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Right to Read Legislative Forum, CT Tutoring to Address Math, + Introducing our new CEO

Right to Read Legislative Forum

On March 29th—as leaders of the Right to Read CT Coalition—we were proud to have planned and co-hosted an event regarding the status of implementing the state’s new systemic response to early literacy under the 2021 Right to Read law. (Full recording from CT-N here.) The first half of the event highlighted the coordinated work of the legislature, the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, the State Department of Education, municipal leaders, and the Right to Read CT Coalition—with presentations from Senator Pat Billie Miller, Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, and the head of the state’s reading Center, Dr. Melissa Hickey. Then, district- and building-level educators from Bridgeport, Colchester, CREC, and Waterbury who have been early adopters of the Science of Reading described the systems in place that allow for embedding evidence-based literacy practices (think: curriculum, professional development, strategic planning, data teams, scheduling, etc.). Both Chairs of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and the House Ranking Member participated and shared their support.

As WSHU notes, the response from the legislative leaders who attended the event was resoundingly positive. "Over thirty years, today was the best professional development I have ever had in my career as an educator,” raved Ed Committee Co-Chair Senator McCrory. “I am so much more informed today about how we have to do this, and whatever fixes we need along the way, we can't stop. We're not going back. We have the facts before us. We have to move forward. It is my responsibility to make it happen, and it will."

(Top row, left to right): Rep. Chris Poulos, Dr. Melissa Hickey, ERN’s Amy Dowell, Rep. Jeff Currey, Sen. Doug McCrory, Steven Hernandez, Rep. Geraldo Reyes, Thomas Nuccio, Denise Drummond, Werner Oyanadel. (Bottom row, left to right): Rep. Kathleen McCarty, Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, Sen. Pat Billie Miller.

The Right to Read CT Coalition has also recently set up a new message board to hear from the parents whose children have struggled with literacy and the educators who have taken the journey of discovering research-based approaches that impact students. Share YOUR story!

CT Tutoring to Address Middle School Math

In March, Governor Lamont and Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker announced that the State Department of Education will launch a high-dosage tutoring program designed to accelerate learning in mathematics for grades 6 to 9, using $10M of COVID recovery funds. Very good news!

Shared early and often during pandemic recovery by both our state and national 501c(3) affiliates—ERN and ERN CT— high-dosage tutoring (HDT) is a nationally recognized intervention for boosting student achievement. (See bullets below for a list of the publications over the years.) HDT is most effective when it is consistently embedded in daily instruction, when students are matched with the same tutors for the full year, and when the tutoring is limited to small group instruction.

Meet Our New DFER/ERN CEO, Jorge Elorza!

On Monday, our national office announced that former two term Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has been appointed as our new CEO.

During his eight years in office, Elorza undertook bold actions to advance student-centered policies—including engaging the State Department of Education to turn around the city’s chronically underperforming school system; supporting the expansion of high-quality public charter schools; investing COVID relief funds in mentoring; and creating the city’s Eat, Play, Learn initiative, which provides students with healthy food, outdoor play, and summer engagement. Tune into ERN's podcast to hear from Jorge himself about his agenda for public education and the organization.

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