Hartford

Editorial: UConn students represent bright future in testimonies in Hartford

Editorial: UConn students represent bright future in testimonies in Hartford

UConn students and faculty spent time testifying members of the Appropriations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly to advocate for the budget of the University of Connecticut for the upcoming fiscal year.

Response to Editorial: Integration magnet schools, yet another desegregation failure

Dear Editorial Board,

Over the last three years, I have had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from community members pursuing educational justice in Hartford and their partners from across the country. The issues involved in school segregation, integration, and equity are complex, and those who dedicate themselves to addressing them face many obstacles and frustrations caused by past and current racism and white supremacy embedded in our educational system. It is far easier to stand on the sidelines and criticize such efforts, as you did in your 12/4 editorial on the topic of school integration in Hartford, than to critically and productively engage in the process of seeking solutions. I was startled to read the headline of the piece, declaring the efforts a failure, and further dismayed to read the incomplete and misleading content.

The Connecticut Supreme Court decision of 22 years ago referred to in your editorial is the landmark Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case filed by families in and around Hartford to raise up the rights of Hartford public school students who were denied an education equal to their peers in suburban school districts due to segregation and economic disparities. The Regional School Choice Office lottery that was mentioned in the editorial is undoubtedly flawed, and the plaintiffs in the Sheff case continue to litigate with the state on this and other deficiencies in delivering on their responsibility to all Hartford students. One point that should be made here is that the “empty seats" issue is not caused by the 75% integration goal, but rather the failure of the state to fund and expand the capacity of magnet schools to meet the demand for them.

With the current lawsuit, Robinson v. Wentzell, challenging the lottery admissions system and potentially threatening the progress that has been made for quality, integrated education for Hartford students, it’s imperative that there be factual and unbiased information shared among your readers, including that Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative non-profit organization that stands for among other things opposing affirmative action, is representing the plaintiffs in this case.

My hope is that going forward the resources and platforms that we as members of the UConn community have access to will be used in a more responsible way with regard to issues of such great human importance.

Additional sources of information include: the NAACP LDF, the Sheff Movement Coalition, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Sincerely,

Patricia O’Rourke
PhD Program, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
patricia.orourke@uconn.edu


Historian and author Barbara Beeching touches on the black history of Hartford

Historian and author Barbara Beeching touches on the black history of Hartford

Barbara Beeching, a University of Connecticut alum, explained to an audience at the Harriet Rowe Center on Thursday evening that the family whose story is told throughout her book, during the aftermath of the Civil War and the end of slavery, saw the future as full of promise.

‘Stand Up for Human Rights Rally’ to be held Saturday in Hartford

‘Stand Up for Human Rights Rally’ to be held Saturday in Hartford

A rally titled #StandUp4HumanRightsCT will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. on the steps of the Hartford Capitol building. The rally will kickoff a statewide commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (UDHR) 70th anniversary, according to the event website.

UConn Baseball: Huskies take home advantage

UConn Baseball: Huskies take home advantage

The UConn baseball team took down the University of Hartford 9-1 in their home opener. Behind an encouraging outing from Tim Cate, a leadoff homer in the second from Isaac Feldstein, an insurance-run double by Anthony Prato and the barrage of runs scored in the eighth, UConn seemed to have their swagger back.

Hartford adopts new Climate Action Plan

Hartford adopts new Climate Action Plan

Hartford hopes to improve public health, advance its economy and promote social equity through its adoption of a new Climate Action Plan.


The Climate Action Plan was shaped by those three values, according to the Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative website. It focuses on six “Action Areas”: energy, food, landscape, transportation, waste and water, the website says.

Editorial: Is gentrification what Hartford needs?

Editorial: Is gentrification what Hartford needs?

In a recent op-ed, Andrew Deener, from the UConn Department of Sociology, and Jonathan Wynn, from UMass-Amherst, argued that gentrification could play a positive role in Hartford. Gentrification has carried a negative connotation for decades, perceived as the process by which new residents or developers invest in communities, raising property values and forcing poorer residents out. Deener and Wynn make a compelling case that the most negative effects of gentrification are felt in large cities like New York and Boston and that smaller cities like Hartford may experience positive effects.