West Haven Federation of Teachers

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 

Urging Federal Officials "Level Up," Not Shift Away Education Resources

The signatures of more than 5,100 AFT members across the country concerned over implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last week were delivered to the federal education department. They accompanied a letter from our national union president regarding proposed "supplement-not-supplant" regulations that threaten to "wreak havoc on thousands of schools" and the students they serve.
 
Click here for the language of the petition.
 

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.
 
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