Achievement First Hartford Academy May Open Next Year
By ROBERT A. FRAHM, Courant Staff Writer
September 06, 2007
A school reform group that runs the acclaimed Amistad Academy in New Haven won approval Wednesday to open a charter school in Hartford.
The State Board of Education granted the nonprofit Achievement First a charter to run a school that would offer classes from kindergarten to eighth grade.
If approved by the legislature to receive state funds, the group would open the Achievement First Hartford Academy next year in partnership with the Hartford Public Schools and the Capitol Region Education Council.
Achievement First, which outlined its proposal during a public hearing in Hartford a month ago, plans to open the school with about 250 children in kindergarten, first and fifth grades. It would expand to include about 730 students through the eighth grade by fall of 2012.
In New Haven, at both the Amistad Academy and the Elm City College Preparatory School, Achievement First has produced impressive gains in reading, mathematics and writing among low-income and minority children - groups that traditionally have lagged far behind white and middle-class children in schools across the nation.
The idea has strong appeal in Hartford, where public schools had some of the worst scores on the Connecticut Mastery Test this year.
In a separate action Wednesday, the State Board of Education rejected another application for a charter school, turning down a request to establish a small middle school in New Haven.
The school was to have been known as the Dandelion Academy, but state Education Commissioner Mark McQuillan said the application failed to include clear academic goals and did not include adequate provisions for operating the school or monitoring its finances.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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