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Posted inCT Viewpoints

Is our state legislature failing Connecticut’s immigrant communities?

In times of open hostility, from the President of the United States, trickling down to our institutions and communities toward immigrants and people of color, we find it outrageous that the Connecticut General Assembly has refused to respond to the demands of the people for peace and equity and to pass legislation that would benefit our immigrant community.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut college funding cuts killing our intellectual souls

Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, wrote more than a century ago about “the sickness that is not until death.” He did so in an essay about despair, loss, and fear. Notwithstanding the gloomy topic, Kierkegaard was an optimist. The sickness about which he wrote, after all, is “not until death.” The sickness until death, he wrote, would be a deeper sickness—the one that comes from the separation of one’s soul from the spiritual core that is deepest part of one’s being. Welcome to the world of Connecticut higher education, college and university-style, circa 2017.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

An ECS tale of two cities: It is the best of times, the worst of times

For some Connecticut cities and towns, it has been and continues to be the best of times, at the expense of others for whom it has been and continues to be the worst of times. And those at the state Capitol, like Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, continue to ignore the state’s education funding inequity or claim they are helpless to resolve it.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Why keep a ‘promise’ that hurts birth mothers?

One of the most persistent myths surrounding adoption is that birth mothers like me were “promised” privacy to hide the shame of having had sex (and getting caught at it). Single pregnant women like me had few viable options, and did not consider the relinquishment of our child an exchange for the promise of privacy. Senate Bill 977 extends an existing 2014 law to pre-1983 adult adoptees to restore the right to an original birth certificate to all Connecticut adoptees. Let’s keep it in the family, between those personally affected, where it belongs.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

We need higher standards of high school competence, not looser

It is truly sad that the legislature has voted and sent to the governor a bill to loosen graduation standards. Frankly, I am aghast that the children who will most likely suffer are low income and minority children. If we look statewide at test results either on state measures of proficiency or national measures, the children who have the lowest scores are often the same children.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Education funding: An investment in Connecticut’s future

The lawsuit decided last fall and currently in appeal, CCJEF v. Rell, confirmed what we already know about the way we fund public education in Connecticut: while we might spend enough to educate our state’s public school students, we do not share our funding equitably. The reality is that many of our highest need communities need more resources to support their students. This is too important to wait to address for another year.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut’s finances: Not a time to mince words

This is no time to mince words about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis. It is deep, serious, and affects everyone and everything: taxpayers, businesses, jobs, social services, infrastructure, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, towns and cities, hospitals, federal funding opportunities, and Connecticut’s reputation. Let’s be clear – it’s not new. The state’s finances have been precarious for several years. But now even those who have long denied the gravity of the situation are acknowledging it.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study

Despite all the fiscal and other challenges paralyzing Connecticut, there is an opportunity in the 2017 legislative session to take the first real step toward comprehensive, rational and constitutional education funding reform. That first step is authorizing an education adequacy cost study be conducted in our state as called for in Substitute House Bill 7270.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

The true damage caused by ‘daddy issues’

Today’s pop culture is littered with references and jokes about single parent households from famous rapper Childish Gambino’s lyrics …

“This one kid said somethin’ that was really bad
He said I wasn’t really black because I had a dad”

…to How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson bragging about how he loves “bimbos” with “unresolved daddy issues.” The question of the burnout dad and how this father affects the children he leaves behind has been a question of this generation.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Partnership key to building stronger career pathways for CT residents

Connecticut’s legislature has proposed to create a task force to study the effectiveness, impact and cohesiveness of workforce development programs and initiatives in the state. The commitment to promote better coordination and collaboration and a more effective and efficient system for workforce development should be applauded. One of the first agenda items for the task force should be to identify and examine existing strategies that demonstrate cross-cutting, collaborative approaches to job training and employment and promise opportunity for residents who face the greatest challenges to obtaining a living wage.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

A college education equals a better financial future for women

Within miles of the State Capitol, 60,000 women and girls live in poverty. The way out is a college degree, but for many women the path to success in college is filled with obstacles. The Aurora Women and Girls Foundation is focused on finding solutions. The foundation’s Aurora Report and its concentration on college completion initiatives was the highlight recently at the Legislative Office Building where the organization hosted a forum, “Building Futures for Women and Girls.”

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Textbook bad leadership at the Board of Regents

I am alarmed and shocked by the recent “Students First” proposal by the Board of Regents, which proposes to dismantle Connecticut’s community college system. This proposal is likely to go down in history as a paradigmatic case of bad management and the worst kind of public policy. It’s almost breathtaking how poorly this idea has been thought through and executed.