PreK-12 Articles

Overview

PreK-12 Articles

News for educators and support staff working in early childhood through high school.

Article Adult education

The importance of adult education and including adult educators in consultation
Testimony of CFT's Jeff Freitas before Senate Education and Assembly Higher Education Committees

Thank you Senator Liu, Assemblymember Williams, and the committee members.

My name is Jeff Freitas and I am the Secretary Treasurer of the California Federation of Teachers. The CFT represents early childhood educators, K-12 teachers, classified employees, community college faculty, UC lecturers and librarians, and adult educators in the K-12 and community college worlds.

California Teacher Adult education

Adult Education: New regional consortia meld state programs
Grassroots action required to meet community needs

By Cynthia Eagleton

Ever Since Wall street crashed into Main Street five years ago, adult education has been in a state of change. Until five years ago, adult education in California was stable: Classes were provided primarily through K-12 districts as a protected categorical, and in a few cities, as non-credit offerings at community colleges.

California Teacher Community Outreach

Where can families get the best parenting support? From the union!

If you ask your child what he did in school today and get “Nothing,” then ask a more specific question, like “What was the most difficult thing you did today?” This was one of many suggestions fourth grade teacher Michele Bantugan offered 40 parents attending a workshop on communicating with their children at Daly City’s Westlake Elementary School on November 21.

Article Charter schools

Morgan Hill Federation to host Education Summit
Union takes stand against charter schools

Next week, the Santa Clara County Board of Education will hear testimony on whether to increase the number of charter schools in the Morgan Hill Unified School District, just south of San Jose, based on a proposal from two charter corporations. The district board has already turned down the idea, and the corporations appealed to the county board.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

Dawn of new era for K-12 education funding
Local decisions drive plan; difficult bargaining looms

For the first time in six long years, the state budget includes more funding for education in 2013-14. In the on-time budget, Gov. Brown fended off legislative demand to reinstate programs cut during the recession and stayed true to his commitment to prioritize education funding. Though the sectors of education fared differently, all saw at least some increase in state funding.

California Teacher International education

A Tale of Hope and Caution: How three Latin American nations are defending public education

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

As part of AFT’s ongoing effort to build alliances with educators and trade unionists around the world, President Randi Weingarten led an AFT delegation in May to meet education union leaders and other unionists in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. I joined them as we looked at their multi-year effort to defend and expand public education, and to develop a response to attacks.

California Teacher Smarter Balanced Assesment Common Core Standards

A year of transition: Preparing for the Common Core standards
New law temporarily suspends most testing, gives educators and districts time to prepare

Tanya Golden is looking forward to changing how she teaches. “Before, my curriculum was an inch deep and a mile wide with too many things to cover. I had to keep moving even when my students weren’t ready. Now I can teach more for understanding,” says the sixth grade teacher in her tenth year at ABC Unified School District, southeast of Los Angeles.

Article Local Action

Berkeley local unions fight for fair contract, cooking and gardening program

The faculty and classified AFT local unions in the Berkeley Unified School District rallied on May 8 before a district board meeting. With state funding to the district on the rise, educators say the district can provide more for its employees, especially since it is holding $7.9 million in its ending fund balance.

The workers are also trying to save the successful cooking and gardening program threatened by cuts to the federal program, Network for Healthy Californians. 

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.

Article

Negotiating the new Diastat law
Puts employees in position of performing medical procedures

The passage of SB 161 last year allows administration of a prescription dose of valium by a non-medical K-12 school employee volunteer to students with seizure disorders. CFT opposed this legislation because we believed it placed school employees in the position of performing tasks better performed by medical professionals. Nonetheless, it is now law.

Article

Opponents of evaluation bill want invalid tests to be measure of teacher evaluation effectiveness

By Gary Ravani, President, EC/K-12 Council

Showing their hand, opponents of the much-debated AB 5, A Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System (Fuentes), stated in testimony to a state Senate hearing yesterday that they are opposed to a provision that the tests used to measure academic growth be “valid and reliable” for the curriculum, the pupil being taught, and for the purpose of teacher evaluation.