All students should have access to AP courses, and I am living proof

I took my first advanced placement class – world history—when I was a sophomore in high school. This year, I’m a junior currently taking three AP courses. Next year, I’ll take four more. As a student of color who lives in Hartford, this makes me unique. It doesn’t have to. Studies have shown that students of color and students from low-income communities do not have fair access to Advanced Placement classes. That’s true in nearby New York, right here in Connecticut, and across the country. I am proof of what happens when that access is granted.

Dysfunctional schools are crippling our children — and it’s our fault

I’ve taught English at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford for six years. We currently have five math teachers for grades 6-12, and during my tenure, I’ve seen eight other math teachers come and go. Some left for other opportunities. Some left because they were unprepared for the demands of this job; at least one left teaching all together. Three left mid-year, forcing us to use a long-term sub while we looked for a suitable replacement.

Let’s get legal sports gambling on the books

Now since the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision has struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which banned sports betting nationwide except for Nevada, states across the nation are scrambling to grab onto this judicial breakthrough by seeking to legalize sports gambling. However, we cannot be too hasty in this endeavor before proper legal statutes are established to regulate the proper way to ‘play the game.’ Aside from Nevada’s policy implementation, Connecticut lawmakers would have to quickly tend to a series of simple but tedious legal disputes.

Diversity — Middletown’s greatest weapon to close the opportunity gap

I was born and raised in Connecticut by my mother, a woman who was a strong advocate for my education. Looking back, I have no idea how she was able to be such a fierce and tireless champion of my education, while working incredibly hard as a single parent to provide for her only child. Meeting with my teachers on a daily basis and demanding more rigorous coursework to ensure I was prepared for college. Forcing school administrators to see past their own lowered expectations because of my race. Molding me into an avid (now, lifelong) reader. As a kid, my mother’s advocacy was something I took for granted until many years later in my academic and professional career.

What’s next for CT’s unfunded pensions, since the legislature did nothing

Connecticut’s unfunded pensions for state employees – about $127 billion in debt borne by today’s taxpayers – are much talked about.
As the legislative session ended, once again, nothing was done to stem the continuing losses and increasing debt payments.  Those who blocked reform may think they won, but the victory is truly Pyrrhic. Likely consequences?

If taxes are raised again, expect to see more and more people moving out of the state.

To effect change, Connecticut needs to pay legislators a living wage

“Still revolutionary?” Hardly! Connecticut isn’t the least bit revolutionary. But it could be if we stopped preventing good people with good ideas from running for office by making it impossible for them to support their families. There are many different things that we could be doing, but none of it will get done because our legislature is too insulated. There are no new ideas because there are no new people. Why? State legislators in Connecticut only earn $28,000 per year. In one of the most expensive places to live in this country our legislators earn the equivalent of around $13.50 an hour, and that’s only if you pretend they only work 40 hour work weeks.

Connecticut needs a moratorium on crumb rubber

Health, the environment, and wildlife. These are only a few areas of life that the installation of crumb rubber (recycled tire rubber) on playgrounds and playing fields negatively affects. My goal in this letter is to effectively express the importance of establishing a moratorium on the use of recycled tire rubber (crumb rubber) at municipal and public school playgrounds.

Evaluating Gov. Dannel Malloy’s tenure

Gov. Dannel Malloy is leaving office as our state’s most unpopular governor in decades having secured Connecticut’s reputation as the most mismanaged state in the nation. For a well regarded mayor and former public prosecutor from our only prosperous city, it is a surprising outcome. What are the lessons here?

Can you throw ‘em out if they’re not in school?

 “Take your f…… hands off of me” a young man said to me after I tried lead him out of the hallway from a fight. Think about it.  How many times have you heard people complain about the “bad” kids, the young men and women who are the gold medallion award winners for repeated trips to the office? Have you ever thought about how and why this happens?