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Welcome back to the 2013-2014 academic year. I hope you found the time over summer to enjoy friends and family and an opportunity to relax.
For many of us the summer is a time to reflect and complete those all important "to do" lists. The MFT is no different; our summer was filled starting with the TEACH Conference in Washington DC and working on many initiatives collaboratively with our Central Office Team and yes some relaxation.
The MFT is very proud of our Expanded Learning Time schools, Barry and Pulaski. We are literally "writing the book" with this initiative. Both school openings were successful and we will continue to tweak schedules. Sherman and Putnam have started their planning with the National Center for Time and Learning for a potential launch next year. Both high schools are experiencing exciting times as we watch the construction of our soon to be "new" high schools. Also, Franklin, Sherman, Hooker and Putnam have embarked on the new evaluation plan.
The Leadership Academy, Peer Coaching, and Nellie Mae all continue with many of you participating. A new team has been formed this year; Meriden Teachers Sharing Successes Team. Their dedication and commitment to our district will make them a valuable resource for all teachers. You will be hearing about Sharing My Lesson and Colorin' Colorado, both new web resources from the AFT. Finally, we will expand on our First Book initiative that many utilized last year.
The MFT has many things to be proud of and our hard work is being recognized across the country. I was contacted by The American Educator for a feature story about our Meriden schools. I was never so proud of all of us!! What a great honor!! They will be here the week of September 30 visiting many schools and programs. We will be the featured story of the December issue.
I urge all of you to get involved in some capacity, Project Excel, First Book, Colorin' Colorado, PD offerings from AFT, MFT representative or the many different initiatives each of our schools engages in. All of you have talents to share and our students can benefit from your diverse experience.
I wish you a great school year, may your successes be plentiful.
The AFT is challenging the assumptions of a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on school support staff, which suggests that the increase in the number of these employees is "adding more hands, but not necessarily more value."
AFT President Randi Weingarten appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" television show to make the case for teachers' due process rights, to correct widely held misconceptions about the teaching workforce, and to clarify that problems tied to evaluation are often mislabeled as due process issues.
AFT convention delegates unanimously passed a special order of business—recommended by the executive council—to fight back against attacks on unions and teachers like Vergara v. California and Harris v. Quinn, and to fight forward to reclaim the promise of America.