English Ed Issues for Burlingame, Spring 2010

9 03 2010

Copied from a 02.19.10 Email from Mary Warner Addressed to CSUEC English Ed Representatives

When I wrote the letter of appreciation to Beverly Young, several of you emailed with additional issues–and important issues.  We didn’t include these in the letter of appreciation, but we need to talk about these.   I’m going to summarize below some of the issues we really need to discuss, and it’s so hard to do this when we can’t meet face-to-face.  We have only John Maitino and me at San Diego in the fall; we could really use a full quorum of English Ed folks for the meeting in Burlingame.
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Alida Allison had raised these issues:
  1. As one who found the recertification process over the top this last round, I think a bit more emphasis on the difficulties so many of us had might be emphasized/forefronted.
  2. Looking ahead, you know we start up again in a mere five years (it took some of us five years this time to get approved). Can something be put in the letter stating we hope that  for the next round, the state will acknowledge we are all working with fewer classes, fewer professors, etc., and we’ve lost most of our adjuncts? Otherwise (and probably nonetheless), Sacramento will add even more requirements next time around.  For example, at SDSU we are down to one section of the required grammar class–it’s now offered once a week, at night; this and similar schedule cuts are already causing problems.
  3. Overall, let’s not forget the point is Beverly Young HAD to intervene because of the unhelpfulness and intransigence of the folks we were dealing with in Sacramento and the messy way in which committee work, etc. there was conducted.
Mary Adler commented:
I agree with the concerns raised by Allison. At CSUCI we are scrambling to help our studentscomplete the subject matter program due to course reductions. The guidance from Sacramento on how to maintain a program in these conditions has been nonexistent, and their insistence on additional and sometimes redundant coursework has not helped. It’s a wonderful time to look ahead and be proactive so that the next round can be streamlined in terms of human and budgetary resources.
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Additionally Bill Forman offered these concerns:
I think we should discuss what is likely to be the future direction of the CA ELA curriculum.  In the “Race to the Top” legislation passed earlier this month, the legislature instructed the CCTC to develop new standards based on a national curriculum called the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  You can see their ELA standards here: ttp://www.corestandards.org/Standards/index.htm.

You may notice that these standards are heavily skewed toward technical/professional reading and writing.  They include very little of a literary nature.  These standards were developed with college and workplace “readiness” in mind, but they move strongly away from the center of our discipline, in my view.

It seems likely that these standards will be the basis of future state 7-12 curriculum and our programs will be evaluated based on our adherence to these priorities.  Frankly, I find this scary, and I think our colleagues in our departments will find them even more disturbing.  Jonathan and I want to know how other CSUs are:
  1. Handling the PACT or TPA requirement–how your students are managing, who’s paying for what, how about assessing these, and
  2. What you are seeing regarding the number of students who are CSET takers, who are more often than not “crashing and burning” in their student teaching.
These are a FEW of the issues, my dear colleagues.  Can you please consider getting to Burlingame to discuss these challenges??
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Take care,
Mary
Dr. Mary Warner
Associate Professor of English | Director of the English Credential Program
Department of English and Comparative Literature | San Jose State University
One Washington Square | San Jose, CA 95192-0090
Phone: (408) 924-4417 | FAX: (408) 924-4580
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