ConnCAN Applauds Passage of Race to the Top BILL
SB438 represents breakthrough for Connecticut Education Reform Movement
Hartford, Conn. –ConnCAN applauds Connecticut legislators for passing SB 438 to make Connecticut more competitive in the federal Race to the Top and help close the state’s achievement gap.“Today is a breakthrough for the Connecticut education reform movement,” said ConnCAN CEO Alex Johnston. “These policies would have been unimaginable just five years ago, but they are on their way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law today.”For the first time, every district in the state is required to evaluate teachers based on their students’ achievement. There will be a data system that links students to their teachers and teachers to their training programs. There will be pathways for our most talented classroom teachers to become principals. There will be no caps on the number of seats allowed in high-performing public charter schools.Because Connecticut started so far behind in the Race to the Top, this bill may not be enough to win in Round 2 of the Race to the Top and bring home $175 million for public schools. Three key reforms proposed by ConnCAN would have made Connecticut more competitive in the Race to the Top but were not included in SB 438. Student achievement is not required to be the primary factor in teacher evaluations. There are no consequences attached to teachers whose students don’t achieve. We did not address the unsustainable and unequal funding system for our public charter schools. This bill is a good start, but gubernatorial leadership will be necessary to ensure that these steps are the beginning, not the end of change in our public schools. ConnCAN’s attention now turns to the race for Governor to make sure that every candidate prioritizes education reforms.Connecticut was rejected from the first round of Race to the Top. Second round applications for the remaining $3.4 billion available in the competition for public school reform are due on June 1. Winners will be announced in September.
The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) is an advocacy organization building a new movement of concerned Connecticut citizens working to create fundamental change in our education system. To learn more visit: www.conncan.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 5, 2010Contact: Karen Rutzick, Communications Director Cell: 202-406-0456Email: Karen.Rutzick@conncan.org