The Blog

Tale of Two Presidents: Priority of Relationship-Building Impacts Policy Outcomes


Two recent presidential biographies – one by a hard-bitten journalist and the other by an admiring son – provide an important nonpartisan learning from the Oval office: effective relational organizing can help advocates achieve their policy objectives.

Chuck Todd, in his biography of Pres. Barack Obama entitled The Stranger, and former Pres. George W. Bush, in his memoir about his dad, 41: a Portrait of My Father, agree about the importance of relationship building to the to the successes of the two presidents’ agendas.

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Ripon Chapter Presses District to Make Students the Top Priority

Graphic above: Members of the Ripon Unified Teachers Association (RUDTA) have pushing the district to support high quality classroom instruction and a specific kind of 3Rs, as well as a fourth one that puts Ripon students first.

Imagine a small school district that is amassing millions of dollars – some $10 million – as a rainy day reserve while classroom needs go unmet.

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CTA State Council Votes Overwhelmingly to Recommend Joan Buchanan in SD 7

(Photo above) Then-Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (at right) discusses key budget and education issues with a team of CTA member advocates at the state Capitol last year.
Representing more than 325,000 educators, the 800-member governing body of the California Teachers Association at its January meeting in Los Angeles overwhelmingly voted to support former Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan for State Senate District 7.

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President's State of State Underscores Importance of Free Community Colleges

In his January 20th State of the Union address, President Barack Obama echoed the voices of educators in California and across the nation when he called for free community college educations for all.
CTA and the NEA have long held that no student should be priced out of higher education attendance and students should not be burdened by educational debt.

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Educators Support Bipartisan Plan to Boost Learning Time

Educators support a bipartisan congressional proposal that would ensure greater educational opportunity for all students by reducing federally mandated tests.

The Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act, the measure by U.S. Representatives Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), would reduce the federal role in testing by more than 50 percent and restore “grade span testing.”

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Nominate a Justice Activist for NEA’s Prestigious New Award

The National Education Association is looking for one exceptional member who has demonstrated the ability to lead, organize, and engage educators, parents and the community on social justice issues that affect our students and schools.

Do you know an outstanding activist who has had a positive impact on students, educators, and the community?

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Celebrate Kindness and Combat Bullying During No Name-Calling Week

This coming week is an excellent time to help students understand the importance of treating each other kindly and with dignity. That’s a key message embraced by the Association and 60 national organizations that have partnered with the Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network to proclaim Jan. 19-23 as No Name-calling Week.

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Governor Proposes $7.8 Billion in New Funding for K-14 Schools in 2015-16 Budget Plan

(Photo above) Governor Jerry Brown unveils his 2015-16 fiscal year budget proposal during a Friday morning webcast.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his 2015-16 state budget proposal that would boost school funding by $7.8 billion.

The governor released the budget proposal during a morning news conference that was webcast by the California Channel, and he warned that despite a strengthening economy and voter approval of temporary tax increases in Proposition 30, the “carefully balanced” proposal was still “more precarious than I’d like.”

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New Legislature Officially Elects Sen. de Leon Speaker pro Tem, Assembly Member Atkins as Speaker

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon takes the oath of office Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the 28th chief justice of the State of California, during the Senate’s opening session on Monday. 

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Join the National Celebration of American Education Week, Nov. 16-22: Take Part in CTA’s Community Engagement Day, Wed., Nov. 19

Throughout California and the nation, communities are observing the 93rd annual American Education Week, a time to honor students, teachers, education support professionals, parents, and community members who help our students succeed.

And on Wed., Nov. 19, CTA is asking non-educators to “put on a teacher hat” for Community Engagement Day.
Here’s what it’s all about.

AEW began in 1921, with the NEA and the American Legion as sponsors of an event designed to help combat illiteracy.

This year and every year on the week before Thanksgiving, the nation pauses to honor students’ hard work, educators’ professionalism, and parents’ and community members’ support for schools.

Overall, the ongoing aim of the week is to rally support for our public schools and the professionals who provide a high quality education to all of our students.

In California on Community Engagement Day, community members are being invited into schools to teach classes, perform lunch and hall duty, and supervise recess – to spend a day in neighborhood schools.

It’s a great way to learn what it’s like to be a school educational professional.

It’s also a great way to strengthen the links between our schools and our communities.

Learn about American Education Week and about NEA’s Educator for a Day event, which is similar to our own Community Engagement Day. In fact, you can use NEA's Educator for a Day Promotional Kit when planning your November 19 Community Engagement Day!

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

© 1999- California Teachers Association