Union to Guv: It’s not the teachers, it’s problem students/parents

That’s the message a Norwalk teachers’ union quietly delivered to Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy today when he visited two of that city’s schools as part of his education reform tour.

Malloy’s ticked off a lot of teachers by targeting as part of his proposed efforts to close the achievement gap their job security – their tenure.

And, judging from the first of his public forums on his reforms last Thursday, the debate is only going to grow more heated between now and early May, when the typically union-friendly General Assembly has to act on the governor’s ideas before adjourning.

In contrast Malloy’s stops at Brookside Elementary School and Norwalk Community College Monday were quiet. He focused on early childhood education/programs, meeting with local elected officials, educators, student teachers and children.

When the governor arrived at Brookside shortly after 1 p.m. one of the first to greet him was Bruce Le Vine Mellion, president of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers Local 1723 of the American Federation of Teachers. Mellion was cordial. And instead of confronting the governor over tenure simply handed him an envelope containing a brief report entitled Elementary Students in Crisis

It certainly points out the need for early childhood education. But it’s also a strong defense of teachers at a time when the governor is arguing more must be done to boot the weak links:


Brian Lockhart