CEA advocates for teachers and public education. We've been a driving force in lobbying legislators
for the resources public schools need and campaigning for high standards for teachers and students.
Our proud history spans more than 150 years.
Whether it's your first time in the classroom or your sixth year, we are here with
all the resources early-career professionals need. We've got classroom management
and professional development ideas. We've got more ways to stretch your hard-earned
dollars. And we've got your back.
The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning
teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them
through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as
Testimony of the Connecticut Education Association Before the Education Committee
H.B. 5078 - An Act Imposing a Moratorium on the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards
H.B. 5331 - An Act Concerning the Implementation of the Revisions to the PEAC Guidelines
March 12, 2014
Good Afternoon Senator Stillman, Representative Fleischmann and other members of the Education Committee. My name is
Mark Waxenberg, Executive Director of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA). Also with me is Sheila Cohen,
President of the Connecticut Education Association. Thank you for the opportunity to address you today on the two proposed
bills listed above.
Rather than commenting at length about the specificity of the language in each bill, we have provided you with exhibits
supporting CEA's position on each bill.
Let us articulate in simple terms what our position is: On the bill dealing with Common Core, our exhibits prove that the
Common Core issue is like a traffic light.
"There is a light which means stop — CEA does not support this."
"There is a light which means go — CEA does not support this."
"Finally, there is a light which means look both ways and proceed with caution — that is CEA's position."
Specifically, our exhibits support our position, and we are extremely pleased that the Governor, through his Executive Order,
has created a working group that supports our position as well.
CC I — Shows the timeline of the CCSS occurring in Connecticut,
which may conflict with previous statements made by others about teacher involvement.
CC II — Document from SDE sent in October of 2011 which cites
activities. My notes indicate on page 3 the reality as of today.
CC VIII — Unsolicited and original responses from fourth
graders as prepared by one of the students (scribe)
in a discussion group the student initiated. This was not teacher-led or encouraged. It came from a discussion
at dinner with a parent who suggested the student get the opinions of her classmates on the SBAC Test. As you
can see, "Proceed with Caution."
Secondly, regarding the bill dealing with PEAC Guidelines.
CEA's position is clear here as well.
Members of this legislative body need to determine whether they choose to confer policymaking authority in the areas cited
in the Education Reform Bill of 2012 over to an administrative agency.
This legislation reflects agreements made in PEAC that do not require legislation, but I do not believe that is the
point. This legislation raises a broader concern that we previously stated. If the legislature chooses to say that
they will keep "hands off" unless and until trouble arises, that's a position to take. On the other hand, if the
legislature chooses it wants to codify portions of the guidelines so they cannot be manipulated without legislative
input, that's a position to take.
As you decide what road you choose to take, we will continue to make good faith efforts using our "Road to PEAC" process
- to modify existing guidelines for the best interest of students, parents, teachers, and public education.
We have attached exhibits to provide background and history that you may need in your discussions. We continue to work
with all constituent groups to share ideas in accordance with the Governor's letter dated January 28, 2014.
There are those, including current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who argue that spending more on public education doesn't lead to better outcomes. School finance expert and Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker begs to differ, and he has research to back his position up.
Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.
Once again, the Connecticut Education Foundation's Board of Directors invites you to support the Children's Fund by joining Association members and CEA staff at the 25th Annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament on Monday, July 15.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Wearing #RedForEd T-shirts, several hundred Waterbury teachers showed their strength as a union, their dedication to their profession, and their value to the community they serve when they packed a March 7 Waterbury Board of Education meeting.
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature's Education Committee heard public input.
"Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history," Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature's Education Committee
"Teachers become teachers because we want to help kids," says Danbury building rep Lori Woodruff. "It's the same with our union—we are here to help each other. As teachers, when we're involved with the union we can do more to help one another."
Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour kicked off on February 25, featuring a customized blue bus decorated with well-known Dr. Seuss characters and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and hundreds of new books.
At a public hearing of the legislature's Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers' retirement, including the governor and treasurer's plan to smooth out the state's payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate.
"We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked," said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.
Project Oceanology and New England Science and Sailing are partnering to offer "Sound Education: Working with NGSS and STEM in Long Island Sound". This is a FREE two-day PD event from April 5 - April 6 for teachers in grades 4-12, with overnight accommodations provided in Project Oceanology's waterfront hostel.
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many "tax extenders" semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year.
Marks the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It's likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next five months.