Get to Know Stamford Academy

Stamford Academy, a Teach For America placement partner, was opened in 2004 for students in grades 9-12 who who had largely been written off by the community as unwilling or unable to succeed. Many struggled in traditional school environments or dropped out of their previous school. At Stamford Academy, these young people have been proving their naysayers wrong.

Stamford Academy offers an intensive academic program that allows students to catch up on instruction they’ve missed so they are prepared for post-secondary education, training, or the skilled workforce upon graduation. Students come to the school performing, on average, four and five grades below level, and some are reading as many as eight grades below level. But given the right supportive educational environment, these students are able to focus on their studies and believe in their abilities.

Stamford Academy has seen increasing success in the post-secondary acceptance rates of its graduating seniors. During the 2008-2009 school year, 23% of seniors at Stamford Academy graduated with post-secondary acceptance, whether to college, technical school, or community college. That figure rose to 58% for the 2009-2010 school year, and again rose significantly to 92% for the class of 2011. The life trajectories of students attending Stamford Academy have radically and positively changed course in just three years.

Region Timeline

  • In Horton v. Meskil, the State Supreme Court rules that the right to education is basic and fundamental and guaranteed by Connecticut’s constitution, and that there must be an equal opportunity to receive a suitable educational experience.

  • State legislation establishes the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs) making it one of the first states to enact a testing program intended to measure whether students were meeting higher academic standards.

  • In Sheff v. O’Neil, the State Supreme Court rules that the racial and socioeconomic isolation of Hartford school children violates state law. However, the Court does not specify a goal, remedy, or timetable to resolve the problem, stating that this responsibility belongs to the legislative and executive branches.

  • Charter School S.B. 59 law passes, authorizing the creation of 16 charter schools. However, it has so many restrictions, both regulatory and funding, it makes Connecticut inhospitable for most operators of charter schools.

  • Jumoke Academy opens as the first charter school for inner city children in Hartford. It will be several years before it becomes a high performing, high poverty school.

  • Charter school Amistad Academy opens in New Haven. Amistad Academy is the flagship school for what later becomes the Achievement First Network which currently has twenty charter schools, nine in Connecticut and eleven in New York City.

  • Philanthropic education reform advocates, frustrated by legislative inaction, create Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) to serve as a think tank and build a movement of concerned citizens advocating to fundamentally reform Connecticut’s public schools through smart public policies.

  • State legislature passes Governor Malloy’s bill, S.B. 24. For the Year of Education Reform,  “An Act Concerning Education Competitiveness," offers a comprehensive set of reforms that will help set Connecticut on the path to guaranteeing great schools for all kids.    

Overheard

Although I grew up in an underserved community, I had several factors in my favor that allowed me to reach my goals. I often wonder what happens to good students who don't have these added benefits. We tell children that they can achieve anything if they just put in the work. Currently, in many low-income communities, a child can do everything that is asked of them and still leave high school unprepared for college or the work force.
Aisha Bobb-Semple
Connecticut Corps 2009

Press

09/02/2014 - 11:37am
As a lifelong Hartford Public Schools student, I've had the privilege to be educated by some sensational teachers -- many of whom are current or former Teach For America teachers. TFA has brought us teachers that transformed the lives of Hartford students. I am living proof.
06/18/2014 - 11:31am
The decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education sixty years ago made a substantial impact on our nation’s history. As an Albanian student who moved to America four years ago, I can speak to how diversity and integration contribute to better educational outcomes and why it’s critical for us not to just name the importance of integration, but to commit to it for the sake of all students.
06/13/2014 - 11:34am
As a Bosnian student in the Hartford Public Schools, I am a minority among minorities. Only 5 percent of the district identifies as "white, non-Hispanic," while the other 90 percent is black or Hispanic. The shocking reality of these statistics was made all the more troubling by the recent celebration of the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional as it applied to education. In reflecting on how this ruling has affected my own schooling, I asked: Are the educational experiences of today equal and integrated?

Pass The Chalk: The TFA Blog

Insight into how our teachers are working with communities.