State Representative Tony Hwang was presented with the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) inaugural 2010 “Tip of the Cap” Education Leadership award at Fairfield University’s Dolan Business School on Aug. 31st.
The award is a state-wide recognition for legislative leaders who have demonstrated their commitment and actions toward securing great public schools for every Connecticut child. Representative Hwang has pushed for educational reforms as it relates to teacher, administrator and parental accountability to raise our standards of educational success.
“Representative Hwang has demonstrated his commitment to securing great public schools for every Connecticut child,” said Jennifer Harmon, Director of Research and Policy for ConnCAN. “As a freshman [legislator], he demonstrated an impressive work ethic and dedication to learning all there is to know about the state of education in Connecticut and what can be done to improve it. During the past legislative session, he led education reforms from within the rank-and-file, spoke out for what’s right for Connecticut’s students, and prioritized public school reform. Representative Hwang stood out as the only member of the House Minority caucus to vote in favor of the Race to the Top bill’s content when it was included as an amendment to another bill. His dedication and commitment to improving outcomes for students permeated all of his work in the General Assembly, especially on the Education Committee. ConnCAN is pleased to congratulate Rep. Tony Hwang on his leadership, vision, and courage with a tip of our proverbial graduation cap.”
The award “recognizes Connecticut’s state legislators for their leadership, vision and courage in pursuit of great schools for every Connecticut child,” said Father Jeffrey von Arx, Fairfield University President. “I echo the acknowledgement of Rep. Hwang’s tireless efforts in this endeavor and appreciate his work in Hartford on behalf of our state’s students.”
Rep. Hwang shared poignant personal stories of overcoming economic, cultural and language obstacles in reaching academic success of attending and graduating from Cornell University. Hwang cited that he “was able to succeed academically and live the American dream because I had so many teachers and administrators that cared, challenged, and motivated me toward success combined with my parents’ encouragement, and their endless examples of personal sacrifice. Those personal experiences allowed him to overcome a significant achievement gap that existed based on challenging income and cultural conditions.
“The chronic problem of lagging academic achievement among poor children has perplexed educators and lawmaker for years, but it became critical when it was announced that CT has the unfortunate distinction of having the largest achievement gap separating low-income children from their more well-to-do classmates on U.S. Department of Education tests of reading and mathematics. The gap separating minority and white students also is among the largest in the nation.
ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now) is an American think tank and state-level education advocacy group founded in January 2005, with offices in Hartford, Connecticut and New Haven, Connecticut. ConnCAN is building a new movement of concerned citizens advocating to fundamentally reform our public schools through smart public policies.