Bobbys Project Proposal

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One of the largest problems in Connecticut today is the achievement gap in education. This to most people is old news. Many policies have been implemented, money has been given to schools, and there is still a serious problem in Connecticut. More importantly than just the achievement gap is the fine print that the gap between low income and high-income students in Connecticut is one of the highest in the U.S. Most people when they hear the words achievement or inequality automatically assume that the topic at hand is due to race. In the case of Connecticut, the gap began as a racial problem and has slowly evolved over the years into an economic one. If you think back to the middle of the 1900’s Connecticut was incredibly wealthy and the area of Hartford was one of the wealthiest regions in the state. Through the creation of ghettos and redlining however minorities were trapped into the low income housing they are today. Hartford today due to these constraints looks a lot different than it used to and its youth are paying the price. Back than when only blacks and whites went to school together we saw the same performance gap as we do today. The only difference between then and now is that the reasons have shifted from racial to economic. Today families cant afford supplies, books, or in some cases to even send their children to school. This is due to the economic constraints they have which were passed on from the economic constraints they once had as well.

It is unlike any other area where at one point you can be in one of the poorest cities in America and within a 10-minute drive down the road be in one of the richest. In my opinion, the ridiculous discrepancy between low performers and high performers echoes the states ridiculous discrepancy between wealthy and poor and between once segregated and non-segregated in Hartford. Educational achievement gap is nothing new but the fact that when compared to low-income students from other states, Connecticut’s low-income students place in the bottom tier of achievement tests. This is due to the sole purpose of the cycle that has been created in Connecticut. Children who grow up in the impoverished areas especially Hartford don’t get the same experience out of school due to their financial limitations. Due to these limitations many youths either make it through high school and get a mediocre job, drop out before school ends, become affiliated with gangs, or worse. This cycle has fueled Hartford and since you don’t see too many people making it big out of the city you don’t see much giving back.

I believe that this is incredibly important and deserving of a website due to the fact that it many people discuss the achievement gap in CT but leave out the crucial element that Connecticut’s achievement is in the lowest tier in the U.S.

I believe that there is a direct correlation between the achievement gap and the past racial inequality, the newer economic inequality of CT, the need for more effective teachers and school supplies especially in low-income areas. I plan on using the earlier readings on economic/racial disparities in neighborhoods and schools in comparison with the economic and racial makeup’s of other states. That, along with the data from the national center of education statistics and the Connecticut counsel for educational reform I believe will be crucial in deciding why Connecticut has such low performance out of their low income students..

One thought on “Bobbys Project Proposal”

  1. Bobby, you have an interesting concept here about racial versus socioeconomic inequalities in education, and there’s strong potential if you can tell a clear story that lays out the differences and your argument that there’s an historic shift underway. Some suggestions to consider:
    1) How can you frame this story in the title and first paragraph? Are you claiming that our problems with educational inequality in Connecticut have shifted from racial to economic segregation over time? Then make that claim at the forefront.
    2) If yes above, one way to communicate this concept in the body of your essay may be to directly compare CT achievement gap data on race versus socioeconomics. If the difference is more striking on one than the other, show it to us with digital charts, etc., such as screenshots that link back to the NAEP data site.
    3) Following up on how people speak “loosely” about CT’s achievement gap, without specifying race or social class, would be very helpful. For instance, can you find examples of statements like this in the Hartford Courant, or CT Mirror, or local Hartford news media sites? If so, describe and link to them.
    4) If you believe that there’s been a historic shift from race to social class gaps over time, help readers to understand why this may have happened, and why our focus has been on one versus the other. I believe that of your classmates is writing about the original language of the 1989 Sheff lawsuit (which addressed race and socioeconomics), and how the present-day Sheff remedies are focused entirely on race. But look at writings by Richard Kahlenberg and others who have advocated for class-based school desegregation.

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