Hartford’s Board of Education consists of four individuals who are elected by voters and five individuals who are appointed by the mayor. There are currently only four people running for the four open positions this year. Barring a write-in candidate or someone quitting his or her campaign, we know who will be filling those vacancies.
The nature of this campaign season is not reason to tune out. Knowing where candidates are coming from and where they stand on the issues helps residents get a sense of what to expect over the next few years.
One of the tasks before this new school board will be to select a superintendent who will manage the public schools and implement the educational interests and laws of the State of Connecticut. The ongoing clashing between the current superintendent and Board of Education highlights the importance of selecting and electing individuals who can work well with others while upholding their responsibilities and maintaining professionalism.
After the superintendent is chosen, the Board of Education will routinely evaluate the superintendent to ensure she or he is managing the schools as required by law.
The school board will also need to pass a financial budget that complies with state law.
And, what we typically see the Board of Education doing, is fulfilling its responsibility to create and modify policies for the operation of the schools.
To have any measure of success, everyone on the Board has to be on board with meeting these responsibilities.
Real Hartford asked the four Board of Education candidates — Mike Brescia, Robert Cotto, Jr., Beth Parker, and Craig Stallings — a series of questions to gauge their perspectives, experience, and dedication.
In what ways do you support public education?
Mike Brescia, endorsed Democrat. Lives in the South West neighborhood
MB: I was a teacher for a long time, so I was supporting it from the inside. I taught in secondary schools only, though I was certified from k-12. I’m still certified. I taught reading, math, and science. I’m all in favor of public education. One of the reasons I think that you don’t get many teachers on the board is that they can’t teach and be on the board at the same time [for the same district].
RC: Over the past four years, I have been a leading voice on the Hartford Board of Education for equal educational opportunities for all children in our public schools. Our public schools must help children learn to become engaged, productive, and healthy adults. To accomplish that goal, I have used my office to advocate for schools that offer a rich, broad curriculum for all students, sufficient resources for all schools, and collaboration with teachers and parents for school improvement. Across the state, I have protested the inappropriate use of tests to judge schools and award bonuses, excessive disciplinary practices, increasing racial and ethnic isolation, and the privatization of schools.
BP: I believe that a high quality public education system is essential to the health and economic vitality of a municipality. I am a product of public school education and am running for the Hartford Board of Education because I am committed to a rigorous public school education in which resources of parents, community members and corporate partners are directed synergistically to improve, support and enhance public school education.
CS: I believe that all children have a right to an education. The public school system is the only way to make sure children are given that opportunity. Continue reading 'Meet Hartford’s Board of Education Candidates, 2013'»