Teacher-led organization that gives teachers a meaningful voice in policy is expanding in CT!

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, MinnesotaManaging Director of Outreach, New YorkOutreach Director, New YorkOutreach 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.

  • Querculus

    I think we need some editorial quotation marks around “teacher-led!”

    The E4E website fooled me a few months ago when I was looking at it, but only fooled me for a few minutes. All the ed reform/ privatization sites seem to have the same sort of slickly packaged and expensive look. It is obvious that big money is behind it. And big money in this society only looks to grow bigger…..

    Real educators remain the David facing the Philistine’s overgrown champion.

    Glad that there are some well aimed slingshots out there in the blogosphere.

    Privatization of schools can and will be stopped. It’s a matter of how much collateral damage the privatizers will do while they milk the system for huge money before the general public gets wise.

    • Linda174

      Please watch this video…repost or send to friends and colleagues. The word reform has been hijacked and race to the top is a stimulus plan masquerading as school improvement:

      http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/dont-miss-this-chicago-video-repost-widely/

      • JMC

        Very interesting video, L. What I don’t yet know about Emanuel’s plan in closing these neighborhood schools (pardon my ignorance) is what he plans to do with the students, teachers, and staffs. Does he plan to shift the rubric through this painful dislocation to the “reformist” charter schools/Vallas/for-profit format. Is this the case?

  • JMC

    Thanks so much, Jon, for your great work on behalf of real teachers and real students. And real schools.

  • Kristen Record

    If you want to learn about an actual teacher-led organization interested in policy, leadership and advocacy: http://www.nnstoy.org

  • mookalaboona

    I can’t stand these hypocrites.

  • Tom Burns

    For a second I thought you meant it and didn’t know this group E4E was funded by Gates to have two teacher neophytes start a group that would seem to be by teachers for teachers–but this group is just a front for the corporate take-over people and the leaders themselves quit teaching to go into this new façade of a profession ala Michelle Rhee—they couldn’t hack it in the classroom so they took another path–what a joke–thanks for letting everyone else know about these self-serving phonies–another CONN-Can and Students Last movement–stay in New York, you are not welcome here–Tom

  • Pingback: Dogs for Excellence | EduShyster()

  • Linda174

    An E4E update from Edushyster and from the grave of Leona Helmsley:

    http://edushyster.com/?p=2629

    Excellent teacher 1: Know what I’ve been thinking about?
    Excellent teacher 2: Does it start with ‘A’ and end with ‘Y’?
    Excellent teacher 1: Holla!
    Excellent teacher 2: I am like so totally sick of not being held accountable for the college readiness of my students.
    Excellent teacher 1:OMG are you a mind reader??? I was just thinking the exact same thing!
    Excellent teacher 2: You know what we should do? We should start a grassroots group of teachers to demand teacher evaluations that hold us accountable for whether our students are college ready!
    Excellent teacher 1: OMG. That is brilliant! But wait a sec—since we’re a grassroots group of classroom teachers, how are we going to bake enough gluten-free, nut-free cupcakes, the sale of which will fund our grassroots movement?
    Excellent teacher 2: Hmmmm. I guess you’re right. If only there was someone up there who believed in accountability the way that we do…
    Somewhere in the distance the faint barking of a dog can be heard…

  • Brooklyn Teacher

    The first give away that E4E are phonies is that they can’t even remember how to spell “for” in their name! I guess they weren’t counting on the support of English teachers, or anyone who attended a school of education.

  • Patrick

    Recent news about Educators 4 Excellence: their LA branch recently took to using its member email subscriber list to solicit likes for one of their employee’s Chloe and Isabel jewelry Facebook pages. We have also been made aware of rumors beginning to circulate in the LA area that E4E posts open positions in order to attract out-of-work teachers, getting them to sign up for E4E and complete surveys, which bolsters their membership. The candidates are then told, sometimes months later and after numerous interviews, that they will not be hired. Apparently even the LA Times is looking into it.

  • Honeycomb

    Poorly conceived and highly political. My guess is this and other groups like it will blow away into dust in the next few years