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Courant: CREC Supports Hartford-MCC Contract For Great Path Academy

Friday February 24, 2012

CREC Supports Hartford-MCC Contract For Great Path Academy
by Vanessa De La Torre
February 24, 2012
©The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD

The Capitol Region Education Council is offering its support for the city schools’ proposed contract to manage the Great Path Academy at Manchester Community College.

In a letter Friday to the Hartford Board of Education, CREC Executive Director Bruce Douglas, who has sharply criticized the college and its president, said the education agency has no interest in continuing to operate the 247-student, grade 10-12 magnet school.

Douglas alluded to the Freedom of Information complaint that CREC – Great Path’s manager since 2004 – filed against MCC President Gena Glickman last month. In a related action, the agency has requested all email and records related to the decision to pick Hartford instead of CREC for the new agreement.

CREC believes its tension with Glickman over management issues led her to short-circuit the selection process, choosing Hartford herself rather than hearing the recommendation of Great Path’s governing board.

“CREC initiated the request for information to gain insight into the process,” Douglas wrote in the letter. But he added that “this request should not hinder Hartford’s progress in executing a management agreement with Manchester Community College.”

Douglas’ endorsement comes days after the school board voted 5-3 to delay action on the five-year contract that would start in July. One concern among a few members was that CREC’s fight with MCC could pose a legal roadblock.

Board Chairman Matthew Poland said he hopes the board can agree to vote soon and has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday to continue the discussion.

As an operator of regional magnet schools, CREC competes with the school system for students. Douglas said CREC supports Hartford “in its quest to expand its portfolio of schools” and that it would help the transition at Great Path.

Hartford already runs a school outside city limits: Pathways To Technology Magnet High School, which is temporarily in Windsor until a permanent school building is constructed at Goodwin College in East Hartford. The school system also has a partnership between Capital Community College and Capital Preparatory Magnet School, where high school students can take college courses.

About 30 percent of Great Path students come from Hartford. CREC received about $3.4 million in state grant and tuition money to run the academy this school year.

Link: http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-crec-great-path-0225-20120224,0,2877742.story