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Posts tagged ‘Connecticut teachers’

CEA Summer Conference, Day Two: The Deep Dive

John Mastroianni and Tiffany Reynolds

Trumbull Education Association President John Mastroianni and Tolland teacher Tiffany Reynolds exchange ideas at CEA’s Summer Conference.

Energy levels remain high on day two of CEA’s Summer Conference, where hundreds of teachers have reconvened in Cromwell for intensive training, networking, and the sharing of ideas, concerns, and best practices.

“This is my second time attending,” says Tolland teacher Tiffany Reynolds. “The first time was last year, as an emerging leader. Since then, I’ve worked on two grievances, and I’m here to learn how to do that more effectively so that I can be the best advocate for my colleagues.” Read more

August Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

There may only be a few weeks of summer left, but that leaves plenty of time for vacation and some back to school shopping. Don’t forget to check out the discounts available to NEA members through NEA member benefits!

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for August 2018

NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for August!* Read more

BEA Plays Pivotal Role in School Reform

CEA Field Representative Michael Brady and Bridgeport Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Kase present Curiale School’s turnaround plan to the State Board of Education this morning.

The Bridgeport Education Association (BEA) is a strong and collaborative partner in developing strategies to implement Connecticut’s new reform law, Public Act 12-116. That’s the essence of commendations delivered this morning by state education officials and the Bridgeport school administration at a meeting of the State Board of Education in Hartford.

Among its many changes, the law provides for new “Commissioner’s Network” Schools, and Bridgeport’s James J. Curiale School is among the first four selected to develop a school turnaround plan. CEA Field Representative Michael Brady and Bridgeport Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Kase presented their plan today that is far reaching—impacting everything from the length of the school day and year along with additional student instruction and intervention to extensive professional development for teachers to new enrichment opportunities for students. Read the complete plan here.

The plan says that the “school’s greatest strength is its staff.” Kase today described BEA “as a strong and active colleague and an extremely close partner and collaborator” in developing the new turnaround plan. State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the union and the school administration have worked tirelessly in recent months to develop their plan — approved by the State Board today and scheduled for initial implementation in the upcoming school year.

“Your gearing up is truly a miracle. I want to commend Sandra and Mike. You truly innovated.” said Pryor. Kase said, “There is hope in Bridgeport for the first time in a long time. Teachers have rallied. They have been asked to do a monumental task.”

CEA’s Brady told the State Board that Curiale, like other schools in Bridgeport, has suffered from a severe lack of resources and instructional material and many teachers are excited about the state assistance, upwards of $1 million, along with help from UConn’s School of Education and social service agencies, that comes with being in the Commissioner’s Network.

“You’ve hit the mother lode of bringing in the whole community. This is at the heart of whether the change can be sustained—the teachers have to be part of this and the parents,” said State Board member Terry Jones.

BEA President Gary Peluchette could not attend today’s Hartford meeting since he was meeting with teachers in Bridgeport on developing new evaluation plans. He said that the “Curiale plan is thanks to the hard work of teachers Gregory Furlong, Jennifer Keleman, and Katie McLeod, who serve on the school turnaround committee. It’s gratifying to see their extraordinary talent recognized as they made their voices heard and had teachers’ needs addressed in the plan. They are representative of other high-quality teachers who staff our schools and will collaborate on districtwide reform—something that’s necessary to meet the needs of all stakeholders.”

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.