OIB Poll: BOE State Takeover?


Is the Board of Education boycott so messy the state should step in and take over city schools?

  • Yes, it's chaotic and the state should seize control. (65%, 114 Votes)
  • No, the state should tell Bridgeport to gets its act together and retain local control. (35%, 62 Votes)

Total Voters: 176

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18 comments

  1. The state can’t get out of its own way. Bridgeport’s broken public school system is in no small measure due to the broken state government mechanism of Connecticut. Throw in a governor who can’t see past the Exit 8 backup off I-95, and there is no way the state government of 2016 Connecticut can fix anything without help from the federal government, a few benevolent functional states, and possibly some benevolent private individuals/agencies.

    The only thing the state could possibly do to help the current BOE crisis in Bridgeport is to use state statute to address the recalcitrant, illegal behavior of the board “leadership.” I will stick by the statement from a previous post, below. (With the addendum the “striking” BOE members should be ordered to either resign or get back to board business within 24 hours, or face arrest. See below.)

    Jeff Kohut // Sep 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm
    In 1978, striking Bridgeport teachers were jailed by a state-sanctioned order.

    The “striking” BBOE members should be jailed. Maybe that would allow them time to regain their perspective. They are doing real, irreparable harm to this city and its children. Maybe some jail time would provide them with the right opportunity to think about ways to function in the face of serious disagreement with colleagues on the BBOE. And maybe an organizational psychologist could be hired by the city to work with the whole BBOE to help them find a way to function in some efficient, effective manner.

  2. I am sure the purpose of this stunt by Bradley, Larcheveque, McSpirit and Negron is to promote a state takeover, however the state has to know we will end up right back in court.

    The state of CT has severely underfunded the BPS for over three decades, the state is a fiscal disaster, the state’s Commissioner Network that takes over specific schools for three to five years has shown no significant academic improvement, i.e. Dunbar School performed worse last year than the year prior, they will sell our 21,000 minority students to the white billionaires/millionaires who only care about $$$ not children. Every city where the state has taken over a school district has been an absolute disaster, i.e. Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, Camden, New Orleans, etc.

    Any attempt at another takeover will end up back in court. Period.

    Where is the option to tell the BOE members who have decided to abdicate their statutory obligations to do the jobs they were elected to do?

    1. The people have spoken, Ms. Pereira. 66% of poll respondents think the state Department of Education ought to take control of Bridgeport’s public school system. High school students can’t read above a 3rd or 4th grade level and all you can do is obstruct, call names and say “Dennis Bradley […] needs a psychologist. He is an absolute narcissist.” The youth of Bridgeport are still receiving a substandard education because the members of the BOE can’t get past their own petty disagreements and pointless bickering matches. You have the time to design and print “wanted” posters, how about putting all that time and energy to good use by improving the quality of education, improving school security and giving hope to the school-aged kids who are on the express line to gang life?

      The rest of the board is tired of your “my way or the highway” attitude and tactics. The BOE is a democratic parliamentary body, not a cheesy “reality TV” program called “Doin’ the BPT with Maria.”

  3. This was the point from the beginning when Hennessey switched parties. I believe an organizational psychlogist may have already been engaged. They counted on predictable behavior and manipulated each member of the board to join in this fiasco, which will end in a state takeover. Who could have predicted this? The following is pasted from an email sent to every board member on June 29 2016.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the board. It is I, Joseph Sokolovic, a candidate for the vacant board seat. It appears the mayor will be appointing someone to fill the vacant seat. I, like the board, think this would be a terrible idea that would make the board appear weak and vulnerable to the state.

    The board, and more importantly our children, are much worse off now than at the beginning of this convoluted process. It began with strange, suspect circumstances. It appeared the seat was ripe for a hand-picked successor or some other political nonsense. This is why I threw my hat into the ring. The board now seems to be on the verge of what amounts to mayoral control with the tie-breaking vote. What I suspect will follow is the state will be ready to pounce while the board is at its most vulnerable, fighting the mayor’s appointment. Whose agenda will be followed? The mayor’s? The boards? Was this the ultimate plan the board was manipulated into bringing to fruition? Was the ultimate plan for a mayoral appointee? Who knows?

    I just know without showing a united front the board and our children are vulnerable to further cuts by city and state budget cuts and God forbid a state takeover. I think the board needs to act quickly before the mayor’s hand-picked replacement is announced. The best case scenario would be a unanimous vote and announcement ASAP be it myself, or if need be for the sake of united front, Mr. John Weldon.

    If I am chosen I will not fight any court ruling stating the seat should go to a Democratic Party candidate. I will do what’s right for the children. Not politics.

  4. The only way out is now for the board members to act in an unpredictable manner. Reach out across the divide. Come to a compromise. Put egos aside and work respectfully with the board as is pending a court ruling. Work within the democratic processes to unseat those duly elected rather than extortion using 22,000 children’s education as a weapon. Work with the Mayoral appointee, with respect while still fighting the appointment in court.

    Somebody needs to make the first move. I am basically nobody without any connections, but I am willing to act as a go-between if anybody would like to take steps and begin talking about coming back to the table or even toning down the rhetoric.

    1. Joseph, c’mon man, you should know better, that’s too much like doing the right thing. First Bill Finch did his part with the first takeover of the BOE and now Mayor Ganim is taking up the cause but this is over both their pay grades, this is coming from outside forces. Just follow the money, the education of children is real big money.

  5. Mackey is right. This is about power and control. About money and jobs. Do you really think Joe and Mario care about getting the board to function properly? They want a board that will do exactly as they are told.

  6. Maria screwed the whole thing up by filing her lawsuit. If she hadn’t then the board would not meet and Ganim would declare a crisis and appoint a new member. 5-4 is all he needed. But what was the other play?
    Immediately calling off the search for a new super and giving Fran a five-year contract?
    Changing BOE rules to give Bradley more power to stifle or remove Maria from meetings?
    Something else was at play here. Now there’s a judge involved and that can’t be good for the schemers and scammers in City Hall Annex.

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