Sheff Movement Updates
As 2017 comes to a close, we took a moment at our most recent meeting of the Sheff Movement coalition to look back on some highlights from a year spent connecting with the community, raising the voice of youth, and creating spaces for honest dialogue. Take a look back with us at some of our […]
Sheff Movement Student Advocate and Wheaton College student Shamar Mahon recently attended the National Coalition on School Diversity Annual Conference in New York City, where he had the opportunity to learn from and interact with national school integration advocates and experts. Sponsored by The Sheff Movement with funding provided by the Connecticut Education Association, Mahon […]
Dear Friend of Quality Integrated Education, 2017 has been a busy year for the Sheff Movement. We have spent much of the year in the community – listening to the hopes and frustrations of parents, students, and educators, learning a lot about how we can best serve the needs of Hartford families, and connecting […]
The Hartford Courant’s recent piece on the plight of Hartford student Isiah Rivera highlights an unacceptable issue in our current educational system – that too many students are left behind by the regional school lottery. We share Isiah’s family’s frustration, and the frustration of all the families whose children are left on long waitlists for […]
The Sheff Movement coalition is engaged in a strategic planning process to examine how we as a community can advance the goal of ensuring that every child benefits from quality integrated education. The results of this survey, along with other data and community input, will be used as we develop strategies for the future of […]
The Sheff Movement coalition is alarmed to learn of reported irregularities in the magnet school lottery – such actions run contrary to the values of equity and opportunity for all children upon which the magnet school system was founded, and any placement outside of its lottery guidelines is unacceptable. Thousands of Hartford and suburban families […]
Recent news has sparked needed public conversation about the ongoing segregation and inadequate funding that continues to plague Hartford schools, despite a constitutional mandate requiring the State of Connecticut to provide every student with access to a quality integrated education. The State of Connecticut must do better for our children. Our efforts have brought […]
“The plaintiffs in the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case are more frustrated than anyone that a significant number of Hartford students of color remain in highly segregated, low-performing schools. We are now more than two decades past the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that, as a result of racial and ethnic isolation in Hartford’s schools, […]
As we reflect on a year full of hard work, exciting ideas, and stronger alliances, we enter 2017 with a reinforced spirit and commitment to achieve quality integrated education for all children. The Sheff Movement coalition’s dedication to this critical work is stronger than ever! We are deeply frustrated by the State of Connecticut’s refusal […]
On Wednesday, January 18th, students from Park Slope Collegiate school in Brooklyn, NY visited Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School for a learning exchange, facilitated by the Sheff Movement. During a full day of tours, presentations and class visits, students had the opportunity to discuss concepts central to their school’s individual themes. Park Slope Collegiate discussed its anti-racism […]
few resources that can help parents learn about their choices: A listing of the school choice fairs hosted by Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) (Spanish version) Various magnet providers and individual schools host open houses and information sessions throughout the lottery season RSCO partners with a number of organizations (“Satellite Sites”) to offer lottery application […]
About 90 people participated in our design challenge at the Hartford Public Library on October 22nd. It was wonderful to see so many people engaging in critical dialogue and working together to #improvesheff. We look forward to building on the momentum and ideas that emerged. Here are three ways you can help us do that: […]
The Sheff Movement is proud to announce that Patricia (“Pat”) Wrice recently joined our staff as our Director of Communications and Community Partnerships. Pat will be a familiar face to many of you, having worked in the Hartford community for over 30 years. She offers a wealth of experience in the human services and community […]
On Saturday morning, June 20, 2015, six of Hartford’s mayoral candidates attended the Sheff Movement coalition’s monthly meeting. More than 40 people participated in a facilitated dialogue about the need for continued support for expanding access to quality integrated education. Sheff Movement staff provided a brief presentation of the progress made to date and factual […]
We are writing to applaud the witty and informative column by Colin McEnroe, “Stop Spending Money On Charter Schools.” However, there is another reason we should heed McEnroe’s advice — these institutions are not accomplishing the state’s decades-old mission of integrating our schools. The landmark Sheff v. O’Neill decision compelled Connecticut to provide our children with a high-quality […]
More than 4000 students from Hartford and the surrounding suburbs have received offers for a seat in one of Connecticut’s nationally renowned, integrated magnet schools following today’s state-run lottery to determine placement. However, about 15,000 hopeful students who applied for a seat failed to receive an offer — an outcome which reflects the need for […]
The Sheff Movement was proud to sponsor the inaugural Social Justice Award at this year’s Reel Youth Hartford Film Festival. The $250 prize was awarded to Nicole Ellis, a student at the Journalism and Media Academy, for her film “Rosaria“. Congratulations to Nicole for her visually creative film, featuring her classmates and scenes from her […]
Sheff Movement staff director Phil Tegeler published this letter to the editor in response to another letter published by the Newington Town Crier.
Congressman Joe Courtney from Connecticut’s Second District will speak during the Meet and Greet reception that will be held on the first day of Magnet Schools of America’s upcoming Policy Training Conference in Washington, DC from February 4-6, 2015.
The Sheff Movement is proud to partner with the Reel Youth Hartford Film Festival in 2015, by sponsoring the festival’s first-ever Social Justice Award. We’re excited to announce “Racial Justice in Education” as the inaugural theme. Click here for more details.
At our June 2014 meeting, Sheff Movement staff members presented a new structure for volunteer committees, and the committees met to get organized during the July meeting. We anticipate committees providing updates about their work at our Sheff Movement meetings each month. Please contact us if you’re interested in joining one of our committees: Outreach – educating the broader […]
UPDATE: The Sheff Movement is working on a collaboration that will make the “Sheff Today” Youth Video Contest bigger and even better. Please check back later for more information and a revised submission date. We are looking forward to viewing your entry. Students—make a video on how you see the Sheff struggle for equal educational […]
In response to popular demand, we have prepared a series of very short fact sheets about different aspects of the Sheff remedy. These can be useful handouts if you are talking to a local school board member or legislator about your school.
Watch this moving 2014 Martin Luther King Day address by Stacy-Ann Wallen, at the West Hartford Town Hall. Stacy-Ann is a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford, a resident of Hartford, and her speech speaks to the historical significance of the Sheff case.
Today, the Sheff lawyers announced the new Phase 3 settlement agreement. According to the press release, the new agreement “expands existing integrated educational opportunities by making available over 1350 new seats for Hartford school children, and by seeking to add another 500 new seats to the Open Choice program.” The agreement “[makes] available 407 seats […]
Elizabeth Horton Sheff will be awarded with an honorary degree by the University of Hartford. From the University of Hartford Website: “Education activist Elizabeth Horton Sheff will receive an honorary degree and be the featured speaker at this year’s Fall Commencement. Sheff is best known for her landmark civil rights lawsuit known as Sheff vs. O’Neill, […]
Sheff Movement member Philip Tegeler provided written testimony to the Connecticut Department of Education regarding the proposed repeal of Section 10-226h of the General Statutes.
To Rep. Rojas: Let’s talk about what Sheff is doing for East Hartford by Philip Tegeler November 26, 2013 ©Connecticut Mirror In his Sunday op-ed article in the Courant, state Rep. Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, voices support for school integration and the goals of Sheff v. O’Neill, but he complains about the cost of the […]
Regional magnet schools – a more complete picture by Philip Tegeler, Liz Dupont-Diehl, and Barbara Zuras November 18, 2013 ©Journal-Inquirer As supporters of quality, integrated educational options for all children in the Hartford region, we were disappointed to read the Nov. 9 commentary on regional magnet schools by Vernon Board of Education member David Kemp […]
This memo (published in November 2013, updated April 2014) summarizes the basic statutory arrangements for funding interdistrict magnet schools and the Open Choice interdistrict transfer program in Connecticut, with special attention to the distinctions between funding arrangements for programs in the Hartford region (implementing the Sheff v. O’Neill state supreme court mandate) and other areas of […]
Philip Tegeler and Elizabeth Horton Sheff will be presenting a workshop at the Stone Soup conference on October 22, 2013. The theme this year is “The Impact of Race and Economic Status on Early Childhood: Opportunities for Community Transformation.” For more information about the conference, click here.
The Center for Children’s Advocacy, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and cooperating attorney Wesley Horton signed an agreement with the Connecticut State Department of Education in Sheff vs. O’Neill, Hartford’s landmark educational equity case. The agreement extends by one year a five-year Stipulation and Order signed by […]
The Sheff Movement submitted this letter to Achievement Gap Task Force Co-chairs regarding the Task Force’s Draft Recommendations, issued on November 2, 2012.
New data obtained by the Center for Children’s Advocacy from the Connecticut Department of Education show striking achievement results for Hartford children attending racially and economically integrated regional magnet schools and for Hartford children attending suburban schools through the “Open Choice” program. Regional Magnet and Open Choice Achievement Data for Hartford Resident Students (Spring 2012) […]
File: 2012_Testimony_Zuras for SMC_Preschool Education
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy entered this past Legislative Session with an ambitious education reform agenda. It was designed in part to give Connecticut an edge in competitive funding applications to the U.S. Department of Education, and also to help qualify Connecticut for a “waiver” of certain requirements of the federal “No Child Left Behind” […]
About a dozen students and a teacher at two area magnet schools – CREC (Capitol Region Education Council) International Magnet School for Global Citizenship in East Hartford and Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker (operated by Hartford Public Schools) in Hartford – have been awarded with the Sheff Movement Excellence in Quality Integrated Education Award 2012.
About a dozen magnet school and Open Choice parents joined the Sheff Movement at the National Conference on School Diversity in Washington, DC on May 17th.
File: 2012_Recommendations_SMC and CT Voices_ELLTaskForce
According to the Sheff Movement’s analysis, from data supplied by CT Dept of Education, there has been a 5.4% increase over 2011-12 enrollment, but the state is still falling short of required goals: SHEFF REMEDIAL TOTALS 2011-2012 School Year (Rounded) 2012-2013 School Year Total students in regional magnets or suburban Open Choice program 13,000 15,410 Total Hartford city children […]
File: 2012 School Choice Applications
In 2010, we compared graduation rates in Hartford’s magnet high schools with high school graduation rates for all districts in the Hartford region–and found that the regional magnets were outperforming most of the suburban towns in our region! After that, under direction from the U.S. Department of Education, Connecticut developed new data on graduation rates […]
Learn more at WFSB 3 Connecticut.
File: 2012_Testimony_Zuras for SMC_Act Concerning Educational Competitiveness Testimony was also submitted on behalf of the Sheff Plaintiffs, through their attorneys: 2012_Testimony_Sheff Plaintiffs_Governors Bill
Governor’s Education Budget excerpt (February 2012) Governors_budget_A5-9 Governor’s Education Budget excerpt – Capital Expenditures (February 2012) Governors_budget_A25-28 Governor’s Education Budget excerpt – Budget Detail (February 2012) Governors_budget_B99-104
Sheff Movement member Philip Tegeler was featured on WNPR, “calling on Governor Malloy to make school diversity a core educational priority for the state.”
File: 2012_Testimony_Zuras_Ach Gap Task Force
From the U.S. Department of Education’s website: Today, the Departments of Justice and Education released two new guidance documents—one for school districts and one for colleges and universities—detailing the flexibility that the Supreme Court has provided to educational institutions to promote diversity and, in the case of elementary and secondary schools, reduce racial isolation among […]
Victory in Avon! On November 22nd, the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission, by a vote of 5 to 2, granted CREC permission to build a permanent home in Avon for the Reggio Magnet School of the Arts. The school will serve 435 students in grades Pre-K to 5th grade; half of the children will come […]
The Reggio Magnet School of the Arts operated by CREC has been located in temporary rental space in Avon for the last three years. On November 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Avon Senior Center located at 635 West Avon Road, the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission will determine whether the Capitol Region Education […]
2011_Magnets_and_Reverse_Choice 2011_Reduced_Isolation_Summary OpenChoice2011-12_projected
Congratulations to four of Hartford’s host magnets!! For the second year in a row, four Hartford regional public high schools–Capital Preparatory Magnet, Pathways to Technology, the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy and the University High School of Science and Engineering–have made U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best High Schools.
CREC’s September 2011 newsletter newsletter shows promising academic outcomes for students attending CREC schools.
The legislature is considering Raised Bill 6502: “An Act Concerning the Open Choice Program,” which would _________. In response to the bill, the Sheff Movement offered this testimony, urging the legislature to __________.
Open Choice (formerly called Project Choice) is the city-to-suburb transfer program that provides integrated education choices for about 1200 Hartford students in suburban schools. The program is a crucial complement to the interdistrict magnet school program, but its growth has been limited by unfair state reimbursement rates to suburban towns. A new bill in the […]
Connecticut’s Supreme Court issued a ruling in early 2010 in favor of the plaintiffs in CCEJF v. Rell, declaring that Connecticut schoolchildren are entitled to an education that prepares them to be participants in society, pursue higher education and be gainfully employed. The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCEJF) filed the suit in […]
The Sheff Movement brought seven supporters – parents, grandparents, and Project Choice students – to Washington, DC for a conference on school integration. They are pictured here with John Brittain. Coalition members who attended the conference will be sharing their reflections at the Sheff Movement meeting on November 21st, 2009.
This is a 2009 letter from the Connecticut Department of Education to Hartford’s Superintendent regarding the decision to prohibit enrollment of new students from Bloomfield and Manchester into Hartford host magnet schools for the 2009-2010 school year, due to nonpayment of tuition. The letter indicates Hartford may not prohibit enrollment of suburban students into its […]
Marginal Costs, Enormous Benefits: Connecticut’s School Choice is National Model by Liz Dupont-Diehl February 21, 2009 © CT News Junkie “I’m calling about my daughter, who’s going into ninth grade,” I told the guidance counselor. “I’d like to know about your class sizes and how many of your graduates go on to college.” Hanging up […]
Files: 2009_Briefing Paper_Budget http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/TOB/S/2009SB-00830-R00-SB.htm
Learn more about the quality, integrated public schools in the region. The new Regional School Choice office is hosting a series of magnet school fairs around the region. Click here for a schedule.
Recognize Sheff Progress Letter to the Editor March 22, 2008 ©The Hartford Courant A March 19 Fresh Talk article [“Magnet Schools Not The Answer For Hartford”] repeats many misperceptions about the Sheff v. O’Neill case’s subsequent remedies. Hartford children who were in kindergarten when their state made history are now in college. In 1996, their […]
In this WTIC interview, Phil Tegler (former lead attorney in the Sheff vs O’Neil case) talks about the Sheff coalition, which is working to increase suburban support for voluntary desegregation.
The landmark school desegregation case mandated a solution to long-standing racial isolation of Hartford schoolchildren. A settlement in 2003 ordered increased funding for inter-district magnet schools, an “open choice” program that would allow more minority students in the city to attend suburban schools, and inter-district cooperative programs. It was set to be refunded this year […]
Segregation Has To End by Elizabeth Horton Sheff and Eugene Leach Sunday Commentary October 7, 2007 ©The Hartford Courant Eleven years ago, the Connecticut Supreme Court stated an urgent truth: “It is crucial for a democratic society to provide all of its schoolchildren with fair access to an unsegregated education.” Progress has been fragmentary and slow, […]
The impact of the recent Supreme Court decision finding the voluntary school desegregation plans in use in Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky unconstitutional is a mixed one. For those concerned about the trend toward the resegregation of American schools, the Court’s decision striking down two moderate plans which considered race as a last resort was […]