California Teacher

Overview

California Teacher

California Teacher is the CFT’s flagship magazine that is emailed to 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.

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

Article Labor Solidarity International Unionism

Nine killed in Mexico fighting punitive education reform

Government turns to violence, refuses to negotiate

Since the killing of nine demonstrators in the Oaxacan town of Nochixtlán on June 19, Mexico has been in an uproar over the force used against teachers resisting corporate education reform. As the school year started on August 22, teachers in four states refused to return to classes until the perpetrators of the massacre are held responsible and there is a negotiated agreement to change the government’s program.

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.

The Every Student Succeeds Act isn’t high on her radar. The new federal law to replace the one-size-fits-all testing fixation of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act doesn’t take effect until next school year. 

Article

A veteran teacher’s perspective on magic, old and new
Will “newer” always be seen as “better,” despite the evidence?

I recently received an email from a first-year sixth grade teacher asking about my classroom management system. I’ve taught for 37 years, making me a veteran teacher by any reckoning.

Flattered of course, I revealed the nitty-gritty of my ticket system. Long and short of it — when kids are good they get tickets. When negative behaviors transpire, tickets are taken away.

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

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Union celebrates banner year for legislative action

Through the hard work and advocacy of leaders, members, and staff, the CFT recorded one of its most successful legislative sessions ever. During the 2015-16 session, the union sent an unprecedented five CFT-sponsored bills, and helped send another three priority bills, to the governor for his signature. Gov. Brown had until September 30 to sign or veto the bills, which are listed below.

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 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!”

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.”

Right for the job: When paras and classified become teachers
CFT sponsors bill to assist support staff transition to certificated status

When Shannon Ferguson was a 20-something, she didn’t really focus on her community college studies, and after a few semesters her father suggested she look for a job with good benefits.

“He said that soon his benefits wouldn’t cover me anymore,” Ferguson recalled. “Dad was a teacher and mom was a paraeducator, so I naturally thought of applying with the Oxnard high school district.”

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. 

Article Strike Accreditation ACCJC

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 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.