Now here is some good news for Connecticut teachers… (For those of you who like irony).
A relatively new organization dedicated to giving YOU (teachers) a voice is expanding in Connecticut.
Just take a look.
They call themselves Educators 4 Excellence.
Their statement of purpose is based on their belief that, “For far too long, education policy has been created without a critical voice at the table: the voice of classroom teachers.”
So a group of dedicated individuals formed a new, “teacher-led” advocacy organization that “elevates the profession by giving teachers a meaningful voice in the policies that shape our careers and classrooms.”
According to their website, “E4E teachers come together to learn about policy-making. We bridge the gap between those who make and implement policy by sharing our ideas with policy makers and influencers. E4E teachers take action in three different ways—we advocate for more teacher leadership and collaboration at our schools, push for district and state policies that include our ideas and get involved within our union and district to ensure that decisions elevate student achievement and the teaching profession.”
And now Educators 4 Excellence (E4E) is dramatically expanding their operation here in Connecticut where they are hiring a Managing Director of Policy, Connecticut, a Managing Director of Outreach, Connecticut and an Outreach Director, Connecticut.
Of course, those who have heard of E4E know they tend to skip over a few details about their history and their relationships.
Formed as a not-for-profit corporation under Delaware law in 2010, the group went from having a revenue stream of $339,000 in their first year to $1.9 million in their second. Their rent went from $5,800 to $56,000, you can now find them just off Times Square in New York City and their use of consultants went from 0 to over $200,000.
As explained in a December 2011 Wait, What? blog post, although Educators 4 Excellence is silent on the issue, their primary funding comes from the Gates Foundation and other national education reform groups. E4E was set up by the corporate education reform trifecta of Education Reform Now (ERN), Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).
Interestingly, those same groups were the primary funders behind the multi-million-dollar, anti-teacher, anti-union television advertising campaign that ran during the Chicago teacher’s strike.
Educators 4 Excellence is also headed by…
Wait for it…Two former Teach for America (TFA) recruits.
As a “teacher-led” advocacy group, their stated goals are to end seniority, institute merit pay and replace tenure with what the group calls “earned tenure,” in which teachers who are able to push up standardized test scores are provided with greater job security and financial bonuses.
In addition to their headquarters in New York City, Educators 4 Excellence has already created chapters in Los Angeles and over the past year have been targeting Minnesota and Connecticut.
In their first year, Educators 4 Excellence primarily focused on supporting Mayor Bloomberg’s effort to destroy tenure in the New York City Schools. They wrote, “We applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to make tenure decisions more meaningful.” Last year, the group was one of the most vocal supporters of New York’s ill-fated teacher evaluation system.
As noted in last year’s Wait, What? post — and perhaps it is only an uncanny coincidence — but during the major education reform battle in New York, the groups that created Educators 4 Excellence ran television ads that included one parent saying, “Albany’s listening much too much to the teachers union,” while a second parent, looking to the camera, followed up by saying, “Stop listening to the teachers union.”
The company that produced those anti-teacher, anti-union ads was SKD Knickerbocker.
SKD Knickerbocker is the same company the produced the most offensive, anti-teacher ads that were run in support of Governor Malloy’s education reform bill and is the same company that was hired to do ads in Bridgeport in support of Mayor Bill Finch’s effort to eliminate a democratically elected Board of Education and replace it with one appointed by him.
SKD Knickerbocker was also the company created the advertising that used in the two extremely expensive “independent expenditure” campaigns that took place during last year’s Connecticut legislative elections and that sought to elect two candidates that education reform lobbyists thought would be the most supportive of Malloy’s education reform efforts.
Meanwhile, if Connecticut isn’t your state of choice, Educators 4 Excellent are also filling or have recently filled positions for a Founding Executive Director, Minnesota, Outreach Director, Minnesota, Managing Director of Outreach, New York, Outreach Director, New York, Outreach Director, Los Angeles and Managing Director of Policy, Los Angeles.
So, the good news for all you teachers out there that feel our elected officials have turned their backs on the teaching profession, (other than at times of extreme crisis when there are cameras around), don’t worry because E4E will be changing all that.