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Nicki Perkins

Nicki Perkins is the Director of Communications and Development for the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. She began working at CCER as a Graduate Fellow while earning her JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. During that time, she helped CCER to establish priorities and associated briefs for the 2012 legislative session, and she also conducted research on Connecticut’s then-existing statutory provisions as compared to corresponding statutes from other states. Currently, Nicki manages CCER’s efforts to raise public awareness and garner support for the organization. She also continues to support CCER’s research and policy work.

CT Mirror – School funding reform: Ideas and challenges aplenty

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Last week, five advocacy groups with clout at the state Capitol also came together to recommend a cost study. The organizations included the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Schools (which represents school principals), the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (a business-backed group), and the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (which advocates for school choice, among other reforms).

“We need to start with what does it really cost to educate every child,” said Joseph J. Cirasuolo, the executive director of the school superintendent’s group, which is part of the coalition suing the state.

Read the full story here.

CT Viewpoints: Six design principles for a new, fair CT school funding formula

While we may disagree on other areas of education policy, on this front we are united in calling for the development of a new, fair, equitable, and predictable school funding formula that supports student learning for every child in a Connecticut public school.

 

To help guide this process, we have come together as a diverse coalition of educators to agree on six principles that any new school funding formula should reflect in its core values…

Read the full piece here.

Education World: Leading Education Groups Develop Principles to Guide Equitable School Funding Formula

Five education groups from Connecticut have united to release a guidance containing six principles intended to help the state’s legislators implement a fair funding formula for the benefit of all public school students living in the state.

Read the full story here.

New Haven Register: Education advocacy groups in New Haven outline ideal ‘core principles’ of future funding formula

For years, representatives of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Association of Schools and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform have said the state’s funding of education is inequitable, an assertion supported by the recent ruling of Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher in CCJEF v. Rell.

Read the full piece here.

CT Post: Education Coalition suggests funding principles

An unlikely coalition of traditional and pro-choice education groups have banded together to pitch guidelines on how the state should revamp its school funding system.

Read the full piece here.

Education Connecticut: Gearing Up for Important School Funding Battle; Education Groups Weigh in on School Formula

The five organizations involved, include; the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER).

The group of organizations emphasized that they weren’t proposing a specific formula, instead, today, they released a joint statement offering six guiding core principles they hope lawmakers should use as a roadmap for developing a new funding system…

Read the full story here.

CT Viewpoints: Mastery exam task force report due soon — its findings ‘predetermined’

By John Bestor

The Mastery Examination Task Force was comprised of four members from the State Department of Education including the Commissioner herself as chair, two representatives from the State Board of Education, two from the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, two from the CT Association of Public School Superintendents, two from the CT Association of Schools (which oversees The Principal’s Center), three from the CT Parent Teacher Association, and two chosen at-large by the Commissioner: the Executive Director of the CT Council for Education Reform and a Southern Connecticut State University professor with a math/technology background. Another appointed education leader who joined the task force after it had started represented the State Board of Regents for Higher Education. And, four representatives from the two professional teacher organizations were included on the task force.

By my calculation, task force members predisposed to maintaining (with some minor tweaks) the current statewide student assessment protocol outnumbered the teacher representatives, 18 to four.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant (Editorial): Secret Superintendent Evaluations Unacceptable

Jeffrey A. Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, called for a balance between privacy and the public’s interest, saying, “There’s a certain level of privacy you give up when you sign on as a superintendent,” he said.

He’s right.

Legislators must align the evaluation process with the spirit of open government.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Superintendent Evals Public Under State Law, But It Doesn’t Always Work Out That Way

Jeffrey A. Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said he is in the process of comparing Connecticut’s laws regarding superintendency to those in other states, to possibly develop a policy recommendation for legislators.

Villar said there needs to be a balance between maintaining employee privacy and acting in the public’s interest.

“A town does have a right to know, is the superintendent hitting the targets as established by the board [and] how does the board feel about the superintendent’s performance … That’s appropriate for a public official. There’s a certain level of privacy you give up when you sign on as a superintendent,” he said.

Read the full piece here.

The Bristol Press: Our View: Consider Regionalized Schools

According to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, while the number of students may decline, the administrative costs associated with running the schools continues to increase — something state Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney thinks must be considered.

Read the full piece here.

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