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Malloy: School Reform Needed for Economic Growth

Gov. Dannel Malloy keyed in on education during his 'state of the state' speech.

Asking for boldness and big ideas, Gov. Dannel Malloy, urged lawmakers and business owners to come together and commit to “nothing less than a full-scale economic revival.”

One of the main elements of Malloy’s plan involves reforming schools to allow incentives for the best teachers, to restructure tenure so that it has to be continually earned and to provide more money to troubled schools

“Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away,” he said in prepared statements made available to the press. “I propose we do it a different way. I propose we hold every teacher to a standard of excellence.”

Under his proposed $128 million education agenda, 80 percent would go to the worst districts. In order for the schools to get the money, districts would have to “embrace key reforms,” with tenure changes being one of them.

“We cannot and will not fix what’s broken in our schools by scapegoating teachers. But nor can we fix it if we do not have the ability to remove teachers who don’t perform well in the classroom in a timely fashion,” he said. “In this new system, tenure will be a privilege, not a right. It will be earned and retained through effective teaching, not by counting years of service.”

In ten years, he said according to his prepared speech, he said he sees Connecticut as a leader in biosciences, precision manufacturing and a “Mecca for digital and sports entertainment.”

He acknowledged detractors in his closing comments, saying that cooperation is necessary.

“Some people will surely say an economic revival is beyond our grasp, that I’m asking too much, that I’m setting an expectation that is too high. They’ll say we should be content to just make progress,” Malloy said.

“I say those people are dead wrong.”

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