NBC Connecticut: First Statewide Teacher Evaluation Documents Released

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‘I think we need to take a look at it and make sure we have some changes and make sure we have results that are meaningful and if everyone is given an ‘A’ then that’s not really meaningful results,’ Villar said.

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Hartford Courant: Teachers want evaluation system changed

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Others call it too soon to scrap the system. Jeffrey Villar, a former Windsor school superintendent who now heads the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said he knows first hand the challenges the new evaluation has presented but remains committed to the idea that teachers have a critical impact upon student learning and therefore there must be a connection between student learning and teacher evaluation.

“To call for a complete disconnect eliminates accountability,” Villar said. Rather than hold press conferences, Villar said CEA should be addressing their concerns to the statewide committee that developed the standards.

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Hartford Courant: Union Calls for Dropping State Test Scores from Teachers’ Eval

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Earlier this month the CEA recommended eliminating the Smarter Balanced test and replacing it with another test or possibly doing away with a standardized test completely.

State officials and other advocates for education have supported the linkage between the state standardized test scores and teacher evaluations.

Jeff Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Education Reform, said he favors retaining that linkage and added, “With the productive involvement of teachers, I believe we can improve the system and make the connection more meaningful.”

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Hartford Courant: Teachers’ Union Calls for Elimination of Smarter Balanced Test

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Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said Connecticut has already invested millions over the past five years in developing and piloting the new test, which was first administered to students in every district last spring. “And the CEA’s proposal would throw it all away,” he said. “That just doesn’t make sense.”

Read the full piece here.

Greenwich Time: Teachers want evaluation system changed

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Others call it too soon to scrap the system. Jeffrey Villar, a former Windsor school superintendent who now heads the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said he knows first hand the challenges the new evaluation has presented but remains committed to the idea that teachers have a critical impact upon student learning and therefore there must be a connection between student learning and teacher evaluation.

“To call for a complete disconnect eliminates accountability,” Villar said. Rather than hold press conferences, Villar said CEA should be addressing their concerns to the statewide committee that developed the standards.

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Malloy celebrates a school’s turnaround — and his record

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“We have miles to go. Don’t get me wrong,” Malloy said, but he added, “It may be time to celebrate some of our successes.”

One of 30 low-performing school systems designated by the state four years ago as Alliance Districts targeted for extra funding, Bloomfield is one of the few districts that has made steady progress in all of its schools, according to a study last year by the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

 

 

“You have stayed the course,” Malloy told students and educators in a library decorated with a banner carrying the same marketing message the school system has posted on two highway billboards, “Raising the Bar is Taking us Far.”

Read the full piece here.

Hartford Courant: Landmark School Funding Lawsuit Goes to Trial Tuesday

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State Rep. Andy Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, the co-chairman of the legislature’s education committee, said he is sympathetic to the aims of the plaintiffs, but added, “It is simply not true that that increasing expenditure closes the achievement gap. That on its own won’t do it. You must have the right district leaders, schoolteachers and policies in place to move students in a lagging district forward.”

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Education Reform, said he expects it to be difficult to determine if funding is “adequate and equitable” in cases, for instance, in which a district receives adequate funding but fails to make the systemic changes necessary to meet students’ needs.

“We need to be careful not to fall into the trap of oversimplifying and accepting the concept that improving educational outcomes for students is all about adding more resources,” he said.

Read the full piece here.

Ready CT (Republication): Under Every Student Succeeds, Will Some Children Be Left Behind?

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The new federal education bill continues to require that schools be held accountable for student outcomes, but it gives control back to states over setting expectations and policing outcomes. In that way, it marks a significant shift from the NCLB decade, in which efforts to reform American public schools were federally motivated and funded. But all we know so far is that the new federal bill will grant greater flexibility to states. What we don’t know yet is whether, given that flexibility, Connecticut will remember what it learned under NCLB: namely, that not every student succeeds in our state; indeed, that until things change significantly in our schools, many Connecticut children will beleft behind. Under Every Student Succeeds, it is now our responsibility to hold our state accountable for properly educating all students, regardless of race or socio-economic status.

Read the full opinion here.

CT Viewpoints: Connecticut must continue push toward education equity

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With the new Every Child Succeeds Act, states will have more flexibility to determine policies on accountability and intervention in our lowest performing schools. Our six organizations join together to urge Connecticut’s leaders to use this flexibility to build upon and accelerate the progress that is already underway in our schools.

Read the full opinion here.

Republican America: Waterbury schools group pushing change

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By Michael  Puffer

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, said Monday the public can hold its elected officials accountable for contract decisions. He had to admit that most voters, including himself, do not consider this at the polls.

“We are not really forcing them to be accountable,” Villar said.

Read the full piece here.

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