3

Attract, develop, and empower the most effective leaders for our schools.

Foster Leadership

Total Points
Incomplete
16
Complete
5

3(a) - Broaden the Pool of CT School and District Leaders

2 out of 4 points

Connecticut receives 1 out of 4 available points for broadening its leadership pool.

Connecticut should grant its Commissioner of Education the authority to waive certification requirements in the case of a highly qualified leadership candidate from out of state. Currently, the Commissioner may only waive such requirements temporarily, during which probationary period the leaders in question must take a leadership course.1

However, Connecticut is making progress towards establishing reciprocity agreements with other states for the certification requirements for educators. Legislation passed in 2015 requires the Commissioner to enter into such agreements.According to the legislative testimony of the Commissioner of Education in 2016, a remaining barrier to full reciprocity agreements with other states is that not all other states are willing to enter into reciprocal agreements with Connecticut.3 Therefore, 2016 legislation created a new pathway for licensing out-of-state teachers as provisional educators if they have received two satisfactory performance evaluations in another state and the Commissioner’s chosen assessments.4 Legislation also made it easier for out-of-state applicants to earn provisional licenses by eliminating the requirement that they take extra special education classes.5

Connecticut’s only alternate route to certification (ARC) program, operated by Achievement First, is also designed to develop urban leadership, specifically in Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport. In the cohort ending in June 2016, there were 7 participants, each of whom was required to have at least 4 years of teaching experience.6 Connecticut should increase the number of ARC programs and remove the teaching experience requirement to broaden the leadership pool so that it includes highly qualified individual from varied professional backgrounds.

As for training specifically designed to produce urban leadership, the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation program (UCAPP) has two such programs: Preparing Leaders for Urban Schools (PLUS) (specifically designed for Hartford)and the Residency Program—a partnership between LEAD CT, the University of Connecticut,8 and the State Department of Education (designed to prepare leaders to work in low-achieving school districts). In May, 2016, the University of Connecticut had no PLUS graduates.9 There were 10 graduates from the Residency program.10


3(b) - Reform the Process of Administrator Preparation, Certification and Support

1 out of 4 points

Connecticut receives 1 out of 4 available points for reforming the process of administrator preparation, certification, and support.

The University of Connecticut has two administrator preparation programs that offer specialized tracks for improving urban/turnaround schools. Their Residency Program in partnership with LEAD CT and the State Department of Education is designed to prepare educational leaders, particularly for those who will work in low- achieving school districts. And UConn’s Neag School of Education has a “Preparing Leaders for Urban Schools “(PLUS) program, which focuses on Hartford-specific needs.11 While there were no PLUS graduates in 2016,12 there were 10 graduates of the Residency Program.13

However, Connecticut must do more to provide leadership candidates with training in meaningful evaluations, clinical experience, and mentorship.

Although regulations do require school administrators to be trained in evaluation and supervision, this requirement may currently be satisfied by “topics such as theories and techniques, current practices, staff development, and human relations”14. Administrators need to be prepared to implement Connecticut’s model of teacher evaluation in a way that is meaningful for teachers. Currently, the framework for reforming leader preparation programs by the Educator Preparation Advisory Council refers to the need for skills and knowledge in staff development, but provides little specificity.15

Besides training in meaningful evaluations, Connecticut should also make clinical practice a prominent feature of administrator preparation. Currently, only the higher education institutions that have Intermediate Supervision certification programs require internships as part of their program requirements.16 Academically robust and meaningful internships should be required of all administrator preparation programs.

In addition, when an administrator graduates from a preparation program, (s)he should be provided with a residency year, including mentorship and professional development, before beginning full-time employment. Current law requires participants in Alternate Routes for Administrator Certification to complete a one-year residency.17 This requirement should be extended to all administrator preparation graduates.


3(c) - Extensively Train Existing Principals in New Evaluation and Data Systems

2 out of 4 points

Connecticut receives 2 out of 4 available points for training existing principals in evaluation and data systems.

Although it has yet to fully implement the statewide model for teacher evaluations, all evaluators and teachers must receive training in the new evaluation system biennially.18 Annually, school districts must also train new evaluators before they can conduct any evaluations.19 The State Department of Education now prominently displays professional learning opportunities about the educator evaluation system on its website.20

The state is also working to train personnel in using student data, but believes it needs more time to develop a data-driven performance culture.21 Connecticut is two years into the new SBAC assessments and one year into the use of the SAT for high school ELA, Reading, and Math Assessments. The Connecticut State Department of Education has been sharing ways for schools and districts to use student assessment data to inform priorities for students, educators, schools, districts.22 Their website, “Educator Effectiveness and Professional Learning,” continues to provide information about upcoming opportunities for school leaders to learn about how to include data analysis in their professional practice.23

However, districts have found it challenging to use evaluation data to inform student and school decision-making to date.24


3(d) - Hold School Leaders Accountable

0 out of 3 points

Connecticut receives 0 out of 3 available points for holding school leaders accountable.

Connecticut’s administrator evaluations are statutorily required to be tied to growth in student achievement, according to the guidelines that were approved by the CSBE.25 However, in 2016, the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council’s recommendation to exclude state tests as a measure of student growth in educator evaluations for the 2016-17 evaluations.26 The SBOE said that the state assessments would be included in 2017-18 educator evaluations and that there would be no further extensions.

Connecticut must hold school leaders accountable by meaningful evaluation, linking their compensation to whether they meet their annual goals, and offering incentives to encourage highly effective principals to work in low-performing schools and districts.


3(e) - Remove Tenure and Collective Bargaining Rights from Principal and Assistant Principal Roles

0 out of 2 points

Connecticut receives 0 out of 2 available points for removing tenure or collective bargaining from principal and assistant principal roles.

Although Connecticut has made modifications to tenure laws as they impact teachers, Connecticut still needs to modify the statutory definition of “teacher”27 so that it does not encompass principals and assistant principals for the purposes of collective bargaining and tenure. Managers should not be granted this level of protection.


3(f) - Let District Leaders Run the System

0 out of 4 points

Connecticut receives 0 out of 4 available points for letting district leaders run the system.

Under existing statute, superintendents have managerial control over school districts.28 In practice in 2016, however, it became apparent that when local boards are disruptive, it is difficult or impossible for superintendents to exert the necessary level of control.29 The state must do more to empower district leaders, and then hold them accountable for results—including improved student performance.

Additionally, both the Connecticut State Board of Education and local boards should be required to undergo training on the role of the board and effective governance policies.


Foster Leadership Rubric

3(a) - Broaden the Pool of CT School and District Leaders - 4 points available

  • The Commissioner of Education is authorized to waive certification requirements for experienced out-of-state school and district leaders
  • CT establishes legislation granting automatic reciprocity to school and district leaders from other states.
  • Further legislation also opens Alternate Route to Certification (ARC) programs for individuals with varied professional backgrounds who have appropriate instructional leadership experience.
  • CT creates programs specifically designed to develop urban school leaders.

3(b) - Reform the Process of Administrator Preparation, Certification and Support - 4 points available

  • Graduates of administrator preparation programs are provided with a residency year—complete with mentorship and professional development—before beginning full-time employment as administrators.
  • Administrator preparation programs offer a specialized track for improving urban/turnaround schools.
  • Administrator preparation programs are required to include training in meaningful evaluations.
  • Administrator preparation programs prominently feature clinical practice in the pursuit of mastering defined teaching competencies.

3(c) - Extensively Train Existing Principals in New Evaluation and Data Systems - 4 points available

  • School principals are trained in the use of new student and teacher data systems.
  • Training in the new student and teacher data systems follows a statewide schedule.
  • School principals are trained in the use of the new evaluation system.
  • Training in the new evaluation system follows a statewide schedule.

3(d) - Hold School Leaders Accountable - 3 points available

  • Principal evaluations are tied to growth in student achievement.
  • Principal compensation is based upon each principal meeting annual goals.
  • CT offers incentives for principals evaluated as being highly effective to transfer to low-performing districts and/or schools.

3(e) - Remove Tenure and Collective Bargaining Rights from Principal and Assistant Principal Roles - 2 points available

  • Legislation modifies tenure so that it does not apply to principals or assistant principals.
  • Legislation is passed so that collective bargaining is no longer permitted for principals or assistant principals.

3(f) - Let District Leaders Run the System - 4 points available

  • Members of the CSBE are required to undergo training on the role of the board and effective governance policies.
  • All local boards of education are required to undergo training on the role of the board and effective governance policies.
  • Superintendents are required to publicly set goals on student performance that will be approved by the boards of education.
  • Superintendents are given the authority over operations of the school district, including hiring and evaluating of personnel.
= Complete     = Incomplete

Sources


  1. C.G.S. 10-157.
  2. P.A. 15-108, Section 2.
  3. Commissioner Wentzell testimony on S.B. 175 of the 2016 Legislative Session. Retrieved November 2016.
  4. P.A. 16-41, Section 8-9.
  5. Ibid.
  6. C.G.S. 10-145p (requiring candidates, even for the administrator alternative route to certification, to have four years of teaching experience).
  7. University of Connecticut website. PLUS. Retrieved October 2016.
  8. The University of Connecticut website. Residency. Retrieved October 2016.
  9. Information provided by UCONN to KSG on September 6, 2016.
  10. Ibid.
  11. University of Connecticut website. PLUS. Retrieved October 2016.
  12. Information provided by UCONN to KSG on September 6, 2016.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Connecticut Regulations Sec. 10-145d-574.
  15. Connecticut State Board of Education (2016). Addendum to 2013 Interim Report and Recommendations of the Educator Preparation Advisory Council (EPAC). Retrieved October 2016.
  16. See: UCONN Course Requirements. WCSU Course Requirements. SCSU Course Requirements. CCSU Course Requirements. University of Bridgeport Course Requirements. Sacred Heart University Course Requirements. Quinnipiac University Course Requirements.
  17. C.G.S. 10-145p.
  18. C.G.S. 10-151h.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Connecticut State Department of Education. Educator Effectiveness and Professional Learning. Retrieved October 2016.
  21. U.S. Department of Education (2015). Connecticut ESEA Flexibility Request. Retrieved October 2016.
  22. Connecticut State Department of Education. Educator Effectiveness and Professional Learning. Retrieved October 2016.
  23. Ibid.
  24. U.S. Department of Education (2015). Connecticut ESEA Flexibility Request. Retrieved October 2016.
  25. Connecticut State Department of Education. Educator Effectiveness and Professional Learning. Retrieved October 2016.
  26. Connecticut State Board of Education (2016). Connecticut State Board of Education Meeting Minutes. Retrieved October 2016.
  27. For instance, the 2015 SEED Handbook suggests a high school principal’s student learning objectives might include: (1) Increase English Learners’ graduation rate by 2%; (2) 90% of students complete 10th grade with 12 credits; and (3) 95% of students at the end of 10th grade can read on grade level. (Connecticut State Department of Education (2015). 2015 SEED Handbook: Connecticut’s System for Educator Evaluation and Development. Last retrieved Dec. 2015.)
  28. C.G.S. 10-151.
  29. Villar, J. (2016). New Haven superintendent’s departure underscores need to stabilize local control, New Haven Register Opinion. Retrieved October 2016.