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Lawmakers Rally to Close CT Education Achievement Gap
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Lawmakers from the General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus announced a major initiative today aimed at closing Connecticut’s achievement gap. WNPR’s Ray Hardman has more.

The Campaign for Leadership in Education, Achievement and Reform now, or Campaign Learn is the new initiative, and brings together a whole host of education advocates and equal rights organizations to implement policies and bring attention to Connecticut’s achievement disparity between white students and students of color.

According to results of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress for Math, Connecticut’s achievement gap is the worst in the nation:

"Good morning, everyone. That's the beginning of changing the way we do business."

That’s Gwen Samuel from the State of Black Connecticut Alliance. She says early involvement in a child’s education is key:

"Our kids, we're finding out in the third and fourth grade that they're not reading at level. It shouldn't take the third or fourth grade to get to that.  We need early intervention, and let's be very clear, the federal government, who is about to award states who prove that they're ready to reform, the Race To The Top Grant, the Innovative Grant, the Early Learning grant, we must be ready to do what is needed to change the way we do business."

Moving Forward Campaign Learn will identify the best practices for eliminating the achievement gap, implement policies based on those practices, while raising awareness of Connecticut students who are falling through the cracks.

For WNPR News, I’m Ray Hardman.