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California Teachers Association Responds to BVN Editorial

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In response to your May 26, 2010 column “California Teachers Association Threatens Black Newspaper” The California Teachers Association has been a long-standing supporter of the Black Voice News and other ethnic media because we value the role that these publications and broadcast media play in the community and in the discussion of what is best for our children and the future of our state. This commitment is why ethnic media is always part of CTA’s advertising and media outreach. It is also why we run a special parental involvement campaign targeted to diverse communities every year. This campaign runs in 11 different languages. We are the only teacher or parent organization that makes this effort.

It’s unfortunate that miscommunication and misunderstanding would turn into the article that ran last week in the Black Voice News. California teachers are committed to helping all children succeed and have led efforts to help struggling schools improve, including many schools that serve a higher percentage of African American and Latino children.

Through the work of CTA, and the Quality Education Investment Act, these schools are receiving an additional $3 billion over seven years to help reduce class sizes, provide training to teachers and principals, hire additional school counselors to assist students and bring more experienced teachers to these classrooms.

After just one full year of implementation, the program is already documenting success. On average, student test scores at these schools were five points higher than other schools. The program has also spurred more parental involvement as parents are part of the program’s decision-making process.

CTA believes that every child has the right to attend a quality public school in their neighborhood. But unfortunately, wrapped around the words of “parental choice,” some of the reform ideas coming from Sacramento would actually shut down neighborhood schools or turn them over to private operators that have a history of excluding some students.

CTA looks forward to continuing its long-standing relationship with the Black Voice News and its readers, and we welcome engaging in any dialogue on issues that impact students and our public schools.

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