Monday, June 11, 2012

Connecticut’s Status Quo Defenders Strike Back — and School Reformers Must Strike Even Harder

RiShawn Biddle with an update from CT:

One would think that the National Education Association's Connecticut affiliate would be celebrating. After all, it, along with the American Federation of Teachers unit there, has managed to strong-arm state legislators into eviscerating Gov. Dan Malloy's school reform plan contained in Senate Bill 24 — and perhaps, even engage in a little retribution against a few school reformers in the Nutmeg State that have scored a few past victories against it.  Instead of a plan that would essentially end near-lifetime employment for even the worst-performing teacher, reward high-quality colleagues who deserve their jobs, and expanding school choice, the union and its education traditionalist allies have so far kept the status quo quite ante.

But Malloy is standing tall against the legislative cowardice, while school reformers such as the Connecticut Parents Union, StudentsFirst, ConnCAN, and the local branch of Students for Education Reform mobilizing another round of efforts to back the governor's plan. This, along with some of the waffling of state legislative leaders feeling the heat from reformers, may mean that at least half of Malloy's plan may pass after all. Faced with this reality, the NEA apparently thinks it needs to remind state senators and representatives that they won't get any of its campaign cash unless they do exactly what it wants. So the union is launching a new round of ads (on top of ones launched earlier this year) this time backing the white-washed version of SB 24 and proclaiming that the legislature is "getting it right".

The NEA's soundbite is catchy. But not even close to reality — especially when one looks at the numbers.



Connecticut's Status Quo Defenders Strike Back — and School Reformers Must Strike Even Harder

April 13, 2012 No Comments by RiShawn Biddle

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