There’s probably an office in Hartford somewhere where the reports of the state’s countless task forces are gathering dust. Not so with the final report and recommendations—released today—from the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Task Force.
“This may be the first state task force to be instantly funded,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy, who established the task force in March.
Calling his funding and response to the recommendations “quick and deliberate action” to improve support for teachers and ensure that students succeed, Governor Malloy pledged to allocate about $5 million of the current budget of the State Department of Education to areas recommended by the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Task Force. The governor will also ask the State Bond Commission to authorize an additional $10 million to prioritize school technology upgrades to support transition to the new Common Core standards.
Governor Malloy also said today his administration will continue a dialogue with parents, teachers, administrators, and students as districts work to implement the Common Core State Standards. The specific actions released today are contained in Governor Malloy’s Connecticut Core Initiative.
The governor’s program is described as an ongoing effort to identify and address challenges with the Common Core.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “We are grateful to the teachers who spent countless hours working on the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Task Force, gathering information, and developing recommendations around key areas of concern—areas identified by educators on the front lines of public education. These areas include the time, support, materials, and professional learning and training opportunities that must be made available to Connecticut educators.”
Cohen continued, “While the recommendations are a positive first step, we recognize that much more work is needed to successfully implement the standards in our state. It is imperative that educators are front and center in continuing to develop specific approaches and strategies to successfully implement the Connecticut Core recommendations that can make a real difference in the classroom and improve student growth and achievement. Given the Governor’s commitment to these specific goals and his promise of having future open dialogues on all aspects of the Common Core State Standards, I’m confident we can move forward together to maintain the high standards we have for all Connecticut public school students.”
In March, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 41, the Educators’ Common Core Implementation Taskforce was asked to consider ways to advance the translation of Common Core State Standards into curricula; consider ways to strengthen the professional development opportunities available to classroom teachers and school leaders; and identify and highlight best practices and lessons learned by teachers, schools, and school districts across the state and nation.
Juanita Harris, a Danbury school counselor and teacher, was a member of the task force. She emphasized that the group’s charge was specific, and there are additional public school issues that need to be addressed including Smarter Balanced testing and the state teacher evaluation system. Harris called the report and recommendations released today “a good collaborative document and one of its highlights is a commitment to ongoing dialogue and a role for teachers in school reform.”
Elizabeth Misiewicz, a Ridgefield teacher, said she is hopeful that the report will be well received. Diana Burns, a Westbook teacher, described the task force report as “excellent, showing lots of thoughtfulness and collaboration.”