Saying that black and Latino kids are falling behind peers not just in New Haven but in Greenwich, business leaders unveiled a statewide plan to close the achievement gap over 10 years through extra tutoring, mandatory pre-K, and longer school days. among other ideas.

‘The winds of change are in the air’ for education reform, said Steven Simmons (pictured), who chaired the commission, citing President Obama’s ‘Race To The Top’ program for education reform. ‘We think there’s a window of opportunity here to begin to narrow the gap.’

Simmons predicted if the recommendations are implemented in the next decade, the state’s struggling students will catch up to their peers.

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