Reducing the Achievement

Gap in Waterbury

   The Connecticut Community Foundation invites the public to attend “Forum on School Change – Reducing the Student Achievement Gap in Waterbury” on Thursday, May 12, 2011 from 5:45-7:30 p.m. at the Mattatuck Museum Performing Arts Center, 144 West Main Street in Waterbury.

   “We are starting the conversation about school change in Waterbury in order to reduce the school achievement gap between Waterbury and the surrounding towns,” said Ingrid Manning, CEO of the Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF). “Hartford and New Haven Public Schools are models for school change in Connecticut urban districts. Hartford has made progress in reducing their student achievement gaps, and New Haven’s teacher contract is recognized nationally.” 

   Speakers include Steven J. Adamowski, Ph.D., superintendent of Hartford Public Schools;
Alex Johnston, D.Phil., CEO and a founder of ConnCAN, a leading state-level education reform organization focusing on school-change legislation; and David Low, vice president for High Schools and School Reform of the New Haven Federation of Teachers.

    Attendees will learn about the changes and initiatives Hartford and New Haven put in to place to address their student achievement gaps, and how a coalition of teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders brought changes and accountability to their school systems. Participants also will have an opportunity to discuss next steps for Waterbury to engage in school change.

Since the beginning of this year, Manning has been working with CCF board member and retired state probate court administrator and Waterbury probate judge James Lawlor to meet with the Waterbury Board of Education to talk about addressing the achievement gap in Waterbury.

“With a search for a new superintendent currently in progress, now is the time to bring the community and our city’s educators together to start improving the level of education that we provide to Waterbury students,” said Lawlor.

About the Speakers:
Steven J. Adamowski, Ph.D.
   Superintendent since 2006, he overhauled Hartford Public Schools into a system of high-performing special schools and academies with gains on student achievement tests that have surpassed statewide gains for the past three years.

Alex Johnston, D.Phil.
   CEO and a founder of ConnCAN, a leading state-level education reform organization focusing on school-change legislation. A member of the New Haven Board of Education, he has been part of the city’s school change that includes a nationally-recognized teacher contract.

David Low
   As Vice President for High Schools and School Reform of the New Haven Federation of Teachers, Low played an integral role in crafting the current teacher’s contract, coordinating the creation of the new teacher evaluation process and serving as chair of the teacher’s working group on school reform. 

   There is no cost to attend the program. Please RSVP by May 9 to For more information, or to RSVP by phone, call CCF at 203-753-1315.  

About the Connecticut Community Foundation
   Founded in 1923 as the Waterbury Foundation, the Connecticut Community Foundation was the first community foundation in the state.

   The Foundation connects you to the causes you care about. Serving 21 towns in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills, the Foundation administers more than 380 charitable funds established by local donors. Funds reflect a variety of philanthropic interests and support a range of giving opportunities in the arts, environment, health care, education, human services and women’s and children’s initiatives.

   With this support, the Foundation provides grants and services to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to students. Volunteers and staff offer their expertise by serving on committees and supporting special initiatives that effect positive change, growth and improve the quality of life in our region. For more information, go to