A note on leadership succession in Hartford Public Schools 2016

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Last week, Superintendent Beth Narvaez announced that she had accepted another position abroad and will leave the Hartford Public Schools within the next few months. The news was surprising to me and others in community.

As the district moves forward, it’s helpful to review the Board of Education’s rules regarding “leadership succession.” Many, but not all, school districts have some written policy on “leadership succession”, or the process by which a Superintendent is replaced in the event of an emergency, resignation, firing, etc.

Over the past few years, there have been two very different leadership succession policies for HPS – the first in 2010 favored internal candidates and the revised policy in 2013 favored a more open search. Below is the most recent version of the Hartford Public Schools’ succession policy.

Download (PDF, 50KB)

The policy suggests that a Committee of the Whole (all board members) meeting take place to evaluate the situation and come up a plan. Then, there are a series of steps to take for a new Superintendent search. Note that this policy doesn’t specify a national or local search, just a “search” process.

Like many Superintendent contracts, Narvaez’s contract requires a 90 day notice to the Board of Education to terminate the contract. With 90 days to plan, there is the possibility for a search.

Happy reading!

A Resource Guide: Adequate and Equitable Funding of Public Education in CT

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Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.53.45 PM(Source: CT Mirror 2016 budget tool)

This resource guide is for parents, teachers, students, and educational leaders that want to understand issues about funding public education in Connecticut and other states. Specifically, this guide intends to provide insight on the ideas of equitable, or fair, and adequate, or sufficient, funding of public education.

Below we will break down ideas into categories and try to provide brief summaries of each link, document, or resource. Specific emphasis will be on confronting misinformation about educational funding. If you have questions about the funding of public education, send it along in the comments and we will do our best to respond.

Featured resources: 

Plaintiffs Opposition to Defendant’s Appeal (and Request for Full Review Memorandum of Decision), CCJEF (plaintiff) attorneys, Sept. 19, 2016.

Application for Appeal in CCJEF v. Rell, CT Attorney General, Sept. 15, 2016.

Resources

  • In the news
  • Organizations
  • Analysis
  • Documents

In the news

Court Orders State to Make Sweeping Reforms in Schools, Daniela Altimari, The Hartford Courant, September 7, 2016.

State strikes down state education aid choices as irrational, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, CTMirror, September 7, 2016.

Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School, Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, August 25, 2016.

Closing Arguments Begins in Connecticut School Funding Trial,” Vanessa de la Torre, The Hartford Courant, August 8, 2016.

CT school funding on trial: 5 key questions facing the judge,” Jacki Rabe Thomas, CT Mirror, August 8, 2016. More on CCJEF v. Rell in CT Mirror here.

Court considers fairness of state education funding,” Bill Cummings, CT Post, August 8, 2016.

Organizations

Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding – a coalition suing the State of Connecticut for adequate and equitable funding and educational opportunity for all public school students.

Connecticut Voices for Children – independent research and advocacy for children and families, including state budget and school finance research.

Education Justice – An program with the Education Law Center to expand educational opportunities and services for students.

National Education Policy Center – a center that produces research and reviews on education policy in accessible language and includes topics such as school finance.

Analysis

Publications

Problems with Connecticut’s Education Cost Sharing Grant, Orlando Rodriguez, 2011.

Blog Posts

“Betraying Educational Cost Sharing?” – An analysis of whether cuts to funding in Connecticut undermine the cooperation built into the ECS concept.

Videos

Judge Moukawsher Delivers Decision in CCJEF v. Rell Ed. Funding Lawsuit, Hartford Complex Litigation Docket Watch:

Post-Trial Oral Arguments in the CCJEF v. Rell Education Funding Case – Day 1

Post-Trial Oral Arguments in the CCJEF v. Rell Education Funding Case – Day 2

Post-Trial Oral Arguments in the CCJEF v. Rell Education Funding Case – Day 3

“Student Based Budgeting” – A discussion and articles about a type of funding education called “student based budgeting” or, sometimes, “weighted student funding”.

Discussion on school funding in CT and CCJEF v. Rell case with Attorney Wendy Lecker and Robert Cotto, Jr. Video here.

Documents

CCJEF Case Detail, Hartford Superior Court (All documents)

Plaintiffs Opposition to Defendant’s Appeal (and Request for Full Review Memorandum of Decision), CCJEF (plaintiff) attorneys, Sept. 19, 2016.

Application for Appeal in CCJEF v. Rell, CT Attorney General, Sept. 15, 2016.

Memorandum of Decision – CCJEF v. Rell, Judge Thomas Moukawsher, Sept. 7, 2016.

Presentation by CCM on the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grant 

Download (PPT, 3.52MB)

CCJEF Plaintiffs Post-Trial Brief

Download (PDF, 827KB)

CCJEF Plaintiffs Final Proposed Findings of Fact

Download (PDF, 1.82MB)

CCJEF Defendants Post-Trial Brief

Download (PDF, 1.71MB)

CCJEF Defendant (State of CT) Post-Trial Brief 

Download (DOCX, 187KB)

CCJEF Defendant Findings of Fact

Download (DOCX, 205KB)

A few changes in my schedule

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In September, I’ll start working on a Ph.D. degree in education leadership and policy at UCONN. My advisor will be Preston Green, III, who studies educational equity, K-12 school choice, privatization, and school finance, some of the areas that I’ve written about too.

So I will be at Trinity College part-time and focusing on fewer projects. You can still find me here at The Cities, Suburbs, and School Project and at Urban Ed @ Trinity.

You can learn more here about the Dean’s scholarship that I received at UCONN. In total, there will be five Dean’s Doctoral Scholars. (See their names below.)

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I’m all the way up!