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NBC Connecticut: First Statewide Teacher Evaluation Documents Released

‘I think we need to take a look at it and make sure we have some changes and make sure we have results that are meaningful and if everyone is given an ‘A’ then that’s not really meaningful results,’ Villar said.

Watch the video here.

2016: Can We Keep the Focus on Kids?

For the past several years, CCER has released an annual report on the state’s progress in passing and implementing our long-term plan to raise academic outcomes for all students, regardless of their race or socio-economic status. Based upon the recommendations we initially put forth in 2011, we developed a rubric so that we can both qualitatively and quantitatively track this progress.

At the end of 2015, we moved to an online format, so that you can track Connecticut’s progress in real time. So far, the state has fully implemented over 37% of our recommendations. We’ve accomplished so much, but there’s still a lot left to do.

We know that a lot of the upcoming legislative session is going to be focused on the budget deficit. But we also know that investing in Connecticut’s students is the best way our state can improve its economic prospects.

Read on to check out what we’ve accomplished to date, and how our 2016 policy priorities will keep the focus on kids!Read More »

Hartford Courant: Teachers want evaluation system changed

Others call it too soon to scrap the system. Jeffrey Villar, a former Windsor school superintendent who now heads the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said he knows first hand the challenges the new evaluation has presented but remains committed to the idea that teachers have a critical impact upon student learning and therefore there must be a connection between student learning and teacher evaluation.

“To call for a complete disconnect eliminates accountability,” Villar said. Rather than hold press conferences, Villar said CEA should be addressing their concerns to the statewide committee that developed the standards.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Union Calls for Dropping State Test Scores from Teachers’ Eval

Earlier this month the CEA recommended eliminating the Smarter Balanced test and replacing it with another test or possibly doing away with a standardized test completely.

State officials and other advocates for education have supported the linkage between the state standardized test scores and teacher evaluations.

Jeff Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Education Reform, said he favors retaining that linkage and added, “With the productive involvement of teachers, I believe we can improve the system and make the connection more meaningful.”

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Teachers’ Union Calls for Elimination of Smarter Balanced Test

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said Connecticut has already invested millions over the past five years in developing and piloting the new test, which was first administered to students in every district last spring. “And the CEA’s proposal would throw it all away,” he said. “That just doesn’t make sense.”

Read the full piece here.

Greenwich Time: Teachers want evaluation system changed

Others call it too soon to scrap the system. Jeffrey Villar, a former Windsor school superintendent who now heads the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said he knows first hand the challenges the new evaluation has presented but remains committed to the idea that teachers have a critical impact upon student learning and therefore there must be a connection between student learning and teacher evaluation.

“To call for a complete disconnect eliminates accountability,” Villar said. Rather than hold press conferences, Villar said CEA should be addressing their concerns to the statewide committee that developed the standards.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Malloy celebrates a school’s turnaround — and his record

“We have miles to go. Don’t get me wrong,” Malloy said, but he added, “It may be time to celebrate some of our successes.”

One of 30 low-performing school systems designated by the state four years ago as Alliance Districts targeted for extra funding, Bloomfield is one of the few districts that has made steady progress in all of its schools, according to a study last year by the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

 

 

“You have stayed the course,” Malloy told students and educators in a library decorated with a banner carrying the same marketing message the school system has posted on two highway billboards, “Raising the Bar is Taking us Far.”

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Landmark School Funding Lawsuit Goes to Trial Tuesday

State Rep. Andy Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, the co-chairman of the legislature’s education committee, said he is sympathetic to the aims of the plaintiffs, but added, “It is simply not true that that increasing expenditure closes the achievement gap. That on its own won’t do it. You must have the right district leaders, schoolteachers and policies in place to move students in a lagging district forward.”

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Education Reform, said he expects it to be difficult to determine if funding is “adequate and equitable” in cases, for instance, in which a district receives adequate funding but fails to make the systemic changes necessary to meet students’ needs.

“We need to be careful not to fall into the trap of oversimplifying and accepting the concept that improving educational outcomes for students is all about adding more resources,” he said.

Read the full piece here.

CEA Out of Touch: Proposes Costly, 19th Century Solutions to 21st Century Problems

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

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, January 7, 2016, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) called for Connecticut legislators to abandon the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC). In response, Jeffrey Villar, Executive Director of the CCER, made the following statement:

“The CEA’s proposal is startlingly out of touch, particularly as our state grapples with enormous budget shortfalls. As we contemplate a looming budget deficit, we can’t afford to waste public dollars.

“Connecticut has already invested millions of dollars in developing, field testing, and piloting the SBAC. That investment has spanned five years of hard work, including participation in a multi-state, non-profit consortium by content experts from the Connecticut State Department of Education and hundreds of Connecticut educators. The state also invested millions of dollars in improving district-level technological infrastructures. And the CEA’s proposal would throw it all away. That just doesn’t make sense.

“The SBAC’s 2015 administration only served as a benchmark for future assessments, so we haven’t even explored the test’s full potential yet. I doubt that Connecticut legislators are irresponsible enough to abandon the SBAC after this enormous financial investment and return to an outdated system.

“The legislature has already taken steps to improve and refine the SBAC—in the form of a Mastery Examination Committee. We encourage legislators to continue pursuing this very reasonable course of action.”

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Ready CT (Republication): Under Every Student Succeeds, Will Some Children Be Left Behind?

The new federal education bill continues to require that schools be held accountable for student outcomes, but it gives control back to states over setting expectations and policing outcomes. In that way, it marks a significant shift from the NCLB decade, in which efforts to reform American public schools were federally motivated and funded. But all we know so far is that the new federal bill will grant greater flexibility to states. What we don’t know yet is whether, given that flexibility, Connecticut will remember what it learned under NCLB: namely, that not every student succeeds in our state; indeed, that until things change significantly in our schools, many Connecticut children will beleft behind. Under Every Student Succeeds, it is now our responsibility to hold our state accountable for properly educating all students, regardless of race or socio-economic status.

Read the full opinion here.

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