My crucible was a papier-maché pueblo village.
A fifth-grade teacher assigned my daughter the project as part of a social studies unit. Typically, she worked on projects like this with a fair amount parental guidance and oversight.
I pass over the math word problems to my spouse, but crafty and creative research assignments? That’s my jam.
But this year, I had decided to take a hands-off approach to homework. I would still check to make sure my children were getting it done, but it was going to be all their own unassisted work and not my responsibility.
So, as hard as it was to stand by and watch the papier-maché explosion in my kitchen, I sat on my hands.
The research backs up my resolve.
The most thorough scientific investigation of how parental involvement affects students’ academic achievement was published earlier this year by sociology professors Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris. Their research found that parental help isn’t always a help in the long run. It can actually be a hindrance.
They reviewed nearly three decades’ worth of surveys of American parents and assessed more than 60 different measures of parental participation, from helping them with homework to volunteering at schools, and controlled for parents’ race, class and level of education. They looked at the relationship between that involvement and the students’ academic progress, by measures such as reading and math test scores.
Most of the parental involvement didn’t translate to better scores or better long-term outcomes. Robinson and Harris’ data, published in the Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education, found that once students enter middle school, parental help with homework can actually bring test scores down.
The things that did seem to help? Reading to young children and talking to teenagers about college. Sending the message that school is important and providing support and encouragement when a child’s academic performance falters.
There is wisdom in letting children try on their own even when they are getting it wrong. But this is also not to say children should be left to sink or swim on their own.
Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, recently wrote an op-ed in which he described not helping as his 5-year-old son struggled for a minute to sound out the word “gratefully” while reading a book together.
Parents have a natural impulse to want to step in at the first sign of difficulty.
But, as Khan described in his essay, he is teaching his son that his brain grows when he struggles to learn something hard. We gravitate toward things that come easily and naturally to us. Learning happens in the struggle. That effort is also how we develop persistence.
Many parents fear their child will suffer if all of her peers are getting additional help while she tries to keep up alone.
A mom, who admitted to spending considerable time watching YouTube videos learning how to help her teenage son with a major high school project, explained her motivation: You don’t want your child to fall behind because he’s the only one not getting extra help. She poured hours of her own time to help with the typing, formatting and grunt work involved with his assignment. The school had fostered a culture so competitive that it took parental involvement to excel.
That kind of environment is doing a disservice in the long run to the students, and some brave parents ought to speak up about it.
At the elementary and middle school levels, it becomes fairly evident to teachers when parents have taken too large a role in a student’s project or homework. After all, they see the classroom performance and work of the same child day-to-day.
In our low-stakes fifth-grade homework, the pueblo turned out just fine. In fact, my daughter took great pride in having done it by herself. It may have even provided a boost of confidence for her to know that she could figure it out on her own.
When the next assignment involved making a puppet of Abraham Lincoln, she asked for some fabric and a sewing kit.
I handed her the supplies and didn’t even offer to thread the needle.
The puppet’s hat didn’t quite fit. And the beard may have been a bit uneven. But she managed to capture the spirit of Honest Abe perfectly.
This article is about the U.S. city. For the county in Connecticut, see New Haven County, Connecticut. For other uses, see New Haven (disambiguation).
|New Haven, Connecticut|
|City of New Haven|
Clockwise from top: downtown New Haven skyline, East Rock Park, summer festivities on the New Haven Green, shops along Upper State Street, Five Mile Point Lighthouse, Harkness Tower, and Connecticut Hall at Yale.
|Nickname(s): The Elm City|
Location in New Haven County and Connecticut
Location in ConnecticutShow map of Connecticut
New Haven (the US)Show map of the US
|Coordinates: 41°18′36″N72°55′25″W / 41.31000°N 72.92361°W / 41.31000; -72.92361Coordinates: 41°18′36″N72°55′25″W / 41.31000°N 72.92361°W / 41.31000; -72.92361|
|Region||South Central Region|
|• Type||Mayor-board of aldermen|
|• Mayor||Toni Harp (D)|
|• City||20.1 sq mi (52.1 km2)|
|• Land||18.7 sq mi (48.4 km2)|
|• Water||1.4 sq mi (3.7 km2)|
|Elevation||59 ft (18 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||129,934|
|• Density||6,500/sq mi (2,500/km2)|
|• Demonym||New Havener|
|Metro area refers to New Haven County|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0209231|
New Haven (locallynoo-HAY-vən) is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.
New Haven was the first planned city in America. Founded in 1638 by English Puritans, a year later eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating what is commonly known as the "Nine Square Plan". The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square, and the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark. The Green also serves as a free public WiFi hotspot.
New Haven is the home of Yale University. As New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer, Yale serves as an integral part of the city's economy. Health care (hospitals and biotechnology), professional services (legal, architectural, marketing, and engineering), financial services, and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.
The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. The New York Times said the city has "Art almost everywhere you look."
New Haven had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave New Haven the nickname "The Elm City".
Pre-colonial foundation as an independent colony
Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off local fisheries and the farming of maize. The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in the area.
In 1637 a small party of Puritans reconnoitered the New Haven harbor area and wintered over. In April 1638, the main party of five hundred Puritans who had left the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of the Reverend John Davenport and London merchant Theophilus Eaton sailed into the harbor. It was their hope to set up a theological community with the government more closely linked to the church than that in Massachusetts, and to exploit the area's excellent potential as a port. The Quinnipiacs, who were under attack by neighboring Pequots, sold their land to the settlers in return for protection.
By 1640, "Qunnipiac's" theocratic government and nine-square grid plan were in place, and the town was renamed Newhaven, with 'haven' meaning harbor or port. (However, the area to the north remained Quinnipiac until 1678, when it was renamed Hamden.) The settlement became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony, distinct from the Connecticut Colony previously established to the north centering on Hartford. Reflecting its theocratic roots, the New Haven Colony forbid the establishment of other churches, whereas the Connecticut Colony permitted them.
Economic disaster struck Newhaven in 1646, when the town sent its first fully loaded ship of local goods back to England. It never reached its destination, and its disappearance stymied New Haven's development versus the rising trade powers of Boston and New Amsterdam.
In 1660, Colony founder John Davenport's wishes were fulfilled, and Hopkins School was founded in New Haven with money from the estate of Edward Hopkins.
In 1661, the Regicides who had signed the death warrant of Charles I of England were pursued by Charles II. Two of them, Colonel Edward Whalley and Colonel William Goffe, fled to New Haven for refuge. Davenport arranged for them to hide in the West Rock hills northwest of the town. Later a third judge, John Dixwell, joined the others.
As part of the Connecticut Colony
In 1664 New Haven became part of the Connecticut Colony when the two colonies were merged under political pressure from England, according to folklore as punishment for harboring the three judges (in reality, done in order to strengthen the case for the takeover of nearby New Amsterdam, which was rapidly losing territory to migrants from Connecticut). Some members of the New Haven Colony seeking to establish a new theocracy elsewhere went on to establish Newark, New Jersey.
It was made co-capital of Connecticut in 1701, a status it retained until 1873.
In 1716, the Collegiate School relocated from Old Saybrook to New Haven, establishing New Haven as a center of learning. In 1718, in response to a large donation from British East India Company merchant Elihu Yale, former Governor of Madras, the name of the Collegiate School was changed to Yale College.
For over a century, New Haven citizens had fought in the colonial militia alongside regular British forces, as in the French and Indian War. As the American Revolution approached, General David Wooster and other influential residents hoped that the conflict with the government in Britain could be resolved short of rebellion. On 23 April 1775, which is still celebrated in New Haven as Powder House Day, the Second Company, Governor's Foot Guard, of New Haven entered the struggle against the governing British parliament. Under Captain Benedict Arnold, they broke into the powder house to arm themselves and began a three-day march to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Other New Haven militia members were on hand to escort George Washington from his overnight stay in New Haven on his way to Cambridge. Contemporary reports, from both sides, remark on the New Haven volunteers' professional military bearing, including uniforms.
On July 5, 1779, 2,600 loyalists and British regulars under General William Tryon, governor of New York, landed in New Haven Harbor and raided the 3,500-person town. A militia of Yale students had been preparing for battle, and former Yale president and Yale Divinity School professor Naphtali Daggett rode out to confront the Redcoats. Yale president Ezra Stiles recounted in his diary that while he moved furniture in anticipation of battle, he still couldn't quite believe the revolution had begun. New Haven was not torched as the invaders did with Danbury in 1777, or Fairfield and Norwalk a week after the New Haven raid, so many of the town's colonial features were preserved.
Post-colonial period and industrialization
New Haven was incorporated as a city in 1784, and Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Constitution and author of the "Connecticut Compromise", became the new city's first mayor.
The city struck fortune in the late 18th century with the inventions and industrial activity of Eli Whitney, a Yale graduate who remained in New Haven to develop the cotton gin and establish a gun-manufacturing factory in the northern part of the city near the Hamden town line. That area is still known as Whitneyville, and the main road through both towns is known as Whitney Avenue. The factory is now the Eli Whitney Museum, which has a particular emphasis on activities for children and exhibits pertaining to the A. C. Gilbert Company. His factory, along with that of Simeon North, and the lively clock-making and brass hardware sectors, contributed to making early Connecticut a powerful manufacturing economy; so many arms manufacturers sprang up that the state became known as "The Arsenal of America". It was in Whitney's gun-manufacturing plant that Samuel Colt invented the automatic revolver in 1836. Many other talented machinists and firearms designers would go on to found successful firearms manufacturing companies in New Haven, including Oliver Winchester and O.F. Mossberg & Sons.
The Farmington Canal, created in the early 19th century, was a short-lived transporter of goods into the interior regions of Connecticut and Massachusetts, and ran from New Haven to Northampton, Massachusetts.
New Haven was home to one of the important early events in the burgeoning anti-slavery movement when, in 1839, the trial of mutineering Mende tribesmen being transported as slaves on the Spanish slaveshipAmistad was held in New Haven's United States District Court. There is a statue of Joseph Cinqué, the informal leader of the slaves, beside City Hall. See "Museums" below for more information. Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech on slavery in New Haven in 1860, shortly before he secured the Republican nomination for President.
The American Civil War boosted the local economy with wartime purchases of industrial goods, including that of the New Haven Arms Company, which would later become the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. (Winchester would continue to produce arms in New Haven until 2006, and many of the buildings that were a part of the Winchester plant are now a part of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company Historic District.) After the war, population grew and doubled by the start of the 20th century, most notably due to the influx of immigrants from southern Europe, particularly Italy. Today, roughly half the populations of East Haven, West Haven, and North Haven are Italian-American. Jewish immigration to New Haven has left an enduring mark on the city. Westville was the center of Jewish life in New Haven, though today many have fanned out to suburban communities such as Woodbridge and Cheshire.
Post-industrial era and urban redevelopment
New Haven's expansion continued during the two World Wars, with most new inhabitants being African Americans from the American South and Puerto Ricans. The city reached its peak population after World War II. The area of New Haven is only 17 square miles (44 km2), encouraging further development of new housing after 1950 in adjacent, suburban towns. Moreover, as in other U.S. cities in the 1950s, New Haven began to suffer white flight of middle-class workers. One author suggested that aggressive redlining and rezoning made it difficult for residents to obtain financing for older, deteriorating urban housing stock, thereby condemning such structures to deterioration.[additional citation(s) needed]
In 1954, then-mayor Richard C. Lee began some of the earliest major urban renewal projects in the United States. Certain sections of downtown New Haven were redeveloped to include museums, new office towers, a hotel, and large shopping complexes. Other parts of the city, particularly the Wooster Square and Fair Haven neighborhoods were affected by the construction of Interstate 95 along the Long Wharf section, Interstate 91, and the Oak Street Connector. The Oak Street Connector (Route 34), running between Interstate 95, downtown, and The Hill neighborhood, was originally intended as a highway to the city's western suburbs but was only completed as a highway to the downtown area, with the area to the west becoming a boulevard (See "Redevelopment" below).
In 1970, a series of criminal prosecutions against various members of the Black Panther Party took place in New Haven, inciting mass protests on the New Haven Green involving twelve thousand demonstrators and many well-known New Left political activists. (See "Political Culture" below for more information).
From the 1960s through the late 1990s, central areas of New Haven continued to decline both economically and in terms of population despite attempts to resurrect certain neighborhoods through renewal projects. In conjunction with its declining population, New Haven experienced a steep rise in its crime rate.
Since approximately 2000, many parts of downtown New Haven have been revitalized with new restaurants, nightlife, and small retail stores. In particular, the area surrounding the New Haven Green has experienced an influx of apartments and condominiums. In recent years, downtown retail options have increased with the opening of new stores such as Urban Oufitters, J Crew, Origins, American Apparel, Gant Clothing, and an Apple Store, joining older stores such as Barnes & Noble and Raggs Clothing. In addition, two new supermarkets opened to serve downtown's growing residential population. A Stop & Shop opened just west of downtown, while Elm City Market, located one block from the Green, opened in 2011. The recent turnaround of downtown New Haven has received positive press from various periodicals.
Major projects include the current construction of a new campus for Gateway Community College downtown, and also a 32-story, 500-unit apartment/retail building called 360 State Street. The 360 State Street project is now occupied and is the largest residential building in Connecticut. A new boathouse and dock is planned for New Haven Harbor, and the linear park Farmington Canal Trail is set to extend into downtown New Haven within the coming year. Additionally, foundation and ramp work to widen I-95 to create a new harbor crossing for New Haven, with an extradosed bridge to replace the 1950s-era Q Bridge, has begun. The city still hopes to redevelop the site of the New Haven Coliseum, which was demolished in 2007.
In April 2009, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a suit over reverse discrimination brought by 18 white firefighters against the city. The suit involved the 2003 promotion test for the New Haven Fire Department. After the tests were scored, no black firefighters scored high enough to qualify for consideration for promotion, so the city announced that no one would be promoted. In the subsequent Ricci v. DeStefano decision the court found 5-4 that New Haven's decision to ignore the test results violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As a result, a district court subsequently ordered the city to promote 14 of the white firefighters.
In 2010 and 2011, state and federal funds were awarded to Connecticut (and Massachusetts) to construct the Hartford Line, with a southern terminus at New Haven's Union Station and a northern terminus at Springfield's Union Station. According to the White House, "This corridor [currently] has one train per day connecting communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts to the Northeast Corridor and Vermont. The vision for this corridor is to restore the alignment to its original route via the Knowledge Corridor in western Massachusetts, improving trip time and increasing the population base that can be served." Set for construction in 2013, the "Knowledge Corridor high speed intercity passenger rail" project will cost approximately $1 billion, and the ultimate northern terminus for the project is reported to be Montreal in Canada. Train speeds between will reportedly exceed 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) and increase both cities' rail traffic exponentially.
Timeline of notable firsts
See also: Yale – New Haven Hospital § Milestones in medicine
- 1638: New Haven becomes the first planned city in America.
- 1776: Yale student David Bushnell invents the first American submarine.
- 1787: John Fitch builds the first steamboat.
- 1793: Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin.
- 1836: Samuel Colt invents the automatic revolver in Whitney's factory.
- 1839: Charles Goodyear of New Haven discovers the process of vulcanizing rubber in Woburn, Massachusetts, and later perfects it and patents the process in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.
- 1860: Philios P. Blake patents the first corkscrew.
- 1877: New Haven hosts the first BellPSTN (telephone) switch office.
- 1878–1880: The District Telephone Company of New Haven creates the world's first telephone exchange and the first telephone directory and installs the first public phone. The company expanded and became the Connecticut Telephone Company, then the Southern New England Telephone Company (now part of AT&T).
- 1882: The Knights of Columbus are founded in New Haven. The city still serves as the world headquarters of the organization, which maintains a museum downtown.
- 1892: Local confectioner George C. Smith of the Bradley Smith Candy Co. invents the first lollipops.
- Late 19th century-early 20th century: The first public tree planting program takes place in New Haven, at the urging of native James Hillhouse.
- 1900: Louis Lassen, owner of Louis' Lunch, is credited with inventing the hamburger, as well as the steak sandwich.
- 1911: The Erector Set, the popular and culturally important construction toy, is invented in New Haven by A.C. Gilbert. It was manufactured by the A. C. Gilbert Company at Erector Square from 1913 until the company's bankruptcy in 1967.
- 1920: In competition with competing explanations, the Frisbee is said to have originated on the Yale campus, based on the tin pans of the Frisbie Pie Company which were tossed around by students on the New Haven Green.
- 1977: The first memorial to victims of the Holocaust on public land in America stands in New Haven's Edgewood Park at the corner of Whalley and West Park avenues. It was built with funds collected from the community and is maintained by Greater New Haven Holocaust Memory, Inc. The ashes of victims killed and cremated at Auschwitz are buried under the memorial.
The Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau has a more extensive list of New Haven firsts.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.1 square miles (52.1 km2), of which 18.7 square miles (48.4 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2), or 6.67%, is water.
New Haven's best-known geographic features are its large deep harbor, and two reddish basalt trap rock ridges which rise to the northeast and northwest of the city core. These trap rocks are known respectively as East Rock and West Rock, and both serve as extensive parks. West Rock has been tunneled through to make way for the east-west passage of the Wilbur Cross Parkway (the only highway tunnel through a natural obstacle in Connecticut), and once served as the hideout of the "Regicides" (see: Regicides Trail). Most New Haveners refer to these men as "The Three Judges". East Rock features the prominent Soldiers and Sailors war monument on its peak as well as the "Great/Giant Steps" which run up the rock's cliffside.
The city is drained by three rivers; the West, Mill, and Quinnipiac, named in order from west to east. The West River discharges into West Haven Harbor, while the Mill and Quinnipiac rivers discharge into New Haven Harbor. Both harbors are embayments of Long Island Sound. In addition, several smaller streams flow through the city's neighborhoods, including Wintergreen Brook, the Beaver Ponds Outlet, Wilmot Brook, Belden Brook, and Prospect Creek. Not all of these small streams have continuous flow year-round.
New Haven has a temperate climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfa) typical of much of the New York metropolitan area, with long, hot summers, and cool to cold winters. From May to late September, the weather is typically hot and humid, with average temperatures exceeding 80 °F (27 °C) on 70 days per year. In summer, the Bermuda High creates as southern flow of warm and humid air, with frequent thundershowers. October to early December is normally mild to cool late in the season, while early spring (April) can be cool to warm. Winters are moderately cold with both rain and snow fall. The weather patterns that affect New Haven result from a primarily offshore direction, thus reducing the marine influence of Long Island Sound—although, like other marine areas, differences in temperature between areas right along the coastline and areas a mile or two inland can be large at times. During summer heat waves, temperatures may reach 95 °F (35 °C) or higher on occasion with heat-index values of over 100 °F (38 °C). Tropical cyclones have struck New Haven in the past, including 1938 Hurricane (Long Island Express), Hurricane Carol in 1954, Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
|Climate data for New Haven, Connecticut (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||66|
|Average high °F (°C)||37.8|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||30.0|
|Average low °F (°C)||22.2|
|Record low °F (°C)||−8|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.19|
New Haven has a long tradition of urban planning and a purposeful design for the city's layout. The city could be argued to have some of the first preconceived layouts in the country. Upon founding, New Haven was laid out in a grid plan of nine square blocks; the central square was left open, in the tradition of many New England towns, as the city green (a commons area). The city also instituted the first public tree planting program in America. As in other cities, many of the elms that gave New Haven the nickname "Elm City" perished in the mid-20th century due to Dutch Elm disease, although many have since been replanted. The New Haven Green is currently home to three separate historic churches which speak to the original theocratic nature of the city. The Green remains the social center of the city today. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Downtown New Haven, occupied by nearly 7,000 residents, has a more residential character than most downtowns. The downtown area provides about half of the city's jobs and half of its tax base and in recent years has become filled with dozens of new upscale restaurants, several of which have garnered national praise (such as Ibiza (now under new management as "Olea"), recognized by Esquire and Wine Spectator magazines as well as the New York Times as the best Spanish food in the country), in addition to shops and thousands of apartments and condominium units which subsequently help overall growth of the city.
Main article: Neighborhoods of New Haven, Connecticut
The city has many distinct neighborhoods. In addition to Downtown, centered on the central business district and the Green, are the following neighborhoods: the west central neighborhoods of Dixwell and Dwight; the southern neighborhoods of The Hill, historic water-front City Point (or Oyster Point), and the harborside district of Long Wharf; the western neighborhoods of Edgewood, West River, Westville, Amity, and West Rock-Westhills; East Rock, Cedar Hill, Prospect Hill, and Newhallville in the northern side of town; the east central neighborhoods of Mill River and Wooster Square, an Italian-American neighborhood; Fair Haven, an immigrant community located between the Mill and Quinnipiac rivers; Quinnipiac Meadows and Fair Haven Heights across the Quinnipiac River; and facing the eastern side of the harbor, The Annex and East Shore (or Morris Cove).