As the clock ticked down the final hours of the 2012 legislative session, the governor’s proposed education bill came before State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-112) and the rest of the State House of Representatives.
“I supported this bill, though it wasn’t without some dissatisfaction over weaknesses in the final product, “said Hovey, who is an education consultant for the learning divergent. “Where some bolder action was needed there are studies and pilot programs, particularly in the area of early literacy. With Connecticut having the widest achievement gap in the nation between white and minority students, we clearly have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Elements of the bill, SB 458, which Hovey said she was pleased with, include measures to:
• Enhance families’ access to high-quality early childhood education opportunities, which include opening access to new preschool slots in low-income communities.
• Authorize State interventions and enable the supports necessary to turn around Connecticut’s lowest performing schools and districts via a newly created Commissioners Network.
• Expand the availability of high-quality school models by increasing funding to traditional schools, magnets, and charters.
• Ensure that our schools are home to the very best teachers and principals by establishing a fair and equitable evaluation system that values and authentically measures teaching skill and effectiveness.
• Establish accountability programs to ensure that state funds are being best utilized and providing necessary and targeted improvements.
“This is hardly the sweeping reform that was touted at the onset of the session,” said Rep. Hovey. “But all of these things go in the right direction and I am pleased we are doing that. We need to be very diligent in implementing change in those systems that are failing children because all children deserve a great education in Connecticut.”