Assessment Letter to the Editor

Commentary Mischaracterized Conn. School Reform Efforts

February 24, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Regarding Ann Evans de Bernard’s recent essay (“When Is School Reform Not Enough?,” Feb. 5, 2014), I couldn’t disagree more. Ms. de Bernard ignores many successes of school improvement efforts being led by educators across Connecticut, and the support by a majority of people in Connecticut for these efforts.

Consider the state’s school turnaround program (the Commissioner’s Network), which has brought tangible changes for the better to struggling inner-city districts like Bridgeport, where right now only two in 10 3rd graders are reading at grade level.

And consider what’s taking place in New Haven, where a groundbreaking teacher- and principal-evaluation program is in use. The city also signed a nationally recognized labor contract that links pay increases to educator effectiveness and student achievement.

New Haven’s educator evaluation system is not only good for kids, but it’s also supported by people across the city: More than two in three New Haven voters believe that supporting and retaining the very best teachers is critical to ensuring students’ success, according to a recent citywide survey.

In addition to ignoring these successes, Ms. de Bernard dismisses high-performing public school options like charter schools. But she fails to acknowledge that public charter school options are helping kids get the knowledge and skills they need for future success.

Not only are public charter schools helping kids in Connecticut get a high-quality education, but a majority of people support them: Nearly two in three voters statewide (62 percent) have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of public charter schools, according to a recent statewide survey.

Although performing better than students in many states, Connecticut’s students are still falling behind kids in some states and other countries. We must continue improving public education because nothing less than our kids’ futures and the economic viability of our state are at stake.

Jennifer Alexander

Chief Executive Officer

Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now

New Haven, Conn.

A version of this article appeared in the February 26, 2014 edition of Education Week as Commentary Mischaracterized Conn. School Reform Efforts


Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion Rebooting Assessment and Accountability Post-Pandemic: What Now?
The disruptions of the pandemic have made this an ideal time to rethink accountability and assessment.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Don’t Use State Tests ‘Punitively,’ Ed. Secretary Cardona Warns
As federal accountability restarts after two years, guidance from the department underscores how complicated that could be.
5 min read
Image of data, target goals, and gaining ground.
Assessment Latest Round of Federal Grants Aims to Make States' Assessments More Equitable, Precise
The U.S. Department of Education awarded over $29 million in competitive grants to 10 state education agencies.
2 min read
Assessment review data 599911460
Assessment Opinion Are There Better Ways Than Standardized Tests to Assess Students? Educators Think So
Student portfolios and school community surveys are but two of the many alternatives to standardized tests.
3 min read
Illustration of students in virus environment facing wave of test sheets.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (Images: iStock/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty)