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Teacher and Administrator Preparation: Another SBE Opportunity


Did you know research has shown that teacher quality is the most important factor in the academic achievement of students?  Or that in 2010, the CT State Department of Education identified an “urgent need” for effective school leaders in the state?  Given the importance of teacher and school leader effectiveness, we think it’s time to explore the programs that prepare Connecticut’s educators.Read More »

Powers of the SBE, Part 3: Student Achievement in Evaluations

The final State Board of Education superpower that we’ll look at for this week is the ability to require that student growth be given significant weight in teacher and principal evaluations.

Now let’s take a time-out to talk about what we mean when we say “student growth” because we know this phrase alarms some interested parties.

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Powers of the SBE, Part 2: Framework for Intervention

In our last post, we discussed the State Board of Education’s authority to create a new 5-year plan for the state of Connecticut.

Another power that the Board should be using is the authority to build a system that monitors the performance of all of Connecticut’s districts and schools based on pre-determined academic indicators, identifies which schools and districts are consistently low-achieving, and requires state intervention for those schools and districts.  We call this much-needed system a “framework for intervention.” Read More »

Powers of the SBE, Part 1: The 5-Year Plan

This week, let’s talk about the top three existing authorities that the State Board of Education should be using to reform public education!

The State Board of Education has the statutory authority to prepare a comprehensive five-year education plan, complete with long- and short-term goals, cost analysis, benchmarks, and methods for achieving their goals and objectives. Read More »

Update on the Achievement Gap Task Force


The CT Achievement Gap Task Force had its first meeting on November 14th at the Legislative Office Building. The eleven-member group is responsible for developing a master plan that will identify the academic achievement gaps that exist across various groups, focus efforts to close those gaps, and establish annual benchmarks while implementing their recommendations. The legislation establishing this task force set a goal to close Connecticut’s achievement gap by January 1, 2020. This is the “second chapter” of the original task force that met over several months in 2010 and issued its report in January of 2011.  Recent legislation requires the establishment of an Interagency Task Force, representing the government’s key stakeholders, to develop and, more importantly, implement the plan. Read More »

Education Reform Will Be Focus of Legislative Session


By: Dr. Joseph Cirasuolo, Executive Director of Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents

It has taken some time, but, the Connecticut education community has begun to accept the notion that real and fundamental change to our public education system is not only necessary, but essential if we want to help our children succeed.  This is not the time to tinker around the edges, but to take major steps toward restructuring what we do, how we do it and who will take responsibility for improving student achievement in our state.  We expect that education reform will be a major theme of the next session of the General Assembly and it is important that all of us engage in the discussion about how we can restore Connecticut’s place as a leader in public education and in student achievement.Read More »

Connecticut’s Achievement Gap and Long-Term Workforce Needs


By: Louis W. Bach, Connecticut Business and Industry Association

With the state’s unemployment rate hovering just above 9%, one would anticipate that job openings in Connecticut are few and, when a position opens up, that it is filled quickly. Connecticut’s business owners know differently. Read More »

The Achievement Gap–Economic Implications

Did you know that Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in the country? This means that there’s a huge difference between the way our low-income and non-low-income students perform academically. In addition to the obvious moral issues this raises, the economic implications are huge. According to the former CEO of New Alliance Bank, Peyton Patterson, the achievement gap “could have a crippling financial impact on Connecticut’s economy.” Now, if you’re thinking that this gap can be explained through the stellar performance of our state’s wealthier students – think again:Read More »



Welcome to the Blog for the Connecticut Council for Education Reform! We at CCER want this to be a platform for you to keep abreast of important education issues and the “go to place” for education events, to expand your awareness of particular education topics, and to share the knowledge you already have! This space will provide you with: Read More »