Connecticut teachers are sharing their stories with legislators in the hopes of diversifying teaching in Connecticut, where more than 40% of the student population are children of color, while educators of color comprise only about eight person of the teaching force.
From right, teachers Marquis Johnson, Windsor; Sheena Graham, Bridgeport; and Faith Sweeney, Westport; were among those who testified in support of a bill to help diversify Connecticut’s teaching force. Bloomfield teacher Elka Spencer (at left), testified in support of strengthening a social-emotional learning bill.
Teachers testified in favor of Senate Bill 390, An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention, which would assist more minority teachers in obtaining teacher certification; develop a plan promote careers in the teaching profession to students in high school; and to establish a task force to study educator retention and sustainability. Read more
The 2019 Connecticut legislative session ended at midnight last night, and, thanks to your advocacy, we were successful at achieving some of our top priorities.
Watch CEA Executive Director Don Williams’ summary of what we accomplished this session.
Safeguarding Teacher Pensions
The General Assembly has passed a fair, responsible state budget that ensures the long-term security of teacher pensions. Read more
CREC Education Association President Lisa Cordova testifies before the State Board of Education about a new program to recruit, prepare, and train ethnic minority teachers.
CEA is developing and supporting a number of initiatives—from public policy to practice—to ensure that Connecticut’s teaching force better reflects the diversity of its student population.
Lisa Cordova, president of the CREC Education Association, testified this morning before members of the State Board of Education about one such initiative—created by CREC—that is aimed at recruiting, preparing, and retaining greater numbers of ethnic minority teachers.
“We hope you share our enthusiasm for our program and grant us the opportunity to begin in June,” she told the Board.
The CREC Teacher Residency Program would place highly qualified minority teaching candidates with active class practitioners—exemplary CREC teachers who would mentor and guide them in sound instructional practices.
“This residency program was developed and would be taught by CREC classroom teachers, who understand what a candidate needs to create an effective learning environment,” Cordova said. “We are proud of the collaborative spirit that created this comprehensive program, which addresses the continuing need to have teachers of color instructing CREC students,” she added, noting that the program’s development was a joint effort of CREC teachers and district administrators, with support from CEA.
Look for details about this and similar initiatives in the next CEA Advisor.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Hamden Education Association members including President Diane Marinaro, standing at right, had a number of questions for Rep. Mike D’Agostino, Rep. Josh Elliott, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, and Senator George Logan.
“Politicians make decisions that affect our students and our profession,” says Hamden Education Association Vice President David Abate. “Sitting back and waiting isn’t a solution. I don’t like politics, but for legislators to know what’s going on in our schools they have to hear from teachers.” 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
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified yesterday before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
CEA members and staff, including CEA Research and Policy Development Specialist Orlando Rodriguez, CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas, Westport educator Faith Sweeney, community organizer Shamare Holmes Bridgeport teacher Tiffany Ladson-Lang, and Stratford teacher Kristen Record shared CEA priorities with the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus yesterday.
“It is vitally important that members of the caucus hear from teachers and get a clearer understanding of what’s happening every day in our schools,” says CEA Director of Government Relations Ray Rossomando. “Teachers came from every corner of the state and stayed late into the evening, on a school night, to testify before their elected officials about what matters most to their students, their profession, and the communities where they teach. That has an impact.” Read more