School Reform Group Launches Campaign Supporting Charter Schools

Families for Excellent Schools has taken to the airwaves in response to the Board of Education “committed to filing legal action to block the opening” of charter schools. The Connecticut Mirror has more on this here. News release from FES.

Families for Excellent Schools (FES), an organization of parents and supporters of school reform, today launched a radio advertising campaign in support of two new public charter schools authorized by the State Board of Education this month.

The ad campaign, running on both English- and Spanish-speaking stations in Bridgeport, lauds the approval of Great Oaks and Capitol Preparatory Harbor charter schools, and their potential impact on families across the city.

“Two new public charter schools are due to open and hundreds of families who’ve been stuck on waiting lists will finally have access to a great neighborhood school,” the ad says. “It’s a new day in Bridgeport.”

Great Oaks Charter School is slated to open in September 2014, and Capitol Preparatory Harbor School the following year. But, members of the Bridgeport Board of Education have committed to filing legal action to block the opening.

In advance of that possible legal action, FES has placed radio ads to highlight parent and community support for the two schools.

“We are making our voices heard to support these excellent neighborhood schools,” Linda Francis, a Bridgeport school parent and FES organizer said. “We cannot go back to business as usual.”

Bridgeport charter parents have advocated strongly for new schools of choice to increase quality options for families. In March, hundreds of parents, parishioners and community leaders attended four public hearings across the state to support four charter school applications.

Charter schools are public schools, funded through the state’s education funding formulas. The state Board of Education voted on April 2 to approve all four applicants, including two in Bridgeport.

Families For Excellent Schools harnesses the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools. The parent-driven organization has more than 1,500 Bridgeport members.



  1. Families for Excellent Schools Board of Directors is loaded with Wall Street executives. The same executives who were instrumental in the financial collapse of the United States. Are these the type of people who should be involved in the education of Bridgeport’s children? Do you want to see the same kind of disaster in education they created economically? You have to wonder how many of these Wall Street executives will send their children to a charter school. My bet is none. Their kids will be in cushy private schools while they try to dictate where minorities in urban communities should send their children.

    Does anyone truly believe these Wall Street executives are concerned about the minority children in Bridgeport? They care about one thing and one thing only. That is lining their pockets whenever and however possible.

    If they have 1,500-1,600 members in Bridgeport, where are they? They held a rally at Aquaculture in December and only had about 20 members attend. The video is available on YouTube.

  2. I have also seen the commercial the teachers union put out. Raise. What a crock. 20% of those people will be out sick today. The worst recidivism rate of all city departments. You have to ask yourself how many teachers send their kids to BPT schools? How many teachers would have their kids in the same school they work in? These teachers drop their kids off at successful schools in the ‘burbs and work at the failing schools in the ‘hood. It’s all good as long as they get their 8%. Dave Moore and his tea party buddies only care about getting their 8% and the poor only get enough education to make minimum wage or collect welfare. They have fought tooth and nail to defeat any changes to the system. Now they want to take away our choices. Keep the people coming to the company store. A true Tea Party mentality.
    I believe the ‘Wall Street executives’ like Bill Gates would want these kids to know how to operate a computer and be smart enough to get a job that would afford them the ability to buy one. Having generation after generation of people who make minimum wage does not benefit Wall Street executives. These executives need an educated work force, a population of consumers who can afford to buy stuff and a low tax rate. In other words, they need exactly what our current public education system is NOT supplying.

    1. Here we go again, you state “20% of those people will be out sick today.”

      Another complete falsehood. You have absolutely NO data to support your baseless statement. I have seen the certified staff absenteeism reports provided to the BBOE, and the absenteeism rate is nowhere near 20%.

      There are over 300 BPS teachers who reside in Bridgeport. I do not know exactly how many of them send their children to the BPS schools, but I do know several teachers who reside in Black Rock and the North End do send their children to our schools. If the teacher does not reside in Bridgeport, they cannot send their child to a BPS. It is against the law. How many teachers who teach in the charter schools located in Bridgeport send their children to the Bridgeport charters? Do you have any REAL data that shows charter school teachers send their children to the charter schools located in Bridgeport? Doubt it.

      Charter schools do not represent “school choice,” they represent “school chance.” After all, you can only gain entry if by chance your child’s name is drawn.

      Bill Gates, the Koch brothers, Bloomberg, Murdoch, the Walton Foundation, the Broad Foundation, etc. represent the wealthiest men in the Unites States, if not the world. Their only goal is to make themselves and their friends wealthier. You know how many of these elitists have sent or send their children to charter schools? Once again, NONE.

      These individuals who only represent the 1% are doing everything in their power to control politicians, our government, privatize education, end collective bargaining and destroy what is left of the middle class. I am sure your position is they care about the brown and black children in urban communities like Bridgeport. If you truly believe that, I have a Congress Street Bridge I would like to sell you.

      1. Bridgeport Public Schools has a 180-day school year, therefore even if a teacher had 10 absences it would only equate to a 5.5% absence rate. That is nowhere near 20%.

        I think the other thing we need to keep in mind is teachers work with between 22 students to over 100 students per day. Children are very susceptible to illness and in turn infect their peers, teachers and support staff. Anyone who works in the public domain is clearly more exposed to illness when compared to someone who works in the private sector. Certainly people who work in fields who come in direct contact with others constantly are more likely to become ill. That includes retail, restaurant workers, etc.

        1. What about the school janitors? They come into contact with all the same children and have to deal with any spilled bodily fluids. The school nurse? They see all the sick kids in the building. These people do not miss as many days as the teachers.

          1. Can you please provide us with the data and analysis regarding the number of absences janitors and nurses experience when compared to certified staff? The BBOE only tracks certified staff, therefore this data does not exist. Stop making statements as if they were a fact. Your statements cannot be supported by any measurable data.

          2. I already answered your question. I do not have any children who have attended or currently attend the Bridgeport Public Schools. Please know study after study has repeatedly shown the number one indicator of a student’s academic success is their economic status. Period.

          3. The city’s absentee policy is very clear. No more than three occurrences in a rolling six-month period. No employee can return to work after three consecutive sick days without a doctor’s permission. No employee shall show a pattern of abusing the sick time policy. I.e., habitually calling in sick on Fridays or Mondays, habitually being ill for multiple two-day periods or consistently having no time in his/her sick time ‘bank.’

  3. And btw SPY, I am anything but tea party. In fact in 2012 I was with the Working Families Party canvassing against the Mayor’s charter revision. How is that for tea party? The tea party considers WF on the far left.
    Want to talk about tea party, SPY? Tea party are people who support charter schools, which are private schools funded by public money. I am against privatization, privatization is tea party. Know what you are talking about before you make such a ridiculous characterization.
    If you are so concerned about people on minimum wage, are you doing anything to support increases in the minimum wage? They may have raised it in CT but it hasn’t been in most states. What are you doing for a national minimum wage increase?
    And btw I was a volunteer for Congressman Himes’ re-election in 2010 and 2012 … hardly tea party.

    1. Increasing minimum wage is another argument. But increasing minimum wage is only a BPT schools system answer to poverty and that is no answer. Education and job opportunity is the answer to poverty. This education reform is Malloy’s (D) baby and a hardcore Dem like yourself thinks it is the worst idea since gun control? I don’t understand.
      Nonetheless, you have proven to me you have the facts and know about this education stuff. I acquiesce. I only need to send my kid to school and I have very few options. I have only one question. Knowing as much as you do, what school in town did you send your kids to? If it was good enough for your kid it is good enough for mine. I would like a charter school but that choice is being taken away. What should I do?

      1. Actually it is part of the argument. More money in the household means better food, better health and a better home environment. That does help the kids perform better in school. I don’t have any kids in school.
        Forget Charter schools. There are some good public schools in Bridgeport. Much as I am not a fan of Finch he would never send his kids to a bad school and all of his kids went to Bpt public schools. One of his kids went to BR school, which is excellent. If I were you I would forget charter schools and check into magnet schools.

        1. No, that was the idea behind breakfast at school. “Studies” showed that kids who eat breakfast do better in school. Now, we feed then all breakfast and there has been no improvement. Schools have actually gotten worse Experience would seem to show eating breakfast makes kids do worse in school. I guess they learn more when they are hungry. The more free meals a school gives, the worse the kids do. The top 10 schools in the state have less than 15% free lunches and the bottom 10 schools in the state are at 100% free meals.
          It could also be when parents care enough about their kids to get out of bed and feed them, the kid does better in school. We feed the kids breakfast, lunch and now dinner. That argument is moot.
          Where did you send your kids? I missed that answer. You have an answer for everything else.

    2. You are such a tea party DINO (Democrat In Name Only). Telling us where to send our kids when you are not suffering the same experience. Believing the only way someone in an urban area can make more is to raise minimum wage and expecting us to thank mighty Malloy for the dalla. Just fix the schools. We will make our own dollar.

      1. Tea Party supports charter schools. Raising the minimum wage increases household income … which helps out in so many areas. The tea party you claim I support is not only against increasing it they want to abolish it completely since they consider it a form of slavery … an argument I find ridiculous.

        1. Maybe I should join the tea party. Fixing the schools is a good idea and increasing minimum wage is a bad idea. Even if you oppose the tea party, opposing every idea they have is ludicrous. Just as supporting every idea any political party may have is a bad idea. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Regardless of how bad any politician or political party may be, each idea would need to be considered on its merits. However, charter schools, even if they are supported by the tea party, are also supported by Malloy (D). You should say charter schools have bi-partisan support (excluding you, the WFP and the CEA).

  4. www
    The effort comes after a release of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights earlier this year that found in the 2009-10 school year, 969 of 1,146 classroom teachers–84.6 percent–were absent at least 10 times.

    that is ‘at least’ 10 time in a 185-day year. That would be equate to a full-time worker being sick ‘at least’ 13 time a year or calling in sick once a month plus his birthday.

    1. I looked into this a little more. What does this problem really mean? If you take the ‘at least 10 days’ and add the personal time and vacation time (you would have to think if this guy is using all these sick days he is using everything and why does a 185 day/yr worker get vacation time?). Also, the ‘at least’ means 10 is the minimum.
      OK, back to the story. Take all the time this teacher is out; 10 sick, vacation and personal. This teacher would be out one day out of every 10 school days or one month a year or one entire year in the student’s educational lifetime K-12. That means our student will miss one entire year of school, not because the student is absent but because the teacher is. If you had an office with 10 employees, you would never have all your workers at work at the same time.

      1. If you take 52 weeks and multiply it times 5 workdays per week, the average person works 260 days per year. Now you have to exclude all federal holidays and any additional holidays a particular employer may choose to recognize. Bridgeport Public School teachers work 180 and this already excludes all federal holidays. They earn very few personal days and receive vacation time that can only be utilized with an administrator’s approval. It is the role of the administrator to ensure that vacation days are not being taken during key timeframes and that there are not an excessive amount of employees out on the same days. Teachers are not paid for summer break, but a teacher can request their salary be distributed over a 52-week period instead of the 180-day school year. It is the same salary no matter what period of time it is paid over.


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