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Helping Students Succeed by Listening to Teachers

On January 3, CEA released an education plan that includes reforming the teacher evaluation process and replacing tenure with a streamlined dismissal process for underperforming teachers.

At a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, CEA shared A View from the Classroom: Proven Ideas for Student Achievement — a comprehensive education reform plan developed by teachers.

“There’s no greater asset to improving our public schools than teachers. Teachers are in the classroom every day; they know what is needed to prepare students for the economic challenges ahead. We are proposing specific ideas that can make a real difference to improve education for Connecticut students,” said CEA President Phil Apruzzese.

CEA Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine said, “We cannot build a strong local economy in Connecticut unless we have high quality education, and we cannot have high-quality schools without adequate funding, small class sizes, and involvement of parents and communities to transform local schools that need help.”

She continued, “Teachers will do their part — we propose creating an evaluation system for teachers that uses multiple indicators of quality teaching, and we propose developing a streamlined dismissal process to remove underperforming teachers.” The plan also includes far-reaching proposals such as creating partnerships among communities, parents, teachers, and students to transform chronically low-performing schools with methods tailored to each school; requiring schools to provide health and social service supports to disadvantaged youngsters.

Apruzzese said, “Teachers lead classrooms, and our voice is necessary to ensure meaningful education reform. We want to create the conditions to make teaching a respected, supported profession. We look forward to engaging in a positive, collaborative dialogue with lawmakers, parents and everyone who’s interested in improving the quality of our public schools and preparing our students for tomorrow’s challenges.”

The CEA news conference was held two days in advance of Governor Malloy’s statewide forum on education reform at Central Connecticut State University that included education leaders from around the nation and state.

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