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.

Why isn’t media asking presidential candidates about education?

It is difficult to believe as a life-long educator that the media has yet to ask any of the presidential candidates about their views on K-12 public education. It is a well known fact the public education in Connecticut and across the nation has suffered immensely as an outgrowth of the policies of the George W. Bush administration with its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. Likewise, public education continued its downward spiral as a result of President Barack Obama’s appointment of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who ushered in the disastrous Race to the Top along with the Common Core State Standards.

Connecticut charter schools not really getting a funding increase

Let’s set the record straight. Public charter school students do not receive a funding increase in Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget. They will still receive the same state per-pupil grant that they have received for several years. Put simply: all public schools are flat-funded across the board. A recent story by the CT Mirror suggested otherwise, and we want to ensure the facts are front and center.