Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Teaching the Legacy of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta

When we are really  honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us.  So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of people we are. ..I am convinced that the truest act of to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice.
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993)

by Duane Campbell
On March 31, 2017, Eleven states and numerous cities will hold holidays celebrating labor and Latino leader Cesar Chavez. 
Conferences, marches and celebrations will occur in numerous cities and particularly in rural areas of the nation. A recent film Cesar Chavez: An American Hero, starring Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta presents important parts of this union story.  With the work of the Chicano/Mexican American Digital History Project their story of union organizing will begin to be covered in all public school history texts in California this year, 
The current UFW leadership, as well as former UFW leaders and current DSA Honorary Chairs Eliseo Medina and Dolores Huerta are recognized leaders in the ongoing efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the nation.
UFW President Arturo Rodriquez says, “We urge Republicans to abandon their political games that hurt millions of hard-working, taxpaying immigrants and their families, and help us finish the job by passing legislation such as the comprehensive reform bill that was approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote in June 2013,” Rodriguez said. “The UFW will not rest until the President's deferred relief is enacted and a permanent immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, is signed into law.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Guide for Teachers on Immigrant Children and Trump Attacks on Immigrants

 Tools and Resources to help protect immigrant youth and their families in case of ICE, immigration, raids and enforcement efforts.
Prepared by the American Federation of Teachers.
Excellent resources.
Downloadable copy  at

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump Lies About Immigrants

Journalist Jorge Ramos
President Trump has made up three tall tales to criminalize, criticize and reject immigrants in the United States. These stories are full of lies, but he’s repeated them so often that many Americans have started to believe them.

So let’s refute all three, one by one.

1. Undocumented immigrants are criminals.
This is Trump’s core story. When he launched his presidential bid in June 2015, he famously said that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are “bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime; they’re rapists.” And during his first speech before Congress recently, he again likened immigrants to “gang members, drug dealers and criminals.”
Here’s the truth about undocumented immigrants in the U.S.: A huge majority, 97% in fact, are good people. That number comes from a Migration Policy Institute study, which found that less than 3% of undocumented immigrants have committed a felony. It also found that American-born residents are twice as likely to commit a felony as immigrants are.
Crime statistics also demonstrate a correlation between having more undocumented immigrants and lower crime rates at the national level. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. tripled, from 3.5 million to 11.2 million. During that time, violent crime in America dropped by 48%, according to data from the FBI. Despite these facts, Trump insists on vilifying immigrants, and continues to push his “bad hombres” myth.
2. Immigrants are costly for the United States.
Another lie — and one that’s easy to refute by doing the math. Yes, it’s true that undocumented immigrants benefit from some social services and that their children get free public education all the way through high school. That costs money — but immigrants also contribute by paying taxes and creating jobs. The greatest irony is that undocumented workers also contribute part of their earnings to Social Security and Medicare, services from which they will never benefit.
In fact, immigrants contribute more than $2 billion to the economy every year, and produced some $54 billion dollars in net gain from 1994 through 2013, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences. Trump blames immigrants for being a burden on the country, but they give back much more than they take.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Teachers Will Be a Formidable Force Against Trump | The Nation

Teachers Will Be a Formidable Force Against Trump | The Nation

CTA: 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 every public school and college a place where we prepare the nation's young people to contribute to our society, economy and citizenry. 
California must continue to lead the nation. The 325,000 members of CTA 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 children, regardless of family circumstances, where they live, where they were born, how they look, who they love, or the language they speak have the right to a public education that helps them reach their full potential. 

Participate in May 1 actions.
Why May 1?

May 1st has been historically linked to international worker' rights. On May 1, 1886, the U.S. Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions (including immigrant workers) ruled that an 8-hour work day, would be a full and legal work day. NEA and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) are also holding a national day of action on May 1. May 1, or May Day, continues to be a national day of action to raise awareness about immigration rights and the need to keep families together as they fight for a better life.  How can I get involved?

CTA is asking our local chapters and members to hold actions with parents and community members at their local school sites. Actions may include "walk-ins" with parents and community members, unveiling new safe zone policies and safe zone resolutions, taking the pledge, hosting community meetings, and more. Please join our Facebook group and fill out our form to let us know how you are participating.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sacramento Marchers Demand Sanctuary State Laws

Duane Campbell

Over 1,500  marchers from around California descended on the Capitol on Wednesday  March 15,  seeking to pass SB 54: The California Values Act which would significantly prohibit local law enforcement from coordination with federal immigration agents.  While many cities and counties have sanctuary policies, this bill would  make it a state law and shield many immigrants from mass deportation efforts of the federal authorities. The bill is strongly opposed by the Association of County Sheriffs who manage county jails and receive federal funds for their cooperation.

  The massive demonstration on Wednesday was organized primarily by PICO of California and supported by immigrant rights organizations up and down the state.  The events began at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento in Sacramento, and then marchers proceeded to the Capitol to hear a rousing support speech from the President of the California Senate Kevin de León.
PICO is a structured multi racial organizing project with roughly equal participation and leadership from African American, Mexican, Latino, and Anglo religious traditions.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kamala Harris biography

Excellent podcast on the life history of Senator Kamala Harris on the Axe files, with David Axelrod.

The High Cost of Defunding State Universities

GREATER SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: The High Cost of Defunding State Universities: Seth Sandronsky, Last month a seven-member panel met in the state Capitol to discuss the calamitous funding situation of the Californi...

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Sacramento City Unified Declares Schools Safe Havens

Community leaders pledge support for the district’s efforts to inform every student and their families of the legal rights of the undocumented by distributing tens of thousands of ‘know your rights’ fliers at all schools, coordinating with community organizations to provide legal resources in classrooms, and covering all campuses with banners and lawn signs promoting inclusion and welcoming all students.

SACRAMENTO, CA—The Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) today announced the launch of a campaign to protect its undocumented students and staff amid growing fears of deportation in immigrant communities. The campaign is the first of its kind in California and is the next step in SCUSD’s national leadership on protecting and standing up for undocumented students and their families. District leaders were joined today by State Assemblymember Jim Cooper, City Councilmember Eric Guerra and dozens of students, teachers and community members.
“Our Safe Haven policy was the first step we took to protect our kids,” said SCUSD Vice President Jessie Ryan. “Today, we are taking an even bigger step by launching a full campaign to make sure every undocumented student and parent in our school district knows their rights if approached by immigration officials.”

A Day Without A Woman

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Republicans Pursue Vouchers and Privatized Education

The Choices in Education Act 2017 (HR 610), introduced Jan. 23 and now in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which has provided federal funds to address inequities in public schools since 1965. In its place, block grants would go to states that have adopted voucher plans, enabling parents to use public funds to enroll their children in any public or private school. While over 100 bills are now in this committee and most will die there, the fact that this one embodies Secretary Betsy DeVos’s vision for education suggests it will likely be taken up.
This bill is misguided for several reasons. First, while evidence should guide policy, evidence does not show that voucher programs consistently improve student learning. Mark Dynarski of the Brookings Institute analyzed the research in a 2016 issue of Evidence Speaks Reports. He found mixed results: while some students benefited from the New York and Washington, D.C., programs, the same cannot be said of the Milwaukee program. The two most recent and largest studies found that public school students who received vouchers to attend private schools in Indiana and Louisiana, both with statewide voucher programs, actually achieved worse than their counterparts in public schools. Dynarski suspects one reason is that public schools have improved over the last few years, closing what previously had been an achievement gap between them and private schools.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A Message from Rethinking Schools - Re LGBTQ students

Rethinking Schools joins civil rights and LGBTQ organizations in their opposition to Trump’s scrapping of protections for transgender students under Title IX.

Transgender students should have the right to use locker rooms and bathrooms in alignment with their gender identity.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared, "The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states-rights issue.” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claimed, “This is an issue best solved at the state and local level.”

Calls for “local control” and “states’ rights” echo the white supremacist rationales of the 1950s and '60s when segregationists used the same language to defend Jim Crow practices and to derail federal civil rights legislation.

Trump’s action, authorized by both the Justice and the Education Departments, offers a scary preview of the future of Title IX and its enforcement. Parents, students, and educators need to stand together to defend the rights of transgender students.

Our recently published book Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality is one resource that people can turn to for guidance and inspiration. Winner of the 2017 American Library Association Stonewall Honor book in the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award category, this book is a collection of stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into our curriculum, to make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families.
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