California Teacher

Overview

California Teacher

California Teacher is the CFT’s flagship digital magazine that is emailed to all union members. The award-winning magazine contains union news and positions of import to all members, and covers major issues in each educational division of the CFT: PreK-12, Classified, Community College, University, and Retired. California Teacher has won numerous awards from labor communications groups for its excellence in storytelling. Browse by date below or by index here.

California Teacher is published four times during the academic year. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Jane Hundertmark, Publications Director and Editor.

Article CFT Convention

Floor debate: Delegates take decisive action
Special Edition Convention 2018

Pass resolutions on part-time faculty workload, McTeacher Nights, pesticide use, charter teacher retirement

About 400 delegates discussed resolutions on a broad range of policy issues; heard from the law school dean at UC Berkeley, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Tony Thurmond, the CFT-endorsed candidate for superintendent of public instruction; joined thousands to rally and march for safer schools and common sense gun control; learned a whole lot about Janus v. AFSCME, a Supreme Court case that could effectively turn the public sector into a “right to work” zone; and heard from a teacher in West Virginia where they succeeded in getting a 5 percent raise for all public employees.

Laura Manriquez, who won a grant to help cover the cost of getting a teaching credential, working with kindergarteners at Aliso Elementary.

Classroom veteran looks forward to being a teacher

Classroom veteran looks forward to being a teacher

By Laura L. Manriquez

I recently became aware of an opportunity to obtain financial assistance in earning a teaching credential through the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program, which is intended to attract classified staff who are interested in becoming teachers.

Article Endorsements

Q&A: Get to know Tony Thurmond

Meet the CFT-endorsed candidate for state superintendent of public instruction

Quick download: Q&A with Tony Thurmond (pdf, 3pp)

In a race important to all educators, the CFT has endorsed Assemblymember Tony Thurmond for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. CFT President Josh Pechthalt said Thurmond, a former social worker, has demonstrated “time and again he is a champion of public education. His policy positions solidly align him with the needs of students, parents and educators.”

Article Labor Movement

Documentary movie features United Farm Workers organizer

Five lessons from Dolores Huerta

DOLORES HUERTA, an organizing legend who co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, was a Girl Scout growing up in Stockton. She took seriously the idea that people should help one another and try to make things better. Something that particularly angered her was police officers stopping her and her Latino friends — but not the white people they knew — on their way home from a basketball or football game.

Article Maternity Leave

The richest country in the world doesn’t have what?

The struggle for paid maternity leave continues

KNOW OUR HISTORY

Okay, educators, here’s a pop quiz: Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Surinam, Tonga, and the United States. What do these countries have in common? The answer is that not one of these has a national paid maternity leave law. Every other nation in the world — 180 of them — has one. 

Article Labor Movement Labor art

New book illustrates the humanity of people who travel with the crops

Writer, photographer and veteran UFW union organizer David Bacon frequently refers to “people who travel with the crops,” agricultural workers who move from place to place to cultivate and harvest California’s fields. They are the subject of his newest work of photojournalism, In the Fields of the North/En los campos del norte. Bacon is a frequent contributor to California Teacher. Below are excerpts from an interview with Capitol & Main. » Read the whole article here.

Article Environment Wildfires
Jen and William Ortlinghaus stand before the wreckage of their home in the wake of the devastating North Bay fires. Both are members of the Petaluma Federation of Teachers.

Wildfires take member homes

Union provides immediate aid and comfort

After the North Bay fires destroyed more than 5,000 homes and killed dozens of people, William Ortlinghaus, who teaches physical education at Kenilworth Junior High and his wife Jen, a teacher at Valley Vista Elementary, were happy to go back to work after school had been cancelled for a week.

Article Up Front

Sexual misconduct revelations demand changes in the workplace and society

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

The daily revelations of sexual misconduct by men in authority seem like a turning point in the struggle for gender equality. While this appears to be a sea change, we must remember that Donald Trump’s claim he could grab women inappropriately without their consent failed to derail his run for the White House. That, however, may have been the opening salvo.

Article Rank & Files

In Memoriam: Gary Ravani

Gary Ravani, 72, a fierce advocate of public education, died on November 17 after being hospitalized for acute pancreatitis. Ravani served as president of the EC/TK-12 Council from 2009 to 2015 and as a CFT Vice President for two decades.

Article Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Nov-Dec 2017

Kirsten Farrell, a health science and medical technology teacher at Venice Senior High School, and member of United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT Local 1021, was named as one of five California Teachers of the Year for 2018 by the state Department of Education.

Article Local Action

Local Wire, Nov-Dec 2017

LOCAL 1603

#MembershipBlitz In November the Peralta Federation of Teachers, launched a six-day membership drive as part of a year-long strategy to recruit and engage members.

Article Medicare

Medicare-for-All could free billions for our classrooms

CFT retirees at the annual CARA Convention, from left, Ann Killebrew, San Francisco; Bill Philllips, Santa Cruz; and Margaret Shelleda, Oakland.

Most American schools and colleges pay for employee healthcare out of their budgets. Education activists are enthusiastic that a Medicare-for-All approach for faculty and staff would free up billions of dollars for classrooms.

Article Pesticide Use

Activists succeed in first pesticide drift protection for schools

Teachers involved in protesting pesticide drift gather around the air monitor at Ohlone Elementary, which has agricultural fields across the street.

Students and staff still exposed to toxic agricultural chemicals

In Watsonville, where teachers have fought for years to restrict pesticide spraying near schools, a recent regulation issued by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation was greeted as a victory, but with serious reservations. 

Article Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Sep-Oct 2017

Michael R. Wing, science teacher at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, and a member of the Tamalpais Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1985, has written a book Passion Projects for Smart People (Quill Driver Books), coming out in November. The book is a guide for teachers about how to live like a professor without having access to a professor’s resources, with chapters on projects, affiliations and collaborations, applying for things, travel with purpose, teaching, citizen science programs, and publishing. Learn more and order the book here.