Reform Education to Boost Young People, Economy
Goal: Raise expectations for all students and provide supports necessary for them to succeed.
Perhaps the biggest factor shaping Connecticut’s future is our ability to educate and prepare young people for productive lives. Our well-educated, highly skilled workforce has long been a strategic advantage for our state. Now, however, a disparity in academic performance, the country’s worst achievement gap, separates low-income and minority students from others. We must spend education dollars more wisely and hold everyone in the system accountable for raising the academic performance of all our children. Recommendations outlined by the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement will help close the gap and make our state much better off socially, fiscally and economically, for generations.
Raise expectations for all students and provide the curricula and supports that enable all students to meet those expectations:
- Increase access to pre-K and full-day kindergarten.
- Align statewide curricula to higher standards.
- Identify and support low-achieving students earlier.
- Require high school students to pass the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) to graduate.
- Improve the lowest-achieving schools through greater authority, accountability, and more time for learning; establish a school turnaround office with the authority to aggressively intervene in the lowest-performing schools.
Provide excellent teaching for all students by promoting alternate routes to teacher certification, demanding greater accountability from teacher preparation programs, and recognizing and rewarding outstanding teachers.
Improve leadership by recruiting the most effective superintendents, principals, and related staff; train administrators to be effective in low-achieving schools, and train principals in new evaluation and data systems.
Provide an efficient, transparent way of funding public education by reviewing the student weighting formula for distributing state aid to school districts and phasing in changes.
Improve the governance structure of Connecticut's educational system in order to increase accountability and improve outcomes.
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