Education justice is in the hands of the General Assembly

Connecticut’s shame is to continue to tolerate some of the most economically and racially segregated school districts in the nation.

Connecticut’s shame is to continue to tolerate one of the largest student  achievement gaps in the nation.

An Education Adequacy Cost Study would ensure that the resource needs of all school districts – successful, struggling, and those in between – as well as the resources needed by regular and at-risk students are identified and quantified. It would then be up to policymakers and stakeholders to put these resource needs in fiscal context, determine a state and local share, and rationally develop an education funding formula and system that is based on actual student needs.

Connecticut must open pathways of opportunity for all

Last week the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth released a much-anticipated report that provides a business perspective on the causes and suggested responses necessary to cure our state’s economic woes. Overall, we support the report’s clear call for state investment to spur economic growth with a focus on education, workforce development, transportation, regional development, and core city revitalization. However, we fear the compressed time frame within which the Commission worked resulted in inconsistent — and in some cases unsound — recommendations, many of which are grounded in four fundamental errors. First, the vision and goals articulated at the outset of the report upon which the Commission bases its recommendations for “short-term, medium-term and long-term actions that will enable improved competitiveness and higher growth” omit any mention of the toxic impact of existing racial disparities and income and wealth inequity in the state.

Our failure to achieve educational equality is an embarrassment

The provision of an adequate education for all young people living in Connecticut is a requirement, and access to quality education should not be dependent on a child’s family income or zip code.  As reported by Jacqueline Rabe Thomas in her June 2, 2017, piece for the CT Mirror, in the 20 years since the landmark Sheff vs. O’Neill case ordering an end to the racial isolation of Hartford’s public school students, the state has enlisted 42 themed regional magnet schools in an attempt to integrate white suburban youth into minority Hartford student classrooms.

The Asian Registry is an American issue

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of a day when Americans would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Remembering his wise words on the day dedicated to his memory inspired me to address a current issue that most have never heard about: The Asian Registry.

Hope not enough to save communities of color from the HCV epidemic

In 2007, Hepatitis C (HCV) surpassed HIV in causing the more deaths in the United States. That same year, our first black president was in the making, and his chariots of hope were set loose. Unfortunately, many other people of color were languishing in our correctional facilities, with multiple co-occurring health conditions —king among them HCV. The fate of their health is yet a reminder of their disenfranchisement. For incarcerated people of color living with HCV any brush with the Department of Corrections is tantamount to a death sentence.

Puerto Rico: Helping part of the USA, and part of Connecticut’s family

Connecticut is home to the largest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the continental United States, so it is expected that we will see one of the largest influxes of U.S. citizens coming from Puerto Rico to the mainland. Although it’s difficult to estimate the exact number of new arrivals, the state has received over 700 calls from people displaced from the Island and who need help.

University Of Hartford President: ‘Racism in America is right here on our campus’

The following is a letter to the alumni of the University of Hartford written by President Gregory S. Woodward.

Dear University of Hartford Alumni,

A student at the University of Hartford was recently the victim of some reprehensible acts by another student. This has been deeply upsetting to me and to the entire University of Hartford community. While the University is limited in our ability to legally answer many of the questions raised, we are working diligently to provide details and action steps surrounding this situation. …

Antifascism is more than you might think

Four years ago, when I was writing a book on the history of antifascism in the United States, I told a colleague at the University of Connecticut what I was working on.  “Antifascism?” he said.  “Not many people on the other side of that!”

How quaint that comment now seems.  At the time, it reflected an unfamiliarity with the term “antifascism” in the United States.  To me, the comment was also a healthy affirmation of antifascism’s commonsense ring.  But that was before the election of an openly white nationalist President who has gone out of his way to demonize what he calls “ant-e-fuh.”  Now, thanks to the Trumpian turn, there are plenty of people on the other side of that.

Why words still matter — Part II

Last January, the YWCA Greenwich hosted Why Words Still Matter, a program that explored the rise in hate speech and hate crimes, as well as how a community can monitor and respond to this behavior. A standing-room only crowd of concerned citizens, including high school students attended and engaged in this critically important discussion. Given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, we want to share with you again the lessons learned at the YWCA Greenwich January forum.