Fran Rabinowitz, the Bridgeport schools chief, has withdrawn from consideration as the state’s next education commissioner, and plans to instead continue running Bridgeport’s public schools.

“I want to stay here and do the work here,” Rabinowitz told the Connecticut Post yesterday.

Rabinowitz was one of three candidates who was to be interviewed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for the commissioner’s post.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch welcomed the news that Rabinowitz would be sticking around.

“I have two kids who currently attend Bridgeport public schools, and I couldn’t be happier to have Fran Rabinowitz remain as the superintendent of schools in the state’s largest city. She’s committed to helping our city achieve universal pre-k for kids, ensuring our kids are learning in the right environment through new school construction, and that kids are learning important life lessons outside of the classroom through high-quality after-school programs,” he said.

Also interviewing for the commissioner’s job is Nate Quesnel, who has been the superintendent of East Hartford public schools for nearly three years and principal of a middle school in that district for three years before that.

The other candidate to be interviewed is Alan Ingram, who has been the deputy commissioner of the Massachusettes Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the last three years. A retired sergeant from the U.S. Air Force, he was the superintendent of Springfield public schools for four years.

Almost two dozen candidates applied for the post.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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