Zip code education and Kelley Williams-Bolar

As a panel on NBC’s Education Nation prepares to discuss the inequality in education quality from Zip code to Zip code, it seems fitting to link to a recent New York Times interview with Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Akron, Ohio, mother jailed after falsifying documents so that she could enroll her daughters in a school district outside her attendance zone.   

Some excerpts:

My home had been broken into in 2006. I decided to enroll my kids using my dad’s address … He helps raise them … Everything was fine — at least I thought it was — until the second year. I was very concerned about their safety. I didn’t want them at home by themselves. I was in school. I worked long hours at the university. I wasn’t comfortable with them being that independent … I did not have an opinion if the schools were at the level they should be or not. That’s not why I did what I did. People do it all the time. My grandparents raised me, so I didn’t think it was a problem because I didn’t give them a fake address or anything like that. Their grandfather is involved in raising them …

… I never thought I would be prosecuted for it. They said that the education had been stolen.

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit

One Comment

She illegally enrolled her children in the other district for reasons OTHER THAN THE QUALITY OF THE SCHOOLS in her home district. She did it more for personal convenience. She says this unequivocally. That her home was broken into is totally irrelevant. For all we know, the schools in her home district could actually be BETTER than the schools where she sent her kids. So, since her motives were not educationally-driven, how does it “seem fitting” to bring this up in a discussion about “inequality in education?” Here’s my guess: To give you an excuse to run a photo of a crying African-American woman in furtherance of your goal to frame this discussion strictly in terms of race and/or class conflict.

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