Saturday, May 27, 2017

East Hartford School Community Refutes DeVos - Courant Community

East Hartford School Community Refutes DeVos - Courant Community:

East Hartford School Community Refutes DeVos

The U.S. education secretary's recent recounting of the dismal education experience of a former East Hartford student aroused angry responses from the school community Friday and prompted the governor to schedule a press conference.
"Betsy DeVos is using the East Hartford public school system as a political playground for her own agenda!" parent Tia Woods wrote in an email to The Courant.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is to hold a press conference on Tuesday at East Hartford High School, in part to respond to comments DeVos delivered Wednesday to a House subcommittee, the governor's office said.
Speaking in support of President Donald Trump's proposed budget, DeVos told of a recent meeting with a young man who labeled East Hartford High School "nothing more than adult day care ... a dangerous day care." Michael — no last name — described a school where misbehaving students made teaching impossible. DeVos said the man's story illustrates the need for expanded access to quality education, particularly for poor and minority students.
Parents of current and former students and East Hartford High graduates, however, responded that Michael's story was not theirs. After receiving her high school diploma in 2003, Juliana Schatz Preston said she graduated from Northeastern University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. The 2003 class president said she is now an Emmy- and Peabody-award winning documentary filmmaker.
"I love my hometown," Preston said, "and this portrayal of our schools feels libelous."
School Superintendent Nathan Quesnel said he has fielded dozens of calls and emails from people outraged about the education secretary's unfair portrayal. Quesnel forwarded a message from a local graduate, Christina Quentel, who wrote that she had just graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, part of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Praising her East Hartford teachers, Quentel wrote, "there is no me without you."
DeVos said Michael told of being constantly bullied, afraid to even go to the lavatory, "and the constant fear made him hate school." He limped along, she said, failing his classes but graduating anyway. Quesnel, who was not working in East Hartford schools in 2000, acknowledged continuing challenges in improving students' behavior.

"We're working hard to break the cycle of failure and poverty that oftentimes plagues East Hartford School Community Refutes DeVos - Courant Community:

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