Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today hosted Education Secretary Arne Duncan in New Haven for a roundtable discussion on how to elevate the teaching profession. Among the participants were New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, New Haven Schools Superintendant Reginald Mayo and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
Duncan's visit was part of his RESPECT--Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching--Project. The Project, begun last year, puts forth a vision and principles to elevate the teaching profession and works to bring teachers and principals together in a dialogue about the direction of education policy.
"In such a tough economy, with deep and unprecedented cuts in education spending, teachers are being asked to do more with less," DeLauro said. "And economic struggles at home directly impact the children in their classrooms. So it is more important than ever that we make sure we are valuing teachers--by investing in the profession, by compensating them fairly, and by working with them to create the conditions for success in every school across the country. We can start by ensuring teachers' voices are being heard at policy discussions and debates, such as the one we held today."
"Educators and administrators are transforming New Haven schools and creating a model for the rest of the nation by collaborating on what teachers and kids need to improve teaching and learning," said Weingarten. "Instead of fixating on tests, top-down mandates and confrontation, teachers and administrators developed a groundbreaking teacher evaluation system focused on providing teachers with the tools and professional development needed to improve their craft and innovative turnaround programs to provide the academic and wraparound services students need to succeed in the classroom."
Local students, parents, teachers and administrators joined today's discussion at the Brennan-Rogers School. DeLauro is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, which sets the Education Department's budget. She has fought against efforts to decimate that budget, speaking out on the importance of investing in our children's education to better secure the country's future.