In the State · New Haven

Doesn’t This Sound Familiar? New Haven School Board Infighting Ends In Halted Superintendent Search

In case you need a “poster child” for why politics and education don’t go together, recently New Haven’s school board seems to be taking cues from Bridgeport — where infighting and rancor halted their search for a permanent superintendent nearly three years.

If you need a refresher, here’s footage from Bridgeport’s last year:

At the moment, New Haven is heading down this path. Here’s an excerpt from what one parent leader had to say:

“A parent leader in the room called the back-and-forth “crazy,” “ridiculous” and a “big mess”; a union representative said they were “wasting time.”

The school district has been without a superintendent for over a year. Ever since they ousted superintendent Garth Harris early for what amount to him doing a good job.  (In case you need a refresher: Harris “resigned” early last September after the district saw a jump in annual assessment scores, a decrease in chronic absenteeism and an increase in graduation rates.)

This is what happens when politics reigns the day — and boy does it in New Haven! According to the New Haven Independent, the process of searching for a new superintendent was halted indefinitely:

“After an executive search firm deemed no internal candidate worthy of a second-round interview, the Board of Education has splintered: Three board members want to proceed with interviewing those candidates that the company recommended; three others want to retool the selection process that rejected all local applicants.

With that even split — which held Monday night after intensive closed-door lobbying of one board member, Frank Redente —  the process has jammed to a halt. While the board members arm-wrestle over Redente’s swing vote, interviews with six semifinalists, originally scheduled for this Wednesday, have been postponed indefinitely. Board members are also split on whether an internal candidate from New Haven’s schools should get a shot at becoming superintendent.

And Tuesday morning, the board’s president weakened a fellow board member’s control overseeing the search process. And the board member refused to accept the change.”



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