The Irascible Professor SM
Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today

by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro

Breaking News - May 6, 2002:  The Academic Senate of the California State University System Votes Unanimously to Oppose SB 1646.

The Irascible Professor has obtained a copy of the following resolution, which was passed unanimously by the statewide Academic Senate of the California State University system at its May 2-3, 2002 meeting.  The resolution opposes the passage of California Senate Bill SB 1646, which would require California State University campuses to offer an undergraduate degree in "elementary education" in place of the current law (Ryan Act) that requires candidates for elementary teaching credentials to obtain an undergraduate degree in an academic subject either before or concurrently with completing their credential work.

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University  (ASCSU) oppose SB 1646 (Alpert) as amended in Senate, April 1, 2002; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU support efforts to prepare qualified teachers in a timely manner; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU pledge to work collaboratively with Senator Dede Alpert and other educational policy makers to further our shared agenda; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU send this resolution and accompanying rationale to Senator Alpert and the Senate Education Committee.

RATIONALE: This bill would mandate an undergraduate major in elementary education at every public postsecondary institution in California.  Further it provides direction for the content and administration of those programs.  In its recognition of the critical need for qualified teachers and implementation of SB 2042, the ASCSU supports efforts to prepare qualified teachers in a timely manner.  For the same purpose, blended teacher preparation programs have been established on CSU campuses through collaboration and cooperation between education and subject matter faculty.  Further development of alternative routes to teacher credentials should build upon existing programs and collaborations.

Our specific concerns in regard to SB 1646 are:

Control of curriculum, determination of administrative structures, and quality of programs are properly academic matters.

Substitution of mandated undergraduate majors in Elementary Education for the (current) Ryan Act's prohibition of such majors is excessive.  The current language in the bill could result in a significant negative consequence for student financial aid, e.g., Pell Grants.

Unanimously Approved May 2-3, 2002
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Ed. note:  Dede Alpert (D. San Diego) is the primary sponsor of SB 1646.  She also was one of the primary sponsors of SB 2042, which permitted elementary education credential candidates to enroll in "Blended Teacher Education Programs (BTEP)".  Students in BTEP can complete the initial credential requirements simultaneously with the completion of an undergraduate degree in an academic major.
 

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© 2002 Dr. Mark H. Shapiro - All rights reserved.