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Patch's Poll: Did Malloy Give Up Too Much On Education Reform?

Compromise calls for piloting a new 'evaluation and support system' for teachers in 8-10 school districts.

 

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a compromise on education reform cleared the legislature and has the approval of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

As part of that compromise, Malloy's proposal to overhaul the teacher tenure system has been changed into a test program that will be implemented next year in eight to 10 school districts before it is rolled out to the rest of the state.

In a win for Malloy, the bill does reform the state's tenure statute by stating that "ineffectiveness — not merely incompetence — is the standard of dismissal."

Did Malloy bend too much to the wishes of the Connecticut Education Association, which fought hard to push back his proposals on teacher tenure reform? Or did the compromise show that the legislative process took teachers' legitimate concerns into account?

Take our poll and tell us what you think in the comments.

Elizabeth Wilson May 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
None of the above. It is not about fairness to teachers as much as it is about what is in the best interest of our students. About 80% of Malloy's bad ideas were eliminated from the final bill because legislators held strongly to what makes sense in school reform and opposed measures aimed at scapegoating teachers while making a landmark name for Gov. Malloy. His message, that came through loud and clear in his promotion of the bill, was that if only teachers and schools would try harder our students would achieve more. Teachers who work in "failing schools" choose to be there because they believe in the potential of every at risk student in their building. Most of these teachers give unheard of amounts of their personal time, energy, and finances year after year in search of the best way to reach struggling student and troubled children. There are many ways to document the social, emotional, and academic growth students make in one year and standardized testing isn't one of them. Gov. Malloy's plan to tie CMT scores to teachers' certification and salary would only have succeeded in forcing some of the best teachers to head to more affluent neighborhoods where CMT scores are higher, leaving the neediest students ever farther behind.
Waterford Guy May 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I agree with the above comment. Until some real reforms go into place, like voucher systems that make schools compete for students, or an outright privatization of the school system (never going to happen), kids are going to suffer. How disheartening to turn an entire year of a kid’s life into some standardized test score. Even worse is to boil down 12 years of a kids life down to a few test scores. These kids are people, not some arbitrary number to be used a bargaining chip for or against a certain teacher’s salary. Any tenure reform should have been focused on making sure the really bad teachers get fired easily. By this I mean the very small percentage of teachers who abuse, molest, and otherwise traumatize the captive children. Malloy is following the failed progressive playbook of the last 100 years: throw more money at the problem, thinking that will somehow solve the issues with our failing public education system.

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