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A Valid Alternative to Senate Bill 24

CEA continues to encourage people to read the teachers’ reform plan, A View from the Classroom: Proven Ideas for Student Achievement, developed by a cross-section of teachers with expertise in the classroom. It’s a commonsense, research-based alternative to the governor’s proposed bill, with proven ideas that work.

CEA and its members know that Connecticut needs to reform its statutory dismissal process,  including the mistaken notion that tenure means a “job for life.” It is as misunderstood as it is outdated.

It is time to end teacher tenure as we know it, while ensuring jobs are not threatened for petty personal or political reasons that have nothing to do with classroom effectiveness. It is time for Connecticut to reform the dismissal process so that it is speedy, more cost-effective, and fair.

The plan calls for

  • Shortening, by a third, the time it takes to carry out the dismissal process by reducing the statutory timeline from 120 days to 85 days and make other changes that could reduce the timeline even further.
  • Reducing the hearing cost by requiring one arbitrator versus the current system that allows up to three arbitrators, each billing for multiple daily charges.
  • Protecting against unfair firings by providing a speedy hearing in front of a single neutral third party.

Teachers ideas are in sharp contrast to positions being advanced by some other groups. Watch a clip from a news conference yesterday below.

You can find a list of members of the legislature’s education committee here. If your legislator is a member of the education committee, call or send an email and let him/her know what will really work to improve the quality of our public schools.

  1. Vicki DeLeo #

    Here’s something to think about: I just read an article about Diane Ravitch’s book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System; How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. Here’s the link from CEA:

    This is an excellent article that should be a wake-up call to all teachers about the so-called reform movement, and why the alternatives presented in A View From the Classroom make so much more sense than the punishing, destructive proposals currently floating out there.

    There is, however, one nagging question: Diane Ravitch was the darling of the “No Child Left Behind” era, which started this whole mess. She was, at the time, extensively quoted, and interviewed, and was all over the media. You couldn’t pick up a Time or Newsweek magazine, or any newspaper, without reading what Diane had to say next.

    Now, after one of the bravest decisions ever from a researcher, she has reversed her position and recanted, citing statistic after statistic, and a growing body of evidence that screams how wrong-headed NCLB and the so-called “reform” movement is.

    Where is the media now? Where are the interviews and the articles now? Where are the educational summits with our leaders now? Why is no one listening to Ms. Ravitch now?

    Perhaps it’s because the truth isn’t nearly as profitable as perpetuating the lie embraced by the so-called education “reformers”.

    February 20, 2012
  2. CEA’s President and Executive Director held an impromptu news conference with reporters from across the state immediately after the governor’s State of the State address. You can read samples of that coverage at — scroll to Local and National News section at the bottom.

    February 17, 2012
  3. Vicki DeLeo #

    I have done exactly what CEA has asked of me regarding the education reform proposals. I have contacted my legislators, and will continue to do so, but no one is listening to us. Toni Boucher’s comment calling the architects of the governor’s proposal “super heroes” says it all. Seriously? How many more like her on the education committee share this opinion? How many more have already made up their minds?

    It must be said: this governor is NO supporter of teachers or education. He is, in my opinion, a hypocrite who stood up in front of teachers at Summer Leadership and lied through his teeth not one year ago. How is that being addressed?

    CEA made a huge mistake by not addressing this more aggressively and letting the governor know in no uncertain terms that the abuse, degradation, discrediting and disrespect of teachers has got to end. We are not the problem – failed policies, mandates, edicts and wrong headed legislation – just might be.

    February 16, 2012

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