The Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement (the “Commission”), an 11-member group of business and philanthropic leaders, recently issued a list of recommendations for closing the “achievement gap” in Connecticut. As the Commission defines the term, the achievement gap refers to “the difference between the test scores in reading and mathematics of public school students who are from low-income families as compared with those from more affluent communities.” Governor Rell established the Commission in March 2010 and directed it to recommend ways to help close the achievement gap.

The Commission report makes a series of strong recommendations aimed at improving student achievement in Connecticut. The following are several of the Commission’s specific recommendations:

  • Recruit effective school and district leaders from other states and grant automatic reciprocity;
  • Enact legislation to require superintendent, principal, and teacher evaluations to be tied to student achievement;
  • Enact legislation to require variables besides seniority to be used in teacher layoff decisions;
  • Enact legislation to modify the Teacher Tenure Act so that it permits removal of ineffective teachers in a timely manner;
  • Increase the types of incentives aimed at recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers;
  • Develop a new weighted student funding formula to distribute Education Cost Sharing (“ECS”) grants within the existing pool of budgeted funds;
  • Eliminate tenure for principals and assistant principals.

The Commission’s report is the beginning of a ten-year plan to substantially reform education in Connecticut and to work to close the achievement gap. For the full text of the Commission’s report please click here.