Student Performance Testing

Educators Respond to Growing Stress on the Job

A survey of nearly 5,000 public school educators released last month by our national union found rates of anxiety to be twice those of working people in other professions. Most respondents said they face disrespect by local, state and federal policymakers and elected officials. By contrast, educators in school districts that foster collaboration reported lower stress levels and higher retention rates. The results mirror those of a survey of AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members conducted earlier this summer.
 
Click here for a full report on the national survey's results.
 

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.
 

Comments on Court Decision in Historic State Education Funding Case

Jan Hochadel, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks on today's Superior Court decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v. Rell, which challenged the constitutionality of the state's PreK-12 finance system:
 

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:
 

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.
 

Comments on Release of Smarter Balanced Test Scores

Jan Hochadel, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks in response to students' Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) standardized test scores released today by the state Department of Education (SDE):
 

No Child Left Behind Overhaul Advances

After multiple hearings, a long markup and a week of floor debate, the U.S. Senate yesterday resoundingly approved a bill that could help vanquish the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). In a bipartisan vote senators overwhelmingly approved the Every Child Achieves Act, a bill to replace NCLB and restore the historic mission of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); equity in our nation's public schools.
 
Click here for press coverage on the bill's passage.
 

Survey Shows Need for National Focus on Workplace Stress

The results of a new AFT survey on working conditions and pressures facing education professionals across the country provide vital information about sources of stress on the job. They demonstrate the need for a scientific study on how work affects the health and well-being of teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff -- and we're mobilizing union members to urge the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to take on this task.
 
Click here to ask the DOE to conduct this research.
 
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