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CT Mirror: Education Reform Group Presents Proposals to State Board

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By Caitlin Emma

A group of business and philanthropic leaders presented their education reform proposals to the state Board of Education Wednesday, pitching changes to teacher certification requirements, preparation programs and evaluations to help close Connecticut’s dramatic achievement gap…

‘We think next year could be the lynchpin,’ said Steve Simmons, vice chair of the council and CEO of Simmons/Patriot Media and Communications. ‘The governor has said that this first year was focused on the budget crisis and the second year was going to be education reform. I think we have a great chance here over this next nine or ten month period to really push for change.’

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CT Post: New Education Commissioner Brings Optimism

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By Linda Conner Lambeck, Staff writer

Published by CT Post, September 7, 2011

HARTFORD – All around the state, there are pockets of excellent schools, even in the poorest urban areas. The state’s next commissioner of education said he wants to use them as models and, in the process, erase the largest achievement gap in the nation.

“The question is not how a school is structured … whether it’s a charter school, magnet school or traditional … the question is whether the school is providing for outstanding student outcomes,” said Stefan Pryor, 39, the new education chief introduced Wednesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

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Hartford Courant: State’s New Education Leader Sets Out To Close Achievement Gap: Malloy said Stefan Pryor is an ‘Outside-the-Box’ Candidate With the ‘Collaborative Skills’ to Bring About Change

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By Kathleen Megan

Published by Hartford Courant, September 7, 2011

Stefan Pryor had a chance to explain Wednesday how his unorthodox background will work for him as he takes on the state’s long-intractable achievement gap between rich and poor students.

Named Wednesday as Connecticut’s next education commissioner, Pryor was one of the founders of a charter school, Amistad Academy in New Haven, in the 1990s and has been involved in many education projects, including several years working on the reform of impoverished schools in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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CT News Junkie: New Schools Chief Sees ‘Mandate for Change’

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By Christine Stuart And Hugh McQuaid

Published by CT News Junkie, September 7, 2011

Many of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s executive appointments have been considered nontraditional. His final pick for the head of the Department of Education was no different.

Malloy tapped Stefan Pryor, the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development for Newark, New Jersey. Pryor doesn‘t have a doctorate in education or classroom teaching experience, but Malloy said his skill set, experience, and work ethic fit nicely into his “sweet spot.”

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Wall Street Journal: School Woes Slow Malloy

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By Shelly Banjo

Published by Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2011

As a candidate, Dannel Malloy a year ago placed education at the center of his campaign. He pledged that if elected governor, he would build on a slew of long-awaited education changes Connecticut lawmakers had passed in order to snag federal Race to the Top funds, intending to push the state even further.

If statewide test scores out this week are any indication, Mr. Malloy still has a long way to go before being known as an education reformer.

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Response to 2011 CMT Results

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HARTFORD, CT – Today’s release of the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) results shows some encouraging trends. Between 2006 and 2011, the percent of low-income students performing at or above the goal level increased by nearly a third in math and by nearly 40 percent in reading in grade 3. Additionally, gaps in achievement between low-income and non-low-income students narrowed in both subjects in grade 3. The performance of low-income students; however, still remains unacceptable with 34 percent of low-income students scoring at or above the goal level in reading.

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Hartford Courant: CEO’s Aim to Disrupt Status Quo

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By Rick Green

Publish by Hartford Courant, July 13, 2011

In a discouraging ritual that surprises almost nobody, the mastery test scores will be announced Wednesday, again revealing a vast achievement gap for poor and minority students.

We’ve had years of studies, commissions, press conferences and promises, but the gap remains. From graduation rates to third grade reading, poor and minoritychildren continue to struggle and fail.

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CT News Junkie: Nonprofit Hopes Business Input Will Help Close Achievement Gap

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By Hugh McQuaid

Published by CT News Junkie, July 12, 2011

A nonprofit group consisting predominately of business leaders and inspired by a commission appointed by former-Gov. M. Jodi Rell called Tuesday for the implementation of 65 recommendations included its report, which they said will help to close Connecticut’s worst-in-the-country achievement gap.

The group originated as the Connecticut Commission on Education Achievement, a Rell initiative comprised of philanthropic and business leaders. And according to Chairwoman Peyton R. Patterson, former CEO of New Alliance Bank, business input is why the group will succeed where other nonprofits have failed.

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Business Leaders Launch Statewide Education Reform Organization Group Focused on Driving Comprehensive Education Reform: Evolved from Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement

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HARTFORD, CT – A new non-profit was announced today, comprised mainly of business leaders with the goal of closing the state’s achievement gap and raising academic outcomes for all students.

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform was born out of the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement, a bipartisan group of business and philanthropic leaders appointed by former Governor Rell to make recommendations for closing Connecticut’s achievement gap, the largest in the nation.

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Achievement Gap Grows on Connecticut Academic Performance Test (2011)

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The official launch of the new education group—The Connecticut Council for Education Reform could not have come at a better time. With the Council’s dedication to significantly closing Connecticut’s achievement gap, the results of the 2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), given in grade 10, point to the urgency of the issue.

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