Connecticut is at a crossroads, and we must work harder than ever to ensure students’ success.
Nothing happens without a group of committed advocates standing up, and pushing for positive change. The 2018 legislative session starts tomorrow. That means, it’s time once again for all of us to roll up our sleeves and continue our work to improve policy for Connecticut students and families. This session, we hope you’ll join the fight to:
Recruit Great Teachers and Leaders
Research is clear: the top influences on students’ success in school are the quality of school leaders and classroom teachers. To ensure we can recruit the best educators and leaders, we need a certification system that allows Connecticut to compete for top talent. Our current certification requirements have little connection to effectiveness in the classroom, hurt our ability to compete with our neighboring states for talented candidates, and are overly prescriptive-tying the hands of leaders and stakeholders who want to pursue innovative and effective recruiting practices. As a result, we have created teacher shortages, especially in chronically understaffed subjects like science and math, and in our highest-need communities. This session, we will push to streamline certification rules and open up flexible pathways to give quality candidates the opportunity to teach or lead in our schools.
Improve Access to High Quality Schools & Fund Students Fairly
Every child, regardless of background or zip code, deserves access to a high quality education. At ConnCAN, we believe in each family’s right to choose the best public school for their child. Unfortunately, our state’s broken and outdated funding policies mean that thousands of families, especially in districts with chronically underperforming schools, are waiting for access to high-quality schools. Last month, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling in the historic CCJEF v. Rell case shifted the responsibility for fixing this problem to our elected officials. This session, we will continue the fight to fund all students fairly, based on their learning needs across all types of public schools, including public charter schools, so that all Connecticut students get the educational opportunities they need and deserve.
Prepare Students for Success in College and Careers
Right now, far too many students, especially students of color, are graduating from high school unprepared for college and career. This hurts students and our economic prospects. In just two years, more than 70 percent of the state’s jobs will require some form of education beyond high school and nearly one third of our state’s working age population, and nearly half of our youngest workers, will be people of color. This session, we will continue to push for clear, easily accessible data on how well students are being prepared for college and career and for an annual report on education and skill levels required for the fastest growing jobs in our state. This information can be used to help families and policymakers make better decisions about our future.
Connecticut is at a crossroads, and we must work harder than ever to ensure students’ success. As the legislative session continues, we will be in touch about how you can get involved. We look forward to working with you to build a brighter future for our children and our state.