This year, Connecticut lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they are committed to bringing jobs and prosperity back to our state. That starts with saying “no” to another tax increase, and “yes” to dismantling the barriers that hobble job and economic growth. During the 2017 legislative session, the Yankee Institute will be working with legislators, state officials and stakeholders in the following areas
The unfortunate consequence of Connecticut’s policy choices is that children who are born and raised in low-income households face daunting challenges and, research shows, have trouble overcoming them. While Connecticut’s overall student performance appears strong (87% graduation rate), the achievement gap betrays the truth; upper class families boost overall numbers and urban youth are left stranded in poor educational environments.
Bridgeport ranked highest in the nation for “family flight” as middle income families flee urban areas with failing schools, according to research done by Dr. Bartley Danielson, associate professor of finance and real estate at North Carolina State University. Danielsen examined 100 metropolitan areas across the United States and compared census data for families with children aged 0-4 and 5-9. His findings showed that families whose children reach school age relocate out of areas with poor performing schools.
Groton has been trying in vain to meet state racial balance requirements for its schools since 2000, but now city leaders have a new idea: build one giant middle school. The effort - known as the Groton 2020 plan - comes with a price-tag of $191.7 million. With up to 80 percent of construction costs being paid for by the state, the Groton 2020 plan is a prime example of how court-imposed racial balance guidelines are forcing districts to build new schools and costing towns and the state millions. Yet, despite the money spent many remain dissatisfied with the results.
Public schools in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford face a variety of challenges. Safety concerns, budget deficits, low student performance and in-fighting among school board members have parents looking for alternative ways to get their children a good education. CEO of Connecticut is just one of many similar organizations throughout the United States that have made school choice and opportunity for inner city children their mission. Funded only through private donation, foundations like CEO are an example of people coming together to find a solution to a problem that has long plagued state and federal government.
A Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer recommended Monday in a draft decision that the New Milford school system make teacher evaluation ratings public. John Spatola, a former member of the New Milford Board of Education, brought a complaint seeking the ratings. Although individual teacher ratings are exempt from disclosure, Spatola's complaint and the draft decision would set a precedent for aggregate information about teacher performance. JeanAnn Paddyfote, the New Milford superintendent at the time, refused to comply with Spatola's request for the information prompting the complaint.