I consider this the biggest issue facing Connecticut. Our urban schools are failing, and if it continues, it will have serious consequences for everyone in the state. We need an educated work force to maintain and build our economy. And, education is the answer to poverty and crime. We all have a large stake in improving the education of all the children of Connecticut.
I have volunteered for educational programs in the greater Hartford area for 18 years, and for the last two years I've done volunteer work every week in a Hartford middle school. I've talked a lot with Hartford kids, teachers, and guidance counselors. I've come to believe that there are a number of things we should emphasize to change the trajectory of urban areas:
1. Create more Charter Schools. This should include some vocational/technical high schools.
2. Provide behavior management training for teachers, especially in the summer.
3. Provide education and training for parents and guardians. Require attendance to allow school choice.
4. Require that schools have honors classes based on student behavior.
All of these things can be funded, encouraged, and even required by state legislation. And, they don't have to cost a lot of money.