HAHN: Appointment of Principal at Julian Curtiss is Concerning

Submitted by Michael Hahn, Greenwich Republican Town Committee

I am writing to express my deep concerns regarding the recent appointment of Eduardo Calderón as the new principal of Julian Curtiss Elementary School. Upon learning about Mr. Calderón’s background and track record, I feel compelled to raise some critical issues that cast doubt on his suitability for this important role.

Mr. Calderón currently serves as the principal at Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA) Middle School in the Bronx. CASA, founded by Jamaal Bowman, has gained national attention due to Bowman’s controversial political actions, which include pleading guilty to setting off a false fire alarm in Congress. Importing such politically charged dynamics into our local educational environment is concerning, as our focus should remain on providing quality education, not divisive national politics.

Furthermore, under Mr. Calderón’s leadership, CASA has faced significant academic challenges. Data from the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database reveal alarmingly low proficiency rates in both math (30%) and reading literacy (35%), well below citywide averages. These figures suggest that Mr. Calderón has struggled to create an effective learning environment at CASA.

Additionally, the NYC Schools Survey for 2023 indicates low confidence from teachers and staff at CASA, with only 69% considering Mr. Calderón an effective manager, and just 56% of teachers willing to recommend the school to other families. Such dissatisfaction among staff underscores potential issues with Mr. Calderón’s leadership style and ability to foster a positive school culture.

Moreover, reports have surfaced regarding Mr. Calderón’s involvement in an inappropriate financial relationship with his supervisor, which raises serious ethical concerns, especially given the hierarchical dynamic involved.

While I acknowledge that the Greenwich Board of Education was not involved in the hiring process, I urge them to address this issue promptly. The role of a principal is paramount in shaping the educational experience of our children, and we need leaders who can inspire confidence, manage effectively, and uphold the highest ethical standards.

Superintendent Toni Jones’s decision to overlook these critical issues is disappointing. Our community deserves better. I implore the Board of Education to prioritize the best interests of our students and ensure that Julian Curtiss Elementary School is led by someone who can provide a stable, effective, and ethical educational environment.