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Six Statewide Education and Business Groups Continue Their Partnership to Advance Education Reform and Progress in Connecticut

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On the heels of the bi-partisan success of Senate Bill. 458, signed by Governor Malloy on May 15, 2012, the coalition of six education, community, and business groups that worked together during the 2012 legislative session on behalf of education reform have analyzed the bill against their original recommendations and pledged to continue working together.Read More »

CT News Junkie: Reform Worth Waiting For

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OP-ED by Rae Ann Knopf

Published in CT News Junkie May 9, 2012

The process we followed these last few weeks in search of education reform is uniquely American: messy and confusing, but glorious in its ability to bring diverse peoples together to do what’s right for the whole.

With the passage of Senate Bill 458, Connecticut took a major step toward resuming its rightful place as a haven for enlightened education and a leader in championing the civil rights of all its citizens.

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CT News Junkie: Democrats, Malloy Announce Education Compromise

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By Christine Stuart

Published in CT News Junkie, May 8, 2012

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders celebrated what they called an “historic” agreement on a sweeping education reform proposal that believe will help Connecticut erase its largest-in-the-nation achievement gap.

At a 10 p.m. press conference, Malloy told a packed room of reformers and leaders of at least one of the state’s teacher unions that the bill the Senate is expected to take up later this evening is just a beginning.Read More »

Hartford Courant: Malloy-‘Meaningful Education Reform’ Achieved

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Published by The Hartford Courant, May 5, 2012

By Kathleen Megan

Legislative Leaders Said To Be ‘On Board’ With Long-Awaited Compromise

HARTFORD —  Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday night that his administration and lawmakers had reached an agreement on “meaningful education reform” — an agreement that he said adds nearly $100 million in new education spending and will help the state regain its competitive edge.Read More »

The Hartford Courant: Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Members Speak Out on Education Reform

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By Kathleen Megan

Published by The Hartford Courant, May 3, 2012

The leaders of the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus spoke out Thursday about education reform, calling for legislation that gives the education commissioner a strong hand and ample flexibility to turn around low-performing schools.

Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven, chairman of the caucus, said the group supports giving the commissioner broad authority to reconstitute a low-achieving school. The group also wants the commissioner to be able to convert a troubled school into a state or local charter school and to be able to put the school under the control of a non-profit entity. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy originally proposed similar measures, but subsequent working versions of the legislation have reined in the commissioner’s power.

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CT Post: Tempers Become Frayed in Capitol Over Ed Reform

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By Brian Lockhart

Published by CTPost.com, May 3, 2012

This afternoon the General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus held a press conference outlining members’ suggestions for education reform.

Although the group did not portray their proposals as taking a side in the ongoing debate at the Capitol, observers argued the caucus is closer to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s bill than what critics have called the watered-down legislative version.

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Turning Around Connecticut’s Low-Achieving Schools: A Leadership Challenge

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Ramani Ayer is vice-chair of the CT Council for Education Reform and retired chairman & CEO of The Hartford Financial Services Group.

With 135 schools that have been designated as “In Need of Improvement” for five or more years, it is imperative that Connecticut develop a framework for turning around our low-achieving schools.  In February, Governor Malloy released an education reform bill (S.B. 24) that called for such a framework. It proposed categorizing districts and schools into five performance levels, and establishing a Commissioner’s Network in which the State Department of Education could intervene in the lowest-achieving schools.  Despite being based upon proven frameworks from neighboring states, this proposal was significantly weakened by the Education Committee’s substitute language. Read More »

The Collective Call for Education Reform in Connecticut

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As Connecticut’s 2012 legislative session enters the homestretch, a surprising amount of vitriol has been injected into the public discourse on school reform. In recent days, supporters of Senate Bill 24 have been painted as “special interest groups” with designs to “privatize public education.” Groups that support the Governor’s version of SB 24 do not represent “anti-education” special interests.  Rather, these groups represent Connecticut’s principals, superintendents, local boards of education, the State Board of Education, university leaders, municipal leaders, chambers of commerce, and business leaders.  Teachers, teachers-in-training and students have also added their voice to the collective call for reform.  Read More »

CT Post: Less Heat, More Heart Needed in School Reform Debate

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Op-Ed by Kim Jeffery

Published in The CT Post, April 20, 2012

As the Connecticut General Assembly nears the end of its “Education Session,” rhetoric at the state Capitol has, sadly, been far more prevalent than accomplishments. This is unfortunate because it is diverting focus from what should be our most important goal: To improve the educational experience of Connecticut’s public school students.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy kicked off 2012 in a spirit of collaboration, convening an education workshop that brought together a diverse array of stakeholders. Encouraging everyone to work together, the governor noted that there were many more reasons to come together than to wedge us apart. He is right. Yet seemingly from the moment he introduced his package of reforms in Senate Bill 24, there has been far too much focus on those wedge issues.

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New Haven Register: Needed Reforms Cut From Education Bill

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Op-Ed by Roxanne Coady

Published by The New Haven Register, April 18, 2012

There has been much debate about the pros and cons of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s legislation that provides the framework for reforming our education system. The bill that emerged from the legislature’s Education Committee removed many of the concrete steps proven to have changed outcomes in other states.

The reasoning given is that before such dramatic action could take place, studies need to be done — analysis “needs doing.”

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