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New School Reform Effort
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Michael Hogan, UConn President: photo by Diane OrsonMichael Hogan, UConn President: photo by Diane OrsonA new educational reform program will give Connecticut public schools more autonomy to decide how best to teach their students.  The program, called CommPACT, takes existing neighborhood schools, reorganizes them and grants them power to decide how theyre governed, to manage their own budgets and to develop their own curriculum.

The University of Connecticut will provide on-site support, as well as ongoing evaluations. UConn President Michael Hogan says its a chance to affect real change for Connecticut's most disadvantaged students. He says he believes the program "will become a new national model for higher education institutions for how they can act proactively to enhance student achievement in poor urban communities".

The idea behind the program is to create a collaborative school culture.  Ninety percent of teachers and the principal have to buy-in to the idea in order to participate. Eight schools in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London and Waterbury are participating this year. They are among the states lowest performing schools.