Former Mayor Thirman Milner recalled a time when he wanted his name taken off the school building where he stood Tuesday night.
"You walk in the school, you can see the difference," said Milner, 79, as parents and staff mingled in the library of Jumoke Academy at Milner Elementary. "I'm proud ... . It took 20 years for this to happen."
When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed Connecticut's education reform bill into law a year ago, the Vine Street school was called the Milner Core Knowledge Academy. Malloy had often identified Milner as the kind of chronically failing school he wanted to transform.
The bill authorized the state to intervene in up to 25 schools over three years, beginning last summer with Milner, New Haven's High School in the Community, Stanton School in Norwich and Bridgeport's Curiale School. Malloy sought about $14.1 million in the next two years to help those low-performing schools in the new Commissioner's Network.