The Associated Press: Committee Outlines Plan to Reduce Education “Achievement Gap”

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A state-appointed education committee says it has a ten-year plan to help reduce Connecticut’s achievement gap between low-income students and their peers, which it says is the worst in the country.

The commission says many of its recommendations call for reallocating resources and over time should help shrink a 34-point gap between the state’s poorest and more affluent students.

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Hartford Courant: First, Give Me A Governor Who Believes in Public Education

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By Rick Green

A panel of education and business leaders has assembled an impressive (and exhausting) punch list of what we must do to erase the achievement gap — a massive 65-item agenda that covers everything from kindergarten to teacher pay to summer school to school funding.

Bravo. We need more CEOs, bankers and businessmen and women who grasp the most important issue facing Connecticut – there is no economic future when you have public schools where poor, minority children fail and white suburban students succeed.

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CT Mirror: Business Leaders Outline ‘Essential’ Reforms to Close Education Achievement Gap

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By Jacqueline Rabe

A group of state business leaders released a set of recommendations today that they say will help narrow the state’s education achievement gap—proposals that are likely to prove both costly and controversial…

Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in the U.S. Minority students and those from low-income families routinely score below their white and more affluent classmates on U.S. Department of Education reading and mathematics tests.

This education reform platform — endorsed by past and present business leaders from People’s Bank, New Alliance Bank, The Hartford, Connecticut Business and Industry Association and GE Asset Management Group — contains recommendations that have been controversial in the past, including linking teacher pay and tenure decisions to student performance.

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HartfordBusiness–Panel: CT Must Overhaul Its School System

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Connecticut must overhaul its education system to narrow the achievement gap among low-income fourth- and eighth-graders that is the nation’s worst, a blue-ribbon state panel says…

In Connecticut, the gap between low-income and non low-income students is wider than that of any other state, the panel appointed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. Studies show that 4th and 8th grade low-income students in the state are, on average, roughly three grade-levels or more behind non low-income students in reading and math.

‘There is a misconception that Connecticut’s achievement gap is wide only because our state has some of the nation’s highest-achieving students,’ said Roxanne Coady, President and Founder R. J. Julia Booksellers. ‘But the numbers also show that our low income students are in the bottom third on some key tests compared to low income children in other states. This is also a big contributor to the achievement gap. And it’s important to note that this is not just an urban issue. It exists in most of our towns throughout the state.’

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Hartford Courant: Governor’s Commission Proposes Dozens of Reforms

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By GRACE E. MERRITT

The governor’s commission on the state’s achievement gap presented dozens of bold reform proposals Tuesday, including a state-funded preschool for all low-income students, a requirement that high school students pass a test before they can graduate and linking teacher pay and tenure to student performance…

The commission, composed mostly of business leaders, spent nearly eight months compiling the report. The group held hearings, met with 150 educational experts, conducted extensive research and traveled to three other states to learn about successful reforms.

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Greenwich Time: Is Greenwich Cable Entrepreneur Connecticut’s ‘Superman’?

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By Lisa Chamoff

Steven Simmons credits his public school education while growing up on Long Island, N.Y., with instilling his lifelong interest in learning and a strong work ethic…

About a year-and-a-half ago, Simmons said he became aware of the achievement gap. After dozens of phone calls, meetings and conversations, Simmons developed the concept of a committee to examine the situation. He then met with Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who agreed to appoint the commission.

Simmons said the commission’s members, which include CEOs, a former teacher and other businesspeople with interest in education issues, visited schools and met with nearly 200 educational experts, including officials at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and in Delaware, which was one of the first states to receive Race to the Top funding. The commission also held six public hearings around the state.

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