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ICYMI: Why Do We Need Assessments?

In case you missed it, we’re reposting the Connecticut Assessment FAQ, we developed in collaboration with:

  • The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents
  • The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
  • The Connecticut Association of Schools
  • ConnCAN
  • The Connecticut Business & Industry Association

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Feel free to share! Download the full PDF here.

Testimony of Jeffrey Villar Before Education Committee

On Thursday, March 19th, the Education Committee heard testimony from the general public and public officials during a hearing that ran deep into the night. To read Jeffrey Villar’s written testimony, click here.

The following is a list of the important bills that were heard by the Committee:

1. H.B. No. 7016 (RAISED) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MORE COMMISSION SPECIAL EDUCATION SELECT WORKING GROUP. (ED)

2. S.B. No. 1099 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION TO DEVELOP A VISION AND STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE CONNECTICUT EDUCATION SYSTEM. (ED)

3. H.B. No. 7017 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENT DATA PRIVACY. (ED)

4. S.B. No. 1103 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL DISTRICTS OF INNOVATION. (ED)

5. H.B. No. 7019 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT. (ED)

6. S.B. No. 1095 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENTS ASSESSMENTS. (ED)

7. H.B. No. 7020 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS AND INITIATIVES. (ED)

8. S.B. No. 1101 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD. (ED)

9. H.B. No. 7021 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAM EFFICACY. (ED)

10. S.B. No. 1098 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING TEACHER CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SHORTAGE AREAS, INTERSTATE AGREEMENTS FOR TEACHER CERTIFICATION RECIPROCITY, MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION AND CULTURAL COMPETENCY INSTRUCTION. (ED)

11. H.B. No. 7018 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION. (ED)

12. S.B. No. 1096 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING CHARTER SCHOOLS. (ED)

13. H.B. No. 7022 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING AUTHORIZATION OF STATE GRANT COMMITMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS AND CHANGES TO THE STATUTES CONCERNING SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS. (ED)

14. S.B. No. 1097 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING STATE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION. (ED)

15. H.B. No. 7024 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING MEASURES FOR CALCULATING SCHOOL AND DISTRICT PERFORMANCE AND WAIVERS OF FEDERAL LAW SOUGHT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (ED)

16. S.B. No. 1102 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR BILINGUAL EDUCATORS. (ED)

17. H.B. No. 7023 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES. (ED)

18. S.B. No. 1100 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ELIMINATION OF THE REPORTING AND COLLECTION OF CERTAIN STUDENT AND TEACHER DATA. (ED)

 

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Re-Post: How a Bill Becomes a Law and the Role of the Public Hearing

Introduction of New Bills

Every new piece of legislation begins as a bill before a specific committee, depending on the subject matter of the bill.  (For example, education related matters for grades K-12 would be introduced in the Education Committee of the General Assembly.)

Once the specific committee of cognizance receives and reviews a bill, the committee decides to take one of the following actions:Read More »

CCER’s 2014 Policy Progress Report

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Each year, we hold ourselves accountable by tracking the number of our our policies that are implemented each year from our original 10-year policy plan to narrow the achievement gap.

While last year’s report tracked the tremendous progress that was made over several years, this year’s report shows that progress has slowed. We must do more in 2015!

Download The 2014 Report Now

What We Mean by “District-Level Supports”: Example 2–Funding Analysis

This year–as CCER began to expand its work to provide support to public school districts –we partnered with an urban school district serving more than 18,000 Connecticut students. Our plan was to support the District in re-thinking some of its core management systems (e.g. human capital, finance, data, operations, and governance) because we believe that school systems need to have high-quality, strategic systems in place if they are going to effectively implement strategies to raise student achievement.

Earlier this week, we posted a blog about how we provided this District with supports to transform its human capital system. In a second project with the District, CCER partnered with Education Resource Strategies (ERS) to analyze the District’s spending. Our objective here was to “hold a mirror” up to the District and provide a holistic picture of how it currently allocates its resources. The idea was that this information would help the District to make data-driven decisions about trade-offs so that it could fund its most important priorities and improve student achievement.Read More »

What We Mean by “District-Level Supports”: Example 1–Human Capital

This year–as CCER began to expand its work to provide support to public school districts–we partnered with an urban school district serving more than 18,000 Connecticut students. Our plan was to support the District in re-thinking some of its core management systems (e.g. human capital, finance, data, operations, and governance) because we believe that school systems need to have high-quality, strategic systems in place if they are going to effectively implement strategies to raise student achievement.

Our first project was to transform the District’s human capital system. Using the then-existing system, the District was struggling to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and leaders.

In order to transform the human capital system, we broke down our project into two objectives: (a) recommend new strategies for recruitment and hiring; and (b) improve the effectiveness of the District’s human resources (HR) department.Read More »

Supporting Public School Districts

CCER’s mission is to close the achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all public school students in Connecticut. Over the past two years we’ve advocated for policies aimed at accomplishing this goal. But, along the way we have learned that many school systems need more support for the reforms to be fully effective.

CCER believes that school systems need to have high-quality, well-functioning core management systems (e.g. human capital, finance, data, operations, and governance) in place if they are going to effectively implement strategies to raise student achievement. However, overwhelmed district leaders are often left trying to raise student achievement without first being able to address the need to strategically rework their management systems.

That’s why CCER has begun to expand its work by providing district-level supports (in addition to sustaining its state-level policy efforts). We believe that in order for state-level policies to truly impact the stakeholders who matter—the students—these policies must be implemented properly at the school and district levels. Having strong core management systems is key to enabling district leaders to focus on the practices that can raise student achievement.Read More »

CCER Summer Fellow Reports on District-Level Work

In our 2010 report, we advocated for reviewing how funds are distributed to individual schools and programs, stating: “Clear, consistent, and comparable data on per-pupil expenditures at the school, district, and state level is critical to understanding whether state funds appropriately address student need and school results.”

A plan to help close CT's achievement gapBecause investing intelligently is a key lever for closing the achievement gap while raising academic achievement, CCER is collaborating with Education Resource Strategies and a team of summer fellows to perform  school district funding  analysis project for Waterbury Public Schools, which is designed to help the school district understand how its financial resources are being spent.Read More »

Students Remain a Priority at Close of Legislative Session

At the close of the 2013 legislative session, Connecticut legislators and stakeholders have truly shown just how committed they are to the state’s children. The budget bill that passed on Monday night, H.B. 6704, restored most of the funding for education reform that had been threatened throughout session.

This has been a hard-won battle to secure funding for the major reforms that were passed during last year’s legislative session and through state action this year.

Here’s a look at what has been secured for Connecticut’s students:Read More »