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Our Legislative and Administrative Priorities

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In 2015, we have a list of legislative priorities and a list of administrative priorities. Our legislative priorities, which fall into six broad categories, outline statutory changes that are needed to help improve public education. Our six administrative priorities describe changes that can be made directly by the State Department of Education and State Board of Education.

To see supporting research for our 2015 priorities, you can click the links below.

Legislative Priorities

1. Defend current education reform legislation to prevent rollback and defunding.

Examples include ensuring the continued implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Connecticut’s System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED), and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments.

2. Expand high-quality early childhood opportunities for low-income children.

a. Recommend funding for 1,000 new school readiness slots. (Learn more here.)

b. Revise statutory language so that all low-income children, no matter where they live, are eligible for high-quality early childhood programs. (Learn more here.)

c. Establish an early childhood scholarship accredited program (funded from surplus school readiness funding) to reach children not currently eligible for school readiness programs. (Learn more here.)

3. Elevate the teaching profession.

a. Attract great teachers to low-performing schools. School districts should have the flexibility to hire exceptional out-of-state teachers through means such as reciprocity. The current regulatory barriers create a time-intensive process for recertification in the state. (Learn more here.)

b. Restructure an incentive program to attract and retain exceptional teachers in low-performing schools. (Learn more here.)

c. Require the state to share teacher performance data with educator preparation programs so that these programs and the public have the data they need to improve their programs. (Learn more here.)

d. Ensure that student educators have a robust and meaningful student teaching assignment and it is at least 500 hours (14 weeks) so they are prepared to teach on day 1 in their classrooms. (Learn more here.)

4. Increase the number of high-quality school leaders through reciprocity.

a. If already certified and high performing in another state, school leaders should be afforded streamlined access to leading public schools and districts in Connecticut, without having to retake Connecticut tests or get another Connecticut certificate. This is called reciprocity. (Learn more here.)

b. Establish more Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) programs for administrators. The Office of Higher Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education, should establish an ARC administrator program by June 30, 2016. (Learn more here.)

5. Link district spending to data on teacher quality and student achievement.

The state is currently working on a dashboard for a Uniform Chart of Accounts. A component of this dashboard should be publicly reported data on teacher quality and student achievement at the state-, district-, and school-levels. Individual student and teacher data will not be disclosed. (Learn more here.)

6. Encourage districts to invest intelligently and efficiently.

The state should encourage districts to find cost efficiencies through methods such as consolidation, sharing services, and regionalization. (Learn more here.)

Administrative Priorities

1. Hire a reform-minded Commissioner of Education and a strong Chief Operating Officer, and expand the capacity of the State Department of Education.

(Learn more here.)

 

2. Make school attendance a priority by establishing attendance goals for all schools and districts.

(Learn more here.)

 

3. Make information about preschool quality available to families on the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) website, while OEC builds the Quality Rating and Improvement System.

(Learn more here.)

 

4. Elevate the teaching profession by creating a regulation that defines a cohort GPA standard of 3.0 and SAT standard of 1150 for admissions for elementary education majors.

(Learn more here.)

 

5. Urge the Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education to use the full extent of their authority to intervene in chronically low-performing schools and districts that are not making progress under the Alliance District and Commissioner’s Network programs.

 (Learn more here.)

 

6. Urge the State Department of Education to require districts applying for Alliance District funding to include in their annual plans: (i) the development of teacher induction programs; and (ii) the providing of meaningful, ongoing, embedded professional development for teachers.

(Learn more here.)