Tune into WZMX Hot 93.7 in the next few days and you’ll hear Steve Perry, one of the founders of Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, give a rapid-fire plug for “quality schools” in Hartford.
“Did you know that thousands of children are on waiting lists for quality schools in Hartford?” asks Perry. “Parents have no choice but to wait as their children remain trapped in failing schools. This is a tragedy. The time is now for city leaders to expand high-quality schools so that all kids can have access and you can come off that waiting list.”
The advertisement, which is funded by Michelle Rhee’s organization, Students First, urges listeners to call a phone number that delivers them to a Students First Connecticut voicemail.
Francisco Castillo, a spokesman for Students First, said the radio ad is part of a “Hartford Can’t Wait” public awareness campaign (that’s hartfordcantwait.org) so parents can stay informed about school board meetings, get phone numbers for Mayor Pedro Segarra and School Board Chairman Matt Poland, and sign a petition demanding more high-quality schools for the city. Those high-quality options, Castillo said, are magnet and charter schools.
Click here to listen to the ad:
Perry was selected for the ad, Castillo said, because “It’s clear that he runs one of the best magnet schools in Connecticut … Why not replicate a model that is clearly working for kids?”
Perry tried to do that, but the Hartford board rejected a plan that would have given him oversight of a second city school.
He was sharply criticized for responding to the board\’s decision with a threatening tweet.
Castillo said the incident was “a distraction. I’m not going to engage in what’s been said locally, but what I can say is we at Students First are focused on elevating the voices of parents. He continues to run schools that are pretty successful… He’s a perfect spokesman for this.”
Perry who has proposed a charter school for Bridgeport, ends the ad saying, “I’m ready to open new schools to better serve our community … but we need your help sign. Sign up now at hartfordcantwait.org.\”