SB24 will affect education in Connecticut in profound and far-reaching ways. The 163 page bill is poorly written, vague, and full of contradictions. As a result, many of the legislators called to vote on it have not had time to read it yet. Below is a summary of the parts of the bill which the CEA is focusing on. It's up to you to educate your representatives.
Evaluation--based on multiple factors such as administration evaluation (40%), student performance (45%), parent & student review (5%), and peer review (10%). There are four evaluation categories: Exemplary, Proficient, Developing, and Below Standard.
Under the new bill, the evaluation system will determine tenure status, certification level, and salary.
Tenure--Teachers earn tenure in one of two ways, based on the evaluation system mention above. Tenure must be re-earned every five years. But tenure can be lost during that five year period based on evaluations.
Certification--Instead of begin certified by the state after going through a rigorous process such as BEST or TEAM, certification will be based on the new evaluation system.
There will be three certification levels: Initial, Professional, and Master.
The Master certification level is dependent on two factors: exemplary evaluations and a Masters Degree. However, the Masters degree is not a requirement for certification.
At any time in your career you can move down certification levels based on evaluations.
Professional Development--There is no longer a requirement for a Masters Degree, that becomes optional. The bill will roll back a 2009 law which states teachers must have a role in determining a professional development plan for the district.
Salary--All contracts will be renegotiated by 2014. Salary schedules will no longer be based on education level or experience. Salary will be based on the three certification levels. You can move certification levels, and therefore salary, on a yearly basis.
Collective Bargaining--The state has the ability to come in, dissolve the local board of education, hand the schools over to private, for-profit companies and nullify collective bargaining rights. Teachers in that district will no longer be a part of the union.
Charter Schools--Stand to gain financially from this bill. Will have the ability to take over schools, negate contracts, create stand-alone boards which do not answer to the community. Learn the truth behind ConnCAN and the national movement to privatize education.
You can see a more comprehensive summary of SB 24 here.
Learn about the CEA's alternative to the ConnCAN agenda. Use the good ideas in "A View from the Classroom" in your letters to your legislators.
NEXT STEP: CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS