Post date: Apr 13, 2012 4:42:51 PM
There are just four weeks left for legislators to work on getting education reform done right.
REFORM ALERT – Turning up the heat
1) New CEA TV Ad – An “explosive” new TV ad begins airing Friday.
2) Stand up for Education – Attend an upcoming CEA rally.
3) Political Activism – Stand up for education.
4) Join the Conversation - Getting teachers’ voices heard.
5) Next Steps – Take action now.
1) New CEA TV and Radio Ads
Your continued activism, combined with an explosive new CEA TV ad, a new radio ad, and our upcoming rallies, will ensure that legislators continue hearing our concerns and will support elements of Substitute SB #24 that will get education reform done right.
The new TV ad, being launched tomorrow, says that “Governor Malloy’s plan is like a bad science experiment—that’s sure to explode.” The ad goes on to say the governor’s proposal promotes unproven ideas backed by special interest groups and siphons tax dollars away from our neighborhood schools.
The ad reminds viewers that the legislature is getting it right. By supporting Substitute SB #24, legislators are moving reform forward, not backward, creating:
- 1,000 new seats for pre-K;
- a stronger evaluation system by ensuring that evaluation plans will include collaboration, professional development supports to continually improve teaching, and the validation of a new rating system; and
- more student literacy programs in our schools.
The ad concludes, “Tell your legislators to keep getting it right. We don’t need a bad experiment.”
2) Political Activism – Stand Up for Education
As you know, Substitute Bill #24 continues to be a work in progress, and your communications with your legislators must continue.
We urge you to stand up and be counted by attending a historic CEA rally on the lawn of the State Capitol on April 24 and 25. We hope you will join your fellow teachers in advocating for your profession and letting legislators continue hearing your concerns about the need to reform education the right way.
3) Join the Conversation - Getting Teachers’ Voices Heard
We appreciate all of you who have been busy writing letters, sending emails, calling legislators, submitting editorials and letters to the editor of local newspapers, appearing on radio and television shows, and getting teachers’ voices into the conversation.
- Tuesday morning, Stratford teacher and Connecticut’s 2011 Teacher of the Year Kristen Record appeared on Channel 8’s Good Morning Connecticut talking about Substitute Bill # 24. She said, “So often teachers feel education reform is done to us rather than with us, and I think the lawmakers really took the time to listen to teachers’ concerns.” Watch her appearance at blogcea.org or click on this link http://blogcea.org/2012/04/10/help-close-opportunity-gap/
- On Friday at 3 pm on The Faith Middleton Show on WNPR, Teachers of the Year David Bosso and Kristen Record discussed education reform. The link will be posted on cea.org as soon as it becomes available.
- CEA Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine has also been making the rounds on television talk shows, appearing on Fox 61’s the Real Story, WFSB TV 3’s Face the State, and "Windham Works," a Charter community access television show. The link will be posted on cea.org as soon as it becomes available.
Please tell your legislators that you support parts of Substitute SB #24, specifically elements that do the following:
- Create 1,000 new pre-K slots.
- Provide funding for needy districts for wrap-around services (social-emotional supports, family support, and physical health and wellness) and family resource centers.
- Restore collective bargaining to enhance teaching and learning conditions.
- Decouple evaluation, certification, and salary schedules.
- Improve the teacher evaluation system by ensuring that evaluation plans will include collaboration, professional development supports to continually improve teaching, and the validation of a new rating system.
- Enhance teacher standards by recognizing and requiring a master’s degree for the professional certificate.
- Create a new distinguished educator designation.
Recognizing that this “Year of Education” reform may be the most important period in a generation, please remind legislators that they can improve upon Substitute Bill #24 with the following actions:
· Add more literacy programs in schools.
· Encourage more parental and community involvement in schools.
· Elevate the teaching profession by instituting in teacher dismissal proceedings a “just cause” hearing—one afforded other employees in the public sector.
· Eliminate any reference to “money follows the child” funding, since cash-starved schools cannot afford to lose resources.
· Require accountability and certification for superintendents.
· Ensure that charter schools serve the same academically diverse student populations as public schools.
4) Next Steps
In the next four weeks, we need you to step up your efforts. Now, more than ever, we, as teachers, need to be persistent and unwavering in our commitment to ensure education reform gets done right, for Connecticut’s students and our profession.
We urge you to keep up to date on the latest reform news by reviewing articles, CEA statements and CEA news releases, as well as blogcea.org, and by visiting our social media platforms. We encourage you to sign up for our texting alert program as well.
Contact your legislators using the link and phone numbers below, and tell them a better way to improve education starts by listening to teachers. Now is also the time to set up back home meetings with your legislators.
Senate Democrats 1-800-842-1420 Senate Republicans 1-800-842-1421
House Democrats 1-800-842-1902 House Republicans 1-800-842-1423
With only four important weeks left in the legislative session, we all need to do our part and remind legislators that teachers lead classrooms every day, and our voice is necessary to ensure meaningful education reform in Connecticut.
Thank you for all your efforts.
Phil Apruzzese Mary Loftus Levine
CEA President CEA Executive Director