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The Connecticut board of education has approved a controversial school-reform package that would move the state to a performance-based education system.

The 43-member Commission on Educational Excellence for Connecticut developed the proposal, which must be approved by the legislature.

Created by lawmakers in 1992, the panel has recommended setting standards for all K-12 students and requiring all schools to set up site-based councils to oversee budget, instruction, and staffing decisions.

Some state residents have criticized the reform plan for "dumbing down'' the curriculum and creating a new layer of bureaucracy.

In addition, the state teachers' unions have said the plan--which suggests changes in teacher tenure and certification--puts too much emphasis on teacher accountability. (See Education Week, Feb. 16, 1994.)

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