Asking for boldness and big ideas, Gov. Dannel Malloy urged lawmakers and business owners Wednesday to come together and commit to “nothing less than a full-scale economic revival.”
One of the main elements of Malloy’s plan involves reforming schools to allow incentives for the best teachers, to restructure tenure so that it has to be continually earned and to provide more money to troubled schools
“Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away,” Malloy said in his State of the State address. “I propose we do it a different way. I propose we hold every teacher to a standard of excellence.”
Under his proposed $128 million education agenda, most would go to the lowest-performing districts. For the schools to get the money, districts would have to “embrace key reforms,” with tenure changes being one of them.
"I propose we hold every teacher to a standard of excellence," Malloy said. "Under my proposal, tenure will have to be earned and re-earned. Not earned simply by showing up for work – earned by meeting certain objective performance standards, including student performance, school performance, and parent and peer reviews.
“We cannot and will not fix what’s broken in our schools by scapegoating teachers. But nor can we fix it if we do not have the ability to remove teachers who don’t perform well in the classroom in a timely fashion,” he said. “In this new system, tenure will be a privilege, not a right. It will be earned and retained through effective teaching, not by counting years of service.”
Malloy has also proposed that students seeking to enter a teaching program have a minimum GPA of B-plus, instead of the present GPA requirement of a B-minus.
In ten years, Malloy said, he sees Connecticut as a leader in biosciences, precision manufacturing and a “Mecca for digital and sports entertainment.”
He acknowledged detractors in his closing comments, saying that cooperation is necessary.
“Some people will surely say an economic revival is beyond our grasp, that I’m asking too much, that I’m setting an expectation that is too high. They’ll say we should be content to just make progress,” Malloy said. “I say those people are dead wrong.”