Governor Rell: Connecticut Joins National Education Network To Emphasize Higher High School Standards

Tuesday, February 19, 2008Printer-friendly version


CONTACT: Sandy Boyd, Achieve,
(202) 419-1540,

WASHINGTON—February 15, 2008— Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that Connecticut is the latest state to join the American Diploma Project (ADP) Network, a coalition of reform-minded states working to close the gap between what is demanded of students in high school and the education they need to be successful in college and careers.

“We joined this network for one primary reason: jobs,” Governor Rell said. “We have already made an unprecedented commitment to education in Connecticut and by joining this network, we have committed to ensuring that our high school standards, assessments, and curricula are rigorous, relevant, and aligned with the expectations that graduates will face in college and the workforce. Our focus is on putting policies in place today that will bring about steady, long-term job growth in the future.”

Connecticut brings more than 580,000 public school students to the ADP Network. Collectively, the 32 states that now form the ADP Network are home to over 74 percent of the total U.S. public school population—over 36 million students in all. Achieve, Inc., a nonprofit education reform organization led by governors and business leaders, manages the ADP Network.

“We applaud Governor Rell, State Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan, State Higher Education Commissioner Michael P. Meotti, and other Connecticut leaders—including those in K-12 education, postsecondary systems, and the business community—for joining together to ensure that the state’s students are truly prepared for college and careers,” said Mike Cohen, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Achieve, Inc.

“Connecticut has joined a growing number of states that are taking steps to bring the high school experience into the 21st Century,” said Commissioner Mark. K. McQuillan. “Higher education, government and business leaders have been calling for more rigor and more engaging programming at the high school level to assure that our students develop the skills necessary to compete on the college campus and in the international workplace. However, these changes must be informed by many perspectives and planned with great care. This is why we are traveling throughout the state for input from educators, parents, students and community leaders. As part of this effort, we believe that our work with Achieve, Inc. and its members will be extremely helpful in our efforts to develop the best high school model for our students and state.”

In 2007, Governor Rell signed into law a new two-year state budget that increased education funding (ECS) by $261 million and provided additional tuition relief for college students. The budget also includes a number of accountability measures proposed by Governor Rell to improve classroom achievement.

In December 2007, the Connecticut State Board of Education adopted a broad outline of legislative recommendations for secondary school reform and authorized a public participation process to refine and shape its final proposal to the Connecticut General Assembly.

The proposal is based on the recommendations of the State Board of Education’s Ad Hoc Committee on Secondary School Redesign and recommends new state requirements for high school graduation including:

  • an increase in minimum diploma credits to 24;
  • a core curriculum of required courses;
  • the embedding of 21st Century learning skills such as communication and teamwork skills into model curricula;
  • state-administered end-of-course examinations;
  • locally administered end–of-course performance tasks;
  • student success plans with career path options; and
  • a senior year demonstration project.

The ADP Network was launched at the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools, where the nation’s governors joined business and education leaders to make high school reform a national priority. More information about the ADP Network is available online at

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Created by the nation’s governors and business leaders, Achieve, Inc., is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work, and citizenship. Achieve was founded at the 1996 National Education Summit and has sponsored subsequent Summits in 1999, 2001, and 2005. At the 2005 Summit, Achieve launched the American Diploma Project Network. For more information, please visit