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 California Teachers of the Year

Two members named California Teachers of Year
Poway special education teacher, Los Angeles ESL science teacher honored

Megan Gross, a teacher at Del Norte High School in the Poway Unified School District, one of two CFT members recognized as a California Teacher of the Year, credits her union with having her back.

“I feel like they’re very supportive,” she said about San Diego County’s Poway Federation of Teachers. “They’ve been a great support to both our department and our school.”

California Teacher General Election 2016

California Legislature remains Democratic bastion
Democrats win supermajorities, endorsed candidates fare well

PART 2: STATEWIDE CANDIDATES

With the future of national politics uncertain, the role of the California Legislature in shaping public education policy and labor rights is more critical than ever. The work it undertakes in coming years will have a large and direct impact on members, their students, and their communities.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Congresswoman Speier leads forum on accreditation
Broad support for San Francisco City College in advance of January decision

Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier convened a panel discussion at City College of San Francisco on November 28, her third on the topic since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges revoked the accreditation of City College in 2013.

Speier pointed out that the people of San Francisco love their college, having just voted in November for a second parcel tax to support it, and passing Proposition W to make tuition free. She is “hopeful and optimistic” about the college’s future and defeating the ACCJC.

California Teacher First Book Member Benefits

Families drawn to 40,000-book giveaway
Daly City AFT local unions host FirstBook community outreach

The 40,000-book giveaway at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School on October 8, drew many families from Daly City’s Asian community, which accounts for almost 60 percent of the city’s 100,000 residents.

  • Julius Li, who was looking for books with 16-month-old daughter Madison in his arms, said they have story time twice a day.
  • Annabelle Mai, a first grader at Westlake Elementary, was happy because reading books is her favorite thing to do before going to sleep at night.
California Teacher General Election 2016

Retirees work presidential election in swing states
Pajaro Valley’s Julie Armstrong named top volunteer in Florida

Because Hillary Clinton needed to win in Florida, I volunteered, along with CFT and AFT retirees from other states, in the Sunshine State.

We worked with diverse groups of Floridians in the AFT and other labor unions through the Working America Coalition, a political action committee of the AFL-CIO. Working America fights for working families, union and non-union, in campaigns to elect progressive candidates and pass legislation to improve the lives of working families.

California Teacher Rank & Files

Rank & Files, Nov-Dec 2016

UC-AFT

#NoDAPL: University members have been steadfast in support of the Standing Rock Sioux resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline that threatens tribal water sources. On November 10, UC-AFT Berkeley members rallied in front of Wells Fargo Bank in Oakland, urging it to stop financing the pipeline.

California Teacher Local Action

Local Wire, Nov-Dec 2016

UC-AFT

#NoDAPL: University members have been steadfast in support of the Standing Rock Sioux resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline that threatens tribal water sources. On November 10, UC-AFT Berkeley members rallied in front of Wells Fargo Bank in Oakland, urging it to stop financing the pipeline.

California Teacher 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.

California Teacher

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.

California Teacher

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.

California Teacher 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. 

California Teacher General Election 2016 Proposition 58 Propsition 227

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.

California Teacher

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.

California Teacher General Election 2016

CFT on the ballot measure

After careful consideration, the CFT makes the following recommendations for November 8. On measures not listed here, the CFT has taken no position. Props 57, 62 and 66 reflect the CFT’s progressive positions on criminal reform.

California Teacher 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.”