Education Advocates To Rally For Legislative Action To Fix Failing Public Schools

Contending half of Bridgeport students attend failing schools, a coalition of education advocates and elected leaders including charter school parent supporters from Bridgeport will participate in a rally on Wednesday morning on the New Haven Green to urge legislative action as the General Assembly convenes for a six-month session next month.

“We’re gathering to put pressure on state leaders to make sure every child has access to great schools,” says Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer of the education advocacy group ConnCAN that supports more school options. Alexander says one way lawmakers in Hartford can provide a path to better schools is easing access to charter schools that have thousands of students on waiting lists.

Alexander says 40,000 Connecticut students are trapped in failing schools, the vast majority of students concentrated in five cities, 90 percent of whom are low income and children of color.

Charter schools receive public funds but operate independently from traditional district schools. Charter schools are a controversial topic in Bridgeport. Opponents argue charter schools strip money from the neediest public schools.

One of the groups involved in Wednesday’s really is the Northeast Charter Schools Network that supports school choice and quotes several Bridgeport parents seeking more options on its website.

Another event organizer For Every Child CT expects a crowd of more than 3,000 Wednesday 9 a.m. on the New Haven Green including Mayor Toni Harp and Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile.

Event organizers provided the follows statistics:

10,758 Bridgeport children are trapped in 12 chronically failing local public schools where the majority of students are below grade level in reading or math. These schools are failing our children and disproportionately impacting students of color and students living in poverty. 92 percent of students in failing Bridgeport schools are Black/African American or Latino/Hispanic, and 100 percent come from low-income households.

Failing Bridgeport Schools
Barnum School Curiale School
Bassick High School Dunbar School
Bryant School Harding High School
Central High School Jettie S. Tisdale School
Cesar Batalla School Luis Munoz Marin School
Columbus School Roosevelt School

These schools represent 40% of public schools in Bridgeport’s school district (12 of 30 total schools). 1 out of every 2 students in Bridgeport attend a failing school (10,758 students in failing schools out of 19,866 students in total).

Statewide: 40,000 Students Trapped In 63 Failing Schools

Statewide, nearly 40,000 students are trapped in 63 persistently failing schools. The majority of these schools are concentrated in five cities–Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and Waterbury–and disproportionately impact students of color and students living in poverty. On average, 87 percent of students at these schools are African American or Hispanic while 90 percent of students come from low-income households.

• A Crisis We Can Solve: Connecticut’s Failing Schools and Their Impact, ConnCAN Issue Brief, November 2014 –
• ConnCAN’s Report Card Project, August 2014 –
• NOTE: ConnCAN Issue Brief and Report Card Project findings are based on data provided by the Connecticut State Dept. of Education District and School Performance Reports 2012-2013



  1. The same Northeast Charter Schools that was founded by the fake “Dr. Sharpe” from FUSE who also served on its Board of Directors until he and FUSE imploded. The same fake “Dr. Sharpe” who served as an “adviser” to ConnCAN before the FBI came knocking.

    Who is ConnCAN to decide BPS children are “trapped” in “failing schools?” Isn’t that decision those of the children’s parents who actually have their children enrolled in these schools?

    Scott X. Esdaile needs to be reported to the national office of the NAACP. The NAACP passed a resolution against charter schools and in support of true public schools, which is binding on ALL chapters of the NAACP.

    Just more people from affluent suburbs who have never spent 24 hours in Bridgeport trying to tell us what is best for us.

    My guess is they will have fewer than 20 BPS parents in attendance. What else needs to be said?

  2. Be careful of the typical charter school propaganda. Read their press release carefully. They state over 10,000 students attend “failing schools,” however they do not say all 10,000 of those students are “failing.” I wonder why they don’t mention every single magnet school in Bridgeport significantly outperforms every charter school located in Bridgeport. Well the answer is simple, it doesn’t help their spin.


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