The CFT Convention: Compelling Speeches and Workshops
By: Dan Crump, LRCFT Member from ARC
I was unable to attend the Friday portion of the convention as I had other faculty leadership commitments, but I was able to attend several great events during the rest of the convention.
There were two very interesting speeches on Saturday. The first was a rousing speech from Randi Weingarten, AFT president, with an inspirational call-to-arms for teachers to continue the struggle for excellence in the classroom. We were then the recipients of an equally compelling message from state Attorney General Kamala Harris, on the connection between lack of education and crime and her battle against truancy, especially in the elementary grades. She noted statistics showing that the majority of offenders did not complete high school. She is working with legislators on a package of bills aimed at improving the tracking of absenteeism and the evaluation and use of measures to keep kids in school. One phrase from the speech that especially stays with me—“it is not to be ‘tough’ or ‘soft’ on crime, but, rather, ‘smart’ on crime.”
One of the breakouts I attended was on “AB 86 and the Future of Adult Education in California” and the role of noncredit and adult education. The panelists included members of the state AB 86 Work Group and a member of the CFT Adult Education Commission. One of the most interesting points was that K-12 teachers are very aware of the situation, but many community college faculty stated they hadn’t heard about it on their campuses. We have no such worry in our district as Kris Fertel and others are keeping watch on this. I encourage interested folks to sign up for the AB 86 newsletter alerts (go to http://ab86.cccco.edu/).