March: International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month

9 million students in California.

9 million reasons to support learning and growth.

These ten initiatives outline the California Teachers Association’s expectations for a quality public education based on student-centered proven strategies from preschool through higher education.

Our Ten Measures Are

1. A Well-Rounded Education

Access to a varied curriculum:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Theater
  • History
  • Physical education
  • World languages
  • Career-technical education

Learning over testing.

A focus on standardized testing has narrowed expectations and learning.

A fully-staffed library in every school.

Freedom for teachers to reach their culturally diverse students through a variety of teaching methods.

We must invest in learning over testing. Invest to ensure that all students and schools have access to art, music, theater, dance, physical education, and career‐technical education classes. All students should have access to world languages, a variety of subject choices and advanced placement classes. Every school should have a library with librarians to staff them. The focus on standardized testing has narrowed expectations and learning. Teachers need the freedom to use a variety of teaching techniques that are culturally relevant to the diverse students they teach.

Learn more about CTA’s Advocacy for quality Curriculum and Instruction.

2. Class Size Matters

California has some of the largest class sizes in the country, which greatly inhibits our students’ ability to thrive.

Smaller Class Sizes Enable Growth in Students

  • More time for one-on-one instruction
  • More opportunity for communication between teachers and families
  • These benefits are particularly important for students who are ethnic minorities or English-language learners

California has the largest class sizes in the country, which greatly inhibits the ability of our students to learn and thrive. Smaller class sizes give teachers more time to provide one‐on‐one instruction, significantly improve student learning – particularly for ethnic minority students and English learners – and allow for more communication between teachers and families.

Learn more about CTA’s Advocacy for the Class Sizes our Students Deserve.

3. Access to Preschool

Lifetime learning should start early, during critical development years.

All California kids deserve access to high-quality early childhood education.

Learning begins before students enter kindergarten. All California kids deserve access to high‐quality early childhood education. 

Learn more about CTA’s Advocacy for Early Childhood Education.

4. Safe Learning and Teaching Environments

Students and staff deserve safe, well-maintained buildings that show respect for those who learn and work there.

5. Teaching All Students

The chances of a child’s success should not depend on that child’s zip code.

Principles Shaping Public Education in California:

Social justice

Equity

Diversity

The principles of social justice, equity and diversity integrally shape public education in California. The chances of a child’s success should not depend on living in the right zip code. Parents and educators recognize the inequities within the system and continue to support additional resources to those students and schools that need additional support.  

Resource highlight: see CTA’s Social Justice Toolkit for Educators and Allies.

6. Leading the Profession

Education professionals:

  • Commit to the success of every student
  • Should be recognized as the experts they are
  • Establish high standards of quality for the teaching profession

They deserve:

  • Teacher-directed professional development
  • Time to plan lessons and collaborate with their colleagues
  • Shared decision-making to determine the most effective teaching methods, curriculum, assessment and evaluation systems

In order to attract and retain quality educators, schools must be able to offer salaries and benefits comparable to others with the same education and experience.

Education professionals are deeply committed to the success of every student, should be recognized for the experts they are and responsible for establishing the highest standards of quality for students and the profession. Teachers deserve teacher‐directed professional development, time to plan lessons and collaborate with their colleagues and shared decision‐making to determine the most effective teaching methods, curriculum, assessment and evaluation systems. Educators also need salaries comparable to others with the same education and experience to attract and retain quality educators for students.

Learn more about CTA’s Advocacy for Professional Development.

7. Family and Community Engagement

Parents and family members are an integral part of a child’s education.

Educators should have time to communicate with parents regularly to develop a shared vision for student learning.

Public schools should serve as centers of community and adult learning.

Get Involved! Learn more about how you can engage with CTA as a parent and ally.

8. Health and Support Services

California has the country’s lowest rank in the ratio of counselors, nurses and social workers per student. Adequate support professionals are critical to student success.

Kids cannot come to school ready to learn without sufficient health care, including eye and dental care.

Some students also require free and reduced meal programs and free transportation.

California ranks dead last in the number of counselors, nurses and social workers per student. Adequate health care, including eye and dental care, is essential to ensuring kids come to school ready to learn. Free and reduced meal programs and free transportation must be available to all students who need them. California schools need adequate counselors, nurses and other education support professionals to help meet the needs of all children.

9. Fully Funded Education

California has the eighth-largest economy in the world, but continues to run well below the national average in per-student funding.

Public Education:

The great equalizer

The cornerstone of our democracy

An opportunity to invest in our future

Public education continues to be the great equalizer and the cornerstone of our democracy. California is the eighth largest economy in the world, but continues to rank well‐below the national average in per‐student funding. Investing in public education is an investment in our future.  

10. Access to Affordable College and Careers

All students deserve access to:

Career and technical training

Education opportunities to prepare them for the workforce

Affordable college

All students deserve access to affordable college. Students should also have access to career and technical training programs, and other educational opportunities that will prepare them for the workforce.

Learn more about CTA’s Advocacy for Higher Education.

Download and Share the Advocacy Agenda