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Patch Poll: Will Tenure System Changes Improve Education?

The governor's plan is under fire from teachers, who say they are being blamed for problems out of their control.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been touring the state to discuss his six-point education reform proposal, and most of the reaction has centered on his proposed changes to the long-standing teacher tenure system in Connecticut.

Under Malloy's plan, teacher tenure would be tied to evaluations and student performance, and would have to be re-earned on a regular basis.

"This is the evaluation system that the teachers' unions negotiated through a two-year process," Malloy said earlier this month at a forum in West Hartford. Connecticut, according to the governor, will rely on standardized tests as a measure to a much lesser degree than many other states do. "Should we just maintain the status quo?" he asked.

Teachers have reacted strongly to the plan, saying their job security shouldn't be tied to student test performance, which can be affected by poverty or other factors outside their control.

What do you think? Take our Patch poll and add your thoughts to the comments.

R Eleveld March 19, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I am not defending the Governor, he has a tough balancing act. His voter base is the unions and the teacher's union is very powerful. That puts him in a tough position. The tenure issue is an easy no cost solution, and he can sound like he is in front of the issue. The unions know this will not fly in the legislature, so he can do this. Most people understand tenure protects those that do need the protection. Think about tenure and the methods required to terminate a teacher, and then apply those rules to any other occupation. Food for thought.
Granby Mom March 19, 2012 at 03:42 PM
The biggest reason I see for tenure is this: If you do not have strong administrators, all it would take to get rid of a teacher is one or two parents "yelling" too loudly about how their child was treated (graded, disciplined, etc.) and the teacher would be gone. If we have hit the point that "experts" recommend not correcting papers in red ink for fear of damaging students' sense of self worth, how can a teacher be effective and "brutally honest" in teaching & disciplining if they must worry about their job if they offend the wrong parent? I am not a teacher, but have several in the family, so I know from which I speak. Mr E, name me a business model where that is the case. My last point regards tying teacher evaluation/pay to standardized test results. As as been stated in this thread, this is entirely unrealistic. There are kids out there who don't care, won't study, don't test well, or just plain can't do well due to various disabilities. How are any of these influenced by how well a teacher teaches? The teacher can explain a point 5 different ways and work one on one with students, but if the student doesn't care (or freezes up on tests) none of that will matter.
Concerned resident March 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Finally someone who is pointing the finger in the right direction. PARENTS need to be involved and support teachers so their children can get a better education. There needs to be accountability on the part of the student and the parent needs to enforce the student's responsibility of his or her actions. Without support from the parents teachers only have so many options to help each students achieve their full potential. A teacher cannot make sure homework is done, project are completed and students are prepared for their school day. Teachers do not have the ability to see that appropiate actions are taken when a student is not prepared, their only step really is the grade the student receives. Parents need be the ones to see that actions are taken.
000 March 19, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Don’t be fooled. The consummate politician that he is, Malloy is using issues like reform, tenure and teacher evaluation as a distraction issue while the state slowly grabs control of the way CT public schools are funded. Don’t believe me? Did you read the bill? Then what’s the “cost sharing” element of the bill and the “cost sharing task force” all about??? It's here; http://www.cga.ct.gov/ed/CostSharing/taskforce.asp http://www.mygov365.com/legislation/view/id/4f337ea949e51b5a636d0200/tab/versions/ The loser in all this is the parents who will lose local control of their schools to the state. Malloy is trying to get his hooks into the funding that goes to the rural and suburban schools so he can dole it out as he see fits. Malloy is making a power grab. Meanwhile, we bicker about teacher tenure and talk about "reform." But, what the bill will really do is grab local control of schools (management and funding) away from parents and taxpayers. But don't worry, I'm sure the state will do a great job just as it does with most of the things it runs. If you love the DMV, you will love our new state run schools.
Steven Jones March 20, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Teacher tenure reform will not be (and is not) the only item in this bill that can and/or will improve education in CT, but it sure gets the most debate and discussion (to say the least).

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