Not the same old song: Rivera, Board of Ed in sync

NORWALK, Conn. — Not only are things more harmonious these days between the Norwalk Board of Education and its new superintendent, Manny Rivera. Now it appears the new tune they are singing has its share of unison as well.

When Rivera joined the BOE for an evening during its recent retreat, he found that he and the board members are, essentially, on the same page – or, at the very least, in the same chapter.

“There are a number of board priorities and initiatives that had begun well before my arrival that are consistent with several key ‘change levers’ that I have drafted and that I believe are consistent with the direction endorsed by the board, many staff and community leaders that I have spoken with,” Rivera said in a report sent to board members. “… We are not ‘starting from scratch’ and I do not believe that we need a 4-6-month planning process, when staff and our community are ready to advance changes now.”

Rivera went on to list his draft priorities and “change levers” for the BOE’s approval, a list that includes improvements in culture and accountability, building a “state of the art” instructional system, and building new partnerships that “promote student learning 24/7.”

He also acknowledged other “critically important tasks” just ahead:

Preparing a recommended 2013-14 budget

Multi-year budgeting

Maintain a watchful “eye” on the progress at Briggs

Redistricting and related opportunities

Technology infrastructure and hardware requirements and staff readiness: “We need to decide soon about whether of not to submit our waiver request to the state to administer SBAC in lieu of CMT.”

SBAC is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; CMT is the Connecticut Mastery Test for grades 3-8.


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