Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has signed an executive order creating the Educators' Common Core Implementation Taskforce -- a group that will be comprised of teachers, parents and administrators with the goal of identifying challenges and gaps in Common Core preparation, and making recommendations on improving the quality and consistency of its implementation.
"We have an obligation to ensure that all children in the State of Connecticut receive a quality education that will provide them with the necessary tools to lead successful lives in today's global economy," Governor Malloy said. "Seeking the input of the teachers and education professionals who are directly involved in the day-to-day activities of our public school system, along with parents, will help the state in our efforts to improve our schools."
In May 2009, former Governor M. Jodi Rell and former Education Commissioner Mark McQuillan signed a memorandum of agreement committing to a state-led process to lead to the development and eventual adoption of a Common Core set of standards. In July 2010, the State Board of Education adopted the resulting college and career-ready student expectations -- the Common Core State Standards.
Since that time, the State of Connecticut has committed funds to support professional development and investments in new technology in order to help school districts prepare for its implementation.
Last November, Governor Malloy announced over $24 million in grant requests to bring more computers into classrooms and increase internet bandwidth, which will provide vital support to students, teachers, and school districts as local efforts accelerate to complete the transition to Common Core. In the current biennial budget, Governor Malloy proposed $14.6 million for training and coaching for educators.
"Connecticut teachers and education professionals have raised legitimate concerns that preparations for the implementation of Common Core State Standards and the incorporation of Common Core State Standards into the teaching curriculum have been uneven across the state," Governor Malloy said. "Teachers, students, public officials, and everyone involved in the education system will benefit by having this review, identifying challenges, and highlighting best practices and lessons learned."
Last July, Governor Malloy sought federal approval to provide Connecticut school districts with new flexibility on statewide standardized tests that would offer districts the option to administer the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment rather than Connecticut's legacy assessments -- the CMT and CAPT -- this school year, and also offer districts the option not to use state test data in educator evaluations for the current school year.
In January, Governor Malloy, joined by Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr., and Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, wrote to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, urging the panel to enable the exclusion of state standardized test indicators in next year's teacher evaluations; enable school districts to have flexibility in the implementation of evaluation in the current school year and future school years; and streamline the data management requirements at the classroom level.
Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order No. 41, the Educators' Common Core Implementation Taskforce is being 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.
Final recommendations are due no later than June 30, 2014, in time for the 2014-15 school year.
In formulating the membership of the taskforce, the Governor received recommendations from the American Federation of Teachers; CT Education Association; CT Association of School Administrators; CT Association of Schools; CT Association of Public School Superintendents; CT Association of Boards of Education; CT Teachers of the Year Association; the CT Parent Teacher Student Association; legislators; and self-nominations from interested educators.