BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION RULED SEPARATE BUT EQUAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE CCJEF COURT DECISION RULED SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL REALLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL WHY? SCHOOLS ARE FOR KIDS - ALL KIDS!
When the courts get it right and side with justice, such as with Brown v. Board of Education of 1954, parents of color and/or poor and marginalized communities seized the moment to ensure educational equality for all children. When the law was enforced children of color and/or the poor thrived; when the law was not enforced, children of color and/or the poor struggled to survive.
Sixty-two years later, on September 7, 2016, Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v. former Governor Jodi Rell court decision, that many aspects of our educational system is unconstitutional for poor children and must be fixed with deliberate speed! Now Connecticut’s parents of color, the poor, English Language Learners and children with special educational needs have an opportunity and an obligation to seize the moment, to ensure equitable educational opportunities are the rule for all children and not the exception!
As a result, the Connecticut Parents Union is excited to launch our #SchoolsR4Kids Campaign – stay tuned for details. Especially in light of the fact that Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen recently filed a petition to the Supreme Court to Appeal the CCJEF.
Why does the CCJEF ruling matter to parents and students? It matters because it offers much needed hope. In the communities, neighborhoods, and homes of Black and Brown families as well the homes of special needs children and/or the homes where English is not the primary language, there was a palpable atmosphere of optimism. This optimism was cautiously revealed after being denied educational equity for decades. Why? Because finally a judge stated in an unwavering conclusion that Schools are for Kids - End of Story!
This landmark ruling in the case outlines very clearly that many Connecticut school districts have failed and continues to fail poor students by "graduating them without the skills needed for higher education" Moukawsher said.
Judges Moukawsher statements about educational standards for Connecticut children were already established on March 23, 2010 when the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in CCJEF v. Rell.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that all Connecticut school children have a constitutional right to an effective and meaningful education. In reaching one of its most important and fundamental decisions in thirty years, the Court stated that, "the fundamental right to an education is not an empty linguistic shell" and must meet "modern educational standards." The Court said these standards must prepare students to "participate in democratic institutions," "attain productive employment," and "progress on to higher education."
It is clear that in each court decision for CCJEF, equity, fiscal and personnel accountability must be at the core of the state’s elementary and secondary educational plan to ensure the Constitutional rights of all Connecticut’s children.
The bottom line, Schools are for Kids and every educational policy must align with this fact!
Yet, elected officials from both political parties decided to stand with and encourage State Attorney General George Jepsen to file an Appeal to "protect the status quo" which includes poor performing teachers and their union that protects their performance and their behavior.
The state's position demands of taxpayer dollars to continue to invest into an educational system that doesn't have meaningful accountability standards for spending or employee performance. To maintain the status quo is to continue to deny the constitutional rights of children of color and/or the poor and marginalized communities.
"In addition, a stay is necessary to protect the status quo should this application be granted. It appears, in accordance with Office of Governor v. select Committee of Inquiry, 271 Conn.540,546 (2004), that this court may issue a stay..., and the undersigned hereby request entry of that stay."
However, Hartford Superior Court Judge Moukawsher said in his ruling
"Good teachers can't be recognized and bad teachers can't be removed,"
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
In addition, the court ruling states that it’s an irrational and dysfunctional teacher evaluation system when the system deems the majority of teachers are "proficient" regardless of student performance in the classroom.
Many Parents of color and/or poor communities agree that Attorney General Jepsen’s act of appealing the CCJEF decision, and the overwhelming support of his appeal from elected and appointed officials, from both political parties, have made it clear, with their actions, that the constitutional rights of certain populations of Connecticut’s children do not matter.
But the good news for Connecticut parents and children is the fact that the Connecticut Constitution is on the side of all children regardless of their race, zip code or disability. Indeed, Schools are for Kids and their safety, education, and over all wellbeing is non-negotiable!
Gwen Samuel, President & Founder, Connecticut Parents Union
3.28.12 Stan Simpson Show Education Advocate Groups Talk With Commissioner Watch CTPU Gwen Samuel, CT Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Conncan's Executive Director 07.33 http://www.ctnow.com/news/stansimpson/
Thank You To All Who Participated in the March 14, 2012
The Struggle Continues Education Panel Discussion w. Bernard Center For Women
Parents & Communities High Quality Education Rally w. Special Guest Kelley Williams - Bolar, Akron Ohio, Michelle Bernard, Bernard Center for Women and Michelle Rhee - StudentsFirst
"One in four students in America drops out
of high school�and in the minority
community; it�s closer to one in two. We�re
sending 1.2 million kids into the streets
each year without an education. It�s
economically unsustainable and it�s morally
unacceptable." - US Secretary of Education,
Thank you to all who participated in the 2011 "Parent Express" Bus Tour Experience!
Lawmakers Must Reform School Residency Laws
Connecticut and states across the county must reform school residency laws /zip code educational practices to ensure parent�s are able to send their children to safe and high quality schools when there are not any other safe and high quality school options in their neighborhood!
January 9, 2012, Connecticut Parent�s Union hosted press conference with Akron Ohio, Ms. Kelley Williams - Bolar of the newly formed Ohio Parent�s Union, Mr. Matt Prewett, Texas Parent�s Union, Mr. Kenneth Campbell, President of the Black Alliance For Educational Options and the author of the California Parent Trigger law and California Director of Democrats for Education Reform Senator Gloria Romero (Ret.) to discuss the need to reform and end Zip Code education in areas like Beach Park, Illinois.
Beach Park, Illinois is the home of the nation�s fourth case of a parent, Ms Annette Callahan, accused of stealing a �free public education� through, what CTPU alleges to be, unconstitutional School Residency laws, due to the very "selective selection" process.
An analysis of the State of Connecticut
using almost any indicator of socio-economic
progress quickly reveals stark
contradictions in the fortunes of its
residents. Connecticut, one of the richest
states in the nation is also home to some of
the nation�s poorest cities; it is home to
some of the most prestigious Universities
and schools in the nation, yet its academic
achievement gap is among the highest in the
nation, observable between rich and poor
students, and between white students and
students of color. The socio-economically
disadvantaged in Connecticut�s cities tend
to be people of color, trapped in schools
that persistently fail to meet their need
for a quality education; these residents are
also likely to be underemployed, or lacking
in job skills that would provide a livable
wage, consequently they tend be
under-insured, or uninsured. CTPU will
partner with communities and key
stakeholders to affect sustainable change
through thoughtful, responsive public
policy, re-allocation and application of
critical resources, and the empowerment of
residents to become engaged in reforming
More than one-third of children from poor
communities enter kindergarten classes
already behind their peers in reading; a
child who is not reading by the end of first
grade has only a one-in-eight chance of ever
becoming a proficient reader. America ranks
in the bottom third among developed nations
in terms of student performance, 25th in
math and 21st in science. We fall behind in
nearly every other subject as well.
Needless to say, the U.S. public school
system and economy is in crisis! Providing
resources and access to the decision making
table is paramount as America attempts to
stabilize the economy, unemployment rate,
and educational achievement gap. Across
America, there is a need for increased
levels of civic engagement from parents,
family and community. Therefore, parents,
guardians, and families need an organized
power base that can level the playing field
within the public policy arena.
Note: Every child will not attend college
but that does not mean they should not have
access to a college ready academic
Why is our emphasis on parent & family
engagement? A child�s parents, family members and
community are his or her first teachers.
Today�s children are tomorrow�s workforce
and the role of the parent to the future of
America's workforce is critical.
This important role must be recognized and
validated within educational systems.
Parents and guardians must be able to
provide their children with all of the
support systems necessary for them to
succeed including: equal access to high
quality educational, a safe and healthy home
and school environment to learn and grow,
and equal access to programs that promote
the well-being of family members. Healthy
children come from healthy families and
communities; and, healthy children thrive in
Research clearly states that a parents�
active engagement within their child�s
learning is the most important long-term
influence on academic success and behavior.
Parental engagement goes well beyond being
engaged in activities in and around school �
it is about parents and effective teachers
working together to support the child�s
learning in the classroom and, most
importantly, in the home.
Refer a Parent,
Grandparent, Foster Parent, Adoptive Parent,
Mentor, and Role Model...