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Dear Governor Dannel Malloy:

I forgive you for the inflammatory comments about teachers in your State of the State speech delivered last February (2/8/12),   “In today’s system basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years.  Do that, and tenure is yours.” After all, I  have said some pretty unflattering things about politicians these past few years. Let us agree that professions should not be demonized.

Instead, I would rather provide you with an example of  great professional development for educators by discussing the value of the Connecticut Summer Institute which is a part of the Connecticut Writing Project. Eleven dedicated teachers from different school districts in the State of Connecticut have spent the past four weeks this summer (July 9-August 3, 2012) at the Connecticut Summer Institute organized and taught by Bryan R Crandall  at Fairfield University. These were elementary, middle school and high school teachers, social studies and English, willing to spend a good portion of their summer vacations (for graduate credit) learning how to improve student literacy through writing from 8:30-3:30 daily. A variety of guest speakers  also visited the Summer Institute and shared their writing experiences; there was a a journalist, an author, a poet, and veterans including  co-director Julie Roneson of past Connecticut Writing Project programs. This program is associated with the National Writing Project, an organization dedicated to improving writing at every grade level. The NWP website states:

Writing is essential to communication, learning, and citizenship. It is the currency of the new workplace and global economy. Writing helps us convey ideas, solve problems, and understand our changing world. Writing is a bridge to the future.