posted by: Alix
| January 06, 2012, 08:54 PM
AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner letter to the editor as featured on the The Connecticut Post website:
Thank you for highlighting the Connecticut Education Association's "education reform plan." While a story showcasing a union's attempt at accepting reforms is yielding countless headlines, a simple examination of the plan and the union's history of fighting these policies tell a much different story.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree for the CEA. Their parent organization, the National Education Association, won't make a single reform proposal without calling for more money. This plan is more of the same -- a sprinkle of reform with a hefty price tag.
While reforming teacher accountability and tenure is a step in the right direction, the overall plan lacks important components that have helped other school districts and states make real gains in student achievement, including implementing alternative certification programs so that degreed professionals have a straightforward path to the classroom; expanded charter schools to provide varied learning environments for students; and more technology use in the classroom by embracing blended learning strategies.
Connecticut, like the rest of the country, is in desperate need of common-sense, low-cost reforms that put the needs of student first. Ten years ago, this plan would have been applauded by reformers. Today it gets a yawn.
Gary Beckner is executive director of the Association of American Educators (www.aaeteachers.org). The Association of American Educators, based in Mission Viejo, Calif., is the largest national nonunion professional teachers association.