REd APPLES is proud to be closely aligned and affiliated with two of the six organizations (ConnCAN and Connecticut Council For Education Reform) that released the following statement regarding their disappointment over the modified version of Senate Bill 24 that passed in the Education Committee on Monday. We are pleased that our Norwalk Representative, Gail Lavielle also expressed her dissatisfaction with the watered down bill, and as a result voted against it in Committee.
The new version of the bill diminishes the ability to intervene in low performing schools and postpones administration and teacher evaluation models. We completely acknowledge and accept the critical role of parent responsibility in a child’s educational success, BUT we also want to draw attention to a flaw that has developed over the years in education; whereby we see virtually no credible accountability measures in place for evaluating the competency or effectiveness of staff, in the classroom or school building, once hired into a district. Ineffective staff, get shuffled around until they retire and/or staff that could benefit from ongoing professional development do not get it. When compared to any other sector in society, private or public, this just seems wrong. While 85-90% of educational staff are effective in their performance, there still exists a significant percentage of staff that are not. These staff (both administrative and classroom) may be having no impact or even an adverse impact on a child’s future performance in the so-called three R’s of reading, writing or arithemetic. Other consequences of an ineffective evaluation process, includes the ongoing impact of low moral, on an overall building, when an employee’s poor performance is not appropriately documented and subsequently handled.
Below is the joint press release regarding the handling of Senate Bill 24:
HARTFORD—Six education and business groups* today came together to express disappointment over the modified version of Senate Bill 24 that passed the Education Committee on Monday and the process by which it was negotiated. Here is their statement:
The new version of S.B. 24 fails to move forward with several of the bold proposals Governor Malloy put forth, and it signals a lack of urgency to fix the fundamental issues that plague Connecticut’s public school system.
The process by which changes to this bill were negotiated excluded the voices of Superintendents, Boards of Education, principals, parents, community leaders, and students. The result is a bill that reflects compromises that appear to be brought on by pressure from the teachers unions.
In this process, the Education Committee watered down or delayed many of the important reforms originally proposed. As it is now written, this bill will not bring about the reforms Connecticut’s students need. Next week, our organizations will convene to issue a formal statement and analysis that outlines our specific concerns about the current version of the bill.
We are hopeful that bipartisan legislative leaders, committed to providing all students a high-quality educational program, will involve all stakeholders during the next phase of this legislative process, and will work in partnership with Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Pryor to return the tenets of bold reform to this bill. Collectively, we must get this right for Connecticut’s children.
* The groups are: Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN).