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The March for California’s Future

Start of the next step in the Fight for California’s Future

April 21, 2010, Sacramento—With a huge, boisterous crowd estimated at 7500 joining feet with the six core marchers who walked more than 300 miles from Bakersfield over the previous forty eight days, the CFT-led March for California’s Future arrived in front of the state Capitol on schedule at 3 pm on April 21.

Its purpose is to draw public attention to three urgent ideas:

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Week 2: March for California’s Future
Walking through the crisis in the Valley

TULARE, CA (3/13/10) — Through its first week, the March for California’s Future passed through the small farm worker towns of the southern San Joaquin Valley – McFarland, Delano, Pixley and Tulare. For one marcher, Jenn Laskin, these communities remind her of Watsonville, where she teaches humanities and English, and food justice in the school garden, at Renaissance Continuation High School.

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Week 1: March for California’s Future

Week 1: March for California’s Future
March heads for Sacramento from Bakersfield

SHAFTER, CA (3/6/10) – As the March for California’s Future left Bakersfield and headed up the San Joaquin Valley toward Sacramento, community college instructor Jim Miller was still energized by the March 4 Day of Action to save public education. That day students, teachers and community activists had demonstrated and protested around the state, with the largest rally in Los Angeles. The marchers stepped out on the road the following day, after a similar rally in Bakersfield.

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Labor Education 101 conference focuses on solidarity, curricula
Conference receives high marks from attendees

They learned about the best practices in the field. They heard from a legislator about the prospects for progressive legislation in post-recall Sacramento. And they enjoyed a personal visit from beyond the grave of dockworker and union hero Harry Bridges, leader of the longshoreman’s union and the 1934 San Francisco General strike, courtesy of actor Ian Ruskin, who performed his acclaimed solo show, From Wharf Rats To Lords of the Docks.

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Teachers like new “New Deal” Conference

The second annual Education and Labor Collaborative conference was held at Antioch University/Los Angeles for a labor film fest on the Friday evening of April 24, and at United Teachers Los Angeles headquarters all day Saturday. About 50 people attended the film show, and 75 attended the conference, about 25 of whom were UTLA members who received salary point credit for attending. Last year’s conference was held at United Federation of Teachers in New York.

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CFT speaks out on No Child Left Behind reauthorization
Tell your Senator and Congressmember to fix NCLB

On August 28, the House Education and Labor Committee released its Title I discussion draft of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. The AFT submitted a detailed critique, based on the views of its membership and discussions with parents and students throughout the country.

Below you may access the letters submitted to the House Education and Labor Committee.  In addition, CFT passed a resolution at the September 29, 2007 State Council meeting addressing issues involved in reauthorization of NCLB.

Article Privatization

No public education by corporation
The privatization assault on public education intensifies

By George Martinez, President EC/K-12 Council

Do you remember the Excellence in Education movement, along with the Time on Task idea, and the Assertive Discipline model? These efforts to bring about educational reform followed the publication of A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Education Reform in 1983 by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. This report popularized many of the privatization notions regarding public education. I refer to this as Phase 1 of the movement to privatize public education.

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L.A.’s Collective Bargaining Education Project
Teaches Berkeley High students to bargain collectively

The CFT’s Sandra Weese lends her time and bargaining expertise to the December 5, 2006, Collective Bargaining Institute with Berkeley High School students, seen here caucusing before going back into “bargaining” in a role play developed by Los Angeles teacher Linda Tubach.

The all-day event was held with 30 students at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 training facility in San Leandro, with the support of the CFT, Central Labor Council of Alameda County, Alameda County Superintendent of Public Instruction Sheila Jordan, and a dozen coaches drawn from various unions.