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.2 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)7 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