Over the next week, the leadership of the Connecticut Education Association will be deciding whether to follow the lead of the American Federation of Teachers and endorse Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy, the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers working in the poorest school districts or whether they will endorse another candidate or whether they should make no endorsement in this year’s gubernatorial election.
Here are some of the issues that Connecticut’s public school teachers should be mulling over;
Issue #1: As has been noted repeatedly, no other Democratic governor in the nation has proposed doing away with tenure for all public school teachers and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the poorest and lowest performing public schools. At a candidate debate earlier this month, Malloy tried to clarify his infamous observation that teachers need only show for four years to get tenure by saying,
“I should admit that was bad language. It wasn’t about them. It was about tenure… I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize for saying it.’”
Wait, What? … Malloy’s comment wasn’t about teachers, “It was about tenure?
If Malloy thought he deserved the support of Connecticut’s teachers, why hasn’t he publicly renounced his anti-tenure, anti-collective bargaining proposal?
Issue #2: Governor Malloy’s education reform initiative requires teacher evaluation programs to be linked to standardized test scores despite the fact that standardized tests scores are primarily influenced by poverty, language barriers, and the lack of special education services for students rather than teacher performance. On the other hand, there are multiple teacher evaluation models that do not tie teacher evaluations to unfair, inappropriate and misleading standardized test results.
If Malloy wanted to show he understands the challenges facing teachers and public education why hasn’t he said that, if re-elected, he will decouple the mandated teacher evaluation system from unfair standardized testing?
Issue #3: When running for governor in 2006 and 2010, Malloy admitted that Connecticut’s present Education Cost Sharing Formula is outdated and inadequate. As Mayor of Stamford, Malloy was one of the original plaintiffs in the critically important CCJEF v. Rell court case, but as governor he has spent the last four years trying to get the case dismissed and then postponed until after this year’s election.
If Malloy believes he deserves the votes of teachers (and parents and taxpayers), why won’t he simply say that if he gets a second term in office he will settle the CCJEF v. Rell lawsuit and use the CCFEF Coalition’s expertise to fix Connecticut’s broken school funding system?
Issue #4: As Governor, Malloy has increased state funding for privately-run charter schools by 73.6% while providing Connecticut’s public schools with only a 7.9% increase in support. Virtually all of the new funding was allocated to the state’s 30 so-called Alliance Districts (with major strings attached). The result has been a loss of local control for Connecticut’s poorest towns and no meaningful support for middle-class towns that have become even more reliant on regressive local property taxes.
If Malloy wants teachers, parents and public school advocates to vote for him, why hasn’t he announced that he will institute a moratorium on additional charter schools and devote scarce public resources to where they belong…Connecticut’s real public schools?
Issue #5: COMMON CORE AND THE COMMON CORE TESTING SCHEME
The Common Core and its associated massive Common Core Testing Scheme have become particularly controversial. Tens of millions of dollars are being wasted on the massive standardized testing program. In addition, the Malloy administration has repeatedly lied and mislead parents about their fundamental right to opt their children out of the new tests.
If Malloy wants a second term, why hasn’t he ordered his State Department of Education to be honest with parents (and teachers) and tell parents that they DO HAVE A RIGHT TO OPT THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE COMMON CORE TESTING SCHEME and why does he continue to support the implementation of the Common Core and its massive Common Core Testing program?
These and many other important education issues will face the individual who is elected in November.
Before endorsing or supporting or voting for any candidate, Connecticut’s public school teachers (and every other Connecticut voter) should ask why Malloy has failed to adequately address these important issues.
Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto