Mayor Luke Bronin this week quickly shifted from suddenly-withdrawn nominee Harold Sparrow to name his director of families, children, youth, and recreation, Kim Oliver, to the Hartford Board of Education. Good move.
Ms. Oliver has great credentials, following directly on those of José Colón-Rivas, her predecessor both at City Hall and now, soon, on the Board. Her City Council approval hearing will be this month.
What is important here is having the mayor’s office represented on the Board. After all, District results belong to Mayor Bronin in our governance structure, where the mayor appoints the five-member majority of the nine-member Board and is at the top of the leadership pyramid. Second best to appointing himself, the mayor appointed his right hand.
Also, with Ms. Oliver’s prior focus, on youth and workforce, Hartford now has a unique opportunity to embrace at the Board level a vision for education centering on college and career readiness outcomes – looking to employers and colleges as the direct consumers of K-12 education success stories.
The Bottom Line.
It is now, as it has always been, fair to expect the mayor’s appointments to the nine-member Hartford Board of Education – as a majority block of five – to know his vision and act on it. We will be looking for Ms. Oliver, in particular, to bring to the table the mayor’s voice about this vision.