Dr. James P. Comer

Dr. Edmund Gordon

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and the New Haven Public Schools co-sponsored an event to honor two of our nation’s most influential outstanding scholars and education reformers, Dr. James P. Comer and Dr. Edmund Gordon, for their lifetime achievement towards closing the achievement gap.

The event, “A Conversation with Dr. James P. Comer and Dr. Edmund Gordon”, took place on May 4 at the Metropolitan Business Academy, 115 Water St., New Haven. During the event, Comer and Gordon were recognized with readings of citations and letters from dignitaries including Richard C. Levine, President of Yale University, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Presentations honoring their achievements were made by Dr. Reginald Mayo, Superintendent New Haven Public Schools, Dr Marianne Kennedy, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs SCSU, Dr. Micheal Sampson, Dean School of Education SCSU, Dr. George Coleman, Former Deputy Commissioner Connecticut State Department of Education, John DeStefano, Mayor City of New Haven, David Cicarella, President New Haven Federation of Teachers, and several faculty at SCSU.

Comer and Gordon  framed a context for working towards making the achievement gap a historical footnote for future generations by addressing the major causes of the achievement gap.  According to Gordon, “Access to education relevant capital” is a working definition of the achievement gap which captures the pervasive association between social economic status and the achievement gap in all groups.   The human development consequences of unequal access to educational capital was explored by Comer.   Both honorees provided a context for understanding the role of self, family, school and communities in supporting the academic development of our youth.

And while the achievement gap is still an issue that our schools continue to struggle with, clearly without the work of these individuals so much of the way that we walk today might not have been paved, and for that everyone at Why Science is very appreciative.

With that in mind, our company is extremely grateful for the sustained efforts that both of these men have gone to in order to help solve a very pressing issue regarding our education system.  Not only have these two men made so many direct contributions, but their efforts have also inspired so many others to continue to carry on a much needed dialogue and to continue to explore and look for alternative solutions.

This video below provides a synopsis of the major topics explored  in conversations with both honorees:

In addition, several outstanding educators and students in the New Haven Public Schools were honored for their efforts to close the achievement gap.

For Outstanding Educational Leadership:

  • Ms. Alicia Caraballo – Principal New Haven Adult & Continuing Education Center
  • Ms. Lola Nathan – Principal Davis Street Magnet School
  • Ms. Judith Puglisi – Principal Metropolitan Business Academy

School Award for Consistent Academic Progress

  • Worthington Hooker School – Principal: Ms. Cheryl Hershonick

School Award for Significant Progress Toward Closing the Achievement Gap

  • Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School- Principals: Ms. Lola Garcia-Blocker & Mr. Frank Costanzo
  • Hyde Leadership Academy Principal: Mr. John Russell
  • Riverside Academy-Principal: Ms. Wanda Gibbs

Student Awards for Positive Academic Growth

  • Quantaijah Brown- Riverside Academy
  • Chelsea Files – Hyde Leadership Academy
  • Imani Brown – Hyde Leadership Academy
  • Marcus Little – Hyde Leadership Academy
  • Najee Reynolds – Hyde Leadership Academy
  • Timothy Rogers – Hyde Leadership Academy
  • Pedro Martinez – Metropolitan Business Academy

Why Science would like to extend a special thanks the faculty at Southern CT State University who made this event possible:

  • The event co-chairmen, Dr. Norris Haynes, Professor of counseling and school psychology and director of the Center for Community and School Action Research, and Dr. Carlos Torre, Professor of Education and president of the New Haven CT Board of Education Curriculum Committee.
  • The creator of the Achievement Gap Program at SCSU,  Dr. Sousan Arafeh, assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department.

On behalf of everyone here at Why Science, a hearty congratulations goes out to all those who received recognition at this event. Happy National Teacher Day!

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