Will Malloy rise to the occasion and make resolving Connecticut’s School Funding Crisis his legacy?
From today’s Hartford Courant Commentary by JONATHAN PELTO AND WENDY LECKER
“Courts have been equally clear that when schools are given adequate resources, learning improves.
In New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, Massachusetts and elsewhere, increased spending on basic educational resources led to demonstrated improved achievement.
Despite vast differences among states, courts enumerated a remarkably consistent list of educational necessities, including: high-quality preschool, small class size, additional services for at-risk students, supports for teachers such as professional development, curriculum supports, supplies, equipment, adequate facilities, and adequate books and other learning tools.
As Stamford’s mayor, Dannel P. Malloy understood the direct link between resources and achievement. He was a founding member of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, the plaintiff in Connecticut’s pending school funding lawsuit.
By joining the coalition’s lawsuit, then-Mayor Malloy acknowledged that the state cannot meet its duty to provide every child with a quality education without providing every school with the resources to meet each child’s needs.
Sadly, as governor, Malloy has not made resolving the lawsuit and properly funding education a true priority. Instead, his new “solutions” for education are privately run charter schools and teacher evaluations based on test scores.
Yet charter schools, serving 1 percent of Connecticut’s public school students, have dismal graduation rates and routinely exclude Latino students, English language learners and students with disabilities.
Furthermore, teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores have been proven to be wildly inaccurate and to massively increase the frequency of standardized tests children must take.
Instead of diverting funds to reforms that do not work, this governor has the historic opportunity to create a fair and equitable school funding system. Malloy’s legacy will rest on how he deals with the education-funding crisis highlighted in CCM’s report. More important, our children’s futures depend on it.”
To read the full piece go to: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-pelto-lecker-connecticut-schools-underfunded-20121123,0,6000165.story