On September 21, 2010, America’s Promise Alliance, chaired by Alma Powell, wife of former Secretary of State Collin Powell, announced the Alliance’s list of 100 best cities for young people on the National Mall in Washington DC. Three of those 100 cities are Milford (only school on the list for 2009), Norwalk and Waterbury. The goal of the Alliance in creating this list is:
In a celebration of America’s young people and the communities most dedicated to helping local youth graduate from high school, America’s Promise Alliance has announced the 2010 list of 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING. This year, more than 350 communities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., were nominated for the competition. The winners come from 37 states and 30 are first-time recipients of the honor. They were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges that included some of the nation’s most well-known civic, business and nonprofit leaders.
To get on this list, a town must show exemplary efforts in tackling our high school dropout crisis. In a state where the achievement gap between those who have and those who do not have ranks the lowest in public education (Ct ranks the lowest in the economic gap between those who are wealthy and those who at or beneath the poverty level in our country), this is truly a step forward.
So what are these towns doing to help ensure high school students not only stay in school, but graduate with a meaningful high school diploma and are at the ready to enroll in a four year institution of higher learning. If this country is to once again shine the light of true success, one based on creating value for all those who reside within our borders, we need to ensure the bar is raised for every youth.
Quite frankly, I am surprised to find Waterbury on the alliance’s list. There is much chatter from the members of the Waterbury Coalition for Better Government, a non-partisan grassroots effort, of the horrific state of affairs of the public schools in Waterbury — this year. I wonder how they feel about having this honor bestowed on their city and what this means to to the approximately “17,445 children” that attend Waterbury public schools, spread out over “19 elementary schools, two Interdistrict magnet schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one alternative education school and one learning center.” [….]
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