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June 2012 Council Decides

 

Council Approves Landmark Teacher Evaluation Framework

More than two years in the making, a visionary framework for California educators and school districts to use to create fair teacher evaluation systems was approved unanimously by the Council delegates.

Delegates rose from their chairs and applauded the final vote, knowing that this new policy gives California’s educators a stronger voice in the nationwide discussion about teacher evaluation. The new CTA Teacher Evaluation Framework is a vital guide for local chapters to use when creating, bargaining and implementing a comprehensive teacher evaluation system.

Reading the full 36-page document shows its immediate value. It builds on the 17 teacher evaluation principles approved by State Council in June 2011. The CTA Teacher Evaluation Workgroup forged the plan after hearing from a cross section of CTA members and numerous experts — and after looking at assessment systems used across the country.

The broad framework rejects using the controversial “value-added measures” based on student test scores in teacher evaluations. Research shows that this method is highly unstable, that these measurements are affected by the differences in the individual students assigned to a teacher, and that this data does not accurately reflect the many influences on student progress over time.

To combat the cursory “drive-by” nature of many teacher evaluations, the framework calls for making the process truly a joint endeavor where “the teacher is an active participant, fully engaged and focused on learning and improving practice, while the evaluator is a knowledgeable partner providing comprehensive, consistent and timely feedback, information and guidance.”

President Vogel Issues Call to Action Against Dangerous Ballot Measure

Declaring that “we have right and truth on our side,” CTA President Dean Vogel asked State Council delegates to help defeat the Special Exemptions Act launched to silence our political voice — and to fight to pass the governor’s November tax measure to avoid billions in immediate new cuts to education.

Feeling the urgency of the CTA campaign, Council delegates took the unprecedented step of canceling their regular Oct. 20-21 session in Los Angeles to repurpose that weekend. Instead, the nearly 800 delegates will mobilize in their communities and make a huge difference late in the campaign at the local level.

Read Vogel’s full Council speech or watch short video highlights.

The Special Exemptions Act on the November ballot is the misleading scheme by wealthy, anti-union forces to silence the political voice of all CTA members and of all unions across the state. Disguised as reform, it’s a corporate power grab that prevents educators from using their collective voice to protect students, improve schools and colleges, and enhance the teaching profession. Get the facts you need.

Council delegates received a special briefing in small groups on this measure, and learned how new resources are available on the revamped CTA Campaign 2012 website page.

Vogel urged all CTA members to spend the summer warning their communities about this attack. “Let parents, friends and neighbors know that if they take away our ability to advocate for their students, they are taking away the chance at a better tomorrow for all of us,” he said. “Use our voice to say: We are CTA and we will not be silenced!”

He also called for support for the governor’s Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, thanking delegates for helping CTA and labor and community groups turn in more than 300,000 signatures earlier this year to qualify the measure. It temporarily taxes the wealthy to generate about $9 billion annually for schools and communities. If it fails, public schools face nearly $6 billion in new cuts.

DON’T MISS the CTA CAMPAIGN 2012 WEBSITE SECTION

How We Use Our Voice: Executive Director Doggett Cites CTA Victories

In her unifying speech about CTA accomplishments to Council delegates, Executive Director Carolyn Doggett reminded educators of what our profession and our students would lose if corporate special interests succeed in silencing the political voice of CTA members.

To underscore CTA’s long record of success in the state’s political process, she quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and his speech demanding voting rights for African Americans: “Give us the ballot.”

In just the past dozen years alone, Doggett said CTA members have defeated a school voucher initiative, passed more than $20 billion in statewide school construction bonds, made it easier to pass local school bonds by lowering the vote required to 55 percent, and defeated attacks on educators’ collective bargaining rights and a secure retirement. In 2006, the CTA-backed Quality Education Investment Act provided $3 billion in targeted resources over eight years for hundreds of at-risk schools, and the QEIA program continues to see strong results, Doggett noted.

“This is the power of the ballot,” Doggett said. “And this is the voice we will lose if the Special Exemptions Act is passed.”

Read her passionate speech or watch brief video highlights.

Other Actions: Board Members Elected, CTA Budget Approved

The committee reports about all State Council work and decisions are posted on this special section of the CTA website. Here is a sampling of other actions. Council delegates:

  • Elected two members to the CTA Board of Directors: Gayle Bilek for District G and David Goldberg for District J-LA; Goldberg was re-elected. Their terms of office are June 26, 2012, to June 25, 2015.
  • Approved the recommendation of the Political Involvement Committee of authorizing up to $9 million from the Initiative Fund to support CTA’s positions on the November general election ballot initiatives.
  • Adopted policy recommended by the Civil Rights in Education Committee on student dating violence, which often goes unreported. The policy says school districts should “provide dating violence training to administrators, teachers, nurses and mental health practitioners at the middle and high school levels, and should offer age-appropriate curricula for middle and high school students.”
  • Approved a new CTA budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts Sept. 1. CTA dues remain at the current level.
  • Adopted statewide bargaining goals for local CTA chapters on salary, health and welfare benefits, and conditions of teaching and learning that are unchanged from last year’s goals.
  • In the CTA Board Report, recommended candidates in eight state Assembly, one state Senate and five congressional districts for the November general election.
  • Referred to the Board of Directors for discussion a new business item urging that terms for CTA’s executive officers be lengthened, from two two-year terms to two three-year terms, effective after the 2013-14 term.
     

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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