Dismaying Statistics

Quick update: Daddy must be smiling today with the bust of 127 (alleged?) guys from La Cosa Nostra. I am pleased to note that Providence features once again. And better we have another bumper crop of nicknames: Bobby Glasses, Vinny Carwash, Jack the Whack, … Junior Lollipops, … Marbles, Baby Fat Larry. Love it!

Now for the main event. Two stories almost side by side in the Hartford Courant this morning bode ill for the state of education in our state. The first one to catch my eye was “Connecticut Lags in Growth Rate in Post-Secondary Degrees.”

We’ve always been near the top in terms of post-college education but apparently we’re not keeping up with other states in the region. The state’s higher education commissioner didn’t offer a reason for our slippage, but the second story may give a hint. “New Britain Schools Could Lose More Than 100 Teachers to Budget Cuts.” New Britain is obviously only one modest-sized city and given its demographics probably not a major contributor to the ranks of graduate students in the state. The district cut 50 teachers last year. The loss of another 100 positions will do nothing to improve the achievement of the students, many of whom come from poor households where English is not the first language. These cuts are the last thing the state needs.

New Britain is not alone. Every municipality is struggling with similar financial woes, even if not of the same magnitude. I’m not sure how the state can address the issue without a complete revamp of the tax system. As I’ve said before that won’t happen.

We’ve got to do something, otherwise we will continue to slide into an unskilled, uneducated populace without any preparation to compete on the global economic playing field.

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