To the Editor:
The loss of Superintendent Nancy Sarra to the New Britain Public Schools is a catastrophe. Her intelligence, her commitment to New Britain's students and educators are unmatched. She has managed to oversee deep improvements in our local schools, despite the huge burden of poverty and the lowest funding per pupil. Her professionalism prevented her from doing more than hint at the reasons for her leaving in her prime.
Her motto "Don't bend for politics, ever," explains it. All US educators are working under tremendous pressure because of the Pandemic. This is only bearable if the political administration has a policy of recognizing the dangers of COVID, and supports our educators in this crushing environment. The current mayor has failed to provide this support. In her political opportunism, she denies the dangers of COVID and the impact it has had on the student body.
Further, our mayor, in advocating a punitive approach toward the at-risk children in our schools, threatens to undo the great progress we have had in reaching these students, without the counterproductive methods of expulsion and suspensions.
Nancy Sarra was forced out. The campaign against her, and against educators nationwide, can also be seen in the lead editorial in Wednesday's Herald: "Democrats need to break the grip of teachers unions." Educators are exhausted, and don't feel safe at work. Until our politicians and our media recognize that, our schools will continue their disastrous decline.
Former Democratic Town Committee Chair of New Britain