In city schools, looks can be deceiving

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  • Ummm

    Seriously? Paul bAss is a legitimate commentator on these stories now? I’m sure he knows a ton about ed reform. Give me a break.

  • Fact Check

    1. Hill Regional Career High School is in the Hill neighborhood (hence the name.) It used to be in Wooster Square. Dates should be checked when google is used.

    2. I think the other school the article mentioned is actually High School in the Community. There is no Community Interdistrict Magnet in New Haven. Using the correct names and locations of schools will lend the author and editor some credibility.

    3. I am reluctant to believe that the Honors Spanish class at HSC has 32 students in it. It goes against the New Haven Teachers’ Union contract. If the reporter were to visit that class, I wonder how many students would actually be in attendance.

  • Serge

    Some of the best private schools are within driving distance of New Haven. Now I know why.

  • Staff

    We live in New Haven, specifically in the “best” school district (Hooker). We still send our kids to private school. Is Wilbur Cross really an alternative?

  • Nancy

    As a parent of a student who attended the COOP magnet school and as a former member of the new COOP School-Based Building Advisory Committee, I can say that this is a complicated issue, and I encourage your reporters to get to the real heart and truth of the story; you have just skimmed its surface with this article.

    Mayor DeStephano and his school construction team used excellent strategy with respect to securing state funds that largely fueled/fuel the construction of these state-of-the-art schools, all possible because these are MAGNET schools, not neighborhood schools.

    My daughter attended COOP for 4 years and despite the former building’s leaky roof and extremely limited space for art learning and expression, she excelled, nevertheless. But she would have had a more enriching experience if the building had housed all classes under one roof. Due to the tight quarters of the former COOP school, students had to constantly migrate to other nearby facilities for arts classes. I am glad that band students no longer have to rehearse in closets but in spacious and art inspiring open spaces, all under one new roof! Young people are resilient, but enough is enough – give them what they need!

    My daughter’s self confidence and esteem rose healthily throughout her 4 years at this highly spirited school. Yes, the curriculum suffered in areas due to constricted educational budgets that simply could not afford real salaries for teachers as well as pay for necessary classroom materials. I observed that teachers, who do remain long term at these magnet schools, do so out of commitment to the philosophy and mission of the schools and well-being of their students (and I can name many of these outstanding instructors and administrators at the COOP School). Often times they supplement their teacher salaries with second and third outside jobs in order to make a sustainable living. This should not be.

    It is far more challenging to secure funds that fuel what goes on inside these schools. Manifestation of state-of-the-art school buildings is one solution to this problem, and a good one.

    Also, teachers have been extremely limited by the No-Child-Left-Behind Act, forcing them to use precious classroom time to heavily review for state tests rather than teach the actual curricula.

    As one solution, perhaps the city school district can take a closer look at what is going on in a few innovative local alternative schools as examples of what can be done in the public schools within budget.

    I commend the Mayor for being so bold as to upgrade all of the New Haven Public Schools. Our students deserve safe and pleasant buildings to house their activities and curriculum.

  • news gal

    The thing that bothers me about this article is the lack of balanced views. The article indicated that at least 2 of the 20 or so citizens interviewd had a positive view on the reform efforts…why were they not quoted? And I just want to mention that the CAPT scores that are mentioned here are just for high school 10th graders…and if any real searching was done, the reporter would have known that most districts across the state did not fare well with the test this year…not just New Haven…some balanced reporting please.

  • hooker parent

    if parents could get more involved, the schools would be better.

    but what parent wants to walk or drive to his/her kids school when they have to cross so many dangerous intersections, have no bus service, no bike lanes, deadly speedding cars everywhere? the citys transportation policy is a complete failure and it is effecting every other eneitative in the city.

  • @ news gal

    actually, if you compare the new haven public schools’ performance on the CAPT with that of other public schools across that state, they actually look significantly worse. the reporters must have been feeling generous to leave that bit out.

  • Urban

    Hooker parent,

    If traffic in East Rock is actually the only thing holding you back from becoming involved in your child’s school, perhaps you should consider moving to North Dakota or something.

  • Cross grad

    To #4 (“staff”): Yes, in fact. Cross is a very legit alternative. If you bothered to look into it, you would learn that many Cross grads each year go on to prestigious colleges, including Yale.

  • latichever

    Maybe if Yale would pay its fair share of taxes rather than being a parasite on city services, that would be a step in the right direction.

    That said, I have three children in the New Haven public school system who are doing just fine. Unfortunately, I may soon have to start writing checks to places like Yale.

  • To #10

    Yeah…but an equal number drop out.