CCA Forum Explores Role of Union as Agent of Change
Some card-carrying CCA members might see the role of their union strictly as a bargaining agent for salaries and benefits. Others see their union’s role as an agent of change and an advocate for social justice.
The question of the role of the union underscored a wide-ranging discussion during CCA’s recent forum in Los Angeles titled, “The Force Awakens: Inclusion in Education and Justice for All,” sponsored by CCA’s Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee. The conversation was seen as being even more crucial given the current political atmosphere in which entire groups of people and American institutions are under attack.
“Our profession is under attack, which means our young people are under attack, which means my family and our future is under attack,” said Ed Gomez, San Bernardino College history professor and co-chair of the CCA Equity and Diversity committee who guided discussion. “We are here to find commonality and to come up with a plan.”
Among the participants in the daylong event on May 13 were CCA board members, local CTA members, CTA President Eric Heins and a core of Student CTA, which provided the voice of millennial members.
Beginning with a presentation by Kevin Kumashiro, former dean of the University of San Francisco’s School of Education and an internationally recognized expert on education equity and social justice, the forum concluded with the creation of a no-holds barred “wish list” that will go to the committee, the CCA Board of Directors and possibly the CTA Board for consideration.
Among the varied suggestions were to increase the visibility of LGBT faculty; strengthen academic freedom protections in relation to Student Learning Outcomes: highlight the challenges faced by part-time faculty; introduce legislation requiring ethnic studies as part of teacher preparation; reconstruct the education system to meet modern challenges; develop more inclusivity in CCA; and make sure the union models global citizenship.
“The purpose is to give the Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee direction and to make sure we are representing the body. We will look at these suggestions and decide what is in the purview of the union and what is outside,” said CCA Secretary Randa Wahbe, one of the organizers of the day.
As in his book, Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning toward Social Justice, Kumashiro  (shown in photo) called on faculty to design education that is anti-oppressive and tilts toward social justice.
“Education is scary because it challenges us to be a different way,” he said.
Although Kumashiro acknowledged the many ways public education and educators are under attack by a “corporatocracy” that seeks to privatize and marketize education, he also pointed to the “good” news.
“In the midst of all this, there is a movement to mobilize teachers and students to come together with a sense of purpose,” he said.
Judging by the sentiment in the room, Kumashiro may well be correct.
Students Join Faculty at San Bernardino Valley College
 
Showing Support on 'Educators United with Our Communities Day' April 4
California’s community colleges have always relied on the support of local communities. Over the years, California voters have shown that support by approving Prop. 98, Prop. 30, and Prop. 55 and voting against Prop. 32, in addition to passing local bonds. To both thank our communities and demonstrate our support for them, CCA members marked “Educators United with Our Communities Day” on Tuesday, April 4.
Currently, many of our students and communities are facing challenges – parents are being questioned by ICE agents as they take their children to school; children are being left in their homes when their parents are picked up by ICE; and Muslim, Latino and students with particular political or religious views report being bullied. On our college campuses, dreamers are living in fear that they will be pulled out of their classes by ICE. Students at all levels have stopped coming to school because of fear. Educators need to know how we can help our students and community members.
CCA urged local chapters to invite K-12 CTA members, our California Faculty Association colleagues and campus staff to join in “Educators United with Our Communities Day” in our communities.
Here is a partial list of resources you can use or share as you seek other ways to show support for our communities.:
Educators United flier 
A Call to Action for the Public Education All California's Students Deserve
Public education is the foundation of our 21st century democracy. Social justice for all begins with a quality, free public education. Our public schools are where our students come to be educated in the fullest sense of that word, including as citizens of this great country. As educators, we strive every day to make our public schools and colleges a place where we prepare the nation’s young people to contribute to our society, economy and citizenry.
The 325,000 members of CTA and CCA are committed to making sure all California’s students get the public education they deserve. We ask all Californians, including elected leaders regardless of party affiliation, to join us in supporting a strong, inclusive, safe and innovative public education system that ensures all students can succeed, regardless of their ZIP code. Our public schools must remain centers of our communities, and not become corporate profit centers. We hold these values because all students, regardless of family circumstances, where they live, where they were born, how they look, who they love or which language they speak, have the right to a public education that helps them reach their full potentials.
Encourage your local chapter to consider adopting this Resolution of Unity, Resolve and Resilience, or use it to create your own resolution.  
Resolution of Unity and Resilience
Changes to Pension Fund
A move by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to reduce its assumed rate of return on long-term investments is likely to result in an increased contribution by the state to the retirement fund. Find out what the impact will be.
The Truth about Retirement Benefits
All Californians should have a safe and secure retirement. The real problem is not that faculty, teachers, firefighters and other public servants have pensions ("defined benefit plans"), the problem is that private sector workers do not. Myth versus Fact on Teacher Retirement does a great job of debunking common myths about our pension system and provides relevant factual answers. The CTA website has a special section devoted to important information on retirement benefits.
Part-time Faculty Issues are Everyone's Issues
Why should tenured faculty care about part-time faculty issues? The answer is startlingly simple for Jonathan Ausubel,a full-time professor of English and member of the Chaffey College Faculty Association. Ausubel lays out the argument in a CCA Advocate column
MOOCs in Our Midst
With their new video, Teaching Millions or Making Millions? faculty organizers of the national Campaign for the Future of Higher Education have raised the level of discourse across the country when it comes to the pervasiveness of MOOCs in our midst.
Online Education May Not Be All That
Despite the hoopla surrounding online courses, a large study of online education used by students at California's massive community college system found that online students are not doing as well as those who enroll in face-to-face courses, according to a report in Inside Higher Education. What’s your experience been with online education? Contact Dina Martin at dinamartinsf@gmail.com or CCA President Lynette Nyaggah at president@cca4me.org .
Plan to attend CCA’s 2017 Fall Conference

CCA’s three conferences have successfully concluded for 2016-17, but you can look forward to attending the 2017 Fall Conference at the Marriott Hotel in San Jose Oct. 13-15. For more information on CCA’s conferences, check out the Conference section.

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