NPE endorses three candidates for Bridgeport, CT Board of Education
The Network for Public Education, a national organization that fights for the preservation of our public school system, has endorsed three candidates for the Bridgeport Board of Education – Andre Baker, Dave Hennessey, and Howard Gardner.
The September 10th primary in Bridgeport – Connecticut’s most populous city – looks to be a key contest in the battle for control of the school board. In recent years, politicians and school officials have enacted damaging reforms in Bridgeport and a change in the make-up of the board is necessary to correct the course of the school district.
Andre Baker, a four-term Bridgeport City Councilman, brings political experience and a history of working cooperatively with the diverse electorate of Bridgeport. Dave Hennessey served 38 years as a teacher and coach in Bridgeport and has also been a member of the Bridgeport City Council. Information Technology Professional, Howard Gardner, brings extensive business and community service experience to the race.
The Network for Public Education first learned about the Bridgeport race from former Connecticut Superior Court judge, Carmen L. Lopez (a ‘Hero of Education’, herself according to NPE President, Diane Ravitch), who strongly endorsed all three candidates. Judge Lopez eloquently explained the importance of the Bridgeport election and the qualifications of the candidates.
“Bridgeport, Connecticut, has been called the ground zero of the education reform movement in the state of Connecticut. First, the reformers tried to take over the local board of education and replace the democratically elected members with an appointed board. The Connecticut Supreme Court held the takeover illegal. The education reformers lost!
Then, the reformers tried to take away the Bridgeport voters right to vote for members of their board of education by changing the city charter. The voters of the city rejected the move to take away their voting rights. The education reformers lost!
Then, the reformers hired Paul Vallas as the Superintendent of Schools. The superior court held Paul Vallas unqualified under Connecticut law. The education reformers lost!
Now, they are promoting three supporters of a mayoral appointed Board of Education, Kate Roach Kukovsy, Simon Castillo, and Brandon Clark, as their candidates for the Bridgeport Board of Education in the upcoming Democratic primary on September 10, 2013.
Howard Gardner, Dave Hennessey and Andre Baker believe in public education and will promote parental involvement in education decisions. Their opponents represent the forces of corporate control of education, teaching to the test and appointed boards of education.
Anyone who believes that democracy, and community input is better than a top down “reform” agenda, has only one choice – Howard, Dave and Andre will put Bridgeport’s public school children first.
Join me in voting for Howard, Dave and Andre in the September 10 primary.”
In endorsing Andre Baker, Dave Hennessey, and Howard Gardner, the Network for Public Education looks to encourage citizens in Connecticut and throughout the nation to participate in local elections like the important Bridgeport Board of Education race. Our public education system is a fundamental pillar of our democracy and advocacy begins with participation in local elections.
For more information about The Network for Public Education, please visit http://networkforpubliceducation.org.