Leaders and members of AFT Connecticut unions were hard at work this week in continued response to teachers’ concerns over the impact of changes to public education in our state. We’d like to provide a brief update on two critical fronts.

First, negotiations with the State Department of Education and the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) to improve teacher evaluation guidelines are continuing. Our coalition of public education advocates again met this week for ongoing discussions aimed at specific recommendations.

The specific focus and goal remains more equitable evaluation guidelines. We will continue these good faith negotiations that the PEAC process has made possible until we resolve the many issues resulting from the evaluation conundrum.

Second, the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Taskforce created earlier this month by Governor Malloy, and which includes six members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions, held its first meeting. The group focused on its mission, which is to address and resolve issues resulting from shoddy implementation of the new teaching standards, and agreed upon five principle objectives:

Defining what the Common Core State Standards actually are and are not;
Writing, integrating, and revising classroom curricula for the standards;
Developing instructional competencies to assure the standards are working as intended;
Assessing community engagement needs to address parent concerns and public misinformation regarding the standards; and
Determining actual resource needs for districts in order to assure new standards can be effectively implemented.
The task force also set an ambitious schedule of bi-weekly meetings over the next three months in order to meet their deadline of developing concrete recommendations by June 30.

More to come, and in solidarity,

Melodie Peters
President, AFT Connecticut

Steve McKeever
First Vice-President, AFT Connecticut

Patti Fusco
Pre-K-12 Jurisdictional Vice-President, AFT Connecticut

P.S. Click here for news coverage of the Common Core task force’s first meeting, which includes comments from Colchester Federation of Teachers member Barbara Johnson.