Bridgeport teacher Michael Brosnan testified before joint Congressional subcommittees today.
Bridgeport is Connecticut’s largest school district, serving more than 23,0000 students, but the Bridgeport Public Schools have an annual teacher attrition rate of 10-12 percent. Today Bridgeport teacher and early leadership institute coach Michael Brosnan told members of Congress that, “While welcoming fresh faces each year, or in the middle of each year, was certainly a pleasure, it did little for school stability or student achievement.”
Brosnan was speaking at a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment titled Educating our Educators: How Federal Policy Can Better Support Teachers and School Leaders.
“We’re plagued by perpetual underfunding and that means we face many obstacles. Recruiting teachers and retaining them is one of them,” Brosnan said. Read more
The bilingual Talented and Gifted (TAG) program at Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport aims to engage students, give them leadership skills, and expose them to the world outside their classrooms. TAG teacher Ana Batista’s seventh and eighth graders got all that and more on a recent trip to the State Capitol where they had the opportunity to be recognized on the House floor, meet state representatives from Bridgeport, and have their photo taken with Governor Ned Lamont and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.
Bridgeport students from Cesar Batalla’s bilingual Talented and Gifted program and their teacher Ana Batista (at right) had the chance to meet U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes and Governor Ned Lamont during a recent trip to the Capitol.
The Greater Bridgeport Latino Network organized the trip for the students on Bridgeport Day at the Capitol, which began with State Rep Christopher Rosario showing them around the building and explaining the work of the legislature. The students were then ushered onto the floor of the House, where they saw Bridgeport’s newest State Rep. Antonio Felipe, a former Cesar Batalla student himself, sworn in. Read more
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Governor Ned Lamont talked about his bill to recruit more people of color to the teaching profession today at Harding High School in Bridgeport.
“I want to make sure people know teaching is the most valuable profession in the world,” said Lamont. Read more
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature’s Education Committee heard public input on today.
CEA members, leaders, and staff testified on a number of bills, ensuring teachers’ perspective was heard.
CEA member Sheena Graham, a performing arts and choir teacher at Bridgeport’s Harding High School, has been named Connecticut’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Along with her colleagues and students gathered in the school’s media center this morning, CEA President Jeff Leake and Vice President Tom Nicholas were on hand to congratulate Graham as the announcement was made to resounding applause.
Bridgeport’s Sheena Graham is named 2019 Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
“Sheena is a truly generous educator who has high expectations for her students and is passionate about reaching each and every one of them,” said Leake. “Her commitment to her students and her willingness to challenge herself represent all that is great in the teaching profession. Sheena instills compassion and empathy, making sure her students understand the need to take care of themselves, one another, and their community.” Read more
What do the events of 40 years ago have to do with teachers’ lives today? A lot, it turns out.
Active and retired teachers who gathered this May to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Bridgeport Teachers Strike reflected on how the lessons from the strike are still very relevant to teachers today. As teachers work to ensure the best for their students and keep the teaching profession strong, the motto of the strikers, “We stick together,” is still crucial today to ensuring success.
On the morning of their promotion to middle school, fifth-grade girls from the Walsh School in Waterbury had a special visitor.
Sharing her story as an immigrant and English learner, Georbina DaRosa answers questions from fifth-grade girls at Waterbury’s Walsh Elementary.
About to embark on a promotion of her own—starting on her master’s degree at an Ivy League school—Georbina DaRosa had also once been a fifth-grader at Walsh, back in 2006. Like many of the girls she would now be speaking to, she had struggled as a child and faced incredible odds. With help from her teachers, she beat the odds and dispelled many myths—about immigrants, about ethnic minorities and females, and about public schools—every step of the way. Read more
Second-grade teacher Michelle Amaranto prepares her classroom at Barnum School.
Even before their first official day back, many teachers spend days preparing their classrooms, supplies, and lessons. This Monday was the first day Bridgeport schools were opened up so teachers could get back into their classrooms, and teachers at Barnum School were setting up bright and early, but they weren’t alone.
Several of the teachers prepping their classrooms had help from family members as they took on the many tasks necessary to get everything student-ready. Read more
Seventh grader Dajonique Small gave a presentation on the brain at TAG night, explaining that the brain is so small, and weights so little, but is responsible for so much.
The leadership skills that Bridgeport students have learned thanks to the bilingual Talented and Gifted (TAG) program at Cesar Batalla Elementary School came in handy earlier this spring when budget cuts threatened the program.
At the end of March, students learned that their beloved program might be cut so they organized on their own during lunch time to save it, said TAG teacher Ana Batista. “They made posters, and the older students went to city hall to protest before a City Council meeting,” she said. “I was really impressed with the kids.”
The bilingual TAG program at the K-8 school was on the list of programs slated to be cut when the amount of aid the city would receive from the state remained unknown. The City Council has managed to spare the program for now, though other Bridgeport programs and services still face cuts. Read more
Incoming Bridgeport Education Association President Rob Traber speaks before the State Board of Education this morning.
Today a local CEA leader — representing Bridgeport teachers — made an impassioned plea to the State Board of Education asking that the board reject new charter schools in the city because the vast majority of Bridgeport students would be hurt by that action.
Despite the plea, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the Great Oaks Charter School in Bridgeport and the Booker T. Washington Academy in New Haven to open in the fall and the Stamford Charter School for Excellence and Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport to open for the 2015-16 school year. Read more