California Educators to Take Part in National Awareness Day About Public School Needs Monday
Media Contacts Listed at End of Each Event
Events in San Diego, LA, SF, San Jose, Sacramento
BURLINGAME – California’s educators, students and parents are taking part in several events Monday, Dec. 9, as part of a national day of awareness about the need for community-driven, student-centered support and solutions for our public schools.
All event themes call attention to issues affecting education – income inquality, a state program helping at-risk students succeed, the hazards of corporate tax breaks, and about those seeking to profit from public education, like Michelle Rhee. A San Jose event will highlight the impacts from a CTA-backed reform law – the Quality Education Investment Act – that’s helped turn around one high-poverty school. And CTA’s innovative Institute For Teaching education grant program for school change will be noted.
CTA is joining the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and other unions and community groups in this “National Day of Action: Raise Your Hand for Our Schools and Our Solutions” awareness day. Fixing opportunity gaps in American education are a key focus.
“On this day, parents, students, educators and community leaders are raising their hands and voices to demand more opportunities for our students,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, the largest state affiliate of NEA. “Public education shouldn’t be guided by corporate executives, entrepreneurs or philanthropists. And it’s time to look harder at the issues that prevent all students from getting the education opportunities they deserve.”
Here are details about several California school awareness events planned on Monday, Dec. 9:
LOS ANGELES: CTA Vice President Eric Heins will give a speech partly about the day’s call to action to local educators and school board members at 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel at LAX, 9750 Airport Blvd., Los Angeles, 90045. He will also discuss the positive results of CTA’s Institute For Teaching grant program for teachers and schools. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
CULVER CITY: A media availability concerning CTA’s efforts to create a fair teacher evaluation system in the state with CTA Vice President Eric Heins is from noon to 1 p.m. Monday at the CTA Regional Resource Center, 6095 Bristol Parkway, #100, Culver City, 90230. Heins will be meeting with members of the union’s Teacher Evaluation Workgroup. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
POMONA: CTA Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Cichocki-Semo will give a speech to local teachers and school board members about the national day of awareness and about CTA’s milestone this year of celebrating150 years of advocacy for students and schools. She will also highlight CTA’s innovative Institute For Teaching school grant program. Her speech is at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, 601 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, 91768. Contact: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425.
SAN JOSE: Students, teachers and administrators will celebrate the community-driven academic success at Cesar Chavez Elementary, 2000 Kammerer Ave., San Jose, 95116. This remarkable, high-poverty school in the Alum Rock Union School District receives extra funding for proven reforms like smaller class sizes, better teacher training and other measures from the CTA-backed Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006. A noon news conference in the school library with dedicated teachers, administrators and parents will include students joining in, on cue, as everyone raises their hands to support the inspired school and its mission, which is also supported by the business community. New research about how QEIA is improving student learning will be discussed. There are about 400 QEIA-supported schools in the state – including these success stories in Livermore, Chula Vista, Sacramento and in Los Angeles County. The state’s achievement goal for all California schools is an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 800. The API score for Cesar Chavez is 823 – a gain of 200 points since 2006. Note to media – Spanish speakers will be available for interviews. Contact: Mike Myslinski, 408-921-5769.
SAN FRANCISCO: A community coalition including United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) members will march to call attention to corporate tax breaks hurting communities and schools, and the need to invest more in City College of San Francisco. Supporters will gather at Ninth and Market streets at 4:30 p.m. Monday, then march at 5 p.m. to Fifth Street. A 5:30 p.m. rally and candlelight vigil will be held at 865 Market St. Contact: Matthew Hardy at UESF at 415-513-3179.
SACRAMENTO: Sacramento-area educators will leaflet outside the offices of Students First, the lobbying and education reform group founded by divisive public education critic Michelle Rhee. Teachers will call attention to proven education reforms like smaller class sizes and investing more in schools and community partnerships. Rhee’s proposed policies would weaken teachers’ voices in advocating for students. The leafleting is from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at 825 K Street in Sacramento, 95814. Contact: Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087.
SAN DIEGO: Educators are seeing the impacts of the nation’s widening income gap in their classrooms as poverty rises. To highlight this issue, the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) is hosting a free screening Monday night of the award-winning “Inequality for All” documentary about income inequality featuring Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration. The screening is at 6 p.m. at Lincoln High School, 4777 Imperial Ave., San Diego, 92113. Contacts: SDEA President Bill Freeman at 619-283-4411 or Bill Guy, 619-709-0028.