AFT Local 1547

Spotlight: Educators Committed to Attendance "Every Day"

Educators, classroom support staff and school social workers know firsthand that for students, a day lost to absenteeism is a day lost to learning. Their concerns were reinforced by a landmark brief released earlier this month on national chronic absence data that reveals the true scope of the problem. As the month set aside to raise awareness of the issue wraps up, we're spotlighting union members devoted to helping students and families understand how achievement is connected to attendance.
 

Spotlight: Retirees Demonstrate "Senior" Activism

Retired members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions do not fit easily into popular, preconceived notions of life after employment; particularly those who remain engaged in the labor movement. Tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day, and we're taking time to spotlight a few who not only defy stereotypes, but who exemplify "seniority" in both knowledge and experience.
 

Building the Movement to Reclaim Our Schools

Nearly 3,000 delegates to our national union's convention last month heard advocates share their conviction in the value of building community-level coalitions to achieve true educational justice in America. It's an approach long-embraced by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions — which will again be demonstrated in October during coordinated local actions to "reclaim our schools" across the state.
 
Click here for more on the October 6 "walk-ins."
 

New Federal Testing Proposals: Praise, Caution & Action

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) earlier this month proposed rules regarding student testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation's new law governing public education. Included in the July 7 announcement were plans for a pilot program that states will likely be able to apply for in the coming school year. The news drew both caution and praise from union leaders -- along with a renewed call to action ensuring that the law's promise as a "reset" of federal education policy continues.
 

Comments on Lawmakers' Action to Decouple Standardized Tests from Teacher Evaluations

AFT Connecticut leaders made the following remarks on passage in the General Assembly’s education committee of legislation excluding student performance data on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) from teacher performance assessments:
 

Spotlight: Members as Mentors

Educators and support staff in PreK-12 classrooms and community college lecture halls work hard to assure positive outcomes for the young people they teach, instruct and help guide. For many of our union members, they see their responsibility to do more than simply educate; they are "mentors," too. As the month set aside to recognize the value of mentoring comes to a close, we're spotlighting members who fulfill this vital role both on and off the job.
 
Click here for President Obama's official 2016 National Mentoring Month proclamation.
 

Every Student Succeeds Act Ushers in Sweeping Changes

President Barack Obama yesterday signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, enacting the most positive changes in nearly two decades to Pre-K through college public education policy. The new law, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Elementary Education Act (ESEA), marks the end to the top-down accountability in place since the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
 
Click here for more on how the new law impacts states and local districts.
 

"Green Cleaning" for Safer Schools

The state's environmental protection and public health agencies have teamed-up to create a tool to help educators reduce their students' exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins in our schools. A new video campaign, "Wastebusters," was last month launched to debunk green cleaning "myths" and help teachers, school support staff, administrators, and parents avoid using hazardous cleaners, sanitizers or disinfectants.
 
Click here for the first "Wastebusters" video.
 

Helping Children Thrive

Our national union last fall began seeking input from member teachers, school nurses, paraprofessionals and support personnel across the country for a major child health priorities initiative. The results have been compiled in a new report, Helping Children Thrive, that demonstrates the importance of student health, safety and well-being explicit in educators' shared values.
 
Click here for the full report.
 

Comments on Creation of Task Force with Classroom Educators to Review Common Core

Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks on the executive order signed today by Governor Dannel P. Malloy creating the Educators' Common Core Implementation Taskforce to review and make recommendations on improving implementation of new teaching standards:
 
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