Lamont needs the board’s recommendation before he can appoint a new leader
WASHINGTON — Connecticut Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell on Tuesday helped congressional Democrats push back against President Donald Trump’s school safety initiatives, including proposals to arm teachers and review Obama-era policies that encouraged educators to consider alternatives to detention and expulsion.
In both states spending on education has increased greatly over the last 25 years – with one key difference: Massachusetts tied increased state aid to ambitious reforms it credits with spurring remarkable advances in student achievement. Connecticut relied more heavily on local educators to use increased state aid to improve things. Second of three stories in a special report.
Massachusetts over the last 20 years has moved to the top of the national rankings for achievement by students from low-income families while Connecticut has lagged. Here’s how they did it. First of three articles in a special report.
Reviewers at the federal education department found the way Connecticut measures the performance of its public schools lacking and its plans to begin tracking the achievement of English learners vague. State officials must now decide whether they want to revise or defend Connecticut’s plan for complying with federal law before U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos officially considers whether to approve or reject it.
“The efforts around English learners are one of our most important priorities,” says state education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said. “… Our English learners need more support than they are currently getting, and we know that because of our data.” The Mirror sat down recently with Wentzell to speak about the state’s approach to providing that support.
School districts across the country that have committed to reaping the benefits of dual-language instruction have found ways to make big gains in the face of obstacles, both perceived and real.
Nivea L. Torres, superintendent of Connecticut’s vocational-technical school system, is resigning from that post on May 1 amidst at least four investigations, the state Department of Education announced Monday.
State education board Chairman Allan B. Taylor and Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell both praised the action as an important clarification of the role state tests should play: a goal-setting tool for teachers, not part of a formula for rating an individual teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom. State teacher unions had fought using the state tests as part of teacher evaluations for years.
WASHINGTON – Connecticut has joined a lobbying effort to change how federal money for schools with large populations of poor or disadvantaged students is distributed. The new regulation would bar school districts from “supplanting” the money they give to schools with poor students with federal money aimed at “supplementing” local funding.
Connecticut, which used to rank among the best states in science scores, has fallen to the middle of the pack as other states have improved.
As students begin heading back to school next week, the state’s education commissioner on Monday congratulated district leaders for the gains they have made so far and challenged them to close the state’s stubborn gaps in achievement between minority students and their peers.
About half of the 234,000 elementary and middle school students tested during the last school year were not at grade level in reading or math, state education officials announced Thursday. But a higher proportion of students were at grade level than in the previous year.
Student test scores will not be required to be factored in teacher evaluations next school year as planned, members of the state panel that oversees the teacher rating system voted Wednesday. The State Board of Education is expected to vote on this one-year delay at its April 6 meeting, and typically agrees with its advisory panel.
Grading schools on more than just tests scores has been a long time in the works. But the State Department of Education has now released a zero-to-100 rating for every school in the state based on 19 different measures.