Post date: Feb 21, 2012 5:42:03 PM

This is a call to action!

Tuesday and Wednesday the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly is holding public hearings on the governor’s proposed education agenda contained in Senate Bill 24. CEA and many members who have committed to testifying will have a strong presence standing up for your rights, your well-deserved respect, and education reform that is meaningful and research based.

As you know, Governor Malloy has based some of his proposals on his offensive perception that teachers just “show up.” We all know teachers obviously do more than “show up.” In fact, teachers lead classrooms every day with dedication, and they are well aware of specific ideas that are proven to be successful in increasing student achievement and that is the message we will be delivering over and over to legislators today and tomorrow as well as in the weeks ahead.

We also need you to do your part as a constituent of a state senator and a state representative who will have the final say in the kind of education reform the legislature passes. Please contact them - they need to know that the teachers’ view of school improvement provides the best perspective for meaningful and lasting change - change that will enable our students to compete in a global economy.

Specifically, lawmakers need to know that real change and shared accountability for even better schools starts with the following:

§ Requiring school districts to develop educator evaluation plans collaboratively with teachers based on strong state standards and implemented consistently with support to help teachers improve and excel.

§ Fixing tenure and dismissal by requiring due process based on just cause, which ensures that a neutral hearing officer can issue a binding and timely decision in a termination hearing.

§ Connecting teacher licensing to teacher training and advanced coursework beyond a bachelor’s degree in order to be responsive to the real and changing needs of student learners.

§ Ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of state aid - critical funding that does not strip public funds from local schools.

§ Engaging parents by creating innovative and positive ways to increase involvement in schools and reinforce lessons with their children at home.

§ Rejecting proposals in SB24 (the governor’s education bill) that would weaken collective bargaining, link a teacher’s licenses to a supervisor’s evaluations, shift new funding away from local public schools unfairly, and impose experimental programs that have not been proven to work.

Finally, please tell your legislators that it’s only commonsense that teachers’ voices and their experience are necessary to ensure practical and research-based education reform. High-quality teachers are the greatest asset in public education. Legislators need to take advantage of our experience in the classroom and our knowledge of how to help students succeed.

You can – in fact I strongly urge you to – take this opportunity to contact your State Representative or State Senator and ask him/her to support the proposals made by you and your colleagues in, “A View from the Classroom.” You can call or email your State Senator and State Representative using the following link and phone numbers below.

Senate Democrats 1-800-842-1420

Senate Republicans 1-800-842-1421

House Democrats 1-800-842-1902

House Republicans 1-800-842-1423


Phil Apruzzese

CEA President