WILTON, Conn. -- State Reps. Gail Lavielle (R-143rd District) and Tom O’Dea (R-125th District) recently signed petitions that forced the chairs of the General Assembly’s Education Committee to hold formal public hearings on two bills related to the controversial Common Core curriculum and the new public school teacher evaluation process.
The petitioning process, which is seldom used, allows legislators to overrule decisions by legislative committees on holding public hearings for bills.
House Republicans gathered the required 51 signatures from their caucus members in order to file the petitions that triggered the requirement for the two bills to be raised with a public hearing to follow.
“Because the State Board of Education made the decision to adopt the Common Core standards in Connecticut, the subject never came before the General Assembly,” said Lavielle, who represents most of Wilton, the eastern part of Norwalk, and part of Westport, in a statement.
“Hundreds of people have contacted us to express concerns about the content and implementation of the Common Core. The simultaneous implementation of both the Common Core and the new teacher evaluation system has also aroused great concern among educators, who fear that these two processes are taking them away from their primary job in the classroom."
O’Dea's district includes New Canaan and Wilton.
The Education Committee’s Democratic chairs had agreed only to hold an “informational hearing” on Friday, Feb. 28 where the speakers would be selected ahead of time by the chairs and the discussion controlled by time constraints, with no members of the public participating.
The date for the public hearing triggered by the House Republicans’ petitions has not yet been set.