CFT United

Overview

CFT United

CFT United, previously named California Teacher, is the union’s flagship magazine that is emailed to all union members. The award-winning magazine contains union news and positions important to members, and covers major issues in each division of the CFT: PreK-12, Classified, Community College, University, and Retired. Browse stories by date here or by index.

CFT United is published regularly during the academic year. We welcome unsolicited articles, letters, and story ideas. Please send letters, submissions, or other inquiries to Publications Director Jane Hundertmark.

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California Teacher Up Front Proposition 30 Proposition 13 split roll

“Make it Fair” creates real change for California

By Josh Pechthalt, CFT President

California’s largest, oldest corporations have not been paying their fair share for more than 35 years. As a result, the state has lost billions of dollars in uncollected property tax revenues — a major factor pushing our public schools to the national bottom in per pupil spending and class size average. The state’s most at-risk families and individuals have also seen essential services repeatedly cut for more than a generation.

California Teacher High-stakes testing

Defies Measurement: An interview with the filmmaker
Q&A with Shannon Puckett, parent and former teacher

Before making the film Defies Measurement, Shannon Puckett taught at Alameda’s Chipman Middle School for five years. The school’s story is central to the film’s depiction of how high-stakes testing is negatively impacting public schools.

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Apr-May 2015

Mediha Din, a part-time sociology instructor and member of the El Camino College Federation of Teachers, Local 1388, received a Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Education from the California Community Colleges, which comes with $1250. The award recognizes Din’s creative teaching strategies and outstanding work with at-risk students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, service as faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, and initiatives to engage students in community service.

California Teacher CalSTRS Gun Control divestment

CFT urges CalSTRS to divest from gun manufacturers now

New documentary film Gun-Free Retirement features CFT members

In April 2013, a few months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adult staff members, the board of California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted to divest from firms making weapons that are illegal to own in California. More than two years later, that hasn’t happened, and Joshua Pechthalt, president of the CFT, wants to make sure it does. Soon.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, Apr-May 2015

ADULT EDUCATION
Funding in limbo… 
The last few years have been a terrible time in the adult education world, according to Jack Carroll, the executive director at the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers. Carroll, who teaches office skills to adults, hopes AB86 will alleviate that by providing $25 million for adult education.

California Teacher CFT Convention

Robert Chacanaca: The workers’ advocate

When he accepted the Raoul Teilhet Educate, Agitate, Organize Award, Robert Chacanaca, known as “Chaca,” asked for a moment of silence to remember Teilhet, the former CFT president who successfully pursued collective bargaining.   

California Teacher Librarians Educational Technology Union communications

Librarian masters digital tools for workplace and union
Carla Arbagey creates infographics to illustrate workload

UC Riverside librarian Carla Arbagey says, “Technology is like air to me.” It is essential in the library, where she integrates systems and tracks information on more than 3.4 million items. She is the winner of the 2014 Technology New Leader Award from the California Library Association, and a self-described “type-A personality” who likes things to be tidy, organized, and efficient.

California Teacher CFT Convention Resolutions

Floor debate: Delegates tackle rich array of social justice and education topics

Delegates took on social justice concerns, passing a resolution from the United Educators of San Francisco and the CFT Executive Council to officially support the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Resolution 23 calls for community meetings, teach-ins and curricula, such as what’s already posted on UESF’s website and AFT’s Share My Lesson.

California Teacher Trinational Coalition to Defend Education

CFT supports families of missing Mexican students

Survivor tells horrific tale of persecution and murder

Angel Neri described the unique education given students at the Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in his speech at CFT Convention. The school takes students from rural farming communities, trains them as teachers, and then encourages them to return to work in schools in the poorest, most remote communities in Mexico. This has earned the school the enmity of corrupt and violent elements of Mexican society.

California Teacher Part-time faculty

Former part-timer chairs Assembly Higher Education Committee
Teaching background brings understanding, nuanced solutions

Community College Council President Jim Mahler says having Assemblyman Jose Medina as the new chair of the Committee on Higher Education is a gold mine.

Why? Because Medina, before going into politics, was a high school teacher in the Riverside Unified School District and a part-time teacher at three different community colleges, active in his union. He knows first-hand the insecurity part-timers have to deal with — cobbling together a schedule, finding enough work to support themselves, and worrying about their classes being cancelled. 

California Teacher Temp Abuse

Union works to squelch temporary positions that last for years
CFT-sponsored AB 1066 will close loophole in Education Code

It’s a little after 9 and morning drive time is easing on San Diego freeways. Disc Jockey Gary Beck is in the broadcast booth at jazz station KSDS, doing what he has loved since the 1960s: spinning records.

Beck and afternoon DJ Ron Dhanifu have more than 80 years on-air between them. When KSDS — a nonprofit FM station based at San Diego City College — holds its twice-yearly pledge drives, the two DJs bring in the majority of donations.

California Teacher Community Outreach Black Lives Matter Labor art

Berkeley teachers commit art for justice

Two union campaigns strengthen the bonds of community

In February, Berkeley teachers posted 1,000 “Black Lives Matter” signs in classrooms, hallways, administrative offices and on school grounds to highlight recent court decisions on the police shootings of young black men. They are also distributing “Black Lives Matter” lesson plans and resources to teachers in every grade level at the nearly 20 district sites.

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Feb-March 2015

Kevin Glynn, a social studies and Shakespeare teacher at Los Angeles Senior High School, and member of United Teachers Los Angeles, Local 1021, penned a novel Tyrannosaurus Sex, a comic, coming of age novel set in Los Angeles during the heady days of the sexual revolution, from its genesis in the psychedelic sixties to its apogee in the seventies. The novel, published by Cedar Forge Press, is available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Seattle Book Company.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, Feb-March 2015

Local 1021

LA turns out for education.… Thousands of people jammed Grand Park on February 26 in a rally for “Schools LA Students Deserve.” They wore red to send the message to Los Angeles Unified: Teachers will not stop fighting for high-quality education including culturally relevant classes; smaller class sizes in fully-staffed clean and safe schools with social and emotional support for students; and fair compensation for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. Students, parents, and community groups joined United Teachers Los Angeles at the rally.