California Educator

August 2016

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president's message I ' V E J U S T H A D an incredible summer doing what I love to do most — hang- ing out with educators, talking about how to be better teachers and union leaders, learning from each other, and advocating for the public education all our students deserve. Whether it was at the NEA Representative Assembly or conferences here in California, I was encouraged by how many new educators are getting involved in CTA and helping lead our profession. As any educator will tell you, when you get a few of us in the same place for long enough, we are going to start sharing ideas, talking about the cool- est new resource we discovered, and laughing about our trials when we started out. at's why I'm so excited about this back-to-school issue of the California Educator. It's full of resources, ideas and tips that many of you have shared with us throughout the years, and I hope you find it helpful — especially if you are just starting out as an educator. As I look to the year ahead, I know there is a lot of work to be done to make sure policymakers hear from us and understand what works — really works — to improve student learning. It is up to us to demand a seat at the table in order to help politicians develop good laws. It is up to us to lead education change efforts that are built on collaboration with all stakeholders to create good environments for teaching and for learning. No one knows better what our students need than the teachers, education support profes- sionals and faculty who work with them every day! So when the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed by President Obama late last year, de-emphasizing high-stakes testing and asking states to develop new accountability systems, CTA knew that your voice had to be in the room and at the table. We have been working with the California Department of Education to make sure this opportunity to redefine accountability is done thoughtfully and comprehensively. We are working closely with them to create a new Eric Heins (right) speaks at NEA RA. Looking on are CTA Secretary- Treasurer David B. Goldberg and NEA's 2016 ESP of the Year Doreen McGuire-Grigg. We Lead the Profession way to look at student achievement — on e th at go e s w el l b e y on d th e simplistic snapshot of a test score, and recognizes the whole child, the school climate, and other indications of learning. We must have an accountability system that is based not only on continued improvement, but also on equity, access and support! In addition to h elping create a n ew m eaning ful accountability system, California educators are lead- ing the profession by preparing one another to handle the new state standards and sharing best practices. Our Instructional Leadership Corps in partnership with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University is now in its third year and is transforming the state's approach to profes- sional development. One of the most important things we can all do in the next few weeks and months as we lead our profes- sion is ensure our schools and colleges have the funding they need. We are within 90 days of the general election, and our voices and votes will make a difference for our students, our community and the world. Voters look to local educators as the most trusted sources for guidance during elections. So during this election, please help us spread the word that passing Proposition 55 will bring stability to public education funding in California for 12 more years. It does this not by raising anyone's taxes, but by maintaining the current income tax rates for the wealthiest Califor- nians. We are just beginning to see programs like music, art and career-tech being offered again. We are rehiring teachers, faculty, counselors and ESPs. We are reopening school libraries, and we have stopped tuition hikes. We can't go back! And not passing Prop. 55 would cause a $4 billion deficit in school funding. Yo u w i l l b e h e a r i n g a l o t m o re a b o u t th i s a n d oth er initi ative s, as wel l as re c omm end ed candi- dates, before the election. In the meantime, you can find more info to share with friends and family at I know that this is going to be a great year for public education. ank you for being the reason! Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T @ericheins 5 August 2016

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