The fight to keep Moylan Montessori in Hartford has gotten confusing.
There have been claims that Mayor Segarra is promising that Moylan will remain in the city. A petition website says as much.
Nothing has yet been brought to the Board of Education. In January, the BOE voted to allow for property price negotiations for a potential site in West Hartford. This resolution is still in effect, despite an announcement weeks ago that Thom Deller was looking at other sites in Hartford.
Where did the Segarra rumors come from? It seems that through Linda Bayer, this announcement was made at a recent NRZ meeting.
Though the Board of Education previously voted to allow for Moylan Montessori to move beyond city limits, permanently, it now seems that the push to find a Hartford location for it has been revived, with Thom Deller reportedly looking into four or five sites.
Now, the Luke Bronin campaign is questioning the delay in finding an appropriate permanent home for the school. Bronin says, ““The City of Hartford has known for years that Moylan Montessori needed a new home, but kicked the can down the road year after year — and then decided that there was no option but to move this quality, local public school to West Hartford. ”
The majority of students attending Moylan Montessori live in the Behind the Rocks neighborhood, not exactly neighboring the site voted for on North Main in West Hartford.
Bronin says, “This is a moment for leadership, and I urge the Mayor to identify a specific, suitable site before it’s too late to keep Moylan in Hartford – and before Hartford loses a quality local school.”
Those who attended last week’s Board of Education meeting may have come away believing that the Moylan Montessori community largely supported the move of the school from Hartford to West Hartford, even if only a handful of teachers and parents were present to speak. Most of the questions were made through the PTO or came from members of the school board.
As it turns out, that vote to go ahead and pursue the site at the American School for the Deaf has not been received so well.
Stakeholders are circulating a petition asking for that decision to be suspended. They say that parents were only notified a few days before the vote and were not given full disclosure that the invite to “ask questions” or “show support” before the Board of Education was going to be tied to something so binding, so soon. Continue reading 'Moylan Montessori Community Circulates Petitions'»
The proposal to move Montessori Magnet — currently housed in the Moylan and McDonough Schools — to a site in West Hartford has not been warmly received by all.
The school’s PTO says the proposed move was only made public on January 16, days before it was discussed at the January 20 Board of Education meeting. Superintendent Schiavino-Narvaez said she met with the School Governance Council twice, along with the PTO president. Parents had been contacted during discussions, she said.
While there has been a search for a permanent home for the magnet school for the past six years, not all in the school community had a location at the American School for the Deaf on North Main Street in West Hartford in mind.
Dr. Shelley Best, at the recent Board of Ed meeting, opposed this move: “Montessori education [...] has the stereotype of being something that’s really available for the elite and the suburban,” she said, and moving it into the suburbs would only drive that home. Continue reading 'Hartford School Moving to West Hartford?'»
Much of the school superintendent’s transition report is predictable, as its framework had been provided to the public in June. Since coming to Hartford, the new superintendent gathered input from meetings, focus groups involving 700 participants, and surveys completed by 1000 community stakeholders.
What is surprising about the report is not the content in itself but that what has been common knowledge — problems that have persisted for years — is acknowledged in writing by the new superintendent:
- “Portfolio Strategy” used for most of the last decade has serious flaws, including that “schools were created with agreed-upon design specifications, but in several instances, core specifications have not been realized. Sometimes this appears to be due to limited resources, and on other occasions, this seems to be the result of ambiguity around what a redesigned school can expect from the district” (11).
- Schools deemed to be high-performing are said to contribute to inconsistencies in curriculum: “Curriculum across schools lacks consistency and significantly more curriculum work is needed at all levels. Decision-making autonomy for high-performing schools has also led to more curriculum inconsistencies across schools” (8). Continue reading 'Superintendent’s Transition Report Released'»
Robert Cotto, Jr.
What does it mean when changes to educational policy that begin in urban districts go on to shape the policy for schools statewide?
That was a question asked by Robert Cotto, Jr. in his talk: “Connecticut Catches a Case of the G.E.R.M.” at Trinity College as part of the Center for Urban and Global Studies’ Global Vantage Point Lecture Series.
The G.E.R.M. referred to is the global education reform movement, which he said “pushes a prescribed curriculum” and includes “test-based accountability and control.”
“We think the suburbs is where where the action” is in terms of changes to education policy, Cotto said, but cities are where the theories get tested.
In 2012, Gov. Malloy declared that it was the “Year of Education Reform” and unveiled six principles. Of those, three were already being practiced in Hartford and New Haven; New Haven was already using test-based teacher evaluations, and both cities had limited expansion of preschool programs and limited use of conditional funding.
The Hartford and New Haven models “appeared” to be successful, but Cotto chalked that up to what he calls “addition through subtraction,” or test scores getting an artificial boost when students with disabilities no longer had to take the same standardized test. Continue reading 'G.E.R.M. in Connecticut Education'»