California Educator

December 2014

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are making a difference. CTA was proud to be part of successful efforts to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers in Los Angeles, a campaign that will help lift many of our students out of poverty. T h i s f a l l ' s D e g re e s N o t D e b t p ro g r a m raised awareness and offered solutions to skyrocketing college debt, which keeps higher education out of reach for too many students and disproportionately affects students of color. The strategic plan is directing every aspect of CTA. It's taking an organization that has been very good at what we do, and making us even better. I encourage every member to read the plan at ourfuture. Think about ways it can help m a ke yo u r l o c a l c h a p t e r s t r o n ge r a n d more successful. By working together, we can ensure all California students get the education they deserve. Ask Dean G re a t q u e s t i o n ! D e ve l o p m e n t o f the long-term strategic plan has b e e n o n e o f t h e m o s t e x c i t i n g and important projects CTA has worked on since I became president. As we move ahead with its implementation, I'm thrilled at the extent to which the plan priorities have shaped the CTA agenda over the past 12 months, how quickly this large organi- zation has been able to realign its focus, and how much of that focus has a direct and positive impact on students. I'm also pleased you've noticed things going on in your local that reflect the plan p r i o r i t i e s . T h e p l a n i s n o t a to p - d ow n one. It was developed reflecting the input, views and priorities of thousands of CTA members. It's been gratifying to see so many CTA chapters embracing the plan and hitting the ground running to imple- ment it locally. One of the plan's focus areas, advocacy on education, has been especially evident this year. CTA and our local chapters have taken the lead on supporting and imple- m e n t i n g t h e s t a te ' s n e w L o c a l C o n t ro l Funding Formula, and many have reached o u t t o p a re n t s a n d c o m m u n i t y g ro u p s (another plan focus area) to help empower them in influencing school district funding priorities. The new formula has the same philosophy as CTA's highly successful school improvement program, the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA), which recognizes that students in different neigh- borhoods have different challenges, and that funding all schools equally isn't really fair. The new formula, like QEIA, helps e n s u re t h a t re s o u rc e s d i re c t e d t owa rd a student's success aren't determined pri- marily by his or her ZIP code. C TA c o n t i n u e d t o t a ke t h e l e a d o n h e l p i n g e d u c a t o r s i m p l e m e n t t h e n e w s t a t e s t a n d a rd s . R e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h i s transition will only be successful if it's educator-driven, we continued large-scale training with local chapters and school districts. For the fourth year in a row, our CTA Summer Institute IPD strand was packed with hundreds eager to learn and share successful instructional strategies. I ' m r e a l l y e x c i t e d t o a n n o u n c e t h e I n s t r u c t i o n a l L e a d e r s h i p C o r p s , a j o i n t e f f o r t o f C TA , t h e S t a n f o r d Center for Opportunity Policy in Edu- cation (SCOPE), and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University. Corps members (currently 160 teachers and 24 administrators) are orchestrating professional development about Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards, and will train other teachers to do the same, building local instructional and leadership capacity to support new instructional practices. This kind of educator-driven leadership is an example of what works and will really improve student achievement. It's in stark contrast to "blame teachers first" solutions offered by the corporate reformers behind the Vergara lawsuit stripping educators of due process, or "parent trigger" laws that ignore real issues in attempts to privatize our schools. Social justice issues are another strate- gic focus area where CTA and our locals Dean E. Vogel C T A P R E S I D E N T This has been a busy year for my local chapter, and we've done a lot of things that mirror the CTA long- term strategic plan adopted last January. Can you tell us what impact the plan is having in its first year? Do you have an issue or topic you'd like Dean to address? Let us know. Email All of a sudden the stars are lining up. It's a focus on teacher quality and the dynamics of teaching and learning, and everyone wins, especially students." "Together is how we make schools work wonders. With ongoing collaboration and commitment, we will continue to improve our schools in these times of exciting transformation, rejuvenation and reward." 4

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