Hartford Schools On NPR

Here’s our story that just ran on the national broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition.

We’ll re-air it tonight locally during All Things Considered.  Then, tomorrow, listen for our sit-down interview with new Hartford School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

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One response to “Hartford Schools On NPR

  1. Elizabeth

    The article does a decent job of presenting parent concerns over the school choice system currently in place in Hartford but does little to counter the misinformation provided by HPS administration. Hartford’s policy on redesigning schools is that schools must fail to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) and fall in the redesign category of the OSI matrix used by the Superintendent to rank schools. If AYP were truly one of the standards then we would have to redesign every school in Hartford- almost none, including magnet schools, meet that standard. As for the redesign category- at no time was Moylan ever in the redesign category. In fact, if 50 were considered the cutoff for autonomy by the district, a category that allows schools to remain, Moylan missed it by .7 of a point. Furthermore, Moylan has made gains on CMT scores every year since the CMT 4th generation. Lastly, Moylan’s OSI scores would be over the cutoff of 50 if it weren’t for the fact that over 60% of the students in grades 7 and 8 were new to the school from Sept. 2009 to Feb. 2010. These students came to the school from other Hartford schools because of the limited number of middle school programs in the zone. Most of these students came with limited reading skills and behavioral issues that the school then had to attempt to address. Yet, Moylan, not the schools that sent these students “owned” the CMT scores on these students- even the ones that came in February. Central Office would like the public and the Board of Ed (who only need to hear “increase student achievement” to become brain-dead and approve anything the Superintedent wants) to believe that the school failed because of poor teachers and leadership but truly the school “failed” because it was doing what it was designed to do by them- fail. Redesigning schools is the mark of a district that has failed to support the teachers, administrators, parents, and students that is supposed to serve. The fact that Hartford is systematically redesigning all its non-magnet schools only proves that the district has failed. It has failed to allocate human resources and fiscal resources appropriately in support of schools that clearly have the need for additional funds so that an influx of ELL students, low-performing students, and students with severe emotional needs get the help they need. If Hartford insists on continuing a process that has not shown to be effective as evidenced by the number of previously redesigned schools that are continuing to fail (much more so than Moylan has) then perhaps the redesign needs to begin with the Superintendent and the BOE. I would like to say I am hopeful that Dr. Kishimoto will be more open to a more honest discussion on school reform but given her comments and continual misrepresentation of the facts regarding Moylan I don’t think so. In the end though, it is the students of Hartford that suffer because unless you’re in a magnet school, every neighborhood school will take their turn being set-up to fail in order to advance the whims and desires of a corrupt and egotistical system that does not care a shred for the parents, students or staff they are responsible for.

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