Improving Student Opportunities and Outcomes in Hartford Public Schools

June 2013

Hartford Public Schools (HPS) was an early adopter of the portfolio strategy in 2006 and is a leader among districts implementing the reform. Yet both the district and the community are in need of hard evidence: as schools have been closed, redesigned and opened, budgets used differently, and central office staffs reduced and restructured, the question of proof arises: are children in Hartford better off?

HPS commissioned CRPE to conduct an analysis of the past seven years of reforms. This report charts the progress of HPS students since the implementation of the portfolio strategy, assessing the district against where it started, where it is now, and where it wants to be.

Among the findings:

  • Hartford has increased the number of quality schools in the district
  • Hartford has significantly increased family choice
  • Hartford is replacing chronically low-performing schools with “redesign” options
  • Most of the redesigned schools show improved reading scores, though they struggle in math

For next steps, the report recommends that HPS take advantage of the portfolio strategy to launch effective school models; continue increasing quality seats; focus on math; seek out solutions for ELL challenge; and press for graduation and college-going.

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