Now that President Obama has called for limits on testing of schoolchildren, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents hopes that this increased attention will result in an opportunity to consider the radical overhaul of state testing for which CAPSS has advocated for four years.
Out-of-school suspensions are indicative of gaps in supportive services that must be present to ensure students have the necessary supports to thrive and succeed. Social emotional learning drives down high rates of suspension, expulsion, class disruptions and chronic absenteeism and improves school safety
The release of the state’s Smarter Balanced (SBAC) test scores sparked a new version of an old conversation. The SBAC scores reveal much of what we already know about public education in Connecticut: children living in high-income and high-resource communities posted above average scores while children living in our poorest towns and cities posted lower scores. Understanding these scores can help districts identify schools and students who may need greater support to meet rigorous standards; at the same time, the scores raise questions about the equity of intrastate resource distribution and the impact on relative student opportunity.
Before students of all colors can succeed equally in Connecticut’s public schools, we must be bluntly honest about why disparities exist. An achievement gap would exist if we gave every student equal opportunities and some children still failed to achieve. In a myriad ways, we do not give all our children the same opportunities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in school discipline policies that exclude children from the classroom.
At a time when coalitions, community groups, faith-based leaders, educators, and parents across the state are committed to addressing educational injustice in significant ways, this is a moment of great need and great opportunity. We call on members of our Congressional delegation to move education in Connecticut forward, and not roll backwards.
Some say the measure of a civilization is how it treats its oldest, youngest, and most vulnerable citizens. In an era of overexposed, over-scheduled, overstimulated, overanxious, and ove-rstressed children, I’d say our civilization needs to take a long look in the mirror. It is time to restore childhood.
Fairfield County, a region marked by sharp disparities in income and in urban and suburban life, faces particular challenges in assuring all its residents a quality education. Today, a special report, “Education, Diversity and Change in Fairfield County,” explores the issue through in-depth policy reporting, interactive maps and charts, photo galleries and opinion pieces written by teachers from the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University.
McTighe and Wiggins, proponents of ‘backwards curriculum-design’ popular among teaching communities, refer to the importance of asking essential questions. The best ones, they argue, are perennial and enduring.
We asked Mirror readers to send us their thoughts on what the state’s priorities should be. If cuts have to be made, where should they happen? What issues would they like state lawmakers and those running for office to consider? How can we improve the life of our state?
Students in the Cities, Suburbs & Schools seminar at Trinity College and I had the privilege of designing online data visualizations with CT Mirror journalists Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Alvin Chang, which they recently published in their January 15, 2014 story, “By the numbers: Integrating schools in CT.”