There is good news out of Connecticut this morning after a unanimous vote in the General Assembly to pass a bill that paves the way for school districts to recruit and hire more qualified out-of-state candidates of color to teach and lead schools across the state. With the current mismatch between what Connecticut students look like and what their teachers and administrators look like, this vote moves the needle towards more students seeing themselves reflected in the adults who educate them.
Senate Bill 379, An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force, continues the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force, establishes a Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council inside the Department of Education, and honors student voice by requiring that the Connecticut Department of Education conduct an annual survey of students about the effectiveness of their minority teacher recruitment programs statewide.
Jennifer Alexander, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, responded to the bill’s passage.
Research validates what common sense tells us — that students of color, taught by teachers of color, perform better on a variety of academic outcomes, including: school attendance, retention, standardized test scores, advanced-level course enrollment, discipline rates, high school graduation, and college enrollment.
Our state struggles to fill a number of teacher and school leader vacancies in a number of shortage areas, including math, science, special education and bilingual education. By eliminating bureaucratic barriers, this bill helps make Connecticut schools and districts competitive in hiring qualified teachers and leaders and bringing talented educators to our state.
Today’s vote marks continued progress in our state. If Connecticut is to fulfill its promise as an innovative, forward-thinking state, we must inspire our children to excellence, and give them the tools to succeed. As adults, we owe it to our children to prepare them for the challenges of the next-generation economy.”
Now let’s continue to do the right thing and vote No on Senate Bill 380 so that student performance and growth can remain linked to teacher evaluation and Connecticut kids can come out winners twice, thanks to the General Assembly.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?