Topic: Education Issues

Article Student debt

You may be eligible for public service loan forgiveness
AFT legal victory produces new rules, and a year to apply

After years of pressure and lawsuits from AFT and other advocates, the U.S. Department of Education recently announced sweeping changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program that will make it easier to qualify and easier to achieve forgiveness.

Article Coronavirus Up Front

Back-to-School Tour puts staff shortage in stark perspective
Dedication and inspired work of our members must be recognized

By Jeffery M. Freitas, CFT President

In early August, Luukia Smith, Lacy Barnes, and I ventured up and down the state on a three week Back-to-School: Forward Together Tour. We visited with early childhood educators, TK-12 teachers, classified workers, adult education teachers, and part-time community college faculty. We witnessed firsthand students learning in-person. We saw the incredible school communities our members have helped to build and visited campuses and classrooms to see CFT members in action.

Article Community Schools
School building image with the words "Every community is different. What will yours be like?"

CFT launches community schools training program
Governor Newsom funds innovative schools at highest level in nation

The CFT has launched a training program following Governor Newsom’s extraordinary allocation of $2.8 billion to expand existing community schools and establish new ones.

According to CFT President Jeff Freitas, “This is a national effort, and California now has the largest amount of funding in the nation for community schools. These funds will assist nearly 1,000 community schools in our state.”

Article Calbright

State Auditor calls out failed Calbright online college
Audit cites high drop-out rate, mismanagement, shady hiring

Out of 904 students enrolled since 2019, only 12 graduated, and more than 40 percent dropped out. There’s no discernable strategy for spending the more than $175 million it receives in state taxpayer funding. No system is in place to support students. Shady hiring practices have led to people being selected based on personal or political connection rather than ability.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Free City! The story of CFT’s epic campaign against the ACCJC
BOOK REVIEW


Free City! The Fight for San Francisco’s City College and Education for All
By Marcy Rein, Mickey Ellinger and Vicki Legion
PM Press, Oakland, 2021


Reviewed by Fred Glass

Early in 2017, as City College of San Francisco’s five-year fight for its life drew to a close, I was attempting to convince a reporter from the Chronicle of Higher Education to write a summing up story. He said, “Someday someone really needs to write a book on all this.”

Article Coronavirus Part-time faculty

Adjuncts and their unions fight on in the face of COVID
Enrollment decline, lost classes, adjunct relief fund

While the number of COVID cases are shrinking, and the vaccination rate increasing, the effects of the pandemic continue, with adjuncts having been hit particularly hard, as despite the heroic efforts of faculty to provide remote and online instruction, California community college enrollment has dropped systemwide by 11 to 12% since last fall, according to Edsource.

Article CFT Convention Part-time faculty

Healthcare, transferable training top adjunct priorities at CFT Convention
Delegates resolve to address timely adjunct issues

At this year’s virtual CFT Convention held March 26-27, the Part-Time Faculty Committee sponsored two resolutions reflective of both the longstanding and new problems beginning to emerge in the wake of the pandemic which has impacted adjunct health and training.

Article Part-time faculty

Adjuncts at the table to win a New Deal for Higher Education
National campaign calls for sea change in higher ed

While the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding societal inequities in America, public higher education was already in a state of crisis, from the staggering costs of college, to the lack of access and support for lower income students, Black, indigenous, and people of color, the deteriorating, or clear lack of infrastructure, the reciprocal increase in highly paid administrative positions, and last but not least, decrease in full-time tenure track positions.

Article

CFT joins campaign to forge a New Deal for Higher Education

With the new Biden administration and Congress come new opportunities to ensure significant, sustainable public investment in higher education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the long-standing crisis in public higher education. Declining state support, the erosion of tenure and shared governance, the increased use of contingent appointments, and the loss of the faculty voice on campus are threatening the core mission of higher education in our society. Now is the time to stand up for a just, inclusive system of higher education — one that can help transform our society.

We need a New Deal for Higher Education.

Article Elections 2020 Free College

A First Lady who is a community college teacher
President-elect supports two years of free community college

Dr. Jill Biden, a community college teacher, union member, and soon to be First Lady, spoke virtually to members of the AFT and the National Education Association, thanking them for all the phone banking, text messaging, voter registration drives and poll work they did to get her husband, Joe Biden, elected. AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Becky Pringle introduced her.

Article AFT Shared governance Part-time faculty

Contingent faculty team up, pass national shared governance policy
AFT Convention adopts resolution crafted by UC and community college faculty

While the COVID-19 pandemic meant that this summer’s AFT Convention had to go virtual, and in turn, resulted in format changes which made schedules tighter, and the work of those attending harder in many respects, one of the great achievements for CFT was the passage of a resolution calling for the right of contingent faculty to participate in shared governance.

Article Part-time faculty Coronavirus AFT

The patient is on the table — Higher Education in America is sick
Opinion

By Geoff Johnson, AFT Guild, San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community Colleges

Higher education in America is sick. Its classrooms and campuses have been largely shuttered, save but for students taking lab courses, or practicums, ironically in hospitals. Students and instructors are now confined to the domains of their computers and laptop screens in the educational netherworlds of Zoom or Cranium. With the exception of online instruction developed prior to the crisis, what is being delivered, more so than taught, is a curriculum of coping under the duress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Article

Special Education Toolkit for coronavirus times

As distance learning becomes our new reality, public education is presented with new challenges. Many special education service providers are feeling overwhelmed and concerned as they navigate a new educational landscape to serve a population that is vulnerable and at times fragile. The current crisis, along with its many challenges, gives us the opportunity to find new ways to continue fighting for our students’ right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

Article Coronavirus Distance learning

Tightrope Walkers: Teaching and parenting at the same time
Faculty parents share stories of teaching from home during shelter-in-place

By Katharine Harer, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1493 

You’re teaching all your classes online, providing support to freaked-out students and dealing with a flood of emails every day, while at the same time, and often in the same room, hour after hour, your children need you to be present and available. You can’t send them to school or childcare or to the grandparents or to play at their friends’ houses. You can’t send them anywhere. Will lack of sleep, personal space and time make you trip and fall, and if so, who will catch you?

College students staying positive through the pandemic
Union presidents surveys students for newspaper column

By Mark James Miller, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought its own unique challenges to every facet of society. Everyone has been seriously impacted by the virus, and students in higher education are no exception.

Nationwide, students are delaying their education until the pandemic is over and colleges return to the traditional classroom approach instead of the online model being used in its place. Some are simply uncomfortable with online learning, and others are fearful that the education they receive remotely is not of the same quality as what they get in the classroom with the instructor present.