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Mar 022014

Last Thursday, February 27th, Norwalk Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Manny Rivera, presented his recommended PreK-5 English Language Arts Program to the Board of Education Curriculum and Instruction Committee.  Following the 60-minute power point presentation,  the committee voted 3-1 to forward his recommendations to the full Board of Education for review.  His plan includes the recommendation to go with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys as the primary English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum,  with Core Knowledge (CKLA) as an optional pilot alternative,  in a couple of schools for K-2 classrooms, and the adoptions of  Scholastic’s Core Knowledge Classroom Libraries to create independent reading libraries in every classroom.  The curriculum is expected to be voted on within the next 30 days, with implementation in the classrooms next fall, as districts get ready to deploy curriculum  that  supports the new Common Core State Standards.



Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys

Core Knowledge Language Arts



Apr 032013

Recently the Connecticut Mirror ran a story about 5th Grade teacher, Sharon Leger, who had  revealed that as a new teacher she was never taught in college how to get, and keep, the attention of her students. She also said that never learned how to tailor her lessons to students who don’t speak English or have special education needs.  Each year, 21 of the state’s  public and private colleges graduate about 3500 teachers each year however in two national surveys,  two  out of every three new teachers felt they had not been properly prepared for the classroom.

Click Below to read the full story.


Last year, the Education Reform Bill created EPAC (Educator Preparation Advisory Committee)  to work with the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the University of Connecticut to study issues concerning teacher preparation.  Their recommendations are attached in the report below:






Jan 012013

Low reading scores are a major contributing factor to Connecticut’s largest in the nation achievement gap and Norwalk also suffers low reading scores for its Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) student population and English Language Learners (ELL.) The following article  addresses how colleges and universities teach teachers to teach reading.  Teachers who come out of two highly selective programs — Teach for America and the Neag School at the University of Connecticut — have strikingly better scores on the state  Foundations in Reading Test that assesses their ability to teach reading than other schools in Connecticut.

The Foundations in Reading Test is major initiative in Connecticut’s efforts to close the achievement gap is to improve students’ reading skills, particularly in the early grades. In the fall of 2007, a Reading Summit was held with private and public advocates for children to coordinate state efforts to improve childhood literacy. This summit established as one of its recommendations that Connecticut require a test for prospective teachers in the teaching of reading.

Beginning on or after July 1, 2009, teacher candidates in Connecticut applying for an Integrated Early Childhood, NK–3 Endorsement (endorsement #113) or Elementary Education Grades K–6 Endorsement (endorsement #013) will be required to take and pass the Connecticut Foundations of Reading test, a test of reading instruction knowledge and skills administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson.


Click here to learn more about the Foundations In Reading Test.