Quality Integrated Education – Next Steps for School Desegregation in Hartford, CT

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Here is a summary of steps I would take moving forward on school desegregation in CT. This is based on my reading of history and research in schools and communities now. These are some ideas of how we can build on the historic investment in racially diverse schools in Hartford, CT area prompted by the Sheff v. O’Neill case. This is not a retreat from pursuing racial diversity (numerical desegregation), but an addition and broadening of goals (qualitative integration). These are my own thoughts, not of any particular group or plaintiffs. 


• All Hartford schools will provide high-quality and effective education for its students.
• All Hartford schools will have the resources that students need to be successful.
• Support high-quality Latinx and Black schools where they exist. (e.g. definition)


• Understand the difference between numerical desegregation and qualitative integration.
• Support positive racial development of Black, Latinx, & Asian students in desegregated schools.
• Multicultural and multilingual education (e.g. ethnic studies, dual language programs).


• Share accomplishments of quality and integration education (e.g. web, in-person, testimonies).
• Every “Sheff” school should have a plaque and website explaining Sheff v. O’Neill history.
• Listen and gather feedback from magnet and non-magnet students & families. (e.g. survey)
• Confront and campaign against school segregation, privatization, and dispossession.

Views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Trinity College.

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Robert Cotto Jr.

Robert Cotto, Jr. is a Lecturer in the Educational Studies department. Before his work at Trinity, he was a Senior Policy Fellow in K-12 Education for CT Voices for Children where he published reports on Connecticut’s testing system, public school choice, and K-12 education data and policy. He taught for seven years as a social studies teacher at the Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies (MLC), an interdistrict magnet school intended to provide a high-quality education and promote racial, ethnic, and economic integration. Born and raised in Connecticut, Mr. Cotto was the first in his family to go to college and he earned his B.A. degree in sociology at Dartmouth College, his Ed.M. at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and an M.A. in American Studies at Trinity College. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in education policy at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education. Robert lives with his wife and son in the Forster Heights area of the Southwest neighborhood in Hartford. Views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Trinity College.