In summer 2015, the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education recommitted to their ongoing efforts to pursue both excellence and equity for all Connecticut’s students. A team of professionals representing all six of Connecticut’s regional educational service centers was convened and asked to design a plan for the Department of Education and the State Board of Education’s practice over the next five years that would achieve this goal. The vision for this plan was that when completed, it would represent the Board’s commitment to Connecticut’s citizens and communities to support local public school districts’ efforts to provide a great education in an outstanding school for every child in our state. It would compel all of us to act together to ensure that every student—regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, family wealth, zip code, or disability status—is prepared to succeed in lifelong learning and work beyond school.
As a planning process, Ensuring Equity and Excellence for All Connecticut Students, was designed to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including the public and the State Board of Education’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, in an exploration of these issues to gain insight and perspective regarding their aspirations, challenges, and concerns pertaining to education in Connecticut. The feedback received during this process helped inform and provide direction in the development of this five-year comprehensive plan.