More transparency required at community college accrediting agency

The following Op-Ed by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt originally ran in the Sacramento Bee on Aug. 26. In it, President Pechthalt urged Gov. Brown to sign AB 1942 for fair community college accreditation practices. The Governor ultimately signed the bill the following month. You can read the Op-Ed below, as well as here.

A bipartisan, unanimous vote in the Legislature doesn’t happen every day. So it’s worth noting that Assembly Bill 1942, for fair community college accreditation practices, recently passed 36-0 in the Senate and 74-0 in the Assembly.


East Bay Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s bill is on the governor’s desk. The bill has fewer requirements for its target – the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges – than an earlier version. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction for more transparency in the notoriously secretive agency, and signals that previously hands-off legislators understand that they need to monitor the commission more closely.

Over the past year, the formerly obscure private agency – in charge of accrediting the state’s 112 community colleges – has been under public scrutiny following its unprecedented and unwarranted closure order for City College of San Francisco. Its justifications related to administrative, governance and fiscal oversight issues. City College’s quality of education was never questioned.


Doing what works for school success

The following Op-Ed by CFT President Joshua Pechthalt originally ran in the Orange County Register on Aug. 26. You can read it below, as well as here.

In my home, like millions across the country, kids and parents are preparing for the beginning of a new school year. New backpacks are stuffed with folders, pencils, pens and erasers. Kids hurry off to meet friends, check out their new teachers and classes and settle in for another year of learning, physical and emotional growth and hopefully some fun.

Lurking in the background of all the excitement of another school year is a recent superior court decision that could hurt the very kids for whom the plaintiffs claim to advocate. The Vergara v. California lawsuit, nominally brought by nine students but funded and supported by wealthy businessmen David Welch and Eli Broad, threatens to hack away at provisions of the State Education Code, particularly those involving teacher seniority and due process.


Present & Accounted For

School Attendance is a Predictor of Future Success

For teacher and students alike, being part of the learning experience where thoughts are shared, assumptions are challenged and new ideas are explored can be truly magical. Unfortunately, too many students miss out on the joy of learning because they are absent from school.

The research is clear that regular attendance is critical for academic achievement. It may seem a ridiculously obvious concept, but as we celebrate the nation’s second annual Attendance Awareness Month this September, regular school attendance is an issue that needs to be addressed.


Leading the Way on Single Payer

The following is a speech CFT President Joshua Pechthalt gave at the Labor Campaign for Single Payer National Conference on Aug. 23 in Oakland

Good morning,

Thank you for inviting me to speak at your conference. I have been involved in the struggle to promote single payer health care reform for some time now but more importantly, my union the California Federation of Teachers, has supported single payer health care reform for many years.


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CFT President Josh Pechthalt welcomes 3,500 delegates to the 2014 AFT convention in Los Angeles that opened today.

2014 AFT Convention Speech

July 14,2014

Good morning convention delegates,

My name is Joshua Pechthalt and I am honored to be the president of one of the most progressive unions in the California labor movement, the California Federation of Teachers, representing more than 100K education workers from early childhood through higher education.