Hartford · In the State

Gwen Samuel Reflects On Her Struggle Being A Black Parent Advocate: Demanding Parent Choice Is Not That Simple When Dealing With Real Life

Wanted to share with my readers Gwen Samuel’s latest, where she reflects on what it’s like being a black mom, advocating for parent choice — thought it could be helpful for others in the struggle. Gwen is a Meriden mom, whose been fighting for kids since 2010 when she lead the charge for the state… Continue reading Gwen Samuel Reflects On Her Struggle Being A Black Parent Advocate: Demanding Parent Choice Is Not That Simple When Dealing With Real Life

Hartford

Sheff Judge Rules State Can’t Fill Empty Magnet Seats: Now What?

This week Sheff v. O’Neil, the state’s seminal school desegregation case, was back in court — and the judge’s ruling doesn’t look good for students on the waiting lists in Hartford. Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger ruled this week not to allow the state to fill empty magnet schools seats with Hartford students — The Connecticut Mirror… Continue reading Sheff Judge Rules State Can’t Fill Empty Magnet Seats: Now What?

Hartford · In the State

Teacher Voice: My Students Think That ‘Being an Author Isn’t Really for Black People’

In Connecticut, our schools don’t reflect the ethnic makeup of our state — according to data collected by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), 40 percent of Connecticut students are children of color, yet only eight percent of teachers are minorities. That’s a stark contrast. One that has a huge impact on how students… Continue reading Teacher Voice: My Students Think That ‘Being an Author Isn’t Really for Black People’

Hartford · In the State

A Parent Reflects On Fredrick Douglas’ Fourth of July Speech: Gwen Samuel Calls Out Status Quo For Their Silence

I wanted to share with my readers a recent blog post published by parent advocate Gwen Samuel. (If you haven’t already, you should check out her other blog posts too – she writes at RealTalkGwenSamuels.com) In her most recent post, she reflects on Fredrick Douglas’ famous July Fourth speech, “What To The Slave Is The… Continue reading A Parent Reflects On Fredrick Douglas’ Fourth of July Speech: Gwen Samuel Calls Out Status Quo For Their Silence

Hartford

Is This A Symptom Of A Larger Problem? If Capital Prep Cherry Picked White Students, They May Have Done So To Meet Sheff Quotas

On Friday, Hartford Courant reporters Matthew Kauffman and Vanessa de la Torre broke the story that Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford — a school that was already in hot water for selecting students outside the lottery — may have handpicked white students. If this turns out to be deliberate, which is yet to be seen,… Continue reading Is This A Symptom Of A Larger Problem? If Capital Prep Cherry Picked White Students, They May Have Done So To Meet Sheff Quotas

Hartford · In the State

Parent Warrior Gwen Samuel Shares Why She Can’t Be Bought: “Our Children Really Need Us To Step Up And Protect Them”

Gwen Samuel, a Meriden mom and the founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, shares her story, explaining why she can’t be brought by either side of the education debate: Shirley Chisholm said  “There is little place in the political scheme of things for an independent, creative personality, for a fighter. Anyone who takes that role must… Continue reading Parent Warrior Gwen Samuel Shares Why She Can’t Be Bought: “Our Children Really Need Us To Step Up And Protect Them”

Hartford · In the State

Judge Rules In Favor Of Sheff Plaintiff: Blocks State Efforts To Shift Integration Standards

It looks like unfilled seats at Hartford Magnet schools will remain unfilled — at least for now. Today, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger granted the Sheff plaintiffs’ request for a temporary injunction, blocking the state’s efforts to change integration standards for Hartford area schools.   This decision doesn’t have an immediate effect since… Continue reading Judge Rules In Favor Of Sheff Plaintiff: Blocks State Efforts To Shift Integration Standards

Hartford · In the State

The Connecticut Education Association’s Long Quest To Scrub Public Information On Alleged Child Abuse

In the face of investigations into the chronic failure of school employees to report child abuse, it appears the state’s largest teachers union has been working behind the scenes to scrub records that could aid in tracking patterns of abuse. Back in 2016, around the same time that Hartford’s Mayor insisted the Office of the… Continue reading The Connecticut Education Association’s Long Quest To Scrub Public Information On Alleged Child Abuse

Hartford · In the State

The Myth Of Magical Whiteness: Isn’t Intentionally Leaving Sheff Magnet Seats Empty Missing The Point?

Someone once told me, white kids aren’t magic pixie dust that you can sprinkle on a school to make it better. That might seem like an abrasive statement, but it’s what sticks in my mind when thinking about the mindset that has allowed Hartford to develop a system of desegregation that shuts out half of… Continue reading The Myth Of Magical Whiteness: Isn’t Intentionally Leaving Sheff Magnet Seats Empty Missing The Point?

Hartford · In the State

CT Parents Union Founder Tells State To Do Their Job: Asks That They Follow Up On Child Abuse Report

In case you’re wondering how done parents are with Connecticut’s State Board Of Education, Connecticut Parents Union founder Gwen Samuel explained it — in detail —  on Wednesday morning at their monthly meeting. Here’s the video of her testimony:

“Parents have to know that you are reading about their abuse and neglect,” to the state board of education during public comments. She’s talking about an Office of the Child Advocate report on mandated reporting that was released a few weeks ago. The report found that Hartford Public Schools routinely and systematically ignored allegations of child abuse. 

Since the report’s release, Hartford Public Schools responded by releasing an Action Plan, but Samuel says this doesn’t go far enough. 

“Do what you were appointed to do,” said Samuel, who wants the state board to step up and ensure that districts are complying with state law, referencing the groundbreaking CCJEF v. Rell ruling.  According to Superior Judge Thomas Moukawsher, the state has a “non-delegable” responsibility to provide free public education. Samuel argues this extends to protecting children from abuse — as it should.