Year 6 Project Overview: Connecticut Talent Pipeline and Cultural Proficiency

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is concerned that the talent pipeline for ensuring students in low-performing schools are taught by effective educators is woefully inadequate. Data points to problems in program completion for educators of color, disproportionate ratios of students of color to staff of color in low-performing schools, and high attrition from low-performing schools. In addition, educators lack preparation for working successfully with students and families of color, therefore creating unfavorable conditions for students of color to achieve to their potential. Through a root cause analysis, CSDE has identified cultural competence in the educator workforce as a strategy for addressing gaps in equitable access to effective educators.

NCC is collaborating with the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) and CSDE to plan and implement a professional learning series for CSDE leaders and leadership teams from Opportunity Districts identified as in need of improvement. As a result of the GTL Center/NCC assistance, CSDE will: 1) have professional learning resources that build educators’ cultural competence, and 2) have developed and begun to implement plans to address priority gaps in the talent pipeline.

Progress to Date

  • NCC collaborated with the GTL Center to advance planning for the upcoming professional learning series that we will provide for CSDE and district teams. The blended face-to-face and virtual professional learning series is designed to both build awareness of bias and privilege in policy, systems, and practices and to apply this awareness of examining and strengthening policy and practices across the talent pipeline.

Research, Resources and Collaborations

NCC is collaborating with the GTL Center to support CSDE in this work. The Talent Office has specifically requested assistance in: 1) engaging SEA leaders and IHE-partner districts in competence work that results in a set of professional learning resources that CSDE will use to support districts across the state, and 2) using data to identify gaps in the talent pipeline and develop plans to address priority gaps using proven and evidence-based practices, and collaborating with key stakeholders. Priority gaps may include hiring practices and retention strategies.

Contact Person

For more information, contact Kathy Dunne at

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