California Educator

December 2015

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president's message I 'm on the road a lot these days, meeting and speaking with as many of you as I can. As I travel up and down the state, I'm continually amazed by you, our members, and the incredible commitment you bring to your work every day in our schools and classrooms. I'm particularly inspired by your inventiveness and creativ- ity in helping students learn real-world skills that will take them far in life. We shine a spotlight on a few of you in this special Inno- vation Issue, but I know there are countless more innovators in education. I see innovation happening all around me, and I couldn't be more proud. It's all part of how we lead the way in California to make educational change. Other examples include the Instructional Leadership Corps, a partnership with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University, which is build- ing a network of educator-leaders who provide training in implementing California's Common Core and Next Genera- tion Science standards. And CTA's Institute for Teaching funds innovative, teacher-driven projects and brings educators together to give voice to good ideas and best practices. e truth is, we're always on the cutting edge in California. Even before the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law in December, replacing No Child Left Behind, California educators helped eliminate outdated tests and change school funding to ensure it reaches students who need it most. We are now working on a broader accountability system using mul- tiple measures of student success instead of just test scores. CTA members have played a vital role in mobilizing parent and community support for these actions, and in urging Congress to pass ESSA. We must now mobilize and lead again against those who threaten our ability to advocate for what's best for our students, profession and communities. An adverse U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Friedrichs v. CTA (see our special report on page 36) would weaken our collective voice and jeopardize a quality education for our stu- dents. Among other things, we risk losing the right to come together and speak out for : • A well-rounded education for our students, with arts, music and PE. • Class sizes that allow for one-on-one instruction. • More learning time, and a decrease in high-stakes testing. • Safe and healthy learning environments. • Fair salaries and benefits, and retirement with dignity. Our opponents have tried multiple times and in multiple ways (at the ballot box, in the Legislature, in the courts) to take away students' and educators' rights. It's urgent that we come together and speak up. A d d y o u r v o i c e t o t h e c h o r u s o f o t h e r m e m b e r s w h o a r e s h a r i n g w h y t h e y c h o o s e t o b e e d u c a t o r s , and w hat th eir unions do to suppor t th eir w ork. ( Vi sit; see members' stories on page 18.) Regardless of the outcome, know that CTA is here for you and for all our students. For more than 150 years, we have stood strong for public education and giving students the quality public education they deserve. We always will. Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T @ericheins From the November news conference in Los Angeles protesting billionaire Eli Broad's plan to enroll half of LAUSD students in charter schools. #OurVoiceOurUnion Stand and Be Counted 5 December 2015 / January 2016

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