The BFT is proud to have many teachers who have written to state legislators, attended an AFT Legislative Breakfast, and gone to one of Governor Malloy’s town hall meetings. Those of you who have not contacted your state representatives yet are urged to do so soon. Simply write from the heart, telling your own struggles as an educator in an urban district, the challenges you face each day, and the frustration you feel at being targeted as a scapegoat. Additionally, here are a few talking points:

  • Teachers should be held accountable and for that reason I fully support comprehensive and fair teacher evaluation systems.  But bad teachers cannot fire themselves.  When administrators and superintendents fail to do their jobs, they should also be held accountable.  How does your bill hold administrators and superintendents to the same level of scrutiny as teachers?
 
  • SB 24 limits and restricts teachers’ collective bargaining rights.  Collective bargaining is not what’s wrong with our education system.  If anything, teachers need more of a voice in education reform.  In numerous districts, collective bargaining has been the vehicle through which innovative reform has been developed.  Why have you attempted to curtail my collective bargaining rights? 
 
  • Why would I take a chance to teach in one of the state’s lowest performing schools if I don’t have the job protections provided in a collective bargaining agreement?
 
  • Your proposal links certification to a teacher’s performance as evaluated by an unfinished system.  We should be certain that we move quickly, but carefully to get evaluation right before we begin building other programs on top of it.  Otherwise, the entirety of the reforms you propose will fail.  
 
  • Teachers earn tenure after four years of successful teaching, which is determined by their performance evaluations.  Tenure is not the reason our schools are struggling.  Many students in urban and poor districts come to school hungry, without appropriate medical care and without a safe place to live.  What does your proposal do to address the significant socioeconomic issues that children bring with them to the classroom?  This is where the achievement gap begins and where it first must be addressed.
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