By Dina Martin
As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember that teachers and parents in partnership can improve student learning in our schools and build a better California for everyone. That’s the message of CTA’s 10th annual back-to-school campaign, which featured ads in newspapers, online, and on radio and TV stations around the state in September.
“This is our 10th annual back-to-school campaign, and with $17 billion in cuts to our schools over the past two years, the message has never been more relevant. Our students do best when parents are involved in their education. That’s how our schools work best, too,” says CTA President David A. Sanchez.
While Californians wait it out for the Legislature to approve a budget, returning students are losing out on the promises of a quality education. Class sizes have ballooned, more than 30,000 educators have been laid off, and programs like art, music and PE have been eliminated.
“That’s why we must all stand together — teachers, parents and the public — to advocate for investing in our public schools. It’s the best investment we can make in our students and for the future of our state,” Sanchez says.
The radio ad features the voices of two students and two parents, each of whom comments on the important role a teacher has played. The ad opens with a boy’s voice saying, “I really hated science, then Mr. Wilson showed me how astronauts used computer programming to learn how to fly the space shuttle.” Later, a mother says, “It was my daughter’s fourth-grade teacher who helped her finally master fractions. Now she loves math and school.”
The ad culminates with CTA President Sanchez noting, “As we start the new school year, it’s important to remember that teachers are part of the solution when politicians talk about reform. Improving our schools starts with providing the resources our students need for smaller class sizes and a well-rounded education. Educators and parents working together is the best way to improve student learning and to build a better California for all of us.”
The print ads feature a teacher working with three students with copy reading: “They’re what makes a school a school… They may be a child’s best friend, mentor, coach… They inspire… They are teachers.”
The radio ads began Aug. 30 and ran for three weeks on stations around the state, including Spanish and Asian-language stations. Online ads were linked to resources for both teachers and parents, as well as to CTA’s Facebook page. The print ads appeared in a variety of ethnic newspapers, including African American, Latino, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Hmong, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Arabic, Armenian and Native American publications. Television ads also ran statewide and began airing on Sept. 7, along with the Web ads. All of the ads have been posted on the CTA website: www.cta.org.