Opinion: Seeking reform in Stamford’s classrooms

A classroom at Northeast Elementary School in Stamford.

A classroom at Northeast Elementary School in Stamford.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Once again, the partisan Stamford Board of Education is beginning the 2022-23 school year with more chaos. The BOE has voted in Lori Rhodes to fill the vacancy of a recently departed assistant superintendent, who does not align with the values of Stamford residents, with children in the city’s school system.

As residents, parents and future parents, get ready to be informed as Ms. Rhodes will double-down on the dumbing down of our children. Central office has not changed in the wake of parent pushback. They continue to push an agenda that will not benefit Stamford public school students. Here we go again. Central office is continuing to disregard the voices of the parents of the schoolchildren in Stamford. If we do not change the partisan majority that has taken over the BOE, every year until we vote the right people to the BOE, we will continue as parents to to use all of our limited and valuable time writing emails and going to board meetings getting central office to understand they are our children and we will make the education decisions for them. It is not necessary that we change a proven education system for an unproven education-killing agenda.

As parents, we fight for the right for our children to get a challenged education. We do not want Stamford Public Schools to cradle our children. They need to be educated and challenged to give them the best possible opportunity to succeed in whatever field they choose. Keep your ears open for implementations such as grading for equity, mastery learning and the sneak attack being implemented in one of our elementary schools, “the arts.” “The arts” almost sounds OK but let’s get information about what the curriculum contains with the so-called arts program. Do not be fooled, get informed. We need more concerned parents to step to the forefront to contain the unnecessary overreach being perpetrated by central office and Superintendent Tamu Lucero who, without a contract extension, has nothing to lose. She has enough time left in her contract to do substantial damage to SPS, then pack her bags and leave, leaving behind a decimated school system with students who will not get the education they deserve.

I am making an appeal to Dr. Lucero to get on board with the parents when it comes to her making lifetime decisions for our children. The minority of elected and unelected officials need to join with parents, through discussion, not an agenda-driven idea, to come up with elemental ideas and a learning- based structure of education that has worked for generations, to move our children into the future. We need to bring great ratings back to Stamford Public Schools, Dr. Lucero. Join us instead of creating chaos. This is for the well-being of parents, students and families to have civil, positive, conversations as opposed to divisiveness and another 10 months of animosity that has embedded itself in our community. Let’s make this work.

And to the parents, if we want our children to thrive without having to use up all of our valuable time pushing back, so our children will be a productive addition to society, it is time to change the face of central office and the BOE. There are three wonderful, family driven individuals that want what’s right for SPS. John Andreana, Lisa Butler and Diane Melchionne are Stamford residents who want nothing more than the best for the education of Stamford’s children. In November, it is time for Stamford residents to take their school system back, to get an education for their children, that myself and these three wonderful parents received when education was education. It is time for change at the BOE. Vote Joe Andreana, Lisa Butler and Diane Melchionne to the Board of Education! It’s time! Thank you for listening.

Paul Arvoy is a Stamford resident.