Year after year most Connecticut high school seniors are graduated and given diplomas without ever mastering high school math and English, and year after year most of those who are admitted to a community college or a regional state university have to take remedial high school courses. The problem is social promotion.
So what did the General Assembly do about public education in its session just concluded? Both houses appropriated more money for teacher salaries (called "aid to education"). They both passed legislation requiring high schools to offer a course in African-American and Latino history. The House passed a bill that would have required elementary schools to teach climate change.
State Sen. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, argued that minority students are discouraged in school by the supposed lack of attention to the history of their ethnic groups. But what of the discouragement they may suffer when they discover that they haven't learned to read and do math at an adult level?
As for the climate change bill, introduced by state Rep. Christine Palm, D-Chester, state Education Department standards already called for incorporating the subject in science curriculums, making the bill unnecessary. Further, this subject too can hardly be mastered if reading and math aren't mastered first.
Of course the objective of these bills wasn't to teach students anything but to let legislators strike politically correct poses and pander. After all, what legislator would be re-elected if he told his constituents that their kids are goofing off in school and if he scolded their teachers that they should stop being silent about it?
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WHAT 'PRIORITY' FOR DEPORTATION?: Maybe it would be too punitive to deport Sujitno Sajuti back to Indonesia. Sajuti, 70, had been living in West Hartford but for 19 months until last week he claimed sanctuary in a church in Meriden because federal immigration authorities had told him to leave the country. Now, because many years ago he was the victim of an assault in Hartford, Sajuti has been granted a waiver and can stay indefinitely.
But the protests by Sajuti's supporters that he is the victim of the excessive zeal of the immigration authorities are also too much.
State Atty. Gen. William Tong declared, "There is something horribly broken with our immigration system when this 70-year-old man who has lived peacefully here for three decades was deemed a priority for deportation."
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal called Sajuti "a man who spent decades in this country causing nobody any harm, doing nothing wrong, committing no violations of law."
A priority for deportation? No violations of law? But Sajuti has been living in the United States illegally for nearly 25 years after overstaying a visa.
Tong and Blumenthal imply that there should be no consequences for violating immigration law, that if one breaks it long enough, it should be forgotten -- and the news reporters who quoted them failed to ask them about that.
Nullification of federal immigration law and open borders seem to be state government's policy now that the General Assembly and Governor Lamont have enacted a law forbidding municipal authorities from cooperating with immigration authorities in almost any way.
While the Trump administration is deficient and sometimes hateful, controlling immigration is a crucial function of the federal government, and hindering it is a form of secession.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester, Conn.