Malloy Announces Plan To Assist With Common Core


The Hartford Courant

6:27 PM EDT, June 26, 2014

Calling it the “Connecticut Core Initiative,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced plans Thursday to follow recommendations made by a task force to help implement the new academic standards known as the Common Core State Standards.

“Figuring out the best way to move forward is what the challenge has been,” Malloy said at a news conference at Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School. He said the task force has give us “great advice about how to proceed.”

“This is not an end point, this is just more response in the continuum of discussion, ongoing dialogue to make sure that we’re getting it right and bringing everyone along as we do it,” Malloy said.

That has been a problem for Malloy who established the task force of educators and parents in March because of considerable opposition to the new standards and concerns that teachers had not been adequately prepared for them. In February, a state teachers union leader called the roll-out of the standards “botched” and said teachers needed more time to learn about the new standards.

But on Thursday, Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, and Melodie Peters, president of the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut accompanied Malloy and showed their support for the initiative.

“We look with great enthusiasm and optimism to be to be able to help implement the recommendations that the task force has put forward today,” Waxenberg said.

Peters said the new initiative to implement the Common Core is “a wonderful beginning … because it was inclusive.”

Malloy announced plans to direct $2 million in state education money to fund 1,000 professional training days for teachers and another $2 million toward professional development for teachers, concentrating on English and math.

The new funding will also be used to assist special education teachers and teachers of English as a second language.

And Malloy has asked the state Department of Education to create an advisory committee to award up to $1 million in mini-grants to get additional resources aligned with the Common Core into classrooms and the community. Teachers and parent groups will be able to apply for the grants.

Malloy is also asking the state to provide “back to school kits” to superintendents and school leaders to provide jargon-free communication with parents and the community about the new standards.

In addition, Malloy said $10 million from the capital budget will be used to upgrade school technology needed to support the transition to the new standards.

The new initiatives didn’t stop Malloy’s political opponents, however. Both Jonathan Pelto, a petitioning gubernatorial candidate, and Sen. John McKinney, a Republican candidate for governor, issued statements calling for elimination of the Common Core State Standards in Connecticut.

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