Abstract: In 1970, in the North End of Hartford, Connecticut, a multicultural research action group named Education/Instruccion targeted institutional racism to address issues such as poverty, housing discrimination, and educational opportunity. This historical narrative explores how three activists (Julia Ramos, Ben Dixon, and Boyd Hinds) created the organization in their pursuit of social justice for African-Americans and Puerto Ricans in the city.
Abstract: This review essay critically evaluates Susan Eaton's The Other Boston Busing Story, an interview-based study of African American alumni from Boston's METCO voluntary city-to-suburb school desegregation program in the 1970s through the 1990s. The reviewers praise Eaton's richly-textured representations of METCO alumni experiences, but they question whether the evidence supports her major policy claim that nearly all alumni would repeat the program if given the opportunity. Based on the reviewers' parallel study of Hartford's Project Concern alumni, the essay calls attention to "forced choices" faced by many African Americans in these city-suburban programs, and discusses the broader implications for contemporary policy debate on school desegregation and the vouchers movement.
Abstract: Based on newspaper accounts and enrollment data, this historical study examines why suburban school districts did (or did not) voluntarily participate in the Project Concern integrating busing program in metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut.
Abstract: Following the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case in Hartford, Connecticut, the state increased funding for interdistrict magnet schools to reduce the racial, ethnic and economic barriers preventing students living in Hartford from equal educational outcomes compared to their suburban peers. This observational study focuses on the Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, exploring whether a magnet school environment, coupled with the Montessori philosophy of educating, is an effective ways to foster positive inter-racial attitudes, behaviors, and contact conditions.
Abstract: This report finds that the exclusion of thousands of students with disabilities from reported Connecticut Mastery Test results has distorted reported trends in test scores. Following test scores from year to year in the same grade, the study finds that statewide improvements in standard Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) scores reported by the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) between 2008 and 2009 -- the period of the largest reported gains -- were largely the result of the exclusion of students with disabilities from these standard test results, rather than overall improvements in performance. For example, 84% of the reported improvement in 4th grade math proficiency between 2008 and 2009 and 69% of the improvement in 8th grade reading proficiency could be attributed to the exclusion of these students. Much of the reported improvements in later years could also be attributed to this exclusion, though there were some modest overall gains as well. In 2009, state and federal policy changes enabled school districts to offer a modified assessment (MAS) to students with disabilities that the districts determined would not have passed the CMT in math and/or reading. As a result of these policy changes, the share of students taking the regular CMT declined substantially. Prior to 2009, students who did not reach the proficient level on the CMT because of their disabilities were included in statewide CMT results. In 2009, thousands of low-scoring students were assigned to take the MAS test instead of the standard CMT, and these students were not included in the CMT results. Thus, CMT scores reported by the State Department of Education appeared to improve in large part because these low-scoring students were no longer included in the calculations.
Abstract: The practice of using free and reduced price meal (FRPM) eligibility as a proxy for poverty is pervasive in educational research and policymaking. More thorough consideration of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) makes at least one thing clear: the statistics help us understand how many students are eligible for the program, but they have considerable limitations when used as an indicator of student need or socioeconomic status: Eligibility for free or reduced price meals does not entirely capture a student’s access (or lack of access) to economic resources such as parental income, education level, and family wealth. The combined percentage of students eligible for free and reduced meals does not show income differences between the two income categories. Districts and schools that have the same combined percentage of students eligible for FRPM may have substantial differences in the percentage of their students that are eligible for free meals. Participation rates in the NSLP may vary based on different certification procedures at the district level. The Connecticut Education Data and Research website collects and reports FRPM data differently from the State Department of Education Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services, and Adult Education. Thus, there are at least two sources of FRPM data with different numbers of eligible students reported for the same schools and districts. We recommend caution in using FRPM statistics and consideration of alternative measures to indicate student need and/or socioeconomic status.
Abstract: On February 28, the Connecticut State Department of Education submitted a draft of its waiver request after twenty-two days of open comment. 2 Given the very short timeline for the waiver process, and the complexity of the waiver application, this brief provides policymakers, educators, and parents an overview of the contents of the application, and a detailed analysis of the second section, which explains the testbased management of school districts. The application will be reviewed and a decision is expected in April 2012
Abstract: Using an alternate measure of educational progress – vertical scale scores – can present a different picture of change over time in the performance of Connecticut students. Each summer, the state reports the results of the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT), by showing what percent of students scored at five different levels: below basic, basic, proficient, goal, and advanced. These types of “standards-based” levels are the most widely cited measures of educational progress in Connecticut and will take on increasing importance in the Governor and General Assembly’s recent education law. However, standards-based reporting may miss improvement that occurs within levels and does not explain improvement over time on different grade-level tests within a subject area. Therefore, the State Department of Education developed an additional improvement indicator in 2007 -- vertical scale scores. Vertical scales allow us to understand how students perform on the state tests of math or reading in one grade compared to the next grade, despite more difficult and different math content. Vertical scale scores are a rough indicator of improvement on the standard CMT from one year to the next, following the same group, or matched cohort, of children. This report, which looks at the value and limitations of standards-based and vertical scale CMT measures, finds that On average, students are making progress on the vertical scales on the standard CMT in math and reading, even though this growth may not be reflected on the standards-based level reports. Racial and ethnic minority and low-income students had lower vertical scale scores, on average, than white and more affluent students in 3rd grade math and reading, the first year that the standard Connecticut Mastery Test is administered to students. Within racial and ethnic groups, children from lower-income families (eligible for free and reduced price meals) tend to score lower on the vertical scale scores in third grade. Despite different starting points, black, Latino, English Language Learning students, and students with disabilities on average experienced a comparable amount of growth or improvement on the standard CMT in math and reading from one year-grade 3 in 2009 -- to the next-grade 4 in 2010 -- compared to the statewide average.
Abstract: A free, equal public education is the right of every child. A quality public education system should provide a well-rounded, balanced curriculum and help prepare children for their adult lives. While Connecticut has a strong public education system, we need better ways to assess our children’s learning and the work that schools perform. This brief for electoral candidates makes several recommendations to improve and broaden educational opportunities: Public education should support a broad set of goals for children’s development and well-being. The state’s educational system should continue to provide a broad educational program that serves all children’s learning and developmental needs including academic skills, critical thinking, the arts and literature, preparation for skilled work, social skills, citizenship, and emotional health. Use a variety of methods and indicators, in addition to standardized tests, to assess whether children receive a quality education. Require schools to adopt initiatives that promote a positive school climate and to regularly report on their suspension, truancy and attrition rates. The ECS funding must keep pace with students’ need in the coming years.
Abstract: This analysis of enrollment in Connecticut’s school choice programs raises concerns about their relative compliance with established goals of racial and ethnic integration and equal access for all students. Many of Connecticut’s school choice programs fall short in advancing the goal of racial and ethnic integration. In spite of state laws requiring charter and magnet schools to reduce racial and ethnic isolation of students, only interdistrict magnet schools are typically integrated, and a majority of the state’s charter schools are highly segregated. The report also raises concerns about the underrepresentation in school choice programs of students who do not speak English as a first language and students with special education needs. The analysis examines the demographics of students in Connecticut’s interdistrict school choice programs – programs that permit parents to enroll their children in schools outside their local school districts. It focuses on magnet, charter, and technical schools. Among the key findings: While both charter and interdistrict magnet schools are required by state law to reduce racial and ethnic segregation of students, only magnet schools are held to a measurable standard – a student body between 25% and 75% students of color. A majority of interdistrict magnet schools (62%) meet this standard. By contrast, a majority of charter schools (65%) are highly segregated, enrolling over 90% students of color. While technical schools have no measurable integration standard, a majority (56%) would meet the requirement for magnet schools. Students who do not speak English as a first language are under-represented in Connecticut’s school choice programs, compared to the school districts of the towns in which the programs are located. A majority of all interdistrict magnet, charter, and technical schools enroll students identified as being English Language Learners (ELL) at a substantially lower rate (five percentage points lower) than the local school districts of the towns in which they are located. Over one-third of magnet and charter schools and a majority of technical schools enroll students identified as requiring special education at a substantially lower rate (five percentage points lower) than the local school districts of the towns in which they are located.
Abstract: Following the remedy presented for the Sheff v. O’Neill case in 1996 and the introduction of the Hartford Public School’s all-choice initiative, parents in Hartford had more choices than ever for their children’s education. This qualitative study explores the SmartChoices website, a bilingual tool to provide parents with information on their choices, and asks what types of parents participated, what information they got from the workshop, and, most importantly, how did parents incorporate what they learned from the website into their decision making?
Abstract: Contrasting the roles of the “formal curriculum” and the “hidden curriculum,” this ethnographic study compares two metropolitan Hartford high schools that vary in socioeconomic status, and highlights cultural differences between them.
Abstract: In this preliminary analysis of Hartford Public School district choice applications from Spring 2010, the authors examine which Hartford students were more likely to voluntarily apply to another district school operated by the city. Among the 6,591 potential voluntary choosers in grades 3-7, only 227 (3%) submitted voluntary district choice applications, and among these, the highest percentage (43%) were willing to travel farther for a higher-scoring school. But when excluding about one-third of these students who listed the city's high-scoring district school (Achievement First) as their first choice, a large percentage (35%) were willing to travel farther for a lower-scoring school.
Abstract: This chapter seeks to bridge the historiographical gap between urban, suburban, and educational history by demonstrating how these works can inform one another. It highlights major books that have served as the foundations in each field over the past few decades, as well as the rising body of new scholarship that attempts to span the distance between them.
Abstract: History and policy, while often connected, also frequently clash with one another, especially in urban spaces. This chapter outlines three types of conflicting questions posed by historians and policymakers on the topic of urban education. The first, conflicting orientations on past, present and future, explores the most basic differences in thought between historians and policy makers. The second, conflicting purposes of historical interpretation, considers the different contexts shape conceptualization and use of history. The third, conflicting views on historical understanding versus policy action, focusing on the fundamental differences in the roles of these two groups. This chapter draws on examples from historical research and policy discussions in Hartford, Connecticut while also reflecting on the writings of other scholars.
Abstract: SmartChoices, a Web-based map and data sorting application, empowers parents to navigate and compare their growing number of public school options in metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut. The tool, which has both English and Spanish versions, explores more than 200 options for public schooling in the Hartford metropolitan area. This article explores the creation of SmartChoices with student and community participation.
Abstract: Unlike so many institutional accounts that merely offer a glorified tale of a long stady march toward educational progress, Collier directly challenges popular historical myths of Connecticut's allegedly superior public school system.
Abstract: Suburban historians have generally neglected the role of schools as an explanatory factor in the transformation of twentieth-century U.S. metropolitan space, since public education does not fit neatly into their narrative. At the same time, educational historians have focused so intently on the rise and decline of big-city school systems that they have largely failed to account for suburbanization. This article seeks to bridge the gap by examining the rising practice of “shopping for schools,” the buying and selling of private homes to gain access to more desirable public school attendance zones. This case study of three communities near Hartford, Connecticut,traces the convergence of real estate interests, suburban homebuyers, and government officials, particularly as the postwar labor market increasingly rewarded higher levels of educational attainment. Shopping for schools not only brings together educational credentialism and suburban consumerism but also helps to explain increasing stratification among suburbs in recent decades. See author's copy at http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_papers/38/
Abstract: For nearly a decade, Trinity College students, colleagues and I have worked together on the Cities, Suburbs, and Schools Project to better understand the past and present relationship between public education and private housing in metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut. The CSS Project refers to the collective work done by undergraduates in the interdisciplinary seminar I teach, as well as independent studies, summer research assistantships, and other presentations and papers. Together, we formulate research questions from provocative readings from literature in history and the social sciences, and design studies using historical, qualitative, and/or quantitative methods to test these ideas in the Hartford region.
Abstract: Students in the Cities, Suburbs & Schools seminar at Trinity College and I had the privilege of designing online data visualizations with CT Mirror journalists Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Alvin Chang, which they recently published in their January 15, 2014 story,
Abstract: This conference session explores the theoretical and practical questions arising from digital history collaborations on issues of civil rights in U.S. history. Designed for a joint meeting of the Organization of American Historians and the National Council for Public History, the session speaks to historians engage in producing individual scholarship and interpretive exhibits. Panelists include Peter Liebhold (Bracero History Archive), Tom Ikeda (Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project), Candace Simpson and Jack Dougherty (On The Line: Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights web-book), Jasmine Alinder and Clayborn Benson (March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project).
Abstract: This report, which includes maps, tables and text analysis, details the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case. The report contains a brief chronology of the case, tables exploring the Sheff region by racial breakdown and magnet school attendance rates, and maps regarding racial composition of the 22 districts in the Sheff Region, locations of Magnet schools, and Hartford students enrolled in the Open Choice program. Throughout the report, the maps, tables and text analyze the Sheff standards and predict whether the Sheff goals will be met by June 2007. An excerpt also appeared in The Hartford Courant, Northeast Magazine, July 23, 2006. See also an updated version of this report, titled “Missing the Goal: A Visual Guide to Sheff v. O’Neill School Desegregation: June 2007” written by Jack Dougherty, Jesse Wanzer and Christina Ramsay.
Abstract: Home buyers exercise school choice when shopping for a private residence due to its location in a public school district or attendance area. In this quantitative study of one Connecticut suburban district, we measure the effect of elementary school test scores and racial composition on home buyers’ willingness to purchase single-family homes over a 10-year period, controlling for house and neighborhood characteristics. Overall, while both test scores and race explain home prices, we found that the influence of tests declined while race became nearly seven times more influential over our decade-long period of study. Our interpretation of the results draws on the shifting context of school accountability, the Internet, and racial dynamics in this suburb over time.
Abstract: These presentation slides are an abbreviated version of the full report: Dougherty, Jack, Diane Zannoni, Marissa Block, and Stephen Spirou. Who Chooses in Hartford? Report 1: Statistical Analysis of Regional School Choice Office Applicants and Non-Applicants among Hartford-Resident HPS Students in Grades 3-7, Spring 2012. Hartford, CT: Cities Suburbs Schools Project at Trinity College, May 12, 2014, http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/cssp_papers/46.
Abstract: This report provides and in-depth, spatial look at the Sheff v. O’Neill case. Including maps that show the racial make-up of the Sheff Region (22 districts around Hartford) throughout time, suburb participation in Project Choice and the districts that send students to magnet schools, the report takes a visual approach to data, translating numbers to colorful, descriptive maps. The report also includes a timeline of the case, a look at some traditional data tables, data presented several different ways and a discussion of the progress made toward the Sheff goals.
Abstract: In 1996, as the Supreme Court and the nation were retreating from school integration, Connecticut's judicial system was advancing with Sheff V. O'Neill. This chapter explores the case and it aftermath, as the judicial system stalled the process of desegregation and then explores and analyzes the results of Sheff I, a four year legal settlement that produced limited results. The case study continues on to explore the next legal remedy, Sheff II, and throughout, looks at our understanding of school desegregation policy by discussing what this voluntary plan has not yet achieved in Connecticut.
Abstract: Which Hartford-area families were more (or less) likely to apply for public school choice options, and how do they vary by student characteristics & achievement, school composition, and neighborhood demographics? Report 1 offers a statistical analysis of RSCO applicants versus non-applicants among 6,673 Hartford-resident students enrolled in Hartford Public Schools (HPS) — both district schools and interdistrict magnet schools — from grades 3 through 7 in Spring 2012. Overall, we found that participation in the RSCO application process was not random, but linked to student socioeconomic characteristics that often showed higher participation by more privileged families. In this sample, there were statistically significant lower levels of RSCO participation among English Language Learners and those with special needs, and generally higher levels by students with high CMT scores, and those who live in census areas with higher median household incomes and higher percentages of owner-occupied housing. The report also evaluates statistically significant differences and the magnitude of numbers of expected versus actual applicants by race and ethnicity, school performance, location, and other characteristics.
Abstract: SmartChoices, a web-based search tool now available in English and Spanish, empowers urban and suburban parents to navigate their public school choice options. This article explores the way in which users interact with and are influenced by SmartChoices, concluding that Test Goal, Test Gain and Racial Balance of the school were important factors to parents using the program. The conclusion also underscores the role of the "digital divide" in public school choice in Hartford. (Also deposited at http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/OP189.pdf.)
Abstract: This chapter examines how urban parents navigate the growth of public school choice policies and information on the Internet. We created SmartChoices, a public school search tool for the Hartford, Connecticut region, conducted parent workshops (with hands-on instruction in English and Spanish) to narrow the digital divide, and collected quantitative and qualitative data to investigate how it influenced their decision-making processes. Based on our small sample of ninety-three workshop participants, we found that two-thirds either clarified or changed their top-ranked school after receiving guidance on using the website. Furthermore, several also found what they defined as "better" schools (with higher test scores or more racially-balanced student populations) that were located closer to their neighborhood than their initial top-rated choices. But making information more widely available is not a neutral act, as some parents used our search tool to avoid schools with high concentrations of students from racial groups other than their own. Overall, this study contributes to the scholarly literature that views school choice as a double-edged sword, with potentially positive outcomes for some families and negative consequences for others left behind.
Abstract: This spatial analysis maps the home addresses of applicants to selected magnet schools in Hartford, Connecticut, and questions whether they are statistically representative of the population at large, specifically Latinos. Baased on an unpublished senior research project by Naralys Estevez in December 2005.
Abstract: This historical study examines the shift in location of Catholic parochial schools from urban to suburban space in metropolitan Hartford, Connecticut during the twentieth century, and examines actions by the Archdiocese and parishoners that left behind many Black and Latino students.
Abstract: Project Concern city-suburb Hartford region desegregation
Abstract: Based on oral history interviews, this study examines the role of adults who supported Hartford minority children participating in Project Concern, a voluntary school integration city-to-suburban busing program that began in 1966.
Abstract: This project focuses on the development of interactive, map-based websites created to benefit members of a community. Beginning with a loom at earlier examples of personalized maps and the start of the online mapping revolution, this project will explore the ways in which maps, specifically Google Maps, can be used in order to create informative and useful online tools for community members. This project will focus on the creation and development of the Hartford SmartChoices website, a collaborative effort of Trinity College and ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now). Each chapter addess a stage of development, from the need addressed by the website to its usefulness, accessibility, popularity, and aesthetic qualities. Originally downloaded from http://www.devlinhughes.com/SmartChoices.
Abstract: This quantitative study measures achievement differences between students who enrolled in Open Choice (a city-to-suburb voluntary school integration busing program, previously known as Project Concern, and a key remedy in the Sheff case), versus applicants who were not admitted by lottery.
Abstract: Following the result of the Connecticut Supreme Court case Sheff v. O’Neill, Interdistrict Magnet Schools developed to foster excellence in academics and reduce racial, ethnic, or economic isolation. Magnet schools are a part of the voluntary solution to the Sheff case, responding by providing an integrated schooling opportunity. However, are magnet schools really an effective solution to Sheff v. O’Neill? This in-depth study analyzes Hartford area school enrollment data, the low percentages of students attending these magnet schools, racial compositions of sending and receiving districts and the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). The report concludes that Connecticut must spend more money on the magnet school program to make it a viable solution to the Sheff case.
Abstract: This oral history study examines whether the quality or prestige of public schools factored into the motivations of city residents who migrated to suburbs such as Avon, Bloomfield, and West Hartford during the post-World War II era.
Abstract: This historical study examines changing residential patterns of Hartford public school teachers amid broader policy debates about the shifting quality of city schools from 1950 to 1970.
Abstract: This policy analysis explores Connecticut's legal responsibilities and funding of interdistrict magnet schools, one of the key remedies in the Sheff school desegregation case.
Abstract: This policy analysis focuses on interdistrict magnet schools, the factors that lead parents to apply to lotteries, and their overall contribution toward reducing segregation, improving test scores of low-income children, and eliminating the achievement gap.
Abstract: Contemporary patterns of racial isolation in the Hartford metropolitan region, as elsewhere across the country, stem from a mixture of historic and present-day policies. A number of past policies, promoted by both private and federal interests, encouraged racial segregation. Although these explicitly racist policies are no longer legal, research shows that their legacy often persists well beyond their termination. For example, historical data reveals long-term patterns of inequality that can be traced back to racist zoning codes of the past. Of the housing barriers that ethnic minorities within the US have faced in the 20th century, “redlining” is perhaps the most talked about—and for good reason. Redlining is the nickname given to the practice of rating certain neighborhoods as undesirable investment choices due to their racial and socioeconomic demographics. Banks then used these ratings when determining whether or not to authorize loan transactions for home purchases and improvements in those communities. By effectively directing capital investment away from “redlined” neighborhoods, this practice shaped the demographic patterns as well as the built environments of cities and suburbs across the US. HOLC redlining map
Abstract: "In 1943, a dispute erupted between West Hartford residents and federal housing officials over whether or not African Americans should be allowed to live in the World War II public housing tract called Oakwood Acres. During this period, public housing tracts were created to shelter the many war workers and their families drawn to the Hartford area by the availability of defense-related jobs. The United States government funded these developments; therefore, local housing officials needed to abide by federal laws regarding occupancy. Federal Housing authorities eventually did require West Hartford to admit African Americans; however, town residents and leaders prevailed by specifying residency criteria in such a way as to maintain the demographic makeup of their virtually all-white community. Racist actions such as these, even when they occurred decades ago, have been factors in shaping the present-day demographics of West Hartford and other towns in the state."
Abstract: "This thesis will seek to uncover the many reasons why the Sheff v. O’Neill decision remains largely unfulfilled 17 years later. Despite a court order to provide integration and years of research that suggest that removing children from racially isolated schools is beneficial, the political will to make the necessary changes has never materialized. A review of the research and progress since the decision was first announced suggests that this failure stems from a lack of incentivization for all of the major parties whose support would be necessary to turn the Sheff decision into a reality. Neither the state, the city, nor the suburbs see integration as a particularly appealing objective, and due to the nature of the Court’s decision, few measures are in place to incentivize their cooperation or punish their inaction. Students and parents undoubtedly have the most to gain from integration yet they have the least amount of power to influence the situation"
Abstract: This presentation examines the Children’s Educational Opportunity (CEO) Foundation, a scholarship program designed to expand access for urban elementary children to private and parochial schools in the Hartford region. This study investigates who participates in the program, the schools the children attend, and whether the students who participate have comparable grades to their peers
Abstract: "This thesis is an analysis of Career and Technical Education as a response to the low quality of public education in Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford Public Schools recently adopted the Career Academy model of CTE to restructure its failing high schools. This model is an improvement upon traditional forms of CTE, and graduation rates and test scores have increased since Hartford’s Academies opened in 2008. Still, whether Career Academies are an appropriate solution to the chronic underperformance of the city’s schools will depend upon their compatibility with the broader educational policies being implemented by the district and the State. The two primary policies to consider are school choice at the district level and desegregation at the state level. Career Academies are not perfectly compatible with either of these broader agendas. However, school choice and desegregation measures have their own limitations that will prevent them from generating lasting improvements. For either policy to work, Hartford will need high-performing local schools, yet neither school choice nor desegregation can create these schools on its own. Policy recommendations are offered for making Career Academies more compatible with the district’s and the State’s agendas in order for all systems to operate more effectively. Ultimately, Hartford’s history of racial and economic concentration needs to be reversed in order to achieve long-term success. Doing so can only be accomplished if the city has high-quality local schools with which to attract a diverse population, and Career Academies offer significant promise to fill this role at the high school level." (Sheff v O'Neill)
Abstract: Based on interview and documents, this case study explores the implementation of the Learning Corridor, a campus of four interdistrict magnet schools adjacent to Trinity College in Hartford's South End, in the aftermath of the Sheff desegregation ruling.
Abstract: This socio-political analysis focuses on various coalition members’ roles in the design and implementation of the Learning Corridor, a $126 million complex of four interdistrict magnet schools, located in the predominantly Puerto Rican south side of Hartford, Connecticut. Drawing upon historical and qualitative research methods, it examines how different Latino politicians, activists, and parents viewed the original purpose of the magnet school project -- and how they continue to address conflicts that have arisen during the past five years of implementation. In addition to archival analysis of ten years of documents and statistics, the study draws upon twenty-nine semi-structured interviews with key advocates. Major findings reveal how city-suburban magnet schools have been a two-edged blade for Hartford’s Latino residents, resulting in important tangible and symbolic gains for some, but diluting benefits that were originally slated for Hartford’s neighborhood youth.
Abstract: This historical study examines legislative debates over public school funding in Connecticut in the post-World War II era, focusing on a narrative of shifting urban-rural-suburban political coalitions amid demographic changes.
Abstract: This historical study uses regression analysis to determine relationships between per-pupil expenditures and taxable property in Hartford County, Connecticut over six decades, focusing on 27 municipalities in Hartford County (in particular, Avon, Bloomfield, and West Hartford) to illustrate relationships between school spending and taxable property.
Abstract: Using spatial analysis tools such as GIS (Geographical Information Systems), this study maps the home addresses of city and suburban magnet school applicants, then uses the maps to start conversations with policy makers about how far students are willing to travel to attend certain schools.
Abstract: This paper attempts to explain how Bloomfield, CT simultaneously maintains an integrated town population and an extremely segregated public schools population. By examining the intersection of race and class in regards to housing and education, this paper traces the transition of Bloomfield from a predominately white to a predominately African-American suburb, and the effect this change had on the public schools.The paper concludes with a discussion of opinions about Bloomfield, comparing popular perceptions of the town and schools to the lived experiences of former students and parents.
Abstract: This qualitative study explores how access to public schooling is bought and sold in the real estate market in West Hartford, Connecticut, based on interviews with recent homebuyers.
Abstract: summary from page 3: "pulls together data on education, economics, employment, mobility, hosuing, and neighborhood factors in order to create a geographic analysis of neighborhood conditions or opportunity. This model is then analyzed in conjunction with other factors such as race, subsidized housing, the credit and foreclosure market, and historical factors such as redlining practices." RQs: "Is there a disparity in opportunities availiable to Connecticut resients based upon their race? Why does the correation between opportunity and race matter? How did we get here? Where do we go from here?" "In general, the research shows that Connecticut's cities, particularly its communities of color, are largely isolated from a number of the important pathways to opportunity, and that redlining policies of the past continue to have a negative impat on the opportunity landscape today. For instance, an analysis between historic redlining maps an the opportunity maps developed for this report show that while only 3% of Grade A landing areas are now areas of very low opportunity, nearly 100% of the Grade D lending areas are currently areas with very limited access to opportunity. Additionally, 81% of AFrican Americans, and 79% of Latinos in Connecticut livin in the areas with the least access to opportunity. Adding to this isolation is the fact that nearly 60% of all subsidized family housing units are loated in areas with low access to opportunity, making it difficult to achieve self-sufficiency. Low opportunity areas also represent over half of recent mortgage foreclosures, rsulting in a signifant loss of walth-building capacity in these areas." p3
Abstract: Activists Ben Dixon, Boyd Hinds, and Julia Ramos created the Education/Instrucción organization and challenged housing discrimination by real estate agencies in the Hartford region in the early 1970s.
Abstract: Following the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case ruling in 1996, inter-district magnet schools became a remedy to reduce racial and economic isolation in Hartford, Connecticut’s public schools. This social psychology study explores the hypothesis that participation in an inter-district magnet school, whose purpose is to be racially integrated, promotes positive inter-racial attitudes among students as well as reducing negative attitudes
Abstract: "Hartford lawyer and Democratic delegate Simon Bernstein stuck out from his political peers at the 1965 Connecticut Constitutional Convention. While the Democratic and Republican chairmen of the time were entrenched in a debate over the state’s unequal political representation system, Bernstein dared to dream a little bigger. As a member of the Bloomfield Board of Education, Bernstein recognized that Connecticut was the only state that did not guarantee its citizens a constitutional right to an education. Bernstein thus decided to draft a new amendment to address this problem. After days of being ignored by his Democratic Party superiors and, finally, threatening to confront the media about his concerns, Bernstein’s request was met. Delegates at the 1965 Connecticut Constitutional Convention passed Bernstein’s amendment which guarantees free public education to every child. This set the stage for a series of prominent educational lawsuits, including Horton v. Meskill (1970), Sheff v. O’Neill (1989), and Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v. Rell (2005)"
Abstract: racial steering and block busting in Bloomfield
Abstract: This observational case study explores how an interdistrict magnet school strives to use the Montessori curriculum to create an environment where interracial relationships are the norm.
Abstract: This qualitative study explores the label “Hispanic" and explores the creation of identity in the teenage years among Puerto Rican youth in the city of Hartford and the suburb of West Hartford.
Abstract: Review of racial integration in Connecticut schools, with data visualizations created by Trinity students Emily Meehan, Savannah Reuben, and Elaina Rollins
Abstract: This qualitative study is designed to apply educational anthropologist John Ogbu’s cultural-‐ ecological theory of minority school performance to school choice by examining choice differences between two racially similar but ethnically different minority groups in the Hartford region. Parents in Harford, Connecticut, have several different public school choice options available to them, including intra-‐district choice, regional magnet schools, and a suburban district transfer program known as Open Choice. For all of these options, school choice is designed to improve opportunities for Hartford students. Drawing on data from five interviews with West Indian immigrant parents and three interviews with native-‐born African American parents, this study suggests that while Ogbu’s theory might sufficiently be able to explain differences regarding parental orientation to school choice and proximity, it indicates that the theory does not effectively explain ethnic differences in parental orientation to education in general or orientation to the local urban school system for African American and West Indian parents in Hartford. Additionally, given the exponential expansion of school choice policies within the last decade it is becoming increasingly important to question both the role of ethnicity in school choice and, more broadly, the effectiveness of school choice policies in low-‐income minority communities nationally.
Abstract: This study combines spatial analysis and door-to-door interviews to explore how three factors – school quality, geography and neighborhood racial demographics – influence parents’ choices regarding magnet schools, a key part of the Sheff v O'Neill school desegregation remedy in the Hartford region.
Abstract: This quantitative study measures the influence of health, mobility, and socio-economic status on the racial/ ethnic achievement gap. Through information from parent and student surveys, as well as student grades from transcripts, scores from state-administered achievement tests, and district gathered information on whether or not the student was eligible for free/ reduced-price lunch, it analyzes influences on the achievement gap in a suburban school district, and finds significant effects of race/ ethnicity on achievement, socio-economic status, mobility, and one health factor, as well as significant effects of socio-economic status, mobility, and some health measures on achievement.
Abstract: This presentation discusses the proposal for a metropolitan school district in the Hartford region, how it arose in the aftermath of the 1996 Sheff ruling, ways in which various parties responded, and reasons why the proposal did not succeed.
Abstract: This case study explores causes and consequences of the shift in the racial population of the public schools in Bloomfield, Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford, during the 1960s and '70s.
Abstract: Spatial analysis refers to the distribution of a variable across geography. If all things were equal, we would expect student characteristics to be randomly distributed over space, but other factors may cause them to be dispersed or clustered. This study examines an in-depth analysis of Hartford Public School student-level data (grades 3-8) across four years (2008-09 to 2011-12), based on geocoding their home addresses to census block groups to identify spatial clustering and hot spots regarding student demographics, achievement, and magnet school enrollment.
Abstract: Based on four years of student-level achievement and demographic data provided by the Hartford Public Schools (HPS), our quantitative analysis sought to answer two questions: (1) Continuity: Who stays and leaves the HPS dataset, and are these behaviors associated with student characteristics, school composition, or neighborhood demographics? (2) Clustering: Are high-achieving students widely distributed across the district, or are they more likely to be clustered with peers who have similar characteristics, or attend similar schools, or reside in similar neighborhoods? By analyzing statistically significant patterns among over 33,000 Hartford-resident HPS students in grades 3 to 8 from 2008-09 to 2011-12, we found that the proportion of high-achieving students who left the HPS dataset is not significantly different from the proportion who stayed (around 15 to 18 percent) over time, but there are significant differences in school zone, magnet school status, and other variables.