SBAC test scores raise questions about equity in schools

The release of the state’s Smarter Balanced (SBAC) test scores sparked a new version of an old conversation. The SBAC scores reveal much of what we already know about public education in Connecticut: children living in high-income and high-resource communities posted above average scores while children living in our poorest towns and cities posted lower scores. Understanding these scores can help districts identify schools and students who may need greater support to meet rigorous standards; at the same time, the scores raise questions about the equity of intrastate resource distribution and the impact on relative student opportunity.

In Connecticut, there is no ‘achievement gap’

Before students of all colors can succeed equally in Connecticut’s public schools, we must be bluntly honest about why disparities exist. An achievement gap would exist if we gave every student equal opportunities and some children still failed to achieve. In a myriad ways, we do not give all our children the same opportunities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in school discipline policies that exclude children from the classroom.

It is time to restore the innocence of childhood

Some say the measure of a civilization is how it treats its oldest, youngest, and most vulnerable citizens. In an era of overexposed, over-scheduled, overstimulated, overanxious, and ove-rstressed children, I’d say our civilization needs to take a long look in the mirror. It is time to restore childhood.

Special Report: Education, Diversity and Change in Fairfield County

Fairfield County, a region marked by sharp disparities in income and in urban and suburban life, faces particular challenges in assuring all its residents a quality education. Today, a special report, “Education, Diversity and Change in Fairfield County,” explores the issue through in-­depth policy reporting, interactive maps and charts, photo galleries and opinion pieces written by teachers from the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University.