Rather than an angry letter to the Connecticut Post, perhaps freshman board member Howard Gardner should actually be doing something for the 21,000 students in Bridgeport schools he’s sworn to serve.
Last November, many campaign promises were made. There was talk of a board that would compromise. A board marked with less rancor and political intrigue, with more focus on the children of Bridgeport. A board that would usher in profound changes.
Where is this new, revolutionary board? Certainly not attending Bridgeport Board of Education meetings. The number of strong-arm tactics and the level of animosity on display at board meetings have only increased in recent months.
Gardner has proven to be little more than a puppet for the special interests who spent over $150,000 to get him elected.
Gardner’s tenure, though short, has already been marked by inaction, political maneuvering, and terrible ideas.
His function on the board seems merely to complain and, of course, vote in favor of a salary increase for the very special interest group that funded his election.
Beyond that, what else has Gardner actually done? What has he done to improve education? Seems all he’s done since getting elected has been to block progress.
In one breath he’s bashing the mayor over the Minimum Budget Requirement — in the next he’s denying the kids of the east end and east side, who are currently stuck in a rat-infested 90 year old building, a new state-of-the-art high school.
Remember, Gardner was one of the four board members who remained steadfastly against building a new Harding High School. He voted “no” every chance he got. He even tried to block the project by attempting to refer it back to committee, which surely would have subjected it to death-by-committee.
What reason would Gardner have, other than pure politics, for voting no on Harding High School?
Gardner’s one big idea was to lock the City of Bridgeport into a years-long anti-education reform blueprint, ignoring realities like, you know, change and need. Anyone in their right mind knows that while long-term planning is one thing, chaining the district to a politically-driven, half-baked, long-term “blueprint” is bad policy.
Some unsolicited advice to the Board of Education: If Howard Gardner takes a position, opposing it will be better for the children of Bridgeport.
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