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Posted inEducation

Malloy confronts school inequities: ‘The civil rights issue of our time’

His first day on the job in January 2011, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy went before the General Assembly to declare that the state was facing an economic and employment crisis, created in part by “a lack of educational resources.” He then spent the next eight years of his tenure in what he recently described as “pitched battles” with “weak-kneed” Democrats over various education reforms he believed were long overdue.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

“Greatness all around us, and that greatness will change our world’

Graduation season is always special. Seeing the culmination and celebration of a year of student progress, learning, and teaching brings with it pride and a sense of hope for all our graduates’ futures. This graduation season is particularly personal for me as it’s my first year at the State Director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network, and I’ve become intimately familiar with our schools, their educators, scholars, and families.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Danbury, Norwalk need these two new proposed charter schools

Nationwide we are celebrating National Charter Schools Week, and noting how far the charter movement has come since the passage of the first charter law in 1991. But locally we are on the cusp of celebrating something equally as important, with the potential to change lives right here in our proverbial backyard. For the first time in four years, two new, high-quality charter options are being proposed to serve kids in our state: Danbury Prospect Charter School and Norwalk Charter School for Excellence. These would be the first new charter schools to open in Connecticut since 2014.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Education funding inequity in Connecticut ‘among the worst I’ve seen’

I hope that state legislators will see that public charter school leaders want only to be a part of the solution for communities that we care deeply about. We have proven through our results that we are able to help students overcome the bigotry of low expectations. But in order for our schools to truly thrive, we need our leaders fund our students fairly, and allow more success stories like ours to lift up Connecticut’s children.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

What Connecticut can learn from Massachusetts

ConnCAN was pleased to see The Mirror’s recent in-depth comparison of education outcomes between Connecticut and Massachusetts. As Jacqueline Rabe Thomas’ series pointed out, Massachusetts and Connecticut share more than just state boundaries. Our states are similar in many ways, including that our public schools serve similar students with similar learning needs. But our neighbors are doing a better job of educating all students, especially those in poverty and students of color. Massachusetts students also outperformed all other states in math and reading for grades four and eight on the Nation’s Report Card (NAEP).

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Legislators must pass a budget fair to all public schools, including charters

Connecticut is known for many “firsts” and “onlys.” We can be proud of many of them. The first telephone book, the first hamburger and the only steam-powered Cider Mill in the U.S. just to name a few. But right now, we’re leading the nation in something else, and it’s not good. Worse, it’s to the detriment of our children. After a stalemate of more than 100 days, we are the only state in the nation without a budget. And for the children of Brass City Charter School in Waterbury, specifically the children we work for every day, this isn’t just unfair — it’s unacceptable.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

It is time for lawmakers to get to work and fund Connecticut’s schools

As our students return to school, they know they’re beginning a year of new challenges, new ideas, and new people. Behind the scenes, however, things look a little different. Because state legislators still haven’t fixed Connecticut’s broken public school funding system, the staff at Park City Prep is going into the new school year prepared to scrape by with insufficient resources.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

The NAACP tells it as it is on charter schools

An English teacher friend of mine was a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year in the mid 90’s. As one of the culminating steps in the selection process, the four finalists were instructed to research a little-known subject and present their findings to an audience. The topic was charter schools. There were no charter schools in Connecticut at the time. My friend concluded that the worth of charter schools would depend on the answers to two questions: 1) Will the innovations created at charter schools inform and improve the public schools that the vast majority of children and adolescents in the U.S. attend? 2) Will charter schools be held accountable to address student needs as traditional public schools are required to do?

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Public charter schools deserve equitable funding for continued success

Having sent my daughter to public schools for more than a decade, I can see the difference between a normal school and an extraordinary one. An extraordinary public school guides students from childhood into the beginning of adulthood, never giving up on them or letting them fall by the wayside. That’s what Achievement First Hartford did for Nyjah. It’s the kind of life changing school that every family should be able to choose, and the kind of school I’m happy to fight for.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Lawmakers forcing Waterbury charter school’s future into ‘limbo’

As the leaders of Brass City Charter School, the only public charter school in Waterbury, we know firsthand how special our school is to our community. But despite our successes, and even in light of recently being named a School of Distinction by the state, the future of our school and our students is in limbo, and it’s our lawmakers who are the ones keeping us there.