Erasing The Board Of Education–Is This An Admission Of Failure? Two BOE Members Blame Ramos

UPDATE: Talk about Fourth of July fireworks, Linda Conner Lambeck reports in the Connecticut Post that Superintendent of Schools John Ramos and Mayor Bill Finch are asking the state to seize control of the Board of Education. Basically they’re saying it’s a mess, we cannot make it work under the existing structure. No argument here. But if you’re a mayoral candidate it opens the door to scream that the responsible parties who could not make it work–Finch and Ramos–are still in charge, and have failed the kids. Will Finch opponents stick their heads in the sand or rise up? Could the mayor’s polling data show public support for a state takeover? And why do I get the feeling that Maria Pereira, the number one Finch irritant on the BOE, dropped a dime in the phone to the Post before Finch could spin it?

Lambeck’s article here.

The Connecticut Working Families Party elected two members to the Bridgeport Board of Education. From WFP:

Bridgeport Board of Education Members React to Potential State Takeover

Working Families Party Members Call Move Undemocratic

Two Working Families Party members on the Board of Education reacted strongly today to a request from School Superintendent John Ramos to have the State Education Commissioner take the unprecedented step of reconstituting the Bridgeport Board of Education.

Under legislation enacted last year, the State Board of Education can authorize the State Education Commissioner to take over a municipal school district if schools fail to make progress.

Critics of the plan say it appears to target a vocal minority of the Board, while the real failure lies with the Superintendent John Ramos. Working Families members Sauda Baraka and Maria Pereira, along with Democrat Bobby Simmons, have opposed some moves by the majority, including layoffs and school closings, as well as some real estate transactions.

“Having a vocal minority is not called ‘dysfunctional;’ it’s called democracy,” said Board member Maria Pereira. “The Superintendent and the majority of board members are capable of moving their agenda with or without us. They just have to answer some questions from the minority, as well they should. But if they can’t–or don’t want to–govern, they can freely step aside.”

“It’s the 4th of July and this is America. We don’t un-do elections. In our democracy, people dictate to the government, not the other way around,” said Board member Sauda Baraka.

Baraka and Pereira say that the continuing poor performance of the public schools is why they insist on asking questions of the administration.

“Our schools continue to struggle and the children continue to suffer from that. So of course we’re going to raise our voices and ask questions–that’s what we were elected to do,” said Baraka.

Working Families Party, Connecticut’s fastest-growing independent party, fights for economic fairness for working class and middle class families. The WFP evaluates the records of all candidates and supports those who fight for issues like creating good jobs, making healthcare more affordable, ensuring access to paid sick days, and quality education for all.



  1. Finch and Ramos both deserve big FAT F’s. They for years have both crowed about Bridgeport’s Educational platform with their slogan fest. “Bridgeport! Expect Great Things!”

    Meanwhile these guys continue to reward mediocrity and punish excellence while feathering their own nests. It took you guys 3-1/2 years to figure this state takeover because you can’t make this thing work?

    Finch and Ramos are Dysfunctional Literates!

    1. You are being kind. Neither Finch nor Ramos deserve an F. It’s too high a grade for these two incompetents. A state takeover of the BOE would perhaps clear the way for the removal of all those layers of inept and overbloated administrators. Couple this with a sensible salary for whomever becomes the new super. Then the state should take over the City of Bridgeport and do the same thing …

  2. Let me get this straight … the state is threatening big cuts; Finch and Ramos are asking for state takeover of the BOE … and the City Council is going to approve a two-year no layoff agreement with one politically favored union? Really?

  3. This is a typical political dodge. Get someone else to take responsibility, especially if they are politically aligned with you. Then when more money is needed you can point to them. I only wish politicians could be legally liable for the mess they create.

    1. Charlie,
      The city has a “Theft of Service” clause they invoke if they feel you are screwing off on city time. They should use this to get rid of Ramos, his entire administration, and half of City Hall. Clearly they aren’t performing their jobs well.

  4. Happy Independence Day to one and all. One of our most cherished freedoms is the right to a democratically elected government. Bill Finch and most of the Bridgeport City Council do not qualify as democratically elected. In the case of Bill Finch he was recruited by a party apparatus that was terrified of the alternative: Chris Caruso. The party hacks and ward heelers put on the full-court press, rounding up all the drug addicts and alcoholics and blue-rinsed matrons who can be counted on to vote for whomever they’re told to vote for. And voila! Bill Finch won the primary by 270 votes, effectively making him the next mayor.

    We’ve been stuck with this retard for nearly four years, and what has he accomplished for the people of the city of Bridgeport? Nothing, nada, zippo, niente. He tried to take credit for the magnet school, but that’s a nonstarter. He was asked to not attend the negotiations because he was fucking them up. He’s made some noncommittal, vaguely positive noises about Steel Point. That’s another nonstarter. After a ceremonious groundbreaking there is nothing to show for all the talk. Nothing but a vermin-infested field of weeds and saw grass, two empty marinas and a wall emblazoned with the name “Steelpointe Harbor.” Big fucking deal.

    After reading a front-page story about Mario Testa, chairman of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, we now know who is in charge of municipal government and who is merely a puppet.

    The time is fast approaching for voters to make a decision about the governance of the city. We’ve had nearly four years of Bill Finch, a man who has done little if anything for the benefit of the people of the city of Bridgeport. He has made a more concerted effort to maintain a dysfunctional political status quo, negotiating concessions from the unions representing city employees in an effort to fill a large hole in the budget. At the same time he’s been hiring individuals to positions for which they are supremely unqualified, hiring them on the “recommendation” of Mr. Testa.

    ANYONE BUT FINCH, on September 13th.

  5. I remember when I was transferred to Columbus School when they were the first to be admitted to the ‘failing’ list. I was a high-energy reading specialist then, and I was supposed to have a place at Winthrop–‘teacher heaven’ as it was known. Not to be … I hadn’t even unpacked my stuff when I got the news.

    So the first day of school I’m sitting in Columbus’s library with their staff, and James Connelly related the bad news. Columbus was failing, failing, failing … whatever that meant.

    For me it was terrific. The reading people were showered with workshops given by VIPs, weekly visits from the state (they loved us), along with new books and curriculum galore.

    Unfortunately, more and more Bridgeport schools were added to the list, and we saw the state people less and less.

    Eventually they disappeared altogether.

    Hopefully the state has added more personnel to their ‘helping failing schools’ team. Somehow, I don’t think so.

  6. *** It’s “dump & run” for higher ground ’cause things @ the BOE are going to get worse before they get better, no? Writing’s been on the wall for some time now! *** Good guys wear black! ***

  7. I’m ashamed.

    Don’t blame it all on Finch and Ramos.

    The blame for the condition this stupid city is in falls squarely on the shoulders of Mario Testa and Paul Timpanelli. Testa because he thinks he is Napoleon and Timpanelli because he has been in charge of an organization that is chartered to create commerce so our city can return to prominence and prosperity. He has done absolutely nothing except take departing CEOs out to lunch. Worthless … both of them.

    Unless the disenfranchised registered Democrats who sit on their ass on primary and election days actually get up and out to vote, we will suffer the same indignities of Calamarian rule for another four years. This time it’s fatal. Any more time with these people in charge and we die and our death will cost every one of us more than we have available to support this horribly sinking ship.

    Bark louder, MJF. Some of these people don’t get your point.


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