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Norwalk PTO Council 'Disturbed' By Rivera's Resignation As Superintendent

The Norwalk PTO Council said it was disturbed and angry over the resignation of Superintendent Manuel Rivera, who will leave his post at the end of January.
The Norwalk PTO Council said it was disturbed and angry over the resignation of Superintendent Manuel Rivera, who will leave his post at the end of January. Photo Credit: Norwalk Public Schools

NORWALK, Conn. -- Members of the Norwalk PTO Council are angry about the resignation of school Superintendent Manuel Rivera and will begin issuing "report cards" for members of the Board of Education.

"The Norwalk PTO Council is deeply disturbed by the recent announcement of Dr. Rivera's resignation. We are angry that another eminently qualified superintendent is leaving Norwalk Public Schools due largely to the actions of some members of the Board of Education," the PTO Council's executive board wrote in a letter to the community Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Rivera announced his resignation last week, effective Jan. 31. The day of his announcement, he was appointed the new superintendent of the New London Public Schools, a position he will begin on Feb. 1.

In its letter, the PTO Council praised Rivera's accomplishments during his two years in the district, including the implementation of the Norwalk Early College Academy, the upcoming International Baccalaureate program at Brien McMahon High School, improvements of infrastructure and a plan for the district's future.

However, the PTO Council said that despite the accomplishments, actions by some members of the Board of Education are harming the district.

"The PTO Council cannot tolerate board members following their own political agendas at the expense of our children's education. Board members have been entrusted by the voters of Norwalk to ensure a quality education for all children. We believe they are not all meeting this obligation."

The PTO Council said that it would be more proactive, evaluating board member performance and reporting back to the parent community. The council will issue report cards and board member qualifications around election cycles "in a nonpartisan fashion," the letter read. The council also encouraged parents to get more involved and to run for Board of Education seats.

"As parents we have more at stake in this issue than anyone else. Without engaged parents, our professional educators will be unable to close the achievement gap; will fail to effectively improve school life and will see few positive outcomes from their efforts," the council wrote. "Along with our parent community the Norwalk PTO Council will be vigilant in ensuring that the mission of the Board of Education continues to be aligned with the highest aspirations of our children."

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