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.

Sign up now to get CFT United by email! 
»Subscribe here.

California Teacher Charter schools

Educators at three charter schools choose AFT as their union
From a county jail to construction academy, charter workers are seeking union representation

Seeking a larger voice in their workplaces, career stability and the power to better serve their students, teachers and counselors at three charter schools recently voted AFT as their union, and will have the benefit of belonging to well-established and effective AFT local unions.

California Teacher

Locals take bold steps to build power in tough times
Faculty-classified alliance, improved communications empower members

Two Southern California classified locals have recently seen how unity pays off.
“Our members understand that the more of us who go in, the stronger voice we have,” says Debbi Claypool, president of the Palomar Council of Classified Employees.

The northern San Diego County local represents about 400 classified employees at Palomar College, including maintenance, clerical, police, payroll and janitorial, according to Claypool, a business services technician.

California Teacher Leadership Conference

CFT launches member discussion of “quality public education”

The union explores partnership of community and educators to launch quality public education campaign

Making schools community hubs is key to the union’s campaign for quality public education, CFT President Joshua Pechthalt told participants at the Leadership Conference. Connections with community members comprise the CFT’s greatest strength and he encouraged educators to mine those ties.

California Teacher Social Media

Who’s spying on you? Protecting your privacy in the age of servers and social media – 6 Maxims for your digital work life

Protecting your privacy in the age of servers and social media
By Robert J. Bezemek And David Conway

Almost everyone uses social media. Whether it’s emailing, surfing the web, sending text messages, tweeting or tumblr, we are treating social media as an extension of our personal conversations with family, friends and co-workers. And we do it from every imaginable location — public transit, automobiles, restaurants, parks, sidewalks, the office, and throughout the campuses where we work.

California Teacher Elections 2012

No on Prop. 32: Don’t let billionaires take away our voice

California voters appear poised to reject a November ballot measure that would ban political contributions by payroll deduction, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they opposed Proposition 32, which would eliminate the main fundraising tool of unions. Just 36 percent said they supported the measure.

California Teacher Teacher evaluation

Legislature fails to pass meaningful teacher evaluation bill

Opponents don’t care about validity of test scores, only scapegoating teachers

How could a bill that would have improved the teacher evaluation process die in the California Legislature? Assembly Bill 5, “A Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System,” fell victim to faulty assumptions and reasoning that defies logic. And our schools are poorer for it.

California Teacher Rank & Files

Tonkovich teaches and organizes with humor, joy and irony
UC Irvine lecturer and author credits mentors, and Ronald Reagan, for his activism

Q&A with Andrew Tonkovich

Andrew Tonkovich is a  lecturer in the English department at UC Irvine and president of UC-AFT Irvine, Local 2226. He edits the literary magazine Santa Monica Review, and hosts Bibliocracy Radio, a weekly books show on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California. Recent short stories, essays and reviews of his have appeared in Faultline, The Rattling Wall, OC Weekly and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

California Teacher PEPRA Student debt CalPERS

New employees to face reduced retirement benefits

Workers not yet hired will take biggest hit under law passed by legislators with no input from public employee unions

A new law passed in the final hours of the legislative session makes sweeping changes to public employee pensions that impose most of the changes on workers not yet hired, creating a two-tier system in the workplace where two groups of workers doing the same work receive different retirement benefits.

California Teacher ACCJC Accreditation

Community stands with beloved City College of San Francisco
Report faults school for having too little money and doing too much for students

In early July, more than 300 people packed a San Francisco meeting hall to express their outrage over a letter from the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges saying City College of San Francisco must prove its fiscal stability by March 15 to remain accredited.

California Teacher

Arizona outlaws core Mexican-American Studies program
Tucson High School teacher recounts story of textbook and curricula ban

A few days before she traveled to CFT Convention in San Jose, María C. Federico Brummer received an email at 8 p.m. from the Tucson Unified School District. It contained a list of newly banned books that the district wanted packed by noon the next day. During class, her students watched her comb the cabinets and remove classroom sets of the affected titles.