Connecticut was a late comer to charters and still has relative few (but very high quality like Achievement First).  The state has made a substantial financial commitment to magnet schools in part as a response to a desegregation case. 

 Hartford is home to the Learning Corridor, a spectacular 16 acre site to four 4 state funded magnet facilities: a Montessori elementary, an art & sciences middle school, an arts high school and a math & science high school.  The district competes/cooperates with a regional school authority, CREC.  Couldn’t help but noticing that this could have been the centerpiece of a school-centric urban redevelopment like High Tech High and Liberty Station (i.e., mixed income housing, commercial & retail space, and a big park). 

Hartford also recently opened a spectacular state funded $70 million facility, Sport and Medical Sciences High School.

It’s great to see the state stepping up to invest in Hartford, one of the poorest urban areas in the country.  The facilities are generous in amenities and common space (but also quite traditional in terms of layout).  It’s the kind of support that quality charter operators nationwide could only dream of.  

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


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