Published by Connecticut Post, December 10, 2010

Dear Gov.-elect Malloy,

On Nov. 16, a partnership led by the Bridgeport Public Education Fund and the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition with support from Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children, Regional Youth/Adult Social Action Partnership, School Volunteer Association, and Bridgeport Partnership for Student Success held a panel presentation on the report issued by the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement. Over 150 people, from across the state, attended the presentation at Housatonic Community College. Commissioners David Carson, Carla Klein, Dudley Williams, and Co-Executive Director Shana Kennedy were the panelists.

The commissioners gave an overview of their work including the process, public hearings and out-of-state visits. Each of the six recommendations was thoroughly reviewed by one of the commissioners and they responded to insightful written questions from the audience. In addition, a list of the questions not asked was compiled and shared with the commission.

The Community Outreach committee of the BPEF met to evaluative the presentation and has developed a set of next steps:

  • Send out periodic Action Alert e-mails to all attendees and other partners asking their support for pending legislation.
  • Hold a follow-up presentation with the commissioners in the spring to discuss what steps have been taken toward implementation of the recommendations.

Our partnership supports all six recommendations from the commission: Demand accountability; High expectations; Foster leadership; Excellent teaching; Invest Intelligently; Turnaround Schools. Collectively, our partnership represents hundreds of people in the Bridgeport area who are committed to quality public education for all students — especially those in our urban areas. We know that you are a strong advocate of public education and we know that you took bold moves in Stamford to create a unified effort creating an equitable school system for all students.

We are now urging you to take bold steps in creating a focused approach to closing the achievement gap at the state level. Many of the recommendations will involve radical changes in structure and accountability at the state level and Connecticut needs to lead the way in taking bold steps by committing to implement all the recommendations developed by the Commission on Educational Achievement.

We wish you all the best in your new role as governor of the State of Connecticut and look forward to working with you in the years to come.

Margaret Hiller
Executive Director, Bridgeport Public Education Fund;

Mary Pat Healy
Executive Director, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition;

Diane Brassell
Co-Chairperson, Bridgeport Partnership for Student Success;

Betsy O’Connor
Coordinator, Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children;

Robert Francis
Executive Director, Regional Youth/Adult Social Action Partnership;

Anne Gribbon
Executive Director, School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport, Inc.