Monday, May 24, 2010

Parents expressing outrage over the closing of two schools in the West Haven (CT) school district, parents and education advocates are holding a press conference today at 6 pm.

***** MEDIA ALERT *****

Monday, May 24, 2010
Contact: Gwen Samuel
Tel: (203) 953-5154

West Haven Parents and Students Hold Press Conference
Molloy Elementary School Community Pleading with Education Leadership Not to Close Town’s Highest-Performing Elementary School

Press Conference Monday, 05/24 at 6:00 p.m. Anna V. Molloy School
255 Meloy Road West Haven, CT

Anna V. Molloy Elementary School in West Haven, named one of Connecticut’s Top 10 Schools, has closed the achievement gap. Last week, the West Haven Board of Education voted 5-3 in favor of closing the school.

Parents and education advocates are outraged about the West Haven Board of Education decision to close Molloy School which has maintained a high level of success for all students, including high rates of success for economically disadvantaged students, Black and Latino students, English Language Learners (ELL), and students with disabilities. The Molloy School has consistently met adequate yearly progress for at least the past three years.

The State of Black Connecticut Alliance has convened statewide education advocates and community support on behalf, and in support of the parents, students and families of Molloy who will be holding a press conference on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 6:00pm to make a public plea to West Haven education leadership, city council members, and elected officials to keep Molloy open.

ConnCAN, a leading education research and advocacy group, named Molloy Elementary School one of Connecticut’s Top 10 Elementary Schools in 2009 for its tremendous progress in closing the achievement gap. In 2009, the majority of Molloy’s fifth grade students met or exceeded goal on the math, reading and writing components of the Connecticut Mastery Test with scores of 78.6%, 71.4% and 83.3% at goal respectively; the district average was in the 55% range on all three subjects. In a state with the highest achievement gap, it is important to note that at Molloy 70% of students are children of color, 30% from homes where English is not the primary language and 50% are eligible for free and reduced lunch, nearly 10% are students with disabilities and the typical class size is approximately 23 students. Molloy has not allowed any of the traditional excuses to get in the way of educating every student to a high level of achievement. Their approach and leadership should be lauded and their model used as an example of success across the state.

Still Molloy's parents and students are faced with school closure. To ensure due consideration is given to this issue the parents of Molloy have filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

In closing, here are some economic implications for each Connecticut tax payer and active registered voter to consider:

A 1% increase in the education level of CT’s future work force would yield the following economic benefits to our state:
$5 billion more economic activity each year
Fairfield County: $ 1.8 billion
Greater Hartford: $1.6 billion
Greater New Haven: $800 million
Southeastern CT: $300 million

Higher levels of education would equal higher employment, lower taxes, stronger businesses and stronger communities.

Now is the time to stand with West Haven parents and students and demand that every Connecticut child have access to high-performing schools like Molloy Elementary School.

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