A recent editorial by the Connecticut Post’s Hugh Bailey implied the recent changes at Dunbar school were not community supported, citing the recent primary results—where only a few hundred votes were casted—as proof.
An actual member of the East End community, Bishop Richard Griffith, responded by writing a letter in support of Dunbar’s turnaround plan. Contrary to Bailey’s claims, the community’s involvement in the process which brought FUSE to Dunbar shows there is broad support for the changes made:
Hugh Bailey’s take on the Bridgeport primary was on point in one respect: The community is speaking more powerfully about the change they want to see and what that change should look like.
However, his recognition of the community’s will seems to end when the topic came to Dunbar School in general, and the selection of Family Urban Schools of Excellence in particular. Led by its CEO, Michael Sharpe, FUSE was welcomed into the East End community because they saw us not as a group that should be talked about or talked at, but talked to. We were engaged long before the vote by the state or the school board. And the engagement continued, from the door-to-door outreach to the community block party, which was attended by more than 300 residents of this community.
To be certain, resources matter when it comes to turning around a failing school. What matters even more is buy-in from those who will be most impacted by change. Yes, we want better schools and we demand to be partners in that process. That was the message in the vote, and our decision to support FUSE at Dunbar…
To read the full letter: [Connecticut Post, 9/23/2013]