Are You Dizzy From The Dramatic School Changes?

A vanquished elected Board of Education, replaced by a state-appointed school board, resignation of Superintendent John Ramos followed by the appointment of accomplished school administrators Paul Vallas and Sandra Kase to guide the system in a new direction. Talk about a top-side powerwashing.

If you’ve been craving dramatic change in school leadership you’ve got it like this city has never experienced before. What does it take to fix a beleaguered school system with new leadership in place? We’re going to find out, assuming the Connecticut Supreme Court doesn’t throw a grenade into it (something opponents to the state takeover desire).

So many questions. Closing this year’s budget gap? Lobbying for more state dough? Changing the state formula for financing city schools? What schools remain open? What schools close? How to modernize Harding High School? What do veteran school administrators think? What do teachers say?

Trepidation or rejoice?



  1. While I personally feel the BOE abdicated its responsibilities, I applaud the bold move on the part of the appointed Board to put in place new leadership with a reputation for bringing about change. Let’s hope their efforts continue whether the new Board is sustained or overturned–because the important part of all of this educating the kids. But we know there are a great many kids succeeding in the Bridgeport school system who are not recognized for their achievements–and let’s face it, there are many students who go to suburban schools who are no better educated than inner city students–Education happens when an interested student and a motivated teacher are in the same room, and the student knows their parent expects nothing less than good grades.

    So much of a student’s success is based upon expectations–regardless of where you go to school–and while Steve Jobs may be an exception (as a college dropout), the key is to have the tools to learn even if you are not motivated to learn on the timeline dictated by the system schedule–look at how many people go back to school later in life when they decide they want to learn verses when they were expected to learn.

    1. Well stated, Common Good! Lots of ‘common sense’ in your words.
      Hopefully our public school opportunity or ‘journey,’ if you will, is supported by public taxes for at least 12 years. What could be smarter than using that opportunity to grab every piece of learning, both ‘how to’ discipline and absolute mastery of limited subjects, possible? Then many roads are open although not necessarily without a financial price tag. How do you beat that educational foundation at no cost to you? But the community is ever relentless in expecting good results, and when that does not occur, it challenges “throwing good money after bad!” Isn’t that a reason to be looking for major differences in this administration from the last one? Let’s see if the linkage with parents, youth, teachers, specialists, administrators and the community at large can be put together to reach necessary goals each year. Time will tell.


    “Is a change in management enough to transform some of the worst schools in the country? Paul Vallas seems to think so, which might explain why the New Orleans superintendent is one of the biggest cheerleaders for charter schools. Because charter schools are free from district control and often from teacher unions, they have the power to hire and fire, choose the curriculum, and set student rules. Over half of Vallas’ schools are now charters, and most of them are outperforming traditionally-run schools in New Orleans. But Vallas wants to ‘charterize’ the entire district, even though there’s evidence that charters may be abusing their freedom.”

    Oct 6, 2010 4:00 PM
    “A legal complaint alleges that the Big Easy’s schools discriminate against children with disabilities. What good is the charter revolution if it doesn’t reach the students who are most in need?

    “In July, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a legal complaint against the Louisiana Department of Education alleging that schools have been turning away parents with disabled children and shirking their responsibilities to ensure that the special-needs students they do serve actually benefit from academic instruction. The complaint asserts that New Orleans schools are in violation of the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), particularly in terms of excessive punishment of children with emotional and behavioral problems.”

  3. *** I hope the change turns the Bpt school system upside down & shakes ’til everything negative falls out! A new fresh start from top to bottom. Come on Supremes, let’s not fall “in & out of love” with the state takeover! *** CHANGE ***

  4. Lennie, you know what, I’m dizzy. In the last two days three people have been suspended because of possible conflict of interest with regards to MBE work being given to a city employee who started a minority business by G Pic and Sons on Knowlton Street park project. This work was given to G Pic and Sons by none other than Charlie Carroll who was instructed by The Man on Madison Ave to give work to G Pic and then he instructed them to give work to a city employee, now three people are suspended with pay because they apparently let this happen but the orchestrator Charlie Carroll was not suspended because he was doing the lord’s work, MT.

    The city of Bridgeport no matter what anyone says does not deserve this, pay raises to undeserving people, jobs handed to political contributors (blank check work) because they spend big money drinking and eating at Testo’s, city employees getting MBE work steered their way by CC on Mario’s orders. They don’t care, Nunn, Adam Woods, McCarthy, Charlie, it’s time for them to earn big bucks maybe they figure the next four years is their ticket to really give it to the city one more long time. Merry Christmas to All and to All beware it’s Bpt citizens’ turn in the barrel again.


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