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Hartford Courant: Business Led School Reform Group Launches In Conn

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Associated Press

Published by Hartford Courant, July 12, 2011

HARTFORD, CT – Several corporate leaders are launching a nonprofit organization to push for education reforms in Connecticut, saying changes are critical to the state’s business climate, economy and the quality of its workforce.

The group members, including some current and former corporate presidents, announced Tuesday at the state Capitol that their new Connecticut Council for Education Reform is picking up where the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement left off last year.

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Business Leaders to Launch Statewide Education Reform Organization

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HARTFORD, CT – Business leaders will announce a new statewide non-profit focused on driving comprehensive education reform. Born out of the governor-appointed Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement, the new entity is committed to closing the achievement gap and improving education overall in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform will announce its membership and agenda at the press conference.

 

Who: The Connecticut Council for Education Reform

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: State Capitol, Rm. 314, Hartford

What: Business Leaders Launch the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

CT Mirror: Teacher Evaluation Policies Must Reflect Student Needs

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Op Ed By Shana Kennedy-Salchow

While most of the sound and fury during this legislative session has centered on the state’s budget deficit, there are crucial education issues that cry out for attention. For example, Connecticut’s current statutes related to teacher employment and evaluation policies are out of date. They are unfair to students and our best teachers and give us a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting and maintaining effective teachers…

These changes ensure that our most effective teachers remain and improve in the classroom, our struggling teachers receive the help they need, and our students receive the instruction they deserve. They also ensure that Connecticut is able to compete for ambitious teachers– those who want to find new ways to help students perform at their best and to be recognized for doing so.

The bill should be amended to allow districts to give primary consideration to evaluation outcomes. This way, they could first lay off teachers identified as needing “intensive supervision and assistance” with their current evaluation processes. It makes no sense to lay off a teacher who has been documented as being a great teacher while keeping someone who has been identified as struggling simply because he has more years of experience. This practice is unfair to our best teachers but most of all to our students who will receive the ultimate consequence of poor academic instruction and preparation for the future.

It is time for Connecticut’s legislature to put the needs of our students and teachers over the archaic and debilitating policies and practices that govern our teacher employment decisions today.

Read the full opinion here.

 

 

Stamford Advocate: Achievement Gap More Than a Black and White Issue

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By Maggie Gordon

The achievement gap between low-income and non-low-income students in Connecticut is the largest in the nation, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics…

‘The fascinating thing here is that when you look at low-income kids in Connecticut, we oftentimes are in the bottom one-third of states…’ said Shana Kennedy, co-executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement…

‘Connecticut’s overall performance is pretty impressive; we tend to be in the top five overall, and I think for a long time we were able to hide behind that,’ Kennedy said.

Read the full story here.

 

 

Hartford Courant: Blueprint For Public Schools

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Published by Hartford Courant, December 27, 2010

Agenda 2011 Goals: End the achievement gap, get A’s on nation’s report card

This state does well in schooling better-off suburban children. But it fails low-income children, who are mostly concentrated in city schools. Poor students in the fourth and eighth grades in Connecticut score three grade levels below their more comfortable peers — the worst achievement gap in the nation — even though this state is among the highest per-pupil spenders in the nation.

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Connecticut Post: Education a Top Priority

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Published by Connecticut Post, December 27, 2010

Among the new courses Gov.-elect Dan Malloy will set in the coming year is that for the state’s Education Department.

He has said he will run a national search for a person to replace Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan, who was appointed to the job in January 2007 and who resigned last week.

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Connecticut Post: Improve Chances for Every Student

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Published by Connecticut Post, December 17, 2010

Some of the arguments made in the recent opinion piece “Educational problems run deeper than achievement gap” are indeed correct. The recent PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results reinforce the need for the entire nation, not just Connecticut, to address and reform education for students at every level.

However, the opinion piece misses the mark in that improving educational outcomes for high-performing and low-performing students are not mutually exclusive goals.

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Connecticut Post: Reaching Out to Malloy on Education

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Published by Connecticut Post, December 10, 2010

Dear Gov.-elect Malloy,

On Nov. 16, a partnership led by the Bridgeport Public Education Fund and the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition with support from Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children, Regional Youth/Adult Social Action Partnership, School Volunteer Association, and Bridgeport Partnership for Student Success held a panel presentation on the report issued by the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement. Over 150 people, from across the state, attended the presentation at Housatonic Community College. Commissioners David Carson, Carla Klein, Dudley Williams, and Co-Executive Director Shana Kennedy were the panelists.

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Hartford Courant: Education Commissioner Is Critical Choice For Malloy

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By Rick Green

Published by Hartford Courant, December 10, 2010

Reformer needed to address state’s school issues

The most critical selection Gov.-elect Dan Malloy will make for his administration will be the toughest.

Connecticut’s next commissioner of education must make bold changes while also placating powerful teacher unions and their political supporters.

The difficult questions facing Connecticut — how will municipalities pay for education, where will our future workforce come from, is it possible to shrink the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap between white and minority students? — are wrapped up in our public schools.

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Hartford Courant: November 2010

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Published by Hartford Courant, November 24, 2010

Connecticut’s academic achievement gap lasts all the way through senior year of high school and remains the largest in the nation, a school reform group says.

ConnCAN, an education advocacy group, said its analysis shows that the state’s low-income and minority 12th-graders performed about three grade levels behind their white, middle-class peers on national test results released last week.

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