CCER Prioritizes Pre-K and Human Capital in 2015
New Haven, Connecticut – On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) released its 2015 legislative and administrative priorities. According to Jeffrey Villar, Executive Director of CCER, these priorities are intended to improve public education in Connecticut by narrowing the achievement gap and raising academic outcomes for all students.
“As always,” Villar reported, “our top priority is to ensure that the historic reforms successfully passed in previous years are fully funded and implemented. But we also need to make new changes to keep improving the public education system.
“For instance, we want to further increase the number of School Readiness slots, setting aside new funding for low-income children to have opportunities to attend accredited programs. We also need to make sure that our low-income families can get access to that support, regardless of where they live in Connecticut.
“Additionally, we must elevate the teaching profession in several ways. To bring in more talent, we should enter into agreements with neighboring states, allowing educators who have successfully taught there to come and be licensed to teach within Connecticut too. Then, within the state, we need to improve our teacher preparation programs so that our new teachers are better prepared for the demands of teaching. We should also provide incentives to attract and retain excellent teachers to our neediest schools.
“At the same time, we can broaden our leadership pool by entering into administrator reciprocity agreements and adding Alternate Routes to Certification (ARCs).”
However, according to CCER, not all the needed changes are legislative.
“There are also some things that need to be done administratively,” Villar explained. “We have outlined several steps that the state can take to ramp up its interventions in low-performing districts. We’ve also recommended that regulations be amended to heighten admissions standards for teacher preparation programs. And, one of the most important things we’ve recommended is a focus on increasing the capacity of the State Department of Education.”
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