June 18th, 2009

The Stimulus Gap
The Stimulus Gap In Hartford, Connecticut

This program was made by possible by support from the Annenberg, The Eli and Edythe Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates, William and Flora Hewlett and Wallace Foundations.

When Hartford (CT) Public High School opened last September, the 1,600-student school — where for years just one in three students graduated — was nearly unrecognizable. HPHS is now divided into four small, career-themed academies, each with its own principal and wing of the building.

It’s part of a fledgling effort, just two years old, to turn around Hartford’s public schools, and it seems to be working. So far, test scores are inching upwards, parents are becoming more involved, and, as HPHS principal Adam Johnson says, “I see kids who are changing their aspirations, and we’re getting them to be more hopeful in the world.”

So why, with over half a billion dollars in federal education stimulus money flowing to Connecticut — money intended to promote reform and protect jobs — is Hartford Public High School laying off teachers? Here’s why: even after receiving a share of the stimulus money, Hartford Public Schools faces a $21 million deficit, because Connecticut’s governor, M. Jodi Rell, proposes to drop state education spending by the same amount Connecticut gets from Washington. And Connecticut isn’t the only state playing this game.

This program gets an on-the-ground look at how the stimulus is affecting some of the nation’s most challenged schools.

Download transcript (PDF)

We made a bonus video in this series, on the topic of “What should we do with failing schools?” You can view that here:

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

RELATED PODCASTS

PodcastOut From The Bottom

Connecticut had a half a billion dollars of federal education stimulus money flowing in — yet Hartford High was laying off teachers? What’s going on? John Tulenko and Jane Renaud, producers of the pieces above, explain. Listen to the story.

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Li Li LiThe System Of Choice

Marc Porter Magee had a plan for change when sweeping changes began in Hartford public schools. Here, he discusses that with John Tulenko. Listen to the story.

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Comments

1 comment

There is $90 billion stimulus money for education but not one dollar for character education? Why?

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