Improving Education Requires Collaboration
Statement from CEA Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine
Encouraging parental and community participation in schools was a focal point of the teachers’ reform plan released in January. A View from the Classroom: Proven Ideas for Student Achievement offers critical actions that can better engage parents, such as promoting incentives for employers to provide time for parents to participate in school-day activities; developing a challenge grant that would promote even greater collaboration between parents and teachers; and providing training for School Governance Councils to promote cultural awareness and respect, and expand the training to all stakeholders.
Connecticut teachers are proud of their work with parents. CEA has been a champion for CommPACT Schools, a school reform model that empowers parents. And CommPACT parents have been unbridled in their praise of what CommPACT offers students and families.
Collaboration has been a hallmark of reform efforts in Connecticut. In contrast, Michelle Rhee is recognized for divisive politics as evidenced by her short-lived tenure in Washington, D.C. Why should CT citizens want to import outsiders like Rhee, when there are so many solid ideas for education reform right here in our own state? Why did the Florida legislature recently work in a bipartisan effort to reject Rhee’s proposals? These are the kinds of questions everyone who cares about public education should consider as we work to ensure high-quality schools for all students who need to compete in a global economy.