Public charter schools deserve equitable funding for continued success

Having sent my daughter to public schools for more than a decade, I can see the difference between a normal school and an extraordinary one. An extraordinary public school guides students from childhood into the beginning of adulthood, never giving up on them or letting them fall by the wayside. That’s what Achievement First Hartford did for Nyjah. It’s the kind of life changing school that every family should be able to choose, and the kind of school I’m happy to fight for.

Lawmakers forcing Waterbury charter school’s future into ‘limbo’

As the leaders of Brass City Charter School, the only public charter school in Waterbury, we know firsthand how special our school is to our community. But despite our successes, and even in light of recently being named a School of Distinction by the state, the future of our school and our students is in limbo, and it’s our lawmakers who are the ones keeping us there.

Charter schools pose financial risk to municipalities

In December of last year, the Connecticut Department of Education issued a request for proposals for new charter schools – the first time in nearly three years. As the state grapples with a budget disaster and Gov. Dannel Malloy continues to propose changes that would dramatically change the way Connecticut pays for education, the state should refrain from opening any new charter schools and freeze the funding of existing ones.

CEA attack on Achievement First ‘blatantly political’ and false

The Connecticut Education Association’s criticism of Achievement First is a blatantly political attack that willfully misrepresents AF’s leaders, finances and students. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I know what education has done for my family and me. Like Dacia Toll, the founder of Achievement First (AF), I am passionate about education and I want the same opportunities for all children as my children received.

Betsy DeVos — A clear and present danger

What I learned from watching three hours of the Senate confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education:
1. Betsy DeVos demonstrated a lack of any understanding about student assessment.
2. Betsy DeVos said that permitting guns in schools is a decision that should be left up to individual schools.
3. Betsy DeVos did not commit to preschool for all children.
4….

When righting school funding wrongs, remember charter schools

In his historic and sweeping decision on Connecticut’s broken school funding system, Judge Thomas Moukawsher announced something we have been shouting from the rooftops for years – many of Connecticut’s kids are not getting the education they deserve and was promised to them under law. They’re languishing. Their rights are being violated. It’s unconstitutional, it’s unfair and finally it seems people have woken up and are taking notice.

CT can do better for minority teacher candidates than Relay GSE

Without question, Connecticut needs more teachers who see themselves in their students (and vice versa), who have roots in the communities where they teach, and who are well positioned to instruct in ways that are academically challenging and culturally, linguistically, and community responsive. The pipeline into the profession for teachers of color is too often obstructed and unwelcoming, and change is imperative. … But the Relay Graduate School of Education is no panacea for our pipeline problems, and instead represents the tip of an approaching iceberg that threatens the education of the state’s most under-served students and sells short the very teachers to whom we owe the best preparation, support, working conditions, and compensation available.

Hillary’s choice for Education Secretary could be ‘anti-public’

A recent survey of educators across the nation reveals that, when elected, Hillary Clinton may follow in the footsteps of President Obama concerning her choice of Secretary of Education in the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Obama’s choices of Arne Duncan followed by John King were the most anti-public education appointments in the history of the Democratic party. Now it appears, based on the recent survey, that Clinton may continue the anti-public education tradition during her administration with yet another education secretary who will espouse the downward spiral of public education that has occurred for the past eight years.

State board of ed must scrutinize charters more independently

The Connecticut State Board of Education will meet on tomorrow morning, Sept. 7, to kick off the new school year. One of the issues held over from the previous board meeting is contract approvals of two charter (school) management organizations [CMOs]. Given two months to review the evidence presented by state Department of Education officials tasked with recommending approval, the CSBE must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to ensure honesty and transparency in this use of public resources. However, with mounting evidence of questionable practices, corruption, and theft involving many charter schools and their charter management organizations across the country, it is the responsibility of state education officials charged with protecting students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers to ensure that similar questionable (and often illegal) practices are not taking place in our state.

On their 20th anniversary, Connecticut’s charter schools deserve support

Twenty years ago this weekend, Gov. John Rowland signed a bill into law and by doing so changed the trajectory of the lives of thousands of Connecticut children. The bill he signed established public charter schools in the Constitution State and was a monumental step forward that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of children, and it will continue to do so in the coming decades.

Charter schools need more support from Connecticut.

Charter schools like the ones my children attend have answered many parents’ prayers, encouraging personal and academic growth and providing an appealing alternative to failing district schools. However, despite these schools’ high performance, they receive $4,000 less per student per year in state aid than Connecticut’s low-performing district schools. This funding gap has had a real impact on charter schools in Bridgeport and throughout the state.