Charter school teachers and staff in Michigan are joining together to build a network in which we can share ideas, pool professional resources, and speak out on important issues affecting our students, our schools, and our profession. The Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff (Michigan ACTS) is committed to providing quality professional development opportunities, mobilizing the charter school community around important policy issues, and working to secure a voice in school-level decision-making for teachers and staff through collective bargaining.
Welcome to Michigan ACTS!
- Teachers at Detroit’s Largest Charter School Win Unprecedented Settlement While Hundreds of Students, Parents, and Teachers Watch Film About César Chávez
On César Chávez’s Birthday, teachers at César Chávez Academy (CCA), Detroit’s largest charter school won an impressive settlement that will return educators to the school and provide over $75,000 in back pay. Representatives from the teachers union, The César Chávez Academy Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff (CCA ACTS), reached a late deal on Mondayevening with The Leona Group—the for-profit company that manages the day-to-day operations of the charter school.
“This win could not have come on a better day,” exclaimed Rose Crowley, a Reading Specialist at CCA High School. “It’s incredible that we were able to celebrate this victory on Cesar Chavez’s birthday, and I’m elated that we were able to share this moment with hundreds of our school’s amazing students and parents.”
CCA ACTS is negotiating a first contract with the CCA Board of Directors and The Leona Group. CCA teachers were joined by over 600 parents, students, alumni, teachers, union leaders, public officials, and community representatives at a screening of the new Diego Luna film, “Cesar Chavez” sponsored by AFT Michigan and CCA ACTS. The film documents Chavez’s struggle to unionize immigrant farm workers in California. Throughout the organizing campaign and contract negotiations, teachers at CCA have drawn inspiration from Chavez’s work and his legacy as a union organizer.
Lynne Santoscoy, a social worker from the CCA Middle school will be returning to work as soon as the settlement is finalized by the National Labor Relations Board. “I’m so excited to get back to CCA and work with our wonderful students and families. I have been so supported by my colleagues and the community over these past six months. What was done wrong has been made right and we will continue to work with The Leona Group to reach a fair first contract that will make our school community an even better place to work and learn.”
At the close of the movie, hundreds gathered in the lobby to hear the announcement of Santoscoy’s reinstatement, chanting “si se puede!” in the spirit of Cesar Chavez as they surrounded her in celebration.
“This is a fitting tribute to Cesar Chavez on his birthday,” said David Hecker, AFT Michigan President. “Charter school teachers are a growing part of AFT Michigan and they can accomplish amazing things when they join together with parents and community to reclaim the promise of public education.”
For additional information regarding the history of CCA ACTS visit this link: http://bit.ly/1qwUCSkRead More
- Southwest Detroit Education March Celebrates the Legacy of Cesar Chavez; Draws Charter School Teachers from Across the Country
DETROIT, MI – Dozens of unionized teachers and staff from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Los Angeles joined with over 200 parents, students, teachers and community members of Cesar Chavez Academy (CCA) in a march through the streets of Southwest Detroit.
Throughout the event, participants shared stories of how CCA, a school founded to honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez and provide a stable an
d quality learning environment for families in Southwest Detroit, has drifted away from the core principles that unified the original school community.
“March has always been an important month for remembering Cesar Chavez. His birthday is coming up, but it was also the month when he marched from Delano to Sacramento to improve the quality of life for migrant workers. We’re here today, because our school should be a place his legacy is honored daily by our shared commitment to each other and creating the best learning environment for our students,” said Flordemaria Garay, a social worker at CCA.
“When we formed our union, we did so to participate in school decisions, create a stable school community, and work with other stakeholders,” said Rose Crowley, a high school English teacher at CCA. “When I heard the stories today from parents, community members, and teachers who have been here since the beginning, it became clear that this was always the vision for this school, and our union will play a role in returning to it.”This march also comes at a time when the teachers’ recently organized union, the Cesar Chavez Academy Alliance of Charter Teachers & Staff (CCA ACTS), an affiliate of AFT Michigan, is negotiating a first contract with the CCA Board of Directors and the Leona Group.
Gloria Kosilla, a former board member at CCA whose children attended the school, added “CCA was founded to help children in our neighborhood became educationally empowered under a vision of community, over the years I have watched The Leona Group move away from this vision. I am proud of the teachers for forming a union and believe that they can help steer the school towards its original mission.”
Over a hundred teachers heard this message, many of whom traveled from across the country to support their colleagues at CCA. Chris Baehrend, Vice President of the Chicago Alliance of Teachers & Staff, explained why today’s march means so much to other teachers in charter schools, “I came here today because I believe that teachers play an important role in shaping the culture of a school. Today I saw how invested parents and teachers are in CCA and in each other. Those of us who work in charter schools, whether in Chicago or Detroit, we can participate in making our schools better places to learn and better places to work.”
- Activating Learning in All Disciplines
AFT Michigan Presents:
Activating Learning in All Disciplines
Registration opens soon!
Earn a certificate for 3 hours of professional development. The goal of this workshop is to help teachers develop techniques that engage students while supporting attainment of core proficiencies.
Lift content off the page and integrate skills recommended by the Common Core State Standards as the proficiencies that should cross all disciplines. Can students learn core concepts from any subject yet practice listening, recalling, re-telling, and time-sequencing the critical thinking skills as well as learn how to take notes and make presentations in very engaging lessons? The answer is "yes!" In this workshop, participants develop a toolkit for activating student learning and core concept skill building. This workshop is free to participants.
What: Free workshop exploring how to engage students while supporting development of skills recommended by the Common Core State Standards.
When: Saturday, March 8th, 2014 8:30 am - 12:00 pm (with light refreshments from 8:30 to 9:00)
Where: AFT Michigan, 2661 E. Jefferson Ave, Detroit MI 48216Read More
- Setting Measurable Objectives: Afternoon Session of FREE PD!
AFT Michigan Presents:
Setting Measurable Objectives
REGISTER HERE: http://bit.ly/PMsetgoals
Earn a certificate for 3 hours of professional development. The goal of this workshop is to help teachers create a toolkit of effective strategies to set measurable learning objectives and assess student understanding.
At the completion of every unit, students should be able to demonstrate measurable distinct skills and knowledge. The accuracy of assessing student understanding of content begins with crafting objectives that are measurable. In this workshop, attendees will develop strategies for how to write effective objectives using a rubric; Participants also come away with a framework for considering ways of measuring student understanding. This workshop is free to participants.
What: Free workshop exploring how to set measurable objectives and assess student knowledge.
When: Saturday, February 15th, 2014 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm (with light refreshments from 1:30 to 1:45)
Where: AFT Michigan, 2661 E. Jefferson Ave, Detroit MI 48216
This is not only a great learning opportunity, but a fantastic chance to network with other people in education and learn about the exciting things happening in Detroit’s schools. Register here: http://bit.ly/PMsetgoalsRead More