The Blog

Chronic Absence, Truancy Rates Emphasize Need for Intervention, Attorney General Reports

A new report issued by Attorney General Kamala Harris provides additional support for a package of measures that would help keep students in school, including a CTA-backed bill to provide districts with more information so that they can intervene early in the academic careers of at-risk students.

“In School + on Track 2014: the Attorney General’s 2014 Report on California’s Elementary School Truancy and Absenteeism Crisis” finds that 90% of students with absence and truancy problems are youngsters living at or below the poverty level.  Students evidencing high rates of absence and truancy in the early grades are also drawn disproportionately from among children or color, the report finds.

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Supt. Torlakson, Officials Kick off Attendance Awareness Month

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and other state officials are working hard to support efforts by parents and teachers to help keep students in school. They are using a month devoted to "Attendance Awareness" to spread the message about the key connection between good attendance and increased student achievement.

“Children must attend school to learn, succeed, and prepare for a bright future,” Torlakson said during a Thursday morning news conference at the state Capitol.

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Darling-Hammond, Education Scholar, Slams Vergara, Praises Gov. Brown, Supt. Torlakson

One of the pre-eminent voices in the international education community, Linda Darling-Hammond, in a powerful op-ed in Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle titled "Supporting teachers is the way to improve schools" hits the Vergara v. State of California lawsuit that would undermine key protections for teachers that enable them to advocate for their students.

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Supt. Torlakson, Assembly Member Dickinson Work with Community to Get Children Backpacks


Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, a former teacher, and Assembly Member Roger Dickinson are working with the community to help ensure that all students in the Sacramento City Unified School District have backpacks and other school essentials.

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Teachers’ Voices Will Matter in Superintendent of Public Instruction Race

Voters trust teachers, and they want advice from educators on election issues that affect public schools.

This year more than ever, teachers’ voices will be highly valued as parents and other voters decide how to vote in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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Ernesto Cortes, Jr: "Education is cultivating curiosity"

Ernesto CortesInternationally recognized organizer and trainer Ernesto Cortes, Jr. spoke with education leaders and CTA staff in San Diego and Riverside Counties last week.

Among several themes, Ernesto emphasized that we all must push back against those who are driving high-stakes testing schemes that damage a child's ability to think both critically and creatively. He also encouraged us to constantly reinforce our ranks with new leaders and ideas to ensure member relevance. Doing so will give our members the space to be real educators who will create a shared community vision that makes educators and education support personnel creators of education, rather than being consumers of corporate-driven education "reforms". 

Ernesto first began his career in 1974 with the creation of the Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) Program, which now has affiliations in 10 states. He has also successfully helped create over 30 broad-based community organizations in the US and United Kingdom.

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The Sacramento Bee Thinks Teachers are Selfish

The Sacramento Bee has done it again – attacked teachers and two pro-education elected officials. In an editorial published on Thursday, "Teacher protections that hurt students are indefensible – unless you’re state’s top education official”, The Bee slams Gov. Brown and Supt. Torlakson for appealing the misguided “Vergara ruling” that would undermine teacher due process and seniority protections.

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Educators Appeal Meritless Vergara Lawsuit, Say Ruling Hurts Students and Teachers

The organizations representing more than 400,000 California educators today filed an appeal of L.A. Superior Court Rudy Treu’s meritless ruling in Vergara v. State of California.

The notice of appeal filed by CTA and the California Federation of Teachers asks the appeals court to reverse the ruling that undermines students’ education in California by striking down five provisions of the Education Code.

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Help Children Succeed: Urge Governor to Sign CTA-sponsored Kindergarten Bill!

As educators, we know that an early start helps children succeed in school and in life. That’s the principle behind AB 1444, the CTA sponsored measure by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) that would require all students to complete kindergarten before tackling the increasingly rigorous academic tasks they face in first grade.

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CTA, Learning First Call for Thoughtful Implementation of Common Core Standards

Dean Vogel, former kindergarten teacher and now CTA president, and Cheryl Scott Williams, the executive director of Learning First Alliance, a non-profit based in Virginia, are urging districts to implement the new Common Core State Standards thoughtfully by learning from teachers about what works for students, in an Op-Ed published in The Sacramento Bee.

The two call on parents and community members to give districts time to implement the new curriculum effectively before insisting on new testing programs.

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

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