Asked if he would sign an education reform package if it doesn’t include changes to how teachers earn tenure, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was blunt.

“No,” he said.

Whether that means tying teacher evaluations to earning tenure or speeding up how long it takes to fire a tenured teacher, both which the governor has proposed, was unclear.

He did, however, tell reporters at the state Capitol complex Friday that an education reform package that fails to include the use of evaluations for accountability is unsatisfactory.

“Evaluations, therefore, have to have meaning and therefore any package of reforms that doesn’t reference that is unacceptable,” he said.

Whether that means that he will veto an education reform bill that doesn’t require tenure decisions to be based on superior evaluations remains to be seen.

The leaders of the Education and Appropriations committees have expressed doubt whether using the agreed upon evaluation system, that has yet to be rolled out in any district, makes sense without first making sure it’s a good barometer of teacher quality.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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