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Seattle Times: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

LA Times: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

US News: Receiver Named for ‘Underperforming’ School District

By Associated Press

Jeffrey Villar will oversee the school district that was placed in state receivership last January after being designated as “chronically underperforming” by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. He previously served as a school superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

Hartford Business Journal: Education reform leader Villar to depart CBIA for Mass. job

By Patricia Daddona

Jeffrey Villar is leaving his post as executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform to take a new position with the Southbridge, Mass., school district.

Villar, who also is vice president of education policy at CBIA, has lead CCER since 2013. Last year, he worked with the CCER board and CBIA staff on the formal affiliation of the two organizations.

Read the full article here.

Telegram.com: Connecticut educator is next receiver for Southbridge schools

By Brian Lee

Connecticut educator Jeffrey Villar has been appointed as the next receiver for Southbridge Public Schools, effective Feb. 12.

Mr. Villar is executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform and was a superintendent in Windsor and Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Read the full article here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–Jeffrey Villar Steps Down from CCER

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform and vice president of education policy at CBIA, has stepped down from his current roles to take a new position with the Southbridge, Massachusetts school district.

Villar has been at the head of CCER since 2013. Last year, he worked with the CCER board and CBIA staff on the formal affiliation of the two organizations.

During his tenure, Villar’s efforts focused on closing Connecticut’s achievement gap and improving public education.

“Public education is key to sustaining Connecticut’s productive workforce,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.

“The business community is committed to addressing educational disparities that prevent us from building a robust talent pipeline.

“We thank Jeffrey for his years of service and look forward to seeing him succeed in his next role.”

“CCER’s board looks forward to continuing its partnership with CBIA and is committed to sustaining its mission of narrowing Connecticut’s achievement gap—which we believe is critical to Connecticut’s long-term competitive advantage,” said Steve Simmons, chairman of CCER’s board of directors.

“We wish Jeffrey great success in his new endeavor. He has been a force for good in the education landscape, with achievements in policy and practice.”

Villar has worked in public education for 25 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. In his new role, he is now the state-appointed receiver of the 2,200-student Southbridge School District, and will act as both superintendent and school board committee.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to have been a part of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform,” Villar said.

“Working with Joe and the incredible staff at CBIA to forge a strong affiliation between the organizations has also been a privilege.

“It will ensure that Connecticut takes the steps necessary to close achievement gaps and to address its urgent workforce development needs.”

CBIA and CCER are now in the process of finding a successor for the position.


CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).

CCER is a statewide, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. We advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations. For more information, visit ctedreform.org.

CT Mirror-Lessons from Next Door: Massachusetts is like CT, But Does a Better Job Educating the Poor

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Since then, state lawmakers still haven’t made the changes that preceded Massachusetts’ gains – or they have moved forward more cautiously.

‘Every year we adults play around with whether local control matters or not is a year that kids aren’t getting access to high-quality education in places like Bridgeport,’ said Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, which lobbies at the state Capitol for the state’s chief business coalition.

Read the full article here.

Hartford Courant: Bloomfield’s James Thompson Named Superintendent of the Year

By Steven Goode

During his tenure, the high school graduation rate has increased by 17 percentage points and Bloomfield students have outgained state averages on standardized test scores.

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, which has worked with Bloomfield schools, said Thompson is a “perfect choice” for the award.

“His 40 years of experience is really paying off for Bloomfield,” Villar said.

Read the full piece here.

Harvard Political Review–All or Nothing: Understanding Connecticut’s Stark Political Polarization

By Lauren Fadiman

Connecticut’s wealth disparity also manifests itself in educational imbalances. According to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, Connecticut is home to the largest educational achievement gap in the United States. In Fairfield County, New Canaan, a top-performing, wealthy, almost entirely white district borders Bridgeport, a low-performing, impoverished district. In the former, students perform about three grade levels above the national average; in the latter, students perform about two grade levels behind the national average. This problem has existed for years, predominantly impacting communities of color that, due to the segregative housing policies of Connecticut’s past, live in economically disadvantaged areas.

Read the full piece here.

The Literacy Leadership Institute

Dear School Leader, 

The education landscape is riddled with abandoned initiatives that have failed to deliver on their hefty promises. What goes wrong? Was the initial research that compelled us to embrace the approach flawed?  Did we err in our selection of the strategy?  Or did we simply fail to effectively implement the initiative with fidelity?  We can fall victim to the latter when we measure outcomes without also measuring outputs. “Outcomes” tell us about the long-term impact of our efforts, while “outputs” help us to identify whether an intervention was delivered in the first place.

To draw reasonable conclusions about whether an initiative in our school is working for our students, we need to see the relationships between outcomes and outputs. In other words, we need to monitor implementation

That’s the context for our upcoming leadership series, The Literacy Leadership Institute. This is an opportunity for select leaders—current and aspiring—to work with international and local experts on effectively implementing and monitoring literacy programs. This year-long series will help you think about what’s working in literacy, explore useful resources, and ramp up your literacy efforts. It will also impart broad leadership skills that will help you to monitor the implementation of other initiatives. (Click here to learn more!)

Applications are due December 1st, and we look forward to hearing from you. 

Sincerely,

Karissa Niehoff | Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Schools

Jeffrey Villar | Executive Director, Connecticut Council for Education Reform 

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