This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Connecticut, an update on the Bridgeport superintendent search, and Democratic primary debates.
Speaker in the House
This past Friday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was the keynote speaker at the John Bailey Dinner, the annual fundraiser for the CT State Democratic party. She said that our three most important issues are “our children, our children, our children,” and had strong praise for the Connecticut delegation. Speaker Pelosi also responded to “impeach” signs and “lock him up” chants with a continued promise to “legislate, investigate, litigate”--assuring the audience that she intended to continue fighting the Trump administration, and that she hoped to see the President imprisoned, not impeached.
Bridgeport’s New Acting Chief
One month before the impending departure of current Bridgeport Superintendent Aresta Johnson, the district has selected an acting chief. Michael Testani, Director of Adult Education and Vice President of the Bridgeport administrator's union, will undertake the one-year acting Superintendent role, which precludes him from applying for the permanent job. He starts off on a dramatic note with board of education member Maria Pereira, who is frequently described as disruptive to the district’s leadership and functioning. During public interviews for this interim role, Pereira declared that the “fix” was in for Testani--prompting him to request her disqualification from the final vote. She was not ultimately excluded, and the board voted 5-3 in Testani’s favor.
Democratic Primary Debates This Week
This Wednesday and Thursday, the first Democratic primary debates will kick off--with ten candidates each night slated to make their cases. Election debates have the most potential impact on primaries, when it’s early in the cycle, and when the field is crowded. (Like now!) We'll be on the lookout for candidates' positions on public education. In the meantime, highlights of their stated positions include: Joe Biden’s commitment to universal pre-kindergarten; Senators Warren and Sanders on college affordability; and a common theme among candidates of increasing teacher pay. Notably, Senator Sanders has also called for a moratorium on the funding of all public charter school expansion. (Many more details in Chalkbeat.)