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'»
Photo by Christopher Brown
At 6:00 sharp on Wednesday, August 27, a crowd of about 60 filled the sidewalk at the corner of Albany Avenue and Main Street as organizers waited for a few more expected people to arrive for a protest against the the recent tasing and arrest of Hartford teen Luis Anglero, Jr. Within the next few minutes, the demonstrators grew to about 75 and some Hartford Police personnel had joined them. Chief James C. Rovella, flanked by uniformed officers, approached the group and spoke with organizers, indicating that they intended to walk with the group. When organizers replied that they would prefer not to have the chief and the officers in their midst, he acknowledged hearing their wishes, but stated that he was going to walk along with the group anyway.
The demonstrators walked north along the Main Street sidewalk, chanting in call-and-response style, “He posed no threat-” “-they tased him!” “Drop the charges-” “-now! now!” They crossed main street near the Clay Arsenal fire station and walked south across Albany Avenue as HPD officers held up traffic for them. They continued south on High Street to the Public Safety Complex and filed into the lobby. Continue reading 'Hartford Demonstrates Against Use of Force'»
Audience watches as Alicia Chiang, Owusu Darko, Raykwon Kerr, and Sean McCarthy unveil the app they created for TheaterWorks
The Mobile Apps for Hartford Program, Professor Ralph Morelli said, was about “getting students to see their power when they learn to code.”
Those twenty students from across Connecticut also earned stipends this summer.
Five teams created six apps (a fancy term for program) during a six-week session at Trinity College. At the end of the program, students learned that they would be able to keep the tablets that were on loan to them during July and August.
One team created a mobile version of the TheaterWorks website, consulting with the client to figure out which information needed to be included. This app provides details on the current schedule, information on how to reserve seats, driving directions, and even recommended restaurants within six blocks of the Pearl Street venue. Freddie McInerney, the Communications Director for TheaterWorks, said she was “awesomely impressed” by the students and the process.
A team working with the Old State House developed a Hartford Area Tour app designed to help visitors learn about and find forty sites they have designated as “iconic.” The students explained that they learned a little about copyright law in the process, finding that they actually are not able to just take photographs that they find on Google. This forced them to go out to each site and take photographs so that they would have images to use. Continue reading 'Students Create Apps for City of Hartford and Cultural Institutions'»
Jane Swift speaking in the Washington Room of Mather Hall at Trinity College
“I came from humble beginnings,” Jane Swift said, describing her time as a work study student at Trinity College, who scrubbed meal trays in the lower level of Mather Hall.
The former Governor of Massachusetts and current Chief Executive Officer of Middlebury Interactive Languages said she had two advantages: a mother who valued education and having English as her native language.
Swift was the keynote speaker at the Center for Latino Progress 35th Anniversary Breakfast this morning at Trinity College. Continue reading 'Center for Latino Progress Celebrates 35 Years'»
Each year on the day before the Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade, Park Street and surrounding roads in Frog Hollow and South Green become a place to show off the wheels, a practice not wildly unlike the romanticized cruising culture in American Graffiti. Continue reading 'Frog Hollow on Puerto Rican Day Parade Eve'»
Ray, a veteran who served in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan, said the United States is good about sending help overseas, but when people are “in crisis” here, they are told to wait quietly. The marine said he was injured by an IED in Afghanistan. He has ongoing medical needs, he said, and was told to get on a two month wait list for treatment here.
Besides illustrating how the system is broken, he was at Saturday’s Justice for Jane Doe Rally “on behalf” of his cousin, Jenny, who he said was murdered in Brooklyn for no reason other than being who she was, a young trans woman.
Connecticut holding “Jane Doe,” a young Latina in near-solitary confinement, was the uniting issue of the event, even if protestors disagreed about which element of her case has been most outrageous or responsible for her predicament.
Two weeks ago Governor Malloy issued a statement that Jane Doe should be moved from the adult correctional facility to another setting. Several speakers at the rally, which began in front of DCF’s Central Office on Hudson Street, said they wanted to make sure that Malloy would make good on his promises. Continue reading 'Rally for Jane Doe Outside DCF Headquarters and State Capitol'»
The “Choice Watch: Diversity and Access in Connecticut’s School Choice Programs” report released last week suggests ways that “open choice” schools in Connecticut should work to reduce segregation across racial, linguistic, and ability lines. The report finds that most school choice programs are actually integrated as far as socioeconomic status is concerned, with integration defined quite broadly: enrollment between 25-75% minority students. Continue reading 'How to Make Schools More Integrated'»
Vox Sambou on the mic
With artists from Haiti, South Africa, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Spain, Mozambique, UK, Cape Verde, Korea, Canada, India, Philippines, Czech Republic, and the United States, the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival celebrated its ninth year. The event’s main draw is the concert, but over several days there are lectures and workshops, films, dance, live graffiti art, and more. Continue reading 'Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Brings the Sun and the Noise'»
Butch Lewis: co-founder of Black Panther Party, Hartford chapter
The conversation was supposed to continue until 3pm, but well before that time, the library announced the panel would be wrapping up, despite panelists and audience members showing continued interest in having an actual conversation about the Black Panthers and continued racial tensions. This was not received well and people demanded to know why. There was mention of jazz starting at 3pm in the atrium. After some verbal resistance, the event was allowed to resume and panelists ended it on their own, just a few minutes before the official stop time.
Butch Lewis, co-founder of the Hartford chapter of the Black Panthers Party, observed that “we are more segregated now” in the city than when the party was active. He named the number of anti-poverty organizations in the city; without spelling it out, Lewis implied that the poverty agencies have been benefitting from this social injustice, rather than addressing it.
When looking at how race relations have changed, he was not the only person in the room to notice that the education system suffers. Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, during Q&A, noted that while the Black Panther Party “gave us some alternatives,” Hartford still has “educational disparities” and that there are no black department heads. Continue reading 'Thoughts on Black Power'»