John Bazzano (R) has three children that have either gone through Norwalk's education system, or are currently going through it. He says he has a vested interest in the city's education system, and that's why he is running for a spot on the Board of Education.
Bazzano says the board needs to be more accessible.
"I've often felt the board was a monolithic board that wasn't approachable," Bazzano. "The board needs to be in the community, talking to parents and active with the PTOs. When there's an open mic at meetings and concerns are brought forth, those should be documented and tracked down."
"Clarity and responsiveness is something I'd like to bring forward," he says.
Bazzano has high praise for board chairman Mike Lyons and progress the board has made recently -- paying off debt from a 2012 shortfall and implementing an anti-bullying policy, to name two. However, he says the bullying policy has not been transferred over well into the schools.
"It's wonderful to have policy, but unless the schools understand it and act on it, it's useless," he says.
Bazzano says he is fully behind implementation of the Common Core State Standards and says the curriculum has a "great future."
He says he respects new superintendent Dr. Manuel Rivera and says the board should be "all in" with Rivera's vision. But he also says the board should challenge Rivera "in a good way."
"It shouldn't be a bunch of yes men," he says. "Let's challenge him and make sure he's being put to the test."