Contact: Laurence Grotheer
May 8, 2012
State Senator Andrea L. Stillman (D-Waterford), Senate chair of the legislature’s Education Committee, today earned Senate approval for a comprehensive package of public education reforms deemed a priority for the session. Senator Stillman described the bill as opportunity realized: an opportunity to begin the lengthy process of reform and the opportunity for children and families to capitalize on all the opportunities inherent in a good education.
Senator Stillman said the bill represents compromise among many of the governor’s original proposals, priorities of legislative leaders, and suggestions from stakeholders: teachers, administrators, parents, reform advocates, and policy experts.
“As an integral part of a sustained economic development strategy, public education reform is properly placed in the spotlight this year,” Senator Stillman said. “These meaningful changes address everything from school readiness for young children, to the turnaround of failing schools, to teacher certification and evaluation standards, all with the goal of preparing students for the 21st century’s global marketplace.”
Senator Stillman highlighted several landmark reforms and initiatives among the lengthy and painstakingly negotiated legislation:
“In recent years we have revised public school curriculum requirements statewide and adjusted standardized testing procedures and intervals as just two examples of well-intentioned, but half-hearted attempts to improve student outcomes,” Senator Stillman said. “These top-to-bottom public school reforms provide the wholesale changes required to address a glaring achievement gap caused primarily by pockets of poverty, and language and cultural barriers.”
“Perhaps nothing illustrates the potential for these reforms better than the literacy initiatives, where improved proficiency could yield reduced special education enrollment and resulting costs for what might have been merely a student’s reading deficiency all along,” Senator Stillman said. “Simply put, education is about the evolution of our children as they grow and learn and become productive adults, so our public education system must constantly evolve as well, along with the professionals who work in the field and the policies that govern those efforts.”
Senator Stillman said Emergency Certified SB458 now advances to the House of Representatives for its consideration and action.
Vice Chair: Transportation
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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