New Haven Federation of Teachers

"U & I in Union:" Beating the Same Forces "Coming After Us"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail wrote that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The civil rights leader's statement on the value of solidarity remains true today, especially for immigrant communities. We're sharing an example of a higher education professional engaging union members in direct action to win justice for a student's family threatened with being torn apart by deportation.
 

Educators to Lawmakers: "Our Students Can't Wait"

Legislators today convened in Hartford to restore funds cut in last fall's compromise budget package for a program serving low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities. Their fix, however, relies on "savings" from decreased state contributions to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS); an occupational tax imposed on Connecticut educators. At the same time, the budget's failure to fully fund public schools, coupled with additional cuts proposed by the governor to mitigate ongoing shortfalls, threaten to shortchange students' futures.
 

Renewing the Fight for Fairness at Back to School Season

As thousands of children in communities across Connecticut return to school this week, state lawmakers and the governor remain gridlocked over how to appropriately fund their education. Teachers earlier this month joined parents, superintendents, school business officers and elected board members to warn that students would be hurt by the ongoing budget impasse. There, union leaders urged a "fair share" approach to prevent local officials from cutting vital programs, increasing class sizes, or laying off teachers and classroom support staff.
 

Achieving More "Fair and Equitable Evaluation Practices"

State school officials last week took a major step toward empowering teachers to be more effective in the classroom by eliminating the use of mastery examination scores in educator evaluations. The move will benefit students by prioritizing instructional emphasis on deep issue knowledge and analytical skills over test preparation. The April 5 vote by the State Board of Education's (SBOE) followed years of advocacy by a diverse coalition of stakeholders, including AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members.
 

Demanding Answers from Judge Gorsuch

The Senate's Judiciary Committee on Monday will convene confirmation hearings in Washington, D.C. for President Trump's nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The impact of the eventual vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's bid cannot be overstated. That's why union members are joining with consumer, social justice and women's rights advocates to ensure federal lawmakers fulfill their constitutional "advice and consent" duties.
 
Click here to urge Connecticut's U.S. Senators demand Judge Gorsuch reveal where he stands on the issues.
 

Spotlight: Educators Delivering "Tomorrow" for CTE Students

A high quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) is increasingly being deployed as a tool to resolve mounting fiscal and workforce challenges facing our state and country. Preparing students to be both college and career-ready for high-demand jobs is an effective response to a fragile economy and employment insecurity. During the month in which the annual recognition of CTE is observed nationally, we're spotlighting union members here in Connecticut who prepare their students to "own tomorrow."
 

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:
 

Empowering Students to Learn the Lessons of Labor History

Public education, workers' rights and senior advocates yesterday joined the governor for the ceremonial signing of legislation to assist local school districts with teaching the history of the labor movement. The bill, which both chambers of the General Assembly passed in May with bipartisan support, was the culmination of years of grassroots advocacy by AFT Connecticut, union activists and legislators.
 
Click here for press coverage of the bill's final passage.
 

Educators' Voices Heard on ESEA Reauthorization

From grass-roots lobbying on Capitol Hill to a national telephone town hall to in-district meetings with elected officials, AFT members from across the country have focused on the all-important reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members last week traveled to Washington, DC and met with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy in New Haven to press for a return to the original mission of the keystone federal law for K-12 education: equity.
 
Click here for photos of the meeting with Sen. Murphy.
 

Holding Charter Management Companies Accountable

AFT supports a reform plan released today by open government advocacy groups In the Public Interest (ITPI) and The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) that would ensure charter schools fulfill their role in education as originally envisioned. The proposed "Charter School Accountability Agenda" also supports AFT Connecticut's current advocacy efforts to strengthen our state's laws governing schools operated by outside charter management organizations (CMOs) with public tax dollars.
 
Click here for a presentation on the national proposal.
 
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