Thursday, May 17, 2012

Highlights SB24


1.)     1000 new pre-school slots

2.)    K-3 Reading assessments implemented (more testing for our kids)

3.)    10 family resource centers established in Alliance Districts (low performing)

4.)    20 School based health clinics established in Alliance Districts

5.)    $200,000. Grants to districts to hire up to 5 students who are in top 10% of college class in a teacher prep program

6.)    School Performance Index will be utilized (Testing) Schools will be labeled from 1 to 5 with those labeled 4 and 5 to be the low performing districts/schools (called “Focus” schools) and will  get intensified supervision and direction from SBE

7.)    What can happen to these low schools/districts---(d) Commissioner can direct the transfer and assignment of teachers and principals (G)Commissioner identifies schools for re-constitution to state or local charter schools or management by an entity other than the local BOE (k) students may attend public schools in a neighboring district (n) require the appointment of a superintendent approved by the Commissioner (person does not need to be certified)

8.)    Commissioner may reconstitute BOE’s (this is un-American)

9.)    Commissioner has IMMENSE powers

10.)  School Governance Councils must be established for low achieving schools—made up of 7 parents, 2 community leaders, 5 teachers, 1 non-voting Principal or designee and 2 non-voting students—in Elementary and Middle Schools the students are not included

11.)  BOE must train members of the Governance Council—this group has the power to recommend re-constitution of schools

12.)  Commissioners Network Schools – (participate for 3 years)—He will select up to 25 schools classified as 4’s or 5’s—(the local BOE’s will establish a turn-around committee for these schools) 2 appointed by BOE—one admin and one parent—3 appointed by Union 2 teachers and 1 parent and 1 Commissioners designee---the local Superintendent or designee shall be a non-voting member and will Chair the Committee

13.) Any non-profit shall continue the enrollment policies and practices that were in effect prior to their participation in Network Schools

14.) Elementary and MS must have 90 minutes of Math a day and 120 minutes of literacy

15.) All teacher at same grade level must meet weekly to plan lessons

16.) Once a week teachers must meet with Team Leaders/Principal to discuss Data

17.) Tests must be given to students every two weeks and District-wide assessments must be given every 6 weeks (testing—testing—testing)

18.) The turnaround models are: COMMPACT Schools, Management by SERC or a higher education institution or an Educational Management Organization –only 6 of the 25 schools can go to Non-profits—Commissioner may appoint a “Special Master”

19.) Collective Bargaining stays

20.) On or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2017 the SBE shall not approve more than 4 applications for new state charter schools

21.) Commissioner shall designate 30 school districts (not schools) as ALLIANCE districts—this designation stays for 5 years

22.) 8 to 10 school districts will participate in a teacher evaluation/support Pilot program (districts must apply to participate prior to May 25, 2012)

23.) Charter school funding increased to the detriment of public school children

24.) There will be a “Distinguished Educator Designation”

25.) New teachers will be required to do 4 semesters in the classroom after July 1, 2015

26.) Evaluation Systems require training for evaluators and orientation for teachers

27.) Local BOE’s may hire Superintendents that are not certified

28.) In order for a teacher to obtain tenure they must be deemed as an effective teacher based on the evaluation system and recommended by the Superintendent

29.) Teachers do not lose tenure once obtained but if deemed ineffective may be terminated

The information above was garnered by reading the final bill that passed the legislature---these are the findings of Tom Burns –Union VP and are submitted for your perusal—If you have any questions feel free to call the Union Office at 203-773-0266 or send me an email—

Although I have some concerns with the Bill (too much emphasis on testing and too much power for the Commissioner)---in general we have come out in a decent place—Sharon Palmer (our AFT-CT President) and her staff did a great job ---and we in CT have slowed down the corporate take-over of public education---for all of you who attended the rallies and/or have contacted your legislators, I want to say thank you----

Tom Burns—Executive VP and Grievance Chairperson

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