Topic: Education Issues

Article Racial Justice

“No Time to Quit”
A look at school desegregation by former CFT President

By Miles Myers, Former CFT President

In the nation’s first school desegregation case, on February 13, 1931, in Lemon Grove, California, the Mexican parents of Roberto Alvarez went to court to stop the Lemon Grove Grammar School from denying access to Mexican children. A victory for Roberto in the local court stopped the case from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. But the same issue did reach the U.S. Supreme Court almost twenty-two years later (1953) when the Black parents of ten-year-old Linda Brown sued the Topeka (Kansas) School Board, demanding that skin color (and race) not be used to deny her access to her neighborhood public school. Unlike the Lemon Grove court, Topeka courts did rule that skin color could be used to deny Linda’s entrance to the nearby public school and, thus, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. Her local public school, she said, was her gateway to opportunity, and thus, that gateway should not be blocked by segregationist policies. She won.

Article

Member Speak Out: Classified work makes a difference every day
Paraprofessionals matter more now than ever

FIRST PERSON |  Arti O’Connor

I know my workas a special education para makes a difference when I look into the faces of the children I teach. I know I matter when an excited child says, “Now I get it! I understand it now!” I know I touched a child’s heart when he or she tells me, “You’re a very nice person.” And when a child talks about something sad that has happened in their lives, it means he or she trusts me enough to share something meaningful.

California Teacher Lecturers Librarians

Classics lecturer maintains classic ideas about unions
New local president Rundin says union makes lecturer job worth having

Classics lecturer John Rundin feels privileged to pass on to another generation the cultural treasures that were given to him by the previous generation. The teacher of Latin and ancient Greek is one of two recipients of this year’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UC Davis Academic Federation.

“I live my job, love what I do, and I love my students,” says Rundin. “It is a great honor.”

Article

Ravani comments on new “parent trigger” regs
In San Jose Mercury News op-ed

Last week the state Board of Education issued new regulations governing the “parent trigger” law for struggling schools. The CFT views the new regulations as an improvement over the original poorly-crafted law, but finds the very concept of the “parent trigger” to be a distraction from the central issues facing public schools. 

CFT’s EC/K-12 Council President Gary Ravani comments in today’s San Jose Mercury News in an op-ed piece.

Article

CFT speaks out on No Child Left Behind reauthorization
Tell your Senator and Congressmember to fix NCLB

On August 28, the House Education and Labor Committee released its Title I discussion draft of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. The AFT submitted a detailed critique, based on the views of its membership and discussions with parents and students throughout the country.

Below you may access the letters submitted to the House Education and Labor Committee.  In addition, CFT passed a resolution at the September 29, 2007 State Council meeting addressing issues involved in reauthorization of NCLB.

Article Part-time faculty Pay parity Pay equity

AFT unions lead the way in getting equal pay for equal work
Getting to parity

Could the dream of “equal pay for equal work” become a reality for contingent faculty in California? It could if CFT is successful in promoting the passage of progressive legislation, as part of the national AFT campaign to address the academic staffing crisis in higher education.

One of the principles of the the newly introduced Faculty and College Excellence Act (AB 1343, Mendoza, D-Artesia) is pro rata pay — and benefits equal to that of tenured and tenure-track faculty doing comparable work.

Article Privatization

No public education by corporation
The privatization assault on public education intensifies

By George Martinez, President EC/K-12 Council

Do you remember the Excellence in Education movement, along with the Time on Task idea, and the Assertive Discipline model? These efforts to bring about educational reform followed the publication of A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Education Reform in 1983 by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. This report popularized many of the privatization notions regarding public education. I refer to this as Phase 1 of the movement to privatize public education.