In its first ruling since Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski announced his massive overhaul of Hartford schools, the city board of education has left little doubt that its main priority from now on is closing the achievement gap.
If the board remains focused on that track, great things could happen.
The board has approved an application to level the Lewis Fox Middle School in Hartford's North End and replace it with a rare pre-kindergarten-through-12th grade school that is specifically oriented to getting its 1,200 students into four-year colleges.
Educators believe - and rightfully so - that maintaining students in the same high-expectation environment throughout their entire school career will yield positive results.
Plans, moreover, call for the facility to be an intra-district choice school, a clear message that only those disposed to meeting rigorous study demands need apply.
District officials estimate the cost of building the school at $83 million, 80 percent of which would be funded by the state if the application is approved.
Closing the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap between Connecticut's low-income nonwhite students and more privileged white counterparts is a priority of the state's new education commissioner, Mark K. McQuillan.
The Fox School proposal is worthy of his support.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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