Bristol Federation of Teachers

Contact us at bft1464@gmail.com

For-Profit Education and the Origin of Common Core and SBAC — February 28, 2014

For-Profit Education and the Origin of Common Core and SBAC

‘Cashing in on Kids’ site exposes for-profit education

Cashing on on Kids photoThe AFT and In the Public Interest have launched a new website, “Cashing in on Kids“—a one-stop shop for the facts about for-profit education in America. The site profiles five for-profit charter school operators: K12 Inc., Imagine Schools, White Hat Management, Academica and Charter Schools USA. It identifies several issues that need to be addressed in charter school policy, including public control, equity, transparency and accountability. “For-profit charter schools that operate in the dark without basic public transparency and without strong public control too often put their bottom line ahead of the public interest and high-quality public education,” says ITPI Executive Director Donald Cohen. Adds AFT President Randi Weingarten: “We believe much more oversight is needed to protect students and taxpayers, but the information on this website is a means for others to see the facts and arrive at their own conclusions.”

Full article from Truthout

Teacher Evaluation Changes Imminent; Common Core Under Fire — January 29, 2014

Teacher Evaluation Changes Imminent; Common Core Under Fire

Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks on the adoption today by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) of recommendations by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Senate President Donald Williams, and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey to amend the Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation:
“The governor and legislative leaders have shown they are hearing the voices of educators and parents who have been speaking out for their students and children in our state’s schools. We have been calling for just the sort of course correction recommended yesterday to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC).
“Our political leaders have recognized that teachers, classroom support staff and administrators need greater flexibility in adapting to changes in the way we are now educating our state’s students. As the governor and legislative leaders said in their joint letter:
“‘Too much change all at once impedes teachers’ ability to be effective in their classrooms. Teachers and administrators understandably are feeling burdened and together we must take action to relieve this pressure.’
 
“We couldn’t agree more. And we believe that the options recommended and adopted today by PEAC will empower teachers to be more effective in the classroom and enable administrators to be more efficient in assessing their performance.
“Let’s be clear; we have not been saying ‘no’ to student assessments or teacher evaluations. We have been saying we need a moratorium on high stakes consequences during the transition to a new approach to teaching our children in order to get the implementation right.
“All our students deserve a quality education; their opportunities to learn should not be compromised during this transition. And our teachers need appropriate training, professional development and to be engaged in developing classroom curriculum during this time
“With PEAC’s approval of new flexibility options, our state’s children will be the primary beneficiaries of this course correction.”

 

Governor Malloy recommending changes to teacher evaluations…

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-common-core-push-back-0128-20140128,0,4058443.story

20 minute video news conference of Governor’s announcement on teacher evaluation changes…

http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=9863

An article with reaction from teachers and union leaders…

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-peac-evals-teachers-0130-20140129,0,5394563.story

Short article with video from CBS affiliate WFSB…

http://www.wfsb.com/story/24575938/teachers-looking-for-more-flexibility-to-postpone-new-evaluation

Short article with video from ABC affiliate WTNH

http://wtnh.com/2014/01/29/announcement-on-education-reform/

Video of Republican legislators calling for halt to Common Core implementation…

http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=9861

Displaced Teachers and “The Pool” — June 10, 2013

Displaced Teachers and “The Pool”

There are 9 displaced elementary teachers this year, and 17 available positions to choose from. Those teachers in “the pool” have been asked to have their preferences for next year delivered to Human Resources by Friday morning. Notification of new positions will be made to all impacted teachers on Monday. The remaining unfilled teaching positions will be posted.

Take the Common Core Survey = Help Bristol Win Professional Development — June 6, 2013

Take the Common Core Survey = Help Bristol Win Professional Development

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut and the Connecticut Education Association, has created a survey in order to better understand the needs of districts, schools, and educators in regards to implementation of the Common Core State Standards and how the CSDE can best support district implementation and meet the needs of school leaders and teachers.  The survey should only take five minutes to complete and by doing so, you will help the CSDE make informed decisions on how best to support districts in the 2013-2014 school year.

The CSDE will provide the district with the highest percentage of teachers that complete this survey by June 10, 2013 with five extra professional development slots this summer for teachers from that district.

Update and Action Needed for Reading Test Requirement — March 20, 2013

Update and Action Needed for Reading Test Requirement

All BFT members, especially K-3 and SPED, are urged to contact their legislators on this vital matter. Please click here or use the CONTACT LEGISLATORS link above to email your local state representatives.

This bill, SB 1097, must pass the Education Committee by April 3 in order to go to the General Assembly. Contact members of the Education Committee by clicking here.

Language that would eliminate the reading test component contained in SB 458 (AKA the Education Reform Bill) that passed last May is now part of SB 1097 “An Act Concerning Revisions to the Education Reform Act of 2012.” This bill was created with input from the AFT CT and CEA.

The language pertaining to the testing issue is reprinted below. Note that bracketed language is to be deleted and underlined language is to be added (Note: if you follow the link to the General Assembly web site, the language to be deleted is in red, and the language to be added is in blue).

Sec. 14. Section 10-145r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2013):

For the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and each school year thereafter, [the] each local or regional board of education [for all certified employees who hold] that employs a certified individual who holds an initial, provisional or professional educator certificate with an early childhood nursery through grade three or an elementary endorsement [and are employed] in a position requiring such an endorsement in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, shall require [all such certified employees to take the practice version of] any such employee to take a survey on reading instruction, developed by the Department of Education and based on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009. [Each local and regional board of education shall annually report the results of such practice examination to the Department of Education.] Such survey shall be completed anonymously by such employee and administered at no financial cost to such employee. The results of such survey shall be aggregated at the grade, school and district level and used in the provision of professional development in scientifically-based reading research and instruction, pursuant to section 10-148b. Such results shall not be considered part of teacher performance evaluations conducted pursuant to section 10-151b, as amended by this act, and shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200.

The entire bill can be found here.

Free Workshops for Teachers — March 9, 2013

Free Workshops for Teachers

The AFT CT is offering free workshops for teachers. All classes are held at the AFT CT office located at 35 Marshall Road, Rocky Hill CT. A light dinner is provided. RSVP by calling Carole Clifford at 860 257 9782

Common Core: English Language Arts Gr. K-2, Wednesday, March 27 from 4:30-7:30 PM

Common Core: Math Gr.K-5, Friday, April 26 from 4:30-7:30 PM

“The Acting Out Cycle” (de-escalating violent situations): Monday, April 29 from 4:00-7:00 PM

ELL for Teachers/Paras: Thursday, May 16 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM

New Professional Development and Reading Requirements — September 24, 2012

New Professional Development and Reading Requirements

Professional Development Requirements/CEU information

Public Act 12-116 an Act Concerning Education Reform

This bill eliminates the requirement that a professional certificate holder complete 90 CEU’s in order to renew his/her professional certificate. Instead the certificate is valid for 5 years and is required to be continued every 5 years.

Also instead of the CEU’s, starting, July 1, 2013, all certificate holders must participate in professional development activities. These activities must be part of a plan developed by the district PD committee. This committee was established in 2010 under PA 10-220a and still stands. This committee must include members of the bargaining unit who are chosen by the bargaining unit. This committee’s charge is to develop, evaluate and update annually the PD plan for the district. This new professional development must be offered by the district for 18 hours and  the majority of which to be delivered in small groups or individual settings  informed by evaluations. These activities shall include among others

  • Improve integration of reading, literacy and  numeracy enhancement, and cultural awareness
  •  Improve ELL teaching practices
  • Foster collective responsibility for student performance
  • Be used to improve practice  based on teacher evaluations

Be comprehensive, sustained, and intensive enough increase teacher effectiveness

 

Reading Initiatives from Public Act 12-116

  • By July 1, 2013, the State Department of Education will establish a professional development program in reading instruction
  • BY July 1, 2013, the SDE will develop a coordinated statewide reading plan for students in Grades K-3.
  • By January 1, 2013, the SDE will develop or approve a new reading assessment for Grades K-3.
  • By July1, 2013, any certified employee with a remedial reading and remedial language arts endorsement and any certified employee with a comprehensive special education endorsement will achieve a satisfactory score on the reading instruction exam approved by the State Board of Education on 2009.

BY July 1, 2014, all certified teachers serving in Grades K-3 will take a practice version of the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Ed on April 1, 2009.  Each local and regional board of education shall annually report the results to the SDE.

End of Year Wrap-Up – More Positions Saved, A-2 and A-3 Postings — June 20, 2012

End of Year Wrap-Up – More Positions Saved, A-2 and A-3 Postings

Human Resources determined today that 2 additional elementary positions will be reinstated. More teaching positions are expected to be reinstated over the summer as student enrollment increases in particular schools or subject areas.

Additionally, 45 A-2 and A-3 salary positions (coaches, team leaders, department heads, activity sponsors, etc) have been posted on the district web site. The link is here.

Instructional Support assignments are expected to be announced shortly.

8.5 Teaching Positions Saved and Pool Breakdown — June 15, 2012

8.5 Teaching Positions Saved and Pool Breakdown

With the pool complete, HR has already reinstated 8.5 teaching positions. Those whose positions were saved have already been informed and received their new assignments.

Before the recall, there were 139 teachers in the pool. Below is a breakdown based on preferences.

Choice Received Number of Teachers Percentage of Pool
First 106 76.00%
Second 13 9.00%
Third 5 4.00%
Fourth 5 4.00%
Fifth 4 3.00%
Six 2 1.00%
Seventh 4 3.00%
The Pool is Done! Teachers Will Get Assignments On Wednesday — June 12, 2012