Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley is out with a new television ad that claims there are “100,000 students in underperforming schools” in Connecticut. Even if that number is correct—and it’s not—one would think many of those kids are African American or Hispanic, right? Yet Foley’s ad features him surrounded by white, nearly all-blond, well-dressed kids. Disconnected? Party of one?
There is so much wrong with this ad it’s hard to know where to start. First, why are all the kids around him look like they come from upper middle- to wealthy-families? If Foley had ever visited any of the students in failing schools, he’d know many are minorities. They’re the kids that need better schools.
Second, his claim that “100,000 students” are underperforming is simply inaccurate. The pro-education reform group ConnCAN puts the number at 65,000 and even that might be too high. Where did Foley get his numbers?
Third, Foley claims, “I have a plan to make every school in Connecticut great.” Sounds good. What’s the plan? Where are the details? Oh, I forgot, the Foley campaign has decided to go stealth on any details of the positions he takes on important issues facing the state. Other than the fact he doesn’t like Common Core, we have no idea what his plan is. His campaign website contains some general platitudes but nothing specific. In fact, he has nothing to say about how to close the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap or the sorry drop-out rate.
The real question, does Foley have to eventually put out some details on important issues? Or will he simply bank on the fact that Gov. Dan Malloy’s poll numbers are down. If it’s the latter, that’s a dangerous to play.