A look inside one of Connecticut’s “failing” public schoolsPosted: March 27, 2013 Students around Connecticut have been busy taking standardized tests this month. Based on the results of those tests, some schools are labeled as failing. One of those, Brookside Elementary in Norwalk, is the subject of a new book, “Raising the Curve: A year inside one of America’s 45,000 failing public schools.”
Listen to Craig LeMoult’s story about the school here:
Brookside’s not a wealthy school. 61% of kids at the school get free or reduced price lunch based on their family incomes. About 60% of the students in the school are Hispanic, and many of their parents don’t speak English. A lot of the kids don’t have any pre-schooling before they show up for kindergarten. A recent test showed that about 38% of kids walking in the Brookside Kindergarten door didn’t have the necessary basic skills – like knowing the alphabet and recognizing shapes.
As a result of the budget crunch, the school has lost it’s full-time literacy specialist and the library is closed every other week. But Brookside Principal David Hay says it’s not an excuse.
“That’s the first thing you’ve got to accept, that you can’t say ‘because we don’t have this, we won’t be able to do something with the children,” says Hay. “You got to recognize it, it’s not going to change. Income is probably the biggest thing, because kids don’t have experiences, resources, that a lot of the wealthier kids have. So we have to try to get those for them any way we can.”