Photo by Christopher Brown
“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.
Photo by Christopher Brown
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'»
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto — whose employment in this capacity with the Hartford Public Schools is over at the end of this school year and who has had her request to no longer be evaluated by the Board of Education granted — has angered a number of parents at the Clark School in the city’s North East neighborhood with the proposal that this preK-8 school be phased out and replaced by an Achievement First charter school. Continue reading 'Achievement First Proposed for South Side Now Eyeing a North End Neighborhood School'»
For school year 2011-2012, Superintendent Kishimoto submitted her self-evaluation in July 2012. At the end of the following September, the Board of Education submitted its evaluation of her performance. There were grumblings of disagreement with her evaluation but the Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools vowed to take steps toward improving her communication with the school board.
It’s October, yet no evaluation of Kishimoto has been conducted for the 2012-2013 school year. After Real Hartford filed a Freedom of Information Act request Continue reading 'No Performance Evaluation? No Big Deal'»
As expected, the Board of Ed voted against Dr. Kishimoto’s contract extension request, 7-0.
One board member abstained and the other was absent.
Last week, Dr. Kishimoto sent a letter to Mayor Pedro Segarra and to Matt Poland, Chair of the Board of Education, requesting her contract with the Hartford Public Schools be extended through the end of school year 2015-2016.
Letter to the Mayor and BOE Chair
Kishimoto has asked that the Board of Education vote on this tonight. Sources say she has no votes in her favor. In 2012, she received low marks on her evaluation.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Hartford between 2006-2010 was $28,970; the average per capita income for the same period was $16,798. People living below the poverty rate: 32.1%
Knowing that the rate of concentrated poverty is one of the highest in the nation, it may seem as if something is out of place when the Superintendent — who makes decisions for a student body, most of whom are eligible for free or reduced school lunch — through her lawyers, makes demands for a bonus which is more than what many families in the school district earn in one year.
Though Dr. Kishimoto backed down after receiving criticism for demanding a $15,450 bonus following a failing performance review, the language of her messages to the press indicates a sense of entitlement to a possible $30,000 bonus, regardless of the quality of her work.
But the amount of money being doled out in the form of bonuses does not end with Kishimoto deciding not to pursue one through her lawyers. Continue reading 'Hartford Schools: The Bonus Round'»
Those paying close attention to the relationship between the Hartford Board of Education and Superintendent Kishimoto knew this was a long time coming. Initially, the BOE was hesitant to speak up; one member of the school board said that because the Superintendent is female, they had tiptoed around in an effort to be sensitive to potential gender dynamics issues.
That free pass, however, has been tossed.
The Board of Education is recommending that Dr. Kishimoto “pursue services offered for additional professional development,” to address areas in which she received low grades from the board in her annual performance evaluation. Continue reading 'Board Gives Superintendent Low Marks'»
The Hartford Office of Talent Management — the Hartford Public Schools’ version of human resources — was not involved in the interviews for teachers applying for positions at Milner/Jumoke, Andrea Johnson of the Hartford Federation of Teachers, explained in a message to the Superintendent. Dr. Michael Sharpe, the Chief Executive Office of Jumoke Academy, conducted the interviews and made hiring decisions. According to Johnson, teachers at Milner/Jumoke have “legitimate concerns about the lack of honesty on the part of their new employer.”
Newly hired teachers attending orientation during the week of August 13th had not received acceptance letters from Hartford, Johnson says. These were letters that teachers should have been sent to sign. After learning about this, Natasha Durrant of the Office of Talent Management was tasked with sending the letters.
Fast forward another week.
Newly hired teachers disclose to the Hartford Federation of Teachers in a meeting about the Memorandum of Understanding — to which the HFT had agreed — that they were not informed during the hiring process that they would be required to work additional days during the summer months. Continue reading 'Milner/Jumoke Teachers Rejected MOU Because of Hiring Process'»