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'»
Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.
- Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
- The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
- BECK & CALL: The Servants Tour of the Mark Twain House, directed by Steven Raider-Ginsburg, starts at 7 tonight. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for youth. Reservations are required.
- HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
- There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.
- Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
- The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival returns to the Riverfront from 1-10pm. Live music, children’s activities, food, and more. Raindate: August 3.
- The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
- Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
- Reception for artist Victor Pacheco at Real Art Ways, 6-8pm.
- The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. Continue reading 'August 2014 Events'»
Do you need programmed events? Put on some sneakers and walk around. This photo was taken on a path along the Park River, accessible from where Lorraine Street turns. Park River trails are also accessible from Mark Twain Drive (near Plainfield Street) and Brookfield Street (near Flatbush Avenue).
Here’s some of what is happening in Hartford:
- Love Wins on Oakland Terrace: free family festival from 5-7pm at Glory Chapel, 221 Greenfield Street.
- Drop into Real Art Ways for Real Board (Games). Play the games they provide or bring your own. 6-10pm. Free.
- Fed Up, a documentary about the food industry, screens at Cinestudio at 7:30pm. General admission is $9.
- The Kid, a Charlie Chaplin film, will be screened in the Hartford Public Library at 1:30 and 5:30pm today. Free.
- Love Wins on Barbour Street: free family festival from 5-7pm featuring haircuts, pony rides, face painting, music, and more. This will be hosted by The Hartford Project and the Citadel of Love, 167 Barbour.
- Every Wednesday — as long as it isn’t raining — there will be free yoga in Elizabeth Park at 5:30pm. Bring your own mat or towel. Yoga is in the picnic area across from the Pond House.
- Hartford 2000 is hosting what it calls an “informational meeting” about the proposed Rock Cats stadium. This will be held at the Hartford Public Library at 6pm. Mayor Segarra and other City officials are expected to be presented to answer questions and listen to public opinion. As of publication, only Segarra has been named as a speaker. Continue reading 'July 2014 Events'»