The National Education Association (NEA) and Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today applauded Rep. Jahana Hayes, longtime NEA and CEA member as well 2016 National Teacher of the Year, on her introduction of the Pell Grant Restoration Act, H.R. 4298.
“Jahana Hayes has spent her entire adult life fighting for students, first in the classroom and now in Congress. She knows all too well about how students—often from low-income households and communities of color—are lured into for-profit colleges only to find that the college is more focused on profits than putting students on a pathway to success. And too often, when these for-profit colleges fail, it’s the students who are left holding the bag. That is why educators applaud Rep. Hayes’s Pell Grant Restoration Act, which would allow students who were victims of predatory for-profit colleges to get a fresh start and have a second chance at a higher education with a full slate of Pell benefits,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.
“Jahana knows firsthand the importance of education and the need to provide our students with opportunities to grow and succeed. We support her efforts to give students who were victims of the predatory lending practices of some for-profit colleges a second chance to secure much-needed education funds and student aid to complete their education. It’s critical for Congress to pass the Pell Grant Restoration Act, introduced by Congresswoman Hayes, to ensure all students have the chance to reach their full potential and live the American dream,” said CEA President Jeff Leake.
U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes today returned to the school in Waterbury where she taught for fifteen years to highlight legislation she has introduced to keep guns out of classrooms. Joined by students, teachers, parents, and other members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation in front of Kennedy High School, Hayes said she scheduled the event after school, at a school, because, “For far too long, these conversations have been happening without the input of those most directly affected.”
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes stood outside John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury today with students, teachers, parents, and community members to highlight legislation she has introduced to keep guns out of classrooms.
Hayes recently sponsored a resolution in the House aimed at blocking the use of federal education grants to arm teachers. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy sponsored similar legislation in the Senate. Recommendations by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ School Safety Commission have left the door open for districts to use federal funds to arm teachers, and the Connecticut lawmakers want to ensure taxpayer dollars will never be used for this purpose.
“Teachers should not have to worry about securing a firearm in a school, or being trained to use a firearm in a high-pressure situation,” says Hayes. Read more
“This history teacher is making history,” 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes told her supporters at a victory celebration in Waterbury last night. “I am honored to be your next congresswoman.”
Five months after announcing her candidacy, former Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes won her bid for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District seat—defeating opponent Manny Santos by a margin of 148,000 to 116,000 votes. She will be the first African American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress.
“Your vote is your voice, and you used your vote and you used your voice to vote for me,” Hayes said, thanking supporters. “We need somebody in Congress who is us, who understands us, who understands what we’re going through.” Read more
Former Vice President Joe Biden hits the campaign trail for Connecticut’s pro-education, pro-union candidates.
In a rousing speech at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, where a rally was held this afternoon for gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont, former Vice President Joe Biden urged Connecticut voters to cast their ballots for pro-union, pro-education candidates. Read more
“You chose this profession because you wanted to make a difference, and that means standing on the front lines for democracy,” CEA President Jeff Leake told nearly 200 educators gathered for CEA’s 18th annual New Teacher Conference on Saturday. “It means protecting education for the common good; keeping schools safe for our students; fighting discrimination; and resisting political interference into our classrooms while acknowledging that politics affects our work, our livelihood, our communities, and our planet. Because we are on the front lines for democracy, we will always rise to our duty to educate for democracy, stimulate critical thinking, and shape global citizens.”
2016 National Teacher of the Year and Congressional Candidate Jahana Hayes gives the keynote address at CEA’s New Teacher Conference.
Pointing to a “CEA Stronger Together” button he wears every day, Leake added, “This reminds us that our collective voice is so much more powerful than just one voice and that the best way to improve the fate of our students, our profession, and our communities is through the collective action of democratic, independent unions.” Read more
With less than four weeks left until Election Day, dozens of CEA members, staff, and leaders—joined by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle—came out to Danbury this weekend in a show of support for 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who is running for office in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, a former Waterbury teacher, is championed by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle and CEA President Jeff Leake.
“Everything is at stake,” Hayes told the crowd, referring to mounting threats to public education and teachers’ rights to bargain for fair wages and working conditions. “I represent a lot of people—the voices of a lot of people—who are saying, ‘No, we will not accept this. No, this is not O.K. This has to change, and we will not be forgotten.’ And there’s so much responsibility in that.”
Pringle, a middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, captured the current education struggle with the words of W.E.B. Dubois, who said, “The freedom to learn has been bought by bitter sacrifice. So whatever you might think about the curtailment of other civil rights, you must fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn.” Read more
At a rally this weekend, Jahana Hayes thanks teachers and other union members for their support. For more rally photos, visit CEA’s Flickr page.
Chanting “Labor is your neighbor,” dozens of union members—including fellow educators—gathered on the Meriden town green Saturday to show their support for teacher-turned-Congressional-candidate Jahana Hayes. Hayes is vying for the House seat in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.
A former Waterbury educator and Connecticut Teacher of the Year, Hayes was named National Teacher of the Year in 2016 and spent the following year traveling across the country, advocating on behalf of public education, and listening to educators, administrators, community leaders, and others about issues that impact students, families, and communities.
“Jahana is a strong champion and advocate for Connecticut students and teachers,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “She has overcome numerous challenges and has taken every opportunity to improve her own life and the lives of others. She is exactly the type of person we need fighting for all of us in Congress.” Read more
“Jahana Hayes is someone who is not just pro-teacher but has a hands-on understanding of what goes into our profession, the things we need to be successful, and the challenges we face. She has the ability to be really advantageous for us,” says Zach Blain, an East Haddam teacher and the president of his local association.
Blain was among a group of CEA members learning about political activism and organizing at CEA’s Summer Conference this year. The group learned the ins and outs of advocating for pro-public education candidates when they went door knocking for Hayes, a former CEA member and the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. CEA has endorsed Hayes, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Summer Conference attendees Fairfield teacher Marion Richards, Portland teacher Jerome Manning, Glastonbury teacher Miles Lubben, and CREC teacher Jesecia Miller visited CEA members who live in Cheshire this week to get the word out about Jahana Hayes, the Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year who is running for Congress.
National Teacher of the Year and Waterbury educator Jahana Hayes spoke in favor of a recommendation that the State Board of Education approved that prohibits mastery exams from being used in the calculation of teachers’ summative ratings.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) showed its commitment to students and teachers today by voting to remove state mastery test results from teacher evaluations.
“This is a big victory for students, teachers, and public education,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The voices and expertise of teachers were heard and addressed by policymakers who did the right thing by putting the focus back where it belongs: on teaching, learning, and student achievement.”
The SBOE voted to approve new guidelines that clearly define how mastery tests can and cannot be used. The Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) recommended the new guidelines, which say state mastery test results can be used to inform goal setting and professional learning for educators, as appropriate, but cannot be used as a measure of goal attainment or in the calculation of the summative rating for an educator. Read more
U.S. Secretary of Education John King told educators gathered at Central CT State University that “there’s tremendous work we need to do in equity.”
Students in Connecticut’s poorest schools are four times as likely to be taught by a core academic teacher who is not highly qualified. Compared with the state’s wealthiest schools, in the poorest schools there are also twice as many teachers who have been in the classroom for less than five years.
Ensuring access to experienced, highly qualified educators for all Connecticut students is a priority for all of the educators and district personnel who attended an Equity Lab at Central Connecticut State University yesterday.
The event drew participants from eight of Connecticut’s poorest districts to develop action plans for how to better recruit and retain highly qualified teachers and administrators.
“There’s tremendous work we need to do in equity,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John King who visited the Equity Lab on the last leg of his “Opportunities Across America” Tour. King said that nationwide only eighteen percent of educators are people of color.