California Educator

April 2014

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Page 51 of 59

CTA & You State Council State Council debates education issues, honors Teachers of the Year, top ESP By Dina Martin and Cynthia Menzel C O M M O N C O R E . School funding. Testing. Layoff procedures. Budgets and accountability plans. Mandatory kindergarten. Evaluation. College student debt. Those are just a few of the issues addressed by the 760-plus delegates to CTA's State Council of Education in March (as well as evacuation proce- dures after the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that rocked the Bonaventure Hotel Friday night, followed by a lesser aftershock during committee meetings the next day). CTA President Dean E. Vogel facilitated sometimes lively debate on a myriad of education issues at State Council. The bulk of delegates' time on the Council floor was spent deliberating legislative issues, such as the need for more school nurses, nonmedical staff administering epinephrine to students, and granting educators a right to a leave under the California Family Rights Act. Council took positions on 117 of the 157 pieces of legislation considered. Details can be found at A forum on Common Core State Standards gave members an opportunity to share their opinions (see page 51). "What happens when you race? You're only focused on getting to the finish line," Vogel said, noting concern about the implementation of the standards, which has been uneven in districts around the state. In kicking off the forum, he stressed that the state must "get the implementation of the standards right, and we must separate standards from the testing." During his update on CTA actions, CTA Executive Director Joe Nuñez talked about the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) waiver, a private education consulting firm's scheme that waives ESEA requirements for eight school districts. Despite CORE having absolutely no input from educators, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan approved a one-year waiver, setting up a "shadow" department of education in California. CORE promises that the districts will create and follow a new account- ability system, will create new teacher evaluation systems tied to test scores, and will close failing schools or turn them into charters. Nuñez noted that it seems there's been a lot of misinformation. CTA's officers welcome the 2014 California Teachers of the Year. From left: Eric Heins, Mikki Cichocki-Semo, Angelo "Ang" Bracco, Jessica Pack, Michael Hayden, Linda Horist, Timothy Smith (California's nominee for National Teacher of the Year), and Dean Vogel. Expressing the views on the State Council floor and during the Common Core forum are (clockwise) Susan Green, California Faculty Association, CSU Chico; Juan Caballero, Lake Elsinore Teachers Association; Alexandra Condon, Elk Grove Education Association; and Ben Foley, Byron Teachers Association. MEMBERS MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD "It appears most of the superintendents and school boards don't even know what they signed. The local chapters — many of the presidents are here today — have been coordinating strategies with CTA, organizing and pushing back." Delegates voted on recommended candidates in the 50 A P R I L 2 0 1 4 Educator 04 Apr 2014 v2.3 int.indd 50 4/15/14 12:05 AM

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