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  • The Narrative Project

Pandemic Deepened Inequities in Education, State of the Child Reports


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 9, 2021



CONTACT Ashlee Niedospial ashlee@narrative-project.com 570.778.5916


 

Bridgeport, CT (November 9, 2021) - As part of the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership (RYASAP), the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) today unveiled the Education section of its "State of the Child in Bridgeport 2020" report, an interactive online resource that blends narrative and data to focus on the well-being of children and families in Bridgeport. Historically, the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a relatively underfunded city within the wealthy district of Fairfield County, has had to do a lot with a little. These inequities were exacerbated in the face of the ongoing global pandemic and challenged educators to unexpectedly shift to a new virtual model that prioritized student, family, and staff safety. There were many pain points, on a personal and widespread scale, and obstacles to overcome. What lessons can Bridgeport’s educators take with them in a year as disruptive as 2020? And, how can we ensure that children are wholly taken care of in a crisis moving forward?

Here are some of the key observations from last year:

  • The majority of students who tested positive for COVID-19 occurred when students were engaged in in-person learning (39% for Fairfield County), followed by hybrid learning (35%).

  • Students experiencing homelessness had the lowest rate of attendance and the largest decrease in attendance rate out of any other risk group.

  • Data from Bridgeport Public Schools’ annual School Climate survey shows students’ perceptions of personal safety remained stagnant or improved as most students either learned remotely or engaged in hybrid learning.

“Social distancing for the health and safety of our students, school staff, and families ushered in new discussions around alternative methods of education and learning. How do we learn from this new normal whilst ensuring that our students are treated equitably and have the same learning tools and opportunities as those in other cities and towns?” said Ashley Blanchard-Miller, Director of Research and Evaluation of RYASAP. "The pandemic has highlighted the existing systemic inequities and it is on us as advocates, policymakers, and community members to act quickly and aggressively to support our children," said Marc Donald, Executive Director of RYASAP. The 2020 State of the Child in Bridgeport report is available online here. The education component of the report can be viewed here.


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ABOUT BCAC AND RYASAP BCAC: The Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) is committed to improving the well-being of Bridgeport’s children and families through research, education, and advocacy. BCAC and RYASAP forged a partnership in which BCAC is now working under the RYASAP (Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership) umbrella.

RYASAP: Established in 1985 and serving the greater Bridgeport region, RYASAP (Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership) works to ensure the safe and healthy development of youth, young adults, and families by actively engaging organizations, public officials, and community leaders around issues that matter most to the community.

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