Kurtz In The Hot Seat -- Courant.com

Kurtz In The Hot Seat -- Courant.com

There are 54 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Aug 31, 2007, titled Kurtz In The Hot Seat -- Courant.com. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Loved in some quarters, loathed in others, Superintendent of Schools Doris Kurtz has become more vulnerable to attacks from her critics in recent weeks after results from the latest Connecticut Mastery Test ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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New Britain, CT

#1 Sep 1, 2007
She needs to be replaced. After 8 years the schools should have shown some improvement and they aren't. It's time to get someone new in since it's obvious that nothing Kurtz has implemented is working.
another concerned parent

Waterbury, CT

#2 Sep 2, 2007
As a resident of New Britain, I am concerned that only students in these "special programs" seem cared about. Also, when she quotes improvement seen in students in these programs, she seems to leave out much emphasis on selection bias that is included in these programs. Students in these programs can show progress but then they were selected for entry in these programs based on special attributes. She is getting above average students in these programs to begin with.
At the teachers convocation, she mentioned that for the children in Scholastic Academy, the screen is poverty. Yes, the children (at entry) have to be on free and reduced lunch (an emorphous indicator anyway as it is frequently gamed). But there are further screens beyond that, never mentioned. Children put in Scholastic are screened for potential and recommended by certain preschools. They are above average to begin with, therefore test scores are probably going to be higher for them regardless. No way to know.
For the vast majority of children in New Britain, there are swollen classrooms and no special resources flowing to them.
So hurray for the special programs, I guess the rest of us will make do. Or maybe we just don't get educated in New Britain so we should just move.
(It isn't that I don't think she has some strengths, as I do, but all children matter. She cares about her programs but not the other children. And shame on the City for so underfunding education in New Britain. They are not without their role in the problem too.
mad as hell

Newington, CT

#3 Sep 3, 2007
Time for Doris to go. She is responsible for 8 years of non-service and inadequate education to the students of New Britain. Everyone on the school board should be replaced if they don't replace Kurtz immediately. List 3 academic accomplishments of Kurtz in 8 years. I didn't think you could. Glad I moved to Newington 5 years ago.

United States

#4 Sep 3, 2007
"You can't get blood from a stone," Kurtz recently told a gathering of parents and other residents at a public forum at New Britain High School. "The steady erosion in resources is catching up with us."

A fox/wolf/coyote is not afraid of a dog.

The barking/howl/sound is what causes the attack/fight.

Who benifits from an educational confrontation?

Who is playing who against what?
Marie Gustin who?

NB parent


#5 Sep 3, 2007
I'm glad you moved to Newington, too
New Britain Parent

Old Lyme, CT

#6 Sep 4, 2007
Kurtz blames poor reading scores on the inability of teachers and the colleges that do not stress reading. I would point out to Kurtz that the sames colleges that teach N.B. teachers also have taught other teachers that teach in communities where kids have much better scores then ours. Does anyone think that the poor reading scores are due to a lack of appropriate spending amd leadership of Kurtz. She is only concerned about programs that make her look good.
New Britain Teacher

Old Lyme, CT

#7 Sep 4, 2007
Peter Kochol should take his head out of the sand and realize that Kurtz is not comcermed about New Britain kids she is only concerned about herself. Mr. Kochol should tryin g to protect her and instead join the swlling masses that would like to see Kurtz goooooo.
oh please

Hartford, CT

#8 Sep 4, 2007
New Britain Teacher...you worry me...spelling, grammer, punctuation...I certainly hope that you are not involved in educating my children!
concerned parent

Waterbury, CT

#9 Sep 4, 2007
its grammar not grammer. Be careful when casting stones!
oh please

Hartford, CT

#12 Sep 4, 2007
I don't claim to be a teacher...I admit to my mistakes and welcome corrective criticism. The educational process should never end
oh please

Hartford, CT

#13 Sep 4, 2007
Last I checked reading and writing are also part of music and art. I know...next you'll suggest physical education? Always an excuse
new britain parent

Old Lyme, CT

#14 Sep 4, 2007
Kurtz mad cap spending with the support of Peter Kochol and Fran Wolski has put this school district in poor shape.The erosion of funding is true in n b but is is also true in many other districts within trhe state. Kurtz, stop crying and spend more quality tume in and for the district that pays you you riduculous salary. You MUST go.
Steve Murzin

Bronx, NY

#15 Sep 4, 2007
This issue with MAT testing combined with the NCLB Act is becoming out of hand. Stop putting mentally challenged kids in classrooms with regular kids. This action would be a GREAT start. When I grew up, schools had the regular classroom, the classroom for the gifted and the classroom for the challenged and there was good reason for it.

Second would be to dissolve the NCLB Act. It only forces teachers to focus on practicing for the test instead of teaching our kids the curriculum.

3rd it would help for parents to have high expectations of their children. But you as a parent can't expect to kick back and hope the grades begin to improve.
oh please

Hartford, CT

#17 Sep 4, 2007
Projects in both art and music class requiring research, presentations, etc. since elementary school. That's the good stuff! And this would be in the New Britain school system.

Don't misunderstand, I feel it may be time for Dr. Kurtz to move on but there are some good things that have come from her tenure with the N.B. school system.

I agree with "it would help for parents to have high expectations of their children. But you as a parent can't expect to kick back and hope the grades begin to improve." It takes parental involvement at all levels.
Steve Murzin

Bronx, NY

#18 Sep 4, 2007
Art & Music should be on the curriculum everyday and treated just as any other course. They both develop creativity and with out creativity we have no future in science and technology.
another NB Parent

Stratford, CT

#19 Sep 4, 2007
I am not a fan of Doris Kurtz. While she has had some good ideas, she is constantly starting new initiatives, without giving the previous ones the attention of funding to succeed. She decries the lack of resources while spending money on food, entertainment and travel for herself and other district employees. Worst of all, she takes no responsibilty for the decline in test scores; it's the kids, it's the lack of resources...she is the head of this district--she needs to take some of the heat. The majority of the Board of Education (especially Peter Kochol and Fran Wolski) love her for some reason, and until we get new Board members to hold her to the standards our children and the taxpayers of New Britain deserve, we are stuck with her. Remember that on Election Day, and VOTE.
nbhs student

New Britain, CT

#20 Sep 4, 2007
Hello everyone,
I am a senior at New Britain High School and in my opinion Doris Kurtz should definitely resign or the voters of New Britain should elect someone new. I had forgotten, but after reading this post I recalled that she attained her position back in 1999. 2000 was an okay year, but since 2001, New Britain schools have gotten worse. No not just worse, they have gotten abysmal. The only thing I am happy about is that as a senior, I do not have to attend this awful school system after I graduate.
Although she is responsible for a number of problems. I do not blame her for everything. Many of my peers have gotten worse. They skip class, fool around during class, get into fights, do not do their homework, trash up the school, and more. Another thing I would like to note, what is up with all these teen pregnancies? Since I have been to New Britain High School, it seems that every year more and more girls are getting pregnant. What is going on? My human biology teacher told my class that in the school district a middle schooler is getting her second child! That is right, her second child! This is getting ridiculous. What is truly awful is that due to political correctness, this issue will stay in the dark and never be attended to, because out of New Britain's diverse community, I have noticed that only girls of a certain ethnicity are getting pregnant. And I know you know who I am talking about. Unfortunately, as I said earlier this ridiculous political correctness is going to keep our mouths silent and cover our eyes and we will never figure out what is going on in this certain community that the females are constantly getting impregnated. It is ridiculous.
Anyway that is all I wanted to say, and may The First Amendment last forever. Thanks for reading.
Scott Riegelhaupt-Herz ig

Seattle, WA

#21 Sep 4, 2007
If "results from the latest Connecticut Mastery Test showed that less than 20 percent of the city's third-graders were capable of reading at state standards", then something is also wrong with the non-third-grader writing the article. ;-)

I believe that the results showed that *fewer* than 20 percent were capable of reading at state standards.

If one is to report on mastery of the language, one should show that mastery.
NB Resident and Teacher

New Britain, CT

#22 Sep 4, 2007
Doris isn't the problem. Money isn't the problem. The parents of these kids are the problem. How can you expect students to do well when the vast majority of families in this city do not instill the value of education in their children. I seriously believe the 3rd graders test scores are higher than what their parents would achieve. Quit pointing fingers at the easy target and start placing the blame where it belongs....at home.
another NB Parent2

Bethany, CT

#23 Sep 4, 2007
The issues surrounding the poor performance stem from the leaders inability to Manage the organization. I refer to leadership/management as what you would find in any corporate environment. EX
; Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.
Without the ability/knowledge of proper management practices no amount of "resources" wether personnel or money will result in a successful outcome.
Dr. Kurtz has failed to function as a top tier leader. She does not have the right experience (or respect) to ensure a succussful & sustainable outcome.
Our school board has the same shortcoming & is unable to recognize the limitations in our current leader. Our board needs to be comprised of people from all facets of public and private organizations. Corporate management experience is essential on the board as without this they are not qualified to judge an individuals ability to "MANAGE".

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