General Assembly Releases Education Reform Act
The Leadership of both the House and Senate released a reform package for education today.
The following press release quoted Senate President Ruggerio (D-District 4).
“We have high standards in place, as well as assessments that are aligned to those standards. However, we never did the hard work of ensuring our curriculum prepares students for these expectations, nor have we done the difficult work of better preparing and supporting teachers, so they really equipped to help students succeed. We have the gold standard in education right next door in Massachusetts, and we looked to their model to see what best practices could make a real difference here.”
The package of bills is called the “Education Reform Act” and will be introduced in both the House and Senate.
1. The first bill requires the Commissioner of Education to align statewide academic standards with curriculum and frameworks, which are broad research-based strategies for teachers to help students develop the skills, competences and knowledge for the statewide standards.
2. The second bill would enable the Department of Elementary and Secondary education to be a professional support partner with local education agencies. The department would support local schools by providing a comprehensive understanding of how curriculum affects those schools based on their characteristics, such as size and demographics.
3. The third bill increases building level management of schools, increasing on the ground support for underperforming schools and provides for the same support at the district level.
4. Th fourth bull applies to new teachers and would add an instructional component to the test that teachers must pass to get their certificates. This ensures that in addition to understanding what they teach, the teacher must understand how to teach the subject matter.
5. The fifth bill would create a process for certifying teachers with specialized skills.
6. The sixth bill will create a new teacher evaluation system designed to promote growth,
place student learning at the center and shorten improvement times.
7. The seventh bill would require the Department of Education to develop a new fast track program to certify new principals. Applicants must have 10 years of experience as an effective or highly efficient teacher, a recommendation from where they taught, a record of leadership and a master’s degree.
All bills will be introduced and go through the committee process with public hearings.