This is Connecticut's opinion page.

Get CT Viewpoints emails in your inbox daily.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
Posted inCT Viewpoints

Miguel Cardona, who are you?

When I ask Connecticut teachers about Miguel Cardona, those who know him or have worked with him say that he is really nice guy who knows what the challenges in our classrooms are, knows how to help teachers to improve their teaching, and respects public schools. All good. But what is his vision for teaching and learning that he will bring to the U.S. Department of Education?

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Are the education commissioner and State Board on the same page?

After the embarrassing and ungracious offering of the job of  Connecticut  Commissioner of Education to one person, then withdrawing the offer, and then offering the job to a second person, the reason given to the public for choosing the second person was that the State Board of Education wanted a commissioner with whom it was “on the same page.”  But what is that page? A good place to start looking for it is with the goals of the new commissioner.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

The NAACP tells it as it is on charter schools

An English teacher friend of mine was a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year in the mid 90’s. As one of the culminating steps in the selection process, the four finalists were instructed to research a little-known subject and present their findings to an audience. The topic was charter schools. There were no charter schools in Connecticut at the time. My friend concluded that the worth of charter schools would depend on the answers to two questions: 1) Will the innovations created at charter schools inform and improve the public schools that the vast majority of children and adolescents in the U.S. attend? 2) Will charter schools be held accountable to address student needs as traditional public schools are required to do?

Posted inCT Viewpoints

New charter seats will strip Bridgeport Public Schools of resources

On July 19, the unelected, governor-appointed Connecticut State Board of Education approved 504 additional seats in state charter schools for next year, with 154 of those seats going to Capital Preparatory Harbor School in Bridgeport. Go figure: Connecticut is in a budget crisis with every expense being monitored, yet new charter school seats, which cost the state $11,000 each, are being initiated. The cost will be more than $5.5 million.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Betsy DeVos — A clear and present danger

What I learned from watching three hours of the Senate confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education:
1. Betsy DeVos demonstrated a lack of any understanding about student assessment.
2. Betsy DeVos said that permitting guns in schools is a decision that should be left up to individual schools.
3. Betsy DeVos did not commit to preschool for all children.
4….

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Closing Connecticut’s real achievement gap

There‘s a lot of talk in Connecticut about closing the achievement gap between affluent students who are predominately white and poor students who are predominately black or brown, but there have been no effective actions taken and none are on the horizon.

Instead, Connecticut gave up its own well-founded state standards and adopted the narrow and inadequate Common Core Standards, called them rigorous which they are not, and gave students standardized tests to measure their achievement of those quite limited standards. Then Connecticut waited for the test scores to see if the impoverished would catch up to the affluent. They haven’t and they won’t.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Examining the Republican candidates on education

There has been no substantive conversation about K-12 education in the Republican debates, town hall meetings, or candidate rallies. Attention has been on other issues, but education is crucial both for the individual future of each of our children and for the future of our nation. We voters deserve to know what the candidates would do as President about K-12 education. What follows are key topics about K-12 education and what the candidates have said about them so far.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Post NCLB: Connecticut must reject the Common Core

With the end of No Child Left Behind, states will have the flexibility to continue with the controversial Common Core State Standards or not. This is Connecticut’s opportunity to put a good education in place for our students by rejecting the Common Core. The whole approach of the Common Core contradicts the philosophically and academically-sound Connecticut State Standards approach.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

SBAC scores: The beginning of the end

So what did we learn from the release of the SBAC scores? What did we learn after spending more than $2 million of state money and countless millions at the district levels to get these scores? Not much. We did learn that the achievement gap has not been in any way affected by implementation of the Common Core. We also learned that SBAC scores tell us nothing about students’ real competencies.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

SBAC: Failing most Connecticut children in more ways than one

The Connecticut SBAC scores will be released by the State Department of Education any day now. The scores will be low. You will be told that the low scores are because the SBAC tests are rigorous and our students don’t measure up. Don’t believe it. … It is our job as citizens and parents to tell students the truth about SBAC. It is our job as educators to keep teaching and assessing students in real and honest ways. Otherwise, we adults are the failures.