I wanted to write an uplifting story about Monday night’s organizational meeting – something about how this new board, with it’s fresh-faced leadership, could usher in the change that Bridgeport public schools is so desperately in need of.
Sadly, my expectations were dashed mere minutes into Dennis Bradley’s term as the Bridgeport Board of Education’s newly appointed chair; though not by any fault of his own.
Bradley, a 31-year-old attorney, was elected 5-4 by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
Not only does he have the potential to bridge the political party gap, Bradley is relatively new to Bridgeport BOE politics. Being a newcomer might be a good thing for a panel that’s been plagued by rancor and infighting.
Unfortunately, certain BOE members don’t want a fresh start.
Upset that her longtime ally Sauda Baraka was passed up for the position of chair, Maria Pereira interrupted Monday’s meeting to let Bradley know there would be “ferocious opposition” to his appointment.
Much like a child throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way, it seems Pereira has decided she’s going to make sure nothing gets done.
Make no mistake: Pereira’s outburst had nothing to do with what’s best for the children of Bridgeport, as she claims. This was made extremely evident by the fact that she walked out of Monday’s BOE meeting, her first since returning to the board.
I guess the children of Bridgeport only matter when it’s politically convenient for Pereira.
I hope I’m wrong about this, but if the new BOE’s first meeting is any indication, we’re in for another year marked by dysfunction, with very little being done to help the 22,000 students in Bridgeport Public schools.
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