ConnCAN Survey Released, Gov Malloy Eyes More Charters

As Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy looks more intent on bringing more charters to the state, a new Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) survey has indicated the timing is right.

However, not everybody is keen, including officials at Trumbull High School, who rejected the ConnCAN appraisal because of its links to Achievement First, a private firm that runs 19 charter schools in Connecticut and New York and with the help of Governor Malloy wants to expand that to 35 schools, writes Louis K. Poniros at the CT Post.

Some say that the governor is looking to privatize the education of children in the state.

"Connecticut doesn't need a Democratic governor aiding for-profit corporations in the privatization of our public schools", writes Poniros.

"It needs a governor who is going to stop beating up on teachers and sit down with them to find real solutions for public education, including tenure, which is not the worst thing in the world."

If signed into law, the district would be required to pay charter schools $1,000 for each student who enrolls in a charter school – raising the hackles of public school advocates who see taking any money from districts as making a bad situation worse, writes Alexander Soule at West Fair Online.

And while ConnCAN tries to convince the state to invest in a complete reform of the way it funds education, Malloy formed a task force last August to study the state's the education-cost sharing (ECS) formula.

ConnCAN is thought to be eagerly watching how Massachusetts addresses education reform. Patrick Riccards, CEO of ConnCAN said:

"Over the last decade Massachusetts has taken a strong stance (on school reform), but Connecticut has coasted.

"Right now when we talk about adopting strong standards, Massachusetts is the model."

This comes after Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan outlined similar thoughts.

Duncan said:

Massachusetts "addressed out-of-school factors that impede student learning."

"It has invested in creating the largest extended learning-time experiment in the country. It has one of the best-coordinated early learning systems in the nation. In 2010, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law that calls for chronically underperforming schools to have a significant health and social services components in their turnaround plans."

Connecticut education commissioner Stefan Pryor is already reorganizing his department to emphasize strategic priorities rather than compliance, writes Soule.

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