California Educator

August 2014

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End Toxic Testing! CTA & You Conferences New NEA Officers Delegates vote for all-minority, all-female officer team to head nation's largest union during annual meeting Delegates voted to launch a national campaign to put the focus of assessments and accountability back on student learning and end the "test, blame and punish" system. The campaign will seek to sharply reduce the amount of student and instructional time consumed by tests, and to implement more effective and responsible forms of assessment and accountability. Delegates, through NBIs, directed NEA to: Explore the use of teacher performance assessments for pre-service teacher candidates. Support remedial and development education at the college level. Work with parents and communities to promote student access to high-quality, teacher-delivered, authentic langua ge prog rams. Support dropout prevention initia tives and prog rams b y NEA members to increase g radua tion ra tes. Increase awareness and address the need for a qualified career technical education teacher pipeline. Provide tools for local actions of the DREAM Act, which includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth. For more, go to and search for RA Today. A former lunch lady from Utah, who went on to become an elementary teacher who worked with homeless children, was elected president of the National Education Association. Lily Eskelsen García (center) will be visiting California in the coming weeks — watch for an interview with her. Also elected were NEA Vice President Becky Pringle (left) and Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss (right). NEA delegates passed a new business item calling for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to resign. Proposed by CTA, the item cites "the Department's failed education agenda focused on more high-stakes testing, grading and pitting public school students against each other based on test scores." CTA President Dean Vogel said, "Vergara was the straw that broke the camel's back." "The secretary's response to the Vergara verdict—it was just shameful. And it under- scored his lack of understanding." Some 400 NEA educators, including CTA and Student CTA members Anahit Khachatourian, Brenda Quispe, Kori Schmitz and Terasa Talan, spruce up Denver's Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA) as part of the Outreach to Teach project. Nearby Valverde Elementary School also received a facelift. Student CTA earned top honors at the NEA Student Leadership Conference, held in conjunction with the NEA RA. The chapter was awarded the silver medal in membership and received the Outstanding State Communications Award. Anahit Khachatourian, CSU Sacramento, won Outstanding Local Student Leader. P H O T O S B Y C A LV I N K N I G H T, M A R C S T E R N B E R G E R A N D G A I L W AT T S 54

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