State Secures Waiver of Federal Testing to Implement New Assessments

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst have announced that the federal government has agreed to California’s request for a one-year waiver on required federal student testing.

The waiver action, announced Friday, frees California from any fiscal penalties relating to its decision to set aside federally required tests in order to implement computer-assisted assessments of students that synch with the new and ambitious Common Core State Standards.

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From Generation to Generation: Future Farmers Visit Capitol Habitat


(Photo above) Led by two teachers who graduated from their high school a generation before, a group of students from Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria learn about CTA’s legislative advocacy on their behalf from CTA staff members (from l.) Debbie Oshige and Seth Bramble during a March 6 briefing in Sacramento.  (Photos by Len Feldman)

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CTA Leader to Legislature: Teachers' Voices Must Be Heard and Valued

(Photo above) CTA Vice President Eric Heins (c.) and a team of CTA staff, including (from l.) Legislative Advocate Patricia Rucker, IPD Consultant Norma Sanchez, and Legislative Advocate Isabelle Garcia listen and communicate about the testimony being heard by the Senate Education Committee during its informational hearing on “Teaching in the 21st Century” on March 5.

(Photos by Len Feldman)

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CTA Pres., State Supt. Mesmerize Students on Read Across America Day

(Photo Above - From l.) CTA Pres. Dean Vogel, a kindergarten teacher, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson read a powerful book about a young girl’s battle to overcome her reading disability – with the help of a dedicated teacher – as part of the Read Across America celebration on March 3. (Photos by Len Feldman)


The CTA leader and the superintendent read to third grade students of Catherine Boulos at David Lubin School in the Sacramento Unified School District Monday morning.

The two education leaders were among hundreds of educators, parents, and other adults who read to students at school on a national day dedicated to the vital educational “task.”

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CTA VP Heins to Address Senate Education Committee on Wed., March 5

CTA Vice President Eric Heins,  a veteran of more than 20 years in the classroom, is slated to testify before the Senate Education Committee during its Wednesday 9:00 a.m. informational hearing on “Teaching in the 21st Century:  Recruitment, Preparation, Retention, and Professional Development.”

CTA Vice President Heins will be one of the panelists addressing teachers’ needs and the process of bringing new teachers into the profession.

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Wealth Disparities Balloon: Working Poor, Our Students' Parents, Have Hard Time

(Graphic above: source – Economic Analysis and Research Network.)

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article highlights a new study by the Economic Analysis and Research Network  that finds the income disparity between the wealthy and everyone else in California has grown.

The state now stands 17th nationally in terms of income disparity, with the top 1 percent averaging $1.2 million annually, versus $46,000 for everyone else.

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March 1 is Deadline for School Site Safety Plan Update, Supt. Torlakson Reminds Educators

Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is reminding schools that each has until March 1 to review and update a “comprehensive school safety plan.”  The law requires the plan to cover items ranging from bullying prevention to disaster preparedness.

“School climate has a real and lasting effect on a student’s ability to learn,” Supt. Torlakson said. “Nothing is more important than our students’ safety, and preparation is one of the first and most important steps a school can take in creating a more positive school climate.”

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Alpine Teachers Approve New Contract

Educators go back to classrooms Tuesday after huge affirmative vote 

ALPINE – Alpine Teachers Association members approved a new contract with the Alpine Union School District by a 96 percent margin, immediately returning to their classes Tuesday morning, February 25.

The action ends their three-day strike over significant cuts in salary and health benefits.

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At Region 3 Conference, CTA Family Works to Get Food to Hungry Children

CTA members, leaders and staff kicked off this past weekend's Region 3 Leadership Conference in Pasadena by packing 10,000 meals in three hours to help children in Vietnam and the Philippines.

They raised $3,595 for a charity, Stop Hunger Now.

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Write the Bee to Let Readers Know Rep. Miller is Wrong on Vergara Case

Undeterred by the facts, U.S. Congressman George Miller and an educator coauthor have authored a Sacramento Bee Op-Ed that slams teachers for having due process rights.

The retiring congressman and one Los Angeles Unified School District educator have teamed up to declare that the Vergara v. State of California assault on teachers’ due-process protections is a good thing.

Unlike the congressman, teachers know that these procedures have for more than 80 years protected academic freedom and helped attract and keep highly qualified teachers for our students.

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

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