Cost of SBAC testing in Connecticut is unconscionable, unnecessary

Education activists have been speaking out and pushing back against the misguided Common Core State Standards and the flawed Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) statewide test protocol for several years now, as they have become more aware of the billionaire-driven, media-complicit, and politically-entrenched “corporate education reform” agenda.

An education revolution beckons. In Connecticut, who will lead?

Recently I had the opportunity to testify before the Education Committee of the Connecticut Legislature. I commented that education policy in our state sadly resembles the phenomenon of the “Macarena.” Play along for a moment. Let your mind drift back 20 years or so to any random wedding. …

This legislative session, let Connecticut children win for a change

As the Connecticut General Assembly races toward the end of the legislative session, I urge leaders to prioritize the needs of public school children this year — not adults with the biggest megaphones and the greatest influence. Lawmakers can reject Senate Bill 380, which seeks to de-couple teacher evaluations from student performance on standardized tests.

No evidence standardized testing can close ‘achievement gap’

In a recent commentary piece, Jeffrey Villar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, praises the Connecticut State Board of Education’s support for using student SBAC results in teacher evaluations. He contends, “Connecticut continues to have one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation, the SBE appears committed to continuing to take this issue on.” Contrary to Mr. Villar’s assertion, there is little, if any, evidence to support the idea that including standardized test scores in teacher evaluations will close the so-called achievement gap.

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.