Breaking News: Hartford’s Clark School Targeted for closure, will be handed over to Achievement First, Inc.

In true corporate education reformer fashion, Hartford’s out-going superintendent of schools is announcing that she will attempt to rush through a proposal to close the John C. Clark, Jr. Elementary & Middle School and hand the facility over to Achievement First, Inc. to run.

Clark School administrators and the Clark School Governance Council were only told of the proposal yesterday, October 24, 2013.

Hartford Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto will be meeting with parents this coming Monday, will explain her proposal to a Hartford Board of Education sub-committee on Tuesday and has announced that she expects the full Board of Education to approve the demise of Clark Elementary and Middle School at its November meeting.

The Clark School’s Panther Paws Pledge is, “I pledge today to do my best. In my life, I will invest. I promise to perform four deeds: Be respectful, be responsible, be caring, and be safe.”

Clearly Superintendent Kishimoto doesn’t subscribe to the same four “deeds” considering closing Clark and handing it over to Achievement First, Inc. is neither respectful nor responsible nor caring nor the right or safe thing to do for Hartford’s public school children

Presently the Clark School has special programming in conjunction The Village For Children and Families, UCONN’s Husky Sports Mentor Program and UCONN’s Read & Raise Program.

Clark was also the recipient of the “Ray of Hope” award for its state-of-the-art computer lab.

However, Hartford Superintendent of Schools Kishimoto, along with a majority on the Hartford Board of Education including Board Chairman Matt Poland and Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra have promised Achievement First, Inc., the large charter school management company another school in Hartford.

Achievement First, Inc. is the charter school management company co-founded by Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor.  Achievement First is widely recognized for its failure to take its fair share of Latino students, its fair share of students who face language barriers and its fair share of students who need special education services.

Earlier this year, Poland, Segarra and the majority of the Hartford Board voted to give Achievement First, Inc. another Hartford school but ducked identifying which school it would be.

Now Kishimoto is announcing that the targeted school will be the Clark school and a rush vote will be taken in just a couple of weeks.

Kishimoto’s plan is to end Clark by phasing out its program and ramping up Achievement First, Inc. #2 to take its place.

Ordering the “Death Penalty” for Clark School will have a devastating impact on the community that utilizes this neighborhood school.

According to records filed with the State Department of Education;

  • More than 95 percent of Clark’s students come from households that are so poor that children qualify for free and reduced lunches.
  • More than 46 percent of Clark’s students are Hispanic, more than one in four come from households where English is not the primary language and at least 15 percent of Clark’s students are not proficient in English.
  • In addition, nearly one in five students at Clark receive special education services

By targeting Clark Elementary and Middle School, Kishimoto, Hartford’s Mayor and the Board of Education are displacing the very type of students that Achievement First, Inc. has been unable or willing to serve.

Check back for additional details as they become available.

  • Linda174

    According to certain BOE members this is about “choices”, so what are the options now?

    AF or what?

  • Castles Burning

    Breaking news indeed–breaking communities, breaking traditions, breaking hearts, and all done with break neck speed so that no one breaks the deal already brokered.

  • Charlie Puffers

    Kishimoto is either terribly vindictive or she is positioning herself for a new job with AF or some other corporate entity bent on destroying the public schools in our cities. And she has the nerve to demand respect? After so many displays of disrespect toward the teachers and students in Hartford? Really? Respect for what?

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      Cruella DeVil…..I can’t believe that Hartford is worse then Bridgeport… but by golly they have earned the “Bottom of the Bowl Award”

  • Mary Gallucci

    I see a nice job in the State Department of Education on the horizon for Kishimoto. She can join her former boss and mentor Steven Adamowski–two of public education’s most zealous “terminators.”
    Those who help Achievement First, Stefan Pryor’s charter school management company, help themselves. And you can quote me on that.

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