Last Thursday, the Bridgeport Higher Education Association (BHEA) sent a letter to Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzel expressing their concerns over the Bridgeport Board of Education’s dysfunctional behavior.
In the letter, signed by Fairfield University President Jeffrey Von Arx, Housatonic Community College President Paul Broadie II, University of Bridgeport President Neil Salonen and Sacred Heart President Jon Petillo, they argue that a “raucous few” are silencing the majority to the detriment of the district.
Hmm, I wonder who they might be referring to?
The video above is from Monday’s board meeting, where Maria Pereira exhibited the exact type of “unprofessional and erratic” behavior that concerns the BHEA, not even a week after their letter was sent to the state.
As you can see, Pereira literally threatens the superintendent, warning that even if the vote doesn’t go her way, she’ll force the BOE to hold a special meeting, stacking the room with her buddies and the press.
The argument shown above was spurred on by a small group of BOE members, led by Pereira, who insist that the superintendent’s long-delayed evaluation must take place in public, a practice which Connecticut Association of Board of Education (CABE) frowns upon and just about no other school board in the state does.
Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz, acting on her contractual rights, requested that the evaluation process take place in executive session, with the final results released to the public. The BOE is contractually obligated to evaluate the superintendent based on a mutually agreed upon “process” and “guidelines.” This isn’t any different from how teachers and principals are evaluated. This is just general professional practice.
None of that matters to Pereira. As usual, it’s her way or the highway.
So, even though on Monday the majority of the board voted to begin the process of evaluating the superintendent, Pereira has already vowed to turn this into a political side-show. And, that’s exactly what it will be — more time-wasting that takes away the focus from the 22,000 children in Bridgeport schools.
Here’s copy of Rabinowitz’s full statement:
And, here’s the full text of BHEA’s letter to the Education Commissioner:
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