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State Audit Reveals Troubles At Lincoln-Bassett

by Melissa Bailey | Mar 14, 2014 8:25 am

(21) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools, Newhallville, School Reform

Cora Lewis Photo Students “wander” and “run” in the hallways. Classes have a “low level of rigor.” And staff is divided as to whether a new principal is rescuing or wrecking a neighborhood school.

Those observations emerged in a state audit of Lincoln-Bassett School, a neighborhood school serving 355 kids in grades pre-K to 6 in the Newhallville area.

Based on years of poor performance, New Haven is nominating Lincoln-Bassett to be the next city school join the state Commissioner’s Network—a network of failing schools that sign up to be overhauled with extra oversight and money from the state. There are 11 schools in that network, including two in New Haven: High School in the Community and Wilbur Cross High.

The audit was complied by the state Turnaround Office as part of the school’s application to become part of the network. It involved one six-hour on-site visit in January and interviews with parents, students and staff.

The audit reveals that the school’s new principal, Yolanda Jones-Generette, is facing resistance and “strained relations” with her staff as she tries to make “urgent” changes to address plummeting test scores and soaring chronic absenteeism.

Jones-Generette declined to be interviewed for this story; she referred comment on the audit to Superintendent Garth Harries.

Harries said the audit depicts “a moment in a journey of change and improvement at the school.” The audit will inform the work of a new “turnaround committee,” which plans to draft a proposal by April 7 to ask the state to fund major changes to the school starting next fall.

Click here to read the audit, which is dated Jan. 23.

A “Deteriorating” School

Melissa Bailey Photo In frank narratives, the report describes the challenges facing a new school leader in her first principal job. The school district last June tapped Jones-Generette, an assistant principal at Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, to take over Lincoln-Bassett and begin work on a plan to overhaul the school. Jones-Generette replaced retiring Principal Ramona Gattison, who presided over Lincoln-Bassett for a whopping 16 years. Even before school started, Jones-Generette sent a message that she wanted to bring new energy to Lincoln-Bassett: She went door-to-door introducing herself to families and delivering books to children in the neighborhood.

Jones-Generette took on an ambitious job last year, taking over a school that New Haven had flagged as “deteriorating.” Absenteeism was high. On a given day last school year, 1 out of 10 students was absent, a rate that’s higher than the district average. One in 5 kids was chronically absent, meaning they missed at least 10 percent of school. Thirty-five kids were issued out-of-school suspensions.

The teacher evaluation had been so poorly executed that there was no reliable data from previous years, according to the audit. Four out of 10 teachers simply received no rating. Test scores had been sinking across the board for several years and were among the lowest in the district. Only 6.7 percent of 3rd-graders could read at grade-level, according to last year’s Connecticut Mastery Test.

Lincoln-Bassett had failed to adopt some parts of the districtwide curriculum, including Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, a method that includes one-on-one “conferring” with kids on their individual goals. Literacy coaches were not granted access to classrooms to model that new method.

Last year, the school lacked a clear discipline policy. “Teachers established their own behavior rules and expectations. If students were sent to the office, they were often placed in in-school suspension in the cafeteria – many times for very long periods of time – or sent home,” the report reads.

Jones-Generette made some swift changes to address these problems, the audit found. She allowed literacy coaches access to the classrooms—a change that teachers and parents reported is helping with instruction. She began to “reliably” implement the teacher evaluations. She “made it a priority to make a significant change in the way student discipline is managed.”

In an interview, Jones-Generette conveyed to auditors a “heightened sense of urgency to positively affect student achievement.” A range of people—district leaders, teachers, students, and parents—agreed she is showing “dedication and drive to improve the school,” the audit states.

“The principal has made an active and concerted effort to reach out to parents and make them feel welcome in the school,” the audit added.

Many problems persist, the audit found.

Teaching “Below Standard”

During their visit, auditors found students “running” in the hallway on the way to the cafeteria. Two of the students had a “physical altercation.” The “noise level was high” during transitions to and from the cafeteria, and “two young girls were observed wandering outside of the cafeteria for nearly five minutes without being re-directed.”

Concerns persist about the safety surrounding the school. There have been several shootings “in close proximity of the school,” including in the parking lot. Parents reported that the school playground is “effectively unusable because it is used by drug dealers,” the report reads.

Auditors gave the worst reviews to what was going on inside the classroom. On job evaluations, 57 percent of teachers rated “proficient” or “exemplary” last year, and the rest were not rated. But there was no thorough documentation to support those evaluations, and the high marks did not match the declining test scores, nor what auditors found in the classroom, they said.

Auditors visited seven classrooms and found that most had “a low level of instructional rigor.” “Only one lesson demonstrated a focus on accessible and challenging content and students engaged in higher-order thinking through teacher facilitation,” the report reads. “Of the other classrooms observed, half were assessed as ‘below standard’ and half were rated as ‘developing’ based on evidence of teacher-centered instruction and students being engaged at the comprehension level of thinking and understanding.”

Students and parents said the school needs to raise its expectations for teaching and learning, the audit found.

Auditors also made the following observations:

• Classrooms “lack basic resources such as white boards, SMART boards, and projectors.”

• On a given day, between two and seven of the school’s 28 teachers are absent, and several teachers are chronically absent, the report found.

• There is not enough support for the 4.8 percent of students who are learning English as a foreign language, the report further found. Several newcomers from foreign countries have joined the school. They have no full-time English-language-learning (ELL) support; the ELL teacher is there only part-time.

In an interview Thursday, Superintendent Harries acknowledged safety concerns around the school. “Lincoln-Bassett is oftentimes the subject of lockdown,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for people fleeing police to cut through” school property.

Damaris Rau, the district’s executive director for schools, who oversees Lincoln-Bassett, said kids couldn’t use the playground because guys from the neighborhood were hanging out there during the day. Cops helped clear the guys away during the day, but people would return at night and leave drug paraphernalia. Eventually police and school custodians got the area secure enough to begin allowing kids to use the playground for recess last fall, Rau said.

Harries said having two out of 28 teachers absent on a given day is not unusual for New Haven public schools. “Teacher attendance is an issue of around the district,” he said. It is less than 95 percent. Absenteeism may be on the rise this year, he surmised, because teachers are feeling frustration and anxiety about some of the changes in the school.

A “Divided” Staff

Melissa Bailey Photo The report warns of a harmful “divide” among the adults in the school, who are split over some of the changes Jones-Generette has made.

In the past, the school used to pull special education students out of the classroom in order to teach them. This year, Jones-Generette “set out new expectations for the special education teachers to provide more support for students within the mainstream classroom and to make every effort to serve them in the least restrictive environment possible.”

“Not all staff members are on board with the change,” the auditors wrote, so “this change is still a work in progress.”

Some teachers told the auditors that the school is being inconsistent and unclear about its discipline policy.

“Administrators are asking teachers to conference with students more and not just send them out of class; however, there seems to be a lack of clarity on the staff’s part as to when they may call for administrator involvement,” the report reads. “Additionally, some teachers do not feel that they have the support of the administration in managing student behavior and that there are mixed messages about how they are supposed to be responding to inappropriate student behavior.  Some teachers reported consequences are being administered inconsistently. That there are mixed messages about how they are supposed to be responding to inappropriate student behavior.  Some teachers reported consequences are being administered inconsistently.”

“The urgent press to improve the school and ‘catch up’ in basic areas is also creating a divide among the faculty,” the report reads. “There is also some evidence that the professional rapport between the administration and some teachers has become strained.”
Some teachers protested they feel “less empowered as they are being told what to do about everything from handling discipline, to instructional approaches, to the goals specified for their evaluation.”

There is “50/50 divide among the faculty in their support for the school leadership’s effort to quickly make changes at Lincoln-Bassett,” the report concludes. “Teachers who support the new direction demonstrated positivity and optimism about the changes; those who do not talked about how things weren’t so bad before and how there was more of a ‘family atmosphere’ last year.”

“Overall, there appears to be some tension between teachers who are more comfortable with the pace of change and those who are not yet sure that so much change is needed,” the report avers.

“If not managed carefully, this divide and tension could impede the school’s short- and long-term progress.”

Dave Cicarella, the teachers union president, said the audit “fairly accurately captured the situation in that building.”

He said he has received repeated, consistent reports from teachers in the building that they feel they are being “treated poorly” by “heavy-handed administration.”

Those feelings were exacerbated by a decision Jones-Generette made in October to fire a rookie teacher after less than two months on the job. The union did not get involved because the teacher was within her 90-day probationary period, where an administrator can let a teacher go without following a teacher evaluation, Cicarella said. He said the principal felt the teacher “had absolutely no control” of classroom behavior.

“There’s no question that that incident”—having a teacher here one day, gone the next—“was traumatic for the community,” Harries said.

“There’s no question that incident prompted some fear among the rest of the staff. But it was the right decision to make for the kids in that classroom.”

Harries said the tension among adults in the building isn’t totally new.

“There have been divisions in that staff over the past several years,” he said. “Part of the struggle facing both the leadership and the new school community is how to build effective teamwork”

He said the fact that the principal is making changes has exacerbated a sense of anxiety among some staff. When a school community is “in transition,” “there are frictions in that,” Harries said. “Change is hard on all sides.”

“We’re supportive of the work she’s doing,” Harries said of the principal. “It’s an extraordinarily difficult situation. There’s a huge amount of work to do.”

Solving problems “does not mean all of the adults being comfortable,” he said.

He said the audit highlights a need to “focus that on what I think is a common goal—to significantly improve that environment for both students and staff.”

Cicarella said he believes there have been “missteps” by both the administration and by teachers. In retrospect, he said, it was unfair to put a “brand-new principal” into such a challenging school. “There’s an awful lot for her to do.”

Cicarella said he supports the district’s application to the Commissioner’s Network, because it could open up new resources for the school. He said he does not support launching an official “turnaround” at that school, in the sense it is used in the New Haven teachers’ contract. That kind of “turnaround” enables the principal to replace whichever staff she wants and change work rules. Cicarella has argued that kind of change is too disruptive and the jury is out on whether it works.

The state has a looser definition of “turnaround,” which includes other ways of overhauling schools. New Haven is pursuing a plan to expand Lincoln-Bassett into a community center open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An official “turnaround committee” will come up with a proposal before April 7 for what the school will look like, according to Rau. The committee consists of: Rau; Andrew Ferguson (state education commissioner appointee); Florence Caldwell (grandparent and superintendent appointee); Mendi Blue (City Hall staff and superintendent appointee); Richard Fazzuoli (Lincoln-Bassett teacher and union appointee); Jennifer Wells-Jackson (teacher union appointee); and Dominique Dawson (Lincoln-Bassett parent and union appointee).

Parents’ View

Nick Defiesta Photo Harries said the school district used to receive a lot of complaints from parents about Lincoln-Bassett. This year, those complaints have fallen dramatically, he said.

A poll of a half-dozen parents Thursday revealed mixed reviews on the school.

Carlton Heath, Jr. , who was dropping off his grandson at the school Thursday, said the school is much better than it was in the 1970s, when he was a student there. He called the teachers “really, really dedicated.” He said he has not met the principal.

Ezekiah Harrison, father of a 5th-grader, expressed outrage at the academic offerings.

“They not learning what they need to learn,” he said. “No kids have a proper education. This is not school.”

Harrison did give rave reviews for the school security guard, Mary Moody—as did many other people whom auditors interviewed, according to the state report.

Elizabeth S. of Westville (she declined to give her full last name) said she was in for a surprise when she enrolled her 2nd-grader in Lincoln-Bassett in January. Her family had just moved here from out of state.

She said she enrolled her child in Lincoln-Bassett because there were no seats open in the popular magnet school, Davis Street, closest to her home.

“I feel the neighborhood schools suck because all the attention is given to the magnet schools,” she said. “There’s so many discipline problems, it’s a distraction. Kids can’t learn.”

“You can tell the teacher tries,” she added. But one teacher has a class full of over 20 kids and no other adults. In other towns, she said, schools would have a teacher’s aide in the class to help with behavior management. (New Haven schools offer teachers’ aides in all kindergarten and half of 1st-grade classes, but not in upper grades.)

“I was trying to be open-minded” about Lincoln-Bassett. “If it’s good enough for other people’s kids, it’s good enough for mine,” she reasoned. But after a bad experience the past two months, she plans to pull her daughter out at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Newhallville Alder Delphine Clyburn expressed confidence that the school is heading in the right direction. She commended Jones-Generette for starting off the year by knocking on families’ doors. Clyburn said she meets every Tuesday morning with the principal to check in on the school.

“We have a great principal,” she said. “She is working very hard, diligently, with the parents, to change for the better for our students.”

Clyburn said the parents she talks to like the new principal. “They’re grateful to have her, and I am too.”

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posted by: connecticutcontrarian on March 14, 2014  8:42am

Reading this story after seeing the comments about plans for Booker T. Washington Academy makes it abundantly clear that parents need better options for educating their children. Charter schools are in no way a perfect alternative. But I worry about the damage that will be done to these young people if we force them to just “wait it out” in deplorable conditions while the adults figure it out.

On a different note, what plans do the Superintendent and Union President offer to address chronic absenteeism among teachers? That’s simply unacceptable

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on March 14, 2014  9:16am

contrarian, what will happen to the rest of the kids left behind when the charter school skims off the better-behaved kids, the native English speakers with no learning or other disabilities, and the students with parents active and aware enough to pursue alternatives?  If all of the money and community effort poured into BTW charter were put into this school instead, wouldn’t it benefit all of the kids?

posted by: robn on March 14, 2014  9:47am

I would ordinarily be sympathetic with the teaching staff but their school was failing and they shouldn’t be complaining about dramatic change.

If drug dealers and users are regularly hanging out on school property after hours, wouldn’t that be a great place to regularly arrest drug dealers and users?...if not with random police checks, then using camera surveillance?

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on March 14, 2014  10:09am

Jill,
I guess one could also wonder whether all of the money and effort put into schools like Hooker could be refocused to benefit kids in all schools. Or whether the millions of dollars the city has committed to building a new facility for ESUMS (which sits in another town) could be better spent on fully integrating science and technology into the existing schools. The “skimming” process as you term it really is no different. Only schools like Hooker skim based on zip code. Look at the number of students who are tracked and/or sent back from ESUMS after staff find that they’re not a “good fit.”

I agree that allowing charters to reject students based on language, behavior, etc undermines the mission of public education. But let’s also be realistic about the many ways the educational system is failing children whose parents don’t have the luxury of substantial bank accounts. How many students could we have saved from ending up in the school-to-prison pipeline if there was a program like BTW that could’ve intervened early on?

posted by: Bishop on March 14, 2014  12:00pm

It’s illegal for charters (or any school)to reject students and those who do would (and should) have their charter revoked. However, that’s different from parental choice. Charter schools, by and large, have higher behavioral and academic expectations for families and students. When students don’t meet those standards, charter schools hold the line (retention or suspension) while providing additional support (social work, home visits, therapy, RTI, etc.). Some parents want that additional support, some parents feel like they want to try a new environment. Either way, charters can’t kick students out (by law, an expulsion in CT is a 180 day suspension, the school must hold the seat). Even if we were to completely ignore the fact that most charters are explicitly created to serve students who need better options, they have no incentive to do so, because they’re funded per-pupil (at a rate lower than the city average), so if they kick out all the “bad” students, they’ll be left insolvent. Most charters can (and do) fight to keep every single student.

However, the real question we should be asking is why ANY students should be locked into a school at all if that school is failing. The problem is the existence of a “default” school (the NHPS neighborhood school) rather than a menu of reasonable school options that the family can choose from. Would anyone object to Co-Op telling students who weren’t interested in the arts that they should think about another school? I don’t think anyone would bat an eye. Yet, when charter schools are honest with students and families about the very real work that it will take to overcome the environmental effects of poverty, people cry foul even though most families eagerly sign up to do just that. We cannot waive a wand and increase the reading ability of a child, it takes hard work and MORE work. It’s not fair, right, or just, but it’s the truth. Some families choose to hedge against that, misguided though it may be.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 14, 2014  12:38pm

“It’s illegal for charters (or any school)to reject students and those who do would (and should) have their charter revoked.”

It’s also illegal for people and businesses to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, sexuality, ect, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen in a near rampant fashion.

posted by: Threefifths on March 14, 2014  1:29pm

How come the public school system stop the Comer School Development Program?It works better then a charter School.

How It Works
Like the operating system of a computer that allows the software to do its specialized work, the Comer Process provides the organizational, management and communication framework for planning and managing all the activities of the school based on the developmental needs of its students. When fully implemented, the process brings a positive school and classroom climate, stability, and an instructional focus that supports all of the school’s curriculum and renewal efforts.Three structures comprise the basic framework on which the Comer Process is built:The School Planning and Management Team develops a Comprehensive School Plan, sets academic, social and community relations goals, and coordinates all school activities, including staff development programs. The team creates critical dialogue around teaching and learning and monitors progress to identify needed adjustments to the school plan as well as opportunities to support the plan. Members of the team include administrators, teachers, support staff, and parents.

http://www.schooldevelopmentprogram.org/index.aspx

posted by: duncanidaho645 on March 14, 2014  2:22pm

16 years!? For 16 years this principal ran this building into the ground while collecting an oversized salary and now they’re collecting an oversized pension.  Where is the accountability in this Board of Ed?  Where was John Destefano who supposedly accepting responsibility for everything that happened in the NHPS by virtue of appointing the Board.  Where was Reginald Mayo, making over $220,000 a year? The people in these underprivileged neighborhoods need to get involved and take back your city.  Start with the Board of Ed and their veiled budget.

posted by: publicschoolteacher on March 14, 2014  5:00pm

connecticutcontrarian,
Why do you imply that Worthington Hooker receives good funding? Have you read the budgets for New Havens’ schools? I’m curious to know what money you think is being put into Worthington Hooker School.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on March 14, 2014  5:35pm

Contrarian, I’d like to know what you think is the “the number of students who are sent back from ESUMS.” 

ESUMS cannot send students back.

posted by: Jeff Klaus on March 14, 2014  6:33pm

Why is it “choice” when children transfer from district schools to charters, but they’re “kicked out” when they go from charters to district schools?

posted by: Parent on March 14, 2014  7:52pm

Your recent article regarding New Haven’s Lincoln-Bassett School barely scratches at the surface of the problems this out-of- control school is facing. Their rookie administrators are very effective at making good press for themselves but have little control over students or respect, compassion and support for the hard working staff under them. There is no discipline at the school and when student behavior and respect aren’t under control learning will not take place. Otherwise “great kids” jump on the “bad behavior band-wagon” because they see others getting away with serious things without consequences.

A few weeks ago an outstanding, experienced teacher attempted to break up a fight between two unruly students. While doing so she was pushed from behind to the floor, and injured. She was unable to stand but made it to the intercom phone. Unfortunately, the office rarely answers these calls, hard to believe but true! Most teachers there end up phoning the office from their personal cell in an emergency, and you have a 50-50 chance of that being answered and less chance of someone responding if assistance is needed! The administrators finally arrived – there was no compassion for the teacher but they did have the good sense not to lift her until the school nurse (also rarely available) showed. The teacher was brought to the Dr to assess the injuries. No “how are you doing” call by admin that evening but a summoning to a meeting to address discipline in the class the next day. The culprit was suspended for one day. The previous admin allowed excessively disruptive students to be removed to the office (there was a hall monitor to do this) or for a time out with a nearby teacher – The school administration sees all discipline as the teachers sole responsibility, so if there is a youngster cussing, fighting, or out of control there is no place to send them – how much learning can take place in an environment like that?

The teachers and teaching assistants there work h

posted by: Hall2012 on March 14, 2014  8:27pm

YOU ARE 100% INCORRECT!

Students from ESUMS are “sent back” consistently - there is a culture that is designed to pressure the parent/guardian to transfer the student, return them to their original school or elsewhere -

There is an inability or unwillingness to develop students and when a student is deemed to be too problematic, and at times if the parent or guardian is putting the pressure of the principal and staff to step up ... Very creative langue is used to encourage them to place their child in another school .. they don’t want to hear their teaching staff and principal is not flawless so they close their eyes and ears and tell you ..“ESUMS just doesn’t seem to be the right fit…we only want the best for Johnny or Suzy and you should consider the same

posted by: Threefifths on March 14, 2014  10:39pm

posted by: Bishop on March 14, 2014 12:00pm

Yet, when charter schools are honest with students and families about the very real work that it will take to overcome the environmental effects of poverty, people cry foul even though most families eagerly sign up to do just that. We cannot waive a wand and increase the reading ability of a child, it takes hard work and MORE work. It’s not fair, right, or just, but it’s the truth. Some families choose to hedge against that, misguided though it may be.

How about this.Charter Suspension Rate Prompts Call To Action.

Amistad Academy suspended 20 of its 96 kindergarteners last year, a rate 15 times higher than in traditional New Haven public schools.

The high rate of suspensions among Achievement First charter schools across the state prompted “alarm” among members of the state Board of Education, which conducted an emergency review of statewide suspension data at a meeting in Hartford Wednesday.The meeting came on the heels of a report by the Office of the Child Advocate, and subsequent news stories, that called attention to the hundreds of kindergarteners suspended across the state in the 2011-12 school year.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/alarming_charter_suspensions_prompt_call_to_action/

posted by: Nikki Poo on March 15, 2014  12:26am

This is educational and criminal neglect what’s not happening in this school for children.
The school didn’t become a deteriorating school over night.
Where were the gate keepers? How could the second in command gate keeper( The Director-Mr. Harries) for four years stand by from 2007 -2013 and allow Lincoln Bassett to hit rock bottom? Is it possible to turn the school around in this deplorable state, honestly?
What happen’s to the school in three - five years when the State funding vanishes? Is this enough time to accomplish such an insurmountable mission?
What’s the plan for sustainability when the temporary State funds disappear?
After reading this report, I’m appalled and embarrassed to be a resident of New Haven.
Whatever happened to “Kids’ First?”

posted by: Threefifths on March 15, 2014  12:20pm

posted by: duncanidaho645 on March 14, 2014 2:22pm

16 years!? For 16 years this principal ran this building into the ground while collecting an oversized salary and now they’re collecting an oversized pension.  Where is the accountability in this Board of Ed?  Where was John Destefano who supposedly accepting responsibility for everything that happened in the NHPS by virtue of appointing the Board.  Where was Reginald Mayo, making over $220,000 a year? The people in these underprivileged neighborhoods need to get involved and take back your city.  Start with the Board of Ed and their veiled budget.

You hit it out of the park.Homerun!!!

posted by: wbstar on March 16, 2014  8:45am

Shame on ALL of central office for allowing the students of Lincoln-Basset to enter a building every day and receive a substandard education. It was well known by all in central office that Ms. Gattison refused supervisors, coaches and intervention specialists access to classrooms. This was allowed for years. Best of luck to the new principal. She deserves the support of central office to rid the building of all the teachers who are not willing to collaborate and receive support.

posted by: concernedcitizenNewHaven on March 16, 2014  4:38pm

Weird how a new charter school is proposing to open up at the same time this report is being released. The charter school wants to serve this population. Coincidence?

posted by: just my 2 cents on March 17, 2014  11:45am

It amazes me how much of the blame is being passed along for this principal and those staff members who are trying to make things better for all kids.
However, the major thing that is missing is when did we(all human beings) stopped looking after the kids and became more of a business in education?
Where was the outrage before now, because it seems that their are people not at just this school but others who get away from not doing their job and just trying to cash a check?
If you know you are not an effective teacher or leader, get the help and the right tools to make things better!!
Stop leaving it up to the schools to fix the problem if your child has a behavioral problem, seek the help to get the help you need..
It sickens me that as a society, we claim that we are the best, but we dont show it to our kids on how to be the best..
All of the leaders, adults or concerned parents,fraternities, sororities, community groups,church’s,businesses, and universities should be running to every school in America insisting what is it i need to do to help our kids to be better.. This is our future work force..If they are not ready, We are not ready..We can’t leave it to the few to make the masses better, we need everyone to make it better.
I think that any new first year principal who has had the amount of problems that they have had and still are committed to making their school the best, should be commended..not torn down.
We all could name names of who didnt do this or didnt do that, but what was done before, wont change anything now..
Let’s help these schools to be where they need to be..

posted by: rozzyteach on March 17, 2014  8:59pm

I teach in New Haven and what was going on at Lincoln-Bassett all these years was known by everyone at Central Office and by teachers around the district. Where was Dr. Rau all those years? This was her school to supervise. The situation that is happening then and now cannot be new to her. Where was Dr. Mayo? He surely knew what was going on and allowed it to happen. Every teacher in New Haven knows the schools that are the haves and the have-nots. Lincoln Bassett is only over the hill from Hooker but has a completely different socio-economic class of students. The poorer schools in New Haven get nothing while schools that are “connected” downtown get all the funding. Garth Harries needs to fix this divide in our schools. The walk through by the state showed no White Boards or up to date technology? Really? Most of the poorer schools in New Haven don’t either! But I bet Hooker and Nathan Hale do!

posted by: rozzyteach on March 17, 2014  9:48pm

Note to Garth Harries. If you really want to get a sense of what is going on in your schools, stop announcing that you are going to the school. Don’t tell the principals. Because they then tell their staff and everyone is on their best behavior. If I were the superintendent I would quietly visit every single school in the district by myself without all the hoopla that surrounds the visit when you announce you’re going to be there. Doesn’t that make sense? Don’t you really want to see what is going on? Same goes for the principal’s supervisors. Just show up unannounced. Then you’ll get the full picture.

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