Put the Brakes on S.B.24
April 13, 2012 • 40 views
Filed under Opinions
Bills going through the legislature are usually stereotyped as confusing and misleading, but SB24 takes the cake.
Governor Dannel Malloy has spent the past few months and much of his political career on the topic of education reform. He has championed a bill, referred to as SB24, which seeks to address theConnecticutachievement gap, the largest inAmericagive all students a fair shot at a good education.
In the past few months, we have seen teachers, politicians and outside voices tell us that this bill is either a landmark piece of legislation or a death sentence forConnecticutpublic education.
Yet, neither side has been able to explain what this bill actually does.
There used to be tenure reform, now there might not be.
There used to be standardized testing, now there might not be.
Education reform is too important to rush through the legislature.
When our own reporter asked the governor about increases in standardized testing, he “corrected” her by stating that was not the case.
No less than two minutes later, he backtracked, saying that testing was necessary for the evaluation of students.
This board cannot endorse or speak out against a piece of legislation if we, along with the rest ofConnecticut, do not know what the contents of the bill are.
Do not mistake this hesitancy for apathy or a lack of research. This paper ran a front page story on the achievement gap inConnecticut, and this board cares deeply about the quality of education in our state. Education reform is an important subject.
It is also a complex issue, and any solution will require an extensive conversation about the needs of our students. That conversation has not been held, and a vote in the state legislature is coming up too fast.
Changes to the bill in committee are happening at an alarming rate. Throughout our research, this board was often surprised to find that cornerstones of the bill all of a sudden no longer existed.
How can students be informed of the future of their education?
How can teachers feel secure in their jobs?
How can unions fight for their members?
How can voters determine their views?
How can legislators make a representative vote?
We’ve already written an editorial to our local Board of Education asking it to be more direct withWestportcitizens and effectively communicate updates in their doings.
We’d like to extend this request to our state government and ask for a delay on the vote of SB24.
With the 21st century skills, Staples students have learned to effectively communicate and persuade. Our state’s government needs to learn to do the same.