California Educator

November 2014

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community leaders and decision-makers will see firsthand what a good job educa- tors and schools are doing, and how much better we could be doing with the right resources and support. Now that the election is behind us, it's time to be proactive for the next one. Let's continue to build and strengthen those relationships with our communities. The next time a small group of millionaires tries to "reform" education for their own gain and at the expense of students, we'll be even better prepared with more allies to keep our public schools strong and public. Again, thank you to all our members for all you've done and all you continue to do. Ask Dean F i r s t , l e t m e g ive a h u ge T H A N K Y O U t o t h e t h o u s a n d s o f C TA members who worked on behalf of public education and all our students in this month's election. Your phone bank- ing, precinct walking, use of social media, and, of course, your vote showed once again that public education works best when decisions about local schools are made by parents and educators in their local communities. Your vote helped ensure that California did not give a highly visible platform to those who want to privatize public schools and blame teachers for the struggles our s c h o o l s f a ce . A n d w h i l e s o m e o f t h o s e f o rc e s — m a ny o f w h o m a re v i r u l e n t ly anti-labor — gained ground in the rest of the nation, your hard work kept them from disrupting the real progress California schools and students are making. T h e r e - e l e c t i o n o f To m To r l a k s o n m e a n s t h a t w e s t i l l h a v e a c l a s s r o o m teacher in the state superintendent's office. As you know, Tom worked with parents and teachers in helping pass Proposition 30 two years ago, which saved our schools and colleges from billions in further dev- astating cuts and has started to repay the money owed to public education. He has been a leader in implementing the new Local Control Funding Formula, which g i v e s e d u c a t o r s a n d p a r e n t s f a r m o r e say over how funding can best serve stu- dents. He understands what works and rejects those reforms that reduce students a n d t e a c h e r s t o a s i n g l e t e s t s c o re . H e authored CTA's highly successful Quality Education Investment Act, which led to achievement gains in hundreds of under- performing schools. T h i s w a s a n i m p o r t a n t w i n . To m ' s opponent, Marshall Tuck, was funded by anti-labor millionaires and billionaires with a financial stake in privatizing pub- lic education and stripping teachers of professional rights. In fact, Tuck prom- ised that his first act if elected would be to withdraw the appeal of the disastrous Vergara decision, which guts due process for educators. That's why I was so proud to hear Tom speak in venue after venue on the campaign trail, praising teachers and the work we all do for students, and denouncing those who blame us instead of looking for real solutions. Tom Tor - lakson's re-election ensures that we have someone who understands teaching and learning as CTA moves forward with our strategic plan to transform our profession. This election really was in many ways a referendum on the "public" in public edu- cation. Support for our schools depends on the public understanding the work we do, the challenges we face, and the solu- tions to those challenges. A s I w r i te t h i s , we ' re ge a r i n g u p f o r a national celebration of public educa - t i o n , A m e r i c a n E d u c a t i o n We e k , N ov. 16-22. CTA is sponsoring Community E n g a ge m e n t D ay o n We d n e s d ay, N ov. 19 — the idea is to invite individuals in t h e c o m m u n i t y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e i r neighborhood schools, assisting in the regular duties that educators perform on a daily basis. To learn more, visit communityengagement. We ' r e h o p i n g Dean E. Vogel C T A P R E S I D E N T WHAT DO THE ELECTION RESULTS MEAN FOR EDUCATORS? Do you have an issue or topic you'd like Dean to address? Let us know. Email Suppose I just want to be the best teacher I can be? Does my voice count? Our answer is absolutely. At the core, we're about sustaining excellent learning environments for kids. That's who we are. That's what we signed up for. Period." "Protecting the safety of our students is absolutely crucial. Education creates awareness, and SB 1165 provides students with age-appropriate training to help them recognize date violence, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. It also provides them tools to help avoid becoming victims." 4

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