GNH Community

nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information

Racial & Socioeconomic Isolation Have Impact On Education

In its article titled "Fighting Racial Isolation in Hartford" the New York Times Editorial Board has weighed in on the issue of racial isolation and education reform.  It is an important topic and we are pleased to see the Times Board add its powerful voice to the issue.

What is the real impact of racial isolation in education? Who is affected and how? The Times Board is holding up Hartford as a positive example of successfully challenging racial isolation in education. This came about as a result of the agreements reached in Sheff V. O'Neill, CT's landmark school desegregation court case, which was filed in April 1989 by Elizabeth Horton Sheff as lead plaintiff. Along with ten other families, Mrs. Horton Sheff  filed a suit on behalf of her then 4th grader, Milo Sheff.  These minority families believed their children were being denied a good education due to racial isolation (de facto segregation). The lawsuit claimed that: racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic segregation-- between the city of Hartford public schools and surrounding suburban schools-- were resulting in unequal opportunities for education.  In 2015, one would hardly call Hartford public schools a resounding success in terms of lack of racial isolation; however, taken in the context of what was happening when the lawsuit was first filed, there have been substantial improvements. Much more needs to be done in all of CT's major inner-cities. More emphasis needs to be placed on improving neighborhood schools, and in making magnets and charters truly representative of a cross-section of the broader community, and hold them accountable in the manner real public schools are held.

Those who have benefited most as a result of magnet and charter schools (being born out of Sheff) are not representative of those for whom relief was sought.  In fact, only about 30 percent of the children who were described as being in racial isolation are represented in magnets and charters today.  As so often is the case, the system seems to have been co-opted.  Poor, minority, and other disenfranchised students are still largely isolated.

Below are selected sections of the Times article.  OneWorld invites you to read the entire article (in the NY Times).  Along with the NY Times link there are other linked articles that will shed more factual light on CT's education system. There are a few points in the Times article with which one could take issue. However, the Times did point out that: The majority of Hartford's children (a full 52.5 percent) are still educated in racial isolation.  We do not believe that means 52.5 percent minority children.  When Caucasian children are educated in racial isolation they are also at a 21st Century disadvantage; however, their disadvantage might have less negative impact on their future.  Racial and socioeconomic isolation for poor and minority children most often means a lesser quality education, and this leaves them unprepared for a successful future. The highlights and color inserts in the N Y Times article below were added for emphasis; they did not appear in the original article.

(N'Zinga Shäni, a state facilitator for Sheff Vs. O'Neill, 1993-1995, Region 6)

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, JAN. 31, 2015  - New York Times

The fact that New York has the most segregated public schools in the nation does not bode well for the state’s future. It is a disaster for poor and minority children, who are disproportionately trapped in schools that will not prepare them for the new economy. And it is harming children of all races and economic levels who are in demographically homogeneous schools that do not reflect society or expose them to fresh perspectives.

New York’s political leaders need not look far for ideas. Connecticut has a desegregation program that has revitalized the once-dismal school system in Hartford. Created in response to a 1996 State Supreme Court ruling, it has relied on a voluntary school transfer plan and a vibrant system of magnet schools to improve opportunities for inner-city children and draw suburban families back to a city that was considered an educational dead zone.

This renaissance has its roots in a 1989 civil rights lawsuit, Sheff v. O’Neill. The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that minority children in Hartford and white children in the surrounding suburban districts were both being denied the racially integrated public school educations they were entitled to under the state’s Constitution. The complaint also showed that the heavily poor, mainly minority children of Hartford were receiving a worse education than their suburban counterparts.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and urged political leaders to put school integration at the top of their agenda. 

One of the most prestigious magnet schools, the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, is rated the best high school in the state and 15th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Connecticut as a whole still has some of the country’s worst achievement gaps. But a study of 2012 data by the Capitol Region Education Council, a nonprofit that operates 19 of the Hartford area’s magnet schools, showed academic improvement for all ethnic groups — and smaller achievement gaps than in the state as a whole — even though the schools have a higher percentage of poor students than the state average.

"The (Hartford) agreement has shown many parents what public schooling can be and is creating demand for reform of the schools left behind. The Hartford experience shows that it is possible to fight racial isolation and improve education at the same time."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/opinion/sunday/fighting-racial-is...?

While the closing statement made by the Times Editorial Board is true in general, there are schools in many towns in CT where that can also be proven to be true. The issue is much more complex as can be gathered from the articles linked below.

Other related articles: School choice: Future of new magnet schools uncertain, The CT Mirror - http://ctmirror.org/tag/sheff-vs-oneill/

60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education: Still separate in Connecticut - http://ctmirror.org/2014/05/16/60-years-after-brown-vs-board-of-edu... 

Report: Many Connecticut charter schools ‘hyper-segregated’ - By: Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | April 9, 2014 -http://ctmirror.org/2014/04/09/school-choice-many-schools-hyper-seg...

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site: www.oneworldpi.org/  and visit our web education section at:  http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/index.html

Please share our information with others.  Watch our informative television programs on your public access channels: Frontier (formerly AT&T), Channel 99, drop down; Charter Communications Chan. 21, and Comcast (Optimum) Channels 10, 15, 18 & 26.

http://www.youtube.com/user/oneworldpi/videos - Visit OneWorld’s YouTube – See us on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OneWorld-Progressive-Institute-Inc/151551484879941

Views: 57

Comment

You need to be a member of GNH Community to add comments!

Join GNH Community

Welcome (Bienvenido, Benvenuto, Powitanie, Bonjour! Willkomme,歡迎, ברוךהבא أهلا وسهلا, Bonvenon) to GNH Community. Traducción de esta página

Imagine. Inform. Invest. Inspire.

Working together to build a stronger community - now and forever

 

 

Open Street Project

An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit

By Ryan O’Connor, Director of Programs, 8 80 Cities Recently 8 80 Cities wrote a blog post about open streets being a labour of love. That being the case, the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans felt like a family reunion of sorts. It was rejuvenating to see old and new friends who share our passion for open streets and are working tirelessly to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities across the world. The event, which took place on September 15-16, brought together more than 50 leaders who currently organize open streets programs or are interested in bringing the...

The post An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda

We hope you are getting ready and feel excited about the Open Streets Summit in Gretna/New Orleans! Taking place from September 15-16, 2018, the Summit will feature tours, presentations and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Attendees will learn about the nuts and bolts of starting or scaling up open streets programs, including: Route design and planning Partnerships with business and officials Social inclusion Safety and logistics Marketing and promotion Program evaluation through measurable goals and metrics If you haven’t done it yet, click here to register for the Open Streets Summit only or...

The post Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced!

The Open Streets Project is proud to announce that Ed Solis from Viva Calle (San Jose, CA), Romel Pascual from CicLAvia (Los Angeles, CA), Jaymie Santiago and Charles Brown from New Brunswick Ciclovia will join us as speakers for the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans and Gretna! Taking place from September 15-16 2018, the Summit will feature: Behind the scenes tour of the City of Gretna’s inaugural open streets program. Workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Training and inspiration for both -novice and experienced- open streets organizers and supporters...

The post Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced! appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

What Does Dr. MLK, Jr. Mean to You?

Each month, we pose a question to the OneLISC family, and share the responses reflecting our diverse range of voices and backgrounds. To mark Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 92nd birthday, this month’s Reflections from the Field consider his life and work and his legacy today. The reflections register anger and dismay and exhaustion, but also hope, power and a commitment to keep working, to keep exerting good, strong pressure to shape our moral universe.

These Nonprofits Give Small Businesses What They Need to Survive and Thrive

So much goes into the relationship between small businesses and the nonprofit business development organizations (BDOs) that are dedicated to supporting them and helping them grow. The three BDOs profiled here, longtime LISC partners, have gone above and beyond to help entrepreneurs survive the COVID-19 pandemic. They know that the wellbeing of small businesses means jobs preserved, goods and services are accessible to the community, and local economies have a better chance of weathering the pandemic-borne recession.

Fay Darmawi: In Her Own Words

Fay Darmawi is a social practice artist who focuses on cities, storytelling, and media. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the SF Urban Film Fest, a film festival focused on civic engagement inspired by great storytelling. I spoke with her in February 2020 and again in May and July 2020.

© 2021   Created by Lee Cruz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service