Mar 15, 2012

I Stand With Connecticut (All Alone!)

Michelle Rhee is Founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, a national grassroots movement working to defend the interest of children when it comes to education policy. Prior to founding StudentsFirst, Michelle served as Chancellor for District of Columbia Public Schools were she implemented comprehensive reforms which put the interests of students first.

Michelle Rhee on the steps of the Connecticut State Capitol
The Bullshit
Yesterday, I stood on the State Capitol steps with parents, community leaders and educators from across the state of Connecticut to call on pubic officials to improve Connecticut’s schools.

Surprisingly, Connecticut has one of the highest achievement gaps in the country. Low-income 8th graders are more than 3 years behind their wealthier peers in math and African-American 8th graders are more than 3 ½ years behind white 8th graders. This is unacceptable.

Those attending the rally were there to put a stop to this injustice. I was inspired by the energy and determination of those at the rally to break away from the status quo that has been failing so many of Connecticut’s students.

We have got to change the way we think about education in Connecticut and start putting into place policies and programs that will close the achievement gap and make sure that every Connecticut child has a great teacher and a great school.

The Actual Turnout
I applaud Governor Malloy’s efforts. He supports a bill being considered in the legislature that would be a significant step forward in providing a great teacher for every student by establishing a meaningful teacher and principal evaluation system which is tied to student achievement growth. The bill also reforms teacher tenure so that it is a way to reward effective teachers rather than a way to protect ineffective teachers.

I hope that in addition to this bill, the legislature passes other reforms that empower parents to take action if their children are not getting the education they deserve.

The quality of our children’s education should not be based on their zip code or the color of their skin. Connecticut citizens are standing together to stop this civil rights violation currently taking place in their state.

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