With Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials higher in the line of succession at the Democratic National Convention, Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is the state’s acting governor. On Tuesday, he used those temporary powers for an important cause – to declare the day “Change Lives – Be a Teacher Day.”

The proclamation signed by the governor urges “talented, passionate, dedicated and high-quality person[s] who want to make a profound difference in the lives of young people and your community …..California needs you to consider becoming a teacher.”A high school teacher himself, Supt. Torlakson penned the resolution that declares, “Teaching isn’t just a job. It isn’t just a career. It’s a calling. It’s a commitment to your community, your students, and most of all, a commitment to the future.”

Citing the state’s looming teacher shortage, the superintendent urges interested persons to learn more about becoming a teacher at more about the teaching shortage at CTA’s web site.

Fullerton math teacher named outstanding national educator


Al Rabanera

Washington DC- Al Rabanera, a math educator at La Vista High School in Fullerton, California, is one of 43 public educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February in Washington DC.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence are unique: besides being recognized for excellence in instructional and professional practice, awardees are nominated by their peers – their National Education Association state affiliate – for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.

Because the NEA Foundation values both professional development and diversity, awardees are invited to participate in its Global Learning Fellowship. Fellows learn how to prepare their students for a connected and multicultural world in this comprehensive, year-long professional development program, which includes an international field study next June.

Rabanera is a member of the California Teachers Association Instructional Leadership Corps (CTA-ILC) that supports innovative educational approaches in coordination with partner Stanford University. Among the program’s core operating principles is that professional educators know best what works in the classrooms and what works best to reach all students.

  “These outstanding educators are innovators, challengers, and global thinkers,” says Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO. “We are delighted that California Casualty joins us once again in expressing our shared admiration and thanks for their work.”

“The California Casualty awardees are the architects of our nation’s future,” says Beau Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to honor them with the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence.” 

Charter school profiteer linked to Turkish coup attempt


The man allegedly behind Turkey’s failed coup is an Islamic scholar who’s also been accused of ties to Texas’ largest charter school network, and runs charters in California and in over 150 locations throughout the U.S. Many of these institutions are facing allegations of discrimination, self-dealing and misspending. Turkish officials claim Fethullah Gulen operates schools throughout the globe while spiriting away dollars from the charters through multiple loopholes and their inherent lack of regulations.

Read the Dallas Morning News story here.

CTA wins ruling against for-profit charter K-12 Inc.


700 California Virtual Academies (CAVA) charter school teachers formerly without union representation have been granted exclusive bargaining rights to join California Teachers Association (CTA) as its newest affiliate chapter. Public Employment Review Board officials(PERB) ruled Wednesday that California Virtual Academies/K12 Incorporated’s claim they are 11 separate charter schools and thus employees should not be entitled to negotiate collectively was not supported. Instead, documents provided at the hearing showed “…scant evidence of true independent operations…”and led to the ruling allowing statewide bargaining for CAVA teachers.

CTA is pleased to invite its newest chapter of California Virtual Educators into the CTA/NEA family.