Posted in Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC, CCCC 2011

Update on the Sense of the House Resolution

I know that many of you have been following the Sense of the House Resolution at CCCC over the past two days. We will send a full update later this weekend, but Peter Adams sent this word from the floor of the house.

“The resolution just passed unanimously at business meeting and that Chris Anson, the program chair for CCCC 2012 indicated his support for improving the visibility of BW.”

I cannot thank you enough for all of your support both at CCCC and virtually. It has been amazing to watch this unfold over the last 3 days. I think we are all feeling a collective sense of immediacy in our work around Basic Writing right now and this spoke to our shared concerns.

Again, a full report will follow later, but many folks were involved in seeing this through: William Lalicker, Shannon Carter, Peter Adams, Mike Hill, and Sugie Goen-Salter worked tirelessly behind the scenes collecting signatures, making copies, gathering statements so that those who could not be in attendance were well-represented. Many others came to the business meeting this morning to speak in support of the resolution and to read statements from those who could not attend. (Full list to follow later). We also released a press release to Inside Higher Education (Thanks Mike!). I’m hoping we’ll see that in IHE later today. Also, many, many thanks to William Lalicker, who proposed the idea in our preconference workshop on Wednesday. And, thanks to all of you who took time from your very busy lives to send statements of support!!! I also thought that you would be interested to know that David Bartholomae, Bruce Horner, and Rebecca Mlynarczyk sent in very eloquent statements about the importance of Basic Writing to be read on the floor in support of our motion.

I think this marks an excellent moment in Basic Writing. We need to seize the moment and run with it.

In the coming weeks, we will be posting more information on the listserv about a concerted effort to get BW into CCCC 2012. Please stay posted for this and be thinking of sessions you would like to propose!

Many folks are traveling from CCCC today, but once everyone has arrived home and rested, we will post a full account of the meeting here and on CBW-L. We will also compile a complete list of signatories on the motion. Right now those signatures are in digital and handwritten form.

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for all of your support and your work for our community of Basic Writing faculty, staff, and students!

(J. Elizabeth Clark, posting on behalf of the CBW Executive Board)

Posted in CBW 2011, CCCC

State of the House Resolution for CCCC, April 2011

The Executive Board has put together the following State of the House resolution to be presented Saturday morning at CCCC’s business meeting.
The text (which has to be less than 50 words) reads:
“Be it resolved that Basic Writing is a vital field and its students and teacher scholars a productive force within composition; is under attack by exclusionary public policies; and therefore must be recognized publicly and supported by CCCC as a conference cluster and with featured sessions.”
1. At tomorrow night’s SIG, we will distribute a list for people to sign in support of the statement.
2. If you can be at the meeting on Saturday morning in Atlanta, please be there by 8 a.m. You can read or give a speech of 2 minutes or less in support of the statement.
3. Bill Lalicker and Shannon Carter will be presenting the statement on Saturday.
4. If you cannot be there, but would like to offer a statement to be read in your absence, please send it to the CBW-L by Friday morning. Shannon Carter will be compiling these statements to offer in support on the floor.
Thanks to everyone for your work in support of Basic Writing!
Posted in Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC, History of Basic Writing, Mission Statement, Politics of Remediation, What's New in Basic Writing

Developing Ideas for the Mission Statement

Idea #1: Mission Statement
The Council on Basic Writing is an organization that advocates for all basic writers across all institutions types and supports basic writing teacher-scholars in the professional endeavors. We pursue these ends by:

· Working to raise the visibility of basic writings’ central role to the academic and civic enterprise across our campuses, in the profession and in the public eye.
· Fostering a network that encourages the development of new research and collaborative strategies to enhance teaching excellence through BWeThe Basic Writing E-Journal and an annual meeting,
· Advocating for the best conditions for teaching and learning Basic Writing, and
· Providing support for the development and dissemination of best teaching practices that foster student access and success.

We think we need position statements and Core principals!

Core Principals (we really like the way ATTW set this up)

  • To the public
  • The Council on Basic Writing sees a literate citizenry as the foundation of social justice.
  • To academy
  • To the promote the academic traditions as of advancing and sharing knowledge.
  • The CBW values diversity and diverse learners.


Idea #2: CBW Mission Statement and Core Principles:

The Council on Basic Writings’ (CBW) core values promote public and institutional basic writing policies and scholarship that advocate for and support students, faculty, and programs, in  connecting and enhancing their collective developing voices within a linguistically diverse world.

  1. Should have a role in building a culture of scholarship around basic writing
  2. Public voice of Basic Writing Scholarship:
  3. Support faculty and students in competence in using English for academic disciplinary, professional and social power for a linguistically diverse world.
  4. Work to influence public policy supportive of goals.
  5. Provide Professional development for faculty teaching Basic Writing
  6. Provide assistance in preparation of graduate students for teaching Basic Writing
  7. Support, promote, and provide community for instructors and graduate students of Basic Writing
  8. Advocate for public institutional Basic Writing Programs nationally
  9. Disseminate effective basic writing pedagogies.

Idea #3: CBW advocates and promotes the professionalizaton of basic writing studies, to provide access to diverse adult learners (or educational opportunities for an engaged citizens), embracing our knowledge and expertise in multiple literacies at multiple sites for all adult learners. To afford diverse adult learners access to academic, professional/technical, and other language communities.

Idea #4: Because we believe that all students are learners capable of constructing and expressing ideas that are both valuable and worthy of expression, the CBW supports student success, valuable academic partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, innovative practices in teaching/leaving and improved working conditions for Basic Writing teachers.

**this is a preamble to a larger statement**

Idea #5: CBW is dedicated to teaching, research, and administrative work that promotes social justice and supports students for whom continued support is necessary as they transition to new, more demanding rhetorical contexts. CBW’s core principles include:

  • collaboration between 2 and 4 year colleges
  • communication and cooperation between various campus support services
  • sophisticated pedagogy that integrates reading and writing across diverse learning styles
  • accessibile high quality education
  • scholarship that integrates theory and reflective practice

Discussion Points:

Are all learners capable of “constructing and expressing ideas that are both valuable and worthy of expression” or is it that we want to ensure that all students have ACCESS?

What happens when you put labels on people? What happens when you institutionalize those labels? What happens when we pigeon-hole students? Limit them?

On ACCESS: The Chronicle of Higher Education is regularly reporting on students who are closed out of classes that are full (courses close in April for a Fall semester).

We cannot assume that developmental studies are going to survive.

Our mission is wider than basic writing courses (writing centers, adult returning courses, community literacy, etc.)

We have to defend egalitarianism (again). Basic writing is on its way out. We need to go back to our basic values.

These statements assume that we’re okay. They do not assume we’re at risk.

We’re at risk.

We need to have a strong emphasis on advocacy: access, social justice. Advocacy must be one of our roles.

Gate keeping and standards seem to dictate our roles (legacy of the double function–Mary Soliday)–how do we push back.

The key is public.

The evisceration of the pubic sector is at work here: the privatization of what used to be public (K-12 and higher education); our students are expendable in this society.

In the 1960s, it was “cool” to have a basic writing program. It’s not “cool” anymore. The four year schools didn’t put up as much of a fight as they should have when basic skills were pushed to two year schools.

We also need to recognize that there has been a lot of research that indicates that what we’ve been doing for the last 20-30 years has not been as effective as we have hoped it could be. This is a complicated issue; it can work against us.

National push on completion rates: the more developmental students we can send to adult basic education, we don’t have to count in our completion rates.

Students need access to support services. Access doesn’t mean anything if students do not graduate.

Also, what happens with outsourcing of basic courses (including composition I).

We need to educate our colleagues.

The corporate move gets great support from the home schooling folks. Home schooling people have great suspicion of public education (and a negative perspective on public education). This limits the diverse mix of classrooms. Privatization of education in the homes leads to looking down on people who can’t privately educate their children.

The pecking order in departments: literature/creative writing, composition, basic writing.

Expendable students: we have more students who need the kind of support we can offer in basic writing.

We need to have an articulated sense of who we are; we need to clean house. How are we NOT LISTED IN THE CHAIRS’ ADDRESS? What does this say about the perception of basic writing within our own field?



Posted in CCCC

Find Us at CCCC!

Coming to CCCC in Louisville, Kentucky?  Visit the CBW at our two events:

1.  CBW Pre-conference Workshop, “Social Justice, Multi-Modalities and Basic Writers” on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 from 9:00-5:00 p.m.
2.  Basic Writing Special Interest Group (TSIG.18), Thursday, 18 March 2010 @ 6:30-7:30 p.m.

And, new this year:  Are you Basic Writing?  Do you teach basic writing?  Support basic writing?  Make sure to pick up the fabulous “I am Basic Writing” sticker from us at our events!  Help us to make Basic Writing very visible at this year’s CCCC!

Posted in CCCC, What's New in Basic Writing

Basic Writing Sessions at CCCC, March 2009!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

  • MW.3 Troubling Boundaries: Social Action and Composition with Shereen Inayatulla, Royal Bonde-Griggs, Steve Parks, Seth Kahn, Michael T. MacDonald and John Raucci, Katie Malcolm and Andre Buchenot, Lee Abbott/Continental Ballroom 1, Ballroom Level
  • W.2 Conference on Basic Writing Preconference with Shannon Carter, Hannah Ashley, Susan Naomi Bernstein, Kathleen A. Baca, Greg Glau, Eileen Ferretti, Sonya Armstrong, Kevin Roozen, Dawn Terrick, Rebecca Mlynarczyk, and Deborah Mutnick/Yosemite B, Ballroom Level

Thursday, 12 March 2009
10:30-11:45 a.m.

  • A.18 ALP: A New Model for Mainstreaming Basic Writers with Peter Adams, Anne Roberts, and Cheryl Scott/Golden Gate, Lobby Level
  • A.20 Questioning Timed Writing and Portfolio Assessment with Kim Crowley, Monique Leslie, Danny Sexton, Ann Del Principe/Union Square 25, Fourth Floor

12:15-1:30 p.m.

  • B.02 Diving In, Diving Farther, Diving Deeper: The Future of Basic
    Writing with Brian Ray, Brenda Tuberville, Stefan Frazier, Cynthia Whitesel,William Donohue, Susan Naomi Bernstein
    /Union Square 23/24, Fourth Floor
  • B.13 Black Faces in White Spaces: African American Identity on a Predominantly White Campus with Carol Mattingly, Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Phillip O. Blackmon/Van Ness, Sixth Floor
  • B.29 Research on Student Attitudeswith LauraAnne Carroll-Adler, Michelle Neely, Carl Donner, Carla Maroudas/Union Square 15, Fourth Floor
  • B.35 The Kamp Katrina Project: A Civic Collaboration Between Graduate Student Scholars and Community Members with Dawn Formo, Carla Maroudas, Denise Crlenjak/Franciscan A, Ballroom Level

3:15-4:30 p.m.

  • D.16 Approaches to Teaching Basic Writing with Bruce McComiskey, Ilene Rubenstein, Karen Abramowitz, Gwenn Eldridge, Brian Zaleski/Continental Ballroom 3, Ballroom Level
  • D.36 Breaking Boundaries and Writing Stories: Magazine Writing in the Composition Classroom with Mary Fakler, Rachel Elliot Rigolino, Penny Freel, Joanie Perisse/Union Square 21, Fourth Floor
  • D.39 Rippling Throughout the Year: Four Views of the Stretch Model with Greg Glau, Fran Martens Friesen, Suzanne Kobzeff, Mark Sutton, Billie Hara/Union Square 22, Fourth Floor

4:45-6:00 p.m.

  • E.02 The Digital Now: The Cyberspace Transformation in Composition with J. Elizabeth Clark, Carlos Hernandez, Marisa Klages/Yosemite C, Ballroom Level
  • E.18 Wiping Out or Getting Stoked? The Fate of Rhetoric in Basic Writing with Margaret Rustick, Dale Katherine Ireland, Mike Rovasio, Sarah Nielsen/Golden Gate 3, Lobby Level
  • E.23 Researching Underrepresented Populations in Higher Education with Linda Trinh Moser, Steven Nardi, Nicole Pepinster Greene, Jessica Early, Arturo Valdespino/Continental Ballroom 9, Ballroom Level

6:30-7:30 p.m.

  • Conference on Basic Writing SIG /Golden Gate 3, Lobby Level

Friday, 13 March 2009

8:00-9:15 a.m.

  • F.08 A Following Sea: Integrating Basic Writing and Reading into Transfer Courses through Learning Communities with Matthew Stilwell, Shawna Jackson, Julie Voss, Stewart Erlich/Van Ness, Sixth Floor
  • F.19 Resisting Basic Writers/Resisting Institutions: Resistance Theory and Community College Writing with Jack Morales, Michael Hill, Jennifer Swartout, Howard Tinberg/Golden Gate 7, Lobby Level


  • H.01 CCCC Studies in Writing and Rhetoric: The Next 25 Years with Joseph Harris, Kelly Ritter, Mary Soliday, Ray Watkins, John Brereton/Grand Ballroom A, Grand Ballroom Level


  • J.07 Seeing Themselves as Writers: Basic Writers’ Journey with Jane Wagoner, Jay Wootten, Sarah Z. Johnson/Golden Gate 2, Lobby Level
  • J.09 Basic Writing Waves of Change: A Call for Graduate Courses with a Community College Focus with Lori Rios Doddy, Lynn Quitman Troyka, Sugie Goen-Salter/Golden Gate 6, Lobby Level
  • J.30 Writing as Social Performance: Examining Teacher Student Negotiations in Three Different Composition Classrooms with William B. Lalicker, Mike Mutschelknaus, Monika Shehi, Peggy Johnson/Union Square 23/24, Fourth Floor

6:30-7:30 p.m.

  • FSIG.16: Teaching Adult Writers in Diverse Settings with Sonia Feder-Lewis, Michele Navarre, Barbara Gleason, Kimme Knuckles Baker College/Yosemite C, Ballroom Level
  • FSIG.19 Studio Special Interest Group with John Paul Tassoni/Golden Gate 1, Lobby Level

Saturday, 14 March 2009

  • N.14 Back to the Basics: Refiguring Basic Writing Instruction with Curry Mitchell, Steve Lamos, Lisa Geren/Taylor, Sixth Floor
  • N.24 Multimodal Composition; Making .WAVs with Non-traditional Writers with Cynthia Selfe, Kathi Gossett, Leslie Norris, Chelsey Waters, Rachael Shapiro/Yosemite C, Ballroom Level