Topic: Education Issues

California Teacher

Course repeatability rules restrict student access, learning
Cabrillo College faculty lead effort to expose failings in new regulations

The new course repeatability regulations, passed by the Community College Board of Governors in July 2012, mean, in most cases, that if students pass a class with a ‘C’ or higher, they can’t take the class again. Many community college teachers see this negatively impacting students who want to study, for example, journalism, creative writing, foreign languages or visual arts.

California Teacher Charter schools

Morgan Hill educators fight to keep community-based schools
Silicon Valley charter chains eye San Jose suburb

The latest flashpoint in the big-money expansion by charter school chains in Silicon Valley is Morgan Hill, a bedroom community with rural roots just south of San Jose.

Within the last year both Rocketship Education and Navigator Schools petitioned to open charter schools in the Morgan Hill Unified School District. Following swift mobilization and communication by the union and community groups, the school board denied both applications.

California Teacher ACCJC Accreditation

Judge rules trial required to determine legality of ACCJC actions
CFT lawsuit advances significant step toward fair accreditation in community colleges

City College of San Francisco started 2014 with some much-needed good news. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled that the school’s accreditation cannot be revoked until a trial determines whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, acted unlawfully in sanctioning the college. Karnow said in his ruling that closing the college would be “catastrophic.”

California Teacher 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.”

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 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

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.

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 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

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.