CT Parents Union Urges Teacher Tenure Reform

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Led by Gwen Samuel of Meriden, the Connecticut Parents Union added its voice Wednesday to the myriad calls to reform education this year. Samuel said the group supports the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents' proposal to reform education, which would eliminate lifetime tenure for teachers and replace it with five-year renewable contracts.

Led by Gwen Samuel of Meriden, the Connecticut Parents Union added its voice Wednesday to the myriad calls for education reform this year.

Samuel said the parents group supports the proposal from the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents to eliminate lifetime tenure for teachers and replace it with five-year renewable contracts.

"We have some great teachers … We have some OK teachers," Samuel said, "and we have some who need to find another profession, and for some reason we're afraid to say that."

Speaking at the Legislative Office Building, Samuel also criticized the so-called "scream rooms" at the Farm Hill School in Middletown, where students with troublesome behaviors have been sent to calm down. News of the rooms, which are reportedly used at other schools as well, surfaced last week after parents witnessed two Farm Hill staff members holding a door shut on a small room while a child kicked and screamed inside.

The parents union has called for ending non-therapeutic "time-out/scream" room practices. "If you had qualified staff, best practices in place," Samuel said, "you wouldn't think you had to put a baby in the dungeon."

The organization also is calling for reform of school residency laws so that parents are free to choose whatever public school is right for their child, regardless of where they live.

And, it is looking for effective teacher and principal preparation programs. Samuel said it's important for student teachers to have internships in urban schools.

 

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