A recent statewide NAACP convention in Stamford attracted the city's mayor and the state's next governor and U.S. senator. Even more importantly for Jack Bryant, however, it was a catalyst for an idea he's been mulling.
"I wanted to put it into action after I attended [the] convention, which had a workshop on public versus charter schools," said Bryant, who'd like to start a charter school in Stamford to address the state's achievement gap. It's an educational deficit that grieves Bryant, president of the NAACP's Stamford branch. He'll hold a community meeting Monday, Nov. 29, to discuss the issue.
"We live in a state that has the largest achievement gap in the nation. That really hurts, having that distinction. We're talking about in the nation," he said. While local educators and others have debated ways to deal with the problem, Bryant thinks "charter schools can help in the process."
He'd like a new charter school to focus specifically on boys in pre-K through third grade. Young males need a boost, he said, to begin preparing for higher education. "The male-female ratio in colleges -- it's heartbreaking. We need to get on males to start thinking about college early-on."
The city currently has two charter schools, Stamford Academy high school and Trailblazers Academy middle school. That doesn't deter Bryant, who points out his proposed all-boys school would house lower elementary grades. "I don't see why we can't have a third [school]," he said.
The Nov. 29 meeting will be held at noon at Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, 29 Grove St., in Stamford. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Presenters will include Michael Sharpe, CEO of Jumoke Academy charter schools in Hartford. He'll discuss specifics of Jumoke's success and the general process of starting a charter school.
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