Sunday, November 28, 2021


Can, and Must, Do Better

In spring 2020, the Board of Education (BOE) received hundreds of communications urging us to expand instruction in Guilford Public Schools on race and racism. More than 50 emails from recent alumni described how they found themselves unprepared for the diversity of people and perspectives they met in colleges and cities across our country. Some expressed dismay at their lack of knowledge about historical experiences of non-White people. Others shared racial incidents endured as students in our schools. Alongside communications from current students, as well as parents and community members, they demanded we do better.

Our current students are part of the most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever in our country. They are growing up in an increasingly global community. And they are seeking, and parents are seeking for them, opportunities to learn and explore and prepare themselves to be racially and culturally competent citizens of this country and the world. Guilford Public Schools consistently ranks among the top school districts in Connecticut. Our students excel academically, on stage, in music, art, and athletics. We are a destination district for educators, receiving hundreds of applications for open positions. And yet we can, and must, do better.

There are five open BOE seats. The choice is clear. Do your readers support instruction that expands exploration of historical perspectives, rather than narrows them? Do they favor recognizing and embracing differences rather than ignoring them? Are they in support of providing all students what they need to succeed? If so, they must vote Row A (Moira Rader and Arnold Skretta) and Row C (Kristy Faulkner, Jennifer Baldwin, and Noel Petra) on Nov. 2. Not just the content, but the quality of education we provide is on the ballot. Our children are watching.

Katie Balestracci

Democrat Katie Balestracci chairs the Board of Education.