Selected readings on US charter schools
The statewide educator evaluation program ensures teachers and principals are held accountable for their performance.
The program is being tried out now at 10 sites in the state, with full implementation required by the 2014-15 school year. The governor’s budget proposal included the resources needed for the system statewide. Unfortunately, the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee slashed investments necessary for effective implementation. The committee’s cut more than $26 million from talent development over the next two years — 73 percent of its total funds.
Public charter schools are in high demand because they are high performing. The number of students on waiting lists for them exceeds the number enrolled, according to the state Department of Education, in part because more than 80 percent of public charters out-perform other schools in their districts.
Because of this demand, seven applications were submitted to the state Department of Education for new charter schools over the next two years. The governor’s budget included money that would create four, helping to further meet the demand.
Sadly, the Appropriations Committee budget does not allow for creation of any new state public charters, and slashes investments in them by more than $10 million over the next two years. The committee failed to meet the needs of Connecticut kids and parents.
Its budget cuts decimate education reforms that are essential to improving public schools. These cuts are absolutely the wrong direction for the state.
Instead of gutting reforms, we need to continue progress for kids, starting with turning around chronically failing schools, providing the support and feedback educators need to more effectively teach our kids and adding high-performing public schools.
State legislators must realize that a stronger commitment to educating kids for tomorrow’s jobs will make Connecticut a better place to live and work and where companies want to invest and hire people.
The General Assembly should follow the governor’s lead by restoring promised investments in education reforms. All our kids deserve access to better public schools.
Source: New Haven Register – by Jennifer Alexander (Acting CEO at the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, which lobbies for education reform)