Thursday, September 15, 2016

Connecticut educator’s open letter concerning Judge Moukawsher’s recent ruling - Wait What?

Connecticut educator’s open letter concerning Judge Moukawsher’s recent ruling - Wait What?:

Connecticut educator’s open letter concerning Judge Moukawsher’s recent ruling

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Randall Smith is a social studies teacher and debate coach at Joel Barlow High School.  The following is his open letter to Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher in response to his recent ruling in the CCJEF V. Rell lawsuit;
As a teacher in his sixteenth year in education, I wish to offer Judge Thomas Moukawsher both praise and some advice in response to his recent landmark ruling.
On the issue of funding, I applaud him for holding our collective feet to the fire to come up with a cost-sharing formula that is fair to disadvantaged communities. His laser-like focus on abolishing achievement gaps echoesBrown v. Board of Ed., which challenged Topeka and the entire country to make good on the Constitution’s promise to give all Americans “equal protection of the laws.” The fact that it has been decades since Sheff v. O’Neillwas handed down and so little progress has been made toward ending disparities in resources is indisputably disgraceful.
But despite the best of intentions, in an overly-broad ruling Judge Moukawsher has also prescribed some other remedies that I believe would lead us to repeat past mistakes at great cost to many. I respectfully ask the Judge and state leaders to seek policies that are not just rational, but ones proven to actually work in practice. Borrowing a phrase from another judge, I argue further that many of his demands “are decided upon an economic theory” which a large part of education research does not entertain.
In just about every area of education policy Judge Moukawsher asks us “to get rid of an irrational policy and adopt a rational one.” This is a loaded phrase with a long history in American law. It originates in the 1819 case,
Connecticut educator’s open letter concerning Judge Moukawsher’s recent ruling - Wait What?:


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