Goal: Implement the landmark education reforms passed last year
It’s time to improve students’ performance, close the state’s academic achievement gap, and address the talent shortage facing Connecticut employers. Lawmakers and the State Department of Education must make sure last year’s landmark education reforms are properly executed. The reforms are critical to providing all of our young people the best chance to succeed in life, and they are vital to maintaining Connecticut’s strategic advantage—a skilled, innovative, and productive workforce.
Improve Education and Close the Achievement Gap
• Remove red tape to allow students and schools to achieve their academic goals:
• Streamline certification programs to attract and retain qualified teachers and administrators; establish an alternative route to certification for school administrators
• Reduce hurdles and provide incentives to promote exceptional teachers
• Create programs to encourage high-achieving students to pursue careers in teaching
• Ensure that the state’s recent education reforms are implemented effectively so that students get the tools they need to become tomorrow’s competitive workforce:
o Plan to further increase the number of available pre-K opportunities
o Identify a process to ensure the quality of existing and future pre-K seats
o Evaluate the effectiveness of pre-school initiatives by strengthening assessment tools
o Help struggling students by increasing the number of early-reading and literacy programs as well as the length of time students spend in schools
• Measure the effectiveness of education programs to determine whether adjustments are necessary:
o Review grant programs to ensure funds are reaching the schools most in need
o Improve, strengthen, and align data collection systems—such as by implementing a lifelong assessment system—to better address students’ academic progress throughout their school careers
• Allow students who are not involved in a school or secondary-education manufacturing or mechanical program to participate in manufacturing internships.
• Increase the accountability and effectiveness of state incumbent worker training programs by:
o Combining existing funding streams
o Simplifying application processes
o Instituting meaningful training performance measures
• Increase funding for incumbent worker training by $1 million through the reallocation of existing workforce development funds.
• Adopt nationally recognized, industry-validated credentials as a foundation for all workforce development programs.