Bridgeport · Students

Dunbar Turnaround Committee Approves New Partnership with CES

With only two weeks left till schools starts, Dunbar’s turnaround committee chose Cooperative Education Services (CES) to replace Families Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE) as the school’s new Commissioner’s Network partner.

A strange, though not unexpected choice.

CES was the only organization mentioned in a joint statement released by the state Department of Education and Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz and the only organization pitched to the school’s newly formed turnaround committee last week according to the Connecticut Post.

CES’ role, unlike that of FUSE, is much more hands off. CES will mostly be providing support and training to Dunbar’s staff, as well as help with data management.

While this appears all well and good, I must admit giving an untested organization — as in an organization who has never led a school turnaround — the reins of not one, but two, schools in the same city in the same year is a bit suspect. (CES is also partnering with Marin School.)

Perhaps this was all done hastily, in the interest of time. It nonetheless raises questions.

The new school plan, which is still pending state and local approval, was approved unanimously by Dunbar’s new eight-member turnaround committee at its second meeting.

Despite all of this, there is good news. If the new plan is approved without a hitch, much of what worked at the school last year will be kept in place, including classroom assistants, an extended school day, additional training days for teachers and even the school’s blazer ceremony.

Both the school’s principal Marilyn Taylor and the assistant principal Alyshia Perrin will also continue on with the school.

According to the Connecticut Post, the Bridgeport Board of Education is expected to vote on the school’s new plan at their August 25 board meeting, and the state board at their September 3 meeting.



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