Malloy Urges New Tenure Rules for Connecticut Teachers
I confidently predicted great things when CT Gov. Daniel Malloy – a Democrat, no less! – appointed my friend and ed warrior Stefan Pryor as Commissioner of Education last September (see: http://edreform.blogspot.com/2011/09/stefan-pryor-charter-school-founder.html). My enthusiasm was validated last week, as Gov. Malloy outlined a number of very bold steps, including:
· Overhauling teacher tenure and certification (including a brand new teacher evaluation framework which includes student achievement as the single greatest factor);
· Intervening in low performing schools with a new Commissioner's Network that will take over and turn around failing schools;
· Upping the entrance requirement at teacher prep schools from a B- to a B+ average;
· Increasing the per pupil expenditure for, creating new budgeted slots for, and requiring a local contribution to state charter schools (as well as enhancing the local charter model and increasing funding for other public school choice options including magnets);
· Removing red tape (data gathering requirements upon districts, teacher certification changes, etc.); and
· Investing in and creating a rating system for early childhood education
They key, of course, is to get this legislation passed, but this looks good as the union seems to be taking a conciliatory and cooperative attitude. Here's an excerpt from the NYT article below:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed a broad set of education initiatives, including major changes to teacher tenure, on Wednesday in his second State of the State address, a speech that found his efforts split between unfinished business from his first year in office and a new agenda for his second.
Mr. Malloy, a Democrat, cast himself as a governor focused on educational innovation in a state with the nation's largest achievement gap between largely white suburban students and largely minority urban ones, even if that put him at odds with traditionally supportive constituencies, like teachers' unions.
He said teachers could get tenure just by showing up for work, which he called unacceptable.
"Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away," he said in a joint legislative session at Connecticut's ornate House chamber.
…Mary Loftus Levine, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, disputed Mr. Malloy's characterization that teachers can get tenure just by showing up, and she said the union supported efforts to improve training, certification and evaluation procedures for teachers.
"Tenure is not a job for life," Ms. Loftus Levine said. She said the governor's speech was consistent with the union's support of effective evaluation systems that are already being used, effective professional development and a more streamlined system to deal with teachers who do not get appropriate results.
"I think we have a lot in common, but the devil is in the details," she said.
A 16-page presentation about CT's proposed reforms is posted at: www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/pressroom/educationreform2012.pdf
Here are links to other articles about this: http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-state-board-education-0211-20120210,0,2870855.story, http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-opening-day-tenure-0209-20120208,0,6622515.story, http://m.nhregister.com/nhregister/db_274878/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=dduUaCpU&storycount=49&detailindex=4&pn=1&ps=10, http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Malloy-proposes-network-to-aid-failing-schools-3076620.php, http://m.nhregister.com/nhregister/pm_107299/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Ji23OMdC, and http://articles.courant.com/2012-02-08/news/hc-opening-day-tenure-0209-20120208_1_tenure-system-teacher-evaluation-system-mary-loftus-levine
February 8, 2012