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Deal surfaces to give Bridgeport elementary school to Hartford charter school company

by: ctblogger

Mon May 13, 2013 at 08:21:48 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Fresh off Malloy's "victory" of getting the Chief Operating Officer of FUSE/Jumoke Academy on to the State Board of Education, the Malloy Administration, Mayor Bill Finch and "Superintendent of Schools," Paul Vallas, have apparently concocted a deal to hand Bridgeport's Paul Lawrence Dunbar Elementary School over to Hartford's Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE)/Jumoke Academy to run.

FUSE/Jumoke Academy is best known for its complete failure to provide educational opportunities to Latino and non-English speaking children, children who go home to households that don't speak English or children who need special education services.

In fact, since Jumoke Academy opened its doors in Hartford, it has failed to admit ANY non-English speaking students or ANY students from non-English speaking households.  In addition, less than 4 percent of Jumoke Academy's students receive special education services.

All this despite the fact that the Jumoke Academy is located in Hartford; a city in which more than 1 in 4 students aren't fluent in English, where more than 4 in 10 go home to households where English is not the primary language and where more than 1 in 10 require some type of special education services.

As a result of this new deal, FUSE/Jumoke will be given control of the Dunbar School where, according to the State Department of Education's School Profile Database, at least 18 percent of the students go home to households where English is not the primary language and about 12 percent of the students receive special education services.  Thus Team Vallas is proposing to turn a Bridgeport school over to a company that has absolutely no meaningful experience with two of the most important populations that attend Dunbar.

There's more below the fold...

ctblogger :: Deal surfaces to give Bridgeport elementary school to Hartford charter school company
The Bridgeport deal would mirror the one in Hartford where FUSE/Jumoke Academy was given Hartford's Milner School under a deal between Malloy's Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor and the Hartford School System.

Speaking for Team Vallas about the Dunbar deal, Bridgeport's chief operating officer, Sandra Kase, explained to the Connecticut Post that, "Jumoke rose to the top of a short list of turnaround models - the others included Classical Studies Academy, a local magnet school, and the Interdistrict Six-to-Six Magnet School in Bridgeport - because it was ready, willing and able to start this fall."

However, it is unclear whether Vallas et. al. bothered to follow the requirements of the Commissioner's Network planning process which includes extensive parent and public involvement before any plan can be submitted to the State Board of Education for approval.

One thing parents of Dunbar School students should know is that with Jumoke in control, there is almost no chance that they'll be able to keep the teachers they now have at the school.

When Jumoke took over the Milner School, Jumoke's CEO, Michael Sharpe, was able to push out nearly every administrator, teacher and staff member.  As Sharpe recently explained to the CT Post, "he is willing to interview anyone who wants to be a partner with the Jumoke model." In Hartford, parents and teachers learned, the hard way, that this was code for a strategy of replacing nearly every school employee once Jumoke was in charge.

Finally, of course, no story on the Jumoke move to Bridgeport would be complete without a quote from Mayor Bill Finch, who, according to the CT Post, "in a prepared statement, said he is thrilled with the prospects of getting the Jumoke model at Dunbar."

For the CTPost version of events, go to:  http://m.ctpost.com/connpost/d...

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