NEW HAVEN, CT – “The Connecticut Council for Education Reform believes that the Malloy Administration is taking another step in the right direction with today’s announcement of a proposal to create a Commissioner’s Network to address and turn around up to 25 of Connecticut’s lowest-achieving schools over the next two years. Based on Federal No Child Left Behind metrics, approximately 135 Connecticut schools have been “In Need of Improvement” for five or more years. This means approximately one out of every five Connecticut children are attending schools that repeatedly fail to meet their needs. We must do whatever it takes to turn those schools around. The key policy initiatives announced today support innovative school models and bold turnaround strategies designed to make this happen. The Commissioner’s Network, is an excellent example of the kind of sweeping reform necessary to effectively revamp the leadership, policies and practices of our state’s lowest-achieving schools. The Commissioner’s Network will provide increased financial support and capacity to restructure schools in ways that have been proven to raise achievement for children in low income families. This includes providing extended learning time, and establishing agreements around teacher and leader compensation and evaluation that are designed to attract, develop and retain the most talented teachers and leaders in these schools. These actions collectively represent a continued emphasis on bold strategies that have been demonstrated to work in other states and districts. Governor Malloy’s commitment of $24.8 million to support the Commissioner’s Network is a testament to the urgency of the issue. Simply put, the Malloy Administration is doing what needs to be done to support all schools and districts based on their needs while holding them accountable for improving student achievement.”

Rae Ann Knopf
Executive Director
Connecticut Council for Education Reform