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Shannon Marimon

Hartfordbusiness.com: CBIA, education reform council affiliate to boost workforce

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association said Wednesday it is affiliating with the Connecticut Council for Education Reform to enhance both groups’ education and workforce initiatives.

Read the full piece here.

CBIA: CBIA, Connecticut Council for Education Reform Join Forces

Since 2011, CCER has worked to narrow the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut.

Read the full piece here.

CT Viewpoints (opinion) – State board should project objectivity in teacher evaluation

By Jeffrey Villar

…last year, the State Board approved yet another de-coupling with the express caveat that ‘the Board fully supports and expects the implementation of the use of state test data in the 2017-18 school year, with a further report to the Board by November 2016, and informs PEAC that the State Board of Education will not grant any additional extensions.’

That’s why it’s so disappointing that the State Board voted earlier this month to permanently prohibit using the state test when evaluating the performance of teachers. Beyond flouting its own promises, beyond damaging the balance within the never-implemented evaluation model, the State Board challenged the expectations we have slowly been building about whether our education system has a duty to our kids.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant – State Board To Consider Eliminating State Test Scores From Teacher Evaluation Ratings

By Kathleen Megan

Villar said that when the original teacher evaluation model was developed in 2012, ‘there was general agreement that teacher performance needed to be linked to student outcomes. However, the model has never been fully implemented statewide because of decisions, year after year, to temporarily “de-couple” assessment results from teacher evaluations.’

Villar said the move ‘really seems to me to be more about the political pressure that our unions have placed on this issue.’

Read the full story here.

The Middletown Press – Connecticut school reform advocates: Time to improve lowest-performing districts

By Brian Zahn

In a meeting with the New Haven Register’s editorial board Friday, Villar said CCER’s principal legislative priority in 2017 is for greater focus in how Alliance Districts — the 30 lowest-performing districts in the state — use their state grant funds.

“A lack of disruption can actually improve results,” he said.

In a joint qualitative study with the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, CCER looked at the improvement plans those 30 districts submitted to the state over four years and concluded that, because the state changed its requirements each year, the program’s goal of innovation was not being met in most districts.

Read the full story here.

The Register Citizen – Connecticut school reform advocates: Time to improve lowest-performing districts

By Brian Zahn

In a meeting with the New Haven Register’s editorial board Friday, Villar said CCER’s principal legislative priority in 2017 is for greater focus in how Alliance Districts — the 30 lowest-performing districts in the state — use their state grant funds.

“A lack of disruption can actually improve results,” he said.

In a joint qualitative study with the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, CCER looked at the improvement plans those 30 districts submitted to the state over four years and concluded that, because the state changed its requirements each year, the program’s goal of innovation was not being met in most districts.

Read the full story here.

New Haven Register – Connecticut school reform advocates: Time to improve lowest-performing districts

By Brian Zahn

In a meeting with the New Haven Register’s editorial board Friday, Villar said CCER’s principal legislative priority in 2017 is for greater focus in how Alliance Districts — the 30 lowest-performing districts in the state — use their state grant funds.

“A lack of disruption can actually improve results,” he said.

In a joint qualitative study with the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, CCER looked at the improvement plans those 30 districts submitted to the state over four years and concluded that, because the state changed its requirements each year, the program’s goal of innovation was not being met in most districts.

Read the full story here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–CCER Urges State Board to Reject PEAC Recommendation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Nicki Perkins
EMAIL: Nicki.perkins@ctedreform.org
PHONE: (203) 506-5799

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, March 29, 2017, the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) recommended that the state mastery test not be used as a measure of goal attainment for educator evaluations. According to the PEAC recommendation to the State Board of Education, state mastery results can still be used to inform professional development, but cannot be included in an educator’s formal student learning objectives (SLOs). In response to PEAC’s recommendation, Jeffrey Villar—Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)—made the following statement:

“When the original teacher evaluation model was developed in 2012, there was general agreement that teacher performance needed to be linked to student outcomes. However, the model has never been fully implemented statewide because of decisions, year-after-year, to temporarily ‘de-couple’ assessment results from teacher evaluations. Just this past fall, a superior court judge in the CCJEF trial referred to the evaluation model—as currently implemented—as “little more than cotton candy in a rainstorm.” PEAC’s vote today fails to address these shortcomings.Read More »

Bringing the Alliance District Program into Focus

Connecticut’s 30 highest-need districts have been called the “Alliance Districts” since 2012. Each year, they receive increased state funding in exchange for producing annual district improvement plans. In total, the state has invested almost half a billion dollars in this program since its inception. In theory, the purpose of these extra funds is to promote innovation. However, many district leaders have reported needing to use the funding to cover much more routine expenses, due to reductions in local funding.

To date, no formal study has been conducted to measure the impact of the Alliance District program overall.

Focus: How Long-term Planning Processes Can Improve State-Led Turnaround in Connecticut is a study of the Alliance District program that was conducted by a research team at the Neag School of Education at UConn. It analyzes the effectiveness of the required annual district improvement plans as tools for change. In addition, it explores the link between these plans and some positive outcomes that districts within the program have seen over time. The findings in this study raise important implications for how best to strengthen the Alliance District program and leverage state improvement dollars.Read More »

True Viral News: Two Connecticut School Systems, for the Rich and Poor

For close to half a century, the aim of scores of lawsuits about public schools across the country has been to require states to improve education for students by spending a lot more money. When the case of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. M. Jodi Rell began, in 2005, that was its goal, too. Last week, after sixty days of a bench trial, Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher, of the Connecticut Superior Court, said that the judiciary cannot set the amount of money the state must spend on education. In a smartly written, sometimes sardonic, and unusually pointed ninety-page opinion, he focused instead on how the state is spending the billions of dollars it does on education and concluded that it is failing miserably.

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform, a bipartisan and moderate group of business and civic leaders, has proposed rationalization of schools as a way to deal with declining enrollment in more than three-quarters of the state’s towns.

Read the full piece here.

 

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