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What is the Sheff Movement?
Sheff Movement 25th Anniversary Event: “Every Passing Day: Reflecting on and Recommitting to the Pursuit of Quality Integrated Education”
Saturday, April 26, 8:30am to 12:30 pm (breakfast included) at UConn Law School, Starr Hall (55 Elizabeth Street, Hartford)
Come and join us to reflect on our progress since 1989 and to recommit to the struggle for quality integrated education for all of our children. Click here to RSVP for the anniversary event. Our celebration will also include a Sheff "History Harvest" to collect your history about the ongoing Sheff v. O'Neill story. Are you an alumni or parent alumni in a magnet school or Open Choice? Were you involved in the development of one of the magnet schools, or in some other aspect of the Sheff integration programs? Please bring your stories, your photos, student essays, and even just your selves to be photographed on April 26 at UConn Law School. The Trinity College Educational Studies Department is helping us run this program concurrently with our anniversary event. If you would like to be interviewed or have some materials you would like to share, go to the History Harvest website for more details!
Connecticut Interdistrict Magnet and Open Choice Funding (November, 2013; updated March 2014)
Education Chief Wants $35 Million More For Magnet Schools (Hartford Courant, February 25, 2014)
Testimony to CT Department of Housing on 2014 Action Plan (Open Communities Alliance, February 2014)
Hartford Schools Seek 'Lighthouse' Funding (Hartford Courant, February 25, 2014)
"Nick News" with Linda Ellerbee: Hartford magnet school students and Sheff are featured on this 30 minute video, "Black, White, and Brown v. Board of Education" (February 2014) (Hartford is featured as the "good news" segment at the end of the film!) watch it now!
Sheff Movement legislative and advocacy agenda (February 2014)
Watch this moving 2014 Martin Luther King Day address by Stacy-Ann Wallen, at the West Hartford Town Hall. Stacy-Ann is a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford, a resident of Hartford, and her speech speaks to the historical significance of the Sheff case. Video courtesy of West Hartford Community Television www.whctv.org, recorded as a public service. (posted February 2014)
Sheff Movement Legislative Agenda 2014 (January 2014)
"An Introduction to the Voluntary Two-Way School Integration System in the Hartford Area" (November 2013)
State Money Offered To Hartford School With Potential For 'Natural Diversity' (January 9, 2014)
Visualizing progress: a graphic illustration of the growth of Sheff programs (2007-2014)
Hartford Courant Editorial: “Hartford's Slow, Steady Progress In School Integration” (December 22, 2013)
Award of honorary doctorate to Elizabeth Horton Sheff, University of Hartford, December 8, 2013 (presentation by President Walter Harrison at 20:32; speech by Elizabeth Horton Sheff at 30:10 to 46:30)
Sheff v. O’Neill stipulation (December 13, 2013)
Sheff legal team press release (December 13, 2013)
New Sheff Agreement To Increase Integration For Hartford Students (Hartford Courant, December 13, 2013)
1,853 more Hartford students to attend integrated schools (CT Mirror, December 13, 2013)
Op-ed: A Hartford parent calls for more magnet school seats (Hartford Courant, December 6, 2013)
A Biennial Report on School Districts' Efforts to Reduce the Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Isolation of Connecticut's Students (Connecticut State Department of Education, January 4, 2013)
Regional Magnets in the Hartford Region 2013-14 (map)
Sheff Movement testimony to State Board of Education (December 4, 2013)
Magnet Schools Can Promote Desegregated Education (Hartford Courant, November 30) (letter to the editor from former CT Congressman Rob Simmons)
"Nearly half the students from Hartford now attend integrated schools" (CT Mirror, November 26, 2013)
"Hartford School Board Reverses, OKs 2 New Magnet Schools: Options For Third School Sent To New Committee" (Hartford Courant, November 25, 2013)
Sheff Movement criticizes Governor Malloy’s comments on expansion integrated choices for Hartford children (August 30, 2013)
Hartford Courant editorial and letters to the editor on interdistrict school enrollment (July 2013)
New Agreement Signed in Sheff vs. O'Neill (April 30, 2013)
Sheff enrollment continues to grow(5.4% increase over 2011-12 but still falling short of required goals) (April 2013)
Sheff remedial totals
2011-12 school year
2012-13 school year
Total students in regional magnets or suburban Open
city children in regional magnets
city children in Open Choice
Percent of Hartford
city “minority children” in integrated settings (regional magnets
or suburban Open Choice)
(Analysis by the Sheff Movement from data supplied by CT Dept of
Regional Magnet Schools and Open Choice Post Impressive Achievement Results!
New data obtained by the Center for Children’s Advocacy from the Connecticut Department of Education show striking achievement results for Hartford children attending racially and economically integrated regional magnet schools and for Hartford children attending suburban schools through the “Open Choice” program…Read More
Tables: Regional Magnet and Open Choice Achievement Data for Hartford Resident Students (Spring 2012)
Bar Chart: CMT Scores for Magnets and Open Choice, Grades 4-6-8 (Spring 2012)
Hartford Students In Regional Magnets And 'Open Choice' Outperform Kids In City Schools Hartford Courant, October 25, 2012
Sheff Movement Updates
Sheff Movement in the News
- State report: Students in desegregated schools test higher (September 12, 2013)
- Hartford Courant editorial and letters to the editor on interdistrict school enrollment (July 2013)
- Should 'race' be replaced with 'socioeconomic factors' in Sheff case? CT Mirror, June 19, 2013
- Superintendent proposes reinstating cut positions with new Open Choice revenue Valley Press, Granby, June 14, 2013
- New Agreement In Sheff Case Expected Soon Hartford Courant, April 29, 2013
- Dual language programs in Utah: “A State Seeks to Be Heard in a New World Economy” New York Times, April 19, 2013
- Hartford Journalism And Media Academy Set To Become Magnet School Hartford Courant, April 9, 2013
- Hartford To Operate Two New Sheff Magnet Schools Hartford Courant, March 20, 2013
- State falls short on school desegregation requirements CT Mirror, November 15, 2012
What is the Sheff Movement?
We are parents, citizens, educators and others who care about civil rights and education. We work to educate the public about proven voluntary integration measures and increase support for quality education for all children.
In 1996, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the segregated conditions in the Hartford public school system violate the Connecticut Constitution and charged the state of Connecticut with devising a remedy.
Today, over 33% of Hartford Black and Latino children are attending integrated schools including 31 interdistrict magnet schools and over 30 participating suburban districts. In spite of this progress, more needs to be done to guarantee the right of every Hartford student to a quality integrated education.
What has happened since the 1996 ruling?
The main tools of integration have been inter-district magnet schools (run by both the Hartford Public Schools and CREC) and the Open Choice Program, which sends Hartford children to suburban schools. More than 1,600 Hartford students now take part in Open Choice, and over 5400 Hartford Students and over 8000 suburban students attend 31 regional magnet schools, most within Hartford.
The plaintiffs returned to court in 2007, seeking stronger state involvement. After the conclusion of the hearing, the parties negotiated for several months, and in April 2008 agreed on a new five-year settlement to expand voluntary integration measures in the region. The agreement was approved by the court in June 2008 and followed by a "Comprehensive Management Plan" adopted in December 2008. The new plans's goal was to permit 42% if Hartford children to attend an integrated school by 2012-2013. Fall 2012 enrollment data showed that the state had failed to reach this goal, so a one year extension was agreed to in May 2013. The plaintiffs and the state have also agreed to meet during the summer of 2013 to negotiate the next phase ("Phase 3") of Sheff implementation.
See “Sheff v. O’Neill Settlements Target Educational Segregation in Hartford” (from cthistory.org, May 2013)
What can I do?
- Sign up on this website. We'll keep you informed of events, new research, and how you can help.
- Contact your state legislator, saying you support Sheff school-integration programs and asking what you can do to help. (click here.)
- Talk to your Board of Education. Suburban towns and schools have room to welcome more Hartford children in the Open Choice Program. Legislators also need to hear from their constituents who support magnet schools and other measures. Successful voluntary integration programs offer concrete steps to make all of these programs succeed.
- Come to our meetings and forward our emails to friends, colleagues, and family.
- Speak out. Talk to your neighbors and friends about the issue. Respond to news and write a letter to the editor of your town paper or call your elected officials.
What is at stake?
Connecticut has made progress in providing a quality, integrated education for all the children in our urban schools. Aside from the moral reasons to correct this imbalance, there are severe economic repercussions. Children are not getting the chance to learn and ultimately will lack basic skills to contribute to our society or compete in the job market. Yet our state's economic future will depend on their contributions. The current system serves no one in the long run. Research shows that all students are better off in racially and economically integrated schools, with better critical thinking skills and ability to navigate the workforce and the world.
Hartford is showing the rest of the nation that a two-way regional voluntary integration plan can succeed. Let's all work together to keep the momentum going.