The Hartford board of education is in the process of picking a replacement for Superintendent Steven Adamowski, who will be leaving at the end of the school year. To help that process along, one city organization is holding community forums. WNPR's Jeff Cohen has more.
Achieve Hartford! is a local education reform group. It held a forum Wednesday at the city's SAND school to hear from parents and stakeholders on what they'd like to see in a superintendent, and a school district.
"I'm David Buie. I want to know who's going to have the last say over my children's education. Okay, yeah, I want to see who they're putting on a pedestal to say, 'This is the one. This is the guy.' I just want to be a part of it, and I think every parent should want to be a part of it."
Some at the forum spoke favorably of Adamowski -- like Tim Sullivan. He's the principal at Classical Magnet School, and he'd like to be the next superintendent. He spoke to WNPR, not to the forum.
"Dr. Adamowski has done some great work, he's broken some paradigms, he's kicked down some doors, he's been aggressive, he's been fast, and he's really moved the agenda quickly. I think the next phase of education needs to come a little differently. I think we need to engage our staff and our parents more in the process of redesign and change."
One of Adamowski's initiatives has been school choice -- allowing Hartford students and their parents to pick from a range of city schools. But Delicia Arnold said she's not a fan.
"I believe it is breaking up the community. We don't have that relationship with one another. My kids, they don't know anyone in their neighborhood. And communities build strength, it builds pride."
Levey Kardulis is a parent, a custodian at Burns School, and a union official. He says that the city's choice schools play second fiddle to the city's better-funded magnet schools.
"I like the direction partially that we're going, but I don't like the division that has happened between magnet and choice, because magnet gets everything choice gets absolutely nothing."
Data collected from the two public forums will be submitted to the board's superintendent selection committee. The board says it could complete its process by February.