Soft bigotry of low expectations has no place in Connecticut

I have been a certified teacher. I now lead an education advocacy organization. I am a mother of small children. I am a white woman.
To me, the results of a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, titled “Who believes in me? The effect of student–teacher demographic match on teacher expectations,” feels like a punch in the gut. The study presents stark differences in how African-American teachers versus non-African-American teachers view the potential of students of color.

SBAC is invalid, unreliable and detrimental to students

I read with dismay Jeffrey Villar’s April 12 column titled, “State Board of Education Demands Action on Teacher Evaluation.” The arguments regarding teacher evaluation made by Villar and the corporate-backed organization he represents, the Connecticut Coalition for Education Reform (CCER), are misleading and insulting to teachers.

State Board of Education demands action on teacher evaluation

On April 6, I attended a public meeting by the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE), in which members of the SBE vigorously debated the merit of further delays to implementation of real teacher evaluations in Connecticut. They were discussing the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council’s (PEAC) recommendation to permit school districts to go yet another year without incorporating the results of the state mastery test as one of multiple measures in a teacher’s evaluation. I applaud the SBE for pushing back on PEAC’s recommendation and drawing a real line in the sand.

’10 Slices’ campaign aimed at improving food at Hartford public schools

2016 is a year for change and no greater truth exists than the saying, “It’s time for our students’ learning environment to stop being attacked.” If this is so, the budget cuts in the Hartford school system must not persist. If there is enough money to hire new police officers, then there must be money to keep our teachers in schools and feed our students the food they deserve. Both are necessary to teach our students the things they need to succeed.

Connecticut must correct funding inequity in public schools

It is critical and past due that Gov. Dannel Malloy and especially Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell look at the inequity in funding of the students who attend the Bridgeport Public Schools as compared to the more affluent suburban school districts in Connecticut.

Invest in after-school programs to ensure Connecticut’s future

After-school programs are needed to provide Connecticut students a safe and supervised space, to keep them involved in academic enrichment activities that create lifelong learners, and to support working the families who drive this state. If fortunate programs like ours are forced to make difficult decisions, how are other programs going to continue providing this valuable resource? Investment in quality after-school programs is needed now more than ever to support a stable and equitable future for all in Connecticut.

CT Mastery Exam Task Force has unique opportunity to fix assessment system

The Connecticut legislature’s Mastery Examination Task Force has a unique opportunity to design and determine a Connecticut Assessment System that can meet the needs of our students, satisfy their parents, and inform student learning for teachers while – at the same time – fulfilling the state’s obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Examining Clinton and Sanders on K-12 education

There has been no substantive conversation about K-12 education in the Democratic debates, town hall meetings, or candidate rallies. Perhaps that’s because Democrats want to walk away from the contentious education policies and practices of the Obama administration and focus, instead, on the many other noteworthy accomplishments of Barack Obama’s presidency. Whatever the back story, we voters deserve to know what the candidates will do as President about the education of our children. What follows are key topics about K-12 education and what the candidates have said about them so far.

Examining the Republican candidates on education

There has been no substantive conversation about K-12 education in the Republican debates, town hall meetings, or candidate rallies. Attention has been on other issues, but education is crucial both for the individual future of each of our children and for the future of our nation. We voters deserve to know what the candidates would do as President about K-12 education. What follows are key topics about K-12 education and what the candidates have said about them so far.

Parents’ rights group: Education officials’ behavior rude and appalling

As part of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell’s “leadership strategies,” designed to urge superintendents to “encourage” parents to have their children take the SBAC test rather than to opt out, the commissioner called in superintendents from public school districts across the state to the department’s Hartford headquarters for a “training session” on how effectively to communicate with parents.