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Connecticut is a microcosm of the United States. In many ways, we are second to none. We have vibrant communities, high-performing schools, and economic opportunities. At the same time, we have some of the worst achievement gaps in the country.1 Some of the poorest cities in the U.S. are here in Connecticut – just miles from some of the wealthiest suburbs.2  Accordingly, Connecticut’s public education system faces a series of complex problems we must surmount in order to serve all our children.

These challenges have multiple causes and cannot be solved by using standard techniques and conventional processes. These complex challenges include:

  • Identifying and analyzing academic achievement gaps by race and poverty level
  • Changing Connecticut demographics
  • Low level of student engagement in education and motivation for learning
  • Limited measures of assessment and accountability
  • Inadequate preparation for today’s higher education and workforce
  • Little emphasis on modern skills to meet the needs of a global economy
  • Disruptive innovations such as the development of more sophisticated technology
  • Changes in information access that have created a situation where information is accessible through multiple devices and in multiple locations

Traditional solutions to these challenges are inadequate. The fact is, the only way to work on these challenges is to redesign the public school system. We must embrace creativity, challenge assumptions, and tap the ingenuity of those dedicated to success. Only then will we find the solutions that these challenges demand—and that our students deserve.

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