Topic: Education Issues

Article Librarians

Reference librarians meet complex queries with a human touch
Highly skilled professionals imperiled by administrative cost-cutting, online chat

“We no longer have a visible reference desk in our two main libraries,” reports Miki Goral, a UCLA librarian of 43 years. “Students first have to go to the circulation desk. If the student working there thinks they need to talk to a reference librarian, they often refer them to a 24/7 online chat, which is staffed by a UC librarian only during certain hours.

Otherwise they could be chatting with a librarian in New York, or even Australia. Plus chatting can take 40 minutes to do what you can do in 5 if you’re actually talking.”

Article ACCJC Accreditation

Fair accreditation: Congresswomen lead forum in support of City College

Fair accreditation, transparency demanded of out-of-control agency

Cañada College alumnus and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo called community colleges lifeboats and springboards for Californians. Congresswoman Jackie Speier said they keep our workforce vibrant. And state Sen. Jim Beall said seven of his nine siblings went to community colleges, the only way they could afford higher education. 

Article 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.

Article

2014 brings new professional opportunities

By Paula A. Phillips, President, CFT Council of Classified Employees

As 2013 winds to a close and we look back on the year, there are many reasons for classified employees to be thankful. After years of cuts, more resources are flowing into schools and colleges, thanks to our efforts to pass Prop. 30. K-12 education will see a more equitable funding formula and a new law requires more consideration of classified staff in district professional development plans.

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 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.

Article

Our work contributes to quality of education

By Paula A. Phillips, President, Council of Classified Employees

Every CFT member can play a role in the CFT’s campaign for quality public education, which will identify problems that are holding back our schools and colleges and set goals to move California forward.

A quality public education starts with adequate funding to maintain staffing levels and professional development. That’s a tall order in times of budget cuts, but with the passage of Prop. 30, fair funding will be within reach if Sacramento shows some political courage.

Article Professional Development

Unions find innovative solutions for staff development

Career development has been a convenient target of budget cuts, but locals unions have found creative approaches for investing in staff.

A sabbatical program the AFT Guild negotiated with the San Diego Community College District allows nine classified employees a year to take 16 weeks paid leave to study at an accredited college.

Nathan Talo used his leave to take a giant step toward his psychology degree. Talo began working at Mesa College as a part-time account clerk 15 years ago, and is now a senior account clerk.

Article 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.

Article

CFT hosts member discussion about what defines “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 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.