Education Reform
8:10 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Teachers Union Proposes Tenure Reform

Connecticut’s largest teachers union added its voice on Tuesday to a growing chorus of proposals for school reform.  The union’s plan addresses the controversial issue of teacher tenure.

Connecticut Education Association Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine says teachers are proposing to replace tenure with a streamlined dismissal process, "...to remove underperforming teachers and also allow for due process. We want teachers to be evaluated."

But she says, a teacher’s performance should not be judged solely by test scores.

"The public is getting a little tired of the feeding frenzy and the obsession with standardized  tests. So what we are suggesting is that we look at multiple indicators of a teacher’s performance".  

Those would include planning and organizing, classroom management and professional development. In addition, the CEA would like to see teacher peers involved in any evaluation process.

Other ideas in the report include universal access to early learning and increased state funding for public education.

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor says the CEA report lines up well with the Governor’s principles for education reform.

"Insuring that our schools are home to the very best teachers and principals working within a fair system...a fair system that values skill and effectiveness over seniority and tenure. And you see very thoughtful responses on the issue of seniority and tenure and the possibility for reform."

The CEA plan is called A View From the Classroom – Proven Ideas for Student Achievement.