CBIA: CBIA, Connecticut Council for Education Reform Join Forces

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Since 2011, CCER has worked to narrow the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut.

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CT Viewpoints (opinion) – State board should project objectivity in teacher evaluation

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

CT Mirror – UConn Researchers Say CT’s Chief Education Reform Plans Lack Coherence

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By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

The Alliance District approach was created by lawmakers in 2012 to get the state more involved in improving chronically struggling districts. Now in its fifth year, this report on is the first to assess how the program has done.

Jeffrey Villar, the executive director of CCER, said during a press conference at the Capitol complex that he is concerned that this program is providing too little value under its current setup.

child,” said Joseph J. Cirasuolo, the executive director of the school superintendent’s group, which is part of the coalition suing the state.

Read the full story here.

CT Viewpoints (opinion): The General Assembly needs facts, not falsehoods

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A recent story in the CT Mirror described a presentation to reporters a few weeks ago by the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), the largest teachers’ union, in which union leaders attempted to expose the spending practices of charter schools. The problem is that the report the CEA was referencing was deliberately misleading –seeking to villainize charter schools during a tight budget year in which education funding will be a key issue.

When a report such as the one released by the CEA utterly ignores nuance or context, it isn’t a sound foundation for an honest and reasonable conversation about how to improve the state’s education funding. Instead, take a look at these six principles for improved education funding, agreed to by a coalition of education stakeholders representing varied constituencies. In the interest of full disclosure, my organization is one of the signatories. We have been debating and analyzing and learning in great detail for more than 2 years in pursuit of real solutions.

Read the full story here.

Bristol Press: Malloy to propose new education funding formula

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By Skyler Frazer Staff Writer

‘Taken as a whole, this new formula is intended to bring greater accountability and flexibility in a system that hasn’t been making the grade,’ Malloy said.

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, released a statement following Malloy’s press conference in which he supported the governor’s ECS proposals.

‘CCER is optimistic about these proposed changes to ECS. We are part of a coalition of education stakeholders that has spent over two years analyzing ECS and contemplating solutions to make it more fair, equitable, and predictable,’ Villar said in his statement.

Read the full story here.

The Hour: Fix in school funding formula a top priority for local legislators

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A more equitable system for the way Connecticut divvies out money to its public school systems could soon become a reality.

Those core principles were put forward by several other education advocacy organizations as well, including the Connecticut Association of Board of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Association of Schools and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

Read the full story here.

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