Curriculum Changes in Trinity College: Continuous Conflicts of Two Goals

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Trinity College’s very first curriculum was significantly different from today’s curriculum. Students in 1824 moved together as a class and followed the prescribed daily routine, whereas now students choose their own courses and have individualized schedules. As of 2014, Trinity College curriculum for undergraduates is composed of distribution requirements, majors, and minors. For the distribution requirements, students have to take at least one course of each field of Arts, Humanities, Natural Science, Numerical & Symbolic Reasoning, Social Science, Global Engagement, and complete a First Year Seminar, Second Language, and two Writing Emphasis courses.[1] Out of the 36 credits that students need to earn for a Bachelor’s degree, approximately 10 to 12 credits are set aside for the general education requirements. However, according to the College Catalogue of 1824-1825, there was no major, minor, or distribution requirements, and all students had to take Rhetoric, Greek, Latin, Math, Philosophy, Natural Science, Social Science, Theology, and Physical training, following Trinity’s four-year plan.[2] Courses were not varied, and students’ choice was none or few. Until Trinity College has today’s curriculum, many major and minor changes have taken place. By comparing these distinct curricula, this essay explores when and how Trinity College shifted from a highly unified to a more individualized model with distribution requirements, focusing on why these changes happened.

Since Trinity College was established, there have been three important curriculum changes in 1949, 1969, and 1987. In 1949, the college tried to keep the essence of liberal arts education despite the rise of specialism and the returns of veterans after WWII by solidifying the general education. In 1969, accompanied by the coeducation, Trinity College established the open curriculum, which enabled students to choose courses besides major requirements. In 1987, Trinity got rid of the open curriculum and reorganized the distribution requirements. Overall, Trinity College’s curriculum development was a continuous tension between two objectives. On one hand, Trinity College desired to stay true to the ideals of liberal arts education emphasizing reasoning, argumentation, and close interaction with professors. On the other hand, it had to adopt new trends and demand rising in America, such as specialism and liberalism. Within each major change, one of these goals advanced further than the other.

Changes Prior to 1945

 Moving toward the professionalism and specialism was a general trend in American higher education in 1900s, and Trinity College was of no exception. Michael Bisesi describes the curriculum trend before 1945, in his paper Historical Developments in American Undergraduate Education: General Education and the Core Curriculum, as he says, “the pendulum of curricular change was on the side of specialization prior to 1945.”[3] The development and expansion of knowledge in science and technology pushed many American colleges and universities to become institutions where students could be prepared for certain occupations.

Although Trinity College started with the very tight, prescribed academic plan focusing on Classics and Philosophy, it also had to adopt the new field of studies. There was no major curriculum shift until mid twentieth century. Yet, the curriculum was revised over time little by little, leaning toward specialism. At first, Trinity divided students as Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, and their curricula were arranged. As professional knowledge was required for many occupations, such as engineering and pre-medical, Trinity created groups under B.A. and B.S., which have became Today’s majors. The College Bulletin of 1920-1921 shows how Trinity College conceived majors as the preparation for specialized occupations, saying that choosing a major is “taking into account special aptitudes and interests, and plans for a future occupation, to ensure that he shall carry his studies in some subjects beyond the elementary stage.”[4]

However, despite the specialism, Trinity College had a relatively well-balanced curriculum. For example, as shown by the College Catalogue of 1930-1931, B.A. and B.S. programs had a different set of course plan. For B.A. groups, including Philosophy, Language, English, and History, more Math and Science were required, and for B.S. groups of Chemistry, Biology, Pre-medical, Engineering, and Physics more Language and Philosophy courses were required.[5] This system allowed students to explore a broad range of knowledge regardless of what group they chose. Also, only 8 to 10 courses were required for groups. Choosing one concentration did not mean that students would become narrow-sighted.

Changes After World War II in 1949

World War II brought many changes in higher education in America especially because of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Acts called the G.I. Bill. As the federal government experienced the struggles with returning veterans after the World War I, they passed the G.I. Bill, which supported returning veterans for their higher education. As a result, many veterans came back to Trinity to continue their education, and they shifted students’ general interest from Classics to more practical fields, such as engineering and business, in Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History, Peter Knapp describes, “the Trinity community in the late 1940s was becoming increasingly aware that changes were occurring in student interests, both academic and professional. As reflected in choice of major, the humanities were facing stiff competition from the social sciences and the sciences.”[6] Because returning veterans were older than traditional college students, and many of them already had a family to take care of, they preferred to study something that could secure their jobs after college.

While students’ interest and purpose of studying was moving toward vocationalism, the College wanted to keep the core of a liberal arts education. After WWII, many liberal arts colleges in New England experienced the same movement and tried to define the ideal of liberal arts education. The 1945 Harvard Report reveals how much these colleges struggled from overwhelming specialization, as it states, “we cannot, however, turn away from specialism. The problem is how to save general education and its values within a system where specialism is necessary.”[7] Trinity College went through scrutiny on its curriculum, emphasizing on general education. The college reasserted that Trinity College was a liberal arts college, as the College Bulletin of 1949-1950 notes, “one hundred twenty-seven years of experience at Trinity indicates that the liberal arts type of general education offers the best means of attaining the above aim.”[8]

President Funston aimed at restricting the small class size and fostering personal interaction with professors as a liberal arts college. However, he adopted some specialism trends by requiring a major and making Greek and Latin optional. The revised curriculum introduced B.A. and B.S with majors. Previously, there were groups that student could study in depth, but there was also an option not to choose a particular group. However, the revised curriculum required students to pick a major to get a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, the requirements for the Greek and Latin could be fulfilled by taking classical civilization courses instead. Not having Greek and Latin might look damaging to the essence of liberal arts education. However, Funston thought that the idea of liberal arts education in America should adopt the new culture in America, which could be different from Europeans:

“American education must make a strong effort to develop new curricula consonant not merely with America’s fateful involvement in world affairs but with the spectacular emergence into importance of great new societies whose culture did not seem to have the same value and meaning for Americans as the more traditional cultures of Western Europe and the Mediterranean.”[9]

Over all, the year of 1949 did not g285o through a drastic change. Rather, curriculum was revised little by little, and the direction of changes was different one at a time; sometimes leaning toward specialism, other times sticking to liberal arts education.

Open curriculum in 1969

Open curriculum allows students to take any courses besides their major requirements. The open curriculum was first introduced in 1969 at Trinity College. Students were encouraged to take any courses after discussing with their advisors. The College Bulletin in 1968-1969 and in 1970-1971 shows how the open curriculum worked. In 1968, before the open curriculum, there was a page explaining the basic requirements students needed to fulfill, which are equivalent to our distribution requirements. The requirements included a-year-long English, Math, Western History, Foreign Language, Natural Science, a semester long arts and Philosophy. These requirements were designed to be fulfilled during the first two years before digging into one major during one’s junior and senior years.[10]

On the contrary, in the College Bulletin of 1970-71, the basic requirement page was removed from the requirements for the Bachelor’s degree. Instead, the curriculum was introduced as a “dual” system. The first two years are “to provides a framework within which students can receive individual attention, discover their principal interests, and have repeatedly demonstrated to them that what they are doing in the College is worth the effort”; the last two years are to “focuses on a more strictly defined body of knowledge”.[11] The first part consists of the Freshmen Seminar and non-minor guideline. Although the school did not required students to take general courses, it still provided a direction that students could follow. Also, it created the Freshmen Seminar, as an opportunity to search what they were interested in.

The coeducation in 1968 influenced this curriculum changes. As the college admitted female students, it had to go through transformative shifts in and out. As the school opened new departments to satisfy women’s demand, not every department could be a part of the distribution requirement. The college had to let students take courses in the new departments, and the open curriculum was a solution to this problem. Furthermore, though women and minority students were a small percent of the entire student body, their academic interests were different from white male students. To meet the interests of new student groups and to attract more competitive students, Trinity decided to make the curriculum flexible.

In addition to the coeducation, 1960s was the decade of the counterculture in America. Knapp described that undergraduates were inspired by American’s war involvement with Indonesia, the assassinations of a few leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, and they “questioned the state of affairs in the nation, and challenged prevailing assumptions about authority and tradition.” [12]Sit-in happening shows that students at Trinity also raised their voices on campus. The sit-in was an organized movement in 1968 from a group of students to lock in the Board of Trustee until the Trustees decided to give more scholarships to Black students. Students locked the door for four hours, and it drew much attention not just on campus, but also in New England. Although it was not directly related to the changes in curriculum, it suggests that students expressed their concerns and asked for more freedom, and the school had to take into account them even when they changed the curriculum.

Going Back to the Distribution Requirements in 1987

After implementing the open curriculum for a couple of decades, the school recognized the failure that students preferred to be in the safety net and not take various courses. According to Knapp’s account, “under the open curriculum, furthermore, many students had preferred taking courses in the humanities and social sciences, and when possible, avoided the study of the natural and physical sciences.”[13] The school had to make sure that students left the school with a minimum knowledge in essential disciplines. Moreover, there were some students who were attracted by the open curriculum with the intention of “finding a shelter in the open curriculum from requirements other colleges and universities were imposing.”[14] As a solution, the college introduced interdisciplinary minors and required students to take six courses from at least three different fields. However, the minor requirement rather confused both faculties and students. Unlike the college’s intention that students could learn the correlation among different fields, students just took courses in separate departments because there was a lack of intercommunication among different departments. Departments were specialized in one subject, and there were not many cases that multiple departments worked together. It was not a true interdisciplinary.

President English was concerned that students did not benefit by the open curriculum, and faculties agreed with his thoughts as well. Finally, in 1987, the second major curricular change occurred with the introduction of a five-part distribution requirement under which students had to complete “at least one course in each of the five major areas in the curriculum – humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and numerical or symbolic reasoning” in addition to writing and mathematics proficiency requirements.”[15] The Curriculum Revision Committee Report indicated that the school wanted more concrete and solid curriculum that would be efficient in fostering students’ knowledge when it states that a curriculum “ought to be a practical guide to the realities of academic life at a given institution, and it ought to embody some educational idea.”[16] As a liberal arts college, Trinity desired students to be exposed to various fields. Even though more choices and freedom of students were important components, they were overweighed by the objective of staying true to liberal arts education.


Over time, Trinity College went through many curriculum changes, and the direction was not consistent all the time comparing the three major changes in 1949, 1969, and 1987. In 1949, the college partly followed the trend of specialism while trying to stick to the liberal arts college. In 1969, the school made a drastic changes and was more acceptable to social changes. In 1987, the college reversed the movement and came back to the arranged curriculum with more requirements. Overall, the school struggled to keep the identity of a liberal arts college especially in the midst of the drastic social and technological changes in the twentieth century. Because the two objectives of keeping the essence of liberal arts education and serving social needs are conflicting each other, the college had to move back and forth and find the middle point where the college could fulfill the both objectives. Trinity might currently experience the same struggles that it had in the past as the society and technology is changing in higher speed. Finding the true meaning of liberal arts education and staying true to it can be much more difficult these days. However, as Trinity history shows the college will manage to find a middle point again.


[1] Trinity College. Student Handbook 2013-2014, 2013.

[2] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1823-1824. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1823. Print. (Located at Watkinson Library at Trinity College)

[3] Bisesi, Michael. 1982. “Historical Developments in American Undergraduate Education: General Education and the Core Curriculum.” British Journal of Educational Studies 30 (2): 203. doi:10.2307/3121552.

[4] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1920-1921, Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1920.

[5] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1930-1931. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1930.

[6] Knapp, Peter J. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History:146. Hartford, Conn: Trinity College, 2000.

[7] Quoted in Bisesi., 204.

[8] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1949-1950:25. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1949.

[9] Knapp., 285.

[10]  Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1968-1969. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1969

[11] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1970-1971. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1970.

[12] Knapp., 327.

[13]  Knapp., 407.

[14] Knapp., 407.

[15] Knapp., 407.

[16] Quoted in [16] Trinity College. Trinity College Bulletin of 1970-1971. Watkinson Library: Trinity College, 1970.

Research Proposal

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Research questions:

How has distribution requirements changed over time at Trinity College ? When and how did Trinity College shift from highly unified to a more individualized curriculum? What factors did contribute to the changes?



Distribution requirements are what schools require all students to fulfill. It means that they are something that schools want all students to learn and experience while they are attending colleges. Because they indicate schools’ mission and value, each school has different general requirements. Even in liberal arts colleges, each has unique general requirements and emphasize different discipline.

For this research, I am planning to study how Trinity has shaped current distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Numerical & Symbolic Reasoning, Social Sciences, Quantitative Literacy, Writing Proficiency, Global Engagement, First Year Seminar, Writing Emphasis Part1, Part2, Second Language Requirements). As I found through the College Bulletins from 1800s, Trinity used to not have general requirements, and, rather, each class has the same schedule to follow and there was no registration for courses. As fields were specialized, schools let students to choose either Bachelor’s of Arts or Science, further to groups, and majors like what we have now.

In general, majors and general requirements have been more specific and narrowed since this college was established, and students got more choices to choose what to learn than students in 1800s. We take our general requirements granted, and students are just busy to fulfill these requirements. However, knowing the history of general requirements will enable students to understand better about where they are and what goals they have to pursue at Trinity College.

Research Strategy

I will mainly search the College Bulletin from the first to current one by ten years to compare differences and find how they changed. There are two books that I have Helen Lefkowitz’s Campus Life and Peter Knapp’s Trinity College in the Twentieth Century. These two books will help me to understand what has happened on campus from both students’s perspective and school administrators’ perspective. Depending on needs, I will search some sources the JSTOR and the New York Times, but I will mainly focus on the College Bulletins and those two books.



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As a student at Trinity College, a prestigious liberal arts college, I realize that I should know what a liberal arts college is and what kinds of goals I want to pursue here. Personally, before coming to America, I did not know what a liberal arts college was. The fact that they have relatively small size classes and provide more interaction with professors was all that I knew, and it was good enough to bring me to Trinity.  However, as I have spent my first semester at Trinity as a transfer student, I could see the uniqueness of liberal arts colleges besides the small size. Because I spent three semesters in a community college, where classes were mainly lecture-based, I could clearly see differences between liberal arts colleges and regular colleges. These differences interest me in exploring more about liberal arts college.

In the media, liberal arts colleges have been introduced as an alternative of higher education or colleges that produce individuals exactly who employers are looking for. Instead of focusing on vocationism and specialization, liberal arts colleges aim at strengthening students’ critical thinking skills and exposing students to a broad range of knowledge while allowing them to study one field in depth.  However, as our society has developed, there are many changes that liberal arts colleges have gone through. As more schools take liberal arts education as their main pedagogies, the concept of liberal arts colleges seem to be watered down as institutions where students can guarantee their jobs simply by attending these schools. Some liberal arts colleges confront financial difficulties in keeping traditional liberal arts education because students and the job market want schools to teach specific skills or knowledge students can use when they are employed. Meanwhile, many have questioned how technologies in liberal arts education should be in responses to demand of employers.

By tracing back the history of liberal arts colleges, we can understand what has been transformed and what has been preserved as well as how uniquely this education has affected students’ lives. It will help us to know what values liberal arts colleges should pursue today. In addition, I want to observe Trinity College based on the research results and see in what ways Trinity College provides a liberal arts education.

Research Strategies:

My research will be mostly based on online sources. Using ERIC and JSTOR, I found some interesting sources. The American Council of Learn Societies’ book Liberal Arts Colleges in American Higher Education, provides overall views about the liberal arts colleges’ past, present, and future in depth and in length. Charles Blaich’s Defining Liberal Arts Education tries to define liberal arts education in various perspectives and relates the definitions to empirical applications. Among the papers I found in ERIC, some are data-based research articles, which can be useful evidence to see how well liberal arts colleges have performed. Also, I will look for how American colleges in general appreciate liberal arts colleges through the website of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and through the New York Times. As many educators have discussed the liberal arts education, there are many articles and columns related to this topic. Also, in order to compare these research results to Trinity College, I will use Trinity College’s handbook and website.

While exploring the webs about liberal arts education, I found a case from the University of Chicago on how it changed its curriculum focusing on liberal arts education, led by a former president, Robert Hutchinson in the 1940s. He changed general requirements and required all students to read and discuss Classics and Greek literatures. Despite a strong opposition at that point, the University of Chicago is now well known for building students’ strong foundation for success. Related to my topic, I will find more information about Mr. Hutchinson and the University of Chicago. In this case, I am planning to use WayBack Machine to see how its curriculum and general requirements have changed over time.


  • Blaich, Charles, Anne Bost, Ed Chan, and Richard Lynch. “Defining Liberal Arts Education.” Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, 2004.
  • Eckles, James E. “Evaluating the Efficiency of Top Liberal Arts Colleges.” Research in Higher Education 51.3 (2010): 266–293. CrossRef. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. “Https://” n. pag. Print.
  • Societies, American Council of Learned. Liberal Arts Colleges in American Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities. American Council of Learned Societies, 2005. Print. 59.
  • Zernike, Kate. “Making College ‘Relevant.’” The New York Times 3 Jan. 2010. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.

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The Lottery: Beyond the Argument Between Charter Schools and the Teachers Union

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Madeleine Sackler’s The Lottery describes the conflict between public schools and charter schools, one of the hottest issues in American public education. She shows the two contrasting views on charter schools. On one side, there are thousands of parents who are eager to send their children to charter schools for a better education. On the other side, teachers union in public schools strongly oppose them and trying to prevent them from increasing their capacity. In order to show this contrast, the film follows four families in Harlem, New York, whose children apply to the lottery to get into the Harlem Success Academy, a thriving charter school in NYC. The film describes different perceptions about charter schools with strong favor of them, and it tempts people to conclude that charter schools are good, and public schools are bad. However, despite the one-sided point of view, this film has a significant message for all the viewers regardless their opinion on charter schools: children are being neglected while educators and politicians are fighting for their own sakes. The problem in education is not children or parents, but the adults who are controlling the system.

In the American public education system, there are public schools and charter schools. Both are publically funded by state taxes. The difference is that public schools follow the government’s regulation and are tied to teachers union contracts whereas charter schools are free from unions and have more autonomy in school management.

Since many public schools in Harlem have failed, and charter schools have been the key to education reform for the last two decades, serving as an alternative to poor-performing public schools in the city. In the film The Lottery, charter schools encourage teachers to work harder and to pay more attention to their students while parents are asked to actively get involved in schools. The movie shows that they have accomplished significant improvements in students’ performance. Watching both successful stories of charter schools and failures of public schools, many parents turn their eyes to the more promising one. However, due to their limited capacity, charter schools have to select their students by lottery, as prescribed in the federal law.

Some blame children or their careless parents for the failure of Harlem’s education system. However, the filmmaker makes a strong point that they are not the ones causing the schools’ failures. According to the Huffington Post, Sackler says, “what gives me the most hope is the reason I made the movie: there are so many parents that are eager for something better” (Thelma Adams). Lower class parents are interested in good education as much as, or even more than, middle and upper class parents. Lower class parents are desperate for the good education because they believe that lack of education blocks them from being successful.

Each of the four families introduced in the film are going through difficulties: Eric Jr. Roachford, whose mother is schooling their kids by herself; Gregory Goodwine Jr, whose father is in prison and lives with his mother; Ammenah Horne, whose single parent mother has speaking disability; Christian Yohanson, whose family members are scattered in Africa and in America. Despite these tough circumstances, they all express that they want good education for their kids. In The Lottery, Eric’s mother says, “I am looking for a school that is going to look at my child and see what his strengths and weaknesses are and teach him according to those weaknesses” (Sackler 6:02).

The film delivers the message that not only parents, but also children cannot be an excuse for failing schools. The filmmaker uses Harlem Success Academy to prove that students’ inability is not the problem in education. Once high quality education was provided by Harlem Success, 100% of students passed the state exam, and their enhancement rate in literacy and math has been remarkable. Meanwhile, the film displays many shots of innocent children, such as children with a smile and curious face, and these lead viewers to consider children as victims, not the causes of educational problems.

Parents’ inattention or children’s inability are not the issue. Rather, the fundamental problem in education system is what Eva Moskowitz, the CEO of Harlem Success Academy, calls, “union-political-educational complex”. Moskowitz says that the problem is not children or parents, but “the system that protests academic failure and limits the choices that parents have” (Sackler 10:12). Public schools are bound with teachers union, and unions exists to protect the rights of teachers for a better learning environment. Despite its purpose, the union ends up hindering public schools from being improved. The union contract sets all the rules for teachers, and schools have no powers over the contract. It prevents schools from requiring longer prep hours for classes or firing poor-performing, unmotivated. Making matters worse, as people in the union consider charter school as threats to them, they obstruct the growth of charter schools and make it harder to provide good education to more students.

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A parent against giving Harlem Success Space during the space hearing (00:32.43)

As a result of the strong opposition of the teachers union against charter schools, educators in charter schools and public schools fight each other while neglecting real issues that need attention. A space hearing about moving Harlem Success Academy is given as an example of the fight. Six weeks before the lottery, there was a public meeting about the proposal to move Harlem Success Academy II to the public school that is closing due to low-performance. For the Harlem Success Academy, it was very crucial to assure that they had enough capacity for students chosen from the lottery. Parents, who are sending their kids to public schools, are upset and offensively reject the Harlem Success Academy’s moving in because they think that the charter schools threaten their community by taking over their public school. However, it turns out that the union hires the organization called ACORN and asks them to protest, pretending as if they are people in the community. Without knowing the real story, people in the local community are deceived that charter schools are their enemy.

Although the filmmaker points out the negative impact of the teachers union and the advantages of charter schools, her arguments have holes. In the example of the space hearing, the film only presents the situation from the charter school’s perspective. Harlem Academy has made surprising improvements, but this does not justify neglecting the existing community. Public schools play an important role to bind people together in a community, and this is as important as enhancing the quality of education. In addition, the filmmaker portrays charter schools as if they are the only answer for the problem, and she does not show negative aspects of charter schools. According to the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) in Stanford University, only 17% of charter schools in the United States succeeded better than traditional public schools; 43% showed no difference from public schools; 37% were actually worse than public schools in 2009 (CREDO 1). In reality, not all charter schools are as successful as Harlem Success Academy. If the filmmaker wanted to truly describe charter schools, the film should have formed claims more objectively, noting both advantages and disadvantages of them.

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About three thousand people gather for the lottery (1:07:34).

At the end of the film is the most significant moment when the lottery takes place. At this point, all the viewers would come to the same conclusion that something needs to be done for those kids whose future is determined by random selection regardless of their abilities or efforts. It is too cruel for children to wait for luck to attend a good school. When lottery-winners’ names are called, they look as happy as if they already achieved success; on the other hand, parents of those who are not chosen look hopeless. Their kids do not know why their parents are so depressed. The four families’ reactions to the lottery result are dramatized with emotional background music and tears of parents and kids. Watching this scene, nobody would deny that the victims of grown-ups’ conflicts are children, the hope of our future. Even though the film has many arguable points, The Lottery leaves the message that people need to recognize and take action in order to help children to have a good education beyond arguing and fighting over charter schools versus teachers unions.

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She is very happy for her daughter winning the lottery (1:11:42)
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Children are waiting for their names to be called during the lottery (1:11:11)



Works Cited

Adams, Thelma. Charter School Controversy: A Q&A With The Lottery Director Madeleine    dddddSackler.” The Huffington Post. N. p., 15 June. 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) Stanford University. Multiple dddddChoice: Charter School Performance in 16 States. CREDO. Stanford University, dddddJune 2009. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <>.

Sackler, Madeleine. The Lottery. 2010. Film.




The Only Thing Students Wanted to Hear, “Weaver Is Not Closing”

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students from Weaver High School are protesting against school shutdown
Students from Weaver High School are protesting against school shutdown, shouting “Weaver Strong!”


photo 1
About 200 people gathered for the Board of Education special meeting on February 4th, 2014 at Wish Elementary School in Hartford.

On February 4th, Tuesday night, Wish Elementary School gymnasium in Hartford was filled with a couple hundred students, parents, and staffs from Weaver High School of Culinary Arts to protest against the Hartford Board of Education shutting down their school. However, it turned out that the Culinary Arts Institute is going to be relocated to the Lincoln Culinary Institute for four years and then moved back to the new, renovated school.

Originally, Weaver High School was built to serve up to two thousand students, but the student population has shrank drastically that there are only about six hundred students attending now. Weaver High School has been run by two different programs, the Culinary Arts Institute and the Journalism and Media Academy. The Culinary Arts Academy is offering regular high school academic curriculum and specifically focuses on culinary arts and hospitality management. According to the Hartford Public School website, about four hundred students are attending Culinary Arts Academy and two hundred students are attending Journal and Media Academy.

For the school to serve a right number of students, the city has been planning to renovate the buildings at Weaver since last year, and Hartford Public Schools was granted 100 million dollars for its renovation. The Journal and Media Academy already moved to the new building on Tower Avenue last year, and Culinary Arts Institute is the only school left at Weaver High School. If the Culinary Arts Academy stays at Weaver, the maintenance would cost more, and empty building would be wasted. In the mean time, Lincoln Culinary Institute has suggested providing their facilities to Weaver Culinary Arts so that the school can be continued without any closing.

Although the Hartford Public School and Lincoln Culinary Institute has not firmly decided the cost of lease, they are estimating 4 million dollars for four-year lease contract with Lincoln Culinary Institute including all the taxes, facilities, and maintenance.

However, on Tuesday night, there was a big miscommunication between school administrators and students from Weaver. Students and their parents had heard the rumor that the city was trying to close the school by moving them out from the original place. Several students, alumni, and parents came out and strongly voiced their opinions that the school should not be closed. Unlike students worrying about shutdown, the principal of Weaver, Tim Goodwin, was more concerned whether or not the construction would be finished on time without stopping the school. More specifically, he wanted to hear how and when students could go back to their original school. Also, he worried that splitting Weaver to two different locations will harm their identity as Weaver.

After hearing several addresses, the Board Chairman Matthew Poland pointed out the miscommunication revealed by students and administrators saying that Weaver would never close, and rather the city wanted to strengthen the school by renovation. Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent of Hartford Public School, said, “I am sorry that there was miscommunication between the school and students . . . . I want to emphasize that Weaver is not closing.” Although there was an awkward moment of silence in the entire gym when people figured out that students were misunderstanding the point of renovation, they cheered “Weaver Strong!” assuring that the school is not going to be shut down in any way. Unraveling the miscommunication and clarifying confusing points, the Board of Education approved the Weaver’s relocation to Lincoln Culinary Institute.

In addition, the Hartford’s school construction program manager answered Weaver’s principal’s question. He said that they were planning to finish renovation by the year of 2017 so that the school can start the 2017-2018 academic years at the new school building. Superintendent Dr. Kishimoto reassured, “students will be at school on time everyday.” There would be a little bit of schedule adjustment when they are relocating at the Lincoln Culinary Institute, but the summer programs and the commencement would take place as the school has set up, and transportation will be provided to those who are living far from the new location funded by the Hartford Public Schools. In terms of the principal’s identity question, the board replied that it would not cause drastic change in the school’s identity because Weaver was already separated into two different schools.

Besides the issue about Weaver high school, there was another main agenda about choosing Kinsella School’s new location, and it was discussed as much as the Weaver School’s relocation. Moverover, there were workshop sessions for the Special Education Update, 2011-2015 Strategic Operation Plan, especially focusing on Chronic Absences Plan and College Readiness Initiatives. Superintendent Dr. Kishimoto wrapped the meeting up by emphasizing that there was remarkable improvement in the last couple of years in chronic absence and college-readiness.


Grace Ryu is a sophomore student at Trinity College, attending the Hatford Public School Board of Education special meeting on February 04, 2014
Grace Ryu is a sophomore student at Trinity College, attending the Hatford Public School Board of Education special meeting on February 04, 2014


Avoiding Plagiarism Exercise

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Step 1: Plagiarize any portion of the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.

No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” which attempt to isolate the “true effect” of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year.

Step 2: Plagiarize any portion of the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, without copying it word-for-word.

However, it is hard to believe any score if the chances of having the same score next time are low.

Step 3: Plagiarize any portion of the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, with a citation the original source (using any academic citation style). Remember, even if you include a citation, paraphrasing too closely is still plagiarism.

Diane Ravitch states that a teacher who has a score in a year may not have the same score the next year (270-71).

Step 4: Properly paraphrase any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, and include a citation to the original source.

Diane Ravitch says it is possible that a teacher get different rankings every year (270-71).

Step 5: Properly paraphrase any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, supplemented with a direct quotation of a key phrase, and include a citation to the original source.

Diane Ravitch states that any evaluation system is not reliable “if the odds of getting the same rating next year are no better than a coin toss” (270-71).


 Works Cited

Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing      

dddddand Choice Are Undermining Education. Rev. and expanded ed. New York: Basic

dddddBooks, 2011. Print.


What I want to learn about in Ed 300

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Ed 300 is my first educational studies class I am taking in Trinity College. Because my educational background may not reflect on American education, this course will give me insight about the flow of education in the United States. In addition, I want to learn how the educational policies are working and are made. I want this course help me to grow my knowledge about education in depth and in width.