Category Archives: History of Basic Writing

Resources from Session F.28

Karen S. Uehling has generously provided this incredibly useful bibliography for her talk on “Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories” as part of her CCCC presentation March 15, 2013.

Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories

A Bibliography by Karen S. Uehling

Adams, Peter, Sarah Gearhart, Robert Miller, and Anne Roberts. “The Accelerated Learning Program: Throwing Open the Gates.” Journal of Basic Writing 28.2 (2009): 50–69. Print.

Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Susanmarie Harrington. Basic Writing as a Political Act: Public Conversations about Writing and Literacies. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton P, 2002. Print. [See Chapter 5, “Looking Outward: Basic Writing and Basic Writers in the Mainstream Media,” for information on newspaper coverage of the General College of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis in 1996 and City University of New York in New York City in 1999.]

Bartholomae, David. “The Tidy House: Basic Writing in the American Curriculum.” Journal of Basic Writing 12.1 (1993): 4–21. Print.

Buber, Martin. I and Thou. 2nd ed. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958. Print.

Collins, Terence G. “Basic Writing Programs and Access Allies: Finding and Maintaining Your Support Network.” CBW Newsletter 13.3 (1998): 1–6. Print. [Available as a PDF through the CBW archives.]

———. “A Response to Ira Shor’s ‘Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.'” Journal of Basic Writing 16.2 (1997): 95–100. Print.

Glau, Gregory R., and Chitralekha Duttagupta, Eds. The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Basic Writing. 3rd. ed. NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Gleason, Barbara. “Evaluating Writing Programs in Real Time: The Politics of Remediation.” College Composition and Communication 51.4 (2000): 560–88. Print.

Greenberg, Karen L. “A Response to Ira Shor’s ‘Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.'” Journal of Basic Writing 16.2 (1997): 90–94. Print.

McNenny, Gerri, Ed. Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access. Mahwah: Erlbaum, 2001. Print.

Otte, George, and Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk. Basic Writing. West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor P, 2010. Print. [Also available as open access book on the WAC Clearinghouse: http://wac.colostate.edu/books/basicwriting%5D

Ritter, Kelly. Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920–1960. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2009. Print.

Rose, Mike. Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education.
NY: New Press, 2012. Print.

—. Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Underprepared. New York: Free, 1989. Print.

—. Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America. Houghton Mifflin: 1995. Print.

—. The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker. NY: Penguin, 2004.

Shor, Ira. “Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.” Journal of Basic Writing 16.1 (1997): 91–104. Print.

Soliday, Mary, and Barbara Gleason. “From Remediation to Enrichment: Evaluating a Mainstreaming Project.” Journal of Basic Writing 16.1 (1997): 64–78. Print.

Soliday, Mary. The Politics of Remediation: Institutional and Student Needs in Higher Education. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburg P, 2002. Print.

Sternglass, Marilyn S. Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1997. Print.

Traub, James. City on a Hill: Testing the American Dream at City College. Reading, Mass.: A William Patrick Book/Addison-Wesley, 1994.

Uehling, Karen S. “The Conference on Basic Writing: 1980-2005.” The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Basic Writing. Ed. Gregory R. Glau and Chitralekha Duttagupta. 3rd ed. NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. 8-22. Print.

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F.28: The Work of Scholarship: Hermeneutics in Public and Institutional Arguments on Basic Writing

This session, chaired by Hannah Ashley, focused on public and institutional discourses about Basic Writing and Basic Writers. The emphasis was on rewriting the narrative of Basic Writing as part of shaping the public and institutional policies that affect Basic Writing programs, Basic Writers, and faculty and staff.

Karen Uehling presented on “Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories.” She provided a very comprehensive overview of the history of Basic Writing by examining the trends and history in Basic Writing. I’m going to ask if she’ll share her bibliography for her paper because it’s a treasure trove of the history of trends in Basic Writing and because it was hard for me to keep up with all of the references. [Update: the bibliography appears at the end of this post AND is a separate post on the blog].

Uehling outlined the current language of a “literacy crisis” in our society. She posited that we do not have a literacy crisis. “There was never a golden age when students could write better than they can now,” she asserted.

She then moved to discussing the strand in Basic Writing scholarship of looking at the human costs of the decisions that we (and policy makers and administrators) make about basic writing. “Story is one way that we make sense of the world,” she said, emphasizing the importance of returning to the practice of  including student stories and human narratives into the discussion of Basic Writing. Focusing on numbers and data alone do not paint the picture of what’s at stake, for whom, and why.  As a side note, this has been a trend at CCCC 2013: looking at a return to the importance of narrative & story. I think much of this was influenced by Malea Powell’s address to CCCC 2012 where she dramatically demonstrated the power and importance of story.

William Lalicker explored “Agency through Assessment: Developing a Basic Writing Program Strength Quotient.” He was focused on the question of “How is our work as basic writing professors interpreted, understood and valued?” He suggested that programs engage in a 12 point program strength quotient analysis. It includes questions such as:

  • Does your program use a fair, accurate, and ultimately student-empowering placement system?
  • Does your program employ qualified, theory-savvy instructors who are committed to the value of Basic Writing and its students, and who have the institutional credibility to advocate for their pedagogy and student?
  • Do your Basic Writing courses teach students through research-validated approaches linked to rhetorical principles? That is, are your students encouraged to take a rhetorical stance, have a thesis, write whole essays, develop multiple drafts, make errors and fix errors in their own writing (rather than doing busywork fill-in-the-blank workbook exercises or writing isolated sentences or formulaic paragraphs)?
  • Do your Basic Writing courses get credit as legitimate college courses?
  • Does your Basic Writing program have a viable outcomes assessment regimen?

Each of these questions had a set criteria linked to a point system. For example, question #2 looks at who is teaching Basic Writing. The first criteria is “If your Basic Writing sections, or other learning situations for basic writers, are taught completely by unwilling non-tenure-track instructors assigned due to minimal seniority in the course-choice hierarchy, or by student peers alone, or by lit professors who couldn’t get jobs teaching Chaucer, or other uninspired or unempowered placeholders, assign 0 points.” There are multiple criteria for each question.

Lalicker’s point is that if you assess your writing program, you are able to talk about how you are serving Basic Writers with administrators and stakeholders.

Michael Hill addressed “The Work of Philosophical Argument in an Age of Mechanical Assessment.” Hill began by observing that mechanical grading software is something that perhaps all of us have wished for when facing a stack of papers. An administrator suggested that the college adopt e-Write software because it would solve all of the college’s issues with placement.

Hill focused on the importance of Basic Writing faculty authority. “I am Basic Writing,” he said. As a teacher of basic writing, he understands that it is important to . The data that e-Write is effective, something that influences administrators and politicians, is corporate-funded research. That matters. And, it’s a critical piece of the conversation.

As we think about writing, writing to an audience, and writing for expression, Hill argues that it’s important to remember that writing as an expressive act is transactional: between writer and reader. What happens when that transaction is removed?

Hill suggests that we need to explore and engage in a philosophical argument. Although it’s difficult to get people to listen to ideas, it’s also important to be more persuasive, using our authority and experience as Basic Writing faculty.

e-Write software  changes the communicative paradigm. One cannot be persuasive, one must follow standards that can be quantified in the software. There are also questions about student authorship and authority: who owns the writing, what does it look like?

e-Write and dialectical materialism: Hill invoked Walter Benjamin and the age of mechanical reproduction. e-Write turns Benjamin’s “glee” in mechanical reproduction into something darker. The only power left in the exchange is a voiceless exchange. Writing becomes simply functional. Why are we promoting the deauthorization of writing? e-Write takes authorship and authority away from students. Student writing is voiced into nothing. It becomes a simple number for placement.

e-Write software can also be analyzed through a lens of : it is a failure of a democratic ethic. Robert Dowell claims that democratic society is based on “intrinsic equality.” In e-Write, individual voices are not equal. Instead, they are assessed by a mechanical arbiter of standardization. e-Write fails to participate in democratic education, preparing students to engage in citizenship. e-Write is a tool that is a failure of democracy by erasing a writer’s voice before she is even done writing.

e-Write is a tool for prescription and correction, not for building and guiding student development of voice. This is not the philosophy of Basic Writing, the pedagogical approach to Basic Writing, nor the best practice in the field.

Hill urges us to consider: what are the ramifications of this kind of software? What is the ramification of ANY product that enters the classroom to affect instruction? 

If we do not engage in these discussions and create the scholarship, debate, and policies, then we allow corporations to define Basic Writing, our field, and our philosophy.

Abby Nance presented on “A Tale of Two Classrooms: Practicing Trauma-Sensitive Placement.” Nance began by referencing a previous session (A17) at CCCC when Carla Maroudas asked “How many of your departments use Accuplacer or a similar program for placement?” Most of the room raised their hands. To the second question, “How many of you believe these softwares are accurate?” no hands went up.

Nance focused on a study she did (IRB approved!) about the role of trauma and Basic Writing placement. She was interested in the question of trauma and whether that affected student performance.

She next referenced an ACE Study by the CDC, the work of Jeffery Duncan-Andrade, the work of James Pennebaker, and a 2005 study entitled “Helping Traumatized Children Learn: Supportive School Environments for Children Traumatized by Family Violence” by S. Cole, J.G. O’Brien, G. Gadd, J. Ristuccia, and L. Wallace.  These studies suggest that early childhood trauma leads to serious health problems and a shortened life span.

Nance was interested in exploring if there is a relationship between students’ traumatic experiences prior to enrolling in college and their placement in a college writing classroom and is there a relationship between the acknowledgement and expression of traumatic experiences?

She defined traumatic experiences by: traumatic deaths, family upheaval, traumatic sexual experiences, physical violence, illness/injuries, and other.

She asked students “Prior to this semester, did you experience a death of a very close friend or family member? If yes, how old were you? If yes, how traumatic was this experience?” Students were asked to use a numerical scale.

As she looked at trauma as a whole, there seemed to be very little correlation between trauma and placement.

So, Nance examined the kind of trauma. There are “secret traumas” that are not discussed or publicly acknowledged (e.g. sexual violence in a household versus a death or illness which might be more public).

This data suggests that if there is a relationship between trauma and placement, it’s a complex relationship.

Nance suggested a moderate response to trauma-sensitive placement: by developing sensitivity to these issues.

She also suggested a more radical response: to write and talk about these experiences with students. We know about the healing properties of pomegranates. The healing properties of writing as therapy have been documented and explored. So, how do we engage this and document this and create evidence for this?

Hannah Ashley noted a thread of “seize the discourse” across each of these narratives because it’s critical to establishing our authority, the field all in the service of students and student success.

Resources for this post:

Karen S. Uehling provided this incredibly useful bibliography for her talk on “Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories” as part of her CCCC presentation March 15, 2013.

Assessment, Placement, and Access: Framing Arguments from Local and National Histories

A Bibliography by Karen S. Uehling

Adams, Peter, Sarah Gearhart, Robert Miller, and Anne Roberts. “The Accelerated Learning Program: Throwing Open the Gates.” Journal of Basic Writing 28.2 (2009): 50–69. Print.

Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Susanmarie Harrington. Basic Writing as a Political Act: Public Conversations about Writing and Literacies. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton P, 2002. Print. [See Chapter 5, “Looking Outward: Basic Writing and Basic Writers in the Mainstream Media,” for information on newspaper coverage of the General College of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis in 1996 and City University of New York in New York City in 1999.]

Bartholomae, David. “The Tidy House: Basic Writing in the American Curriculum.” Journal of Basic Writing 12.1 (1993): 4–21. Print.

Buber, Martin. I and Thou. 2nd ed. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958. Print.

Collins, Terence G. “Basic Writing Programs and Access Allies: Finding and Maintaining Your Support Network.” CBW Newsletter 13.3 (1998): 1–6. Print. [Available as a PDF through the CBW archives.]

———. “A Response to Ira Shor’s ‘Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.'” Journal of Basic Writing 16.2 (1997): 95–100. Print.

Glau, Gregory R., and Chitralekha Duttagupta, Eds. The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Basic Writing. 3rd. ed. NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Gleason, Barbara. “Evaluating Writing Programs in Real Time: The Politics of Remediation.” College Composition and Communication 51.4 (2000): 560–88. Print.

Greenberg, Karen L. “A Response to Ira Shor’s ‘Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.'” Journal of Basic Writing 16.2 (1997): 90–94. Print.

McNenny, Gerri, Ed. Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access. Mahwah: Erlbaum, 2001. Print.

Otte, George, and Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk. Basic Writing. West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor P, 2010. Print. [Also available as open access book on the WAC Clearinghouse: http://wac.colostate.edu/books/basicwriting%5D

Ritter, Kelly. Before Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale and Harvard, 1920–1960. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2009. Print.

Rose, Mike. Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education.
NY: New Press, 2012. Print.

—. Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of America’s Underprepared. New York: Free, 1989. Print.

—. Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America. Houghton Mifflin: 1995. Print.

—. The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker. NY: Penguin, 2004.

Shor, Ira. “Our Apartheid: Writing Instruction and Inequality.” Journal of Basic Writing 16.1 (1997): 91–104. Print.

Soliday, Mary, and Barbara Gleason. “From Remediation to Enrichment: Evaluating a Mainstreaming Project.” Journal of Basic Writing 16.1 (1997): 64–78. Print.

Soliday, Mary. The Politics of Remediation: Institutional and Student Needs in Higher Education. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburg P, 2002. Print.

Sternglass, Marilyn S. Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1997. Print.

Traub, James. City on a Hill: Testing the American Dream at City College. Reading, Mass.: A William Patrick Book/Addison-Wesley, 1994.

Uehling, Karen S. “The Conference on Basic Writing: 1980-2005.” The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Basic Writing. Ed. Gregory R. Glau and Chitralekha Duttagupta. 3rd ed. NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. 8-22. Print.

 

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Featured Session on Basic Writing!

Can I tell you how exciting it is to have a Basic Writing featured session? Our community owes a huge thank you to Program Chair Chris Anson to listening to our concerns last year! In his 2012 Greetings, Chris Anson says of this year’s program that “as promised in the 2011 Annual Business/Town Meeting, heightened focus on basic writing will be noticeable this year.” Given the roots of composition studies in basic writing, it’s gratifying to see this focus on basic writing.

Mike Rose begins with an analysis of how we have always had a version of basic skills in higher education. While higher education focuses on the numbers of students placed into basic skills, it ignores the fact that more students attend college today than ever before. Yet, today, basic skills education is only 1-2% of the total higher education budget. Basic Skills has a lower status than other courses for both faculty and students. This is part of the bigger picture about basic skills and higher education. And, there’s a connection between legislative and economic attacks on basic skills, who teaches it, and who takes these courses.

In keeping with his Exemplar speech this morning, Rose moves to a vignette about a basic writing class. We are invited to take a seat in the back of the classroom as we hear a compelling sketch of who is taking basic writing courses and why they are there. Rose details a classroom very familiar to those of us who teach basic writing, a rich and diverse classroom of students young and old who share a history of being undeserved in their prior education and for whom economics are the most compelling force against them. there is, notes Rose, a big dose of optimism that doesn’t fully address the challenges students in the class will confront such as interactions with the justice system, medical systems, and more.

Rose notes that they were placed in basic skills based on a placement exam which “no one knew about before hand and no one prepared for it.”

Rose moves on to document the differences in social class with another vignette about a visit to his friends who had small children. Surrounded by books, computers, and parents focused on their success, the differences between these children and the students in the classes he observed is based on material and economic disparities. Rose notes that it’s not about parental method, process, or intent: it’s about economic disparity and familiarity with American higher education.

Rose then moved on to address differences in educational preparation. Why, he asks, do we focus on techniques (how to underline and take notes) and not on how to interrogate and analyze the world around them? Why don’t we teach students how to think?

Back to the original classroom, Rose updated the success rates of students in the class. A familiar pattern of students who had to drop the class or who failed the course because of external forces: illness, jobs, pregnancy. Still others failed for missing too many classes and others because of difficulties with the digital platforms for the course.

Rose went on to address critiques of “college-for-all.”Our society, he says, does not provide a rich set of programs and possibilities for vocational training. We don’t provide counseling or advising to help students find their place in society. Does college attendance for financial aid not point to problems with our economic policies?

Rose then moved on to address the labeling of remedial/developmental students. He reminded us that we have always, in higher education, had a tradition of developmental education.

Rose ended his eloquent remarks with a story about a student who was laid off, went back to school, and graduated successfully.

This summary does not capture the beautiful writing of Rose’s carefully prepared remarks, but I hope you will check out his new book coming this September, Back to School: Second Chances at Higher Ed.

Lynn Quitman Troyka followed with some reports from the field on the state of developmental education: Pima College is cuttingndevelopmentalmeducation entirely because, “it only affects about 2,000 students.”

She also detailed the White House conference on community colleges that included no full-time faculty in the conversation.

Peter Adams followed by focusing on the ALP project. In his remarks, Adams looked at the the way in which developmental education has been increasingly moved to the community college. He raised questions about what that means for faculty, students, and the study of rhetoric and composition. He focused on current trends in innovation in community colleges and large national organizations/foundations. The huge list of programs and studies like stretch and bridge programs, studies on basic skills pedagogy like GSCC, and the ALP program point to ways that basic skills educators are innovating and trying to serve the students Mike Rose talked about.

Peter Adams ended by saying that these are critical times for developmental education. “If your focus is social justice,” Adams said, “then developmental education is the most important sector of higher education.”

RESOURCES FROM THIS SESSION:

www.mikerosebooks.com

http://alp-deved.org

GSCC

Doing Developmental Education Differently

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W.7 Gathered at the Gate: Basic Writing in Evidence

Our first speaker this morning is Bruce Horner, University of Louisville, “Re-locating Basic Writing.”

Horner reviewed a familiar-sounding situation – the struggle in which we fight for the same things over and over – reframing this in light of Alistair Pennycook’s argument that every new iteration is changed by its location in time and place.

BW’s tradition refuses to settle for fixed ideas of who can be taught, and how. Rather than using the difficulty students have as a reason to cast them aside, we use the difficulty productively, as a site of for creating new knowledge about reading and writing.

Basic writers and their teachers and programs are always located ideologically on the periphery of institutions. Basic writing can be re-located at the leading edge, instead, since it calls assumptions into question and brings on new insights about literacy.

Horner described an “archipelago model” of languages and literacies in which different languages are seen as separate and stable. Pegagogies transmit these stable languages. This model overlooks the “traffic” among languages, literacies, and their users.

The “traffic model” takes into account location practices – what happens in time and place, by users of language, through engagement. Users adapt their practices according to their experiences in traffic. Our students are participants in the traffic. They are rewriting English and literacy practices themselves, and the basic writing course is a site in which English is reworked.

Pennycook’s term is “sedimentation” – to the extent that language consists of fixed forms, it’s the result of iterations practiced by language users, participating in “fertile mimesis.” Basic writers are engaged as agents in this process.

(This is my first try at doing this – trying to capture some key points, apologies for any errors as well as lack of overall coherence.)

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Welcome to CBW 2012! (W7)

Hannah Ashley started off the day by revisiting CCCC 2011 and the events that brought us to today. She reviewed the events of last year’s CBW Sense of the House Resolution and the work that followed this year in creating a mission statement.

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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?

 

**WE HAVE TO HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR PASSIONS!!!**

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Filed under Calls to Action, CBW 2011, CCCC, History of Basic Writing, Mission Statement, Politics of Remediation, What's New in Basic Writing

JBW’s New Site! Archives Live Now!

Today at CBW, Rebecca Mlynarczyk and Hope Parisi, co-editors of the Journal of Basic Writing (JBW) unveiled a new web location at the WAC CLEARINGHOUSE featuring open access archives to past issues of JBW. This work will be on-going. Right now, you can access some of the original issues with Mina P. Shaughnessy’s founding work.

Visit the site here: http://wac.colostate.edu/jbw/

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