SBAC Results – Telling us what we know about poverty, language barriers and unmet Special Education needs

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Academic experts have proven over and over again that the major factors influencing standardized test results are poverty, language barriers and unmet special education needs.

Wealthier students, students who are fluent in English and students who don’t need special education services do better.

For students who do need special education services, when schools properly fund those programs, students do better.

The Common Core SBAC test is not only designed to fail the majority of public school students, but is particularly discriminatory because the SBAC scam’s definition of “success” is even more directly connected to wealth, proficiency in the English language and the lack of any need for special education services.

The following chart makes the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory nature of the Common Core SBAC test extremely clear.  The chart rank orders the percent of students deemed “proficient” in MATH, by town, according to the 2015 Common Core.

Note that eighth graders who live in wealthier towns with few English Language Learners and the funds necessary to provide special education services score higher on the SBAC Math test, while students who come from communities in which there is significant poverty, large numbers of students who aren’t fluent in English and lack the money to provide sufficient special education services do poorly.

Connecticut’s didn’t need to spend $50 million dollars in scarce taxpayer funds and tens of millions more at the local level, over the past two years to identify the problem.

The problem is that poverty, language barriers and unmet special education services reduce academic performance.

Experts, teachers, school administrators and policymakers knew what the problem was decades ago before the Connecticut Mastery Tests were even begun and they have known it as the CMTs were given every year.

The Common Core SBAC testing is an extraordinary waste of time, money and effort.

More testing is not the answer.

The answer is for Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly to adopt a fair, equitable and Constitutional school funding formula that provides schools with the resources needed to ensure all of Connecticut’s children get the quality education they need and deserve!

Percent of 8th Graders deemed “proficient” by the SBAC test, by town:

School District Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Darien School District 83.4%
Westbrook School District 76.7%
Avon School District 76.6%
Farmington School District 74.3%
New Canaan School District 71.7%
Guilford School District 69.1%
Kent School District 69.0%
Regional School District 05 67.9%
Ridgefield School District 67.6%
Easton School District 66.4%
Mansfield School District 66.1%
Canton School District 65.9%
Preston School District 65.7%
Clinton School District 65.3%
Bozrah School District 65.0%
Westport School District 64.9%
Regional School District 07 64.7%
Tolland School District 64.7%
Salem School District 63.6%
Regional School District 10 63.4%
Simsbury School District 63.2%
Granby School District 62.3%
Pomfret School District 62.1%
Glastonbury School District 61.8%
East Granby School District 61.3%
Greenwich School District 61.2%
Redding School District 61.1%
Hartland School District 60.9%
Madison School District 60.5%
Salisbury School District 60.0%
Ellington School District 59.8%
Regional School District 08 59.7%
Weston School District 59.2%
Willington School District 58.7%
Ledyard School District 57.9%
Cheshire School District 57.5%
South Windsor School District 57.4%
Regional School District 15 57.1%
East Lyme School District 56.9%
Brookfield School District 56.0%
Newtown School District 55.8%
Wilton School District 55.4%
Fairfield School District 55.1%
Voluntown School District 52.6%
Portland School District 52.5%
New Fairfield School District 52.2%
Southington School District 52.2%
Colchester School District 52.0%
Old Saybrook School District 51.9%
Shelton School District 51.4%
Regional School District 18 50.4%
Rocky Hill School District 50.3%
West Hartford School District 49.3%
Monroe School District 49.0%
Litchfield School District 48.8%
Berlin School District 48.4%
Trumbull School District 48.3%
Stonington School District 48.2%
Regional School District 04 47.3%
East Haddam School District 47.3%
Canterbury School District 46.7%
Regional School District 17 46.6%
Seymour School District 46.3%
Suffield School District 45.4%
Columbia School District 45.3%
Regional School District 13 45.2%
Stafford School District 45.1%
Elm City College Preparatory Charter School 44.9%
Somers School District 44.3%
Coventry School District 43.4%
Thomaston School District 42.9%
Regional School District 12 42.9%
Amistad Academy Charter School 41.8%
Newington School District 41.5%
Bethel School District 41.4%
Bolton School District 41.4%
Odyssey Community Charter School 41.2%
North Haven School District 41.1%
Waterford School District 40.6%
North Canaan School District 40.5%
Bridgeport Achievement First Charter School 39.7%
Regional School District 14 39.6%
Oxford School District 38.8%
Integrated Day Charter School 38.7%
Milford School District 38.1%
Regional School District 16 37.9%
Groton School District 36.2%
Wolcott School District 35.4%
Montville School District 35.4%
Wethersfield School District 35.2%
Stamford School District 35.0%
Griswold School District 35.0%
Windsor Locks School District 34.9%
Wallingford School District 34.8%
East Hampton School District 34.4%
Bristol School District 33.9%
Watertown School District 32.4%
Woodstock School District 32.3%
Lebanon School District 32.2%
New Milford School District 31.4%
Branford School District 30.8%
Windsor School District 30.2%
Vernon School District 30.1%
Plymouth School District 29.7%
Cromwell School District 29.5%
Plainville School District 28.6%
Hamden School District 27.0%
East Windsor School District 25.7%
Ashford School District 25.5%
Park City Prep Charter School 25.3%
Middletown School District 25.0%
Norwalk School District 24.7%
Danbury School District 23.8%
Putnam School District 23.6%
Lisbon School District 22.9%
North Stonington School District 22.9%
Sprague School District 22.7%
Stratford School District 22.2%
Manchester School District 22.1%
West Haven School District 22.0%
The Gilbert School District 21.9%
Jumoke Academy Charter School 21.3%
Naugatuck School District 21.0%
Regional School District 06 20.4%
Torrington School District 20.1%
The Bridge Academy Charter School 19.1%
Norwich School District 18.1%
Thompson School District 17.6%
Derby School District 16.8%
Bloomfield School District 16.5%
East Haven School District 16.1%
Killingly School District 16.0%
Enfield School District 15.8%
North Branford School District 15.5%
Brooklyn School District 15.5%
New Haven School District 15.0%
New Beginnings Inc. Charter School 14.3%
Meriden School District 13.6%
Windham School District 13.3%
Highville Charter School 12.5%
Plainfield School District 12.3%
Ansonia School District 12.1%
Hartford School District 11.9%
New Britain School District 11.8%
East Hartford School District 10.4%
New London School District 8.3%
Bridgeport School District 8.3%
Regional School District 11 8.1%
Waterbury School District 7.3%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. Charter School 6.9%

Schools that respected parents’ right to opt their children out of unfair Common Core SBAC tests

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After withholding Connecticut’s Common Core SBAC results for weeks, the Connecticut State Department of Education announced that approximately 267,000 Connecticut public school students took the SBAC test in 2015, which is just over 95% of all students.

By comparison, in New York State, more than 200,000 public school children were opted out of that state’s Common Cores testing program.  That means MORE than 20% of all  public school students did not take the test.

In New York, Connecticut and all across the nation parents have a fundamental, inalienable right to protect their children from the abusive nature of the Common Core SBAC testing scam.

However, in Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration led an unethical and immoral campaign that lied, mislead and bullied parents into believing that they did not have the right to opt their children out of these discriminatory and destructive tests.

Thankfully, a handful of school superintendents and local school officials stood up against the abuse and provided parents and students with accurate information about their rights.  In those communities, the number of students who were opted out of the Common Core SBAC test skyrocketed.

Leading the list of communities that treated parents and students with respect were Westbrook, North Haven, Madison, E.O. Smith (Region #19), Stonington and Woodstock Academy.

You can read the State Department of Education’s press release here: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/pressroom/state_releases_new_test_scores_2015.pdf

And access some of the data here: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/excel/smarterbalanced/settingthebaseline2015.xls

The following chart reflects individual schools in which opt-out rates exceeded 75%.

School School District Percent who opted out/ did not take SBAC Math test
Westbrook High School Westbrook School District 100%
North Haven High School North Haven School District 99%
HPHS Law and Government Academy Hartford School District 92%
Daniel Hand High School Madison School District 86%
E. O. Smith High School Regional School District 19 85%
Danbury High School Danbury School District 84%
Biotechnology, Research and Zoological Studies HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 80%
Stonington High School Stonington School District 78%
Woodstock Academy Woodstock Academy District 78%

 

While far too many local officials implemented the Malloy administration’s abusive attempt to stop parents from utilizing their right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC test, the following 143 schools had opt out rates that were higher than 5%.  The names in red note schools were less than 50% of the students took the test.

If the school you are looking for is not on the list, it means administrators were able to keep the opt our rate below the 5% level.

School School District Percent of students who took the SBAC Math test
Westbrook High School Westbrook School District 0.0%
North Haven High School North Haven School District 0.4%
HPHS Law and Government Academy Hartford School District 7.9%
Daniel Hand High School Madison School District 13.5%
E. O. Smith High School Regional School District 19 14.8%
Danbury High School Danbury School District 15.6%
Biotechnology, Research and Zoological Studies HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 20.0%
Stonington High School Stonington School District 22.1%
Woodstock Academy Woodstock Academy District 22.3%
Staples High School Westport School District 27.1%
Metropolitan Business Academy New Haven School District 27.3%
Watertown High School Watertown School District 35.0%
Joel Barlow High School Regional School District 09 36.4%
Rocky Hill High School Rocky Hill School District 37.3%
Hall High School West Hartford School District 38.6%
Wilbur Cross High School New Haven School District 39.9%
Robert E. Fitch High School Groton School District 40.0%
Ridgefield High School Ridgefield School District 40.7%
New Fairfield High School New Fairfield School District 42.2%
Windsor High School Windsor School District 43.3%
South Windsor High School South Windsor School District 47.9%
Trumbull High School Trumbull School District 48.6%
Manchester High School Manchester School District 49.3%
Sherman School Sherman School District 53.6%
Stevens Alternate High school East Hartford School District 54.5%
James Hillhouse High School New Haven School District 55.0%
Bulkeley High School Upper School Hartford School District 57.1%
Weston High School Weston School District 57.1%
Riverview School Unified School District #2 60.0%
Stamford Academy Stamford Academy District 61.8%
Aerospace/Hydrospace, Engineering and Physical Sciences HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 61.9%
Renzulli Academy Hartford School District 62.0%
Greater Hartford Academy of  the Arts High School – Full Time Capitol Region Education Council 63.5%
Information Technology and Software Engineering High School at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 64.8%
H. H. Ellis Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 64.8%
Wethersfield High School Wethersfield School District 65.5%
Portland High School Portland School District 66.7%
Culinary Arts Academy Hartford School District 68.3%
Newtown High School Newtown School District 68.9%
Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet School (ACT) Eastern Connecticut Regional Educational Service Center (EASTCONN) 70.6%
HPHS Academy of Nursing and Health Science Hartford School District 70.7%
Granby Memorial High School Granby School District 71.1%
Island Avenue Elementary School Madison School District 71.8%
Harding High School Bridgeport School District 73.6%
Classical Magnet School Hartford School District 74.0%
Torrington High School Torrington School District 77.2%
Chaplin Elementary School Chaplin School District 77.3%
Algonquin School Regional School District 16 78.3%
Fairfield Warde High School Fairfield School District 78.9%
Sharon Center School Sharon School District 79.0%
Darien High School Darien School District 79.3%
Coventry High School Coventry School District 80.2%
Tolland High School Tolland School District 81.7%
East School Torrington School District 82.2%
Farmington High School Farmington School District 82.9%
The Gilbert School The Gilbert School District 83.2%
New Milford High School New Milford School District 84.4%
Crosby High School Waterbury School District 84.4%
Broadview Middle School Danbury School District 84.7%
Quinebaug Middle College Eastern Connecticut Regional Educational Service Center (EASTCONN) 85.2%
Central High School Bridgeport School District 85.4%
Joseph A. Foran High School Milford School District 85.7%
Wamogo Regional High School Regional School District 06 86.9%
John Read Middle School Redding School District 87.0%
Hamden High School Hamden School District 87.0%
High School Inc. Hartford School District 87.2%
Sound School New Haven School District 88.2%
Plainfield High School Plainfield School District 88.3%
HPHS Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Hartford School District 88.9%
Barlow Mountain Elementary School Ridgefield School District 89.0%
Old Saybrook Senior High School Old Saybrook School District 89.1%
Lyme-Old Lyme High School Regional School District 18 89.4%
Stratford High School Stratford School District 89.6%
Amity Regional High School Regional School District 05 89.9%
Norwich Free Academy Norwich Free Academy District 90.0%
Pathways Academy of Technology and Design Hartford School District 90.1%
Newington High School Newington School District 90.2%
West Haven High School West Haven School District 90.3%
Walter C. Polson Upper Middle School Madison School District 90.6%
Nonnewaug High School Regional School District 14 90.6%
Nathan Hale-Ray High School East Haddam School District 90.7%
Preston Plains School Preston School District 90.7%
Schaghticoke Middle School New Milford School District 90.7%
Westhill High School Stamford School District 90.8%
Stamford High School Stamford School District 90.9%
Clark School Hartford School District 91.3%
High School In The Community New Haven School District 91.3%
The Academy of Information Technology Stamford School District 91.3%
Hampton Elementary School Hampton School District 91.5%
Norwalk High School Norwalk School District 91.6%
James Morris School Regional School District 06 91.7%
Mystic Middle School Stonington School District 91.7%
Madison Middle School Trumbull School District 91.8%
Ansonia High School Ansonia School District 92.0%
Coginchaug Regional High School Regional School District 13 92.0%
Bassick High School Bridgeport School District 92.1%
Mansfield Middle School School Mansfield School District 92.2%
Global Experience Magnet School Bloomfield School District 92.2%
Colebrook Consolidated School Colebrook School District 92.3%
Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School Madison School District 92.6%
Francis T. Maloney High School Meriden School District 92.6%
Dorothy C. Goodwin School Mansfield School District 92.6%
Torrington Middle School Torrington School District 92.7%
Cooperative High School New Haven School District 92.8%
Naugatuck High School Naugatuck School District 92.8%
Branford High School Branford School District 92.9%
Fairfield Ludlowe High School Fairfield School District 93.0%
New Haven Academy New Haven School District 93.1%
Terryville High School Plymouth School District 93.1%
Suffield High School Suffield School District 93.1%
Wheeler High School North Stonington School District 93.2%
Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut Learn 93.3%
Tourtellotte Memorial High School Thompson School District 93.4%
Brookfield High School Brookfield School District 93.5%
Public Safety Academy Capitol Region Education Council 93.7%
Global Communications Academy Hartford School District 93.7%
Housatonic Valley Regional High School Regional School District 01 93.7%
Ledyard High School Ledyard School District 93.8%
Cornwall Consolidated School Cornwall School District 93.8%
Ellington High School Ellington School District 93.9%
Avon High School Avon School District 93.9%
Shepherd Glen School Hamden School District 94.0%
Hillcrest Middle School Trumbull School District 94.1%
Sports and Medical Sciences Academy Hartford School District 94.1%
W. F. Kaynor Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 94.4%
New Fairfield Middle School New Fairfield School District 94.4%
Ann Antolini School New Hartford School District 94.4%
Wilby High School Waterbury School District 94.4%
Meeting House Hill School New Fairfield School District 94.4%
Walter G. Cady School Unified School District #2 94.4%
Conard High School West Hartford School District 94.5%
North Haven Middle School North Haven School District 94.5%
Northwestern Regional Middle School Regional School District 07 94.6%
New London High School New London School District 94.6%
Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies Capitol Region Education Council 94.6%
Beecher Road School Woodbridge School District 94.6%
Wilton High School Wilton School District 94.6%
Beecher School New Haven School District 94.7%
Granby Memorial Middle School Granby School District 94.8%
Israel Putnam School Meriden School District 94.8%
Oliver Wolcott Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 94.9%
Center Road School Vernon School District 94.9%

Oh no!  69.4% of Connecticut juniors are FAILURES according to SBAC math results

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As designed, intended and projected, the vast majority of Connecticut stuents have been labeled as failures according the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC math test results.

With the Malloy administration finally releasing the long awaited SBAC results, parents can see for themselves what happens when students are tested on content that they haven’t even been taught.

According to the Common Core SBAC results, a majority of Connecticut students  – in every grade – failed to meet the so-called “achievement” level.

The destructive testing scam has labeled;

52% of 3rd graders as failure

56% of 4th graders as failures

63% of 5th graders as failures

64% of 6th graders as failures

61% of 7th graders as failures

63% of 8th graders as failures

And 69% of 11th graders as failures  

COMMON CORE SBAC MATH RESULTS   

Grade Percent at Level 3 & 4:
Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
3 48.0%
4 44.2%
5 36.9%
6 37.3%
7 38.8%
8 36.8%
11 30.6%
State 39.1%

 

The Common Core SBAC Math results have also labeled

92% of students requiring special education services as failures

93% of students who need help with the English language as failures

Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Students with Disabilities 8.2%
English Learners 7.0%

 

Students from poorer families are also unfairly labeled by the SBAC testing

85% of students who get a free school lunch have “failed”

And 74% of students who qualify for a reduced price lunch have “failed”

As proof that these tests are driven in no small part by family income, compared to students who get free or reduced lunches, “ONLY” 46% of students who can afford to pay for their own school lunches have been deemed failures by the SBAC math test.

Statewide results by free or reduced priced meal eligibility status Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Free 15.4%
Reduced 26.4%
Not Eligible 52.3%
All Students 39.1%

 

Check back for more information about the absurd SBAC testing scheme

NEWS FLASH on SBAC:  Beware the cozy relationship between Malloy and the Education Reform Industry.

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Prior to the Malloy administration even announcing that they would be releasing the 2015 SBAC results today, the state’s two major corporate funded education reform lobby groups, ConnCAN and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), invited reporters to join a “media call” in which the groups would discuss the SBAC results.  Then, just as quickly, the call was cancelled.

As we learned this morning – Friday, August 28, 2015 – Governor Malloy’s administration is finally releasing the 2015 SBAC results this afternoon, but the super-secret nature of the information didn’t stop ConnCAN and CCER from announcing on Wednesday that they were holding a “press call” this morning so that the two pro-Common Core, pro-Common Core testing, pro-charter school, anti-teacher advocacy groups could discuss the SBAC results with the media — prior to those results actually being released.

And then, when questions arose about what communication had taken place between the Malloy administration and the two lobbing groups, ConnCAN and CCER quickly cancelled the media call, leaving one wondering whether the Malloy administration broke the law by refusing to give information about the SBAC results to the media and Connecticut citizens while actually providing the information to the two private lobbying entities.

Here is what ConnCAN and CCER sent out:

ConnCAN and CCER to Host Press Call and Outline Expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment Results

***Media Press Call on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM EST***
Please Click Here to Register for the Call
–Call-in number will be made available upon registration–
Media Participants Should Dial-In 5-10 Minutes Prior to Call Start Time

New Haven, CT — The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) has teamed up with the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) to host a press briefing call, which will walk reporters through their organizations’ expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment results.

The briefing will be an opportunity for media to learn more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the benefits of the test, and each organization’s plans and expectations as the state prepares for the public release of the results.

Right now, the state has only released the results to district superintendents. The test results and data have not yet been widely released. The results are expected to be made publicly available within the next few weeks.

ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander and CCER Executive Director Jeffrey Villar will be available for questions immediately following the call. 

WHO:
Jeffrey Villar, CCER Executive Director
Jennifer Alexander, ConnCAN Chief Executive Officer
Yamuna Menon, Director of Research and Policy, ConnCAN

WHEN:
Friday, August 28, 2015
10:00 AM EST

CALL-IN NUMBER: 
***Made available upon registration***

And then came this…

POSTPONED
ConnCAN and CCER to Host Press Call and Outline Expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment Results
***Media Press Call on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM EST***
**Postponed until a later date**New Haven, CT —  Due to scheduling conflicts, the media briefing call regarding the Smarter Balanced Assessment results with the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) will be postponed until a later date.

 

CT SBAC Results – It’s a Friday afternoon in August – Good time to release the results – Today at noon!

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Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration is finally ready to release the 2015 SBAC results!

Two months after parents in Washington State and Oregon were informed about how their state’s children did on the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC tests, Connecticut will finally get the news today about how our children “performed” on the absurd testing fiasco.

The first rule of modern government and politics is that when you don’t want people to know something, release the information on a Friday.  If possible, a Friday in August is best time to make something “public” if the goal is to make sure the public doesn’t actually hear about it.  The technique is an “art form” and strategy that the Malloy administration has used repeatedly over the past five years.

So now, after the spending more than $50 million dollars in state funds over the post two years on the new Common Core standardized testing scheme, and local school districts spending millions more, the Connecticut State Department will be revealing the test results this afternoon… A Friday afternoon in August.

In addition, apparently the wait for the CMT/CAPT Science test is finally over as well.  While the Common Core and Common Core testing scheme has obliterated the usefulness of the Math and English Language tests, the traditional testing process is still being used to measure whether students are learning the state’s science curriculum.

Unfortunately, the education reform industry’s definition for being “college and career” ready only applies to Math and English so other important subjects, like science, go unaddressed.  If policymakers were really concerned about the “whole child,” the science results would have been released long ago so that schools and parents could be focusing on the full array of subjects that allow student’s to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to live fulfilling lives.

Check back later for the numbers and the political spin from Governor Malloy’s administration and the Corporate Education Reform Industry.

Luke Bronin’s failure to stand with Hartford’s teachers, students and parents cost him key HFT union endorsement

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The fundamental lack of principle, vision and courage has become a sad and disturbing hallmark of American politics.

However, in a powerful move to stand up on behalf of Hartford, Connecticut’s public school teachers, students, parents and schools, the Hartford Federation of Teachers (HFT) has withdrawn its endorsement of Luke Bronin, the Greenwich native who is now campaigning to become Hartford’s next mayor.

Following an emergency meeting of the Hartford Federation of Teacher’s Executive Committee on Monday, a meeting that candidate Luke Bronin attended but where he failed to appropriately address his relationship with the charter school industry, the HFT voted unanimously to withdraw their endorsement of Bronin and his campaign for mayor.

Hartford Federation of Teachers President Andrea Johnson has been one of the state’s most outspoken advocates on behalf of public school students, parents and teachers.

Johnson and her union leadership have consistently pushed for adequate funding for Hartford’s public schools and against the immoral and unethical effort to divert scarce public funds to privately-owned charter schools, schools that, in Hartford, discriminate against Latino students, students who need help with the English language and students who require special education services.

In June, after interviewing all of the mayoral candidates, the HFT endorsed Luke Bronin.

But when it came to light that Luke Bronin was collecting campaign contributions from the charter school industry, Johnson and the HFT leadership sat down with him a second time to discuss his relationship and connection with charter school proponents.

The charter school operators and supporters who gave money to Bronin’s campaign are also associated with the corporate-funded lobbying in support of the Common Core, the Common Core testing scheme and the inappropriate effort to evaluate teachers on the basis of the Common Core test results.

According to Bronin’s campaign finance reports, charter school proponents, including those associated with the disgraced FUSE/Jumoke Charter School charter chain and others who are connected with the New York-based charter school advocacy front group called Families for Excellent Schools have provided Bronin with campaign contributions.  Families for Excellent Schools is the entity that bused charter school parents and students to Hartford from as far away as New York and Boston to rally in support of Governor Dannel Malloy’s effort to divert even more public funds to charter schools.  The group was also instrumental in supporting Steve Perry’s effort to collect tens of millions of dollars in public funds so that he could open his own, privately operated, but publicly funded charter school in Bridgeport.

In recent months Luke Bronin has been saying that, if elected, he would be a strong supporter of Hartford’s neighborhood public schools but when the HFT asked Bronin to return the tainted money that he had raised from the charter school industry, he refused, despite the fact that he had over $500,000 on hand as of the last campaign finance report (a 5-1 advantage over Mayor Pedro Segarra) and that the Bronin for Mayor campaign has reportedly raised hundreds of thousands more since July 1, 2015.

The fact that Luke Bronin was unwilling to return the money that he had collected from the charter school industry speaks volumes about his unwillingness to stand with Hartford’s public school teachers, students and parents.

Considering Bronin never attended public schools, opting instead for some of the most prestigious private schools in the nation, the aspiring candidate for mayor had a perfect opportunity to make it clear that he was ready, willing and able to be there for Hartford’s 20,000 public school students and to stand in solidarity with Hartford’s 2,200 teachers and education professionals.

But instead, the lure of campaign funds and whatever commitments he has made to the charter school industry kept him from doing the right thing.

In response, Andrea Johnson and the Hartford Federation of teachers did exactly the right thing by revoking their endorsement of Bronin’s campaign and making it clear that as long as he is unwilling to commit to making Hartford’s public school students, parents, teachers and schools a true priority, he is simply not ready for the critically important job of serving as Hartford’s mayor.

The Hartford Courant has also covered this developing story.  Their article entitled “Hartford Teachers Union Rescinds Bronin Endorsement” reads,

The Hartford Federation of Teachers has rescinded its endorsement of mayoral challenger Luke Bronin after he refused to return campaign donations from charter school advocates, the union said Wednesday.

The complete Hartford Courant article can be found at: http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-teachers-union-endorsement-0827-20150826-story.html

The politicization of the CT Board of Regents – continues unabated

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And so it goes…

When it comes to setting higher education policy in Connecticut, politics is the dominant factor, especially when it relates to Connecticut’s State Universities and Community Colleges.

Governor Dannel Malloy’s ill-conceived merger of the two systems into the Connecticut Board of Regents has been an unmitigated disaster.  Billed as a way to save money, the merger has led to the growth of administrative bloat and a reduction in education and student programing.

Further undermining Connecticut’s public institutions of higher education has been Governor Malloy’s insistence on making historic cuts in state funding for the colleges and universities, cuts that have led to significantly higher tuition and fees for Connecticut students trying to get a college education.

Malloy’s initial choice to run the combined CSU and Community College system resigned in disgrace after illegally handing out $350,000 in bonuses to his staff.

The legislature responded by taking away Malloy’s direct appointment authority and giving it to the Board of Regents, where it belonged.

However, the person they selected to serve as President of the Regent system recently resigned after alienating virtually everyone associated with Connecticut’s state universities and colleges and losing the moral authority to lead the system.

Now the Board of Regents, led by Nicholas Donofrio, a former IBM executive who is involved in the distance learning industry and donated $40,000 to Governor Malloy’s 2014 campaign slush fund, has moved quickly to name an Interim President for the Regents.  Their choice is Governor Malloy’s Chief of Staff.

Dr. Michael Gargano, the former Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for the Connecticut State College and University System has authored a commentary piece about this latest development.

Dr. Gargano has a deep understanding of the important roles that the Connecticut State Universities and the Connecticut Community Colleges could and should be playing in the educational, economic, and cultural health of Connecticut.

He has also witnessed, firsthand, how politics has undermined the mission of Connecticut’s public universities and colleges.

His commentary piece first appeared in the CT Mirror and New Haven Register.

The Appointment of the Governor’s Chief of Staff as CSCU President Is Not About Education (By Michael Gargano, Jr.)

Many assumed the next President of the Connecticut State College and University System would have an extensive background in education. Some are disappointed with the recent news, but, the appointment of the Governor’s Chief of Staff as interim President for the Connecticut State College and University System has nothing to do with education. Nor does it have anything to do with academic quality or rigor; nor does it have anything to do with placing equal emphasis on the universities and community colleges; nor does it have anything to do with faculty or students; nor does it have anything to do with reducing the hostility that exist between the 16 campuses and the System office, the Board of Regents, and selected Legislators.

My read of the tea leaves is the appointment is based upon the primary strength of the appointee which is collective bargaining experience and budget and finance expertise. I suspect as the collective bargaining agreements are up for re-negotiation in 2016, the interim president will seek significant concessions from faculty, staff and others. This is a critical negotiation to help Governor Malloy, Ben Barnes and the Legislature balance the state budget. In addition, the state budget is based upon various revenue projections that probably will not materialize that could result in a midyear budget reduction to the CSCU system and other government agencies. Hence, the contract negotiations are critical.

Now that the no layoff policy has sunset, it is also reasonable to envision the President and Board to renew efforts to reduce low enrolled academic programs resulting in faculty and staff layoffs; probably increase efforts for more online courses and degree programs also resulting in faculty layoffs; a consolidation of back office operations like purchasing and human resources resulting in staff layoffs; outsourcing services like maintenance and housing to save money; consider system-wide contracts for dining services and bookstore operations; increase efforts to eliminate tenure compensation but maintain academic freedom; a reduction in tenure track faculty and more reliance on contingent instructors; and a right sizing of  the System office resulting in additional layoffs.

All of the above will be hidden under the higher education buzz word-efficiency. The Board will spin this as a means to make education more affordable for students. At the time of the merger of the two systems, the Governor’s press release in 2011 indicated “a sweeping plan to overhaul the state’s higher education governance and structure to provide more resources for classroom teaching and instruction to help increase the number of students receiving degrees, while at the same time, saving tax payers and students tens of millions of dollars over time.” There has been no noticeable savings to date, but, the Governor and Legislature has decided to provide less public funds to the CSCU system resulting in fiscal instability. The promise to save tax payers money might be one of the reasons why the 2015 Legislature passed a Bill to cap compensation at the System office.

The Governor has all his preferred people in charge-all Regents have been handpicked by the Governor and approved by the Legislature, the Board Chair is a major donor to the Governor, the Board has handpicked college presidents that align with their philosophy, and the Governor’s Chief of Staff is now System President.  The Governor owns the CSCU system. He is now accountable for the results. There are no obstacles to his pledge to save taxpayers and students tens of millions of dollars.

It has never been about quality education that prepares students for professional careers and preparing students to compete with other graduates around the world for the best careers, admission to the best graduate schools, and prepares graduates to evolve into new careers as the economy changes. The merger has always been about cost reduction which means less faculty, staff and others.

Truth of the matter following the previous president is an easy assignment. Mr. Ojakian is well respected by the political community; he will communicate better, be more consistent and trustworthy, be responsive in a timely manner and provide evidence based facts to support his case. He’ll exhibit a human side with listening skills that show compassion. Time will tell, but, I think you’ll get a sense of the President’s agenda rather quickly.

You can read and comment on the original commentary piece here:  http://ctviewpoints.org/2015/08/26/opinion-dr-michael-gargano-jr/

 

Malloy’s Education Commissioner blames teachers for lack of support for Common Core SBAC Testing

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In what may be the most incredible, insulting, outrageous and absurd statement yet from Governor Malloy’s administration about the Common Core SBAC testing program, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education is now blaming teachers for the fact that there is growing opposition to the SBAC testing scam.

In their warped world where “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” these people have the audacity to blame the victims for the crimes that are of the politicians’ making.

Forget that the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Test (SBAC) is unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory.

Forget that the SBAC test is designed to fail the vast majority of Connecticut students.

Forget that the SBAC test is particularly discriminatory for children who come from poorer backgrounds, those who face English Language barriers and those who require special education services.

Forget that the SBAC test results are being used to inappropriately “evaluate” teachers

Forget that state taxpayers have paid well over $50 million for this disastrous test program just over the past two years and local taxpayers have paid tens of millions of dollars more.

And forget that the SBAC testing has wasted hundreds of hours of instructional time, time that our children could have been getting the education they actually need and deserve.

Forgetting all that and proving that Governor Malloy’s administration has lost all contact with reality, the Commissioner of Education is now claiming that the lack of support for the Common Core SBAC tests is the fault of Connecticut’s public school teachers.

The message from Malloy and his administration is loud and clear… They will say and do anything to defend the indefensible.

In a MUST READ article in yesterday’s Journal Inquirer newspaper entitled, Ed commissioner: Teachers must get students to buy into testing, reporter Mike Savino writes,

Don’t count the state’s education commissioner among those who think results from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test are useless because the exam is flawed.

[…]

Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said Thursday that students who negatively viewed the Smarter Balanced test, referred to as the SBAC, are only reflecting what they see from teachers.

Wait, What?

The Malloy administration is actually suggesting that parents and students are rising up against the unfair testing system because teachers aren’t doing enough to mislead people about the testing scam?

According to the JI story, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education went even further,

Wentzell also said the state Department of Education conducted a survey of students in 2014, when some school systems took the Smarter Balanced test as part of a field study, and found students had an “enthusiasm” for it.

She said one of her own children, who took the test as a third-grader last year, reacted as if his school had acquired a new computer game.

Are you ****** kidding me?

The SBAC test is designed to label the majority of children as failures but it’s okay because one of the Commissioner’s own children took the test and, “reacted as if his school had acquired a new computer game.”

Meanwhile, as the JI explains;

The Education Department has not yet disclosed the Smarter Balanced results, rejecting a request under the Freedom of Information Act submitted by the Journal Inquirer on the same day the state distributed the information to superintendents.

The department has claimed that the results are exempt because they are preliminary data and “the public interest in withhold documents outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

A spokesman said the department still is finalizing data and shared it so superintendents could ensure accuracy.

Wait, What?  and the JI, among others, have filed Freedom of Information complaints against the State Department of Education in an effort to force the state agency to release the SBAC test results to the public.

You can read the entire JI story at: http://www.journalinquirer.com/page_one/ed-commissioner-teachers-must-get-students-to-buy-into-testing/article_4fbd2dbe-4a71-11e5-a231-9bc848b6f448.html

Malloy – You can’t hide the sham 2015 SBAC results forever!

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The January 2, 2015 the Wait, What? headline read;

Governor Malloy – Our children are not stupid, but your system is!

The initial Wait, What? post of 2015 may very well be the most important of the year because it reiterates the disturbing truth about the Common Core, the Common Core testing scheme and what students, parents and teachers will be facing in the next few months.

The shocking truth is that Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration have agreed to a Common Core testing program that is designed to label the vast majority of our children as failures.

Here we are eight months later and tens of thousands of Connecticut children were given a Common Core test designed to label them as failures.

Two months after other SBAC states like Washington and Oregon have released their Common Core SBAC results, Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration continue to play games.

The Common Core Testing scheme is a scam that cost Connecticut taxpayers tens of millions of dollars… And yet the State Department of Education continues to rationalize the disastrous testing program.

Here is another powerful commentary piece from fellow public education advocate and regular Wait, What? commentator Jack Bestor.

It appeared first in the CT Mirror: Whither the elusive Connecticut SBAC results?

Whither the elusive Connecticut SBAC results? (By Jack Bestor)

Those oh-so-elusive SBAC results: after millions of dollars squandered on broadband improvements, tedious test prep, and time diverted from actual learning, our students, parents, and teachers have been prevented from getting the test results because no one in educational leadership today has figured out how to “spin” the results without facing the consequences of this poorly designed, invalid, questionably-standardized assessment that was perpetrated on our public school students.

Despite the reluctance of school administrators to speak up and push back against this ludicrous accountability exercise that has been promoted by politicians and corporate education reformers who have many self-interested reasons for maintaining this misguided testing endeavor, it is well-known that the “standardized” testing mandate only serves to continue the false narrative of failing American public education in order to drive the profit-making agenda of those who seek to privatize education and undermine the public trust.

For an insightful look at the test industry, Todd Farley’s under-publicized 2009 chronicle, Making The Grades, recounting his many years working in the test industry would make anyone question why we place any stock whatsoever in our children’s “standardized” test results.  Any test that is designed to fail the majority of test takers has no purpose in the education of children.

Rhetorical flourishes citing “rigor” and “higher critical thinking” are nothing but empty words, as repeatedly the test questions have been criticized by both parents and educators and the test answers have been notoriously ambiguous and often wrong.  There is no amount of test industry algorithms that can justify this educational malpractice.

Since the parents of all students in public schools were discouraged from opting their children out of this state-mandated “standardized” test experiment, it should be gratifying to those who saw through the misinformation and controversy associated with the Common Core testing requirement and, with courage and conviction, refused to allow their children to take this unnecessary and unproven test.

When the results are finally reported to your child’s school, you can be thankful there will be no “sticky label” to apply on your child’s permanent record card and no single data-point to upload into your child’s computerized learning profile.  Furthermore, there will be no woefully inadequate measure of your child’s reading, writing, and math skills for teachers and school administrators to use in any future planning of your child’s school program.

Instead, you can rely on your child’s previous teacher — who for a full school year strove to understand and nurture your child’s individual learning needs — to share with receiving teachers what was found to work in developing each student’s academic skills, confidence, and interpersonal abilities.  You are to be congratulated for advocating for your child against the pressures to conform and I hope you will be able to trust that the teachers working with your child will care and protect him/her from any unfair practice derived from this unproven test experiment.

Although unable to come right out and say it for fear of retribution, most teachers do not believe in the top-down, dictatorial approach of the corporate education reform movement that has a stranglehold on American public education today and hope that it will implode of its own malfeasance.

Until then — as parents — you must continue to ask probing questions of district administrators who are mandated to adhere to the flawed educational policies developed by politicians, lobbyists, business leaders, and millionaire philanthropists who have strong opinions, but no actual experiential knowledge of how children learn.  It is only when school administrators, elected board of education members, and state legislators hear the anger and frustration of parents (and voters) that there can be meaningful pressure brought to bear on those who promote the continuation of these failed educational policies.

Jack Bestor of Sandy Hook is a recently retired school psychologist who, for 41 years, enjoyed working with students, parents, and his many colleagues.  He is a past recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CT Association of School Psychologists.

You can read the original piece at: http://ctviewpoints.org/2015/08/24/whither-the-elusive-connecticut-sbac-results/

Luke “The Job Creator” Bronin didn’t even create jobs when he could…

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Luke Bronin is violating Connecticut campaign finance law.

Luke Bronin is lying about when he lived in Hartford.

Luke Bronin isn’t even paying his fair share in Hartford property taxes.

And now Greenwich Native Luke Bronin is “going negative” in his campaign against Mayor Pedro Segarra, sending out misleading mailings to the voters of Hartford.

Claiming he’ll be  positive force for Hartford, the newcomer is spending his massive campaign war chest belittling Hartford’s mayor with attacks in mailings, in press releases and on television.  Many of his attacks have been misleading, but that hasn’t stopped Luke Bronin.

In a recent debate, Bronin attacked Segarra for not getting enough state aid from Bronin’s former boss, Governor Dannel Malloy and then claimed that Segarra wasn’t doing enough to get city residents employed at state-funded construction sites.

Bronin yelped,

“I walk by that site, I don’t see an awful lot of Hartford residents working on that job right now.”

This from a man who failed to use Hartford contractors when completely renovated his Hartford Brownstone in 2012-2013.  A renovation that took a year and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When a whole construction project was in his sole control the man who wants to lead Hartford hired more than a dozen major contractors… AND only one lived in Hartford.

As we know, in the real world, politicians love to say one thing and do another.

Luke Bronin has made it painfully clear that he is nothing but a modern politician.

 

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