How do school choice programs communicate with families in the Hartford area? How do Hartford parents experience the public school choice application process?

Week 2: Mon Feb 1 Why are there so many public school choice options in the Hartford area? How do choice programs market to different parents? 

Week 3: Mon Feb 8 How do different parents navigate school choice markets? How have other researchers investigated this process? How can we analyze our collective qualitative field note data?

  • Read qualitative studies, using Moodle versions with annotations:
    • Allison Roda and Amy Stuart Wells, “School Choice Policies and Racial Segregation: Where White Parents’ Good Intentions, Anxiety, and Privilege Collide,” American Journal of Education 119, no. 2 (February 1, 2013): 261–93,; see Moodle version annotated by  Michelle and Vianna
    • Mary Pattillo, “Everyday Politics of School Choice in the Black Community,” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 12, no. 01 (March 2015): 41–71,; see Moodle version annotated by Courtney and Jessica
    • Maia Cucchiara, “Re‐branding Urban Schools: Urban Revitalization, Social Status, and Marketing Public Schools to the Upper Middle Class,” Journal of Education Policy 23, no. 2 (March 1, 2008): 165–79,; see Moodle version annotated by Cara
    • Jack Dougherty et al., “School Information, Parental Decisions, and the Digital Divide: The SmartChoices Project in Hartford, Connecticut,” in Educational Delusions? Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair, ed. Gary Orfield and Erica Frankenberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 219–37,; see Moodle version annotated by Lilly
  • Assign: Essay 1 qualitative analysis of choice information, due on GDoc Organizer by end of Friday Feb 12th, and assigned internal peer editing due by end of Sun Feb 14th
  • In class: Thematic analysis of team and individual field notes on GDoc Organizer
  • Sample 1 and Sample 2 by last year’s students on similar assignment
  • Assign: Revise Essay 1, due on Trinity-Yale GDoc Organizer by end of Mon Feb 15th, for Yale seminar peer editing
  • Discuss: Qualitative research secondary sources, led by annotators
  • Feedback about writing/reading annotations on PDFs with
  • Prep for next week’s readings and annotators/discussion leaders

Week 4: Mon Feb 15 Who chooses? Who enrolls? Who leaves? Who benefits from school choice?

Mon Feb 22: No Class (Trinity Days)

  • Recommended: Attend the courtroom trial on Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) vs Rell. Learn more at

Week 5: Mon Feb 29 How do housing mobility program advocates communicate their policy goals in the Connecticut legislative arena?

Week 6: Mon March 7 What makes housing choice policy more successful in some US metro areas? How could Connecticut’s housing choice programs be improved? What lessons can we learn by comparing housing choice and school choice?

Mon March 14: No Class (Spring break)

  • Read: Susan Eaton, The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial (Chapel Hill NC: Algonquin Books, 2007), in paper or digital format.
  • Watch: T. J. Noel-Sullivan, Separate But Unequal: Sheff v O’Neill, Streaming video (Hartford, CT, 2014),

How have discriminatory barriers and civil rights activism evolved in the Hartford area

Week 7: Mon March 21 How do we tell meaningful stories about civil rights, past and present, in the Hartford region?

Week 8: Mon March 28 How have housing discrimination and civil rights activism evolved in the Hartford region?

Week 9: Mon April 4 How have public schooling and private housing influenced each other over time?

Week 10: Mon April 11 How do we craft compelling stories with insightful analysis? What is inquiry-oriented learning, and how can we use this method to enhance the teaching of civil rights history?

  • Updated Essay 3 timeline and organizer
    • Essay draft posted for internal comments by end of Mon Apr 11
    • Internal comments done by Wed Apr 13 at 12 noon
    • Revised essay posted for Yale comments by end of Thur Apr 14
    • Yale peer edits done by Mon April 18th at 12 noon
    • Final web essay posted in GDoc AND WordPress by end of Wed April 20th for guest evaluators
    • TeachIt lesson posted by end of Sunday May 1st
  • In-class: Crafting your story with analysis
    • 1) Pitch your essay: What are the stories that pull us in? From whose perspective do you tell them?
    • 2) What are your insightful arguments (a thesis statement) about how and why events happened, or a deeper understanding of the stories?
  • How to embed digital content and links in the GDoc version (later on WordPress)
  • Video conference 2-2:15pm with guest evaluator Glenn Mitoma, assistant professor of education and human rights, director of Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut
    • Possible questions: Why are you interested in seeing more historical web essays on education activism in the Hartford region?
    • What advice can you offer to help us bring the stories of “rights” (whether civil rights or human rights) to the surface?
    • When reading an historical web essay, what qualities make it successful, especially for broader audiences?
  • Prepare for next week’s deadlines

Week 11: Mon April 18

Week 12: Mon April 25

  • Guest evaluators Jasmin Agosto and Glenn Mitoma join us to discuss their written feedback, with online comments from Susan Campbell

Week 13: Mon May 2

  • Invitation to attend Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Salon on Thursday May 5th (see details below); if you would like a ride, meet Jack at 5:10pm in Mather Circle
  • Invitation to attend dinner with Yale sister seminar on Sunday May 8th, 6-8pm at Professor Mira Debs’ house in Hamden CT; please RSVP her ( and Trinity classmates/instructor if you plan to attend
  • Informally present your inquiry-oriented lesson ideas for
  • Designate on Organizer if you would like your lesson sent to Rebecca Furer
  • Recommended: Send me revised essays for consideration in On The Line
  • Your feedback on 5 paragraphs about Sheff: From Idea to Implementation
  • Share your views (positive and negative) about the web writing process
  • Download template and email me peer evaluations of overall contribution to learning by the end of tonight (Mon May 2nd). I will average scores and scramble order of comments, then forward to individual students.