Opinion: A bad couple of weeks for Connecticut’s education reformers

Terry Cowgill
Terry Cowgill

Contributing op-ed columnist Terry Cowgill lives in Lakeville, blogs at ctdevilsadvocate.com and is news editor of The Berkshire Record in Great Barrington, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @terrycowgill.

After stumbling out of the starting gates, it looks like independent gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Pelto had a good last week while his arch enemies, the boosters of charter schools, had a bad one.

Pelto, the darling of the public-sector unions, was hurt earlier this month when the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 29,000 faculty in Connecticut’s public schools, endorsed his nemesis, Gov. Dan Malloy, for re-election, as did the even-larger AFL-CIO. It was a blow to Pelto, who had counted on near-unanimous support from the teachers unions he had been so assiduously courting since being passed over for a post in the Malloy administration in 2010.

Meanwhile, moderate Democrats like Malloy — whom Pelto has branded a “corporate education reformer — were given just enough rope to hang themselves.

To wit, Michael Sharpe resigned last week as CEO of Jumoke Academy, an award-winning charter middle school in Hartford’s troubled North End. It seems that Sharpe spent two-and-half-years in jail after pleading guiltyto embezzling $125,000 from California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit. The sad saga continued as Sharpe returned to the pokey a few years later after violating probation.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


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