Over the last year, the state’s three largest school districts – Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford – abruptly lost their superintendents to resignation.
This revolving door of school leaders is nothing new for Connecticut’s urban school districts and unfortunately, falls in line with trends across the country. Hartford has gone through nearly a dozen superintendents over the last 25 years. In Bridgeport, the district has gone through three superintendents in the past five years, with at least two resigning over school board unrest. The story is the same in New Haven.
In a recent interview with WNRP’s David Desroches, two Bridgeport teachers discuss what many don’t realize: High leadership turnover can have devastating effects on the classroom.
“As superintendents come and go, what they value changes — and that affects everyone,” said Sheena Graham, a music teacher who’s taught in Bridgeport for over 30 years.
Teaching in an urban school district comes with many challenges. Some are well-known — many have high poverty and crime rates with greater concentrations of disadvantaged families. But there’s another challenge teachers face that makes it hard to tackle these problems: turnover in leadership.
Shawn Mitchell has been teaching theater at Central High School for eight years. He said Bridgeport is too often the guinea pig for emerging programs that promise to turnaround failing districts or schools…”
To listen to the full interview with Sheena Graham and Shawn Mitchell, here’s a link
For more on this, here’s links to Education Connecticut’s past coverage:
- Sorry, Not Sorry: Recent Events In New Haven Prove “High Stakes Testing” Is A Complete and Utter Myth