With the deadline for school redesign plans rapidly approaching, the Chair of the Board of Education has ordered a special meeting be held on Monday evening. This will take place at the plaza-level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza, 5pm.
Trinity College has temporarily suspended all activities of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, according to a message sent from the institution’s president, Jimmy Jones, to the college community on Thursday.
Jones says there is an “investigation into an alleged violation of College rules forbidding pledging, hazing, and unregistered social events.” Continue reading 'Kappa Kappa Gamma Grounded'»
In the days leading up to last night’s Hartford Board of Education meeting, Chair Matt Poland lamented on social media that there was “too much noise” in the debates over public education, especially in Hartford where “pundits, unions, and those comfortable with a broken system” choked out parents and students. It was clear last night that parents and students were more than willing to oblige Poland with the “noise.”
An over-capacity crowd packed in to the Sarah J. Rawson auditorium for the public comment portion of the Board meeting. The main event was Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s proposal to hand SAND Elementary School over to the newly formed private management company Capital Preparatory Schools Inc. SAND would become the first property of administrator Steve Perry’s plan to replicate the model used in his Capital Preparatory magnet school.
Just days after the John C. Clark School had been targeted for an Achievement First charter school take over, SAND was now targeted for private takeover. The evening began with a surreal speech by Poland. The speech, wavering between combative and sentimental, was wholly narcissistic. The narrative? Everyone is out to get me and I’m the real champion of public education…and you are all lying liars. As Poland eagerly put on his mantle of the victim, scores of neighborhood activists passed out stickers against the SAND proposal and attacks on public schools. Continue reading 'Bring the Noise'»
This is the second time in as many weeks that the BOE has been pressured by parents and the community to not hand a public school over to private or charter management. On Friday, the Clark School successfully fought becoming an Achievement First model.
Real Hartford will have more details about Tuesday’s decision later.
Mayor Segarra’s backing out of the Achievement First/Clark School exchange on Friday gave local parents renewed hope in the ability to determine for themselves what happens to their children’s schools, but this news was almost immediately followed by the announcement that America’s Choice at SAND (SAND) is slated to be given over to Steve Perry’s Capital Preparatory Schools Inc. for management.
The SAND school — located in the city’s Clay-Arsenal neighborhood – was previously redesigned in 2009-2010, raising questions about the efficacy of the close-fire-reopen model of school reform. If this proposal is approved, SAND would close at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and reopen as a year-round school.
Perry, the controversial principal of Capital Prep Magnet School, has received a multitude of criticism for everything ranging from missing 20% of school days to his use of social media to his treatment of staff to how the school actually prepares students for college. Continue reading 'Another School Giveaway!'»
With news that Mayor Segarra, a member of the Board of Education, is not going to support the conversion of the Clark School to Achievement First, some are wondering what will happen at the next Board of Ed meeting.
Here’s the agenda:
Any member of the public may attend Board of Education meetings.
After numerous parents, teachers, and community speakers have voiced dissent, Mayor Segarra has come forward with the promise of not supporting the proposal to give the Clark School (public) over to Achievement First (charter).
In a statement issued late this morning, Segarra acknowledged that there are other ways to improve Clark School without resorting to drastic measures. He says:
At the last Board of Education meeting on October 29, I indicated clearly that any decision regarding a redesign of Clark Elementary would be predicated upon parental involvement and support. I’ve listened to the concerns and given parents’ profound opposition I will not support the conversion of Clark Elementary to an Achievement First Charter School. I am committed to identifying an alternate solution that meets our objective of accelerating student learning and closing Hartford’s achievement gap. I encourage all those invested in this issue to stay involved. We have an obligation to prepare students for the future and to do that requires collaboration from all stakeholders including parents, educators, residents and businesses. We should continue to focus on our common goal of improving Hartford schools so that every student has access to the education they deserve.
While this is something that the Board of Education can still weigh in on, it’s understood that with five of the nine BOE members appointed by the mayor, it’s unlikely that a vote would go in any other direction.
“You have used the most powerful word in the English language,” Steve Harris, member of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee said, “and that word is ‘no.’”
“No” is what the parents, families, teachers, staff, and community have been saying to the proposal that the public John C. Clark School be phased out and replaced by Achievement First, a charter school.
After this proposal was sprung on the Clark School last month, parents have stood up to say they are not interested in having their children’s school closed.
Before the Board of Education workshop on Wednesday night, nineteen people lined up to speak against this proposal in the cafeteria of the former Milner School on Vine Street in the city’s North East neighborhood, blocks away from the school in jeopardy.
Imam Muhammad Ansari, the President of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the NAACP, said “this issue is a civil rights issue when the parents’ rights are being taken away.” Continue reading '“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School'»
From all accounts, nobody from the Clark School community is asking for this.
It’s not that the parents, children, and teachers are delusional. They know the school could be improved. They have even articulated the needs via a list created by its School Governance Council last spring:
- Additional SPO
- Two additional certified teachers Continue reading 'Clark School: Not Waiting for Superman'»
There are events not included on this list because organizations have not released final details yet. That is to say, you have even more to choose from than what is posted here.
- Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing, but small business owners might benefit from a free morning workshop that teaches how to navigate and search for federal, state, and municipal bids. This means potentially freeing you up so that you have more time to spend on, well, those exciting things you’d rather be doing. The workshop begins at 9:30 and ends at noon. This will take place at the Entrepreneurial Center; register online.
- Let The Fire Burn begins screening at Real Art Ways. This documentary centers on the bombing of MOVE in Philly. Contact Real Art Ways for exact show times and ticket prices.
- Hannah Sims and Pedro Bermudez will be on hand for the launch of Hartford River Dreams, a film series. Screening begins at 7:30pm at the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue. $10 at door.
- The Witching Hour will be performed by the Ensemble of the Judy Dworin Performance Project. They describe this as follows: “The Witching Hour, an award-winning dance/theater piece, brings Connecticut’s 17th century witch craze to life through the untold stories of women who were accused, tried and convicted as witches. Bridging the gap between the 17th and 21st centuries, The Witching Hour lyrically and evocatively explores what happens in communities when difference becomes dangerous, and folk culture–as practiced by herbalists, midwives, women landowners, and indentured servants–clashes with Puritan hierarchical authority.” This begins at 7:30pm in the Wadsworth Atheneum. Ticket prices vary on this one.
- On the first Friday of each month, the Kabbalah House hosts a free, all-ages open mic from 9pm-1am. The Kabbalah House is located at 1023 Albany Avenue.
- Another option for the grown folks: Pontani Sisters Burlesque-a-pades at Black-Eyed Sally’s. Contact the venue for ticket info. Performance begins at 9pm.
- Free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society today from 9-5. There will be activities for children including a visit by storyteller Sharon Lynch (1-2pm). Check out Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers and photography contest entries while you are here.
- Learn about Women and Mass Incarceration in the Youth Program Room at the Hartford Public Library today at 1pm. Beatrice Codianni, a former member of the Latin Kings, and Dr. Sandra Enos, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryant University, will be the featured speakers.
- At 7pm the Avodah Dance Ensemble will be performing A Way In, exploring themes of beauty, truth, love, and God. Ticket prices vary for this event at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.
- Celebrate two years of the Dirt Salon at the Dirt Flirt from 7:30-11:30 this evening. Ada Pasternak & Milksop-Unsung will be providing the music. Several artists’ works will be on display. The Night Fall skeleton dance will be performed. This is a pay-what-you-can event. The Dirt Salon is located at 50 Bartholomew Avenue. Continue reading 'November 2013 Events'»