Social Studies includes the support for all social studies educators which could be better obtained through reduced class size,

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS supports reducing class size so that grades K-6 have a ratio of one teacher to eighteen students per class in core content areas including social studies. In order to implement, we recommend that NCSS: (1) publicize the results of the Tennessee Star report on its website with regard to class size; (2) present research to state boards of education, departments of education and legislators; and (3) provide information regarding implementation and funding through the U.S. Department of Education grants.

After arguments presented on both sides of the issue, the resolution passed.


Resolution 99-09: Resolution to Prepare Students to Become Well-Informed Citizens by Requiring Four Carnegie Units for a High School Diploma

    Submitted by New York and South Carolina Councils.

    WHEREAS many states do not require adequate instruction in social studies, and

    WHEREAS the purpose of NCSS is to advance and promote the teaching of social studies in U.S. schools, and

    WHEREAS NCSS must use its national recognition and reputation as a means to accomplish the requirement of adequate social studies education,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCSS Board of Directors forward to all state departments of education, all chairpersons of state educational committees in each state legislature, and to all state governors, a rationale requiring all high school students to take four Carnegie Units within the social studies discipline for high school graduation. The four units should include the following: one unit of U.S. History, one half unit of U.S. government/civics, one half unit of economics and one unit of a world related course such as world history, world geography or global studies/world cultures.

    Be it further resolved that NCSS will create a supporting packet of documents to be included in this mailing in order to provide tools for supporters of this proposal to convince the appropriate legislative and or policy making bodies to implement this proposal.

Discussion followed. An amendment was offered to add “a minimum of” immediately preceding “one unit of a world related course” and that motion carried. Resolution passed as amended.


Resolution 99-10: ‘Mo’ Money: Eisenhower Professional Development Funds

    Submitted by Connecticut, Iowa, New York State, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, with the addition of Maryland, Texas, Virginia Councils and the New England History Teachers Association.

    WHEREAS teachers are held at greater accountability than ever before, and

    WHEREAS there have been suggested cuts in Eisenhower Professional Development Funds that would most severely affect social studies, and

    WHEREAS social studies is the discipline that is most responsible for creating lifelong participatory citizens, and

    WHEREAS most states are requiring that more teachers receive professional development and that social studies has lacked appropriate professional development funds in the past, and

    WHEREAS due to the changes that have occurred in the standards, assessments and methodologies, professional development in social studies is needed more than ever,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS strongly support the increase of Eisenhower Professional Development Funds and advocate a more equitable distribution of funds among the core subjects of social studies, language arts, math and science, and

    Be it further resolved that the NCSS Board convey this resolution to all fifty state superintendents of education, members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Secretary of Education.



Resolution 99-11: Call For a Meeting to Consider Alternative Models for Elementary Social Studies Curricula Consistent With the NCSS Standards

    Submitted by Early Childhood Elementary SIG.

    WHEREAS the isolation of people and nations is a myth and the interdependence of people and nations in the world is greater today than in the past and will probably be even greater in the future, and

    WHEREAS the expanding horizons (environment) curriculum for elementary social studies has long been criticized by many social studies professionals, and

    WHEREAS NCSS has prepared a set of standards that offers multiple possibilities for organizing a meaningful social studies curriculum at the elementary level, and

    WHEREAS in recent years many states have written new standards which include the teaching of social studies in the elementary curriculum as a requirement,

    WHEREAS the early learning of content, concepts, skills, and attitudes helps in subsequent study in social studies and in other disciplines,

    WHEREAS the need for rigorous social studies instruction has never been greater and its potential impact never more promising,

    WHEREAS it is a responsibility of NCSS to lead reform efforts in social studies education,

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT NCSS act now to focus attention on the elementary social studies curriculum by:

    (1) Considering convening an elementary social studies curriculum weekend workshop at an easily accessible site as soon as possible, open to all educators, and

    (2) Designing a program that consists predominantly of working sessions in which groups discuss the issues related to elementary curriculum and begin the drafting of several possible model curricula which clearly illustrate how to adapt the NCSS Standards for use at the pre-K through 8 levels for possible publication and dissemination to its membership and the public.

Discussion followed and an amendment to drop clause “1” in the “BE IT RESOLVED” was offered and passed. The resolution passed as amended.


Resolution 99-12: Resolution Concerning the Revitalization of Citizenship Education

    Submitted by California Council.

    WHEREAS the primary goal of social studies educators as defined by the NCSS Mission Statement, is “to teach students the content knowledge, intellectual skills and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy,” and

    WHEREAS between thirty-six and fifty seven percent of students tested in the 1997 NAEP History Assessment fell into the “Below Basic” category and the 1998 NAEP Civics Assessment shows equally alarming results in the areas of civic knowledge, skills and disposition, and

    WHEREAS the League of Women Voters reported in a 1997 study that “Now as we head into the third century of self government, citizens are too often withdrawing from the political process, confidence in civic institutions is declining and voter participation has hit the lowest levels since 1924. The health of our democratic system is in jeopardy,” and

    WHEREAS concern about civic disengagement on the part of Americans in general and young people in particular is mounting among political leaders, educators, and concerned citizens, and

    WHEREAS the National Council for Social Studies should be the first place that leaders, educators, and citizens turn to for information resources and guidance on effective citizenship education,

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCSS Board of Directors consider appointing a task force for revitalizing citizenship education, and

    Be it further resolved that the task force for revitalizing citizenship education be charged with the responsibility for: (1) reviewing and updating the 1983 NCSS guidelines on civic education titled “Essential Characteristics of a Citizenship Education Program,” and (2) developing an action plan aimed at putting NCSS at the forefront of a nationwide campaign to revitalize K-12 citizenship education.

Discussion followed. An amendment was offered to remove the language regarding NCSS creating a task force and instead to support the efforts of the Center for Civic Education in revitalizing citizenship education. This amendment was defeated and the resolution passed as submitted.


Resolution 99-13: Aging Education

    Submitted by Richard Kobliner and Association of Teacher of Social Studies/United Federation of Teachers.

    WHEREAS NCSS is committed to the concepts of diversity education, and

    WHEREAS aging curriculum and materials are an essential component of citizen education, and

    WHEREAS the myths and realities that currently occur about the lives of older adults must be addressed, and

    WHEREAS our population and the population of the world is aging and the changes implicit with that change must be realistically addressed, and

    WHEREAS NCSS has already participated and assisted in the planning of a summer institute for teachers entitled “Teaching A Realistic View of Aging,”

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT: (1) NCSS develop guidelines for the inclusion of aging education into all ten NCSS standards and disseminate those guidelines to social studies educators pre-K through sixteen; (2) Aging education be featured as a theme in an issue of Social Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and the middle school insert; (3) In-service opportunities in aging education be included in The Social Studies Professional and Leadership Link; (4) Future NCSS conferences address the issue of aging education in the choice of speakers, workshops, and or sessions; (5) Special publication which addresses the issue of aging education be developed and distributed to comprehensive members; (6) Other opportunities to assist social studies educators in teaching about the myths and realities of older adults be explored and developed; (7) Partnerships with other interest groups, professional organizations, and higher educational institutions be explored and developed; and (8) Promotion of intergenerational projects and programs at the pre-K through sixteen levels be explored and developed.

Passed after discussion.


Dean Cantu: We received one courtesy resolution separate from the final block of seven which we will vote on individually.



Summer Leadership Institute

    Submitted by Iowa, New York State, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas Councils.

    WHEREAS good works sometimes go unnoticed, and

    WHEREAS NCSS is devoted to enhancing the leadership qualities of leaders of affiliated councils, and

    WHEREAS those leaders are the pool whereby future leaders of NCSS are drawn,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT Susan Griffin and NCSS be thanked for increasing the stipend to local members that makes coming to the Leadership Institute a possible and worthwhile opportunity for professional development.



The remaining seven courtesy resolutions were considered as a block and passed: 99-15, Courtesy Resolution Commending Richard Theisen, NCSS President; 99-16, Courtesy Resolution Commending Martharose Laffey, NCSS Executive Director; 99-17, Courtesy Resolution Commending Jaime Hitchcock, the Program Planning Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Credentials Committee, and NCSS Staff; 99-18, Courtesy Resolution Commending House Committees; 99-19, Courtesy Resolution Commending Ken Mareski, Chair of the Steering Committee; 99-20, Courtesy Resolution Commending the Steering Committee; and finally 99-21, Courtesy Resolution Commending the Orange County Convention Center.

All courtesy resolutions passed.


Dean Cantu, Resolutions Committee Chair: In accordance with Article IX Section 5 of the House of Delegates Manual, resolutions not submitted to the Resolutions Committee prior to or during committee open hearings may be submitted from the floor at the conclusion of the Resolutions Committee presentation. That is the case here with one resolution that was received from the Connecticut Council: “Resolution Concerning the Rights of Children:” In accordance with Article IX, Section 5 we first have to consider whether or not the resolution will be allowed for submission and consideration. And after that vote, then I will read the resolution. Everyone should have copies of the resolution. If you do not, please let us know.

Richard Theisen: Unless there is some objection we’ll proceed with the recognition and the consideration of this motion. Seeing none, we will move forward.



Resolution Concerning the Rights of Children

    Submitted by the Connecticut Council.

    WHEREAS more than one hundred and thirty million school age children, seventy-three million of them girls, are growing up in the developing world without access to basic education, and

    WHEREAS nearly one quarter of the world’s children between ages six and eleven never attend school, and

    WHEREAS over two hundred and fifty million of the world’s children are working, and

    WHEREAS children cannot attend school because they must work to support their families, who are dependent on their earnings, and without an education the cycle of poverty continues, and

    WHEREAS an estimated two million children are forced into the multi-billion dollar illegal sex market each year, and

    WHEREAS an estimated two hundred and fifty thousand child soldiers are presently serving in armies and para-military organizations around the world, and

    WHEREAS each month over eight hundred children are killed or maimed by land mines due to the horrors of war, and

    WHEREAS November 20, 1999 marks the tenth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by one hundred and ninety-one nations and the most widely accepted treaty in the history of the world, and

    WHEREAS this treaty has advanced children’s interests in national and global agendas spelling out that children have the right to education and healthcare and to be free from economic and sexual exploitation, and

    WHEREAS only two countries have not yet ratified this pillar of human rights law, Somalia and the United States, and

    WHEREAS the National Council for the Social Studies seeks to promote civic education and has a long record of support for human rights,

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the National Council for the Social Studies prepare and distribute to state councils an information packet including an NCSS press release, material from Craig Keilburger’s “Free the Children” Organization, and other material regarding the need for U.S. support for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and encourage state councils to prepare and distribute information through their publication to their members encouraging them to involve their students to study and act in support of children.




Resolution Concerning the Technological Demands America Faces as it Enters the Twenty First Century

    Submitted by Connecticut Council for Social Studies.

    WHEREAS information technology creates limitless educational and economical potential for our students, the reality is that some schools are not equipped with Internet technology or do not have computers in instructional rooms, and

    WHEREAS this lack of accessibility inevitably creates a growing digital divide between the information rich and the information poor, and

    WHEREAS this digital divide characterized by disparity of race, gender, wealth, and geography is widening, and

    WHEREAS as a result of inadequate teacher training in technology, even well equipped schools may not be prepared to use computers to the best advantage of our students,

    BE IT RESOLVED THAT the National Council for the Social Studies address and support the challenges facing schools, students, and teachers by advocating the three technology bills that were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives during June and September of 1999 by John B. Larson, Democrat, First District, Connecticut. The bills are as follows: Science and Educational Act, HR 2534, develops a strategic plan for the creation of a national technological infrastructure to connect public schools and libraries to the information super-highway; Alliance for Technologically Trained Teachers Act, HR 2933, provides for the tutoring of teachers in the uses of classroom technology, and the third one, National Youth Technology Core Act, HR 2934, describes the use of vista volunteers who are highly proficient in computer technologies to recruit and organize youth to implement and maintain computer systems for public schools, community centers, public senior centers and libraries. They will also teach students, teachers, senior citizens, and others how to use technology.

Discussion followed regarding the lack of adequate background on the bill. The resolution was defeated.


Results of Ballot for HOD Committees

Ken Mareski: At this point, I would like to announce the results of the House of Delegate committee election. On the Assignment Committee, there were three positions available. The elected are Cynthia Ledbetter, Barbara Schindler, and Mark Teseniar. In the Nominations and Elections Committee, there were two candidates and two positions, Valerie Degnan and Mary Evans are elected. In the Resolutions Committee there are two positions available; Dora Bradley and James Bryant are elected. And in the Steering Committee election, there are two positions available; Sharon Kimble and Ed Pfeiffer are elected.

Richard Theisen: I have one or two other quick announcements before we adjourn. First of all, at some point during the day if you see Jaime Hitchcock, who is the Meetings Director and who does a lot of work for these conferences, you might want to thank her. We’ve been working with a significant name for the conference, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, which has added considerable stress to her life because we’ve had to work with protocol consulates and everything else. So she does a great job and we need to, if you see her, say thank you for that besides all the other work.

Secondly, I’d like to also thank Charlotte Smith, our parliamentarian, for her work. And I believe we have one last announcement.

Male speaker: The newly elected and current members of the Steering Committee will meet here in front of the podium after everyone leaves to take care of the business of the house.

Richard Theisen: Thank you. This House of Delegates meeting is adjourned.

-- TimDaly - 02 Sep 2005
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