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News : Education Jul 22, 2014 - 9:58:04 PM

Four Suggested Priorities at the Crossroads for Hartford Education

By Achieve Hartford!

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Hartford, CT - Achieve Hartford! today issued its first Annual Open Letter to the Superintendent and Community, urging full community attention to sustain the momentum of Hartford school improvement.

“Since 2008, Achieve Hartford! has served as a critical friend of the Hartford Public Schools – independently – with efforts that inform and engage the community and drive accountability,” Achieve Hartford Executive Director Paul Diego Holzer said in officially delivering the letter to the Hartford Board of Education and new Superintendent Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez at Tuesday evening’s monthly Board meeting. “With data reports, our weekly email newsletter, and community outreach – including our Choice Education Program and a variety of public forums – we have worked hard to fulfill this mission.

“But we all have to do more,” Holzer said. “The work of improving schools – and children’s futures – is way too far from complete. Success will hinge on whether a stronger unity of purpose can be built across the community and with all government and non-government partners. Like everybody else, Achieve Hartford! is just one entity As we focus on how to significantly step up our game, we respectfully ask everyone who cares about Hartford children to do the same.”

The open letter suggests four priorities for improving Hartford schools at this critical point of leadership transition:

„ Broad and Deep Communications that dare to dig into the most severe challenges in Hartford schools, so that trouble spots can be addressed;
„ Trusting Relationships that tap and mobilize the full resources of the community;
„ Keeping Leaders on the Same Page to accelerate rather than stall progress; and
„ Faithful Follow-up on Implementation, so great ideas pass the results test.

“Hartford is at a school improvement crossroads,” Holzer said. “We have some of the highest- and lowest-performing schools in the state. What do we want to do about that? Achieve Hartford!’s answer is, we can’t do anything without a greater unity of purpose at the District, Board, City, and Council tables – and at every single kitchen table. Every one of us needs to make concrete commitments and stand behind them. It’s not about passion; we all have that. It’s about getting it done.”

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