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 Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Sept-Oct 2016

Jennifer Russell, psychology teacher and member of the Novato Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1986, was selected as the Marin County Teacher of the Year for 2016-17 and honored for helping students learn about themselves through portfolio assignments and equipping them with skills necessary for college success in her AVID courses. Marin County’s superintendent said to her, “You have mastered the art of teaching students that achievement is much more than a number or letter.”

Article

CFT welcomes more Los Angeles teachers into the fold

California’s largest union of K-12 teachers pens historic merger agreement

Eager to commit unprecedented resources to the expansion of unregulated, non-union charter schools, billionaire privatizers have declared war on public education in Los Angeles, with the goal of moving half of LA’s students out of the district and into charters.

Article ESSA

Every Student Succeeds Act: Coming soon to your classroom

State regulations being crafted for new federal law to replace NCLB

Jeni Nudell started this school year like most others, focusing on setting up her classroom, getting to know her students, and administering the California English Development Test to her students at the Rosa Parks Learning Center in the San Fernando Valley.

Article Local Action

Local Wire, Sept-Oct 2016

LOCAL 6554
Contagious…This spring Ann Marie Wasserbauer, president of the Association of College Educators, delivered 513 petitions from faculty and students to the West Valley-Mission Community College Board of Trustees with the message: “Come back to the bargaining table!”

Yes on Prop 58: Return language instruction that helps students succeed

Reverse Proposition 227 after 18 years of bad policy

In 1998, Proposition 227 essentially ended bilingual instruction in California schools. It forced English learners into one year of “sheltered English immersion,” hindering their ability to learn academic English and achieve at grade level. Many continued in those classes or were then placed in regular classrooms to sink or swim. The CFT strongly opposed Proposition 227.

Article Strike ACCJC Accreditation

San Francisco City College faculty calls one-day strike

April 27 action protests college administration stonewalling

Rain, wind, and a four-hour round trip from her home could not keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike in the school’s history.

“I wanted to support my fellow faculty,” she said. “There’s a lack of respect for faculty here. That’s what led to this strike and all the time, energy and effort the union has put into it.”

Article Local Action

Local Wire, Apr-May 2016

Community walks in for public education

Reclaiming schools…. On May 4, teachers, support staff, parents, students, elected officials and others participated in a series of walk-ins and other events in support of public education. Spurred on by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, which held walk-ins across the country, CFT members in schools from districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Daly City and Morgan Hill, as well as Cerritos College, turned out to show support for the high-quality public schools that all our students deserve.

Article AFT

The first 100 years of the AFT

From eight local unions to 3,000 locals and 1.6 million members

World War I and the Depression: The American Federation of Teachers was founded in Chicago, with eight locals signing on as AFL President Samuel Gompers welcomed the union into its fold in 1916. The union operated from one room of AFT Financial Secretary Freeland Stecker’s five-room bungalow in Chicago. President Charles Stillman lived next door.

Article Librarians

Librarians negotiate professional development and salary

Entry-level pay lower than at CSU and the community colleges

The University Council-AFT is negotiating with UC over two key articles of its contract covering librarians — salaries and professional development funds — says Axel Borg, distinguished wine and food science bibliographer at UC Davis. He sums up the common concerns between the union and the university as competitiveness, compression, and consistency.

Victory! Courts reject conservative anti-union lawsuits

Attacks on educator rights and union fair share halted…for now

On April 14, the California Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision in the Vergara v. California case. The suit sought to dismantle seniority and due process rights for teachers in the name of students’ equal access to education. The appellate court wisely ruled that there is no constitutional link between tenure and student performance.

Article Labor Solidarity Rank & Files

Honoring “letter carrier who sings” turned teacher

Old school troubadour and modern Joe Hill among top labor artists and activists

Jimmy Kelly comes from a union family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his grandfather, father and two brothers were all union members. “I grew up in a different era, in a town that traced the origin of its labor movement to the great strikes in the steel mills,” he recalls. “We learned labor terms in fourth grade.”

Article Elections 2016

Primary Election 2016: CFT endorses proven leader Kamala Harris for Senate seat

California’s Attorney General brings educator values to a crowded field

With the retirement of Sen. Barbara Boxer after 24 years as a progressive champion, Californians are heading to the polls to fill the first open U.S. Senate seat in decades.

And the ballot is crowded: 34 candidates have filed to replace Boxer, although the clear front-runner is Democrat Kamala Harris.

Article Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Apr-May 2016

Jennifer Foreman, an English teacher at North Monterey High School in Castroville, and member of the North Monterey County Federation of Teachers, Local 4008, was named a Unionist of the Year at the annual Monterey Bay Central Labor Council awards banquet in late April.

Article CFT Convention

Legislator of the Year: Jose Medina

Many legislators, although they seem good at first, have a “shelf life,” said Community College Council President Jim Mahler, which expires when they stop responding to the people who elected them. Mahler said to combat this by finding your own candidates. Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, winner of CFT’s Legislator of the Year Award, was just who the union was looking for.

Article Restorative justice

Restorative justice seeks to end the school-to-prison pipeline

How educators can help transform classrooms and school climates

If an African American male student is suspended, there’s a 90 percent chance he’ll end up in prison some time in his life. In 2013-14, there were half a million suspensions in California schools, many those of black and brown children. These statistics make equity in education one of the great civil rights struggles of our time, said Ali Cooper, the executive director of the Restorative Schools Vision Project.

Article CFT Convention

Organizing: Building our union power

In a panel discussion moderated by Joanne Waddell, president of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, four leaders in very different situations — three from California and one from Texas, a right-to-work state — talked about what they’d done to significantly increase their membership and get people involved with the union.