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CT Mirror: Education reform group folds into CT’s chief business lobby

The business-backed Connecticut Council for Education Reform – which lobbies at the state Capitol and is often a voice opposing the state’s teachers’ unions – is folding into the state’s chief business organization, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

Read the full piece here.

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.

CCER and the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) Join Forces

We Have Exciting News About the Future of Our Work!

Since its inception, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has been a strong voice for improving public education. Born out of a gubernatorial commission tasked with developing high-leverage policies to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap—CCER has been an effective advocate for state-level change. More than twenty of our policy positions were contained in the 2012 omnibus education bill, and we’ve collaborated since then with a wide spectrum of partners to keep improving public education. We’ve participated in state committees, given input to top state officials, and made sure that the needs of Connecticut’s students remained front and center for the legislature, year after year.

At the same time, we’ve worked with Connecticut’s highest-need school districts, providing free, capacity building support—with an emphasis on business-oriented strategies like leadership development, using data to track progress, and strategic planning. Our recent report, Focus: How Longterm Planning Processes Can Improve StateLed Turnaround in Connecticut, held a mirror up to the state’s efforts to turn around the 30 lowest performing school districts. And our very well-attended state conferences have been a consistent forum for educators to discuss best practices that meet student needs.

Now, it’s time to think even bigger.

Recognizing the importance of education to businesses in Connecticut, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) has decided to expand its efforts at improving public education. Since our beginning, we’ve always reflected business views on the need for education reform, and CBIA has been a close ally all along. Our Board of Directors recently voted to join with CBIA in a union that will strengthen our voice in pushing to improve public education.

CCER’s board will continue to guide us from within the CBIA framework. We will be joining their ranks under a new name: the CBIA Education & Workforce Partnership. CBIA has more than 8,000 business members who all have a stake in ensuring that students complete high school ready to succeed. Under this new partnership, we will continue to advance statewide capacity building and policy efforts—while representing the interests and voice of Connecticut businesses. I will become Vice President for Education Policy at CBIA and will continue to work with CCER’s Board.

Our collective resources and connections will both maximize our efforts to improve public education and better represent business interests. We are excited for the potential that this partnership creates.

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 »

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