Newsroom

California Teacher MOOCs

Massive Open Online Classes threaten quality of education

Low-cost educational alternative likely to widen digital divide

MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE CLASSES have been hailed by officials at the companies that run them (the three biggest are edX, Udacity and Coursera) as a way to provide access to classes at elite universities to everyone, but critics say that MOOCs — free online course with potentially thousands of students, many of them outside the United States — would undermine education quality, increase the digital divide and cost teachers their jobs.

California Teacher

Federal cuts threaten cooking and gardening classes
Berkeley community rallies to save famous kids’ grow-it-yourself program

Facing a massive loss of federal funds, Berkeley Unified officials may yank an innovative gardening and cooking program up by the roots. The slash and burn tactics are drawing widespread community fire.

For about 15 years, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has taught low-income families about nutrition through school programs like the Network for a Healthy California. Congress, however, has revised its funding formula and California, which used to receive nearly a third of all USDA money, will lose about 40 percent of its grant. The funding for direct-to-kids programs like the NHC will be shifted to local health agencies to run publicity campaigns.

Article Local Action

Daly City elementary schools honor collective bargaining
Local 3267 commemorates significant union event

CFT Vice President Melinda Dart, president of the Jefferson Elementary Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 3267, presents a plaque to district Superintendent Bernardo Vidales. The plaque commemorates the occasion when leaders of the AFT local occupied the board room, a key moment in the history of collective bargaining in the Daly City district.

Article

New CFT White Paper calls on three experts to describe what makes quality education

A new CFT White Paper summarizes the union’s public support for recommendations to build quality education that are based on sound research and best practices as recommended by three educational experts. The experts in the paper titled “What makes quality public education? Ask the experts. That’s what the education union did,” are widely published and have presented to CFT members and countless other progressive organizations.

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

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.