Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor attended his final State Board of Education meeting Wednesday. He announced earlier this year he’d leave the post, and will depart in January. A process is underway to select an interim commissioner.
Take yourself back to those highly emotional, patriotic months after the 9/11 attacks.
In the midst of war, terrorism, fear and mourning, one bill passed 87-10 in the Senate and by a similar margin in the House — with equal support from both sides of the aisle. It was signed into law in January 2002 by George W. Bush, with the liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, by his side.
Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm
Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.
Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.
The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:16 pm
A new school year begins Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts where rising standardized test scores and a falling dropout rate are seen as signs of a turnaround in the struggling public school system. A new test, based on the Common Core educational standards, will be introduced in a majority of the city’s schools next year.
The scores of last year’s MCAS tests given to Springfield school students rose across the board at a higher rate than the gain recorded by school districts statewide, and the dropout rate has fallen more than any other school system in the state.
The advisory council responsible for developing Connecticut's evaluation system for teachers and principals is recommending changes to the guidelines. If the changes are adopted, educators may no longer be judged based on just one test score.
What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?
"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?
"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.
No, my vote is for "standardized test."
That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.
This week, the governor of Indiana signed a bill that would repeal the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. Although there are widespread concerns about Common Core in Connecticut, state officials continue to move ahead, but at a slower pace than originally intended.
Key deadlines are coming up for some proposed legislation at the state capitol and some have already passed. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we talk about what bills may or may not make it out of committee.
We also discuss the role of money in this year’s statewide elections. Common Core remains in the national headlines, with Indiana actually dropping the standards.
We invited educators to join us in the audience and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods and ways of measuring performance. But they also expressed a desire to balance it with support from administrators. The teachers on the panel said they are interested in getting better at teaching, and so they want feedback and support, not a stern visit that comes with a score and an up or down vote.
The day before the legislative session begins, Governor Dannel Malloy proposed on Tuesday that the legislature raise the stage minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Malloy signed legislation that raised the minimum wage to $8.70 on January 1, and will raise it to $9.00 January 1, 2015.
After mounting complaints from teachers, officials recently announced the state plans to delay the implementation of teacher evaluations. Meanwhile, other lawmakers are calling for a re-examination of the Common Core standards. Two years after Connecticut approved sweeping education legislation, we'll check-in on the implementation and receive an update on Common Core in the state.
An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.
Students across the state are heading back to school this week – and they’ll be seeing a lot of changes. The common core state standards are taking effect and changing the way teachers teach and students take tests.
Schools are struggling to find the best way to teach ESL kids English. New Britain school system was recently featured on PBS Newshour for changing all their bilingual classes to English only.
In Hartford, school district officials say test scores held firm and showed some healthy gains. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the way you talk about test scores can be just as important as the scores themselves. It wasn't the press release Matt Poland would have written. "I would have written it with both the good and the not-so-good sharing common billing."
School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests.
The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.
The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that students have the skills they need for success in college and careers.
A new way to interpret Connecticut Mastery Test scores reveals a different picture of academic improvement in the state’s schools. This measure looks at whether students are growing over time.
Vertical scales match a student from year to year, say from the first year of CMT testing in third grade to fourth grade. The system compares how that student performs one year to the next despite the more advanced material.
The Connecticut Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday challenging the state’s takeover of the Bridgeport Board of Education. The plaintiffs argue that the state cannot deny residents the right to vote for their local school board.
Last summer, most of the members of Bridgeport’s Board of Ed, along with the city’s superintendent and mayor asked the State Board to intervene in the city’s schools. Within weeks, Connecticut’s Acting Education Commissioner had replaced Bridgeport’s elected school board with a state-appointed panel.
The state is investigating teachers and staff at a Waterbury elementary school about suspected cheating on the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests.
This follows widespread cheating scandals uncovered in the District of Columbia, Baltimore and Atlanta…just this year. In a story this month, the magazine Education Week put it this way:
“As long as test scores are used in any field to make decisions on rewards or punishments, including for schools or educators, a small percentage of people will be willing to bend the rules - or break them.”
An investigator for the State Department of Education has begun to question teachers and staff at a Waterbury elementary school about suspected cheating on the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests. This is the latest in a string of cheating scandals nationwide.
17 teachers and other employees at Hopeville School in Waterbury have been placed on leave as an investigator looks into possible test tampering. A preliminary review showed many wrong answers on this year’s CMTS had been erased and corrected.
For the past two decades, the achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white classmates nationwide has remained largely unchanged. Hispanic students perform about two grade levels below their white peers in math and reading.
Connecticut has one of the largest gaps in the nation, and a new study finds the problem exists in every school district in the state.
White students in Connecticut are two to three times more likely than Hispanic students to achieve at or above goal on the Connecticut Mastery Tests.
A new report finds noticeable academic progress in fifteen low-performing Connecticut districts where there’s been intensive intervention by the state. Test scores in these districts show substantial improvement over time, particularly among minority students.
Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Waterbury and Stamford are among fifteen school districts that are part of the Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative or CALI. All were identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.
Record-setting snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous travel conditions have meant plenty of missed school days this year. Educators are worried that lost classroom time may affect preparation for standardized tests.
State Department of Education spokesman Tom Murphy says he’s seen school closings, late openings and early dismissals in other years, "but this is really beyond what we’ve seen ever. And it couldn’t happen at a worse time in our high schools, when we have our end of course exams"