California Teachers Association

October 2014

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t h e e l e c t i o n , m a ke s u r e yo u vo t e , a n d ensure that public education comes out a winner on November 4. I'd like to add that we can't be effective caretakers of public education if we aren't also good caretakers of ourselves. This issue of the Educator is spotlighting cancer awareness and the need for educators to take preventative measures and to look for warning signs. Te a c h e r s a n d e d u c a t i o n s u p p o r t p ro f e s s i o n a l s o f te n p u t s t u d e n t s a h e a d o f e ve r y t h i n g e l s e . O n e t h i n g yo u c a n d o f o r t h o s e s t u d e n t s a n d f o r yo u r s e l f i s to s t ay h e a l t hy. T h a t ' s o n e m o re way yo u c a n s u p p o r t p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n , o n e t h a t y o u r f r i e n d s a n d l o v e d o n e s w i l l t r u ly a p p re c i a t e . Ask Dean I think what you're asking me is if your phone banking or voting in this elec- t i o n w i l l m a ke a d i f f e re n c e f o r o u r schools. The answer is a resounding YES. Let me tell you why. As educators, we have a critical role — really a responsibility — in protecting public education by electing candidates who support our schools, and in support- ing policies and initiatives that help our students, schools, colleges and communi- ties move forward. In the upcoming election there is one critical race that will shape the future of C a l i f o r n i a s c h o o l s , d e p e n d i n g o n t h e outcome, for years to come. Re-electing Tom Torlakson as superintendent of pub- lic instruction on November 4 will ensure that our schools continue moving in the right direction. Tom Torlakson is a teacher and fellow C TA m e m b e r w h o u n d e r s t a n d s w h a t o u r s t u d e n t s n e e d , a n d h ow e d u c a t i o n policies can impact our classrooms for better or worse. His challenger is a well- funded corporate education reformer who s u p p o r t s t h e p r i v a t i z a t i o n o f p u b l i c schools and efforts to obliterate due pro- cess for teachers. Tom has been an outstanding supporter o f te a c h e rs a n d p u b l i c s c h o o l s ; h i s re - election will mean that your voice is lis- t e n e d t o a n d a c t e d o n i n S a c r a m e n t o . A win for his opponent would give some of the worst anti-educator policies a strong foothold in California. Educators, students and schools need Tom Torlakson and he has certainly earned our support. E a r l i e r t h i s y e a r C TA S t a t e C o u n - c i l a d o p t e d a l o n g - t e r m s t r a t e g i c p l a n based on input from thousands of CTA members, leaders and staff. A key compo- nent of that plan is Advocacy on Education Reform, an effort to shift the narrative on school improvement to a student-centered agenda that fully incorporates the insight and expertise of educators. In order to make educator-driven reform happen and to stop the wrong kind of "reform" from ga i n i n g g ro u n d a n d h u r t i n g C a l i f o r n i a students, our participation and success in this election are critical. In our classrooms or school support p o s i t i o n s , we a re a l l c a re t a ke r s o f o u r individual students. Collectively, though, we are caretakers of the entire public edu- cation system. Parents, community leaders and politicians all play a role, but we are truly the only ones with the expertise, the long-term vision, and the daily hands-on experience to lead the efforts to protect and improve our schools. So I do urge you to go to that phone bank, talk to your family and friends about Dean E. Vogel C T A P R E S I D E N T I've been asked by our local chapter to phone-bank this month. The November election doesn't have a school funding initiative like Proposition 30 or an attack on unions like Proposition 32; can't we just sit this one out? Do you have an issue or topic you'd like Dean to address? Let us know. Email editor@cta.org. L i k e m e , I h o p e y o u ' l l v o t e 1 0 t i m e s . W h e n I g o t o c h u r c h , t a l k t o m y n e i g h b o r s a n d v i s i t m y f a m i l y a c r o s s t h e s t a t e , I 'm e n c o u r a g i n g t h e m t o v o t e , a n d I t e l l t h e m w h o I 'm v o t i n g fo r a n d w h y. L e t 's t a l k t o t h e m a b o u t t h o s e i s s u e s c r i t i c a l t o o u r k i d s a n d o u r s c h o o l s . " 4 www.cta.org

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