The complex issue of stealing public education…Just ask Malloy’s nominee for the State Board of Education

A woman is accused of stealing the cost of her child’s public education.

No, it’s not the story of Tonya McDowell, the Bridgeport woman who was arrested and pled guilty to first-degree larceny in 2011 for stealing $15,686 (the cost of her son’s education) from the Norwalk School District.

In that case, McDowell’s son was kicked out of Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School in December 2010, when the City of Norwalk realized that McDowell didn’t live in Norwalk.  McDowell, who was homeless at the time, was using her babysitter’s Norwalk address to enroll her son in the local Norwalk school.  In addition to being arrested and convicted of a crime, McDowell’s babysitter was evicted from her public housing for being an accomplice to a crime.

No, this is a different case.

One that relates much more directly to education policy in Connecticut, because the person is waiting for the Connecticut House of Representatives to vote on her nomination to the Connecticut State Board of Education..

In this alleged case of stealing public education, the year was 2002, and the woman had moved from Windsor to Hartford to take a job with Mayor Eddie Perez.

The woman, Andrea Comer, is Governor Malloy’s most recent nominee for the State Board of Education.  Comer presently works as the Chief Operations Officer for FUSE/Jumoke, the charter school management company that operates Jumoke Academy, Jumoke Academy at Milner and is seeking permission to expand its operations into other Hartford schools.

In Comer’s case, despite moving to Hartford, Comer kept her daughter in Windsor’s Sage Park Middle School.  She explained that she didn’t want to disrupt her child’s education.

Comer appealed to the Windsor Board of Education for a waiver from the residency requirement, but they denied her request.  According to a December 2002 Hartford Courant article, Windsor officials told her that “said she could stay in the school system if Comer paid tuition.”

She appealed to the hearing division of the state department of education, but was denied there as well.

She certainly knew the residency rules, but failed to enroll her daughter in a Hartford School despite the fact that she lived in Hartford,

The Windsor Board of Education had enough and sent her a bill for $5,120, the value of the education Windsor taxpayers were paying for someone who wasn’t even a resident.

At the time, Comer told the Courant that she didn’t intend to pay the tuition bill.

The president of the Windsor Board of Education defended their approach saying that residency rules are clear-cut, adding, `it’s not that we don’t feel for the families, but we have to follow the policy.’

There appear to be no media reports about how the issue was finally resolved, but it is interesting that the issue was never raised during Comer’s recent hearing before the General Assembly’s Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee.

The Norwalk case produced hundreds of stories around the nation and led to major rallies and calls for action both for and against those who would steal public education.

Comer’s case produced one story and little to no follow-up.

Of course, in Comer’s case she was an up and coming player in the Hartford political scene.

And just five years earlier, Comer had been a Hartford Courant reporter… Covering, at least in part, the Windsor Schools.

  • James

    This was years before Hartford’s reform efforts (precisely the kind of steps this writer would oppose) got the city’s schools on a path to improvement. When you’re a parent, you do what it takes to get your child the best education you can. It sounds to me like Ms. Comer deserves credit for doing what was best for her child, and Mr. Pelto is continuing a scorched earth campaign against education reform, with zero regard for how it impacts the children of Connecticut.

    • JMC

      James, there is only one issue here. Is what Jon has stated The Truth. or not? Comer is a public figure, wanting appointment to a public office. Therefore close scrutiny is in order.

      • James

        I don’t know. But if it is true, then she is someone willing to put up a fight for her child’s education. And that’s the kind of person I want on the State Board of Education.

        But there is definitely something consistent about this blog going after someone’s child, when its ideology on education reform seems to be that children are less important than protecting special interests.

        • JMC

          Duplicity, lies, and freeloading off another town’s educational system are not the way to fight for a child’s education.

    • Jonathan Pelto

      James, I don’t disagree that zipcode education is bad and that parents will do what it takes to get their child the best education possible. What this is about is a double standard and a failure to have an open and honest discussion so that voters and legislators can make informed decisions. We are talking about an appointee to the state board of education, someone who is going to set education policy for all 3 million people in Connecticut and this issue wasn’t even raised. Yet just last year It was raised to the point that someone was convicted and sent to prison. If Comer wants to say that it was an act of civil disobedience then that is definitely her right…but there was an obligation to raise the issue and have the discussion. I don’t know if it was Malloy’s people or Comer who decided not to raise it, but pretending it isn’t an issue is absurd and unfair.

      • buygoldandprosper

        It is about character, or a lack of character. Honesty. Integrity. All qualities that are sadly lacking in this administration.

        • msavage

          Wait, what? I agree with you 100% that those qualities are lacking in this administration. But do you honestly believe that those qualities are present in the organization from which you currently draw your paycheck?

        • buygoldandprosper

          What pay check?

        • msavage

          OK, last time I signed into this site this comment was attributed to Andrea Comer. What the hell?

    • msavage

      Oh come on, James. You’re really going to compare a homeless woman with virtually no voice to an up-and-comer in the Hartford political scene? Both women might have been doing what they felt was right for their kids. However one was doing so out of desperation. The other appears to have being doing so out of a feeling of entitlement that she’d absorbed through her hobnobbing with the Hartford “elite.” “At the time, Comer told the Courant that she didn’t intend to pay the tuition bill.” Why not, she wasn’t a homeless mother at the time, like McDowell, was she? Nope, sounds like she was employed and had her life together–was on an upward trajectory, in fact. Wonder how much she is being paid by Jumoke? If she wanted to avoid “disrupting” her kid’s education, she should have paid the bill. She could afford it. The fact that she did not speaks to an arrogance and a feeling of entitlement.

  • What a disappointment to see “wait, what?” stoop so low. Her nomination to state board of education is unfortunate due to obvious conflicts. This along with her own qualifications should be the only thing in consideration when making a case for or against this inappropriate nomination. What happened over a decade ago is not, and should not be an issue. Even your re-telling of the facts suggest someone who tried to use the official processes in order to do what she felt was right as a mother.

    • JMC

      Luis, she has no qualifications, except a talent for corruption.

      • JMC

        I wish to apologize to Ms. Comer for the unwarranted comment I made above and I withdraw it.

    • Jonathan Pelto

      Luis, I appreciate your viewpoint and the need to focus on the real issues of whether an individual is qualified for the position, but that is the very point out I was trying to make. In one case the situation turned into a media frenzy and the woman is down at York Correctional (granted she has other problems as well) for larceny in the first degree and in this case there was one story and no follow up…no discussion…as if it didn’t even happen. Why, because one was part of the underclass and the other was not. Both women were trying to do what is right for their children and the boundary approach to education in Connecticut is what is forcing people to “break the law” and we need to face that head on – but at the very least the issue should have been raised at the hearing and Comer should have addressed the issues. She is going to be setting education policy for CT. Maybe she should be on the Board because she broke the law- but to deny the issues existence is exactly the double standard that people hate.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Her sense of entitlement fits right in with Dan Malloy’s. In a word: Appalling. At least one of Dan’s kids was magically enrolled into a Stamford school while the great unwashed masses, clamoring to get into the same school, got to stand in line. Later, he was shipped off to private school for a variety of reasons, as the Malloy clan is “special” and public schools did not “work” for them.
    Stooping low? Hardly. This blog reveals what others are too afraid to (see CTNJ and their sensitive reporting) report, for fear of damaging their bottom line, or “sources”.
    From top to bottom, this administration is vying for a new Rowland-type low.

    Good article Jon!

  • buygoldandprosper

    And when you are a member of congress, you do what you must to get your wife a job! Sort of like Dan and Cathy, but an English major? Really?
    http://articles.courant.com/2012-10-18/news/hc-op-rennie-congressman-larsons-wife-gets-job-101-20121018_1_application-claire-job

    One of those jobs of the future Dan likes to yap about…

    Leslie Larson
    Executive Assistant

    Leslie joined Connecticut Innovations in August 2012. She is the executive assistant to the chief executive officer and executive director. She assists the CEO in all aspects of her role including serving as the CI liaison to a number of outside committees and managing special projects. Leslie has experience as an executive assistant, office manager and entrepreneur, having co-founded and run her own company. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in English.

    • msavage

      You got a problem with English majors, buygold? Really? My education trained me to think critically, appreciate diversity and write pretty damned well–skills that a large number of my fellow Connecticut citizens, including many in positions of power, appear to be completely lacking. So don’t knock English majors, OK?

      • msavage

        That said, I agree that Larson’s previous work experience, even in addition to a background in English, appear to have meager. Cronyism and political connections probably suck up a huge percentage of the few jobs that are available out there these days.

        • msavage

          “appear to have been meager.”

      • buygoldandprosper

        I have a problem with the sense of entitlement and the skirting of rules that seem to apply only to “the little people”.
        And yes. She has few qualifications (not that there is an abundance of qualified people at CtInnovations) other than she seemed to have married well, for the moment. Mr.Larson could easily do a Dodd on her. Or maybe a Lieberman.

        Like Cormer. Like Kennedy. Even Colleen Flanagan at BOR. The cronyism is appalling in this administration AND they have lowered the bar so Dan can look good compared to all his hires. Go watch Cathy Malloy’s video if you need confirmation of how nepotism can serve the public.

        I have all sorts of liberal arts degrees in my family. Education was never about future employment, but about being educated. Maybe not such a good approach when you are forced to live in a dumpster while the well-connected make big money in their state sinecuresbut we do what we do.
        Don’t be so thin-skinned.

        • msavage

          I’ll try to be less “thin-skinned,” if you promise to try to focus on the important issues. The thing that bothers you about Larson’s job appears to be her lack of appropriate work experience, not her educational background. So why this statement? “but an English major? Really?” Why focus disparagingly on the degree, and not the lack of work experience?

        • buygoldandprosper

          Ms.Comer?I do not care about her and would know nothing about her BUT FOR the fact that she got her job, when there were many more qualified applicants, because of her husband. As for her major… CT Innovations should not exist. Because it “invests” many millions of taxpayer dollars I would prefer that CFA’s, PhD’s, economists, etc run the enterprise. But that is not going to happen because the whole thing is based on vote-buying for Dan. It is a pork-barrel enterprise and she is part of it. A rather large web, sticky and stinky.

          When the whole thing “hits the fan” as Dan might put it (he will be long gone) it will not matter who had what degree. Like Enron (say, didn’t CRAA have a “deal ” with them?) it will be history, as will your tax dollars. And how does this pertain to Ms.Comer? figure it out but the hint is…same old,same old.

  • Andrea Comer

    I have chosen to observe most of the dialogue regarding my appointment, because I realize people have philosophical differences with regard to education. However, since this has now become personal, I feel compelled to comment.
    Let me start by saying that I have spent 20 years working in the interests of my community and the children who live there. The fact that it appears that the last three I have spent working for charters seems to be all that matters is disappointing. Working with young people in Hartford, I am painfully aware of what happens when education fails children. To the extent that I can support policies that change that dynamic, I will.
    With regard to my experience in Windsor, my daughter was in the 8th grade when I took the job with the Mayor’s office. It was midway through the school year when I relocated to Hartford, and I actually informed the school we were moving so they had our up-to-date contact information. To be honest, as a NY native and this being my only child, I was unaware of the residency rules, and ignorance of the law is now excuse. But I did know this: 8th grade was difficult enough for her, and I did not want her to have to attend three schools in one year. So I kept her at the middle school she was attending. I also felt it was unfair that a child’s case-by-case circumstance was not being considered in this situation, so I fought the tuition. I ultimately made payment, and it was worth every penny to provide educational stability for my daughter.
    My daughter is the single most important thing in the world to me – she has made me a better person, and I try to make her proud every day. I’m fine with folks opposing my job choices and my political ideals. But the choices I make as a mother in the best interests of my child should not be fodder for debate.
    One final note: We all have opinions and our experiences inform those opinions. It’s disheartening that we have come to a place where public discourse cannot be respectful and in order to support our point we have to resort to personal attacks.

    • Jonathan Pelto

      Andrea, it is not meant as a personal attack. You have been nominated by the Governor of the State of Connecticut to serve on the State Board of Education – the very body that sets public education policy in the State of Connecticut. You serve as the Chief Operations Officer for a charter school management company that receives millions in public taxpayer support and has major expansion plans.

      In addition, you served for two years as an employee of Achievement First, the company co-founded by the Commissioner of Education.

      And, as a parent seeking to do what was best for your daughter you chose to keep your child enrolled in the Windsor School System despite the fact that you knew it violated the law.

      Raising those three issues is not a personal attack. It is a statement of fact and those three facts directly relate to your potential service on the State Board of Education.

      Some people would argue those factors would make you a better candidate for the position, others would argue the opposite.

      A personal attack would be about a topic not related to education that seeks to impugn your character.

      Your relationship with charter schools, especially Jumoke is a fair issue to discuss.

      The issue of enrolling children in a different town than you live in is an extremely important topic that has and will come before the State Board. I have no doubt that you were doing what you felt was in the best interest of your child.

      My point is that your experience is relevant to the job you have been nominated for…both because of the direct relevance to serving on the State Board and the issues raised during the Norwalk situation in 2011

      I might very well have taken the same exact action you chose to take but I would have expected and wanted to explain to the Legislative Committee and to the public how that decision impacts or does not impact your potential service on the State Board of Education.

      • JMC

        Let me give a true example of how strict cash-strapped towns in CT can be about school attendance: Picture a divorced couple with a teen-aged son, she living in Town A having a famous upscale high school, he living with son in poorer Town B 40 mins. away. Dad brings son daily from Town B to upscale school in Town A and later picks him up. School A is familiar with such “ploys”, observes dad delivering son, and so foribids son attendance at school A because son is not a resident there.

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      Ms Comer:
      Many years ago I recall that a good person, probably not unlike yourself, was denied the opportunity to assume a federal cabinet position because she had hired persons to work in her home and did not report them or withhold taxes as required by law. Now you wish to become a VIP on a state board that is embroiled in a quagmire of breaking the laws that they, themselves and our state legislature established. It is not a badge of honor that you defied the law regarding your own children’s public schooling. I applaud you for doing what you thought best for your family. On the other side of the coin that was your decsion and you chose to break the law. Now you want to move into an important position on the state baord of ed. There are very serious concerns that you have a conflict of interest. You do. But also you have broken one of the laws that you now wish to become an administrator of same. There are many jobs that an outstanding woman like yourself would qualify for, but you need to withdraw your name from consideration for the state board of ed. You are an embarassment to the princliple of public service otherwise.

    • brutus2011

      Actually, Ms. Comer, the last 3 years you have spent working with charters is precisely the point. Please do not take this as an ad homenium attack. Charter schools are trying to do what public schools have been unable to effect–a school-wide and classroom environment that is conducive to learning. The way charters are doing this is to phase out “difficult” students. Public schools cannot do this. The “why” is the subject of another post. The problem I have with charters is that they use public funds for essentially a private enterprise. And, my experience has shown me that where there is a lot of money involved, the private equity folks get very interested. This is what is happening here. And as a top executive with a charter organization, you are an integral part of this privatization of public education movement. And that makes you fair game for public scrutiny whether you like it or not. We are a republic and not an oligarchy although that may be changing as we “speak.”

    • guest

      With all due respect, how can you say that you were unaware of the residency requirements when you made a specific appeal to the Windsor board of ed and was denied and then still refused to pay tuition? And this is not a personal attack- it is fact. And you are subject to heightened scrutiny when you choose to put yourself up for a position as a public official . Your actions with respect to eudcational matters are subject to even higher scrutiny since you are up for a position on the State Board of Ed.

    • JMC

      Ms. Comer, since you are a State BOE candidate and have chosen to participate in this forum, will you be willing to answer directly the following questions about delivery of educational services to the following diverse student populations? For convenience’ sake I will group the student populations into these admittedly restrictive headings:
      A) Higher performing/testing students B) Mid-range performing/testing students C) Lower performing/testing students D) English as second student/parent language students E) Special needs students, including cognitive impaired and behavior impaired students/
      1) Do Jumoke Academy and other charter/for-profit organizations serve or seek to serve populations ABCDE in the same percentage/proportion as traditional public schools?
      2) If not, what are the actual proportions of ABCDE that Jumoke and charter/for-profit schools serve? And seek to serve?
      3) Will you seek to expand charter/for-profit schools not serving all of ABCDE as a State BOE member?
      4) Will you ensure the inclusion of ABCDE in all decisions regarding charter/for-profit school populations as a State BOE member?
      4) Will you as a State BOE member seek to distribute public educations funds to charter/for-profit organizations whose organisational personnel you know personally if you deem them worthy?
      5) Will you again be employed by charter/for-profit school organisations after your tenure on the CT State BOE?

      • Robin

        Good questions. I would love to hear answers.

        • Luv2Teach

          Me, too! Where did she go?? 😉

    • Linda174

      “Let me start by saying that I have spent 20 years working in the interests of my community and the children who live there.”

      Ms. Comer,

      Please don’t forget that thousands of unionized teachers have done just the same for 20years PLUS in many cities and towns in our state.

      We have dedicated our lives to children, teaching and learning. It is our craft and it is an art, not an exact science that can be reduced to test scores and numerical values.

      Please watch this four minute video if you have time. It is titled: A Message to parents from your child’s teacher and she speaks for many of us these days. I will paste the link in the next box.

    • Bill Morrison

      Ms. Comer,
      As a teacher in Hartford, I bitterly resent your comment about education failing children. The failures in Hartford stem from the Adamowski/Eddie Perez corruption brought to our system. If you served them in any capacity dealing with the damage they did to our schools, you, too, are to blame.
      I am speaking about the policies by which students were allowed to pass an entire year-long course by attending and passing only one quarter of the year. I am speaking about the policies by which student transcripts were falsified by Adamowski to show course completion for courses never taken. I am speaking of falsification of standardized test scores. I am speaking of the creation of a system of small learning academies in which only partial-education programs are offered, all sanctioned by that superintendent and the Perez administration.
      Don’t take any “credit” for serving those children who you helped damage.

  • Janice Flemming

    Since most of the people commenting on this post don’t know Andrea, I want to tell you who she is. We know firsthand the kids she has serviced – the kids, their parents, the home visits to families who has lost their children. We watched as she chaired the North Hartford Education Task Force to ensure the needs of children in our community were served. As a Hartford school board member, we found in her a powerful voice for the under served. We don’t care about what kind of school she works for because the 8,000 parents we have engaged and communicated with don’t care. They want a good education and they want an advocate. Andrea has been that for us – we are grateful that she has made untold sacrifices for her community and the Voices of Women of Color applaud Governor Malloy for recognizing her ability to think critically and act passionately. Maybe Mr. Pelto lives too far away in Storrs to know how Andrea has served Black and Brown children in urban communities in countless ways. Last week, Reggie Hales, publisher of the Inquiring News wrote an op-ed about mainstream media’s lack of coverage of the positives that take place in our communities. Maybe if the coverage was more accurate, you would know how much Andrea has done. Don’t try to simplify an intelligent, thoughtful, and committed woman because you have an ax to grind with charters.

    Janice Flemming, CEO, Voices of Women of Color

    • JMC

      Ms. Flemming, perhaps there is a legimate concern on the part of supporters of Public Education in CT that a candidate for the State Board of Education who is an important figure in the charter school movement – a movement which has a major interest in expansion and financial gain – should serve in a capacity with other State BOE members who have a similar interest in the the expansion of charter schools and financial gain.

    • brutus2011

      I am an Ct educator of color and a parent with a school age child. I am also a law student. My M.A. degree specialized in constitutional and intellectual history. I am passionate about civil rights and the future of our kids and our country.
      I am sure Ms. Comer is a good person who believes she has her community at interest.
      I believe serving with a charter organization is not in our community’s best interest.
      The reasons are many but suffice it to say that when charter schools start springing up in the ‘burbs then I will take notice.
      Until then, this “reform” is the new Jim Crow and remember an old verse: My people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.

      • guest

        powerfully stated. bravo

        • Linda174

          Yes, Brutus, well said…..bravo times two.

    • Bronx

      Well Ms. Flemming, as charters are scrutinized and it becomes very evident additional layers of segregation are being created by them with far lower percentages of ESL, special ed., and children living below the poverty line amongst their student population, perhaps we can refer to Andrea Comer as serving ” SOME… of the Black and Brown children in urban communities in countless ways” which seem to make certain individuals very rich.

    • Linda174

      Janice…if you have time please watch. Many teachers meet the qualities mentioned above. This is titled a message to parents from your child’s teacher:

      http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?h=315&v=IQ-OtEdFAKI&w=560&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DIQ-OtEdFAKI%26w%3D560%26h%3D315

    • So Andrea should be allowed to pick the school district her children attend without paying tuition as every other parent in the state has to do? Why? That’s the simple question

  • buygoldandprosper

    Ms. Comer flaunted the rules because she could.
    Many parents want to do what is best for their children. Some get to, and most do not, when faced with the same situation she faced.
    Don’t bother masking your violations when someone points them out and compares them to a person doing basically the same thing but happens to be a lowly crack dealer. Was her love for her child any less than Ms Comer’s? Not to worry. It is not an issue for the powers that be…

  • Janiceflemming

    Cotto the Voices appreciate your comments and glad that you don’t hide behind your words by always signing your name.

    • brutus2011

      The use of a pseudonym is not hiding as you say. Pseudonyms are a tradition when trafficking in the marketplace of ideas. For proof, examine the history of American political writing during the founding era.

  • Steve Goode

    I left a comment on Jonathan’s FB page linking to this column but feel I should provide the information here as well. I wrote the one story on this issue for The Courant. As I explained in the FB comment, I transferred to another beat later that year and the reporter who followed me may not have been aware of the issue or even cared. It was not considered a big story at the time. And as I wondered in my other comments, if Ms. Comer’s former status as an editor/reporter at the paper had anything to do with there being little to no coverage by us, why would we bother to write about it at all? Ms. Comer exercised her legal rights to try and get an exemption and lost. Nothing wrong with that. And she never covered Windsor schools.

    • Jonathan Pelto

      Thank you Steven for the clarification. I didn’t mean to imply that the Hartford Courant “covered up” the story but that that there was as no follow up to how the issue was resolved. Certainly wasn’t suggesting that you covered up the issue but as you point out it was a very rare move and that there had been multiple appeals. If she did pay, and I assume she did, I would have thought there’d be a story with that information. Considering the political sensitivity you’d think she would have wanted that story published. Meanwhile and I’ll have to go back and look, but I thought I saw at least two Courant stories written by Comer dealing with the Windsor schools.

      • Jonathan Pelto

        Here is one – WINDSOR BUDGET CALLS FOR $55.5 MILLION, ANDREA COMER; Courant Staff Writer, Date Apr 2, 1997

  • Linda174

    For all to listen to…the future of us under the leadership of non-educators (those who never taught or who dabbled for a year or two, like Pryor).

    Joining us At the Chalk Face, President of CTU Karen Lewis to discuss the massive school closure in Chicago.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chalkface/2013/03/24/at-the-chalk-face-progressive-edreform-talk

  • Linda174

    Of all the must reads, this is the one. A confederacy of refomers by Crazy Crawfish, the Jon Pelto of Louisiana.

    I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed by all the rapid changes happening in the education sphere. I’m positive I’m not alone in feeling this way based on the feedback, articles and correspondence I’ve been receiving from local and national groups and individuals. As I struggled to zero in on a topic where I could help or enlighten the most, something else even more screwed up would be sent to me. I’ve started and stopped work on several pieces, which may make their appearances later, but I feel the need to get my bearings again. All this crazy “stuff” (not my first word choice) needs to be sorted out and organized before I can make any more forward progress. I think the mistake I was making, and many others are probably making, is not connecting all the dots and figuring out what kind of picture they reveal.

    Right now hundreds and probably thousands of disparate groups polishing their individual pieces of the puzzle and identifying a few corners and straight edges here and there . . . maybe the occasional face piece. All of us are focusing on our own small pieces of what is actually a very complex puzzle. If we could put them all together, it would surely show a grand scheme, but we’re all convinced we’re holding the key. I can’t solve this puzzle on my own, but what I can do is show you the pieces I’ve managed to put together, and what I think I’m starting to see. These are my pieces:

    Intentionally Flawed Teacher Evaluation Systems…read the full post:

    http://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/a-confederacy-of-reformers/

    • JMC

      Carazycrawfish definitely has his (her?) finger on the pulse of this movement. Thanks, L!

  • Robert

    If Ms. Comer provides a letter/documentation to the district that she addresses this issue and gives them a ‘heads up’, or a copy of an approved ‘controlled transfer’ from one school/district to another confirming this, then it’s is a moot issue.

    Otherwise, it’s not.

    • Apartheid First

      Maybe, maybe not. Why fight like that over a school policy?
      Why defend charters which are more segregated than ever?
      What’s up with this State Board of Ed that people are fighting tooth and nail to put Comer forth?

  • Apartheid First

    I would not use the Tonya McDowell case as an example. There is some speculation that groups like Rhee’s Students First and other reformy types created this story–about someone selling drugs outside of a school! Come on. It’s hard to argue that you want the best education for your child while selling narcotics (which she admitted to).
    It’s true that there are huge differences in schools in the State of Connecticut, but that doesn’t mean lying about an address is warranted. That’s why CCJEF is fighting their Educational Equity case, and why Sheff was–and is–about ECONOMIC isolation (for which race is a proxy in this state).
    Of course, living in a low-achieving poor district, I seem to recall that no children are turned away, even if they are homeless. I guess only wealthy suburban school districts turn away the homeless.
    As far as the Windsor issue with Ms. Comer, it IS an issue, and she was aware of it. I cringe at the “doing best for my child” argument, as if those who can’t play the system are somehow imperiling their children–or that there aren’t dedicated teachers and staff who try valiantly every day to make up for the gross inequities of American society and Connecticut education.

  • Sue

    Hundreds of Bridgeport students who want to attend Greenwich schools! Anybody have her email?

    • Apartheid First

      Once she’s on the State Board of Ed, maybe we will see an all-state all-choice program–so B’port students can go to Greenwich! Go Comer. And we’ll send Darien kids to Jumoke, uniforms, testing drills, military discipline (and recruiters) and all!

      • Linda174

        And they can finally get the “culture they need”…in the reorientation room…..Temporary teach for awhile interns for the wealthy….yes!

  • Healthcareadvo

    Wow…..Can’t believe she didn’t do time or go to jail…..Others HAVE…