Education reform groups across the state hope to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of public education, a landscape that has been changing since the first cohort of public charters was approved nearly two decades ago.
Groups such as New Haven-based ConnCan and Connecticut Council for Education Reform, and StudentsFirst are widely recognized for their lobbying efforts to expand public charters, increase teacher and school accountability and increase funding for school choice programs. Other groups such as Educators4Excellence, Teach for America and Achievement First have more distinct niches including operating public charters and training educators to advocate for change at the state level.
Many of the groups say they opened offices in the state in response to requests from group members, community members and parents. In other cases, the attraction is being near a place such as New Haven, where collaboration has been proved possible by the nationally-recognized teacher contract agreement and ongoing school change initiative.