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Committee Moves to Delay Changes to Teacher Tenure

Education plan will continue to evolve during legislative process, according to The Hartford Courant.

The General Assembly's Education Committee approved with a 28-5 vote Monday night, but with revisions and a delay of any changes to Connecticut's teacher tenure system, according to The Hartford Courant.

Under the amended bill, any would be delayed for at least a year. Malloy's proposal to link the state's new with tenure will also be delayed with the committee requesting that the commissioner of education further study the link and report on the system's overall progress in January 2013. The bill will also decrease the amount of time it takes schools to fire a tenured teacher from 155 to 115 days.

The revised bill also decreases the amount of by $500 and eliminates the requirement for public school districts to provide $1,000 to each charter school student. In addition, the bill will increase the amount of spots available for and decrease the amount of underperforming schools included in the commissioner of education's "turnaround plan" network from 25 to 10 schools. Additional changes to the bill are expected in the upcoming weeks as if moves through the General Assembly.

“The bill the Education Committee appears set to approve represents just one step in the legislative process," Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy's senior advisor said in a statement released by the governor's office. "Governor Malloy has made it clear that he’s determined to begin fixing what’s broken in our public schools, no matter how long it takes.  In the coming weeks, members of this Administration will continue to work with legislators and other key stakeholders until there is a bill that represents meaningful education reform.”

Bushy Hill April 03, 2012 at 05:35 PM
We need VOUCHERS. If I want to send my kids to private school then I should be getting some of my tax dollars back to pay for it. Why in hell should I pay for public schools if my children do not attend them (because they stink) I pay about $26K a year in property taxes. Why should seniors that live in Simsbury be paying for my kid to go to school? This needs to stop because the seniors who are homeowners are the ones who are really getting screwed by these teacher's unions that keep sucking money from the system. The system is broke. The first step is vouchers. Then after that the next step would be parental responsibility for the cost of education.
Granby Mom April 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM
We wouldn't need to protect our teachers' jobs if there weren't parents out there to lash out and blame everyone BUT their kids for any problems (discipline, bad grades, etc. etc. etc.) You can't honestly tell me that there are not teachers who have lost their jobs because one or two parents were the loudest in the room/town so the board bent to their will (not saying that has happened in Granby, just in general). THAT is the biggest problem with our country right now - kids have a sense of entitlement - think they never do anything wrong and life is always fair no matter how hard the work - and their parents back them to the hilt. It was a problem when I was in school in the '80s and early '90s and has only gotten worse. And the next time you want to give teachers a hard time about not teaching their students, remember that in order to keep taxes down (and have our precious world languages and full day kindergarten) class sizes are going up and teaching assistants/paraprofessional numbers are going down. YOU try to keep 25 kids focus and engaged while providing individualized help to those students who need it.
Granby Mom April 03, 2012 at 06:31 PM
@Andrew - Your comment that I am biased because I am a mother is almost beneath response. Yes, I am biased - if you consider having children greedy and selfish I guess you've never had kids of your own or you would know that being a parent is about the least greedy endeavor there is! I would do anything for my children. Did your childless neighbors complain about paying for YOUR education when you were young? God willing I live to old age to pay for educating someone else's children. By the way, since I pay taxes too I AM paying for my own children's education. And since I lived in Granby before I had kids, I have already paid for other people's children's education. By your "tax exemption" logic, I should be able to opt out paying the town to collect my garbage If I opt to take it somewhere else. Should I also be able to opt out of funding the library since I don't use it? How about the funds spent to care for the roads I don't travel on? These are extreme examples, but consistent with your logic. Last point - property value in a town is usually tied at least in some way to the quality of education. So funding quality education helps EVERYONE - whether or not you have children. This is my last response to you, by the way. If you think that just because I am a parent my opinion on education and how it is funded/treated is biased or somehow less important, I have nothing more to say.
Andrew Ziemba April 03, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I do not and never have considered HAVING children greedy or selfish. I said that if you expect someone else to pay for them, then you are being greedy and selfish. If you plan to attack my opinion, then please respond to it rather than putting words into my mouth. Yes, my childless neighbors definitely complained about paying for my "education" and rightfully so. You would have to be a loon to not care about money that is being forcefully stolen from you to pay for services that you don't want and don't use and won't need. You should be able to opt out of trash collection, of course you should. Public libraries should be funded solely by the town that they are in. Roads are paid for because everyone uses them directly or indirectly. There is a very small group of people who believes that roads should 100% privatized. Perhaps some time in the future something like that can exist but people in 2012 are too archaic in their thinking sadly. You can look at what % of your property taxes go to "education" or you can ignore them. That's up to you. I would suggest that you check out. I think even people who support public education can see (if they actually check) that they are getting the short end of the stick.
Andrew Ziemba April 04, 2012 at 12:30 AM
The truth hurts. What a tragedy it is isnt it? We can only hope that people once again believe in freedom in this country.
Chris C April 04, 2012 at 01:53 AM
C. Alexander I happen to be an involved parent that has helped out, I make sure my children do their homework everyday. I also happen to know that there are good teachers and bad teachers, just like there are good and bad parents. You seem to only want to tell people how wrong they are and not allow anyone else to have an opinion. I certainly would never want such a narrow minded person teaching my children. I want teachers that will show them how to have an open mind and listen to different opinions.
Michael O. April 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Bushy Hill, the problem is equally attributable to parents and teachers. Unfortunately, homework does come home nearly daily which contains errors and for which directions are far from clear. The teacher completely owns this issue for not checking the homework someone else prepared. Second, far too many parents don't take any role in their children's education and send their kids back to school without even looking at the homework. Those kids end up slowing the class down and hence, the whole class suffers. Teachers no longer take the time to tailor the curriculum to each child, but instead show up and delivers a pre-defined plan to collect a check. Thankfully there are options like Khan Academy to augment what teachers no longer do....teach.
Maria Giannuzzi April 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM
In the past some roads were privatized and many bridges. Every time some vehicle, whether horse and carriage or automobile crossed a bridge, they would have to pay a toll. The tolls became such a burden on quick access and on commerce that the tolls were eliminated. And often there were large celebrations that took place upon the freeing of the bridge. Most of the services and activities that are now public were private in the 19th century. But private ownership and operation presented so many problems that many of these services and activities became publicly-financed and operated. There was also the question of fairness. Those without money were left out in the cold.
Maria Giannuzzi April 04, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Some individuals do not believe in the common good and the common wealth. Their ideology is every man or woman for themselves, survival of the fittest. They believe in privatizing everything. Well, there was a time when almost every activity in America was privately operated. When there was no common good, only private gain. America was a country run by the affluent and powerful, for the affluent and powerful. This ideology led to the exploitation of many of our citizens and immigrants, including children. It also led to neglect of the most vulnerable on a monumental scale.
Granby Mom April 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Might I point out that we once again seem to be painting ALL teachers with the same brush. I know several teachers to painstakingly plan out their lessons to involve all students and don't just "teach to the test" even though that is what many districts seem to want. I would also point out that if teachers were not pulled for so many administrative and planning meetings during the school day they might actually have time to teach their students. And most teachers I know are willing to offer help to students in school and after hours, as well as clarify any problems with understanding a homework assignment - whether the questions are from the student or the parent. It is too easy to stereotype an entire profession based on a few bad eggs. Let's try not to lump everyone together. @Maria - that was exactly my point earlier in this string - those who can (and want to) pay for non-public education have that option and do. But if there is to publicly funded education option, those without means will go uneducated and our economy will take an even bigger nose-dive and we will be back to the exploitation issues this country has worked to hard to overcome.
Andrew Ziemba April 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Some of us, myself included, believe that there is a much better middle ground between use of force and voluntary action. In a society with ideals like that, we would keep all of the things that have improved in society (like many child labor laws for example) but at that same time we would remove the things that are dragging down productivity and freedom. Anarchism does not work, and I do not suggest that we have Anarchy in this country. What I believe we do need however, is a society where we have the smallest amount of government possible. I think many would agree that government has been growing steadily like a tail end of a hockey stick with no end in sight to its growth. Now that's up to them if they agree or disagree with the damage or benefit that that does to our country.
dccb9 April 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM
@Andrew. You mentioned that we would "keep all of the things that have improved society." How is this any different than the system we have now? Right now, the people are free to vote into office any person they would like, including those who would drastically scale back the role of government, like Ron Paul. Yet such candidates receive very little support, even from conservatives. If the public believes that a government action does not improve society, the public is free to elect representatives to change it. The problem you face isn't with the government - it is with the vast majority of Americans who have become comfortable with big government and appreciate what the government does for them - even as they rail against it. Even "small government" types enjoy their Medicare, roads, public schools, clean water and air, national parks, national security, etc. In fact, very few major government programs are disfavored by a majority of Americans - foreign aid is probably the main one which comes to mind. So, instead of being so abrasive to the other people on here, do your movement a favor and simply state why your small government alternative is better than the status quo and let people make up their own minds. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar...
Paul Chotkowski April 04, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Let’s separate educational “reform” from the elimination of lifetime job security for unionized teachers working in the public schools in grades K-12. Would someone please provide me with a simple & cogent explanation as to why unionized teachers should have what amounts to virtual guaranteed lifetime employment [other than the fact that they have it and don’t want to give it up]. No employee should have guaranteed employment and certainly no one I pay for has the “right” or should I say “is entitled” to virtual life time employment [tenure]. Contrary to union propaganda, teachers are not special, no more so than doctors, nurses, therapists, pastors, and in today’s society it would appear that applies to even husbands and wives. My highly educated doctor does not have tenure but I still get excellent medical care! So let’s eliminate tenure because it is wrong [dare I say unfair] and then we can discuss educational reform which would require us to deal with the Progressive / Socialist’s radical egalitarianism which requires equal outcome [vs equal opportunity] at the cost of promoting excellence. Outcomes will vary unless you dumb down the process and you don’t get to have unlimited claim on the fruits of my labor to remediate maleficent parental behavior. Turn off the TV, get a library card, read to your child [daily], relentlessly preach the value of learning and stop glorifying ignorant behavior, now that would be educational reform I could support!
Andrew Ziemba April 04, 2012 at 06:20 PM
@Dccb9 Generally, for the most part...all of the good things in the last 100 years have come because of action on the part of people to demand rights, or to be innovative and creative. Generally, for the most part...all of the bad things in the last 100 years have come because of government action. The civil rights movement for blacks, women, gay, lesbian, transgender, ALL came because of people forcing them to get done.... NOT government. These are great things, but they came to happen because of PEOPLE fixing them, not government. Military industrial complex, Pharmaceutical industrial complex, Medicare and Social Security, Affirmative Action, Militarization of police, excessive laws, regulation, red tape, War on drugs, Countless Departments, Patriot act, cash for clunkers, EPA, ALL THE BAILOUTS, Planned Parenthood, Foodstamps, Subsidized housing, cell phone, house, car, NDAA...and on and on and on... ALL government subsidized and government created. ALL harmful ALL need to be done away with.
Heisenberg April 04, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Paul, It is difficult to respond to your question as there seems to be inaccuracies in it. The Teacher Fair Dismissal Law, (section 10-151.) uses the term tenure, which is achieved by a teacher after 40 consecutive months of employment. During that time period, a teacher can be let go for any reason without cause. There is no real legal protection of teachers during this time. After this period, a teacher can acquire tenure which means the contract of a teacher shall be renewed from year to year except if the teacher gives reason to a district for termination. These include 1.inefficiencies or incompetence (based on evaluations), 2. insubordination against an administrative directive, 3. moral misconduct, 4.disability, 5. elimination of the position, 6. or other due and sufficient cause. To say that tenure is a guarantee of a job for life becomes a bit more difficult to believe when you also consider that only 1 teacher in the entire state of CT has ever won a termination hearing. Add to that the fact that at least 1/3 of the teachers who enter the field leave voluntarily before 5 years of service, it appears that it might be more accurate to say that there is at least some "natural selection" built into the current system. With that said, tenure reform should happen in the areas of reducing the number of days in the process and only requiring one arbitrator instead of 3 to reduce cost for the district but also uphold the collective right to Due Process.
dccb9 April 04, 2012 at 09:09 PM
@Andrew. I think your analysis is far too overly simplistic. Things aren't so black and white. Unless you can see that, it will be hard to convince people of the validity of your views. I also think you need to acknowledge that most people think differently than you do, as evidenced by broad public support for many government programs including some which you mentioned as needing to be done away with - Medicare, the EPA (people like clean air and water), the national parks/forests/refuges, drug and food safety, the military, etc, etc. Thus, simply telling people they are wrong and that government is harmful is not going to change any minds. You need to acknowledge the validity of other people's views, understand and appreciate why they have those views and explain (not argue) why your alternative vision would be better for them and for this country. In other words, keep an open mind, be nice and respect others. That is the only way to change minds...
Paul Chotkowski April 04, 2012 at 11:38 PM
@ Heisenber thank you for the schooling but your true first and last name would give your comments and opinions much more weight. If tenure does not have value / provide protections as you appear to imply, why do unionized teacher fight so hard to keep the benefit? I think you doth protest too much! WHY DO UNIONIZED TEACHERS NEED TENURE? Doesn't tenure make them the 1% to every other worker's 99%? I hope my questions do not have too many inaccuracies for you to kindly answer! WHY ARE UNIONIZED TEACHERS "ENTITLED" TO TENURE? and IF TENURE HAS NO VALUE, WHY DO UNIONIZED TEACHERS FIGHT SO HARD TO KEEP IT? As previously stated and with no disrespect intended, teachers and teaching [K-12] is NOT more special than other callings / jobs, so why doe it require "special" benefits? Could it be that there is no legitimate reason for teachers to have tenure except the fact that unionized teachers [or at least their unions] overwhelmingly support the Democrat Party and when in power, the Democrat Party returns the favor with "SPECIAL PROTECTIONS" that none of the 99% has access to? I guess it is not about fairness or fiscal responsibility. It appears to be all about the corrupt cycle of public sector union wages, benefits and work rules rewarding political contributions to the Democrat Party?
Chris C April 05, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Paul very well said!
Andrew Ziemba April 05, 2012 at 04:41 AM
@Paul Chotkowski Ultimately it is because some people have been raised since birth to know how to work the system to get what they want by taking it with force from another person. Generally these people are very effective at doing this under the guise of helping someone else out. These people know that opportunities to exploit the population for a sustained period of time are nearly unheard of in the private sector, but are commonplace in the public sector, and so they thrive in it. They feel so strongly set in their ways and feel noble about what they do. These people have only a few cards to play though. They always say that what they are doing is for the children or the poor, or the mentally handicapped. They say you are a racist, greedy, or a bigot if you disagree with them on anything... They have mastered the art of deception to gather up votes from desperate people who feel betrayed by the system. Isn't it Ironic now that the reason public education continues to grow is because of the lack of intelligence in the population? It's like a never ending cycle. Well it's going to end soon because nobody is going to have any money for anything when our currency collapses from all of the spending. Speak of this and you are labeled a loony conspiracy theorist though. Facts are never addressed by these people. History is never cited. Their first response is always to remind you that they think you should kneel to them, by their condescending remarks. Oh well.
Ronald Burke April 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Mr Ziemba seems to know all about my educational background. For the record : I was not taught by neo Keynesians, nor wild eyed liberals or fascists or communists. Mr Ziemba has not the faintest idea about my background, so he should not be making false statements about it.
Andrew Ziemba April 05, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Cool story bro
KMG April 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Sure, eliminate tenure, start "grading" teachers, whatever. You'd have to be insane to go into education these days - to get your degree, teaching certification, pass the PRAXIS, spend every moment of your first three years writing lesson plans, doing TEAM modules and preparing for or starting a Masters program, just so you can earn, on average, $39k for your starting salary and have your every move scrutinized by folks like Andrew Ziemba - who seems to care more about grandstanding against the government than about public education, but darn it, he's going to be heard. Teaching is not a calling so much as it is a career. As we make the job of teaching more and more stressful, we can expect fewer and fewer quality teachers in our public schools. The time and effort to get a degree, the sheer amount of work that teaching entails, and the meager pay are just not worth it.
Bushy Hill April 05, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Krista Garcia: People with that type of attitude should not be teaching our children, in my opinion. If you are teaching because you want all of the perks then you obviously are going to be a lousy teacher. We need teachers who want to teach and who feel a sense of reward for doing a good job. If teachers are paid so low why is my tax bill for my schools in Simsbury so high? I can't figure that out. If those poor teachers are not getting paid who the hell is getting most of the $63 million budget? And don't say it's for buildings because the budget is higher every year so they must have thousands of buildings around Simsbury. Also enrollment has gone done not up. The reason it is so high is because of the teacher's union which demands high pensions and full medical.The board of education is filled with people (in my opinion) that only have the union's wishes in mind. They have no regard for the taxes that people in Simsbury pay because they dont care in my opinion.
Bushy Hill April 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I think that Mr. Ziemba was pretty much on the mark, but how would we know right?
Bushy Hill April 05, 2012 at 01:33 PM
VOUCHERS is the way to go. Let the tax payers decide where there children should go to school. It's fair and it needs to happen. Also tenure is totally b.s. devised by the unions. It is such bs that unions don't even practice it internally. Also the high medical expense for teachers along with the pensions they get make up for the lower starting salary. They do this in all unionized jobs.
Heisenberg April 05, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Paul, try reading the legislation first. You might be surprised by what you find. I don't care to engage in a battle of who can skew the other's comments the best to suit their own needs. You asked a somewhat straightforward question, although your summation of the concept of tenure was incorrect. My response was to provide you insight as to what the law actually says and try to help you understand the larger context. I can see you have no interest in seeing the issue in any other way but your own. Wait, what am I saying? My comments carry zero weight because I didn't provide my real name. Sorry I forgot. I guess the only options you have are to either get clarity on the matter by reading the law for yourself or ignore facts and continue with your editorializing about the groups you dislike supposedly being bent on destroying America.
Samantha Theriaque May 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Just curious but what does the fact of special ed kids in the class have anything to do with how the teacher teaches the other kids? My daughter has special ed due to a physical handicap and she has OT, PT, speech, and her own aide who are the ones providing her "extra" care. Not the "classroom" teacher. Please explain how this ties up other kids learning?
Samantha Theriaque May 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
In reply to Bushy Hill. I have had the chance of speaking to many of the teachers and faculty of our school due to my child needing special care at school. Have you ever talked with your child's teacher? It doesn't sound like you are too involved,which I have seen too often.This creates problems. You don't want to do your part, then that will make it much harder for the teachers to do their part. The teachers, thanks to the "no child left behind" act, has an enormous amount of material to include within the days that children are in school. Especially affecting those kindergarten teachers as in Vernon. Kindergarten is either half day or extended day(which only came into effect this year) which is still not enough time to teach "the curriculum" that the state requires. And just to touch base with you on the salary of teachers, they don't get paid enough in my opinion. If the Board of ED really wants to make a difference, they should be making preschool mandatory starting at age 3 (the latest), & kindergarten all day instead of half/extended day.
Samantha Theriaque May 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM
(I ran out of characters in the last message) So to continue: If more people could afford preschool, more children would be better prepared once they hit kindergarten, therefore creating better test scores in 3rd grade for the CMT. So, a great start to education reform is: instead of making preschool available in public school through an outside source(which is extra $ for parents), make it part of the public school system so parents can send their kids to preschool without extra money coming out of their pockets.Regarding homework. As much as I don't agree with giving homework at such a young age, because they are just children & deserve the right to be children, this will better prepare them for middle school which gives you tons of homework. I am not sure which school or teacher you are referring to, but my children have never come home not knowing HOW to do their homework, they just don't always understand it because of the wording that is used on the homework. But not understanding is NORMAL. That is the fun part of learning. Matter of fact, I don't understand it sometimes. When both of my daughters had trouble finishing their homework within the time it was "suppose" to take. I figured out that one of them has trouble concentrating on doing it.
Samantha Theriaque May 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM
(I ran out of characters in the last message,again) So to continue:After she received the help she needed,she now comes home, does her homework(on her own,without having to be told)& finishes it in less time than it's supposed to take her. My other child has a physical handicap that limits how fast she can write. It took her an hour to write something that would normally take 10 minutes. I talked to the teacher about it and the solution: She gives us her homework on Friday's so she can have the extra 2 days of weekend to use to do it. BOTTOM LINE PROBLEM=NOT THE TEACHERS ITS THE CURRICULUM,THE TIME ALOTTED TO TEACH IT, & THE FUNDS NEEDED TO TEACH IT.

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