NYSCSS RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE REPORT
New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS)
Resolutions Committee Report
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Niskayuna High School, New York
Prepared by Carolyn Herbst
NYSCSS Resolutions Committee Chair
When information about the New York State Board of Regents proposal to make the Global History Regents optional was first circulated by Rozella G. Clyde (formerly Kirchgaessner) and Erica Martin, I wrote a letter of protest and emailed it to each member of the Board of Regents. This was one of the letters posted on the NYSCSS website.
I was then encouraged by George Altomare, a Past Vice-President of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, who I work with at the UFT, to get Union involvement and support on the issue through New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the UFT, both of whom had on record support for four years of High School Social Studies Education. The annual NYSUT Representative Assembly (RA) Convention was scheduled to begin in Buffalo, NY, just a few days after we learned of the Board of Regents proposal.
I worked with NYSCSS President Lori Megivern (who is also President of the Cortland Teachers Association) and NYSCSS President-Elect Tim Potts (who is also Vice-President of the Monticello Teachers Association) and George Altomare at the NYSUT RA to get State Union support against making the Global Regents optional.
We four were delegates from our respective local unions at the NYSUT RA.
For various procedural reasons, the NYSUT Proposed Resolution I wrote, never got to the Floor as a Special Order of Business. Because the issue was first encountered after the NYSUT RA agenda was already set, it could only be presented as a Special Order of Business from the Floor. So Lori Megivern sent our Proposed NYSUT Resolution to Dr. John King, New York State Education Commissioner, who was a guest speaker at the convention. There has since been no response.
Lori also sent the Proposed Resolution to Elizabeth Sheffer, NYSUT Social Studies Subject Area Specialist. She sent her own strong letter to Dr. King.
The Proposed NYSUT Resolution is attached.
I also worked with George Altomare, Ollie Fields Thacker, President/Chairperson of the Association of Teachers of Social Studies / United Federation of Teachers (ATSS/UFT), the ATSS/UFT Executive Board and other United Federation of Teachers people in New York City, to get UFT support on the issue. ATSS/UFT is a Standing Committee of the UFT, as well as the New York City Local Social Studies Council Affiliate of NYSCSS.
I wrote a Resolution, supported by ATSS/UFT, for New York City, similar to the Proposed State Resolution. We sent it to the UFT Advisory Committee (AdCom), which consists of the UFT officers and some important staff members, for approval. It was re-worded by AdCom. There wasn't much change. The re-worded version is now being re-considered by AdCom. I will keep you updated.
A copy of the UFT Resolution I attached.
The resolves are slightly different in the two Resolutions and there are some wording differences, but the intent is the same.
I am getting the Pearl Berger Award for political activity from the United Federation of Teachers Retired Teachers Committee (UFT RTC) at a Breakfast and Luncheon ceremony at the New York Hilton on Monday, June 4, 2012. The award is for my activity writing Resolutions for ATSS/UFT, NYSCSS and NCSS, and lobbying with NCSS, all to advocate for Teaching Social Studies. It is also for the political articles and political cartoons that I write and draw (with the help of clip art) advocating for Seniors, for the New York City Alliance for Retired Americans (NYCARA), newsletter, SeniorAction, which operates out of the New York City Central Labor Council.
Respectfully submitted by