‘Unite Bridgeport’ Organizers To Present Petition Campaign For Change To School Board

Families for Excellent Schools, the charter school advocacy group, is expected to submit more than 10,000 petition signatures to the Board of Education next week “in support of system-wide change that would give every Bridgeport student access to a high-quality school,” according to organizers.

Some FES canvassers have had a running battle with former school board member Maria Pereira, opposed to charter schools, who has filmed them while seeking signatures in city neighborhoods. On Tuesday FES released two videos of canvassers discussing their efforts to build support to improve city schools.

The first video in the ‘Unite Bridgeport’ campaign features Ernest Davis whose granddaughter attends Waltersville School. He talks about creating opportunities for kids to avoid incarceration.

Sisters Louise Galindez and Doris Camargo, whose children attend Columbus School, speak about why they got involved in the city-wide education effort.

More than a dozen canvassers for the “Unite Bridgeport” campaign will collect petitions through the coming weekend, with the goal of gathering 10,000 signatures by the end of September, and presenting them to the Board of Education next week.

charter school petition
Petition circulated by canvassers for Families for Excellent Schools.

Although FES is a pro-charter organization, organizers say this effort isn’t only about charters. The goal is to find some common-ground solutions with school leaders for improving all schools.

Kara Neidhardt, state director for Families for Excellent Schools says, “What we’re hearing every day is that people are tired of infighting, they are concerned about the city’s failing schools and want to come together as a community to create change. These petitions send a powerful message. We’re very encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from Bridgeport parents and residents.”



  1. I know the answer to the moderator’s question, why are you doing this work? It is quite simple, because they are being paid to do it.

    This gentleman states most students in Bridgeport go on to be incarcerated. Where is the data and facts to support his claim?

    The woman on the right side of the second video is the same woman who approached Tammy and I on Garfield St. and asked us to sign the petition. She is the same woman who denied our request to video record her. When Tammy and I asked her how signing her petition would improve the public schools, she refused to answer and directed us to contact her “supervisor” located at the Arcade Mall on Main Street.

    These are ill-informed parents and residents who need employment and are doing FES’s bidding because they need jobs.

    If Mayor Finch did a better job of creating jobs for our residents, these poor people wouldn’t need to work for such a disreputable organization. Maybe this is Mayor Finch’s master plan.

  2. We do have “ill-informed … residents.” But since we all have info gaps depending on the subjects, we depend on others to educate and inform with a big concept in mind.
    First, I find I need to respect the people in my community, unless and until they prove undeserving of that respect.
    Second, I have learned most people have some common sense and life experience that is valuable if you get them talking.
    Third, I find discovering a common goal by listening is also helpful in creating common cause. It is more powerful and long-lasting than deep pockets and fear mongering.
    That’s it for today. A posting of City Council address by OIB, a letter to the CT Post in the paper with lots of folks calling to say they are surprised it was published and thanking me for my words, and now I must put on a bow tie to attend a wake for the child of a close friend. It is a time to pay my respects and stand in solidarity with a family in pain. Time will tell.

  3. The whole FES thing is just pure bullshit. A bunch of people from God knows where hire a bunch of Bridgeport people to get signatures on a petition that means nothing. You can’t make this stuff up–do they think we’re a bunch of total idiots? Who believes this crap?

  4. Baffled in Bridgeport, one of the FES canvassers approached a parent leader of the Parent Advisory Council for the BPS. He asked him to sign the petition because it would help improve the Bridgeport Public Schools and help the kids get “better” computers.

    How is that for honesty, integrity and transparency?


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