Bridgeport’s court of public opinion has spoken.
Dozens of teachers, parents, students and community leaders — including some unexpected supporters — came out to Monday night’s board meeting to express the significant improvements they have seen at Dunbar over the past year, since the school partnered with Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE).
But, in typical Bridgeport Board of Education fashion, the board left the door open for any political agendas that might come a-knocking.
No decisions were made on whether the partnership with FUSE will end, though a decision is expected mid-July.
Board members did vote in favor of giving Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz the authority to perform an audit on the school, leaving the impression that Baraka is merely waiting, plotting, getting her ducks in a row.
A mid-July decision would preclude any involvement from teachers — Baraka could use whatever Rabinowitz digs up as justification for a decision to pull the plug on the the FUSE/Dunbar relationship.
In addition, curiouser and curiouser, what a coincidence, a mid-July decision could coincide with a newly board-hired lawyer taking the litigious reins.
But, as teachers and supporters said on Monday night, if the board cuts the cord in mid-July, the school’s prospects will crumble by August.
Many noted the vast improvements in culture and climate the school has made in the past year.
Virginia Hudson Johnson, a second grade teacher at Dunbar School who has taught in Bridgeport schools for over 15 years, told the boards that FUSE was “instrumental” in bringing about change at Dunbar.
“It would be an injustice to our scholars and everyone who’s worked so hard this year to makes things happen in Dunbar schools” if the partnership was ended, Johnson said to the board.
Melanie Cordero, who has taught at Dunbar for six years, told the board she saw “remarkable changes at Dunbar School over the past year.”
“I finally feel like I’m a teacher,” she said.
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