Shanese’s Web Proposal

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Shanese Caton

EDUC308- Professor Jack Dougherty

November 14, 2011

Web Project Proposal

1)      What particular story about cities, suburbs, and schools do you wish to tell, why does it deserve its own web page, and who is your intended audience?

This web project will examine the Sheff v. O’Neil cases, remedies, and whether this educational reform is resulting in higher levels of learning and success instead of mere integration. The historic case tends to focus solely on the integration of races in the public school system in Hartford and surrounding suburbs but there seems to be less emphasis on how students are performing in suburban and magnet schools and the curriculum in the magnet school system. The performance of students through the Sheff remedies are not usually commented on or an issue of focus in the appeals brought to the court by Sheff plaintiffs. It is my hope that, this project will evaluate the success or failure of these efforts in providing an education for students that is of equal quality to that of suburban students and providing an education in an integrated environment.

This project is geared towards policy makers involved in the Sheff remedy process as well as Sheff plaintiffs.  Although social integration is key in the process to fix the inequalities that Hartford has had to endure, those inequalities do not just result in students being separated from those of other nationalities but they result in Hartford students receiving unequal educations to those in the Suburbs.

2)      What additional reading and/or research do you plan to do to enhance your background knowledge on this story? Be specific and include full citations when appropriate.

I plan on researching how Hartford students perform in three types of schools, magnet schools, average performing Hartford public schools, and suburban public schools. In doing this I will be able to compare their performance to analyze whether or not merely moving students to a new location or the creation of new schools. This data will be retrieved through the gathering of CMT scores as well as other scores from tests that these students take annually. In addition to test scores, I plan on examining how many students in each of these schools move on to higher levels of education. This will help to determine if they were achieving the necessary academic and social requirements for entrance into these institutions.

3)      What kinds of items do you plan to integrate and how do they fit into the story you wish to tell? Does copyright law allow you to include these items?

I plan to integrate charts of the data I receive about test scores, student demographics and their relations to the Sheff v. O’Neill case as well as justification for why they are a focus group, and their socioeconomic status.

2 thoughts on “Shanese’s Web Proposal”

  1. Shanese, you’ve raised an interesting policy question, and you may wish to frame it with a more provocative title, such as: “Where does higher student achievement fit into the Sheff remedy?” Think about different pieces of the story that may need to be told.
    1) Was higher student achievement for Hartford minority students a specific goal stated by the plaintiffs in the original 1989 Sheff lawsuit?
    2) Was higher student achievement a legal right or specific goal stated by the CT Supreme Court in its 1996 ruling?
    3) Was higher student achievement a specific goal in the 2003 or 2008 Sheff remedies?
    4) Has anyone persuasively shown whether achievement levels have increased for Hartford minority students who have enrolled in magnet schools and Open Choice? (I don’t think you have sufficient time to analyze the raw data yourself, but it’s important to see if anyone else has done so — or not.)
    You already have access to several of the source materials necessary to answer specific questions above, and I can share more with you in seminar.

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