Are We There Yet?


Fairfield University hosts “The Assault on Public Education in Connecticut” on Dec. 3

Jonathan PeltoJonathan Pelto, who has been active in Connecticut public policy, advocacy and politics for 40 years, will be the featured speaker at “Are We There Yet? The Assault on Public Education in Connecticut” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3 at Fairfield University’s DiMenna-Nyselius Library. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the library’s Multimedia Room on the lower level.

The timely discussion will also feature Yohuru Williams, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs at Fairfield, and Robert Hannafin, Ph.D., dean of Fairfield’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, which is sponsoring the event. The talk, which will include a Q&A with the audience, will cover the changing landscape of today’s classrooms and the steady and, to many, unwanted encroachment of for-profit players in the public education arena.

“There is no question that public education – historically the great equalizer and beacon of hope for the most disadvantaged among us – is being threatened by private investors whose motives are not always altruistic,” said Dr. Hannafin.

Pelto is a familiar face on the state political and policy scene, having been elected to the state House of Representatives in 1984, when he was a senior at the University of Connecticut. Over five terms, he rose to the level of deputy majority leader and was a member of the Appropriations and Education Committee.

Since then he has worked as a communications strategist, developing and implementing public relations, media relations and advocacy programs aimed at educating, persuading and mobilizing targeted audiences.  His clients have included many of Connecticut’s most significant nonprofit organizations, corporations, associations and unions, as well as Native American tribes. He has also managed or worked on numerous political campaigns at the federal, state and local levels including campaigns for Chris Dodd, Gary Hart, Connecticut gubernatorial and congressional campaigns and many state legislative races.

He writes the popular blog “Wait What?”

Dr. Williams, a professor of history, is the author of “Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Panthers in New Haven” (Blackwell, 2006) and “Teaching U.S. History Beyond the Textbook” (Corwin, 2008). He is the editor of several other publications, is a sought-after speaker at academic events and is frequently quoted in the media about history and education.  

Dr. Hannafin came to Fairfield in July, after serving as dean of the College of Education, Information and Technology at Long Island University. Prior to that he was a director in the learning and development group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and a former professor and curriculum developer at three top U.S. universities.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 26, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 131

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