Connecticut is one of 45 states rolling out the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for math and language arts (English). Full implementation of the standards is scheduled in Connecticut for the 2014-15 school year, and the legislature may want to consider bills that address possible issues related to implementation and the accompanying new standardized tests. (A few states, including Massachusetts, are slowing the pace of CCSS testing implementation.) Since the new tests are administered on computers, one issue could be improving the technological capability of school districts to give the new tests. Connecticut is also in the process of implementing new teacher evaluation systems in every school district. To avoid too many changes taking place simultaneously in the education system, the state may seek a delay in full implementation of the evaluation system until there is more time for teachers and students to adapt to CCSS. Connecticut is currently waiting for federal flexibility approval regarding testing tied to CCSS and the timing of the full implementation of the teacher evaluation. The General Assembly may need to consider legislation that would help the state gain federal approval. CAPTION: Second grade students in Susie Defelice's class work on math exercises under the new "Common Core" curriculum now required by the state.
MICHAEL McANDREWS / Hartford Courant