Back to School and Working Together for Progress

We have continued over the past six weeks to work on your behalf and ensure your voice was heard on outstanding issues heading into the new school year. We have made real headway thanks to our continued collaboration with the Malloy-Wyman Administration and ongoing partnership with our public education allies.
 
In mid-August, the administration announced there would be a change in leadership at the State Department of Education (SDE) and that the commissioner would not serve a second term. This was a watershed moment in the Malloy-Wyman team's evolving approach to public education policy and creates an opportunity to help further shape the agency's role in implementing it.
 
Click here for our update on the leadership change at SDE that was emailed to member educators and school employees.
 
A week later, the administration appointed AFT Connecticut Vice-President and Meriden Federation of Teachers President Erin Benham to the State Board of Education (SBOE). In selecting a 35-year veteran classroom teacher to serve on the SDE's governing body, the Malloy-Wyman team demonstrated that their responsiveness to your concerns is worth more than words. It also showed a respect for the profession that has deepened since the tragic events in Sandy Hook nearly two years ago.
 
Click here for brief comments on Erin's appointment we shared with the media. We also posted them at our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed
 
We have also continued efforts to address issues related to the new Foundations of Reading survey required for K-3 teachers under the 2012 education "reform" law. At the direction of the Malloy-Wyman Administration, the legislation's proponents agreed to engage in discussions with us which we expect will resolve concerns over implementation and application. In the meantime, SDE has delayed its timeline for rolling out the survey until late fall.
 
Click here for a practice survey.
 
Click here for additional information from SDE on who will be impacted by the new requirement.
 
As districts prepared for "back-to-school" activities across the state, your innovative and ground-breaking work both in your schools and in your communities were in the spotlight. For example, at J.C. Clark School, where last spring we beat back a hostile take-over by charter operators, members of our Hartford Federations of Teachers and Paraprofessionals helped organize a neighborhood celebration. At J.M. Wright Tech in Stamford, our State Vocational Federation of Teachers joined the governor for the reopening of the high school the previous administration five years ago shut down. And more than 100 teachers, paraprofessionals and school employees gathered for a day of professional development workshops at our annual ConnTeach conference.
 
We look forward this school year to working together, in partnership, toward our shared goal of reclaiming the promise of a great public education.

 
More to come, and in solidarity;
 
Melodie Peters

AFT Connecticut President
 
Stephen McKeever
AFT Connecticut First Vice-President
 
Jean Morningstar

AFT Connecticut Second Vice-President
 
Patti Fusco

AFT Connecticut PreK-12 Jurisdictional Vice-President

 
Shellye Davis

AFT Connecticut PSRP Jurisdictional Vice-President

 
P.S. Click here for photos of AFT Connecticut members at several education-focused events over the summer at our Facebook page.