The Blog

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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Handling Stress, Year After Year

It was a while ago. I was working on a story on class size reduction. A chapter president had recommended I visit a teacher he knew with a crowded classroom. I arranged to visit with a photographer and asked the teacher to notify his principal, which is standard procedure. The principal in the Sacramento school came out to greet me as I was signing in and asked us to step into his office. I figured he was going to offer some background about the school and additional information.

Was I in for a surprise!

How dare I interfere with instructional minutes, he scolded me. I’d better be quick, he let me know, adding that he resented the intrusion. I explained that our purpose was to increase awareness so the state would provide more money for class-size reduction, and he called me a liar.

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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Releases Statement on Vergara Lawsuit

"We do not fault doctors when the emergency room is full. We do not criticize the firefighter whose supply of water runs dry. Yet while we crowd our classrooms and fail to properly equip them with adequate resources, those who filed and support this case shamelessly seek to blame teachers who step forward every day to make a difference for our children."

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Seven California educators win $2,000 and $5,000 grants from The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation

Seven CTA members have received grants from the NEA Foundation! Learn about the programs and activities that netted your colleagues from Merced, Concord, Huntington Beach and Fremont $2,000 and $5,000 grants.

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Well-intentioned Political “Reform” Bill Would Undercut Our Voices

In the last days of the legislative session, lawmakers in the Assembly are poised to take up a CTA- and labor-opposed bill that could undermine the ability of organizations like teacher unions to speak out in the political arena for public education, students, and our members.

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School Facilities Bond Measure Stalls in Legislature

The reports are heart-rending.  Classrooms that are super-hot in the spring and summer and freezing in the winter.  Computers and other materials ruined because of leaky roofs. Students crowded into classrooms and temporary structures because there aren’t enough classrooms to go around.

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

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