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Election Shifts Bridgeport School Board

The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

Max Medina, Jr. is a lawyer in Bridgeport, and is past president of the Bridgeport school board. He said, "Locally, the superintendent, Mr. Paul Vallas, now has to demonstrate that he can work with a board that he does not necessarily control. From a national perspective, it’s a defeat for those people who call themselves reformers, and advance an agenda of attacking teacher unions, and blaming teachers for everything that goes wrong in the school system."

Medina went on to say the Working Families Party candidates have a strong following in the city of Bridgeport. "It demonstrates that if your neighbors and your community know you," he said, "they will support you over the efforts of outsiders who may have the deep pockets to support a media campaign, but don’t have a real connection with the community."

Bridgeport is one of the lowest performing school districts in the state.

Diane Orson is a special correspondent with Connecticut Public. She is a longtime reporter and contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories have been heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now. Diane spent seven years as CT Public Radio's local host for Morning Edition.

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