Happy New Year, readers! We’re starting off 2013 right with a new look and a new site. Here’s why we love our new online presence, and why we think you will too:

 Our New Home Page Serves as a Hub for the Latest News in Ed Reform.

At last, a central place for you to follow Connecticut’s progress in reforming public education! Our homepage will provide you with immediate access to featured news, reports and stories so that you can keep abreast of all that’s happening in education reform.

It’s easier than ever to follow our comprehensive plan for reforming public education in Connecticut.

Just head on over to What’s Our Plan, where we’ve outlined our six focus areas for reshaping the way public education works in our state. Click on any of the individual six areas to find out why we think these changes are important, or to get a precise pin cite to the more detailed recommendations found in our report.

But that’s not all! When we reimagined our new site, one of the critical components for us was the functionality of the user experience: we want this to be a site that is easy for you to use and that helps you to connect related ideas and current events. That’s why each of our six recommendation areas has its own web page as well as the ability to pull the most recent, related information from the rest of our site.

Let’s play out an example! Want to know about the recommendation area, Foster Leadership? Visit: http://ctedreform.org/whats-our-plan/recommendations/foster-leadership. That’s where you’ll find an overview of the recommendation area, an outline of the key principles that we attempt to tackle within this category, and a link to the report where you can learn more. Then, if you look at the bottom-left hand corner, the dynamic “Related News” section will link you to the most recent happenings associated with the “Foster Leadership” recommendation area! (Right now, we’ve got a story in which Arne Duncan thanks the teachers and leaders of Sandy Hook, as well as a story on the Gates Foundation’s plan to fund a leadership academy in Connecticut.)

 And don’t forget our favorite addition: An interactive graph to check in on the achievement gap at the district and state level.

Our mission is to close Connecticut’s achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all students. That’s why we’ve dedicated an entire section of our new site to exploring the achievement gap—from its definition, to the economic and moral implications of having such a wide gap in Connecticut. An interactive graph allows all stakeholders (including parents and students) to find the gap in any district.

Just click on the district, and an animated graph will show you the difference in achievement between low-income students and their peers—as well as showing you how these two subgroups compare at the district and state levels.

 These are just a few exciting tidbits, but there’s so much more for you to explore on our new site. We hope you love it as much as we do!

 A big thank you to (a)squaredstudio, who helped us kick off 2013 with a great new look and increased functionality!