Connecticut court order offers opportunity for equitable education

This week, a judge in Connecticut ordered state officials to develop plans for a major overhaul of its public education system, and said the state was “defaulting in its constitutional duty” to educate children in poor communities. Sofia Villenas, a professor of Anthropology at Cornell University who studies education, citizenship and social movements, says that the ruling offers a unique chance to create schools where all are equally educated.


Villenas says:

“This ruling presents a unique opening to address the opportunity-to-succeed gaps in all communities with racial and income-based disparities, and to create a robust educational system for the 21st century.

“There are so many places to start! Why not create community schools where children and families are supported in their social and health needs, and where schools become centers for healthy communities and civic engagement.

“Let’s reduce class size for more individualized attention to each child. Let’s make sure we are supporting the professional development of teachers and administrators. Let’s infuse all classrooms with the resources required to create dynamic learning environments that draw on the knowledge, languages and skills of all our families.

“The research and ideas are there. We need the political will. Without equitable participation and opportunity, we are miseducating all our children.”

For interviews contact:
Rebecca Valli
office: 607-255-7701
cell: 607-793-1025

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.

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