Saturday, July 14, 2018

CFT Local 4681 Endorses AB 2098 - Immigrant Integration Metrics

San Mateo Federation of Teachers
Local 4681 of
California Federation of Teachers
Representing the Teachers of San Mateo Adult School

July 14, 2018

Re:  AB 2098 (McCarty and Thurmond) - Support

Dear Assembly Members McCarty and Thurmond,

We the teachers of CFT Local 4681 are writing to thank you for authoring  AB 2098 -
the bill that establishes immigrant integration metrics. We are very much in support of it.

We are teachers at San Mateo Adult School.  Most of us teach English as a Second Language.  
Others teach in the GED and High School Diploma, Career Tech Education, or Fifty Plus (Older Adults)
programs. Our school is part of ACCEL, the Regional Consortium providing Adult Education for the
County of San Mateo.

A few facts about the area we serve:

  • As of 2010, San Mateo County ranked fourth among counties in California and eight across the nation in the concentration of foreign-born residents.
  • Between 2000 and 2010 San Mateo County’s immigrant population increased more than any other county in California, from 25.5 to 33.3 percent.
  • Learn more about Immigrants in San Mateo County

Our school excels at immigrant integration.  We are often cited as a model of “how to do it” for
other Adult Schools and Adult Ed programs throughout the state.  

Examples of immigrant integration in action at our school:

Adult Education was restructured during the period of public education cutbacks following the global
financial meltdown.   The focus was narrowed from a broad mission that had always included
immigrant integration to college and career readiness.  It’s place in the budget was even changed
from K-12 and/or Higher Ed to Work Force.

College and career are important.  But they don’t stand unless they are founded on community.
As we see when we look at the current state of our nation - this is not just about Adult Education or
immigrants.  This is about human beings and what enables us to function in healthy ways. STEM - without ethics - becomes abuse.  Knowledge - without values - is dangerous. A nation - without civics - courts collapse. Human beings - however much they seem able to thanks to technology - do not live in isolation.  They - we - live in community. In order to do so relatively peacefully, with some measure of health for both the group and the individuals which constitute it, we must understand each other, have and use relational skills, abide by a set of common rules and customs, and agree on methods to address the problems which invariably arise.

Adult Education has always emphasized these points and taught the skills that support them --
until it was restructured in the recent financial collapse.  In the midst of a recession, one can
understand how an emphasis on workforce skills might seem the answer. But back up a minute
and look at how we got into that financial meltdown.  Were the bankers and Wall Street executives
responsible for that catastrophe gainfully employed? Very much so. What then, caused the collapse? Failure to regulate themselves or their industry - a lack of ethics - was embedded in what happened.  Workforce training isn’t all of what is needed in the midst of a recession. That’s why the New Deal included more than just jobs - it included civic renewal projects, banking regulation, history, the arts, and protection for labor.    

Employment alone also does nothing to inoculate against divisiveness.  Again, we need only to look
around at the current state of affairs in our nation to understand that a job doesn’t stop bullying,
cruelty, or abuse.  It doesn’t stop trolling on the Internet, hacking of elections, or manipulation of
public sentiment. It doesn’t prevent hatred from seeping into civic and workplace discourse or
slow the march of the KKK in our city streets.  Education does - education that includes an emphasis
on our common values, rule of law, and underlying unity.

Immigrant integration - skillful, ethical civic and community engagement - sets the compass for
immigrants to function as powerful engines of civic, community and economic health  - in addition
to functioning at top level as parents, family, and neighbors.

This is what we want, right?  We want residents of California to speak a common language, to be
great parents raising great kids, friendly neighbors who pitch in and help out in times of need,
coworkers with skills to help workplaces thrive and businesses excel, contributors to the mighty
enterprise that is California, shoulders to the wheel, hearts open and wide, hands ready to help.   

That’s only possible when immigrants have the skills that immigrant integration programs provide.

If AB 2098 doesn’t pass through into law, we fear that these programs will lose funding. In fact just
today we found out that funding for our EL Civics program was cut by half.

In today’s world, what isn’t measured, often isn’t seen and isn’t funded.

It’s urgent that AB 2098 is pushed forward into law.  If we can help you in that work,
by providing you with evidence of the value of immigrant integration programs, let us know.  
We have plenty of evidence at our school and are ready to provide it in writing or by speaking at
committee hearings.

On behalf of the members of CFT Local 4681,

Cynthia Eagleton
Vice President of CFT Local 4681
ESL Teacher at San Mateo Adult School

Slide from San Mateo Adult School
 Student Leader Presentation about
Student Leadership and Immigrant Integration
Presented at the
2017 CCAE Bay Conference 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Adult Ed Staff and Supporters!

Good and urgent news:

Good news:  Allies and CCAE have made great progress in pushing forward a way for us to measure ---

because let's face it, right now at this point in US history, everything has to be measured ---

community "success" --- specifically immigrant integration metrics.

Why is this important?  Because in order for something to get funded, legislators need to see and measure it.   That's how things work. If we want something funded - we need to show a need, show how the need is met, measure results, etc.

If we can measure immigrant integration, it will be possible to get it funded.

Some schools promote college, career, and community --- but officially, statewide, the mission of Adult Ed is essentially college and career.


We Need to Support AB 2098

What’s AB 2098?

AB 2098 is legislation sponsored by

* Kevin McCarty - a former Adult School student out of Sacramento -
* and co-sponsored by Tony Thurmond - out of West Contra Costa, who has been a big supporter of Adult Ed and is running for Calif Superintendent of Education  ---

that requires the California Department of Education to use immigrant integration metrics.

From CCAE:  This bill would  require CDE to categorize the various EL Civics COAAPs into eight categories that paint a complete picture of effective integration into American society. 

Let’s break that down:  

  • metrics are a way to measure something.
  • Immigrant integration is when immigrants successfully merge into US culture.

Examples of immigrant integration:

  • Disaster preparedness - earthquakes, fire, etc.
  • Attending a PTO meeting at your child’s school
  • Attending a parent-teacher or IEP meeting regarding your child
  • Attending a City Council meeting
  • Getting a library card, accessing educational resources
  • Volunteering - at the Second Harvest Food Bank, SPCA, Neighborhood or Beach Clean-Up, etc.
  • Learning how democracy works
  • Participating in democratic systems, including Student Council
  • Becoming a citizen
  • Voting
  • Getting involved in local community events and organizations
  • Safe health practices - individual/public health
  • Safe driving, safe disposal of motor oil

Info from CCAE and Allies

You can read all about AB2018 here. in this info sheet from CCAE - California Council of Adult Education.
Read about Immigrant Integration on the Allies website.

Urgent News

The Chancellor of Community Colleges is pushing back on AB2098.  This is a big problem. We need to act now to show our support.

What can you do?

  • You can - and should - write a letter or email and share a copy of it with CCAE

What to do:

  • Write a letter or email in support of AB2018 - explain why you think immigrant integration is important
  • Give examples - disaster preparedness, civic engagement, understanding and participating in democracy, volunteering to help elders, people in need, children, animals, the environment, etc., support and engagement in children’s education, using the library,
  • You can write one letter that you send to the same people
  • Send the letter or email to Kevin McCarty, Tony Thurmond, and the state legislators who represent you and/or our local San Mateo reps (listed below)
  • Send a copy of your letter or email to Dawn Koepke who is spearheading support for AB2098 for CCAE ---

Sample Letter

Don’t worry about it being perfect.  It can be brief and to the point.

Legislators generally already have a lot of facts.   What they need is

  • To know who you are - teacher, staff member, former student
  • to know how much people want something - is there a big need for it?
  • Stories that illustrate why something is needed and/or why it works
  • Offers of help - it’s hard to get legislation pushed through into law
  • Lists of organizations, schools, people who are behind something - that helps when they are talking about it, making a case for it

Sample Letter

Dear ------------------,

I’m a ESL teacher at San Mateo Adult School writing in support of AB 2098.  I know how important immigrant integration is - I see it every day. When our students learn how to volunteer in the community, participate in events at their child’s school, or become an officer in our Student Council - everything changes.  From even a single one of these events, they grow in confidence and then begin to seek out new opportunities to participate in and contribute in civic life, their child’s education, and day to day interactions with neighbors and co-workers. It changes how they view themselves and the community in which they live.  They become real participants and contributors - empowered and empowering. That benefits everyone.

Right now, we can’t measure that - and we need to - because it’s a vital part of what we do in Adult Education.  It needs to be recognized and funded - and measuring its success is part of how that happens.

Thank you for sponsoring this bill.  Please push as hard as you can for it.  If there is something specific staff at my school can do, please let us know.  We are very much in support of the bill.


Cynthia Eagleton
ESL Teacher at San Mateo Adult School 20 years plus

Other possibilities

Provide a bullet point list of immigrant integration of your students
Note that this needs to be measured because Adult Ed is not just career and college readiness - that doesn’t capture everything we do.
Provide links to blog posts about student accomplishments.
Provide student quotes.

To see a fancier type letter which really goes into the facts and lays out a case for AB 2098, here’s the South Bay Consortium for Adult Education’s letter.

Don’t stress out about writing a perfect or fancy letter.

  • Write your own letter.  
  • Brief is okay.
  • Writing an imperfect letter is more effective than stressing out about not being perfect and then not doing anything and then rationalizing that your letter wouldn’t have been good enough anyway.  
  • Think about what you tell students, friends, and family when they are afraid of making mistakes.
  • And then take your own advice.  

Contact Info for Legislators

Bill Sponsors McCarty and Thurmond:

Thank them and give them evidence to use pushing the bill forward

Assembly Member Kevin McCarty
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 942849,  Sacramento, CA 94249-0007
Tel: (916) 319-2007
District Office:
915 L Street, Suite 110,  Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 324-4676

Assembly Member Tony Thurmond
Capitol Office: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0015, Tel: (916) 319-2015
District Office: Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2201, Oakland, 94612
Tel: (510) 286-1400

Remember to email a copy of what you write and to whom to
Dawn Koepke:

Writing your own legislators

  • Tell them who you are
  • Tell them you support AB 2098
  • Tell them why you support it
  • Remind them you are a constituent or work in their area

Find your legislators:

Local legislators for San Mateo area:

  1. Senator Jerry Hill:

  • Capitol Office State Capitol, Room 5035, Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 651-4013
  • District Office   1528 South El Camino Real, Suite 303, San Mateo, CA 94402      Phone: (650) 212-3313

2. Assembly Member Kevin Mullin:

  • Capitol Office: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0022               Tel: (916) 319-2022
  • District Office: 1528 South El Camino Real, Suite 302, San Mateo, CA 94402        Tel: (650) 349-2200

3. San Francisco area legislators

4. Hayward area legislators

Capitol Office: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0020
Tel: (916) 319-2020
District Office: 22320 Foothill Blvd, Suite 540, Hayward, CA 94541
Tel:  (510) 583-8818

Remember to email a copy of what you write and to whom to
Dawn Koepke: