Create regional school systems for educational equality

The prevailing educational disparity makes a disturbing map of our area. New London, this small sliver of a town, pops out on a map as a dark streak surrounded by large white squares. That’s what you get when you color a map to represent success at teaching kids how to read, do basic math, get ready for college, etc. If you map the towns with darker shades of gray for lower percentage doing grade level work, New London comes in at 18 percent for math (2016-17). A very dark gray. Nearby towns are often in the 60 percent range. These disturbing contrasts follow through in category after category.

The map looks much different when it represents percentage of minority students. With that criterion, the 78 percent minority student population in New London creates a bright sliver surrounded by darkness.

This area is in a long-running crisis of racial segregation and educational disparity. It persists because we don’t care enough to make the needed changes, such as creating regional school systems. Whether intentional or not, our failures allow race to determine educational success. If towns and the state won’t act, the courts absolutely need to step in. This darkness stains our core.

Tom Clark

New London

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