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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CCER Chooses Meriden School as Winner of Common Core Contest

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

Meriden

CCER Chooses Meriden School as Winner of Common Core Contest 

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, September 11, 2014, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) announced that Hanover Elementary School in Meriden has won CCER’s Common Core Communications Contest. The contest was designed to showcase the creative and effective methods that districts and schools have used to communicate with parents about the Common Core. Hanover School is one of only three winners.

The announcement was held at Hanover Elementary School, and was attended by State Representative Catherine Abercrombie and staff from Meriden Public Schools. Hanover teachers Angela Fragoso and Marjorie Eager talked about the importance of presenting information to parents in both English and Spanish because the school serves many bilingual families. Then, Hanover parent Louis Bronk talked about how the school’s parent nights helped him to have a better understanding of what was happening in his daughters’ classrooms.Read More »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CCER Chooses Vernon as Winner of Common Core Contest

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

Vernon

CCER Chooses Vernon as Winner of Common Core Contest 

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, September 10, 2014, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) announced that Vernon Public Schools has won CCER’s Common Core Communications Contest. The contest was designed to showcase the creative and effective methods that districts and schools have used to communicate with parents about the Common Core. Vernon is one of only three winners.Read More »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aetna Foundation President Joins CCER Board of Directors

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

Aetna Foundation President Joins CCER Board of Directors

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, September 8, 2014, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has appointed to its Board of Directors Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation.

Dr. Graham is responsible for the Foundation’s philanthropic work, including its grant-making strategies to improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality health care.

Previously, Graham served as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he also led the Office of Minority Health. He holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health, and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University in Miami.

CCER Board Chair Steve Simmons said, “We are honored to welcome Garth Graham to the Board. He has shown a strong commitment to supporting underserved communities, and we are grateful that he has joined our mission to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all students.”

In addition to its newest member, CCER Board Members include:Read More »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Travelers Vice Chairman Joins CCER Board of Directors

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

Travelers Vice Chairman Joins CCER Board of Directors

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, September 8, 2014, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has appointed to its Board of Directors Alan Schnitzer, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Business and International Insurance at The Travelers Companies, Inc.

At Travelers, Schnitzer also oversees Field Management, Corporate Communications and Public Policy.

“It is a privilege to join an organization that is doing such terrific work for Connecticut’s kids,” said Schnitzer. “The future success of our communities rests with the opportunities we provide our children, and education is at the core.”

Schnitzer also serves on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Advisory Committee created under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Advisory Board for the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research, and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in finance and accounting and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

CCER Board Chair Steven Simmons said, “I am very pleased to welcome Alan Schnitzer to the Board. His business acumen will be a huge asset to our organization.”

Mr. Schnitzer will be filling the seat formerly held by Brian MacLean, President and COO of Travelers.

Regarding Mr. MacLean’s stepping down from the Board, Mr. Simmons said, “We greatly appreciate Brian’s many contributions to CCER, and I want to take this opportunity to wish him well. We are grateful to Travelers for its continued commitment to CCER’s mission of narrowing Connecticut’s achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all students.”

In addition to Alan Schnitzer, CCER Board Members include:Read More »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CCER Thanks Commissioner Pryor and Reflects on His Service

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

CCER Thanks Commissioner Pryor and Reflects on His Service

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, August 18, 2014, Connecticut Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, has announced that he will step down as Commissioner in December 2014. In response, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) released the following statement:

During the past three years under Pryor’s leadership, Connecticut has experienced the passage and implementation of sweeping education reform policies. The state has seen changes in how teachers are evaluated, the implementation of the Common Core, and the establishment of a framework for intervention that includes both the Alliance Districts and Commissioner’s Network. Throughout, Commissioner Pryor has supported innovations such as the expansion of charter schools and early childhood programming.

Reflecting on Pryor’s service, CCER Board Chair Steve Simmons said, “Stefan Pryor has been an outstanding Commissioner of Education and a real force for change. He has shepherded improvements in K-12 education that will have a meaningful and long-lasting, positive impact on our public schools. On behalf of CCER, I want to wish him well in his future endeavors and thank him for all he has done for the children in our state.”Read More »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CCER Tells State Board of Education–Support the Recommendations of the Common Core Task Force

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

CCER Tells State Board of Education: Support the Recommendations of the Common Core Task Force

New Haven, Connecticut – On June 26th, the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Taskforce submitted its final report to Governor Malloy, listing recommendations for improving statewide implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Today, Common Core implementation was a topic of discussion at the meeting of the State Board of Education. Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), released the following statement in response:

“The Common Core State Standards are right for our students, for our teachers, and for our future. Instead of spending time fighting the process of implementation, we now need to be collaborating to do it properly.

“That’s why CCER was pleased to see that membership on the Educator’s Common Core Implementation Task force represented all of our important stakeholders including, school administrations and teachers. I have written and testified many times in the past year about the importance of collaboration among stakeholders. If we are trying to make real, systemic changes, we need to do it collaboratively.

“The Task Force recommends establishing a clear and consistent understanding across the state as to what the standards should look like in the classroom and how they should impact instruction. They recognize the importance of providing effective training and job-embedded professional development so that our educators can transition smoothly. The Task force has recommended that we communicate across the state about the Common Core in a manner that keeps all stakeholders engaged in a jargon-free and informative discussion. And lastly, the Task Force has recommended ensuring that districts and schools have sufficient resources to navigate this transition.

“We see these recommendations as the foundation for a rubric to ensure that Connecticut effectively implements the new standards. Proper implementation across the state will require careful strategic planning, and these recommendations are a step in the right direction. They seek to involve the Connecticut State Department of Education and each district and community in the hard work of careful implementation, and they identify critical actions that will lead to success.

“As our districts continue their ongoing work of implementing the Common Core State Standards, I urge all interested parties to consider these recommendations and to prioritize the long-term goal of raising achievement over the short-term struggles of implementation. Our students deserve nothing less.”

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About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)–a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization–works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color, and their peers. 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 on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CCER Pleased to See Financial Support for Common Core Implementation

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

CCER Pleased to See Financial Support for Common Core Implementation

New Haven, Connecticut – Governor Malloy today announced that resources will be allocated to implement the recommendations of Connecticut’s Common Core Task Force. In response, Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) made this statement:

“We support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards as an important first step toward ensuring the global competitiveness of Connecticut’s children. And we’re very pleased to see resources being dedicated to helping districts with the difficult work of implementation.

“The funding will be committed to such endeavors as implementing the recommendations of the Task Force, technology upgrades, financing instructional workshops and professional development, and focusing on English language learners and special education students. In addition, there will be an ongoing Common Core advisory committee to ensure that parents and teachers have a voice as statewide implementation moves forward.

“The policies have been written.  What matters now is making sure that districts are equipped to meet the new standards with success. Making substantial changes within school districts is hard work, so we’re glad to see the state providing districts with resources and support.”

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About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)–a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization–works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color, and their peers. 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 on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Expansion of Preschool an Excellent Step Forward, But There is Much Left to Do

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

 

CCER: Expansion of Preschool an Excellent Step Forward, But There is Much Left to Do 

New Haven, Connecticut – Governor Malloy today announced the allocation of the 1,020 preschool slots that were funded during the 2014 legislative session. In response, Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) made the following statement:

“CCER is pleased that Connecticut has once again demonstrated its commitment to improving early childhood programming. Research shows that there are substantial short- and long-term benefits for children who attend preschool, especially for children who come from low-income backgrounds. Providing our youngest learners with these kinds of experiences is an important component of our ten-year plan to narrow Connecticut’s widest-in-the-nation achievement gap.

“CCER estimates that approximately 6,500 children from low-income families would benefit from state-funded slots in high-quality preschool programs. Last year, the state funded 1,000 slots for school readiness programs, and this year, we’ve funded another 1,020 slots. With today’s announcement, the state has allocated preschool opportunities to low-income children from 46 towns and cities across Connecticut. That is very exciting news. Read More »

Expecting More for Connecticut’s Students

By

CCER has always been committed to the idea that all Connecticut students deserve a great education that will prepare them for success in college and/or careers.

But right now, there’s no way to know if our kids are receiving the best education possible–because standards vary from state to state. What’s a B+ in one is a C+ or B- in another. 

That’s why we are working with business, community, and education organizations across Connecticut to support high academic standards in public education through the Common Core.

We are excited about this campaign, and about the fact that these six organizations could all get together in agreement on the need to raise standards in Connecticut.
It is great to see superintendents, boards of education, principals, business leaders, and policy leaders coming together on this important issue. Fully embracing and implementing Common Core will help to ensure that Connecticut kids have the bright futures they deserve.

Join the conversation and learn more!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CT’s Increased Graduation Rate Shows Narrowing of Achievement Gap

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

CCER: CT’s Increased Graduation Rate Shows Narrowing of Achievement Gap

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, on May 14th, 2014, Governor Malloy and Commissioner Pryor announced that Connecticut’s high school graduation rate has increased for four consecutive years. In response, Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) made this statement:

“We are pleased to learn that Connecticut’s graduation rate is continuously improving. According to Governor Malloy’s office, the statewide average graduation rate has increased by 3.7 percent since 2010. The graduation gap between students from low-income families and their peers has been reduced by 17.5 percent over the same period. It is essential that we continue this progress. There are too many low-income children and children of color who don’t graduate from high school. Students who drop out of school earn less than college graduates, each cost the state more than $500,000 across their lifetimes, are more likely to be incarcerated, and become part of an unskilled labor force in Connecticut. Read More »