Robert Cotto Jr. on why Relay Graduate School of Education should have been rejected
The following is the testimony provided to the State Board of Education by Robert Cotto Jr. on November 2, 2016. The State Board of Education went on to approve the poorly designed Relay Graduate School of Education proposal, thereby undermining Connecticut’s teacher preparation programs and the value of Connecticut’s teacher certification requirements.
Robert Cotto Jr.
Dear members of the State Board of Education,
Thank you for your service and the chance speak to this morning. My name is Robert Cotto, Jr. and I am a certified teacher in Connecticut, educational researcher, and resident of the City of Hartford. Based on the evidence and my experience, I have deep concerns about the Relay program proposal. I come today to ask that you reject the Relay proposal and explore new and existing alternatives to diversifying the teacher force.
Relay is an inferior teacher training program compared to existing university-based and alternative teacher certification programs. As a certified teacher, I can remember the hours of fieldwork, lesson planning, student-teaching, and reflection with mentor teachers and university professors that had decades of K-12 experience. This experience in MA allowed me to earn my CT teacher certification. Relay deviates wildly from the structure and guidance required of other programs in CT that educate and certify new teachers. Created by the charter school industry and venture capitalists, Relay places its students into classrooms before extensive preparation, provides online modules in place of coursework, and assigns a teacher partner to supplement this “on-the-job” training. Relay Robert Cotto Jr. on why Relay Graduate School of Education should have been rejected - Wait What?: