This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: CT polls, recruitment/retention of teachers of color, and gubernatorial debates.
DFER RELEASES STATEWIDE POLL SHOWING A BLUE CONNECTICUT: With the midterms only 3 weeks away, our new poll findings, covered in the Hartford Courant, show Lamont leading in the gubernatorial race. In our press statement, DFER CT State Director Amy Dowell noted that Lamont as Governor will mean more equitable resources for schools, innovation, and a focus on addressing the achievement gap. These poll results are consistent with a Quinnipiac Poll showing Lamont in the lead, especially among women.
Our survey also found that Democrats perform strongly on the generic ballot, hopefully indicating that undecided voters will vote for Democrats statewide. Relatedly, data from the Secretary of State’s office show that Connecticut Democrats outnumber Republicans when it comes to active registered voters. But a word of caution: Registration advantages don’t produce electoral results. Democrats have long had a registration advantage, yet have only had one Democratic Governor in the last 28 years. We need to turn out the vote and truly leverage our numerical position. Support a pro-education Democrat today by donating to the DFER CT PAC!
TEACHERS OF COLOR TACKLE RECRUITMENT/RETENTION: Last Friday was the New Jersey Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce and DFER’s Dana Laurens moderated the panel. We were proud to see Connecticut teacher MacArthur Cheek explain how he uses his own experience of being a student of color to help his students open up about their experiences. He took part in a panel session called "Teachers of Color on Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color", which explored the barriers faced by teachers of color entering the profession, the impact they have on students, and policy recommendations for recruitment and retention.
DRAMATIC DEBATES: Tomorrow will be the 4th 2018 gubernatorial debate in Connecticut. For those keeping track at home, we are set for one final debate on October 30th. So far, let’s recap:
2nd Debate: Focused on taxes, Stefanowski maintained his promise to repeal the state’s income tax. Lamont, fellow Democrats, teachers, and even many Republicans have identified the devastating consequences this would have on education funding and other critical social programs. Lamont highlighted some of his priorities, including training students for 21st century jobs.
3rd Debate: A third gubernatorial candidate was offered in former MetroHartford Alliance CEO Oz Griebel, running as an Independent. Lamont attacked Stefanowski’s fiscal plans by asking the Republican how he planned to support education while eliminating half of the state's revenue. Other topics of discussion: Brett Kavanaugh and transportation.
Last week, the Hartford Courant editorialized that we’ve still heard "precious little about education," and that Connecticut needs its next governor to be the “education governor.” Will the candidates finally take on the issue in earnest? We’ll be tuning in to tomorrow’s debate to find out!