Education Reform Won’t Help YOUR Child 



If your child is struggling freshman in one of the many less affluent, high schools across Connecticut where overall achievement and test scores lag behind those in more well-to-do school districts, there is no help on the horizon.

Any solutions are still years away. By the time those solutions arrive, many of today’s freshman will have either graduated lacking the skills to compete in college and career, or dropped out to be caught the social service or justice systems.

The recent ruling of Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher in CCJEF v. Rel concluded that “the state of education in some towns is alarming” and that “egregious gaps exist between rich and poor districts.”

That ruling is being appealed and who knows when that appeal will be won or lost.

After that, our elected officials still have to formulate and pass a plan to fund schools more fairly and in such a way as to get more help to students in low income areas. Then find the money to actually put that plan into action, all during a time when Connecticut is facing a massive budget deficit and school funding is cut rather than increased.

In short, if your high school aged child is currently on the wrong side of the education achievement gap,  good luck. He or she better figure out how to succeed in hard circumstances because there is little or no help coming in the near future.

Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents summed up the situation best when he said,

“The state makes decisions on funding every year, and unless they’re obligated by some court order there’s no proposal anyone can make that over the next few years says, ‘This is what we’re going to spend on education,’”

His comment was made recently during a meeting of leaders from five state education advocacy groups.

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Connecticut Association of Public School SuperintendentsConnecticut Association of Schools, and Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

According to the experts, the best we can hope for is some sort of policy change over the next few years.

What about the thousands of children who are in school right now?

Shouldn’t someone be something to help them?

At the very least, shouldn’t someone be offering these students a way to try and help themselves while the “cavalry” is trying to build a roadmap to find them and to buy horses to reach them?

Fortunately there is at least one organization that is helping students to overcome this adversity and help themselves now.


Wayne Winsley is Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail, a nonprofit student motivational program. To interview Mr. Winsley or learn more email or visit

Read source Article here







Bridgeport Students Left to Fend for Themselves




The recent article in Ct.Post by Linda Conner Lambeck “Bridgeport Schools brace for potential cuts” raises all sorts of questions and concerns. How is it that Math and Literacy could even be considered to be on the block for any school district?

This is yet another example of students basically being left to find their own way to succeed in a system that is being put in the position of offering students less help instead of more.

One organization is stepping in to offer students some bootstraps with which to pull themselves up.

Brave Enough to Fail, a CT non-profit working to incentivize students to excel in school has developed the Brave Enough to Write program (BETW), specially to address to the growing gap, as well as to off set devastating budget cuts, as proposed in Bridgeport.

The BETW program will be a self-publishing platform, tied to English curriculum that allows students of all ages to write and publish their own stories, and read the stories of their peers. Students within the program will be eligible to win various enrichment scholarships and the school or organization the student comes from will receive a matching scholarship.

While we know that writing is a rewarding activity and can have serious impact on self-esteem and confidence, the BETW program’s aim is to not only help build confidence and self-esteem, but to work to off-set devastating budget gaps by providing students access to educational opportunities as well as funding.

Learn more

As Budget Woes Worsen Schools and Students Pick up The Tab






In his OpED in the Sunday’s Hartford Courant; First Selectman of Trumbull, Tim Herbst outlines the ways in which proposed cuts will effect schools and students throughout CT.

As Selectman Herbst states “It is sickening and it is time for a change.” The question however is what does that change look like? Can we the people wait for our elected officials to correct the issues facing our state, our towns, our schools and our students or will waiting make it too late for an entire generation of students?

Brave Enough To Fail (BETF) a Non-profit organization is seeking an immediate solution to this devastating problem. Currently BETF provides schools and students with presentations and scholarships geared toward empowering students to succeed.

The solution is Brave Enough To Write (BETW) a platform in which students are encouraged to self-publish their own literature. Through the program students can share their stories and read the stories of their peers. Participating students will be given the on-going chance to win enrichment scholarship through the program. The program will be directly tied to English Curriculum.

Through the BETW platform we will be able to address some of the potential damage of the proposed budget cuts from Governor Dan Malloy. Students will be able to participate in a program that advances their English and writing skills, increases self-confidence and provides scholarships to help further their enrichment. Organizations with participating students will be eligible to win matching enrichment grants to help off-set budget short falls. So if a student wins, the organization or school system they are from wins.

As Selectman Herbst says “it is time for a change” and BETF through the BETW program is actively working on this change!


Source Article Here 

Education Gap and Funding Crisis in CT











As detailed in the November 14th article by Kevin Schultz of The Hour “In Norwalk, faith leaders call for school funding fix” the state of Connecticut has a major issue. The achievement gap is increasing in our state and educational funds are decreasing in large as Rev Carl McCluster states due to “the cancerous funding formula” in the state.

Brave Enough to Fail (BETF), a Non-profit organization is seeking an immediate solution to this devastating problem. Currently BETF provides schools and students with presentations and scholarships geared toward empowering students to succeed.

To answer the larger call that so many CT leaders have voiced, BETF is forming the Brave Enough To Write (BETW) platform. This platform will provide students with access to a self-publishing platform. The platform will be tied in current English Curriculum. Students will be able to write their own stories, read the stories of their peers and win scholarships in the process to further their enrichment.

Writing promotes confidence. Seeing one’s work published promotes confidence and winning scholarships promotes confidence and helps fund further education. The BETW program is designed to lessen the educational gap and to address some of the current funding issues. When a student wins, the school/organization they are a part of wins.

As Representatives from across the state make a case for a rational funding formula, we can help students NOW.

It is BETF’s hope that the leaders talking about this issue; Lenore Jordan, Lindsay Curtis, Deborah Fludd, Henry Floyd, Bruce Morris, Gail Lavielle, and Bob Duff work with us to create this amazing program.

Author: Matthew A. Connell, EdD., MBA.                                                                                 Advisory Board member, Brave Enough to Fail Inc.

Learn how you can help narrow the achievement gap for our children.


Source article for this post: In Norwalk, faith leaders call for school funding fix By Kevin Schultz