Mandating that all CSU's Offer
an Undergraduate Degree Program in
Elementary Education

This message from Robert Cherny of the Statewide Academic Senate
addresses the move in the legislature to require that all CSU's
offer a lower-division degree in education.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Robert W. Cherny" 
Date: Wed Aug 28, 2002  10:51:36  US/Pacific
Subject: SB 1646

SB 1646 seems likely to steamroll its way through the legislature
this week, when the leg passes about a bill a minute.

Our campus senate ex com met yesterday and unanimously approved a
resolution calling upon Davis to veto it.

The attached files are being reviewed by the SFSU ex com and we
expect to fax them to the govr, Alpert, Vasconcellos, and Wesson
this afternoon.

Bob Cherny

Cover Letter

August 28, 2002

The Honorable Gray Davis
Governor of California
Sacramento, CA   95814

Dear Governor Davis:

At its first meeting of the academic year, yesterday, the
Executive Committee of the Academic Senate of San Francisco State
University reviewed SB 1646, concluded that it was likely to be
passed by the legislature this week, and unanimously adopted the
enclosed resolution requesting that you veto the bill.

Nearly all CSU faculty members who know about SB 1646 find it an
extreme reversal of state policy, and it has been opposed by the
Academic Senate CSU and by several campus senates.  For more than
thirty years, the state has required that candidates for teaching
credentials have undergraduate majors other than education--in
effect, a prohibition on the offering of undergraduate degree
programs in education.  SB 1646 completely reverses that policy,
by mandating the offering of undergraduate degree programs in
elementary education.

The CSU faculty members who have followed SB 1646 have found no
evidence for the assertion that the current policy has
discouraged the preparation of teachers.  However, there is
reason to believe, as indicated in the resolution, that SB 1646
may, at least temporarily, reduce the number of teachers being
trained in the CSU.

We have concluded that this legislation is being passed without
the careful research and thoughtful consideration that should be
expected of such a far-reaching measure.

We therefore request that you veto SB 1646 and that you instead
recommend to the legislature that it reconsider the legislation
by changing the provision that mandates undergraduate degrees in
elementary education to one that authorizes the CSU to offer such
degrees.  If CSU campuses have a choice about creating such
degree programs, some undoubtedly will do so.  Others may not.
The existence of some programs will permit a more reasoned
determination if, in fact, such programs by their very existence
will increase the number of credentialed teachers.

Sincerely yours,

Robert W. Cherny,
Professor of History and 
Chair of the Academic Senate

Cc:  Senators Alpert and Vasconcellos, Assembly Speaker Wesson

SF State Senate Resolution

Resolution Opposing Senate Bill 1646

WHEREAS Senate Bill 1646 (Alpert), which is attached, would
mandate that all CSU campuses offer an undergraduate degree
program in elementary education; and

WHEREAS SB 1646 provides direction for the content and
administration of those programs; and

WHEREAS determination of the curriculum and determination of
administrative structures for the curriculum are properly
academic matters rather than legislative matters; and

WHEREAS compliance with the provisions of SB 1646 is likely to
divert education faculty from compliance with SB 2042 and with
the training of teachers to meet the serious need facing the

WHEREAS passage of SB 1646 may have the adverse effect of denying
Pell Grant support to the large numbers of students who seek to
complete credential requirements after completing a baccalaureate
degree program other than elementary education, and thereby
reduce the number of teachers being trained; and

WHEREAS blended teacher preparation programs have been
established on CSU campuses through collaboration and cooperation
between education and subject matter faculty to accomplish the
purpose of SB 1646; and

WHEREAS to the extent that students choose the proposed education
major, campuses are likely to find enrollment decreasing in their
"blended" degree programs, thus wasting the enormous investment
of time and money that was directed at establishing these
programs; and

WHEREAS further development of alternative routes to teacher
credentials should build upon existing programs and
collaborations rather than divert the attention of education
faculty members from those programs and collaborations;

WHEREAS it is estimated that implementation of SB 1646 would cost
the CSU as much as $850,000 to implement and would cost
approximately $10 million if a federal Pell Grant waiver is
rescinded because of the implementation of SB 1646; now therefore
be it

RESOLVED that the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate of
San Francisco State University oppose SB 1646 so long as it
mandates curriculum rather than authorizing curriculum; and be it

RESOLVED that the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate of
San Francisco State University urge Governor Gray Davis to veto
SB 1646 with the recommendation that it be revised to authorize
the offering of undergraduate degrees in elementary education
rather than mandating the offering of undergraduate degrees in
elementary education; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate of
San Francisco State University direct that copies of this
resolution be sent to Governor Gray Davis, Senators Dede Alpert
and John Vasconcellos, Speaker of the Assembly Herb Wesson, the
members of the assembly and senate from the counties of San
Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, and Alameda, the California
Association of Suburban School Districts (the sponsor of the
bill), and to the following supporters of the bill:  California
Language Teachers Association, California School Boards
Association, Fallbrook Unified Elementary School District,
Glendale Unified School District, Long Beach Unified School
District, Los Angeles Unified School District, San Diego Unified
School District, and Tustin Unified School District.

--- Unanimously adopted by the Executive Committee of the
Academic Senate, San Francisco State University, Tuesday, August
27, 2002--