Sheff in the News
Regional Cooperation Better Than Competition EditorialAugust 23, 2015© Hartford Courant If Greater Hartford were seeking advice, words to live by, it might consider what Benjamin Franklin supposedly said as he signed the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together or we will most assuredly hang separately.” Or to put it less ominously: “Regional prosperity […]
The Problem We All Live With (Part II) by Chana Joffe-Walt August 8, 2015 © Ira Glass and Chicago Public Media Chana Joffe-Walt reports on the Hartford, CT school system, which actively seeks to integrate. The results have been impressive. It used to be that 11% of Hartford students were in integrated schools. Now it’s […]
Hartford Regional Lottery Announced; Thousands Remain on Wait List by David Desroches May 26, 2015 © WNPR.org Over 4,000 area students have been offered seats in a Hartford magnet school or suburban public school through the regional school lottery. But roughly 15,000 students were placed on wait-lists. More Hartford students are going to integrated schools […]
Hartford’s Breakthrough Named Best Magnet School in the Country by David Desroches May 4, 2015 © WNPR.org Principal Julie Goldstein huddled with her staff, anxiously waiting to hear if her school had won. Holding her breath, the announcement was made. It was confirmed. Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford was named the best in the country […]
On April 9, 2015, UCLA’s Civil Rights Project released a report showing that Connecticut’s schools are growing more integrated, and the report credited Sheff v. O’Neill as the key factor in setting the state apart from its neighbors: Connecticut School Integration: Moving Forward as the Northeast Retreats by Gary Orfield with Jongyeon Ee Several […]
Andrew Prokop, a former Annie Fisher Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Magnet School student and current University High School of Science and Engineering (UHSSE) ninth grader, is well on his way to a career as an engineer. While many students do not start thinking about career goals until their junior or senior year of high school, Andrew’s mother, Phyllis Prokop, says Hartford Public Schools has helped him set goals for higher education and beyond. Andrew’s goal is to continue his education with classes at the University of Hartford and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become an engineer.
Bruce Douglas, executive director of the Capitol Region Education Council, which operates 19 magnet schools in the Hartford region, said that in the past five years, CREC magnets have not gotten any increase in per-pupil funding. The result has been that more of the financial burden for the schools has gradually shifted to local school districts.
“This is a social justice issue and it’s about time the State of Connecticut get its act together with regard to funding public education,” Douglas said.
…“Why hasn’t our state taken action and funded my school?” asked Mia Flowers, a student from Hamden who attends Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School. “We need funding to support our students to be innovators, problem solvers, peace makers and leaders.”
The CREC magnet school system is facing a $5.2 million deficit for the upcoming school year – a 3.8 percent structural deficit – and needs help from the state, said Douglas.
“It’s time for the state of Connecticut to get its act together,” he said.
New York’s political leaders need not look far for ideas. Connecticut has a desegregation program that has revitalized the once-dismal school system in Hartford. Created in response to a 1996 State Supreme Court ruling, it has relied on a voluntary school transfer plan and a vibrant system of magnet schools to improve opportunities for inner-city children and draw suburban families back to a city that was considered an educational dead zone.