Letter to Pres Weingarten and Pres Van Roekel | Education Reform | The United States

Dennis Van Roekel President National Education Association 1201 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 Randi Weingarten President

American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 555 New Jersey Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20001

June 20, 2012 Dear President Weingarten and President Van Roekel, You have both said that we should look for ways to collaborate for the benefit of students, and it appears we may have such an opportunity. Both of your organizations, as well as many of ours, have agreed that the recent legislation in Connecticut represents a step in the right direction toward a goal that all of us share – making sure every child in this country receives a great education. We are pleased that both of your organizations have described the reforms recently passed in Connecticut as a victory. These reforms include changes that will improve teacher evaluations, increase funding for public charter schools, help turn around failing schools, and expand access to pre-K programs. We particularly appreciate your support for: • Creating a commissioner’s network empowered to make meaningful changes to turn around failing schools. Building a teacher evaluation system to be implemented statewide next year, and which includes evidence of student learning growth as a significant factor. Increasing funding for public charter schools to help bring school funding equity for all students in public schools.

We agree that these are common sense reforms, that they represent “a significant step toward improving Connecticut's public education system" and that they can be part of a "national model" for improving our nation's schools. Many states across the country are considering or have considered similar reforms, including Pennsylvania, California, Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, and Iowa. But advocates in those states have often had trouble securing support for these reforms from your local unions, and we hope you that you will speak up in support of these important reforms and expand these opportunities to students all across the country. We look forward to this new opportunity to collaborate to improve public education for kids. Sincerely, StudentsFirst Democrats for Education Reform Students for Education Reform Hispanic CREO Families for Excellent Schools National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Missouri Charter Public School Association Children's Education Alliance Missouri Chamber of Commerce Minnesota Business Partnership African American Leadership Forum Charter School Partners PennCAN Students Matter Padres Activos Parents Advocate League


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