Topic: Education Issues

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Fair accreditation: The long arc of our successful campaign
How a rogue agency damaged colleges in Compton and San Francisco

The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, a private 19-member panel that oversees community colleges in California and Hawaii, has been much in the news over its threat to pull City College of San Francisco’s accreditation — a battle the union and college recently won with the January 13 news that its accreditation is fully restored for the next seven years.

Article

Rally to stop DeVos confirmation draws hundreds

CFT statement on DeVos confirmation, 2/7/17

Oakland/January 31, 2017—As the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the US Senate voted to advance the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education to the full Senate along party lines this morning, hundreds of Bay Area parents, teachers, and students came together at a noon rally and press conference in front of the Federal building in Oakland to denounce her nomination.

Article

CFT teachers honored as 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.”

Article 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.
Article 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.

Article Free College

Free community college: Support staff in higher education rise to the new challenge
Support staff in higher education rise to the new challenge

President Barack Obama started a movement when he announced America’s College Promise in his 2015 State of the Union address.

In the nearly two years since Obama called on Congress to make the first two years of higher education free, six states have enacted Promise programs and another 10 legislatures are moving in that direction.

No state has moved as aggressively as California. At least 20 programs throwing open community college doors were introduced in 2016, raising the state’s total to about 30.

Article Part-time faculty

Falling enrollment, cancelled classes, and part-time faculty

FIRST PERSON | Renee Fraser

Many of us have been teaching in community college for 20 years or more, and we remember the days when the mission was education, not production. Classes might have 25 or 30 students, so we could have seminar-style discussions and individual project presentations, and even memorize the names of our students. We might assign lengthy papers and essays, and we had time to read each one, make comments, and allow students to rewrite them.

Article

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.

Article 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. 

Article LCFF LCAP

Local Control Accountability Plans create new classified jobs
Engaging families helps close student achievement gap

The first time most parents or guardians of a Berkeley student meet Jocelyn Foreman is soon after bad news has knocked on their door. Be it a death in the family, an eviction notice, a pink slip, or any crisis that throws a household into chaos, she is there to help.

Foreman belongs to a five-person team of family engagement coordinators whose academic mission is to close the achievement gap by ensuring that students have the resources they need to succeed. First things, however, must come first.

Right for the job: When classified and paras become teachers
CFT-sponsored AB 2122 helps staff transition to certificated status

Carlos Howe began working as a security officer for the Hawthorne School District in 2000, but he wanted more. After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration, Howe joined the Santa Monica Police Department. It wasn’t a good fit.

“My hair was on fire everyday. I had recently married and was a brand new father, but it was dangerous and I was always gone, so I switched gears.”

Article Librarians

Librarians negotiate professional development and salary
Entry-level pay lower than at CSU and the community colleges

The University Council-AFT is negotiating with UC over two key articles of its contract covering librarians — salaries and professional development funds — says Axel Borg, distinguished wine and food science bibliographer at UC Davis. He sums up the common concerns between the union and the university as competitiveness, compression, and consistency. 

Right for the job: When paras and classified become teachers
CFT sponsors bill to assist support staff transition to certificated status

When Shannon Ferguson was a 20-something, she didn’t really focus on her community college studies, and after a few semesters her father suggested she look for a job with good benefits.

“He said that soon his benefits wouldn’t cover me anymore,” Ferguson recalled. “Dad was a teacher and mom was a paraeducator, so I naturally thought of applying with the Oxnard high school district.”

Article Restorative justice

Restorative justice seeks to end the school-to-prison pipeline
How educators can help transform classrooms and school climates

If an African American male student is suspended, there’s a 90 percent chance he’ll end up in prison some time in his life. In 2013-14, there were half a million suspensions in California schools, many those of black and brown children. These statistics make equity in education one of the great civil rights struggles of our time, said Ali Cooper, the executive director of the Restorative Schools Vision Project.