Governor Malloy was in New Haven last night for a Yale conference on the future of education. In contrast to recent town hall meetings, this time the Governor was met by a receptive audience.
Governor Malloy outlined key proposals in his school reform package to nearly 200 people at the Yale School of Management’s Education Leadership Conference.
On the highly-charged issues of teacher evaluation and tenure, the Governor said there needs to be honest and frank discussion.
"And I want to be very clear. I have not proposed the elimination of tenure. In fact, it remains in the system. But I have proposed that we immediately move to an evaluation system where no one escapes evaluation because they’ve been working in a district for four years. And no one gets to be held to a lower standard because they have tenure. What we want is excellence."
Governor Malloy has faced anger and opposition by teachers to his proposals for tenure reform.
A panel discussion followed the Governor’s remarks. When asked how to overcome obstacles, Mary Loftus-Levine, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association - the state’s largest teachers’ union - said stakeholders at all levels across the state need to accept change and agree to give up something.
"What it takes to do that is you have to trust that the people with whom you are negotiating, working... Have the best interest of the students in mind. And in places where you have that trust and where you have that level of sophistication incredible change is occurring. There are so many places in our state, unfortunately, where that does not exist."
The education leadership conference continues today in New Haven, a city whose 2009 teachers’ contract has been hailed as a national model, because it created an evaluation system with the cooperation of the teachers’ union.
Meanwhile in Hartford, the legislature’s Education Committee is expected to vote on the Governor’s reform bill next week.