As has previously been reported on this blog, Maria Pereira, local chair of Bridgeport’s Working Families Party, may have been caught calling the shots during public Board of Education meetings.[Education Bridgeport, 1/10/2014]
Her defense of those actions is not to be believed.
Pereira used to be a member of board, but she stepped down to take a position as local chair of the Working Families Party. These machinations now seem pretty transparent — Pereira, local chair of a union-funded political party, can now remain in the shadows issuing direction while the union-funded board negotiates contracts with the union.
All that hasn’t stopped Pereira from whispering in the ears of Working Families Party-aligned members of the board like John Bagley during public meetings. I caught it on tape, so there was no denying.
Her excuse? She was asking him out on a date.
Pereira said as much on Education Bridgeport’s Facebook page, asking “Are you sure I wasn’t asking him to meet for lunch the following day?”
She addresses me personally, admitting that she’s not sure who runs the board: “Ms. DeSombre, you asked ‘Who is in charge at the Board of Education?’ I am not sure what the correct answer to your question is.”
Are we to believe that a former member of the board and current political operative who now feels quite content to pull Bagley’s strings in full public view doesn’t know who’s calling the plays?
It’s clear as crystal who is not in charge: Parents, teachers, school administrators and Bridgeport residents.
Somewhere in Pereira’s scheming, some facts got lost, like the fact that one out of three kids in Bridgeport doesn’t graduate.
Pereira and her realpolitik mindset have been too concerned with control, too obsessed with power, and focused not at all on solving the problems faced by every Bridgeport student every day.
And, unfortunately, as Pereira herself boasts, “that is how it will be for at least the next two years.”
Maria, maybe on your lunch date with Bagley the two of you can, you know, figure out who’s in charge and, oh I don’t know, talk about how to get Bridgeport’s schools on track?
Just a suggestion.
To comment on this and other stories, please check out the Education Bridgeport! Facebook page