Arkansas Communication 
and Theatre Arts Association

Important Documents: 

Oral Comm Position Statement 2014.pdf

Sample Letter for ADE Superintendents Principals.pdf

CONTACT LIST for Professional Standards.docx


July 18, 2014

ACTAA Members:
During our successful Summer Conference this week, we discussed and proposed essential responses for our members to perform in two different situations occurring within our state. First, and most urgent, there are Oral Communication Course Waivers being requested and more frequently granted to integrate oral communication framework standards into other core course disciplines.

A second issue, helping this integration to accelerate, is the ability to obtain a Speech Licensure through the avenue of taking the Praxis Test only. It has come to the association’s attention that teachers can pass the Praxis requirement and not even have a post-secondary course in the oral communication discipline.
Should we sit idle, we believe, as an committee consensus, that we may see in the near future our current discipline and student requirement for Oral Communication diluted or even non-existing in the state of Arkansas. Our students cannot lose the opportunity to master these essential, valued skills in such a global world.
We urge all members of ACTAA to petition school district administrators and state educational officials to decline the waivers being presented on August 14-15, 2014 and to tighten up the Speech licensure procedure by requiring post-secondary courses along with the Praxis test.
For your expediency, we have provided a list of contacts (in the Contact List link below) and a sample letter (link below) to guide your responses to these individuals.

We request that you also communicate our Oral Communication Position Statement (link below) any chance you get in corresponding. This is a new statement that was adopted in an emergency membership session on July 14, 2014 summer workshop.


We always appreciate the immediate support ACTAA members provide our professional peers and students. Should you have further questions please contact me.
Sincerely,


Jacki Reiff

Jacki Reiff, Professional Standards Chair
Email: jackireiff@gmail.com

Committee Members: Tim Peerbolte, Dana McCutcheon, Anna Guoveia, Chris Flowers, Robin Miller, Eric Gamble, Ta-Neisha Marsall, Mike Noland, Helen L. Strickland, Mary M. Richardson, Shay Rafferty, Mike Scroggins, Nicole Neal, Elizabeth Bennett, Shelle House, Terri Valentine, Brandon Vaughn, Pat Treadway, Melinda Beith



Subject: Oral Communication is an essential discipline taught by Oral Communication Professionals

Greetings from the Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association

The Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association recognizes that the mastery of oral communication is an essential life skill. Oral Communication exceeds Common Core Standards to assure the success of our students outside the realm of education.  In a world that demands mature and eloquent communication in both career and life, the mastery of oral communication is fundamental to continuing the success of our communities and our nation in a global marketplace.  As the American foundation has progressively been built upon communication, from the Declaration of Independence to legislative debates and town hall meetings, our liberty and freedoms are inherently secured by the ability to communicate well.  Our students are entitled to a quality education following this American tradition.  It is the right and essential responsibility of our association and the State of Arkansas to endorse the values of oral communication in the state school curriculum and teacher licensure.

The position of the Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association is that all teachers responsible for Oral Communication curriculum display proof of quality preparation through both testing and successful completion of multiple accredited courses in this discipline at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.  This quality preparation will be evident in our students’ success and skill level as demonstrated on a specialized End of Course Exam to be developed by the Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education.  Proper learning of these essential communication skills can only occur in Oral Communication, Debate, and Forensics courses taught by teachers with the qualifications detailed above.  Furthermore, we assert that Oral Communication Standards cannot be disseminated into other concentrated courses in other disciplines and core classes without severe dissolution of the quality of our students’ educational experience and quality of life thereafter.

The Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association resolves

that the State of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Education support and affirm the continued undiluted teaching of oral communication in all Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools by specifically trained and tested oral communication professionals.

Drafted by the ACTAA Professional Standards and the Oral Communication Position Committees July 14, 2014

Unanimously passed by the ACTAA membership in an emergency meeting at the annual summer workshop on July 14, 2014


ACTAA:  Arkansas Communication and Theatre Arts Association is a non-profit professional organization serving educators of Oral Communication, Debate, Forensics, Theatre Arts, and Dance in Arkansas.

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