Filipino language teachers in San Diego began working together since the late 1980s. They came together at first informally to share lessons and ideas how to best teach their classes. While most of them were native speakers, a number were not language teachers and felt the need to learn more. So, they organized their own summer institutes to provide the much needed training and time to develop curriculum materials. Passion for their heritage and language, and the deep desire to share these with students more than made up for what these first group of teachers may have lacked in language teaching training and curriculum materials.
In 2001 a group of teachers of the Sweetwater Union High School District organized themselves into the Filipino Language Association of Teachers at Sweetwater (FLATS). Later, colleagues from San Diego Unified School District joined and FLATS stood for Filipino Language Association of Teachers at San Diego. Meantime, the `No Child Left Behind' (NCLB) Legislation loomed in the horizon threatening the demise of Filipino language classes in the San Diego County. The teachers could not meet NCLB requirements because there was no protocol to acquire them - no California Subject Matter Examination for Teachers (CSET:Filipino), nor course offerings at any university.
The group then decided to become a professional organization under the umbrella of the Foreign Language Council of San Diego (FLCSD), the California Language Teachers Association (CLTA), and in the future, the American Council for Teaching Foreign Language (ACTFL). In 2005, FLATS became the Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC). With the support of political leaders, professional organizations and institutions, notably the Filipino American Educators of San Diego County (FILAMEDA), CLTA and the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) of San Diego State University (SDSU), and the Filipino Community, CSET-Filipino came to be with the passage of AB 420.
In October 2006, four selected members of CTFLC were invited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to write, grade, and standardize the CSET:Filipino. In December 2006, the CSET:Filipino was approved by CCTC in Sacramento. This test was then used by the CCTC as a model so that other Less Commonly Taught Languages would be able to develop their tests. Thus, official tests in Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Hmong, and Khmer were developed using the Filipino test as the template. CTFLC then worked with Alliant International University (AIU) to offer a credential program in Filipino, thus making Alliant the only University in the United States offering this credential program.
CTFLC members were the majority of the first examinees of CSET:Filipino with a hundred percent passing rate; thus everyone became NCLB compliant. CTFLC members teach at all school levels - elementary, junior high, senior high, community college, and the university.