Malloy Outlines Principles For Education Reform [WITH POLL]

Begins Laying Groundwork for 2012 Legislative Session


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today sent a letter to state legislative leaders in which he outlined his principles for education reform.  Those principles will serve as a “roadmap” for the upcoming 2012 session of the General Assembly, a session in which the Governor has repeatedly said he will focus on education.

The Governor is seeking to introduce legislation “that is potent enough to make Connecticut a national leader in narrowing the achievement gap, and comprehensive enough to set the stage for a restoration of Connecticut as a model for creating academic excellence for all,” he said in a press released issued Tuesday.

He invited legislative leaders to join him in a bipartisan fashion to introduce proposals that “embrace a real sense of urgency and a willingness to deploy bold strategies, deliver a competitive edge, and prepare students for success in college and in their careers.”

“Our state’s positioning has weakened to the point that we are not competitive in national grant competitions like the recent Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge,” the Governor wrote.  “Worse, the recent release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress results demonstrated that in most cases, Connecticut’s poor and minority students are less prepared for success than their peers in the vast majority of other states – and that our state has the largest achievement gap in the nation.”

In what he termed a “deliberate attempt to set high expectations,” the Governor closed his letter by writing, “We should not and will not accept half-measures and repackaged versions of the status quo.”

Governor Malloy is seeking to introduce legislation that:

  • Enhances families’ access to high-quality early childhood education opportunities
  • Authorizes the intensive interventions and enables the supports necessary to turn around Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools and districts
  • Expands the availability of high-quality school models, including traditional schools, magnets, charters, and others
  • Unleashes innovation by removing red tape and other barriers to success, especially in high-performing schools and districts
  • Ensures that our schools are home to the very best teachers and principals – working within a fair system that values skill and effectiveness over seniority and tenure
  • Delivers more resources, targeted to districts with the greatest need – provided that they embrace key reforms that position our students for success

On Jan. 5, Governor Malloy will convene a set of workshops to delve more deeply into some of the most pressing education reform issues for Connecticut.

Deborah Dondzik December 31, 2011 at 04:56 PM
Evaluate superintendents, fiscal operators/directors, and their staff to ensure integrity and intentions are truly in pursuit of educational excellence rather than political gain or personal growth and achievement.
Steve Bristol February 02, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Here's a great read on one state's educational reform efforts: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204652904577190983319125916.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Steve Bristol February 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM
My link on the State education reform blog only presents part of the article. Here's the full one, posted in parts: Newt Gingrich wants the U.S. to return to the moon, but as challenges go he has nothing on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's school reform plans. Mr. Jindal wants to create America's largest school voucher program, broadest parental choice system, and toughest teacher accountability regime—all in one legislative session. Any one of those would be a big win, but all three could make the state the first to effectively dismantle a public education monopoly. Louisiana is already one of 12 states (including Washington, D.C.) that offer school vouchers, but its program benefits fewer than 2,000 students in New Orleans. Governor Jindal would extend eligibility to any low-income student whose school gets a C, D or F grade from state administrators. That's almost 400,000 students—a bit more than half the statewide population—who could escape failing schools for private or virtual schools, career-based programs or institutions of higher education. Funding for these vouchers ("scholarships" is the poll-tested term) would come not from a new fund, as in New Orleans, but from what the state already spends on public education per capita. So every student leaving a failing school would take about $8,500 (on average) with him, hitting the bureaucracy where it hurts. This is called competition, that crucial quality missing where monopolies reign.
Steve Bristol February 02, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Post-Katrina New Orleans is already the nation's leading charter-school zone, with 80% of city students enrolled, academic performance improving dramatically, and plans to go all-charter by 2013. To spread the model statewide, the Governor would create new regional boards for authorizing charters and offer fast-track authorization to high-performing operators such as KIPP. He'd also give charters the same access to public facilities as traditional public schools. As for tenure, Mr. Jindal would grant it only to teachers who are rated "highly effective" five years in a row, meaning the top 10% of performers. And tenure wouldn't equal lifetime protection: A tenured teacher who rates in the bottom 10% ("ineffective") in any year would return to probationary status. Ineffective teachers would receive no pay raise. Louisiana would also ban the "last in, first out" practice under which younger teachers are dismissed first, regardless of performance. No points for guessing where the teachers unions stand on all this. The real problem is that "the revenue base is inadequate," says Steve Monaghan of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers—though spending doesn't correlate with academic improvement, and in any case Mr. Jindal has increased education spending by 10% since 2008.
Steve Bristol February 02, 2012 at 04:17 PM
At least Mr. Monaghan is guilty only of ignoring evidence. Louisiana Association of Educators leader Michael Walker Jones took to insulting Bayou State parents: "If I'm a parent in poverty I have no clue because I'm trying to struggle and live day to day," said Mr. Jones of parental choice. How's that for faith in self-government? Louisiana used to be one of America's most ill-governed states, but Mr. Jindal pushed major economic and ethics reforms in his first term and is now starting his second with his education moon shot. It would be one giant leap for Louisiana students.


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